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Waterproofing my newly made Haversack !

 
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Mike Suri
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Joined: 12 Aug 2010
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Location: Arvada, Colorado
Real Name: Mike Suri

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 10:27 pm    Post subject: Waterproofing my newly made Haversack ! Reply with quote

Just made a new haversack and was wondering what is the best way to waterproof it.
Or should I bother ?
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Luke MacGillie
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Joined: 03 Jun 2007
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Real Name: Fred Lucas

PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 11:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stuff it full of salt pork or beef and let the fat work its way into the cloth. Just about time its fully infused with grease it will fall apart and thankfully the campaign will be done and you can go into garrison for the winter........

Not that I have any strongly heald feelings on use of haversacks outside of the military or anything :-)

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Scott Allen
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I apply melted beeswax to mine with a paint brush until it can't hold any more, then use a heat gun, hair dryer or hot sun to help melt it in even further. Place newspaper or cardboard on the inside to keep the sides from sticking together. I have one haversack I did this to more than ten years ago and it it still pretty weather resistant.

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red squirrel
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very similar to Scott, I use the beeswax-tallow mixture and coat it. I melt the mixture, brush it on, and let some form of heat (hair dryer or sun) even it out.

Hunted in the rain last deer season for 3 hours straight. Haversack was exposed the whole time to the rain, and nothing inside got wet.

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depot7254
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you took the time to make a proper haversack don't waterproof it. Would you put a scope on custom PA rifle? I use a haversack for my military impression, it's just linen no wax impregnation. If on a scout as a ranger any spare clothing whihc is usally at most a shirt and stockings gets rolled up in a blanket on a tumpline. I have never seen any documentation for waterproofed haversacks. As I said if you took the time to make one, why ruin it?
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Paul C. Daiute
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Location: Fort Western, On the Kennebec in Mayne 1740s-1760
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you are going to use a haversack to carry food, you may not want to waterproof it so that you can wash it and keep it fresh. The linen canvas will shed wate very well. I carry a large hunting bag of linen for my fowl and from time to time it has been pressed into military service to carry my rations as issued by Mass Bay Colony. Some of my service has involved my being aboard a boat. For whatever reason the bag has ended up at the bottom of the boat and has ended up soaked, my food rendered spoiled or not very palitable. I decided to "waterproof" my bag. Since I had tar, lindseed oil, and terps avalable to me, I heated the lindseed oil added some ash to neutrilize the solution and painted the bag up. The bag is less apt to let water in and works well in the warmer months but I don't like to use it in the Winter because of how stiff the material has become, it's tough to button or unbutton the flap.
Do remember that a haversack is issued to you along with a canteen, tent and cooking gear while you are in military service. Haversacks are a military item. I have not found documentation for haversacks being waterproofed. Your question was, how do I waterproof my new haversack, I'm sorry if I have gone beyond what you asked for or wanted to know. Be aware that the term haversack has resulted in endless posts and has resulted in significant rancor in the past.
Regards to you, Paul
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Sanscoeur
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 4:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

French voyageurs wouldn't have waterproofed sacks because of the likelihood of things being spilled into the river during a course down the rapids, or bad water.

There are several recorded instances of goods and food items being stretched out on a riverside for drying after an upset. It was important for the bags that contained the food/goods to also be dry. "Waterproofing" containing cloth, or toile d'emballage, would have made it even harder to desiccate the goods and return to the path.

I have to add my disapproval of the use of the haversack in a civilian context to the notes above. Cut the straps off the thing and pack it into your rolled up "kit" as a container. Best of both worlds...

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Francois Labiche
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Location: Western shore of the Mississippi below St Louis
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking from experience.... applying wax to cloth creates a fire hazard. Why bother? If you are out in the rain, come inside, or get wet.

Seriously, I picked up a waxed haversack off a prize blanket some years ago. One winter I was wearing it when i walked in front of a roaring fireplace. It did not ignite, thank god, but came damn close in the few seconds I was there.... the wax completely liquified and was running off.

As previously stated, a good cloth will shed water for a bit.
Regards and bonne chance
F.

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Jim Aude
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you still want to water proof it, you can use a regular household iron on LOW heat to melt the wax into the material. Don't worry, bee's wax won't stick to the bottom of the iron.
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Jim Aude
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PostPosted: Mon Apr 16, 2012 8:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you still want to water proof it, you can use a regular household iron on LOW heat to melt the wax into the material. Don't worry, bee's wax won't stick to the bottom of the iron.
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Mike Suri
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Location: Arvada, Colorado
Real Name: Mike Suri

PostPosted: Wed Apr 18, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Scott Allen wrote:
I apply melted beeswax to mine with a paint brush until it can't hold any more, then use a heat gun, hair dryer or hot sun to help melt it in even further. Place newspaper or cardboard on the inside to keep the sides from sticking together. I have one haversack I did this to more than ten years ago and it it still pretty weather resistant.


Thanks so much. This is what I did and seems to work great.
I did mix the beeswax with a little linseed oil and turpentine.
Added a little nice smell !!
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