How to Modify Hiking Packs

How to Modify Hiking Packs
Hiking packs usually have two aluminum stays on the inside of the pack to provide some rigidity while traveling. These packs, called internal frame packs, are designed to carry the load closer to the hiker's center of gravity, making them well balanced while traveling over rocky, uneven terrain. While these packs have a lot of advantages, organization isn't always one of them, as the packs often have a single main compartment and a top pocket. Modifying the packs is not too difficult, if you are handy with a needle and thread.


Difficulty: Moderate

Things You’ll Need:
  • Internal frame pack
  • 1 to 2 feet of 11/16-inch flat webbing
  • Heavy-duty needle
  • Thread
  • Small nylon storage sacks
Step 1
Remove the aluminum stays from your pack. Have a friend place the stays against each shoulder and down your back and then bend them to the contours of your back. Slide the stays back into place in the pack.
Step 2
Create a daisy chain on the exterior center of the pack with the webbing by sewing one end of the webbing into the pack fabric and then creating small loops that are sewn into the pack at 1- to 2-inch intervals. You can clip carabiners and gear to each loop you create.
Step 3
Use the remaining webbing to sew a 3-inch section into the hip belt on each side, sewing at the ends of the webbing so that a little webbing hangs loose and you can clip carabiners to it.
Step 4
Use the small storage sacks (12-inch sacks usually work best) inside the main compartment to carry smaller items. For added convenience, sew one of the stuff sacks into the side of the pack along the existing seam of the sack.

Tips & Warnings

Test your modifications by taking the pack out for short day hikes before using it on a long trip to make sure that they don't fall apart or cause the pack fabric to rip.

Article Written By Candace Horgan

Candace Horgan has worked as a freelance journalist for more than 12 years. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including the "Denver Post" and "Mix." Horgan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and history.

The Latest from the Community

I don’t know why this trail isn’t listed. All I can find is the Roaring River CG, which is where the trail head...