If you are missing your original metal frame, or if it is falling apart on you; here is a simple PVC ALICE pack frame that you can make for not a lot of money.
Dave Canterbury gives a great tutorial on how to build your own frame in the video above, but here are some ideas to improve the design.
- Before bending; fill the PVC with sand; it will keep the pipe from crimping when forming.
- Some of the bends could be made with 45 degree fittings.
- Compartmentalize the cross braces with pressure fittings for specific storage capacity; tinder, first aid kit, fishing kit. etc.
- With proper fittings; the whole frame could be used for water storage.
- Wrap the frame with para-cord instead of spray painting; you can never have too much para-cord.
- Use ABS instead of PVC, it is UV protected and has a higher impact strength at lower temperatures than PVC.
Sure; you can easily find a replacement frame at the local Military Supply store, but there are a couple benefits of making your own frame.
- You can build the frame to fit your body size; making the pack more comfortable to carry.
- You can increase the ergonomics of the frame; easily molding it to fit your body shape with a heat gun.
- With a larger pack frame; you have more room for carrying and distributing your load.
Whatever you decide to do; have fun with your project and personalize it to your needs and concerns. Be safe in the woods!
Used USMC Military Surplus ILBE Pack System
Heavy-duty CORDURA®, 725-denier fabric Massive main area, Top or side zipper access, Top lid is 15 x 10 x 5″ (750-cu. in. capacity), Haul handles for gloved use, Rubber zipper pulls, 2 aluminum stays, Drawstring top, Padded waist belt, Kidney pad, Adjustable shoulder straps, 12 x 9 x 24″h., 9 lbs.