... by collapsing during loading unloading.
I use a Duluth pack and one of the benefits in my view is the "cramability" of the soft sides and its ability to mold to the shape of a canoe hull.
Most of what I put in the pack is already pre-stuffed into large stuff sacks. I usually have three vertical stuff sack "pillars" comprised of my food sack (Ursack), sleeping sack and clothing sack. As these three stuff sacks easily slide in vertically, the entire Duluth becomes in a sense rigid. Then my tent goes horizontally across the top.
Smaller things are stuffed in the crevices between the three vertical sack pillars.
As to creating a kind of a wraparound interior side wall, I have seen lots canoe campers using their Thermarest pads in this way. I use an air mattress, so I don't do that.
PFD's (Life Jackets)
URCHIN Portable Anchor
Heel and Pegpads™
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