Sew A Key Pouch In Your Pack

Sewing a key pouch inside your pack is the best guarantee of a quick ride home.

After 5 beautiful days of cross-country backpacking, you return to the parking lot satisfied but tired, eager to wet your dust-caked whistle with a frosty mug in that town a few miles down the road. You anxiously dig through your pack for the car keys and find-nothing. Could they have fallen out, somewhere out there?

Don't let this happen to you. Sew a dependable key pouch into your favorite pack so you can safely stow your keys, cash, credit cards, and other small valuables. Then there will be no delay in slaking your thirst at the end of the hike.

Step 1: At one short end of a 3-by-10-inch piece of cloth, fold over 1?4 inch. Align one side of the 2-inch hook-and-loop strip along the edge of the fold, keeping the strip's ends equidistant from the unfolded edges of the fabric. Stitch the hook-and-loop strip in place with a standard straight stitch.

Step 2: Attach the other side of the hook-and-loop strip in the same way on the opposite end and opposite side of the fabric.

Step 3: Grasp the fabric so that the "loop" (woolly) side of the strip is at the lower end of the fabric and facing you. Bring the "hook" end of the fabric around from the rear to attach the two hook-and-loop strips, creating a tube.

Step 4: Flatten the fabric tube

so that the edge of the hook end is

3?8 inch from the fold, then double stitch both sides of the pouch 1?4 inch from the edge. Sear the ragged edges with a lighter.

Step 5: Turn the finished pouch right-side-out. Sew it to hang securely inside your pack, attaching it only along the top edge of the pouch, above the hook-and-loop opening. (Attaching two or more sides will make inserting and removing keys or other items difficult.) My favorite location is near the bottom of an outer pack pocket.