|NATIONAL PARKS QUICKLINKS|
Backpacker Magazine – December 2007
Backpacker's Ultimate Fix-It Guide
Replace a broken buckle
The buckles that control a pack's suspension are often sewn into the webbing–in other words, not easy to fix in the field. Fortunately, a complete fracture is fairly rare, so there's no need to carry spares. (Hipbelt buckles are a different beast; if one pops, rig a carabiner to tide you over.) If a buckle does break, here's a simple solution devised by Mountain Hardwear's Eric Hamerschlag that should hold until you get home:
Mend a fabric tear
Self-adhesive ripstop nylon patches or repair tape (applied to both sides) will fix smaller rips and holes in low stress areas that receive little abrasion. But in high stress areas like the pack's bottom and sides, a dime-sized hole will expand to quarter-sized and larger if not patched promptly. Here's how to plug them using a combination of polyurethane and fabric patches.
Remove duct tape residue
The gummy remains attract dirt and can complicate further repairs. Rainy Pass Repair manager Julie Parker says you can remove the goo with 3M Adhesive Cleaner or rubbing alcohol.
Refresh a dirty pack (Online Bonus)
After a muddy or sweaty trip, spray your pack with a hose or dunk it in a tub of warm water. Use a toothbrush to work out dirt, paying particular attention to zippers. Avoid using soap unless the pack is stained with oil residue–like olive oil or sunscreen; in those cases, use a mild, unscented detergent like Ivory Flakes. Rinse and dry thoroughly. For funky odors, use Mirazyme.