War time military gear

Discussion in 'Packs, Bags & Pouches' started by Border One, Jun 1, 2019.

  1. Border One

    Border One Tracker

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    Is it just me or are there others here who love 20th century wartime military gear? To me the pure simplicity combined with the fact that it has been battle tested just makes it so much more appealing. This gear is made to last and stands up to the rigorous treatment that any bushcraft outing has to offer.
     
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  2. 66drifter

    66drifter Guide

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    as a wee younker back in the late 1940's my "sand box"(Brazos River bottoms) shovel was a WW I trenching tool

    still have (several)

    today i find myself picking up the Ames tri-folds and placing one in every place i can think i might need a realy cool universal tool

    military cook sets have also found a place in my heart

    since i'm knot a hoofer weight doesn't play the importance w/ me like it does w/ some on this forum

    therefore function and durability are my benchmarks
     
  3. Holtzcraft

    Holtzcraft Scout

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    I grew up playing with some of the surplus gear: soft cap/patrol cap, pistol belt with canteen and cup, mess kit, helmet liner, and of course C-Rations that Dad passed along to me. Fast forward to my 18th Birthday in Basic Training and being issued All the "cool" gear and using it for real. I still enjoy using various pieces as part of my kit since I have used them in various field conditions around the USA and in Germany. I too don't worry about the weight. I know what I can do with the gear and what it will hold up to.
     
  4. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout I just want bacon that doesn’t need cold Supporter

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    I love surplus gear and as a former WWII reenactor I always find myself floating towards that era lol
     
  5. Winterhorse

    Winterhorse Supporter Supporter

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    I like surplus gear but I also temper my enthusiasm with some light weight gear as well. I’m getting to the, “I don’t want to carry that anymore” years.
     
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  6. leghog

    leghog Guide

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    Soldiers complain about much issue gear for good reason.
     
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  7. JAY

    JAY Guide

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    I need to buy a new pair of boots, and I'm not rich by a long shot, so thinking about military issue. Do they last very long?
     
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  8. NevadaBlue

    NevadaBlue —- Roughian #7 -— --- Graybeard -— Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

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    I love military gear. I grew up when WWII surplus was everywhere. Real surplus stores were my favorite haunts. I even had an ‘RV’ made out of a 1953 GMC school bus that had a

    B52 EJECTION SEAT for the driver’s seat. Really!

    Radio gear, camping gear, I didn’t care as long as it was surplus. :4:

    AND, :eek:, I see that my 50 dollar seat is worth a bit more now. OMG...

    One of these:

    [​IMG]

    Wonder what ever happened to that school bus?
     
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  9. L0NER

    L0NER -Gone Exploring- Supporter

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    Pops and I took a few of the 302 GMC engines out of those old school buses to run on the salt flats. We would stick them in just a skeleton of a early 60’s nova. Never came across one with that style seat in it.
     
  10. Muskeg_Stomper

    Muskeg_Stomper Tiaga & Tundra Wanderer Supporter

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    When I was a kid, seems like there were military surplus stores everywhere selling genuine GI surplus stuff left over from WW2 and Korea. Less so from Vietnam. Sometime around the early 80s, it seems like military drawdowns really dried up the surplus markets. I wonder if the anti-Vietnam sentiment had something to do with that?

    Fortunately, I was in the Army from the late 70’s to 2003. I collected a lot of stuff during those years that made up a good percentage of my outdoor gear. Since then, things have either worn out or shrunk in my closet. LOL. Now I find a lot less genuine GI gear with lots of cheap knockoff stuff out there. There is also a lot of expensive, commercially-produced, “tacticool” crap out there. Even the real GI stuff is not what it once was. A GI poncho is a good example. It may weigh less but it doesn’t shed water like the old stuff did. I’ve left a lot of my youth behind.
     
  11. Robedsubset

    Robedsubset Scout

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    Yup. I love surplus gear. Alice pouches, older ammo cans, gi duffles. It’s durable and I don’t mind beating up on it a bit.
     
  12. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Yup but I like just a little bit newer.... IMG_1556_zpsebca049f.jpg
     
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  13. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout I just want bacon that doesn’t need cold Supporter

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    Lol is that a raft?
     
  14. gila_dog

    gila_dog Supporter Supporter

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    I have an old WW2 folding army shovel. It's my truck shovel, and lives behind the seat. It has an original canvas cover, and is in great shape. It's dug many cat holes, and I use it to level my truck camper by digging a slot for a tire to drop into. It will last the rest of my life ++.
     
  15. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Lru 16 p ejection seat raft has a lot of miles on it
     
  16. Muskeg_Stomper

    Muskeg_Stomper Tiaga & Tundra Wanderer Supporter

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    I have much of that same gear.
     
  17. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout I just want bacon that doesn’t need cold Supporter

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    Man I like that. Time to research lol
     
  18. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Good luck there just short of impossible to get....
     
  19. BlueDogScout

    BlueDogScout I just want bacon that doesn’t need cold Supporter

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    I see that but now I’m looking at other options lol
     
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  20. L0NER

    L0NER -Gone Exploring- Supporter

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    Had to look up what a cat hole is. Lol
    In my circle we call them pig holes
     
  21. jayclimber

    jayclimber BCUSA Friend Bushcraft Friend

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    I like surplus gear! My dad was in from 1969 to 1993 and we had lots of his gear in the house. My boy scout troop growing up was probably the best outfitted because of all of that surplus gear. I did 20+ years in the outdoor industry guiding and had the best civilian gear one could find but ive come full circle and my gear is all surplus again! Ive grown fond of British military surplus gear as of lately. The brits really do make great kit!
     
  22. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    I have a lot of surplus stuff, always have, but some of it I find useful, some not. Lots of gear just doesn't fit me, or would have to be heavily modified to fit (but the same can be said of commercial gear too...). Lots of other gear is just too heavy. I'm no ultralight freak, by any means, but there's no need for me to pack around a wood handled folding E-tool when all I need is the little folding stainless steel trowel, that weighs almost nothing.

    I also don't want to look TOO army wannabe. I'm militant, but not military. :D At least with my older stuff, I don't look too tacticool. :)
     
  23. central joe

    central joe Wait For Me!! Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Growing up in the 60's military surplus gear was cheap and quality, so it's what I had to camp with. I still like it, never had any ultralight or so called modern gear, except one cheat tent. joe
     
  24. Stophel

    Stophel Scout

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    I have finally settled on McRae combat boots. Finally, footwear that is big enough and straight enough for my flat feet. I have some Altama black leather boots, and they're good, but not quite as roomy in the toes as McRae. I like the McRae "hot weather" boots with the classic Panama sole, which can be had for a little over a hundred dollars. At the moment, I'm wearing McRae current issue army boots, which are exactly the same boot, except for the Vibram sole.. which weigh a ton! They do real well as work boots, though, and roomy enough that I can double up insoles, which is NICE. I got these on ebay for $52. These suit me, and are still old-fashioned-looking enough for me, without looking like high-tec, modern running shoes. I can't comment personally on long term durability yet, but I expect them to do pretty well. While the Vibram sole boots would do ok in the woods if you're used to them, they are pretty heavy. The Panama soles are WAY lighter. My Panama sole boots have done me good on two hikes recently, about ten miles each.
     
  25. shoggoth80

    shoggoth80 Tracker

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    I've had two pairs of the more current tan combat boots. First pair I paid more for still in box... they lasted 6 years. The other pair, I paid $4, and wearing them currently. The thing with military kit, is that is the made by the lowest bidder to do a certain job. Generally, it'll do that job. I enjoy surplus/militaria. For the most part, I find the stuff rugged for my uses, and often well suited cost wise. I'm more enamored with European surplus than US surplus... but 3 out of 4 of my sleeping bags are surplus (2 M1949 Mountain Bags and shells, and a woodland camo MSS). I have several surplus packs, and owned a couple more before these (and a couple commercial ones). I'm a fan of eating more weight for durability, so things like my ponchos/tarps, sleeping bags are surplus. It makes sense to me. Though there is a little bit of a traditionalist in me that's crying for waxed canvas and leather.
     
  26. Seeker

    Seeker Woods Bum Supporter Bushclass I

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    an opposing view:

    I have been forced to use military gear in the Army to the point of being sick of it... it's overbuilt for my purposes, and in some cases badly designed or uncomfortable. If I throw anything at my bushcraft gear, that's abuse, not use. but that doesn't mean there isn't some really good military gear.

    I really like the 70s-era NATO canvas ruck as a hunting bag and daypack when i have tools or materials to haul. I think the old Woodland Camo USGI poncho is probably the best example of multi-use gear out there. I really like the USGI M1950-series extreme cold clothing (Fishtail parka, field pants, liners for both, and the mitten shells). The magnesium snowshoes are good. The old canvas green USGI jungle boot was a good thing too.

    The ammo pouches/ LBE/ suspenders/ "assault packs" and anything MOLLE or PALS is not my cup of tea. Not a fan of the ALICE pack.

    Not a fan of the uniform items except the summer-weight ripstop fabric items, and those need heavy mods (lower pocket removal in the case of the shirt, major changes to the pockets in the case of the cargo pants). But then those pants are unbeatable for wear.
     
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  27. Luis

    Luis Tracker

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    Somewhat different. I served over 35 years in the military, and swore I would not wear camo when I retired. I also thought anything civilian made for the outdoors must be superior to any "lowest bidder" military item.

    I tried lots of packs, shoulder bags, satchels, and other gimmicks - and they all lacked in one way or another for my purpose. Then I found this site and saw the modifications to a lot of USGI items. Now I see why the military has what they have-it works.

    For all my day trips, I went back to having a cartridge belt with ammo pouches. I have 3 ammo pouches, each for a different purpose; one for fishing the high high mtn lakes or streams, one for hiking, and one for hunting/plinking. I only put on the ammo pouch I will be using.

    The only 3 items always left on the cartridge belt at all times are; a handgun holster, a 1 quart canteen, and first aid kit with compass and basic survival items.
     
  28. Outdoor Dauber

    Outdoor Dauber Roughian #3 Supporter

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    Someone's living in it down by the river...
    :D
     
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  29. Primordial

    Primordial MOA #40 Supporter

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    @Howie 's retirement plan is to be a vendor here and open up milsurp store as he sells off all his gear.
     
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  30. CamoDeafie82

    CamoDeafie82 Guide

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    Last pair of leather boots I wore out were over 25 years old.... Desert Shield era. Bellevue boots are very good quality for the price :)
     
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  31. werewolf won

    werewolf won TANSTAAFL Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    Reminded me of the Pawn Brokers show when someone wheeled in an ejection seat. The bald headed guy was like “Are civilians even allowed to own those?” Sure, just don’t pull on the pretty yellow and black stripped ropes :)
     
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  32. CamoDeafie82

    CamoDeafie82 Guide

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    The most used military surplus items in my gear pile...
    1) combat boots
    2) 1qt canteen cups, and their covers
    3) jungle first aid kit plastic box, fits 100rd saw pouch perfect
    4) USMC Contract Catoma IBNS 1st gen bug net
    5) woodland poncho liner
    6) Extreme Cold Weather Parka, 1980s contract

    These are the most used military surplus items I have. . I do have a pile of mil gear for range days, emergency fun, and comparison/patterns from which to base or modify personal equipment on
     
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  33. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Some is great. Other items not so much. Supplied by the lowest bidder based on specs largely drawn up by people trained in directing warfare remotely. EXAMPLES: enameled canteens in WW II (G.I. throws himself down violently and has glass in his drinking water (cool!); that pack weight needs to mostly be on the pelvis was discovered during the Civil War, and adopted by the U.S. military over a century later (Repeating rifles only took a couple of generations.); ECWCS GEN I & II (They believed Gore's ads.). EXCEPTION: ECWCS GEN III ( when actual professional designers and users of outdoor clothing, like the GIs themselves, were brought in to the process for the first time replacing endless, clueless committees of bird colonels and generals.
     
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  34. CamoDeafie82

    CamoDeafie82 Guide

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    On one side, yeah some of the items have questionable quality control and designs... but on the other hand... depending on who the contracts went to; some items are very good quality... for example?

    Eagle Industries/Allied Industries, Safariland, "Pre MSA Paraclete", Lowe Alpine, Gregory, Bianchi and London Bridge Trading Co; these companies offer gear thats way overbuilt and sturdy, compared to gear made by Propper, Blackhawk Industries(subjected to some problems recently when it was found that some of their equipment made under limited COTS contracts were not US made), and whoever it was that produced the CFP90 line after Lowe got booted....

    Now, most of these contracts usually require a staggering amount of inventory to be made and offered, in the thousands or so.. and I am not sure just what the bidding process is...
     
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  35. Howie

    Howie Supporter Supporter Bushclass III Bushclass I Bushclass II

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    Some of it is very" collectable" but then it becomes worthless if it's not used. Plan is for the kids to come back say what a worn out pile of crap. Let's get it the dump. Cause it looks like dad used to have a blast out playing with this stuff.
    Probably start getting rid of the duplicates one day
     
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  36. TAHAWK

    TAHAWK Guide

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    Extra points for belonging to a minority of some kind. That serves a social goal but is not relevant to quality. So the owner of a small retail clothing store got a contract for a jacket - that was promptly subbed out to someone who actually made garments.
     
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