Pack frame part 1

I have been thinking about the pack frame system that I want to use and I have decided I am going to design my own but base it on otzi the icemans pack frame. I will make it a bit more intricate than that. A cross between the Otzi frame and the cimbrer bushcraft pack frame that he uses.

So basically it will be the shape of the otzi frame with the curve at the top. With a piece coming out to help support the equipment put on top. I will also add a chest and belt strap. As well as the extra supports through the middle like the cimbrer frame.

The whole thing will be notched glued and tied together.

The main curve of otzi’s frame is made of hazel, cut green with the bark removed it should be plyable enough to bend to the required shape.

So now my quest for a suitable piece of hazel begins. It shouldn’t be too hard hazel is everywhere in my area.

I know how to work out the width of the pack frame thanks to Dave Canterbury and his book bushcraft 101. In this book he talks about pack frames and states “cut a lumbar slat or split piece of hardwood approximately 2’’wider than the lumbar region of your back (or about the length of your armpit to wrist).” Right now I’m starting to get somewhere.

I messaged cimbrer bushcraft telling him I want to try to make a pack frame like his and could he please send me more pictures and he replied telling me that he could go one better and that he had a video he sent me the link.

That video is basically an instructional for how he made his one. I know what elements of his design I am going to use. The leather work I will replicate and gear supports will also be very useful. But I would like to try to keep more like the otzi frame.

I will notch and glue all of my joints then tie them with cordage. The leather cord that he has running though the whole thing for back support will also be natural cordage. With just the actually back straps being leather. All my natural cordage will be waxed to make it a bit more water resistant.

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