Carrying Your belongings
Making something to carry your gear in from scratch in the wild is not always easy.
A store bought rucksack is the answer for most people.
The rucksack doesn’t need to be expensive.
I bought an old, but unused, Norwegian army Bergen M53 for 100 NOK at an Army surplus store.
I’m sure that other surplus stores around the world also have cheap, good rucksacks in their stock.
I don’t know the size of mine (probably around 50-60 litres), but it is big enough to hold the stuff most people need for a week in the wild, at least in the summer.
I`ve carried the neck of a bull moose in it and that fits well inside and the straps was good enough for the weight (20-25 kilos).
Over longer hauls I would prefer wider straps though.
The Comfort of the straps goes Down the drain when carrying more than 10-12 kiloes.
A trick used in the army was to cut of 6-7 centimeters of the sleeping mat, cut the strip in two pieces and tape it to the rucksack straps.
The rucksack has two side pockets, a small compartment in the lid and a large main compartment.
Skies, axes or other long objects can be stuffed between the side pockets and the main compartment.
There are also two leather straps for attaching gear over the two side pockets.
I’ve later modified it attaching three small pockets from an Alice pack in front of the rucksack.
There are lot of rucksacks that are better to carry, but few at that price.
And besides it doesn’t weigh much, and I use it both on day trips and longer treks.
A good trick is to use a large garbage bag on the inside of the main compartment, packing all items in it, keeping your gear dry.
The rain will eventually seep trough the rucksack, even if it is waterproofed.
Using the Garbage bag will prevent it.
I don`t use the Garbage bag as I prefer to pack my stuff in separate bags (preferably in different colours).
Spare clothes in one, fishing gear in another and so on.
That way I can quickly find my things when I need them.
I also own a Norrøna Recon pack.
It is an awesome rucksack.
External frame, wide hip belt, very good to carry and a volum of 125 litres (with side pockets).
The lid has two pockets, one internal, under the lid, and one in the front of the lid. Both zip locked.
The main compartment can be divided into two compartments. The lower compartment is then reached via a zipper in the lower front of the ruck.
I only use it in a one compartment configuration.
The main compartment also has a snow lock to prevent snow from blowing ito the rucksack.
I use it less often than my other rucksacks. It is just too big for most of my use.
It is more of a ruck for long expeditions, or hauling very heavy loads, and when using it I tend to fill it with a lot of stuff I don’t use.
It is my number one choise in wintertime though, when I`m packing a tent, ice fishing gear, extra clothes and a sleeping bag.
The side pockets are zipped to the main compartment and could be taken off and joined together to form a two compartment day sack (volum 24 litres). A handy thing one might say, but you will not find room for larger items in it.
Under the big pockets I have attached two smaller ones.
These pockets are used for camera, bug spray, binoculars, first aid kit and other useful items.
The pockets are removable and can be used as belt pouches if needed.
The Norrøna rucksack is also too heavy to use on daytrips.
It weighs about 3-4 kilos in itself.
And it has a hefty price tag.
The bag is used by our armed forces, mostly special units.
When you learn to take along just the items you need (I let you know when I’ve learned it myself), you will see that your rucksack doesn’t need to be very big.
The new Norwegian army rucksack M/96
The last few years I have begun to use the "New" army rucksack.
The older M53 has been retired.
The M/96 is a wast improvment With padded shoulder straps and a simple but OK hip belt.
There is a zipped compartment in the front of the lid for smaller odds and ends.
Ìt had no side Pockets so I made some from an old army nylon "duffle" bag.
The red First Aid kit is changed for a smaller OD one, and the side Pockets are rarely used as the pack is plenty large enough for a weekend trip in its own.
The rucksacks volume is around 35-40 litres.
The rucksack in use.
You can see that only one side Pocket is used and a little camera bag containing a Fishing reel is Attached to the other side.