In 2016 I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail carrying a Granite Gear Blaze A.C. 60 as my pack. Lightweight, versatile, durable and comfortable, I highly recommend using this pack for any type of backpacking excursion. After about 1000 miles of use, a crack appeared in the poly-carbonate frame-sheet in the pack. After another 500 miles, the frame failed and cracked completely in half rendering the backpack useless. After about five minutes of flipping shit, I came up with a game-plan to temporarily MacGyver the frame in the middle of the woods. Here’s how I did it.
Materials: Duct Tape & Six Twigs
1. Line up the frame and apply small pieces of duct tape to make sure it doesn't move. If there is any space between the pieces of the frame, the repair will be weak and you will most likely have to fix it again.
2. Find small, sturdy sticks to splint the frame on both the front and back. The side of the frame facing your back must have smaller twigs so that they don't protrude past the frame and create pressure points against your back. Wrap the frame and twigs in duct tape once to hold them in place.
3. Apply multiple wraps of duct tape to ensure the splints are held tight against the frame. The duct tape primarily holds the sticks in place and prevents the frame from moving horizontally.
4. Feed bear-line through the slots on both sides and tie as tight as possible to prevent horizontal movement or separation of the frame. I used cuben-fiber line that has practically no stretch.
Congrats, you can now carry your pack as intended again, happy hiking!
Once I got into town, I replaced the twigs with toothbrush handles and did the repair again so I didn't have to worry about another blowout. I only had to use this repaired frame for about a week and half of hiking because Granite Gear and their awesome customer service team got a new frame-sheet sent out to me immediately with no questions asked and no cost to me. I will definitely continue to use granite gear for my future expeditions!