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a review of a vintage boy scout pack to be used in vintage woodscraft camping
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Back in 1980 I started college as s 4year, Navy veteran and 4 years work in the private sector. I was given an old, brown canvas rucksack that I carried my textbooks, notebooks and a jar of Folgers instant coffee in for 2 of the 3 years I attended college. After my 1st semester, I noticed everyone else started carrying backpacks - but modern nylon ones. That canvas pack reminded me of the times my best friend, Doug and I camped out under canvas tarps and made campfires inside rock rings. Just can't beat the vintage stuff!
mike murphy (7 months ago)
I joined scouts in 1950 (still a member of the same troop) and I had one of those Yucca packs. It worked well, but it was a bit too small. I think I still have that pack, stored away somewhere, along with a lot of other old scouting equipment. Scouting was, and still is, fun, even though bad health has finally caught up to me.
BLACKIE THOMAS (7 months ago)
i hear ya..the yrs have flown by
100mm tube of justice (7 months ago)
I may not comment on a lot of your vid's sir, but this one, it got just there, lol, brings back a lot of memories, I got my BSA pack in "78-79" still use it once in a while for bushcrafting, but I've been thinking of making my own take on the old boy lol.
Christopher Ellis (8 months ago)
I have my father's Australian Army Issue greatcoat, that he was issued with when he returned from being a POW. Dated 1943. Very good condition.
recycled365 (9 months ago)
Loved this vid on vintage gear. Thanks for explaining how these scout packs worked. Got to have the old Rothco scout canteen to go with it. Still some nice stuff on eBay !
BLACKIE THOMAS (8 months ago)
and it is very good gear when you know how to use it
mandosandradios (10 months ago)
Haversack Backpack, Model 573?
mandosandradios (10 months ago)
Hello, Is that the model 573 pack? Thanks
BLACKIE THOMAS (10 months ago)
i think it is
Les Sage (10 months ago)
like the new intro love the rain
Hamm 603 (10 months ago)
Very cool, going to be an interesting summer that's for sure. New intro is great.
Michael Simons (1 year ago)
I got a pre ww2 boy scout pack and it fell apart when I washed it .
Michael Simons (11 months ago)
Thanks I personally inspect the next one.
Michael Simons (11 months ago)
Next one will be inspected in person!
BLACKIE THOMAS (11 months ago)
oh no!!..mine has held up well...i hope you find one that you like..safe journeys
Bryan OShaughnessy (1 year ago)
Sorry, I didn't get your name at the front of the vid. I just found this one while looking at other camping vids. I haven't camped since I was a Boy Scout in 1960---63 (best memory is Camp Dan Beard in the winter), and I still have my backpack, canteen, mess kit, utensils, pocketknife, sheath knife (it was a different time...) and sleeping bag. I bought it all used back then, so it's plenty old. I never figured out how to load and tie the backpack so I really appreciate your tutorial. My son-in-law is an Eagle Scout who now leads a troop of his own on camping trips and he's encouraged me to get the old equipment out of the crawlspace and go out to the trees. Thanks to you, I'll be camping "vintage style" Thanks. And say your name slower, will ya'?
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
thank you for the comment..my name is Blackie thomas..safe journeys to you
Steve Hixson (1 year ago)
Just found an old Boy Scout pack of my own..Thanks Man
Dev Chang (1 year ago)
Thank you so much for sharing this! I have a very similar pack but I didn’t know about that blanket roll technique until now. Cheers
Reading Rambo (1 year ago)
i just bought one of these at an antique store this morning - looked exactly like this one only the front pocket was a single dump pouch not the two seperate pockets, and there are no eyeholes
Russell Littler (1 year ago)
...so, how did you stop your blanket from getting soaked in the rain?
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
i carry a poncho that will cover me and my pack when i am wearing it
Outlaw1911 (1 year ago)
What’s kinda of knife is that
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
condor kephart knife in a custom leather sheath
MTwoodsrunner (1 year ago)
Dang kid killer packs...had one way back in the mid sixties, i reckon that bugger right there wore permanent grooves in my shoulders...a true torture device! It would have worked much better had they used thicker canvas webbing for the shoulder straps such as was used on the old military rucks of the day. Shoulder straps were fine till they got wet and started bunching up cutting into tender shoulders...i had my dads old tin plated steel BSA mess kit,(heavier en all get out) between that, a military wool blanket and all my other gear...well sir, it was a bit more than my skinny frame could handle for more than a few miles.... makes me smile nowadays when i hear folks complain about how uncomfortable alice packs are, which in my opinion were and remain a hundred times more comfy than my old scout pack could ever hope to be...though...them old canvas bags?...they are kinda cool lookin at that...atb...woods
Mark Gibbs (1 year ago)
Got one just like it.
Az Scout (1 year ago)
I like this pack. I think I'm going to make one out of some scrap canvas from a tarp build. Thank you for these videos.
Get Gnomed (1 year ago)
Hey great vid man I just got one to use when I go to camping with my troop and now I know how to use it right thanks to you and liked how you put the blanket I'm going to use that method thank you.
Colorado Viking (1 year ago)
Blackie, keep up the vintage woodcraft videos.   I like all the historical videos you've done.   Some times we forget that our forefathers didn't need all the high tech gear we see today.  They did just fine and probably better than we do now.  I remember camping with my father and he was by necessity of funds what people would call minimalist.  He was the perfect example of the more you carry in your head the less you need to carry on your back.   We've lost a lot of woods wisdom with the passing of that generation.
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
glad you find it of use..there are lots more vintage videos in the works stay tuned...safe journeys to ya
Colorado Highlander (1 year ago)
It's funny you say that.  I've been watching some of the YouTube channels that go back to the frontiersman days.  I know you've said that you did some of that in the past.  I just don't think that's for me.  I'm older now and going back to the 30's  is about as far as I want to go.  I'm getting more nostalgic as I get older.  Those trips with my dad were some great memories.  I see a lot of gear videos.  My father would crap himself if someone told him he needed all that stuff.          I remember going out for a night with just a hobo bindle stick with everything tied to the end of the stick.  My dad lived through the depression and he knew a lot about hobos.  He never said he was one, but he sure knew a lot about them.  He would always correct you if you called a hobo a bum.  He said a hobo was a working man looking for work.  A bum wouldn't work if you gave him a job.         You did a video a while back on a vintage Boy Scout pack.  I have that same pack.  It works great.  It may not be a Frost River pack, but it didn't cost $400 either.  I think I got it for around $30.  Thanks for the bedroll tip.  I'm going to try that next time.  That's why I watch your videos.  I keep learning.
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
very true and as i like to point out at the time the vintage gear was being used they were the ultra light stuff..lol..compare my 3 pound steel vintage boy scout set to a 12 pound dutch oven..!!
m1cajah (1 year ago)
Hi Blackie, great video. I have a question I hope you (or someone reading the comments) can help with. I found one of these packs at a local flea market and one of the shoulder straps has started to fray badly. What can I do to stop it? It's easily frayed a quarter inch in from the side edge. I really want to USE this pack and not leave it in the house as a "trailer queen" (to use your phrase, lol). I've seen sprays, etc. online that are supposed to stop fraying on canvas but since its a shoulder strap it'll see lots of bending and stretching so I don't trust those things to last. Any ideas would be appreciated.
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
your welcome..safe journeys
m1cajah (1 year ago)
blackoracle69 Oh yeah! There's an idea. I have a spare veshmeshok I can pilfer for canvas that's similar in color/texture. Thanks for the idea!
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
i would co to a craft store and look for fabric glue..then take another strip of canvas webbing and back the original strap..this would keep the original look but fix the fray and load carry problem..hope this helps..safe journeys
dolan man (1 year ago)
I love my old scout over seas cap I wear to my meetings
Double D (1 year ago)
We were taught by our scoutmaster to tie our hatchet, blanket and knife on the outside D rings. If its done right your tools are easy to get to. Our matches were in the right front pocket, if the pack is laying down. Love the vintage gear series, sadly my boy scout stuff was in my old pack and was looted from my house after a tornado in Grand Island NE. in 1980. Thanks for the good stuff. God Bless!
East Texas Bushcraft (1 year ago)
this is cool I picked a pack just like this for 5$ at a flea market I'm now gonna use it thanks
Ibpn (1 year ago)
Troop 220 Dan Beard council
Greg Stritch (1 year ago)
Love it. Went MFI rat thru hike on the AT with a wood frame and leather scout pack and a thirty five lb load out. Council a crate of my old scout equipment from fifty years ago and had a grand time taking it all out in the back country for some video fun. Thanks for sharing. Greg
Frontier Asset (1 year ago)
The USMC blanket roll had the shelter half visible and the blanket rolled inside. Rolled inside the blanket was the 3 section tent pole, a length of sissal rope and 4 tent pins needed for the shelter half. When the blanket roll was formed into the horseshoe shape and attached to the pack, the straps doing the holding were tight enough to keep the pins, rope, and pole in place, thus no lost equipment. The shelter half was a very useful piece of kit. You could form a lean-to or use as a ground cover. Of course, it could be used to make a tent provided you could find someone willing to buddy-up for the night. The two of you had to be good friends because the tent wasn't all that big.
BLACKIE THOMAS (1 year ago)
very true i have a shelter half full set..good for certain types of camping trips
Windham Woodcraft (1 year ago)
Great piece of vintage gear! Goes to show how well canvas holds up over time. I think the ambiance that comes with old gear helps remind me if being a kid. That was when the world was new, and really big! Glad you like the spoon brother! take care -Chris
Gary Letcher (1 year ago)
Love this kind of gear. Reminds me of a time when my father would drive Me and my best friend to Bonito Lake in the mountains of New Mexico and drop us off on a Friday and come pick us up on Sunday evening. We were the ripe old age of 12 at the time and you could do that kind of thing back then. Had to catch fish to eat, or you'd be stuck with a can of beans. I've watched this video 3 times, and have been digging out my old gear since. Enjoying every memory. Thanks for the vid Sir.
Rugged Camper (1 year ago)
Some of my favorite videos of yours.
Alan Kass (1 year ago)
I enjoyed this one very much. I was in the Boy Scouts in the late 1960's and used some of those items as hand me downs from friends older kids. There was never much wear or damage on any of it. My twin brother and I had the next generation of packs that were also frameless and killed our shoulders on backpacking campouts. Our family never camped out so we had no idea of frames. We were in awe when we saw other boys with external frames. The next time out our parents at least got shoulder pads to put over those canvas straps!
Tooterr102 E. (1 year ago)
Definitely another thumbs up video. Thank you for sharing your knowledge of vintage stuff.
EDC Adventures (1 year ago)
Excellent video sir. I really like learning about vintage gear and tips/tricks. They sure don't make things like they used to.
Linkless Tennessee (1 year ago)
Yes interesting video blackie
hoosierarcher (1 year ago)
After watching this video last night I went on eBay and searched forva pack like this. I found three and put them on my watch list.
Scott Jacob (1 year ago)
Great video
Todd Gibson (1 year ago)
Awsome Blackie I really enjoy those videos on vintage gears it's just fantastic 👍👏👏👏 Ciao from Québec ⚜
L.G. ctfokieusa (1 year ago)
That pack kinda reminds me of the old battle packs worn by the doughboys of WW1 I would almost bet they are one in the same. Good find Blackie! I would love to come across one of those. My Molle gets to heavy because I keep putting more crap then I actually need in it. lol
Black Hat Bushcraft (1 year ago)
Excellent video Blackie! I am really enjoying these vintage woodscraft videos as well. I have an affection for old BSA gear as I have enjoyed using it and have picked up pieces here and there over the years. I actually just received yesterday an old aluminum frame to rig up with a Yucca pack I've had sitting around. I was actually planning a video with it so it was awesome to see you with yours. We have definitely been on the same wavelength with the vintage BSA gear lately. Keep them coming my friend! Take care.
AnOldManInTheWoods (1 year ago)
I'm like you, I learned a lot of outdoors things when I was a kid. Unfortunately, all my gear from those days is gone along the wayside. One piece of gear I really wish I still had is a canvas haversack that my grandfather gave me. Besides a durable piece of kit, there are a lot of great memories of him attached to it. Thanks for some great videos!
Tony Dowd (1 year ago)
I've got one of these packs. I'm sending it to my grandson, Cameron, in Vancouver WA, for his 13th birthday. It will have several bushcraft knives and bushcraft tools included as well. thanks for the history lesson. great vid. Carry on.
Bushcraft North of 60 (1 year ago)
Hard to beat the old gear. New stuff isn't always great, nor is it repairable. Disposable society. Wouldn't be so bad if it wasn't also expensive! Take care.
Levi Caddell (1 year ago)
Had one almost like that back in the 60's when I was in the scouts.... passed it on to my brother when I got older. He laier becsme s scout master..... Now he and my nephew have nothing to do with the scouts because of the mess the are in..... When I had my BS Pack it was not new. I think Dad got it at tge Goodwill for me. You could not wear it out. After I gave it to my little brother I got a surplus WWII pack that I used until the late 70's. I never needed much more space and my cousin and I never carried more than 20lbs even when hiking the Appalachian Trail. I have never understood why some people carry 60lb packs. lol
OzarkWanderer (1 year ago)
we need to know about this equipment cause its still around and usable. being cheaper, if you find it at a yard sale or something, and better then most the modern yuppie stuff you find at stores
Pete McPherson (1 year ago)
i love using vintage gear, it just seems to last forever if maintained properly, thanks for the videos keep them coming.
Stephen Watson (1 year ago)
hi there , I also love the "old school" my gear is 1938 moose sack , m38? i think off top of head,. a Russian plash palanka and or a canvas teepee , Czech​, name escapes me at the moment, a Swedish cookset , heavy but bomb proof and i mean Nuclear bomb proof , I go into these camping shops and see high tech sleeping bags for near on a years wage, mine Czech wool blanket sleeping bag , the he small change in your pocket and good to minus five degree's C. keep on with these old school , ya got my interest , thanks and all the best from Tokyo
Alan Evans (1 year ago)
I'm loving this vintage series, I wonder how much modern gear will stand the test of time. From the days when people had little money but were rich in enthusiasm. To me, modern Camping/Bushcraft is all about having the latest, fanciest, most expensive gear. I have been guilty of going down that route but now, thanks to you Blackie, I have taken a step back and I am now seeing how little I can, comfortably, use. Great Videos please keep 'em coming.
Kurt Baier (1 year ago)
Brings back memories. I did BSA starting in 1965. Canvas packs, canvas floorless tents, wool blankets, surplus gear. Pioneering skills (military mountaineering rope and structure skills), land nav and via constellations , woodcraft (including the use of an axe) and field craft, first aid, Morse code and signaling via flags, fire starting and types of fires, shooting and archery, canoeing. Great program then. By the 90s it had significantly changed to an indoor program, less military application, more social orientation, modernized outdoor car camping, the incorporation of women leadership and girls in explorer units. Definitely a philosophical perspective change from conservation to green political ideas, to the present where sexuality and I'm sure gender issues in the future will complete its transformation from the development of boys into men ready to serve in peace and war.
Charles Murphy (1 year ago)
Kurt , Me too Me too😁👍 started weblos @ 1965 and into scout troop 513 Northeast Georgia council. Spent many summers at Rainy Mountain scout camp fall and even a couple of very cold Winter events lol. Man o man them was the good old days. I can still smell the hemp rope and the canvas tents with the dew falling in the early morning. Getting up and ready before the rest of the troop and hightailing it to the mess hall to set up for breakfast lol... Greasy bacon and eggs and flapjacks and butterd grits. Lots of toast and apple jelly. Then a full day of learning and working on skills .
Oldtimer Lee (1 year ago)
Appreciate vintage gear!. Treasure 2 Old Hickory butcher knifes, purchased when I got married, over 50 years ago. Served as camp knife then, and can still do the job, today. Same thing for a large canvas tent and "dinning canopy" (tarp), purchased in the early 70',s that's still in my stash. Heavy? Yes. Durable? YES! Thank you for sharing your finds and for bringing back some fond memories this morn.
Joe's Journey (1 year ago)
I really like that vintage setup. I can see parts of this pack in the Hidden Woodsman rucksacks
Dale James (1 year ago)
Love your Vintage vids. Thanks .
Osmotar ᛉ (1 year ago)
the vintage in my experience has been top. we went camping when I was very young and you know how most camp, packing basically their house into the car. well, with that I broke the synthetic use young, just feels a lot better carrying cotton bags with wax paper or tins for real food you know, nessmuk never carried plastic with freeze dried food. more useful too, basic materials have ton of more functions than synthetics, like carrying beeswax candles over parrafin; Ive gotten more use out of carrying a resource bag full of jute, beeswax and copperwire than i can say.
Oldtimer Lee (1 year ago)
Well said, my friend. My vintage years correspond with my love of vintage gear, as well. Wax paper and tin cans are music to my ears. Thanks for sharing.
William Murray (1 year ago)
Great video to wake up to here in South Africa
Say Heah Blackie, What a great find, I'm happy for you.,,.
Cole Hood (1 year ago)
It's always good to see a new video. Always learn something new

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