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“Went hiking last week with my Refurbished Swiss "salt and pepper" Rucksack. Many are familiar with these well constructed rucks, mine was made in 1941 and has held up well over the past 20+ yrs I have used it. This was a "Rifleman's" version. Difference it has two outside pockets instead of the standard large front pocket and two heavy leather straps across the closure flap to secure the Swiss K-31 rifle.
Last winter I noticed one of the Shoulder straps developing a tear so it was time for repair work (not bad considering those straps are 71yrs old). Sent it off to an Amish Harness maker in Pa. who did a beautiful job of reconstructing the Straps, same quality work and materials from that bygone era. treated the straps with lexol and took it out along with Mosby my hiking companion and furry best friend. loaded up with my Optimus H-8 stove (60's vintage, with new whisper burner), WW2 German Mess Kit (have never found a better cook setup), and WW2 german "nestle" utensil set. Throw in a small Dietze 1940's vintage trail lantern, bed roll,poncho and 0ld two quart canteen and ready to go.And a good bottle of vintage wine.
Spent three days on the AT on Blue Mntn here in Va. and side trails and we both had a ball! Wish it was longer. Glad to get the old girl back and hope to get another 70yrs out of her. have never found a better ruck.”
“Pics or it didn't happen ;)”
“No pics I'm afraid...Don't own a digital camera , still have a Rico 35mm SLR. Need to get some film for it as there are still a few places to get it developed and dig out on old scanner I have then I can take and post. Since I refuse to get a cell phone don't have that capability either.
As you might guess I am not comfortable in the "Digital" age.”
“I have seen Optimus 8R stoves, but never an H-8. Did you mean 8R ?”
“You are correct mildbill, should have been 8R. It's a habit for wanting to say "Hunter".”
“Is the pack like this?
1941 internal frame, pretty far ahead of its time.. sure would like to see that German mess kit.”
“Exactly! Except that there are two large pockets and the heavy straps across the top instead of single pocket in front. 1944 Militeria imports the mess kits from the former soviet block. The Russians never threw away anything. There is a Norwegian model that is bigger and lacks the internal cup, the German Model is more rugged and compact and would strap just above the main pocket.”
“Nice. I'll bet you could get a digital camera for the price of film and developing.. you obviously have a computer. Maybe give it a try, so cool to see vintage gear in action.”
..for those interested you can now get a reproduction CSA tin mess kit for $40
“I like the canteen! Maybe some day.. I barely am able to use this thing. Wish it had tubes. Still don't know how to upload pics in these threads. Tnx 1camper.”
“The 8R is nice, love it. I use my collection of old bp stoves for weekend bp trips and car camping. I've been out every month this winter bping close to home. I have a bunch of old MSR, Optimus, Primus, Coleman etc. stoves. I just need an old white MSR pump to be happy. Pics over on Classic Camp Stoves Action Gallery.
“The 8R is a great stove. It does everything I want it to. I changed the burner on it to the more modern,quieter one simply because it sounded like a jet engine when going.”
“Did you get a mini cap from Bernie Dawg? I have three of his caps, mini, midi, DragonTamer. My embossed 8 got pretty hot last Nov. heating up two pots of water, the SRV vented and I had a little flame there, shut it down and the fuel was boiling. Wow!
“No. I picked the burner up at the East Coast military Vehicle Show in Aberdeen, Md. a few years ago along with a cple of WWII vintage Coleman lanterns.”
“That is a cool idea: vintage backpacking...”
“I really enjoy it. It's simpler and I find the older gear just out performs/lasts than most of the gear made today. I think it's cool to use something that was in use 70yrs ago or longer and about the person using it. The ruck has the name of the swiss soldier that used it written on the inside flap. The mess kit had the Identity disc of the German Soldier in it(assuming it was his)... makes one wonder.”
“I have a new ruck, couldn't tell you what brand. My Dad gave it to me. It's canvass but very cool. Also a sweet "jungle hammock", both were still in te oackage. My youngest boy went to a church camp thing, just a weenie roast really and I sent them with him. He was the hit of the night.”
“Great! When we were kids in the 60's all of our gear came from H.Ruvel & Son of Chicago. It was all war surplus stuff from WWI/WWII. Canvas everything and Heavy! But you didn't care you were having fun. When I go home these days and walk the woods all of the old trails are overgrown and the campsites have all but disappeared. The pond we fished at drained for a housing development that never was. Kids just vegitate these days.”
“I never got to do the stuff I do now in my late 50's. Farmers. We got to go fishing on a a rare occasion with my brother, dad and grandfather on the river. We all enjoyed that.
I dunno. I just can't see myself hauling a Louis the XIV chair around in the backcountry ...”
“Ha! Chiffarobe packing!
My pack in undergrad years was an Alice that an old drill sergeant gave me. Thing was torture to use, but it saw many a mile. I sold it at a garage sale for $5. Hopefully, it saw some more trail miles...”
“I used an ALICE for my first real bping trip. Overloaded it with 75 lbs thinking "well, if it's good enough for the Army it's good enough for me".
When I came home from that trip I almost left that pack (and contents) at the curb for the garbage truck.
lol. Never did that again; promptly went out and bought a decent pack which happened to be a Coleman external frame that had a composite frame. Great pack; only gave it up when I decided to tread the "ultralight weenie" waters.”
“What about us Old Farts Backpacking..WE are the antiques that are into backpacking.....”
“I carried an ALICE in the Army and keep one as a bugout bag, comfortable it ain't! Sometimes on a day or two hike I will just use an LBE (Pistol belt, Y-suspenders, butt pack, canteens, pouches and hike that way.) You can carry at least three days worth of gear.”
“I have a LBE! Haven't figured out a practical use for it yet other than a zombie apocalypse...”
“That's not enough of a reason?”
“LBE can be a comfortable rig. In the butt pack I carry 3days rations, spare socks, trioxane bars,small book,maps,lengths of paracord,first aid kit,xtal radio, etc. On the pack I crry ponco/liner and coil of rope. On the suspenders, compass/pouch, knife and flashlite. On the belt Canteens,cups and covers. The FN-FAL Mag pouches hold an Esbit stove, trioxane bars for fuel, tea bags, power bars and other little odds and ends.”
“I still use much of the gear from when I started in the 60's so does that count? LOL Not everything is lighter, but it is durable so it's a trade off to me. O'n longer trips I still use my oh so heavy external frame canvas pack instead of the oh so light internal. Funny thing I notice is the external weights a pound and a half empty, and the internal closer to 4 from the suspension system and stays mostly I think.I started with the scout style mess kit and still have it, but switched to the swiss military one about a decade ago. I'm told thats too heavy too, but at 2 pounds for a full cooking system with enough fuel for 4 people for a weekend, well, I still need more convincing of that.”
“I have a cple of those old swiss systems around, they aren't bad. If you drink a lot of tea or coffee, the "Irish Storm Kettle" is another great cooking device.”
“There is something coll about ancient gear. There ought to be a museum of backpacking. There is a museum of family camping - which is I took my kids to years ago ( http://www.ucampnh.com/museum/Welcome.html ).
I gather Mountain Crossings' at Neels gap has a bit of a museum of some sorts, is that correct?”
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