Canvas haversack-style knapsack

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Boston123

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After hiking and camping with a PC snapsack a few times, I decided I didnt like having *yet another* strap diagonally across my chest, and set about making a two-strap knapsack.

I bought some canvas, cut to to shape, dyed it darker with coffee (didnt come out as dark as I would have liked, but at least it isnt stark white now), and "waterproofed" (i am sure water will penetrate eventually, but water *does* bead and run off the treated surfaces) the exterior faces with several coats of melted beeswax (melt the beeswax in a double boiler, paint it on, then melt it into the fibers with a heat source. i used a hair dryer).

The pattern is just a basic folded "envelope", but it is roomy enough to hold a spart shirt, some extra socks, a bowl and spoon, as well as a good amount of food. Im sure I could shove more stuff in there if I had to.
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Now that it is getting cold in New England, I want to carry a third blanket. Rolling it up into my bedroll would make the bedroll unweildingly thick and bulky. I can fit this third blanket under the flap of the knapsack and tighten things down with some leather thongs
 

Hermit Tim

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Nice project and good job. I may try to make one of those as it looks very useful. Thanks for posting this.
 

Loyalist Dave

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After hiking and camping with a PC snapsack a few times, I decided I didnt like having *yet another* strap diagonally across my chest, and set about making a two-strap knapsack.

I bought some canvas, cut to to shape, dyed it darker with coffee (didnt come out as dark as I would have liked, but at least it isnt stark white now), and "waterproofed" (i am sure water will penetrate eventually, but water *does* bead and run off the treated surfaces) the exterior faces with several coats of melted beeswax (melt the beeswax in a double boiler, paint it on, then melt it into the fibers with a heat source. i used a hair dryer).
Congratulations! You have made a cerecloth knapsack. Cerecloth is mostly known for use as an internment shroud, but it was actually used to protect a lot more than a body from moisture.

I have a cerecloth neckerchief. It's a 30" x 30" square of cloth, with one half treated with beeswax, from opposite corners, so a "triangle" half of the cloth is treated. The treated side gets folded under when I fold the square to make my neckerchief. What that does is give me a cloth portion against my skin, and for wiping my face if I need it or perhaps the pan on my firelock. The beeswaxed side can be turned upwards if I tie the cloth around my head, and keeps my head dry and also can work as an improvised "cow's knee" on my lock if I'm caught in a downpour.

You can save a bit of beeswax if you rub it onto the fabric cold, then place the fabric between a couple of piece of brown paper (get a paper bag from the grocer). Then apply heat with an old steam iron with the steam setting off, and the beeswax will spread through the fabric. It's thinner that way so not nearly so stiff. You can thin out the amount of beeswax if you wish by doing the same technique.

LD
 
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