This is one of the simplest types of hike kits for younger campers. It is a good beginning step in making one's own hiking gear that will be just right for a lunch, for treasures collected on the way, or for the group's first-aid kit. The kit becomes individualized by stenciling or block printing (see Chap. VII) on solid colored materials. The stitching may be done by any of the usual leather stitches.

Equipment needed: large-eyed needle; colored string or crochet cotton for stitching and for whipping ends of cord; pinking shears or scissors.

Materials needed: square of cloth, approximately 18" square-or any desired size of lightweight material (bandanas, kerchiefs, old sheets to be dyed, etc.) ; about 2 yds. small cord.


1. Trim edges of square with pinking shears, or make 1/4" hem, using running stitch (see stitching techniques in Chap. V on Leatherwork).

2. Fold corners back (Fig. XVI-16).

3. Make hems at folds, wide enough to carry two thicknesses of the cord (Fig. XVI-17) .

Simple Hike Kit Or Pouch Bag

4. Cut cord in two pieces and insert as drawstrings, so ends of ropes are on opposite sides of bag (Fig. XVI-18).

5. Join ends of rope with square knot or fisherman's knot (see any knot book); whip ends with same string used for stitching (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Figs. 11-10-14).

6. Pull cords in opposite directions, to make pouch (Fig. XVI-19).

7. Wear over shoulder or on belt.

Simple Back Pack

This pack presents a progressive step in equipment making. It is worn on the back, with two straps over the shoulders, and is a good pack for day hikes, "overnights," or skiing trips. The project involves planning to meet individual desires; special pockets and fastenings make the project more interesting.

Equipment needed: pinking shears-for best results; large-eyed needle; string or warp or heavy thread; grommet setting tools, if desired; paper and pins for pattern; stapler.

Materials needed: 2/3" yd. 10-oz. denim, or similar firm material; about 40" small cord or thong; 4 D-rings, if desired.


1. Make a paper pattern; staple together to test for size and fit. Adjust as needed (Fig. XVI-20).

2. Take pattern apart; cut material from it (Fig. XVI-21).

3. Sew the B pieces to A piece, using overcast stitching (for stitching techniques, see Leatherwork, Chap. V). Sew bottom edges to fold of A piece, pinning in place before stitching (Figs. XVI-21 x and y).

4. Mark place for grommet or ring or buttonhole for cord in top of front of A; insert grommet, attach ring, or make buttonhole (see preceding pages in this chapter) before sewing hem.

5. Turn hem at top, allowing room for the cord to pass through easily. Stitch with running or cobbler's stitch.

6. Turn 14" hem on all sides of C pieces, for flap. Stitch with running stitch or cobbler's stitch, as used for hem on A. Stitch to back (Fig. XVI-22).

7. Make one or two buttonholes; or sew a piece of thong for attaching flap to A piece (Fig. XVI-22).

8. Turn \/4 folds on sides and ends of straps D. Adjust to individual size by pinning in place at center back and at lower corners of pack. Stitch edges with same type stitching used for pack.

9. Sew straps in place (Fig. XVI-23). To make adjustable straps, use D-rings at bottom corners (see Fig. XVI-8).

10. Insert cord for drawstring in top hem; whip ends (see chapter on Braiding and Knotting, Figs. 11-10-14). Gather top together (stuff paper in pack tp fill it out); mark place for fastener (s) for flap.

11. Make toggle (s), pioneer button (s), or similar fastener (s), and secure in place (see Leatherwork or Woodworking chapters).

12. Waterproof flap, or spray whole pack with water repellant liquid.

Variations: To use identification marks: stencil, print, or paint identification mark on front of pack before assembling at step 3, above. Place this with reference to toggle (s) or buttons (s) for fastening flap.

Place patch pockets as desired, on front or sides, not on back (Figs. XVI-9 and 22).

Advanced Packs

For older campers who are ready to make more advanced packs, there are many types from which to choose. Packs may have light wood or metal frames, which may be made or purchased. The experienced camper designs his pack to his own need and fancy. Excellent material on pack and frame making is found in Boy Scout books, specifically the Explorer Manual and Jamboneering. Because these projects may be so varied and the details so extensive, it is not possible to give them here. A few types suggested for projects are the Mohican pack, the Diamond-O frame, and ski or backpacking rucksacks. Walker's The Way to Camp has additional suggestions for pack making.

Ditty Bags

Bags with circular bottoms are usually referred to as "ditty" bags. They may be made in many sizes and are useful for personal gear, for food bags, for tent or sail bags, etc.

Ditty Bags

They are standard equipment for sailors. Small bags are made of lightweight material, such as unbleached muslin, balloon cloth, or plastic; duffle or sea bags are made of lightweight canvas or denim. Food bags are generally waxed; the flat bottom makes them easy to use out-of-doors, as they stand easily when full.

The directions given below are for a bag for small articles of personal gear. The size of the ditty bag may be varied for the desired article, as described at the end of the project. See preceding pages in this chapter for techniques.

Equipment needed: thimble or sailor's palm; sail or large-eyed needle; pinking shears; chalk; ruler and circle marker; paper, pins or staples for pattern.

Materials needed: unbleached muslin, plastic, balloon cloth, duck, denim, or sailcloth; heavy thread or string; grommets, eyelets, or rings; cord or rope for drawstring.


1. Make a circle marker: cut a strip of lightweight cardboard about 7" x 1"; 1" from one end, mark place for thumbtack. From this point, punch holes at two spots, one at one-half the diameter of the bottom of the bag, the other 1/2" beyond this spot; for example, for 8" bottom, at 4" and 41/2" (Fig. XVI-24).

2. Make a paper pattern: for the bottom X (Fig. XVI-24), with thumbtack on circle marker at center spot of bottom, place chalk in the other holes of marker, and draw two circles, one the size of the bottom (8") and the other 1/2" larger all around (81/2").

For the length Y, cut length of bag 14" plus 1/2 at selvage (or plus 1", if no selvage) and 11/2 for top hem (16" in all). To determine the width of this piece, multiply the diameter by 3.1416 or 3 1/7 (for 8" bottom, this is 25"); add 3" for seams, 2" on one edge and 1" on the other (for 8" bottom, 25" plus 3", or 28" total). Mark these lines with chalk-A-B and CD (Fig. XVI-25). Pin or staple pattern together; adjust as needed.

3. Cut material from pattern. With chalk, mark line for bottom on right side of X; mark lines A-B and CD on right sides of Y; mark lines E-F and G-H on right side of Y (Fig. XVI-25).

4. To make side seam: fold at line C-D, wrong sides of material together, and place line C-D at line A-B on right side of material. Pin this side of seam in place. Turn inside out, and turn 14" at edge nearest A-B, right sides of material together. Pin this turned edge in place, making a flat seam (Fig. XVI-26).

5. Sew length of A-B and C-D, working on right side; use ladder stitch. Space stitches evenly. Work on right side of material for second side of seam, feeling through material to be sure the stitching catches edge of seam; match stitches to first row (Fig. XVI-27). (A chalk line 1/2" from edge of seam will guide the stitching.) Seam is flat, with two rows of stitching showing. The bottom of Y should be just the size of X, with edge turned in (8").

6. Turn edge of X at chalked circle (8"), and turn bottom edge of Y.

7. With chalk, mark four evenly spaced points on right side of pieces X and Y (fold in half once, then again, to determine these points).

8. Pin pieces X and Y together at these points, right side of material out (Fig. XVI-28). Pin in several more places, as needed.

9. Stitch X to Y with overcast stitch (see Chap. V on Leatherwork) ; there should be no gathers (Fig. XVI-29).

10. Edge G-H may be stitched to piece Y with running stitch, for a better finish.

11. If drawstrings are to be used, insert grommets or eyelets on front of top hem before hemming; place two grommets at equal distances from center of side seam.

12. Turn hem at E-F, and stitch with running stitch (Figs. XVI-27 and 29).

Stitch With Running Stitch

13. If drawstrings are not used, put an even number of grommets, eyelets, or buttonholes through both thicknesses of hem (Fig. XVI-30).

14. Insert rope or cord for drawstring; whip ends of rope; tie ends together with square or fisherman's knot (see Chap. II on Braiding and Knotting).

Variations: Food bags-make of plastic or any firm cotton material. Mark bags (sugar, etc.) with felt marking pen before waterproofing. Waterproof before stitching. Bags for flour, sugar, and the like may have plastic linings; they should have an inner flap sewed at top hem, to keep food from falling out of bag. A single stitched seam may be used instead of the flat seam. Machine stitching is best for food bags. Cord attached on the outside, and tied with clove hitch or miller's knot (see any knot book), is more effective than a drawstring (Fig. XVI-30).

Duffle or sea bag-use heavy material, such as sailcloth or denim. A sailor's palm and sail needle will be useful with light canvas. A good size for a duffle bag is from 10" to 16" for the bottom, and from 26" to 32" for the length. Duffle bags may be stenciled, or initials of cord may be sewed on the bag. Marlin, a tarred cord, is sometimes used by sailors for such decoration.

Tent bag-roll tent tightly, and tie with rope. Make bottom and length of bag fit the rolled tent (Fig. XVI-30).