The Roycroft pack

Cut three sticks for the frame. They should be about as thick as your thumb. The length of the bottom piece should be the width of your buttocks. Ideally it should also be slightly curved to fit your back. The length of the two side pieces should be equal to or slightly longer than the distance from your buttocks to the back of your head.

Figure 2 shows different kinds of joints that can be used to hold sticks together. The lashing material can be any kind of vegetable fiber cordage or rawhide. It doesn’t even have to be very strong if the joints are tight.

Making straps out of cattail leaves is good. For optimum results gather the cattail leaves late in the growing season, before they have died and turned brown. Shred them into narrow strips. A coarse “comb” made by driving nails into a board is a useful tool for the shredding. Otherwise it can be done by hand. Finely shredded fibers will be stronger and more flexible. After shredding, the fibers should be dried and then moistened before twining.

Fold your blanket into a square and place it on top of the pack frame with the corners up, down, left and right. Place something soft, such as a coat or sweater, at the bottom for padding where it will contact your lower back. This is very important. Otherwise the crosspiece digs into your lower back. Put the rest of your gear on the blanket. Fold up the bottom corner, and then wrap the left and right corners around the gear.

You want to pack your load in such a way that it is comfortable and everything is readily accessible without having to take it all apart.

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