The packboard designed for the rigor of Search and Rescue

In collaboration with Caroline Slick + Erica Lee
The Packboard designed for the rigor of Search and Rescue.
A two-piece frame and harness system which provides weight distribution and comfort.
The packboard provides a range of lashing points to attach a variety of equipment and allows easy access for the duration of missions.
Cardinal's design also features waist belt carabiner loops, top carry handles and walkie-talkie attachments.
Design Process
Continue to learn about the process and development behind this design.
Our Focus:
+ Mountain Wilderness Rescue
+ Volunteer Force
+ Urban Commuter
Meet Amy.​​​​​​​
EMT-trained student who volunteers for missions with Search and Rescue in Washington.
Inventory (a "48-hour pack")
+ Harness                           + Crampons
+ Radios                             + Foam mat
+ Stove                               + First Aid Kit
+ Water bladder                + Sleeping Pad
+ Microspikes                   + Splints
+ Helmet                            + Ice pick
+ Tarp                                 + Space Blanket
"Being able to open the bottom of the bag would be radical"

  "Having an area to lash the litter through the back is critical"
Litter Half
Litter Halves
A litter is a type of stretcher typically used in Search and Rescue missions.
They are often carried on volunteers' backpacks in 4 parts: two halves, a bracket and a wheel.  ​​​​​​​
Ideation + Prototyping 
How might we design a pack that accommodates for the rigor and tools needed for Search and Rescue missions?
How can we incorporate accessibility, modularity and litter half accommodation?
Our early ideation and prototyping explored sliding, pivoting and folding frames.
Later load-bearing prototypes explored the ways in which the harness and frame would interact and connect while providing comfort for the user.
This phase of development lead us to decide on a pack board as the main frame system for the pack.
How should lashing points be distributed on the packboard for the best organization of equipment?
Behind the scenes:
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