Author Topic: "Field Bag"  (Read 13933 times)

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Offline Fink

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"Field Bag"
« on: October 12, 2013, 11:03:35 PM »
Hello again,  as I have mentioned before, I am a novice at the whole Bushcraft thing. I want to build a kit from the ground up. First item would be, of course, a "Field type bag". I have come to the decision that all the high end Molle covered stuff wouldn't be a good idea. The cordura type material would be nice but I think that keeping it on the "down low"  would be a better idea still. So, my question is simply this where do I begin to look for a solid tough bag that could carry a reasonable enough amount of gear in comfort while keeping a low profile?  I know there is a lot I need to learn so if ya'll are willing to teach, I would be more than happy to learn. Thanks
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2013, 07:47:51 AM »
Hello again,  as I have mentioned before, I am a novice at the whole Bushcraft thing. I want to build a kit from the ground up. First item would be, of course, a "Field type bag". I have come to the decision that all the high end Molle covered stuff wouldn't be a good idea. The cordura type material would be nice but I think that keeping it on the "down low"  would be a better idea still. So, my question is simply this where do I begin to look for a solid tough bag that could carry a reasonable enough amount of gear in comfort while keeping a low profile?  I know there is a lot I need to learn so if ya'll are willing to teach, I would be more than happy to learn. Thanks

  While there are a lot of suggestions that experienced "bushcrafters" might make to help you along the first thing that should be addressed is your budget requirements.

  If you want to keep a low profile while out enjoying your wilderness adventure then military surplus and camo BDU's is probably not your thing,  but nothing says "wholesome Boy Scout" like a canvas pack with leather straps,   or you could go with the more modern colorful lighter weight nylon packs.
 The problem is that most good quality bags are expensive,  Duluth and Frost River canvas packs are high quality but will run you $250.00 or more,  quality nylon packs like the Kelty's and others of that quality will be as much and could be more depending on your choice.
 While you could get by with Box Store brands from Walmart, Dick's, and Cabella's,  for $50.00 ~ $100.00 you would be looking to up grade very soon after your purchase.
 However, there is a middle of the road option,  LL Bean's offers a good quality canvas pack in their Continental Bag for about $130.00,  and they offer the same version of that one in a Nylon pack for under $60.00 dollars,  What makes these two bags so attractive is their quality and price,  but mostly their unconditional life time guarantee,  that is very hard to beat.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2013, 08:42:08 AM »
If you want a canvas ruck that looks low profile and bushcrafty and don't want to spend for a frost river or Duluth, an Italian Surplus ruck might be the ticket.

And $30 + shipping puts it at the low end of the budget options while being at the high end of the quality scale.

they look like this




PM me for more info on a reliable source if you are interested.  Also there a couple of threads on how  to upgrade them and make them really top of the line.
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Offline Fink

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2013, 08:57:50 AM »
Thanks, I looked at the ll bean and for the price it's a nice bag. I also want to look into the other options as well.
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Offline Mr. Tettnanger

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2013, 09:23:18 AM »
I really like that Italian Pack!

I don't need one, but now I want one!

It looks very solid and well built!

Offline StringRash

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"Field Bag"
« Reply #5 on: October 14, 2013, 05:43:54 AM »
I find it difficult to invest money in items that are so specialized that they can't be used for other purposes, or would not be appropriate for other settings. Obviously, this will not apply to every piece of gear, but it was a consideration when I bought my bag. I ended up with a small leather saddlebag type backpack made by Russ Fawson in Utah. It's my EDC bag, truck bag, hunting bag, and my going-to-the-woods daypack. It's small, so it will not work for long outings, but it works for me. Hope this helps.




Offline greyhound352

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #6 on: October 14, 2013, 06:39:41 AM »
The bag beast sells is a awesome bag for a great price and if you want to customize it there are many options. I plan on probably doing another round on my bag.

Here is the thread with my customize Italian rucksack. http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,6868.msg124876.html#msg124876
« Last Edit: October 14, 2013, 07:28:39 AM by greyhound352 »
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Offline xj35s

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #7 on: October 14, 2013, 07:14:26 AM »
hey Fink, I'm a trucker too. MY suggestion is to take it slow. keep your eye on the goodwill and salvation army. Check garage sales and flea markets. I very rarely buy new. I never buy the "trending" gear. My most expensive knife is a $50 Schrade.


I picked up a Jansport Peregrine that's 5200 cubic inches for $30 at a garage sale. I found an Ontario Pilot Survival knife for $1. I picked up a brand new in the box Hiker water filter for $5.

I like a lot of little compartments to organize my gear. The Jansport is large and open. I have to remove and repack everything every time I need something.

The saying goes "The best survival knife is the one you HAVE", That mentality goes a long way. Get a cheap decent bag and USE it. Then it'll give you an idea on what you would like to improve on and modify.

Last point I'll make. Wilderbeast has great prices and quick shipping. He goes through all the stuff to make sure it's good. If it isn't he lowers the price accordingly. The bag looks awesome. I like the lace down the sides to tighten everything up. I would have started there.
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Offline backlasher

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #8 on: October 15, 2013, 04:26:36 AM »
Here's a place to look.  They're not as expensive as Duluth or Frost River.

http://alderstream.wcha.org/
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Offline zammer

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #9 on: October 15, 2013, 10:03:46 AM »
I'd say grab an Italian rucksack like beast mentioned above, there bullet proof and carry anything you'd need for a dayhike, can't beat the price either so if it turns out to not be what you like you are not out a lot of cash.
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Offline wolfy

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #10 on: October 15, 2013, 10:17:52 AM »
I'd say grab an Italian rucksack like beast mentioned above, there bullet proof and carry anything you'd need for a dayhike, can't beat the price either so if it turns out to not be what you like you are not out a lot of cash.
I agree with zammer :thumbsup:    I've carried an older & less sophisticated version of Beast's offering on canoe trips and to & fro my deer blind for 30 years and it's STILL going strong!
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Offline Saintnick001

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #11 on: October 15, 2013, 12:34:08 PM »
I vote for the Italian ruck as well. For the price it's hard to beat and doesn't look overly military. It's not big by any means but it's a good size. If you go minimalist it might do for an overnight. It's size will make you really stop and think about whether you need this item or not. Mine has gotten a lot of use as a "domestic overnight" bag. It easily holds my clothes for a couple days and my dopp kit.
I don't have a problem using gear that is obviously military though. My ALICE pack is still my favorite backpack for anything requiring a larger load. I usually pack the ALICE for road trips that last more than a day or two.
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Offline Spyder1958

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #12 on: October 15, 2013, 06:36:47 PM »
Lots of good suggestions, don't think I could add to the list all ready mentioned. will give AAA+ on Beast setting you up with a good price and quality bag. Good luck in your search.
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Offline mac

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2013, 07:34:41 PM »
as someone who has spent a lot of $$$ on gear, I recommend that you concentrate on your primary gear before you buy any kind of bag.
buy your other gear first because you might end up with a bag too small for your needs.
i learned this the hard way, trust me. :)

see you on the trails...

Offline Saintnick001

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #14 on: October 16, 2013, 06:32:59 AM »
Hmm. That is some pretty sound advice Mac. Good point.
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Offline ashed

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #15 on: December 08, 2013, 12:57:36 PM »
Ditto what Mac said. I use a bag within bag method when I'm out and found that something like http://www.mysteryranch.com/military/military-travel-packs/booty-bag is perfect when hunting or even gathering supplies for camp. My wife steals it all the time to go shopping.

Offline hunter63

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #16 on: December 08, 2013, 03:58:20 PM »
as someone who has spent a lot of $$$ on gear, I recommend that you concentrate on your primary gear before you buy any kind of bag.
buy your other gear first because you might end up with a bag too small for your needs.
i learned this the hard way, trust me. :)

Plus one on that....does sound like a "been there, done that"....
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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #17 on: December 09, 2013, 12:26:29 PM »
Hello again,  as I have mentioned before, I am a novice at the whole Bushcraft thing. I want to build a kit from the ground up. First item would be, of course, a "Field type bag". I have come to the decision that all the high end Molle covered stuff wouldn't be a good idea. The cordura type material would be nice but I think that keeping it on the "down low"  would be a better idea still. So, my question is simply this where do I begin to look for a solid tough bag that could carry a reasonable enough amount of gear in comfort while keeping a low profile?  I know there is a lot I need to learn so if ya'll are willing to teach, I would be more than happy to learn. Thanks

What do you mean by a "Field Bag"? Are you looking for a backpack? A day-hiking bag? A belt pouch?

If you are looking for a backpack, then first you need to determine the size of your other gear, and the amount of food and water you plan on carrying. After that, just go and buy a good commercially available pack-Osprey, Gregory, or for less money Kelty, and the like. They will outperform anything else on the market in terms of the amount of weight they allow you to carry comfortably. I would disregard any backpack without a hip belt, unless you are going super ultralight.

If you want a day pack, then anything will do. Usually you are not carrying enough weight for any feature to make much of a difference. Any surplus store or outdoor retailer like REI will have a good selection.

If you are looking for a belt pouch, then same thing, anything will do. Just make sure it does not interfere with the hip belt on your backpack.

Bushcraft is no different from backpacking or camping in terms of the required gear. From time to time fashion gets much more involved in the decision making process when it comes to bushcraft, but the practical requirements are the same. If you already camp, backpack, or hunt, you shouldn't need any new gear.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #18 on: December 09, 2013, 04:03:46 PM »
  I ended up with a small leather saddlebag type backpack made by Russ Fawson in Utah. It's my EDC bag, truck bag, hunting bag, and my going-to-the-woods daypack. It's small, so it will not work for long outings, but it works for me. Hope this helps.




I like that.  Wouldn't be my first choice for typical trips but for just walking around in the woods or bird hunting that would sure be a nice thing to have.
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Offline treez

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #19 on: December 11, 2013, 10:50:42 AM »
I have the Italian Rucksack from Wilderbeast. I love it. Very comfortable and durable. I use it when I got hunting. Holds a lot of gear and the side pockets fit most water bottles fairly well. I would highly recommend it.

Offline mac

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2013, 10:11:15 PM »

see you on the trails...

Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #21 on: December 14, 2013, 10:28:01 PM »
I don't know how much of a low profile your looking for but I use a German Alpine Rucksack for a "day bag" it holds all my essentials with pleanty of room for additional gear.  It's got a main compartment with two smaller side compartments.



It hold all this with plenty of room.



The Rucksack cost $29.00. 

Offline rogumpogum

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #22 on: December 14, 2013, 10:50:20 PM »
And those rucks are fantastic. I had one I foolishly traded away. It was a dynamo!
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Offline Meesink

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #23 on: December 15, 2013, 04:14:13 AM »
I don't know how much of a low profile your looking for but I use a German Alpine Rucksack for a "day bag" it holds all my essentials with pleanty of room for additional gear.  It's got a main compartment with two smaller side compartments.



It hold all this with plenty of room.



The Rucksack cost $29.00.

I've got one of those as well. Love it. I think the reason I opted for this vs the Italian ruck was the pass through sleeves behind the side pockets like an alice pack. Great for toting an axe, machete, etc.
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Offline WI_Woodsman

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #24 on: December 15, 2013, 07:54:31 AM »
I've got one of those as well. Love it. I think the reason I opted for this vs the Italian ruck was the pass through sleeves behind the side pockets like an alice pack. Great for toting an axe, machete, etc.

It has more room in the main compartment than the Italian Ruck and is lined with a water resistant PVC coating.  My only complaint is the 4 plastic cinch buckles are a strange design which makes the straps difficult to adjust.   :P   

Offline Fink

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #25 on: February 03, 2014, 09:29:32 PM »
I have ended up getting a SO Tech mission go bag paladin. I will be honest, it's a tough bag and we'll built but I think I will want to get a Waxed canvas instead. I want anonymity and not to stand out.

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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #26 on: February 04, 2014, 06:03:32 AM »
If you want to get a canvas bag, don't wax it. In my opinion is significantly speeds up the rotting of the bag.

As far as low profile, it depends on where you are. In many places around the US, a canvas bag will get you a lot more attention than a regular day pack or a mil speck pouch.

Offline Frugal Bohemian

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #27 on: February 04, 2014, 09:16:06 AM »
I have ended up getting a SO Tech mission go bag paladin. I will be honest, it's a tough bag and we'll built but I think I will want to get a Waxed canvas instead. I want anonymity and not to stand out.

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Check out Frost River packs if you're looking at waxed canvas.  Duluth Pack makes waxed canvas bags as well, but they're a little more expensive.  I've got a small Frost River bag that's pretty low-key, and I personally like the look of it.  It's not overly conspicuous, if that's what you're concerned with.

Frost River can be a little pricey, but not really much more so (maybe even less) than you probably paid for the SO Tech bag.
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Offline wsdstan

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #28 on: February 04, 2014, 10:11:41 AM »
I have ended up getting a SO Tech mission go bag paladin. I will be honest, it's a tough bag and we'll built but I think I will want to get a Waxed canvas instead. I want anonymity and not to stand out.

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Alderstream makes a wonderful selection of canvas packs at reasonable prices.  Give them a look at alderstream.wcha.or g
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #29 on: February 04, 2014, 10:24:20 AM »
If you want to get a canvas bag, don't wax it. In my opinion is significantly speeds up the rotting of the bag.

As far as low profile, it depends on where you are. In many places around the US, a canvas bag will get you a lot more attention than a regular day pack or a mil speck pouch.

  Ross, I've heard a few people say they had trouble with canvas packs rotting,  I don't know if they were waxed or not,  but being into living history for almost a half century I've had a lot of canvas,  tents, tarps, packs,  bed rolls,  and stuff sacks,  and I've had some mildew issues from time to time but never experienced any actual rotting of my canvas.
  I've been caught in the rain, snowed on, and trekked in snow conditions that did get my stuff wet,  but getting it dried out within a reasonable time and keeping it clean I think went a long way in eliminating a lot of those issues,  for the most part most of my leather and canvas gear is wax treated,  I have no idea what water proofing was applied to my tents,  but my tarps are treated with a combination mix of boiled linseed oil with a little bees wax mixed in,  the two packs (one day pack) that I use most of the time are waxed canvas,  I've had them quite a while and they are holding up fine,  however, I do use a pack cover if the weather looks like it's going to be wet.
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Offline Fink

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #30 on: February 04, 2014, 11:29:05 AM »
Maybe I should stick with cordura then.

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Offline Wood Trekker

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #31 on: February 04, 2014, 11:42:17 AM »
If you want to get a canvas bag, don't wax it. In my opinion is significantly speeds up the rotting of the bag.

As far as low profile, it depends on where you are. In many places around the US, a canvas bag will get you a lot more attention than a regular day pack or a mil speck pouch.

  Ross, I've heard a few people say they had trouble with canvas packs rotting,  I don't know if they were waxed or not,  but being into living history for almost a half century I've had a lot of canvas,  tents, tarps, packs,  bed rolls,  and stuff sacks,  and I've had some mildew issues from time to time but never experienced any actual rotting of my canvas.
  I've been caught in the rain, snowed on, and trekked in snow conditions that did get my stuff wet,  but getting it dried out within a reasonable time and keeping it clean I think went a long way in eliminating a lot of those issues,  for the most part most of my leather and canvas gear is wax treated,  I have no idea what water proofing was applied to my tents,  but my tarps are treated with a combination mix of boiled linseed oil with a little bees wax mixed in,  the two packs (one day pack) that I use most of the time are waxed canvas,  I've had them quite a while and they are holding up fine,  however, I do use a pack cover if the weather looks like it's going to be wet.

With any material, if you take care of it, it will hold up just fine. In my experience oil and wax treatments speed up decomposition as compared to non treated canvas. Whether that makes a significant practical difference depends on how the material is used and cared for. For a backpack, which doesn't need to be waterproof, I would personally stick with untreated canvas, if I was to go that route.

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Offline zammer

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #32 on: February 04, 2014, 11:45:23 AM »
Fink.....You have not yet mentioned what it is that you plan to carry
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #33 on: February 04, 2014, 12:20:51 PM »
There is a tutorial here somewhere by Forest Turtle detailing how to treat canvas with Alum? to make it waterproof, if I remember right. Not a wax or oil so it won't trap moisture, but it sheds water.

Offline wsdstan

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #34 on: February 04, 2014, 01:24:21 PM »
If you want to get a canvas bag, don't wax it. In my opinion is significantly speeds up the rotting of the bag.

As far as low profile, it depends on where you are. In many places around the US, a canvas bag will get you a lot more attention than a regular day pack or a mil speck pouch.

  Ross, I've heard a few people say they had trouble with canvas packs rotting,  I don't know if they were waxed or not,  but being into living history for almost a half century I've had a lot of canvas,  tents, tarps, packs,  bed rolls,  and stuff sacks,  and I've had some mildew issues from time to time but never experienced any actual rotting of my canvas.
  I've been caught in the rain, snowed on, and trekked in snow conditions that did get my stuff wet,  but getting it dried out within a reasonable time and keeping it clean I think went a long way in eliminating a lot of those issues,  for the most part most of my leather and canvas gear is wax treated,  I have no idea what water proofing was applied to my tents,  but my tarps are treated with a combination mix of boiled linseed oil with a little bees wax mixed in,  the two packs (one day pack) that I use most of the time are waxed canvas,  I've had them quite a while and they are holding up fine,  however, I do use a pack cover if the weather looks like it's going to be wet.

With any material, if you take care of it, it will hold up just fine. In my experience oil and wax treatments speed up decomposition as compared to non treated canvas. Whether that makes a significant practical difference depends on how the material is used and cared for. For a backpack, which doesn't need to be waterproof, I would personally stick with untreated canvas, if I was to go that route.

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It must be the environment where we live but I have never had any issues with waxed or unwaxed canvas.  Some of my stuff like my Filson tin cloth vests are forty years or more old and have no signs of rot.  I wipe them off with a damp cloth once in awhile, saddle soap the leather straps, and reproof them every five years or so.  These have been used from Montana to Oklahoma and Kansas west to Utah.  All dry country as far as humidity.     
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #35 on: February 04, 2014, 04:51:18 PM »
If you want to get a canvas bag, don't wax it. In my opinion is significantly speeds up the rotting of the bag.

As far as low profile, it depends on where you are. In many places around the US, a canvas bag will get you a lot more attention than a regular day pack or a mil speck pouch.

  Ross, I've heard a few people say they had trouble with canvas packs rotting,  I don't know if they were waxed or not,  but being into living history for almost a half century I've had a lot of canvas,  tents, tarps, packs,  bed rolls,  and stuff sacks,  and I've had some mildew issues from time to time but never experienced any actual rotting of my canvas.
  I've been caught in the rain, snowed on, and trekked in snow conditions that did get my stuff wet,  but getting it dried out within a reasonable time and keeping it clean I think went a long way in eliminating a lot of those issues,  for the most part most of my leather and canvas gear is wax treated,  I have no idea what water proofing was applied to my tents,  but my tarps are treated with a combination mix of boiled linseed oil with a little bees wax mixed in,  the two packs (one day pack) that I use most of the time are waxed canvas,  I've had them quite a while and they are holding up fine,  however, I do use a pack cover if the weather looks like it's going to be wet.

With any material, if you take care of it, it will hold up just fine. In my experience oil and wax treatments speed up decomposition as compared to non treated canvas. Whether that makes a significant practical difference depends on how the material is used and cared for. For a backpack, which doesn't need to be waterproof, I would personally stick with untreated canvas, if I was to go that route.

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It must be the environment where we live but I have never had any issues with waxed or unwaxed canvas.  Some of my stuff like my Filson tin cloth vests are forty years or more old and have no signs of rot.  I wipe them off with a damp cloth once in awhile, saddle soap the leather straps, and reproof them every five years or so.  These have been used from Montana to Oklahoma and Kansas west to Utah.  All dry country as far as humidity.   

  That's been my experience also Stan,  That's why I was surprised to read Ross's post,  unlike you I'm up here (or over here  ;) ) in New England where we get a lot of moist and humid weather,  and I'm not far from the ocean,  in the milder months of the year it's not unusual to wake up in the woods and everything is wet from the Dew,  and so far so good with my canvas stuff.
  But like Ross said,  if we take care of the stuff (which it appears we do) it's not usually a problem,  personally I like the waxed canvas specifically because of the dew and sometimes heavy fog we get in my AO,  it sheds water pretty well and keep the contents dry,  I even wear my waxed canvas Barbour Hunting coat and hat in the spring and fall instead of rain gear.
In youth we learn,   with age we understand.

Offline MnSportsman

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #36 on: February 04, 2014, 05:02:16 PM »
There is a tutorial here somewhere by Forest Turtle detailing how to treat canvas with Alum? to make it waterproof, if I remember right. Not a wax or oil so it won't trap moisture, but it sheds water.


Here is the "tutorial" for using Alum & to
waterproof, by Forest Turtle:
http://bladesandbushcraft.com/index.php/topic,1356.0.html


:D
I love being out in the woods!   I like this quote from Mors Kochanski - "The more you know, the less you carry". I believe in the same creed, & think  "Knowledge & honed skills" are the best things to carry with ya when you're out in the wilds. They're the ultimate "ultralight" gear! ;)

Offline Fink

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Re: "Field Bag"
« Reply #37 on: February 06, 2014, 01:24:20 AM »
I am starting my very first get home bag.

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Truckin ain't for sissies!