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Backpacker Magazine – December 1997

Homemade Bear Bag

A homemade bear bag will make sure your provisions stay safe from hungry critters.

by: Jonathan Dorn, BACKPACKER Editor-in-Chief

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3. Turn your stuff sack right side out. Cut the webbing in half, creating two 2-foot pieces. Fold under and pin 2 inches of webbing at the bottom and top of each section. With the cut ends facing the stuff sack, pin the folded portions of each handle to the sack opposite a corresponding pair of reinforcement strips. Make certain that the outlines of the folded portions match those of the reinforcement strips underneath.
diy bear bag

Double-stitch the handles to the stuff sack, anchoring them to the reinforcement strips inside by sewing two rows of stitching around the edges of each folded rectangle. Sew an "X" in the center of the rectangles to strengthen the bear bag handles.

4. Some stuff sacks come with a DWR finish (usually on the inside surface) that will appear glossy and cause water to bead, but these coatings tend to peel, blister, and otherwise delaminate after years of abuse. If your stuff sack lacks a DWR finish or shows significant wear, apply a polyurethane treatment like Aquaseal's Poly Coat or Recoat from Kenyon, paying special attention to the seams and high abrasion areas, such as the bottom and around the draw cord. Because an original finish will repel these treatments, be sure to spread the gunk across the side opposite the original coating.

If your stuff sack shows good beading action, skip the goo and grab a seam sealant like Kenyon's Seam Sealer, Aquaseal's Seam Seal, or McNett Outdoor's Seam Grip. These polyurethane glues will effectively plug all the needle holes you've just inflicted.


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