WWII Jungle Pack
My Dad was big into surplus stuff and when I asked for some piece of gear for camping or anything really, it was usually OD and smelly. I've always learned to deal with stuff being heavy and over-designed and sometimes unfashionable (some surplus stuff would have been "cool", like my M65 jackets, if one wasn't too small and the other covered in paint).
When I asked for a backpack for using in the woods so I didn't ruin my school bags, my dad gave me an old, uncomfortable, ratty backpack with no padding in the narrow straps and a rotted string to keep it closed, with weird buckles and snaps hanging down. I made it work for many years until I could afford to buy better, and then my old pack fell deeper and deeper into my pile of old unused gear.
I moved recently and went through my gear to see what was worth bringing to this apartment from the house I had it in storage at, and I found the pack. It was uncomfortable, but I thought maybe I could cut some straps off it and use it for a day pack with light items. I suddenly found myself wondering exactly what it was. Before I chopped it up, I wanted to know if maybe, just maybe, it was worth more than the prospect of a half-decent day pack, especially when I have several nice day packs. Hours of searching proved fruitless, so I threw it back in the gear pile and forgot about it.
Tonight I saw GreenEyedDevil's post about the WWII Mountain Rucks and started my search again, and low and behold, I found out that I've been dragging around a WWII Jungle Pack for all these years! It's probably not that valuable since it's pretty beat up, but good examples are going for $200 on some websites, mine must be worth at least a couple Alice packs. I'm glad I didn't chop it up, and from now on it will take a spot of honor amongst my other ratty old gear. Maybe I'll even take it on a cruise through the woods for old time's sake. After all, the sore shoulders and hotspots under my armpits will probably bring back memories of trudging through a swamp a decade or more ago carrying the same ungainly, uncomfortable green sack.
Well an Ebay search turned up a few in the $20-$40 range, so it's not that rare, but now I don't have to worry about ruining it, cool.
great story john!
post up a few pics for us if you can, thanks...woods