Yes, I decided the best way to repair my backpack was with beer bottle caps.
It seemed like an easy solution, but it turned out to be harder to do than I expected.
My plan was to crimp a cap on each end of the carbon fiber stays. These would provide blunt ends to the stays, preventing them from pushing through the webbing that was intended to hold them in place.
Bending the caps into place and then keeping them on the ends of the stays was difficult and time-consuming.
Other hikers helped where they could. Mechanic and a couple others found bottle caps. Felix offered to drive down to the Appalachian Market, where we ate dinner last night, to pick up a breakfast sandwich for me.
After having trouble getting the caps bent and shaped so they would remain on the stays and not leave sharp edges, Stick loaned me his multi-tool, which included small pliers. A little duct tape helped to keep them in place.
Finally, at around 9 a.m. I was satisfied the pack would hold together. Everyone else had left by this time except Felix. I thanked him again for making his surprise visit, as well as for spending time with my friends and me.
By now, Stick had about a two-hour lead on me, but I wanted to catch up to him if I could so that I could return his multi-tool to him. He uses it as a pot lifter while cooking dinner.