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Backpacker Magazine – April 2009

Gear School 2009: Packs

Learn how to fix snagging zippers, re-waterproof material, deal with frayed fabric, and more.

by: Marcus Woolf, Illustrations by Supercorn

PAGE 1 2




PACK FIT TIPS: 5 SECRETS FOR FINE-TUNING CARRYING COMFORT
1. First, measure your torso to find your size. Go to backpacker.com/torso for a primer.
2. Loosen all straps, put the pack on, then tighten straps in this sequence: 1) hipbelt 2) shoulder straps 3) load lifters 4) sternum strap 5) hip stabilizers.
3. Assess fit. The bottom of the pack should curve snugly in the small of your back, weight should feel evenly distributed between shoulders and hips, and shoulder straps should hug shoulders with no gaps at the top.
4. Try different brands to find one that fits you best. And don't be afraid to test a pack marketed to the opposite sex. Slimmer guys might find a women's pack fits better, and vice versa.
5. Bend removable stays: Curve them to match your spine by placing them over a counter edge and applying gentle pressure. It will take a few rounds of trial and error to get the perfect shape.

WHEN TO CALL AN EXPERT
Skilled sewers (like Stitchlines; stitchlines.com) can fix major strap blowouts (a popped shoulder harness or load-lifter repair costs about $20) or big gashes ($20-$45).

WHEN TO CALL IT QUITS
Packs can last a lifetime—but large swaths of threadbare fabric mean it's time to go shopping.
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READERS COMMENTS

Nick
Feb 10, 2010

Unless you heat the knife to red hot, you will not change the temper. The reason you are not supposed to put knifes in the dishwasher is for the sake of the handles, and the safety issue of having sharp objects laying around in the washer drawer.

noramus
Oct 25, 2009

A lighter will def change the tempering of the blade.

Keith
Jul 08, 2009

You'd be surprised how little heat it takes to ruin the temper of your knife's blade. You shouldn't even wash good cutlery in a dishwasher because over time you'll ruin it's ability to hold an edge.

Ken
May 12, 2009

Heating a steel knife blade enough to melt the plastic will not harm it at all. A small lighter or match cannot heat the steel enough to affect the heat treatment. If you take a welding torch or something that would be a different story.

Joe
Apr 30, 2009

If you cut through the buckle I would want to melt it so it forms back together to further strengthen before taping. I would do this assuming a replacement would be used when back from the trip.

Mata
Apr 22, 2009

Heating your knife blade will damage it permanently, use it as last resource.

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