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View Full Version : Luddite quality rucksack!



John Kasaian
25-Feb-2008, 20:24
I bought a Swiss Army surplus rucksack, a large salt and pepper canvas and leather model for another purpose (as a range bag & rest for a 300 meter Swiss match later this spring) for around $35. I was quite surprised when it showed up today--the canvas, stitching and leatherwork are superb! If it weren't for some scuffs on the leather bottom and the name tag, I would have mistaken it for new. My bride even commented that it smelled good---a rare endorsement considering some of the surplus stuff I've dragged home---while I never intended to actually use this as a rucksack, I tried it on and it was by far one of the more comfortable backpacks I've ever tried out. The broad leather straps were great. I started experimenting to find out what it would feel like when full of stuff and...gadzooks! The 8x10 Deardorff and some holders will fit right inside! The outside compartment will even fit a 6x6 lensboard (or two if you're creative with padding) with lens attached, filters and a cleaning kit! I'm hooked!:D

Any v-8 'dorffers out there might want to check these out!

domenico Foschi
25-Feb-2008, 21:01
Picture please!:)

John Kasaian
25-Feb-2008, 21:06
Hello Domenico!
http://www.swisslink.com/products/product.php?id=1838&sid16

John Kasaian
25-Feb-2008, 21:08
...hmmmm... that link didn't work so hot :( if you click on the gray packs and bags tab at the top of the page, that should get you to the backpacks.

domenico Foschi
25-Feb-2008, 22:17
Wow, look at the Italian backpak, stilish yet rugged;)
http://www.swisslink.com/products/product.php?id=71&sid=16

Struan Gray
26-Feb-2008, 00:57
The Swiss pack is a classic "Bergen" style rucksack. This was the standard pattern rucksack for things like the first ascent of the Eiger Nordwand, and it works well with relatively light loads. They also integrate well with a fanny pack or waist belt/webbing system.

But, and it's a big but, they are hideously uncomfortable if you fill them with too much weight. I carried one on a week-long exercise round Denmark back in my squaddie days and it nearly tore my shoulders off. I was probably the fittest and strongest I have ever been in my life, and I still ended up weeping.

I don't suppose you are going to add any anti-tank rounds to your kit, but even so I wouldn't want to hike for any distance with one loaded up with a Deardorf 8x10 plus accessories.

John Kasaian
26-Feb-2008, 06:56
The Swiss pack is a classic "Bergen" style rucksack. This was the standard pattern rucksack for things like the first ascent of the Eiger Nordwand, and it works well with relatively light loads. They also integrate well with a fanny pack or waist belt/webbing system.

But, and it's a big but, they are hideously uncomfortable if you fill them with too much weight. I carried one on a week-long exercise round Denmark back in my squaddie days and it nearly tore my shoulders off. I was probably the fittest and strongest I have ever been in my life, and I still ended up weeping.

I don't suppose you are going to add any anti-tank rounds to your kit, but even so I wouldn't want to hike for any distance with one loaded up with a Deardorf 8x10 plus accessories.

I'm not expecting to climb the Eiger anytime soon, but my modus for the last few years for taking the 8x10 on short hikes with minimal gear is to stuff some film holders, dark cloth, extra lens, filters, meter and loupe into a Jansport Equinox, carry the 'dorff in one hand and the tridod in the other---it's quite awkward over rough terrain even over short distances. Having the film holders and camera in the same pack would free up one hand.
I have a Lowe Trekker AW for when I have to take the kitchen sink along but when it's fully loaded I get the distinct feeling that maybe the pack is taking me for a hike and not the other way around!

Anti tank rounds? Nah! Radio the coordinates for the Warthogs ;)

John Kasaian
26-Feb-2008, 07:00
Wow, look at the Italian backpak, stilish yet rugged;)
http://www.swisslink.com/products/product.php?id=71&sid=16

Cool! I'd love to see Sophia Loren in one of those...I'd just love to see Sophia Loren!;)

Denis Pleic
26-Feb-2008, 22:49
Cool! I'd love to see Sophia Loren in one of those...I'd just love to see Sophia Loren!;)

A bit offtopic, fot John's viewing pleasure...
A couple of days ago I visited Venice, and stumbled on a small photo store right in Canareggio - I caught some familiar object in a shop window with a corner of my eye - WOW - they have some FILM for sale - B&W film!!! Agfa film, paper...

The store was closed with a note like "Be back in 5 minutes". So I went to a nearby café to wait until someone came and had an espresso. As soon as the guy opened the photo store, I went in.

WOW! The guy does almost exclusively B&W prints - seems like he does printing service for the whole region... Does also LF (so it's still on topic)....

AND...

He has this BIG glamour Fifties kind of B&W print in the shop window. I thought she looked somewhat like Ingrid Bergman, but my friend immediately said: "No, it's Sophia Loren".

When we asked, the guy said - "Yes, it's Sophia Loren, alright" :)

For John's viewing pleasure, this is the one he had a LARGE print of:

http://www.italica.rai.it/index.php?categoria=cinema&scheda=volti_1

I gave the guy a roll of Efke R100 - he said he heard about it, but never tried it.

I only later found out that the owner is pretty famous in Italy, his name is Vittorio Pavan, and the name of the shop (I realized only later) is "Bianconero" (i.e. "Black and White")... And he also has a huge archive of photos of celebrities in Venice from 1947-1976... Quite a nice guy. And I was privileged to have met him in person :)

BTW, you can purchase that print, I think - check out his site, with many other nice photos:

http://www.bianconero-venezia.it/bn/login/detourgallery.php?cat=1

The photo of Sophia Loren can be purchased from this link:

http://www.bianconero-venezia.it/bn/login/see_picture.php?categoria=1&num_foto=12
(just follow the link on bottom of the page, where it says "richiedi informazioni / acquista...")

Sorry for being (somewhat) OT...

Denis

Maretzo
26-Feb-2008, 23:11
Some 30 years ago, I had to carry 25 kg of military gear in this rucksack for 5 months.
My back still hurt today.
I have no sense of guilt whenever I carry my LF gear in a Lowepro...

John Kasaian
27-Feb-2008, 01:30
Denis,
Thank you for the links! Such wonderful stuff comes from Italy, like Sophia Loren and Silvestri loupes! :D And food and red wine and really fast red cars :D :D

Martezo,
I've got nothing against Lowepro---it's a very workable way to carry a lot of stuff but sometimes on short hikes over rough terrain (especially with a big Reis tripod on board) I feel like one of those ants you see in camp single handedly carting off a corn flake.
Besides, if Sophia Loren were a back pack, she'd be kind of like my rucksack ---a timeless, beautiful, well assembled, nice smelling classic! :D

MIke Sherck
27-Feb-2008, 06:45
Wonderful photographs should never be off topic. :)