American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Friday, February 06, 2009

Modern Day Pack Basket

I picked up a German Army surplus rucksack a while back at Cabela's thinking it looked like a decent sized pack with acceptable straps and, at $20, it was easy enough to get one and try it.

What I didn't realize at the time was that it could change the way I carry gear into the woods with a very simple addition.

It was an accidental discovery made while cleaning out the mud room and moving gear from one location to another after hunting season. I am a big user of 5-gallon buckets and consider it a unit of measure for most activities. I used it as the limiter for the class at Briar Patch, as the maximum amount of food and gear for the hunting trip, and the basis for the food load in the back of my car for emergencies.

Well, the 5-gallon bucket with lid is the perfect size to fit into the main compartment of the rucksack. It's waterproof with the lid snapped on, holds odd-sized/shaped items, and provides me a place to sit when I get into the woods. The pack has pockets on the sides that'll fit the 1L Nalgene/Guyot bottles and there are slots behind the side pockets for longer items like an axe handle.

I can't find them on the Cabela's website but I may just not be looking in the right place. They've had them locally each time I've gone into the store so I hope they're still available.

For $20 (rucksack) plus maybe $5 (bucket and lid) you can put together a modern day equivalent of a pack basket that carries fairly comfortably when loaded and offers a wide array of options for just what you can put in it for a trip to the woods or even for carting emergency gear around in the back of your car that you may need to grab and go.

Thanks for reading,



At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have one of these too, but don't really like it. The strap pad isn't long enough and the load rests on the buckles. I would like to know if you have eve made a "Trapper Nelson" pack frame? I might give that a shot.

At 12:10 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

I've never made one but here is a good article on the Trapper Nelson or Alaskan Board pack frame.

Looks do-able I think.

I read another article that described it as tortuous by today's standards but a massive improvement at the time of its invention.

It's definitely something worth looking at more closely.

Thanks for your comment,


At 6:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thats cool! I've done the same thing with a buckett. the advantages over a basket are endless. i do alot of canoe wilderness tripping, the bucket is used to carry water, food, fire wood, a chair, with the right kind of lid it's about as bear proof as anything else you can buy. on some paddling trips, like a swamp or innercoastal marsh, you can't get out of the boat to, well, you know. it works for that too. i could go on but i'm sure you get the point. Good post!

At 7:10 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Ah, the call of nature. You raise an excellent point Walt and one that I'd forgotten.

We keep a roll of toilet paper and some garbage bags in our "trunk bucket" for just such emergencies but I had failed to consider that role for this particular bucket for some reason.

Thanks for your comment,


At 1:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

A lot of people in the Chicago area must have liked your idea. I went there today to pick-up a couple and they were sold out with no ETA info.


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