... so despite my awesome offer to sell or trade my Osprey Raptor 14, no takers. Funny how this was the best pack in the universe according to all the arm chair experts, yet when there was a deal to be had no one stepped up. I ended up emailing Wingnut to let them know how much I love their stuff and to also let them know that I had committed the ultimate sin and purchased a pack other than theirs. Scott wrote back and let me know that being a holy man, he'd forgive my sins, but I must atone for them (see the linkage in there Scotty boy?...eh?eh?). I'm a humble guilt ridden Catholic/Jew, what can I say. So while I wait for some super top secret stuff to come to fruition, I had to get my ride on. The thought of having to ride with the back breaker (aka Osprey Raptor) made me almost not want to ride.. now that's some f'ed up sh!t there kids. So I asked the wife once again if she'd mind helping me out with the pack repair. This went as expected (she's really pissed that I'm going to Colorado) so I was phuked.
What happens when you take this...
and sew your harness system back together?
No, it's not pretty, but it is super functional and yes that's 20# test (fishing line for the lay person). Strong as all get out, water proof and won't break like the cheap cloth thread the wife used on fix #1.
Since I was getting in touch with my inner crafter (I'm about as crafty as a turnip) I decided to add a couple of additional mod's to the pack. The excess strap-age has always bothered me flopping around. I've done the zip tie thing but always have to cut them when the seasons change and my clothing gets more/less bulky. I've also done the rubber band thing, but they never last more than a couple of weeks. I found some rubber strips and sewed them into a loop to hold the excess strap material. I can now ride without the long tails flapping about, and when the layers build up and I need to lengthen the harness I simply let in/out the straps and adjust the "strap on keeper" **kinda catchy huh?**.
My next modification or "Mod" as the MYOG crowd likes to call it, is to add a hanging handle to the pack. IMO this was one of the reasons my harness system could have failed. Unnecessary weight on the harness due to storage while hanging. With no handle or hanger all the weight of 100 oz of water plus all the stuff I carry is put on the harness system. I stole this idea from most back packing stuff. And while I doubt it would ever make it to a production model, I don't mind adding it to my old wing nut as I plan on getting a new one very soon.
1" wide nylon webbing (can be had at most climbing stores or camping stores) plus 700# para-cord (also can be found in most camping or surplus stores)
Stitch the para-cord at both ends to keep it from moving (could also use hot glue or crafting glue or so the wife tells me after the fact) then sew a "baseball stitch" I'm not kidding, there are hundreds of different stitch types try a youtube search for stitching or sewing... who knew. I chose the baseball stitch because it's easy and reasonably strong. The end result.
The extra long "tabs" will be sewn to the cargo area of the pack. The para-cord acts as the handle (I've seen this done with just the fold over technique, but feel the para-cord adds to the strength and comfort). With the extra long tabs I'll have more surface area to sew to the pack. On the inside of the pack I plan on using tent repair patches (mainly because they're a peel & stick and are water proof) to add to the strength of the handle and to ensure I don't rip the pack with the heavy load. If you're a crafter and know of a stronger/better material speak up before the wife gives me the lesson on how to use the sewing machine. I plan to create a rectangle stitch with a double row of stitching top and bottom with an X stitch in the middle. I've seen this used in a lot of climbing harnesses and heavy duty back packs. If you have any experience in this area please feel free to add your comments or email me. I don't know that I'll get this done right away, but it's in the planning stages now so speak up.