My latest Swedish rucksack modification

On and off for the past few years, I have used a Swedish military rucksack as my main pack for trips ranging from an afternoon to several nights. To make this pack more useful than in its original state, I threaded a length of paracord through the slots at the top of the frame (for holding a sleeping bag, pad etc.), changed the strap configuration and added foam padding to the shoulder straps and lower portion of the frame to make it more comfortable to wear. This weekend, I finally finished the latest modification to this pack: I covered the shoulder strap pads and the pad on the lower portion of the frame with canvas for added strength and fire resistance of those parts (the exposed foam would have been prone to damage and would burn QUICKLY if hit with a spark from a fire).

Here’s how the pack originally looked:

After adding foam padding to the shoulder straps last winter:

Here’s what it looked like after covering one of the shoulder strap pads with canvas:

Both finished:

The padded and covered lower portion of the frame:

And all three together:

I used part of a military surplus canvas laundry bag for the materials for this project. These laundry bags cost about 1 Euro here in Finland, but I didn’t even have to pay that, as mine was given to me by Finnman (sorry to cut up your gift, but thanks for the materials!). 😉

Like most of my projects, these mods aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but they don’t have to. As long as they work, I’m happy. 🙂


12 comments on “My latest Swedish rucksack modification

  1. Finnman says:

    I have also used canvas of those laundry bags, very strong material! But novadays they are 3eur each, damn should bought more then before… 🙂

    Good mods you have done there,absolutely!

    – Finnman

  2. Sam says:

    Very nice. I have a rucksack exactly like this, and I need to put some padding on it. I like the way you have fixed it. Looks comfortable.

  3. OutdoorEnvy says:

    Nice mods! I have the same pack. The leather straps were on the small side for me so I took them off and put on some Alice straps and it’s much better. Yours came out really nice. Looking forward to seeing it in action on our outings.

  4. Stellar work friend, love the way that turned out. Excellent pack made even better!

  5. Ken Speed says:

    Something about the L35 caught my eye so after considerable reading I bought one. Interestingly, I did a few different modifications than you. I had to bend the frame to fit my over upholstered girth and I had a local cobbler lengthen the waist and the shoulder straps and add two short straps to match the original two that were on one side of the pack. Sometimes I use the extra short straps for a camera tripod while the other pair often carry a tomahawk that I use for foraging chaga and other things. The longer waist and shoulder straps really come into their own when I’m bundled up for winter. I, too, have a length of paracord that I keep looped in the “yoke” of the leather harness but I use it primarily for hanging the rucksack when I’ve stopped for a rest or lunch. I also have a pair of inexpensive nylon straps with buckles that I can thread through the harness holes for a sleeping bag or for my camping hammock. I’ve also treated the entire bag and the leather straps with a traditional waterproofing mixture I made of turpentine, beeswax and boiled linseed oil and it seems to have made the rucksack quite waterproof. I have yet to use the rucksack for an overnight but I have taken it for several long hikes and I’m quite happy with it.

  6. KC Wolf says:

    I’m saving this page for when I fix my Forest Service Ruck straps. Thanks for sharing!

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