Mar 9, 2008 at 10:27 pm #1227720
Tom CaldwellBPL Member
I've sort of got interested in vintage backpacking gear. I sure hope I don't get the bug, since I already collect TOO many things that I never actually use, especially for my budget. I thought it might be interesting to try an old backpack. I don't want a rare and expensive collectible, but something I can take out for an easy overnighter and not have to worry about damaging.
Any suggestions? I use a Granite Gear Vapor Trail for modern life now.Mar 10, 2008 at 12:29 am #1423677
Jason BrinkmanBPL Member
Like WWII surplus, or were you thinking a little later 'vintage' than that?Mar 10, 2008 at 5:10 am #1423685
@slashpastorLocale: Colorado now!!!
Were you thinking old REI gear?Mar 10, 2008 at 10:51 am #1423721
@bigjackbrassLocale: Northwest England
I use a Gwaltney Gear "Nessmuk" rucksack quite a lot (and I believe that it's available from other suppliers, too), a waxed canvas and leather pack with a nice arrangement of side pockets. It's not actually a vintage pack but it is a current version of a venerable design. Excellent for day hikes along with my Ventile smock.
There's also a Swiss canvas rucksack sitting in my wardrobe at the moment, made of the old "salt and pepper" canvas and leather, which is a lovely item but remarkably heavy for its size; not one for the trail so much but it gets a lot of use as a general purpose bag and has the great advantage of being widely available at army surplus prices.
If you really want to explore the world of vintage (i.e. cotton duck and heavy canvas) packs then you'll find that such things are still widely used in canoeing circles as well as by bushcraft and primitive skills enthusiasts.Mar 10, 2008 at 12:51 pm #1423740
@retropumpLocale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
How about this beauty
I still see some die-harders carrying these things around here!Mar 10, 2008 at 1:13 pm #1423744
Ron BabingtonBPL Member
@ohbejoyfulLocale: Greenville, SC
Dude, you should totally check out the Jensen pack from RMW: http://www.rivendellmountainworks.com/
"Vintage" in style if not in fact..Mar 10, 2008 at 1:28 pm #1423749
@splproductionsLocale: Salt Lake City, UT
That pack looks comfortable as heck!Mar 10, 2008 at 7:58 pm #1423806
Chad LorenzBPL Member
@chadlLocale: Teton Valley, WydahoMar 13, 2008 at 12:53 pm #1424183
You can find nearly any, or at least a lot, of vintage packs on ebay if you are patient. It helps to narrow down your choices a bit, internal frame, external frame, soft pack, specific brand. Someone mentioned the revised Rivendell Mountain Works- you can't tell the new packs from the originals, I have both. Sized correctly they carry very well. If you narrow down what you are looking for I may be able to help you find something.
Class 5 Quim
Hine Snowbridge Serex
Holubar Royale Pack
Hine Snowbridge Tamarack
Lastly, the Rivendell Giant Jensen, aka, the coolest pack ever madeMar 13, 2008 at 1:32 pm #1424188
Denis HazlewoodBPL Member
@redleaderLocale: Luxury-Light Luke on the Llano Azul
I have a Trailwise external frame pack I bought in 1967. I don't know if that qualifies as vintage, but it's a great pack. It still has the original shoulder straps, with load lifters. In the early '80s I did replace the hip belt with a more modern one. The neat thing about Trailwise is that the two guys who started Trailwise sold it and started a company called Sierra Designs, which they sold and started a company called Walrus, which REI bought. It was cool to go into their "Factory Store", around the corner from the Berkeley, CA REI and watch them designing new tents in the back.
The Walrus service was really something. I left the tent poles for my Walrus Solo One behind when we broke camp because of an emergency. I went into the store and asked about replacement poles and one of the owners crawled up into the rafters and rummaged through boxes of poles until he found a set. He gave them to me for free and wished me good hiking.Mar 13, 2008 at 2:17 pm #1424197
@geneticLocale: Out back, brewing beer in BPA.
I saw these at a gear shop in Kyoto.
I don't know if you can get them here.Mar 13, 2008 at 2:22 pm #1424198
I saw this earlier today.Mar 18, 2008 at 1:08 pm #1424772
Swedish M-39 (1939 model) Rucksack.
Or if you can possibly find one a M-35 (1935 model) which seems identical to the 39 model, but with 2 side pouches and a back pouch. Extremely hard to find though.Mar 18, 2008 at 6:44 pm #1424808
@jasonklassLocale: Parker, CO
Hey, this is backpackingLIGHT.com, NOT RETRObackpacking.com! ;)Mar 19, 2008 at 11:02 am #1424888
@bigjackbrassLocale: Northwest England
Nothing wrong with a little vintage. Kephart wrote about exceptionally light kit; Nessmuk, indeed, was notorious for it.
Materials may have changed, but the desire to get into the outdoors relatively unburdened has been with us since well before John Muir.
Mind you, I just love old camping stuff so I'll admit to a little bias here :)Apr 30, 2008 at 3:26 am #1430857
I have two of potential interest: A Hine/Snowbridge Serex w/ optional side pockets, and A Frostline Venture Pack. I have modified them over the years, so they're not pristine original, but of course MUCH better packs as a result! I had a snow scree put in the Serex, royal blue to contrast with the Navy pack. The orange Venture now has contrasting blue daisy chains, and two additional external pockets on the top and back to accommodate quick-access stuff. Both were professionally done (Pack mod section in an outdoor shop near Ft. Bragg, NC) Email me at email@example.com if you're interested and I'll send pictures…/HughApr 30, 2008 at 9:48 pm #1430991
Ive still got an early eighties Lowe Alpine Systems internal frame pack. And its still in good condition. This is THE CLASSIC original style, internal frame backpack…no frills. I figure its got another 500 miles on it at least. Back then, they made backpacking gear bombproof and most packs were made out of very durable cordura nylon.
Its heavy, its bombproof, it can handle a 100 lbs no problem as long as your fit to handle 100 lb loads and it looks mean…its an ULighters nightmare. And its a classic.
EricApr 30, 2008 at 10:25 pm #1431000
Doug JohnsonBPL Member
@djohnsonLocale: Washington State
Vintage? Wouldn't that be a Golite Breeze? Or a GVP? Those are pretty classic man!
Then you could put a floorless Tarptent Squall inside.
Dude- flashbacks! Can all of you remember when Cuben was, like, NEW? I think I do!!!
And didn't there used to be stuff called "cordura"? Wait a second, do I hear Flock of Seagulls playing?
:-)May 1, 2008 at 9:47 pm #1431205
>And didn't there used to be stuff called "cordura"? Wait a >second, do I hear Flock of Seagulls playing?
1000 denier cordura…GREAT STUFF! You could: 1)throw it out of a plane and it would survive intact; 2) break off the trail and bushwhack through the thickest, nastiest briers and brambles that would totally tear up a UL pack; 3)go for years and years without having to buy a new pack; 4) use the pack to carry mega heavy resupply loads to base camp…UL packs simply wont handle that; 5) not have to worry about babying your pack while setting it on the ground during trail breaks or during airport handling.
Id like to see a synthetic pack material with the ruggedness of good old cordura nylon, but with the lightness of silnylon. Im not sure that would be possible, however.
EricMay 1, 2008 at 10:36 pm #1431208
Wow! A Granite Gear Vapor Trail? I have a used one that I haven't used in over a year. Is it vintage yet??May 1, 2008 at 11:08 pm #1431210
1980's youve got to be kidding…
If you want Vintage then YOU MUST INCLUDE a Kelty External Frame Hiking Backpack in your collection placed neatly next to your Svea StoveMay 2, 2008 at 12:16 am #1431213
Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
In the early 1970s, "Vintage Packs" were canvas and leather rucksacks and WWII backpacks. These days, I think of the packs from the 70s as vintage. The first two packs that come to my mind are Kelty's external frame pack that Roger posted a picture of (first made in the 50s) and the JanSport D2 which were first made in the late 60s.
I would also second Roger's observation… if you are going vintage, you have to get a Svea 123 stove. It was THE stove for years.
For other ideas see Bruce B. Johnson backpacking revolution which includes pictures of gear and interviews with people who helped shape backpacking industry in the 1950-80s.May 2, 2008 at 7:34 am #1431247
Elliott WolinBPL Member
@ewolinLocale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
How about a 1950-1960 design Boy Scout canvas rucksack, a rectangular canvas box with straps, no hip belt, no frame, nothing. Actually it's fairly lightweight, perhaps very early UL.
It is still sitting somewhere around my house. And somewhere I have the Boy Scout manual that goes with it…May 2, 2008 at 11:01 am #1431267
hehehe…cool Kelty external pack.
Actually, those aluminum externals were good packs.
EricMay 2, 2008 at 11:05 am #1431269
>In the early 1970s, "Vintage Packs" were canvas and leather >rucksacks and WWII backpacks.
yeah, they were called "bergens." Bergen rucksacks. They carry the weight real low on your back no matter how you try to pack them and force you to lean forward all the time. Still, not bad for when you had to hump through jungles and were off trail a lot of the time, situations where balance and agility were badly needed despite carrying a load.
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