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jask
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PostFri Apr 06, 2018 2:47 am 
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This pack is from the 30's and was used by my father for overnight fishing trips up the Elwha. Since he's still around I recently asked him some questions about provisions and other gear they used.  For food they depended mainly on fish, but took along bacon, eggs in a container and raw potatoes to throw in the fire, plus a cast-iron frying pan. That was about it.
They brought along a tarp & blanket and fishing gear.  Looking back on those trips, he didn't recall seeing any other people besides the ranger stationed at Elkhorn.
His last hike was nearly 5 years ago at 90 years old (he wanted to see the Elwha again) so we joined him on a hike down the Lake Mills trail from Whiskey Bend to see a spot where they once camped on Lake Mills close to Cat Creek.   If I follow in his footsteps I'll have another 30 years left to hike!
90 year old hiker
90 year old hiker
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RichP
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PostFri Apr 06, 2018 5:54 am 
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Great story about the pack and your dad. I assume that's a Trapper Nelson pack. I had one which I used quite a bit and still miss to this day. I didn't realize it then but Trapper got the idea from Inuits during a trip to Alaska when he borrowed a pack and later started making them in Bremerton. The rest is history.

http://www.oregonphotos.com/Trapper%20Nelson%20pack%20boards.html

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jask
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PostFri Apr 06, 2018 6:10 am 
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It might have been hand-made.  There isn't any label on it but I will ask him.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostFri Apr 06, 2018 6:34 am 
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This is wonderful!  Thanks.
(  I always wanted a Trapper Nelson as a collector's item.)

RichP, thanks for including the very, very interesting link to the "old gear" site.  Many of the brand names are ones I knew but haven't thought about in decades... Stephensons, Holubar, even Snow Lion.
Very cool.

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jask
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PostWed Apr 11, 2018 5:04 am 
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RichP, an update to you about the backpack: I found out that it was hand-made by my father, most likely an imitation of the Trapper Nelson described in the interesting link you sent.  The straps (not visible in picture) were made of fire hose and were not particularly comfortable.
Thanks for the input!
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joker
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PostThu Apr 12, 2018 11:38 am 
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I believe that the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) still uses old wooden frame packs for carrying boxes  of food, propane tanks, and other  consumables along with hut maintenance items up to their  huts in the White  Mountains of NH

We used to see hut "croo" members charging up with 80+ pound loads. We would also see posts set next to the shortest trails leading to the huts that  croo members could use for doing a "standing rest"  where the  post took  the load of the pack.
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jask
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PostFri Apr 13, 2018 2:37 am 
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Interesting.  The basic design looks just the same.  If you needed to move boxes and other bulky items lashing them onto a frame would work.  But then you need someone strong as an ox to carry it!
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Mike Collins
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PostFri Apr 13, 2018 5:25 am 
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Randy Busch and I had climbed Nursery Peak on the Backcourt list and found a film canister register beneath a summit cairn. One name logged in was Phil Dickert who offered his phone number. When I got home I called the number.  A lady answered and there was a pause after I asked for Phil Dickert. She said that was her father who had died several years prior at the age of 94. She said he was a member of the first ascent party for Goode (I checked and he was). He had climbed Nursery when he was in his 80's. Several months went by and his daughter called me back saying she was cleaning out the garage and wondered if I wanted any of the climbing gear. One of the items she gave me is a Trapper Nelson backpack along with what seems to be a prototype pair of crampons.
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Brushbuffalo
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PostFri Apr 13, 2018 5:33 am 
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jask wrote:
Interesting.  The basic design looks just the same.  If you needed to move boxes and other bulky items lashing them onto a frame would work.  But then you need someone strong as an ox to carry it!

The picture t hat Joker included reminds me of the loads the hard-working porters carry with ease for us on Kilimanjaro.

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Forum Index > Pacific NW History > Backpacks have made some progress since this
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