Replacing shoulder straps and other German Mil Ruck ?s

Discussion in 'Backpacking' started by MTplainsman, May 21, 2018.

  1. MTplainsman

    MTplainsman Bushcrafter from the "naked" land........... Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Hey folks, I recently swapped my old pack out for a German Mountain (military) rucksack. It's a canvas model and in excellent condition. So far, I love the pack. It's shallow enough and sits high enough on the back that it won't interfere with all the tools on my belt. I carry my bedroll strapped under the top lid and I have a square piece of 1.5" thick foam pad (kneeling, sitting, and back cushion) that sits perfectly against the original pad pocket (which I now use for storing maps). I have a balanced place for everything in the pack and I'm very satisfied with the system but for one exception... The shoulder straps are just cheesy and inadequate for what I use this pack for. I am looking for some other military shoulder straps or even craft my own, that I can swap them out with. What have you folks done with yours to modify or replace your straps to make it a real carrier??? The belting across the top where the shoulder straps anchor to is super solid, and I thought of riveting the top of the straps through it? Anyhow, any ideas, pics, advice, etc. on this would be great!

    Also... will 40 oz Klean Kanteen single wall bottles fit perfect in the side pockets, like someone had mentioned on the net some time ago, actually fit well? Or what bottles and size would you suggest to fit perfectly in these pockets? Thanks guys
     
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  2. saxonaxe

    saxonaxe Scout

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    I've seen an old aluminium framed pack that had a waist belt and shoulder straps made from salvaged seat belts that were bought for a few pennies from the car scrap (junk) yard. The large size snap, quick release, plastic buckles and adjusters had been used on the belt and straps.
    Unfortunately I only had a few moments to speak to the pack owner, but he seemed pleased with the way the loaded pack carried.
     
  3. Ptpalpha

    Ptpalpha Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Not familiar with your pack, but could either Alice or molle 2 straps be retrofitted?
    Alternatively, the Alice Y-suspenders are another possibility.
     
  4. Skeptiksks

    Skeptiksks Green Haired Weirdo Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Whatever you decide on for your base material for the straps, I personally recommend using the original hardware that came with the pack, this is will simplify the mods you have to do as you wont have to replace the rest of the strap system. Just be sure to document how it all goes together.
     
  5. castle22

    castle22 Scout

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    I used to have the same pack, and iirc the shoulder straps are sewn to the top so you can’t simply replace them. Here’s what I’d do (if this is feasible, I haven’t owned one for several years) cut the shoulder straps of the German ruck and cut out the foam from the inside so you have a tube of fabric about 4-5” long from the top of the pack. You might have to use an exacto knife to get in there. Get a triglide buckle, probably 2”, and a set of newer ALICE shoulder strap (the more heavily padded Woodland camp ones). Weave the former shoulder strap into the Alice strap (for the ALICE pack it uses a webbing 1” wide, but you should have enough width where it normally attaches) and secure with the triglide and then use the original straps on the bottom.
    Like I said, I haven’t owned one of those pack for years but....that’s what I’d try.
     
  6. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I have several of these old German army rucksacks. I like everything about them except the straps. Like you said, they are cheesy. So I ripped them off and sewed new Mountainsmith straps on. Much better. The side pockets hold 32 oz Nalgene bottles perfectly.

    upload_2018-5-22_21-14-33.jpeg

    I also used them on my packgoats. The original straps were ok for this because I just hung them on the packsaddle, one on each side.

    upload_2018-5-22_21-16-49.jpeg
     
  7. Erbswurst

    Erbswurst Tinder Gatherer

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    The 360 Degrees bottle 750 ml in the neoprene cover fits exactly in the side pouches of this rucksack, but only, if you use the stainless steel - bamboo closure.

    The bottle should not be higher than this, because the rain flap wouldn't protect any more correctly the pouch.

    Over the neoprene cover fits a Robens 450 ml titanium mug and this fits exactly in the side pocket.
    A larger diameter would not fit!

    If the rucksack is fully packed it isn't easy but possible to get the mug out of the pouch.
    I recommend to use a nylon bag over it, to make it easier to get the hole thing out and to keep the rucksack clean, if you cook over open fire.


    I am not sure, if the 360 Degrees Bottle 1 litre would fit too. It isn't higher. But if, that will surely work only without neoprene cover.

    The 0,5 litres Thermos stainless king fits very well too.

    The 360 Degrees bottle is a bit lighter than the clean kanteen. May be it isn't so solid, if you throw it on a stone ground. I usually do not tread my equipment like that, so I can't really tell it you.

    I am not sure, if I have a chance next week to try out in a shop, if the clean kanteen fits too.
    If I can't manage it, I could try it a couple of weeks later, because now I will go on a tour all over France for two or three month next time, will take an other rucksack with me and never have seen clean kanteen bottles in France.

    This original Shoulder straps are very comfortable. I recommend to let them how they are.
    The older model with leather straps and metal closures has harder shoulder straps from canvas belt material, by the way, very solid but not so comfortable like the newer once.
    By the way: On top of this rucksack on the main compartment flap fits exactly the western German Army mess kit, the Austrian, but not the eastern German Mess kit.
    You just can fix it there with two straps how you can see it on photos from the Wehrmacht rucksacks.


    I hope, I could help you a bit with this informations. Best regards from Berlin!
     
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  8. southron

    southron Guide

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    I still use the leather straps on my Swiss mtn ruck with a frame that is waterproof fabric. Even have the bread bag that attaches to the top of it.

    I Got some foam similar to what those inch thick flip flops have, and made pads that I can wrap around the leather for padding after covering them with some Shammy leather I had so it looks nice. Something like canvas would work as well.

    I think I like that pack more than my beloved alice packs.

    The alice straps could be attached, Might take some thinking n tinkering, but that is half the fun.
     

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