How to Make a Shirt Into a Backpack

254-616If you find yourself in the back country in need of a pack and you happen to have an extra T-shirt, you are in luck. In just a few minutes you can turn that spare shirt into a lightweight backpack suitable for carrying gathered berries, leaves and other light items. Your do-it-yourself backpack will not be the epitome of style, but this emergency sack does the job. In a pinch, this pack can be made with no tools at all, but a knife will produce better results.


Difficulty: Easy

Things You’ll Need:
  • T-shirt
  • Knife
Step 1
Lay the T-shirt flat on the ground.
Step 2
Grab the two opposing sides at the bottom of the shirt and tie a knot to close the end of the shirt. This will be the bottom of the pack.
Step 3
Cut the collar off the top of the shirt using a knife. If no knife is available, use your hands to rip the material.
Step 4
Tear or cut off the sleeves, leaving the shoulders of the shirt untouched so that the armholes remain. The armholes are the straps for the backpack.
Step 5
Put on your backpack. Place the shirt behind you, on your back, and slip your arms through the armholes, leaving the rest of the shirt (the pouch part of the pack) on your back. The stretchiness of the T-shirt will allow your arms to slip through the armholes, while leaving the rest of the shirt pouch resting on your back. If the pack is too small to allow your arms to easily slip through the holes, enlarge the armholes by cutting a little bit of material off at the bottom of the armholes.
Step 6
Place items in your pack before putting it on or simply reach over your shoulder and drop items into the pouch opening.

Tips & Warnings

You only wear the armholes of this shirt pack. The pouch, which consists of the front and back of the shirt material, tied off at the bottom, rests on your back.
The larger the shirt, the bigger the pack.
The thicker the shirt material, the stronger the pack.
Save the material you cut off the shirt to be used as ties or bandages.

Article Written By Rose Kivi

Rose Kivi has been a writer for more than 10 years. She has a background in the nursing field, wildlife rehabilitation and habitat conservation. Kivi has authored educational textbooks, patient health care pamphlets, animal husbandry guides, outdoor survival manuals and was a contributing writer for two books in the Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader Series.

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