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Luggage Transfer Correos

Backpack straps - newbie question

2020 Camino Guides
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
Hi everyone
This will undoubtedly have the experienced among you sighing heavily, but my Camino in May 2020 will be my first backpacking venture so please bear with me.

I have my pack (followed fitting instructions on the forum), and have just done my first training ‘run’ in it with minimal weight. All good so far, but my issue is what do you do with all the excess length of straps? I am 5ft 3 (160cm) and under 50 kg so reasonably small, and with everything cinched in comfortably I seem to have miles of excess strapping dangling everywhere.

Do you: cut it off and singe the ends ( and hope you don’t gain weight); wrap it up and duct tape it; tie it in knots(which would seem to be just more stuff to undo at the end of the day); or something else? Interested in what works for you, and if this is a general problem.

cheers
Glenda
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Hi everyone
This will undoubtedly have the experienced among you sighing heavily, but my Camino in May 2020 will be my first backpacking venture so please bear with me.

I have my pack (followed fitting instructions on the forum), and have just done my first training ‘run’ in it with minimal weight. All good so far, but my issue is what do you do with all the excess length of straps? I am 5ft 3 (160cm) and under 50 kg so reasonably small, and with everything cinched in comfortably I seem to have miles of excess strapping dangling everywhere.

Do you: cut it off and singe the ends ( and hope you don’t gain weight); wrap it up and duct tape it; tie it in knots(which would seem to be just more stuff to undo at the end of the day); or something else? Interested in what works for you, and if this is a general problem.

cheers
Glenda
Professionally, I use a Hot Knife tool to cut through strapping to remove excess. Barring that, leave enough strap material to allow the straps to hang loosely from the shoulder. Then cut off the excess with sharp shears or scissors beyond that. As you mentioned, use a lighter to carefully and barely melt the nylon so that the fabric is just able to fuse.

And be careful. . . just melted nylon is Napalm. :)
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
Professionally, I use a Hot Knife tool to cut through strapping to remove excess. Barring that, leave enough strap material to allow the straps to hang loosely from the shoulder. Then cut off the excess with sharp shears or scissors beyond that. As you mentioned, use a lighter to carefully and barely melt the nylon so that the fabric is just able to fuse.

And be careful. . . just melted nylon is Napalm. :)
Excellent. Thanks for coming to the rescue again Dave. Really appreciate it.
 

OzAnnie

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
'Portuguese,Frances,Norte,Salvador/primitivo,Le puy, Inglés, CDM, Invierno, Fin/Mux, VDLP spring19
Hi Glenda
Good question., I’ve been walking for years with my Deuter hip excess strap dangling and I wrap it into other bits. I’ll try trimming it before my next walk too. HOWEVER; what I did take specifically from @davebugg ‘s post is to make sure you measure the excess ‘after’ you’ve loosened it sufficiently ‘to take off/put on’ with ease. Once we cut it - it’s gone , lol.

Buen camino
Annie
 

C clearly

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), VDLP (2017), Mozarabe (2018), Vasco/Bayona (2019)
If you got it at a serious outdoor store, you might be able to take it back and ask if they can do it with the special tool.

Try a hot iron (protecting the surface).
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
Hi Glenda
Good question., I’ve been walking for years with my Deuter hip excess strap dangling and I wrap it into other bits. I’ll try trimming it before my next walk too. HOWEVER; what I did take specifically from @davebugg ‘s post is to make sure you measure the excess ‘after’ you’ve loosened it sufficiently ‘to take off/put on’ with ease. Once we cut it - it’s gone , lol.

Buen camino
Annie
Hi Annie
Mine is a Deuter too, but after this morning’s trial with straps dangling and rubbing against knees/quads thought that would drive me insane after a while.

Yes, will definitely be doing the cutting while straps are loosened off.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (May-June 2020)
I’ve always used a small strip of double-sided Velcro tape to handle excess strap length on my bags, since cutting or burning off the end(s) has always seemed a little too severe a solution for me.

Simply cut a piece of double-sided Velcro tape measuring 3-4x the width of the strap and center it perpendicular to the end of the strap. (You can also glue the Velcro tape to the end of the strap in the middle with a bit of fabric fusion adhesive.) Then simply wind the excess strap around the length of the tape until the strap is at the length you desire and wrap the Velcro tape around itself to secure. If you wind and wrap tightly enough the resulting coils of strap will stay close to the body of the bag without getting in the way. The Velcro will remain in place until such time you want to unroll the strap back to its original length - like if you ever decide to sell or give the bag away at some point in the future. No muss, no fuss, and no fumes!
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
I’ve always used a small strip of double-sided Velcro tape to handle excess strap length on my bags, since cutting or burning off the end(s) has always seemed a little too severe a solution for me.

Simply cut a piece of double-sided Velcro tape measuring 3-4x the width of the strap and center it perpendicular to the end of the strap. (You can also glue the Velcro tape to the end of the strap in the middle with a bit of fabric fusion adhesive.) Then simply wind the excess strap around the length of the tape until the strap is at the length you desire and wrap the Velcro tape around itself to secure. If you wind and wrap tightly enough the resulting coils of strap will stay close to the body of the bag without getting in the way. The Velcro will remain in place until such time you want to unroll the strap back to its original length - like if you ever decide to sell or give the bag away at some point in the future. No muss, no fuss, and no fumes!
@SenorJacques - thanks for a great alternative. As you say I might want to get rid of the pack post-Camino (depending on how things go and whether I get the bug others on the forum are infected by), so this is less drastic.
Love your dog BTW.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Francés (May-June 2020)
@SenorJacques - thanks for a great alternative. As you say I might want to get rid of the pack post-Camino (depending on how things go and whether I get the bug others on the forum are infected by), so this is less drastic.
Love your dog BTW.
Happy to help! Let us know if the Velcro solution works for you.

(PS: Señor Jacques - aka the real Señor Jacques, aka my dog from whom I borrowed my username, says hello!) 🐶
 

Anamya

Keeping it simple
Camino(s) past & future
Frances (2015)
Portugues (2017)
Lebaniego (2019)
I like the velcro alternative - usually I use rubberbands myself, being a very similar size to you.

The reason i never cut them is because most people I ever walk with are taller than me, and if by any chance they are helping me to carry my pack for a while, it is still easy to adjust to othetr people. Also works if you ever decide to give the pack away after walking as well - they still can adapt it for a tall person.
 

davebugg

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Frances(2017)
Frances(2018)
Ingles(2019)
Aragones(2020)
Portuguese(2020)
Given the variation in spine length that a taller person will have, I would have concern that the frame of the pack would be unlikely to fit that person. . . the exceptions being if the pack frame and harness system actually allow for multiple sizing options. The same concern would apply to a smaller height person.

I think a case can be made that someone 'heftier', but of the same basic height (and more likely to share the same size and fit), would need more room at the waist and chest via a longer strap length. However, there is usually far more excess in the straps than would be needed even in those cases.

Adding materials to hold straps in place can work, but they add a bit more weight; whereas cutting the excess reduces some weight. Yeah, it might be just a few ounces, but ounces grow to pounds, and pounds equal pain. :)
 

malingerer

Active Member
Hi everyone
This will undoubtedly have the experienced among you sighing heavily, but my Camino in May 2020 will be my first backpacking venture so please bear with me.

I have my pack (followed fitting instructions on the forum), and have just done my first training ‘run’ in it with minimal weight. All good so far, but my issue is what do you do with all the excess length of straps? I am 5ft 3 (160cm) and under 50 kg so reasonably small, and with everything cinched in comfortably I seem to have miles of excess strapping dangling everywhere.

Do you: cut it off and singe the ends ( and hope you don’t gain weight); wrap it up and duct tape it; tie it in knots(which would seem to be just more stuff to undo at the end of the day); or something else? Interested in what works for you, and if this is a general problem.

cheers
Glenda

Have tried all sorts over the years but am wary of cutting straps as sure as shootin I find I have something I want to tie on the outside and ye straps is too short:) But then, that's camino! If checking your ruck however, make sure everything is cinched tight and straps tucked away otherwise you can bet your bottom dollar the whole bloody thing is causing a jam somewhere! You can always cling wrap tho from one of the dispensing outfits at the airport. I always carry a small roll of duct tape anyway for running repairs to all sorts of gear! :)

Buen camino :)

The Malingerer.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
I have always rolled up loose ends and put a rubber band around each little bundle. After a time the bands fail so I just replace them.

If you prefer to cut off loose ends, my suggestion would be to do it after a short experience with rubber bands, remembering the old carpenter's saying "measure twice, cut once."

Bob M
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
BTW, where loose ends can be dangerous is in boot or shoe laces.

I once bought a pair of shoes that had excessively long laces that tripped me up a few times before I took the trouble to fix the problem.

Bob M
 

Jeff Crawley

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
Contemplating yet another "final" Camino
but will I be fit enough for 2020?
I had the opposite problem - the long straps on my rucksack of choice were a little too short so I couldn't get the waist belt to sit comfortably on my hips. I jury rigged a solution with two 8" lengths of webbing and some delrin tri-glide buckles to attach them. It was OK but an acquaintance showed me how to use a "Speedy Stitcher" sewing awl - so simple (no pun intended), we just spliced the extensions on, trimmed them to length and got rid of the buckles that were just something else to snag upon.
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
You guys are incredibly innovative and great at adaptation. Thanks for the suggestions. I will give alternatives a trial over the next few months before final decisions about cutting off before I head off on 1 May.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
Good luck with the experiments, but more especially with your walk.

Curiosity and the desire to experiment are two of the Good Things about human beings.

Bob M
 

josephmcclain

Active Member
Just be sure you don’t get rid of too much of the strap. you will find, despite intense trial runs, that you will be discovering how adjustment of the straps is really important and you want to have enough left to be able to do that easily when you are really in the midst of the Camino.
 

Theresa Brandon

Artist, photographer, dreamer
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Inglés (2018), Camino Ingles (from La Coruña, 2019), Camino Portugues (2020)
I used small hair rubber bands to fasten each loose strap down.
I thought I'd clarify this a bit. I use the hair rubber bands that have a cloth exterior, because they last a long time. I usually twist them around two or three times for a snug but not tight fit, then I can slide the rubber bands up and down the strap as needed for an adjustments during the day. A few straps have two rubber bands if they are extra long. I might fold the straps to keep them tucked under a band, or keep an extra band at the end to keep it snug.
 

BobM

Veteran Member
Camino(s) past & future
V Frances; V Podensis; V Francigena; V Portugues; V Francigena del Sud; Jakobsweg. Jaffa - Jerusalem
[QUOTE="josephmcclain, post: 807173, member: 19526" don’t get rid of too much of the strap. you will find, despite intense trial runs, that ...adjustment of the straps is really important and you want to have enough left to be able to do that easily when you are really in the midst of the Camino.
[/QUOTE]

Spot on.

Some days you might want to carry extra food to tide you over weekends or holidays. That often has had me adjusting my pack straps.

Sometime I have slackened a shoulder strap a lot to ease a temporary pain. I often tweak the waist straps.

If I put on an extra layer to cope with cold I sometimes need to adjust my straps .

Etc etc.

Bob M
 

Sixwheeler

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Arles Route (2013/2014 onwards)
I've always folded the excess up neatly into an approximate two inch flat bundle then taped it both ends with insulating (plastic) tape.
Ultreïa
 
Camino(s) past & future
Francés, May - June 2020 SJPDP to SDC
Get out the sewing machine, if you have one, double up the strap and sew every 2 inches. I slide socks or undies through the slots to dry further.
Great strategy @MaineSally but I’m afraid I can’t sew to save my life😇, so that one’s not for me.

However, I do hear everyone on not cutting straps too short. I will certainly be rugging up as I feel the cold, and will no doubt be putting on and taking off layers endlessly. I think I will go with folding and taping or velcroing to allow for those adjustments if need be.
Thanks everyone - much appreciated.
cheers
Glenda
 

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