Canvas packs?

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Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
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Gloucestershire
Historically, I have always viewed canvas packs with a degree of scepticism. Why would one wish to carry and use a pack that is heavy, frameless and archaic? I do admit to being a fan of supportive back systems, compression straps, versatile pockets and so on - all characteristics (sometimes, to a fault) of more modern packs made of more modern materials. However, a Frost River pack has recently caught my eye. I don't know why or how, but I was wondering what the general feeling is about canvas packs and that whole 'retro' idiom when it comes to carrying gear. Ultimately, the question is: should I or shouldn't I and why?

Many thanks, in advance, for your help and guidance.

Richard
 
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crosslandkelly

A somewhat settled
Jun 9, 2009
23,735
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I have a few different canvas packs. A Norwegian patrol pack that I use as a day pack, a Norwegian Telemark pack and an Lk 35.
I tend to use the canvas packs in spring/summer when I carry less weight. I love them, both are framed and pretty comfortable, absolutely bombproof. They are also easy to reproof and to customise to suit individual needs.
 

Chainsaw

Native
Jul 23, 2007
1,334
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Central Scotland
I have a few... Bit of a fan of canvas..



Jings just realized they are not all there....

Anyways;

Why you should: They look cool especially in a canoe ;) They are pretty much indestructible, very repairable and modifiable and should last a very very long time. Fairly weather proof although any one who packs moisture averse kit without double bagging is asking for it...
Why you shouldn't: Heavy even when empty and capacious enough to pack to the gunnels. Not really built for long distances, would not like to carry further than from car to canoe and canoe to camp or about a km or so of a portage. I would go for a new fancy pack for any sort of distance. In saying that it was perfectly fine on a 5 miler over the Tollie path from Loch Maree a while ago, you just need to pack sensibly.



I would ask myself am I going to be walking more than about 5 miles with it on a regular basis, if not then go for it, if so, think about it very carefully. In saying that, the resale values are excellent.

HTH (I am sure I have posted this exact same post somewhere before....)
 

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
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Florida
I only ever actually used one canvas pack, the Boy Scout Yucca pack. I had and used it for over a decade both with and without an external frame. I quite liked it.

Here’s an image of one without a frame https://i.pinimg.com/originals/58/18/36/58183678f372de7ed542f9d59ad9bcfd.jpg

another image one mounted to an external frame
https://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/1/7/2/6/8/9/0/webimg/948912328_o.jpg

Saddly I parted ways with it long, long ago and they’re difficult to come by now (at least in good condition and at reasonable prices)
 

Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,050
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Gloucestershire
Thank you the input thus far. I am not looking at a multi-day carrier, as I already have a couple that tick that box; I am looking at a day pack - specifically, the Frost River Summit Expedition Pack, which has a very pleasing, functional, bushcrafty appearance. Might that be a wise choice? Or are there better alternatives out there?
 

Snufkin

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 13, 2004
2,081
113
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Norfolk
Thank you the input thus far. I am not looking at a multi-day carrier, as I already have a couple that tick that box; I am looking at a day pack - specifically, the Frost River Summit Expedition Pack, which has a very pleasing, functional, bushcrafty appearance. Might that be a wise choice? Or are there better alternatives out there?
I have the frost river geologist pack which is my main daypack. I also have a. Norwegian telemark pack and a Savotta 323 both excellent packs too.
 
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Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,780
2,948
Mid Wales
That's a nice looking pack. I only use a canvas pack for ambling (and in the canoe!) - not even full day walks; but I don't have one of the quality of the Frost River. I think I'd go for the padded straps though if you are planning on using it for full day treks.
 

swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,681
84
Somerset
It seems John Fenna has just put a Frost River geologist pack up for sale at a bargain price .... I'm hoping someone buys it before I have to explain yet another pack to the wife!!

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
 

Sundowner

Full Member
Jan 21, 2013
876
337
66
Northumberland
I have a few... Bit of a fan of canvas..



Jings just realized they are not all there....

Anyways;

Why you should: They look cool especially in a canoe ;) They are pretty much indestructible, very repairable and modifiable and should last a very very long time. Fairly weather proof although any one who packs moisture averse kit without double bagging is asking for it...
Why you shouldn't: Heavy even when empty and capacious enough to pack to the gunnels. Not really built for long distances, would not like to carry further than from car to canoe and canoe to camp or about a km or so of a portage. I would go for a new fancy pack for any sort of distance. In saying that it was perfectly fine on a 5 miler over the Tollie path from Loch Maree a while ago, you just need to pack sensibly.



I would ask myself am I going to be walking more than about 5 miles with it on a regular basis, if not then go for it, if so, think about it very carefully. In saying that, the resale values are excellent.

HTH (I am sure I have posted this exact same post somewhere before....)
Alan, how much for the big one at the bottom of the stairs? ;)
 

Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,050
156
56
Gloucestershire
I have the frost river geologist pack which is my main daypack. I also have a. Norwegian telemarketing lack and a Savotta 323 both excellent packs too.
How do you get on with the Savotta 323 pack? It seems to offer better value for money that the Frost River one I was looking at and, from previous experience of their more 'modern' packs, I like how their made and their quality. Is it comfortable to carry - even on longer days with greater distance?
 

John Fenna

Lifetime Member & Maker
Oct 7, 2006
21,884
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Pembrokeshire
It seems John Fenna has just put a Frost River geologist pack up for sale at a bargain price .... I'm hoping someone buys it before I have to explain yet another pack to the wife!!

Sent from my moto g(7) power using Tapatalk
This thread reminded me that I had not yet put it up for sale :)
 
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Snufkin

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 13, 2004
2,081
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Norfolk
How do you get on with the Savotta 323 pack? It seems to offer better value for money that the Frost River one I was looking at and, from previous experience of their more 'modern' packs, I like how their made and their quality. Is it comfortable to carry - even on longer days with greater distance?
I like the 323 but it's deceptively large, probably 50 litres, and I wish the shoulder straps were a little wider. But provided you don't overload it it's comfortable enough. I usually use it for winter overnighters when I'm carrying bulky but not heavy gear. Build quality is top notch.
The savotta 339 is more comfortable to carry for longer distances if you don't mind a little nylon with your canvas.
 
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Tiley

Full Member
Oct 19, 2006
2,050
156
56
Gloucestershire
The savotta 339 is more comfortable to carry for longer distances if you don't mind a little nylon with your canvas.
That 339 could be just the job though it has a larger capacity than I was looking for, really. If only it sat at around the 40 litre mark, I'd go for it instantly.

Many thanks for the suggestions - they are great and really appreciated.
 

Snufkin

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Oct 13, 2004
2,081
113
50
Norfolk
That 339 could be just the job though it has a larger capacity than I was looking for, really. If only it sat at around the 40 litre mark, I'd go for it instantly.

Many thanks for the suggestions - they are great and really appreciated.
The Norwegian telemark pack might be a good option then, a little smaller than the Savottas but really comfy. It's getting tricky to find grade 1 packs these days but if you hunt around they can still be had.
 

swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,681
84
Somerset
There's a Savotta 323 for sale in bushcraft trade post for £80 if anyone's looking. No connection to seller etc etc....

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swotty

Space and time
Apr 25, 2009
1,681
84
Somerset
Hi Simon,

Sorry I've only just seen this. It's a group on Facebook Bushcraft tradepost UK.

Hope that helps

Andy

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