For my last article (“Improvised Personal Flotation Device…“) I used a pair of pants to make an emergency PFD. Afterwards I pondered what else could a pair of pants be used for? By tying up the ends of the legs together and fastening them to the pant’s waist, it could be used in a pinch as a knapsack to carry your provisions when traveling on foot.
Incidentally, I did a little study on the term “knapsack” and learned that it is associated with a capacity of under 30 liters. A backpack has a capacity typically of 50 liters or more, and a rucksack has a capacity of 60 liters. The knapsack capacity may be limited but it certainly is an asset when you have provisions to transport, and it’s certainly larger than a bandana on the end of a hiking staff.
I wear a double D ring style belt and used it to tie the ends of the legs together. At first they slipped out of the cinched belt loop but then I rolled back each leg’s hem to form a cuff, then slid one cuff over the other, much like some folks fold their socks together for storage. This created a slight knob shape that helped to prevent slippage through the belt’s closed loop. Next, positioning the pant legs on the closed zipper side of the pants, I threaded the remaining belt strap through the pant’s belt loops and fastened the end of the strap through the D rings. The belt strap can be tightened to close the waist over the top of your load. To mount the knapsack I lifted it up behind my head and inserted my arms into the loops that were created by the legs, then I let it slide down my arms and onto my back.
There’s no substitute for the proper tools for a job but when you improvise, it’s amazing what can be accomplished. This is one possibility that could be a real benefit in an emergency situation.