Military Gear & Army Surplus Gear Blog

Vintage Swiss Army Salt and Pepper backpacks

Vintage Swiss Army Salt and Pepper backpacks



hi guys um today I thought I'd show you a couple of older packs that I have that are useful um just kind of push crafty type stuff overnighters there are both ex-army they're both Swiss Army that in a fabric which is known as salt and pepper it has a give you a closer up look as to why that is it has sort of grainy two-tone kind of effect now these packs are on the left is called an M 1944 it's also I've seen it listed as a SP 23 a and the one on the right is a slightly more slightly newer version and that say 98th was M 1958 I'm guessing I don't really know but I'm guessing that the 1944 and 1958 was the year that these things were released and very much like the the UK patent 58 stands for 1958 now the two main differences on these these are great packs they're really they're just about the right size for bushcraft overnighter I use them if I'm going somewhere where there's not too far to hike reason for that being I'll just show you the harness system on them which is common to both of them it's a leather harness system so when this is loaded it's not uncomfortable so Sara Lee but I'm used to you know more forgiving modern packs on that front now I'll just go through the main differences between these packs they're a slightly different tone sounds a little bit more of a sage color and this one's a little bit more I guess you say slightly more brown or tan tongue amazing quality like most Swiss Army stuff if you see around army surplus stuff you know we all know about the Swiss Army knife but all that stuff is absolutely first-rate quality this is a nut this is stamped 1944 this pack they all have stamps on them they'll have sometimes on the end of the straps and also sometimes at the base of these straps and there there's the settlers that various companies with the settler companies that actually made all of the leather components for these packs it's really really first-rate so this was made in 1944 it's still soft and supple and it's you know really is good stuff the actual the canvas that these things are made out of is ultra thick actually a stiff that is so you're really not going to be worrying about getting wet anybody said quick rundown the main differences are between the two packs this one has the two side pockets they're very large side pockets you could get two – cig bottles or two Nell jeans probably in each of those just straight down there as I say they're not massive packs but they're really perfect for an overnighter there's a few different ways that you can expand on your packing in these and the way that I've seen them in field manuals as far as like a bed roll or blanket these little stretch down here they have an extra leather strap here and very much like I'm not sure if you've seen in the Second World War German army blankets the blanket roll would go around here and then down that side so that's what those little things are for so you don't have to take space up in your pack the other thing you can do is use these leather strap on the top here or so and you can thought I usually do if I'm taking a wool blanket to sit it on top now you'll see on the top of this one here it has this here basically that connects all the way through is tied up at the moment that goes a channel that runs all the way through the pack there it comes out on the bottom here now what that is for and I've seen on in a Swiss Army Field Manual from this era it's through an ice axe obviously Swiss Swiss Army so there's a lot of Alpine kind of environment you're going to be in and even though they weren't active in the Second World War they still had an army and a military force that was active in its own way if you like so and they also serve ice ax a rifle and the full kitted out filled picture that I saw actually had some skis through that as well I'm not sure how convenient have order be imagine it this is running basically next to your back and right behind you you have right behind your head is your rifle and skis and also open the waist down and it interfere with your legs so there's a slight variant on this you see sometimes which has a leather buckle that also buckles around the rifle there to keep it secured so you never really saw that again and then when it moved to the more modern pack there's a lot of similarities obviously you see these aluminium discs with a serial number on that denotes the battalion they're issued two pockets now has moved to the front in the 1958 model this is actually a 1959 this one is stamped it's other differences it's slightly more of a rawhide type leather now that they've used for the base still incredibly like thick really good quality which is what's still used today and it's a slightly lighter pack as far as the weight goes when it's empty and has another color that tied up at the top there if you're lucky enough with some of these packs you'll find we'll get other stuff with them that's the main messed it and common to both of these is this didn't change this design is the bread bag it would sit directly on top now the bread bag also if you're lucky I was very lucky to find all of this this 1944 pack found everything together the bread bag and then in these bread bags would be it's the mg 51 army-issue canteen bottle and cut that's it really really quite a small more cup there but it's a nice little bit of cake kit this would be and first spare magazines and inside here is basically a cleaning kit so there's a brush in there cleaning your boots there's a repair kit if you has spare buttons a really neat little thread spool pull this thing out of the top here and inside of there is your needles so that's really cool some twine in this one here is let's try and go through this quickly obviously I don't take this bread bag out at all when I'm in the field you know just doing bushcraft stuff that's just came with one of the packs of boot polish that works there is for the leather block of webs to keep the leather in good condition and you in the field keep it waterproof and then there's a large to large polishing cloth of your boots and for the leather but I'm as I said I don't take any of that stuff I have used this before just to give it a go but strangely small but I'm not sure how much it holds but I'm guessing about a point and till there you go to break packs if you see them they are available you do see them you know if you hunt around you'll get them for a good price I have seen some silly prices going on but they're usually in very good condition still and they're excellent quality so they'll last forever if you have crafted them swiss army m 1944 m 1959 design packs


Reader Comments

  1. I have the Swiss Army manual in German for the bags, model numbers and the proper packing regulations. I can send you an electronic copy if you want.

  2. For a nation so neutral, they sure have some of the best equipmnet. It looks downright fancy. Imagine what it would cost new today to have that stuff.

  3. You have all the good stuff there ! Hard to find all this now . not impossible but tough to find in good quality .

  4. it is now difficult to find these in really good condition (even in switzerland) too bad since they are very nice, especially the salt-and-pepper canvas which is very sturdy and also interesting as a design item

  5. Hey I'm after a pack just like the one on the left with the side pockets. Where did you get them from any how much ish did you pay mate? I've been to loads of surplus stores and can't find a decent one. Great vid. Subbed

  6. Thanks for this! Are you able to offer any leads on companies that made the canvas? We are looking to source a large quantity.

  7. Cool vid mate..Strange the Swiss never go to war but they have so much cool surplus gear.I what to get one of those vintage mess tins and try it for baking bread

  8. I have a old Russian pack from the war but they wouldn't let it leave the country. I use it when I go there and keep it at a friends house in between. It is nice to see these packs, like visiting the past. cheers my friend

  9. Thanks mate, all this Swiss vintage army gear is amazing quality, but then I guess they could afford it to be 🙂

  10. Those packs will definitely outlast a nylon pack, heck probably 10 nylon packs.
    The items in the bread bag are cool. That thread kit looks handy, I would throw that in my regular use pack for sure.

  11. I remember mountain climbing in the UK during the 1960's using these sorts of packs! Hmm, that's a worry.

  12. Great packs!! I really like the vintage packs. I have the italian mountain rucksack. Im gonna have to get me the 1958 version . Thanks for sharing my friend very cool .Take cake …Nick

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