In my last post, I showed a few pictures of a pack I picked up before our recent move from Helsinki.
It’s a “35 L, K”-model Swedish army rucksack, and I got it for about 25 Euros at a discount tool/home store.
A few specs (courtesy of Webbingbabel):
- Pack material: polyamide
- Pack capacity: 35 liters (40.5 liters with the top flap at its uppermost position)
- Frame material: steel tube
- Weight: 2.3 kg/5 lbs (according to my bathroom scale)
Anyone who’s familiar with the M39 Swedish army rucksack (and who isn’t, really?) will notice right away that the “35 L, K” is a more modern pack, both in materials and design. It’s more comfortable (thanks to two webbing straps which keep the frame off your back, padded shoulder straps etc.), more versatile in use (thanks to the external frame design and attachment straps) and just all around better. You can really see the amount of progress that occurred in pack design between these two packs. Incidentally, there is also a 70-liter version of this pack, called the “70 L, K”, amazingly enough. 😉 It uses the same frame and shoulder straps, but a larger-volume pack is attached to it.
Using the pack a few times has confirmed its superiority over the M39, at least in my mind. It’s much more comfortable, can hold much more gear (plenty of attachment straps all the way around) and is more water-repellent. Although there is a clever and convenient way to attach one’s axe to this pack (one of the horizontal straps can be seen on the lower part of the pack), my 3/4 axe is a bit too long to make use of this, so I just slip it into one of the loops at the top of the pack and it stays put just fine. Another nice feature is the ability to adjust the top attachment point of the shoulder straps to make them closer together or further apart to fit your body better. The shoulder straps themselves are also very easy to adjust thanks to clever tabs on the straps. One of my favorite things about this pack is that I can cinch down the attachment and closure straps if the pack load is small and use it as a day pack, or loosen the straps, fill the pack to the brim, attach my sleeping bag, sleeping pad and tent to the outside and have a fully capable pack for multi-day trips without stretching the limits of what the pack can and should do.
When I bought mine, there was a bunch of surface rust on some parts of the frame, so I sanded it off and will repaint those spots sometime soon. This kind of thing comes with the territory of military surplus gear. Other than the rust, the pack is in great shape and seems rugged enough to stand up to quite a bit of hard use. To make it even more comfortable to wear, I added a waist belt scavenged from another rucksack. This really helps take some of the load off the shoulders (I’ll probably add some padding to this belt later on).
I will continue to try out this pack for day trips and overnighters over the coming weeks and months to really put it through it’s paces, but I think it’s a winner!
And now for something completely different: a few shots of the Woodsbabe’s grandparents’ farm from last weekend. What a difference two weeks make, eh? Not only has spring sprung, but we’ve almost hit full-on summer! Hope the weather has been this nice where you are, too. 🙂
Sauna, gazebo and stream:
And finally, no trip to the farm is complete without a tractor ride for the Woodsboy. 🙂