Haversacks were used by soldiers in Civil War times for carrying their daily supplies. They acted as mess kits and also as large “purses” for the soldier. A haversack was usually worn over the shoulder by a long strap and had a large flap over the top with a buckle to keep it fastened. Usually it was made out of cotton or linen and had been waterproofed in some fashion. A soldier could carry about three days worth of rations in one. The original haversacks from Civil War times are now collectible items and can be quite valuable. For great read about knock off handbags you can click here. You get this range of affordable designer bags that you can choose from. These bags are really affordable as well.
You can make your own haversack quite easily and cheaply for use on hiking, hunting, or camping trips. The simplest way is to get a pair of extra-large men’s pants from a used clothing store – the really baggy kind that are so much in style today would be perfect. Make sure the pants are made of denim or some other type of heavy material. To gauge just how large your haversack should be, the original ones were typically about 13 inches wide and 11 inches deep. Because we are going to need a flap for the top, we will cut ours a little longer.
First, cut one of the pant legs off about 20 inches from the bottom. Then turn it inside out and sew across the unhemmed end so that it is securely closed. Now cut strips for a strap from the other leftover pant leg. Make sure the strips are long enough so that they will stretch from your hip to your opposite shoulder (the strap can be anywhere from 40 to 48 inches long, whatever is most comfortable for you). Sew the strips together and hem them. Then turn the pant leg right-side out. Attach the strap to the haversack by sewing each end about eight or nine inches from the top near the seams on each side. The extra pant leg length on top of the haversack will make it naturally hang closed as a flap when it is worn, so you really don’t need any buttons or buckles as fasteners, but of course you can attach them if you wish.
You can now decorate your haversack by adding beads, painting designs on the sides, adding a few pockets (maybe include a secret inside pocket), or even sew loops on one side for carrying shotgun shells.
A haversack is handy to take on all sorts of outdoor trips. But before embarking on any major journeys, you may want to pack it with a few useful supplies, such as a compass, a butane lighter, matches kept inside a waterproof container, paper in a waterproof plastic bag, an aluminum cup, a flask of water, writing implements, a small frying pan, a small sewing kit, silverware, packets of instant cocoa or soup, some napkins, small candles, a pocket knife, a small survival or wildlife book, etc.
Carry the haversack over your shoulder at all times while you are hiking or hunting so if you ever get lost you can use the things inside to start a signal fire. You can also boil water in the aluminum cup and enjoy some hot soup or cocoa while you are waiting to be rescued.