The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

50 pound feed bag backpack

making a backpack for 50 pound feed bags

These old external frame backpacks have a top and bottom compartment. Cutting out the canvas divider makes an area barely big enough to handle a 50 pound bag of chicken feed.

I've only done one trip loaded with feed, but I can already tell it's going to be a huge improvement over the old method of pouring out half the bag so it would fit our smaller back packs.

We found our external frame backpack on Ebay for around 30 dollars.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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Can you please explain to me why you are packing feed around? I'm assuming that there is a back story that I'm missing and it must be a good one. Excellent use of an old pack, BTW!

Comment by Monika Tue Apr 17 19:19:14 2012
Monika --- The back story is a bit complex. We live about a third of a mile from where we park the cars, and although we can drive a truck back here a few times a year and the golf cart a bit more often, we mostly just carry supplies in on our backs. Chicken feed is the heaviest supply we carry with regularity, so Mark figured it needed its own carrying bag.
Comment by anna Tue Apr 17 19:54:39 2012
The backpack looks like the 'biomass' carrier (and spreader) that Eliot Coleman mentions in one of his books. The pathways between the garden beds were so narrow in the Paris market gardens at the turn of the century, the men had basket backpacks to carry in the horse manure. To dump they would lean all the way over and it would tumble out of the basket over their head.
Comment by Charity Tue Apr 17 20:01:39 2012
I like the innovation!!
Comment by Jayne Wed Apr 18 10:05:35 2012
Charity --- I found Coleman's descriptions of the Paris market gardens so inspiring! I just wish there'd been even more pictures. I wonder if there's a whole book about them somewhere?
Comment by anna Wed Apr 18 10:55:50 2012
Jayne --- Me too! I was a bit dubious when Mark floated the idea (as usual :-) ), but he chose his backpack very wisely and it seems work like a charm!
Comment by anna Wed Apr 18 11:01:41 2012

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