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Centaurus3200
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PostSat Jul 27, 2019 5:55 pm 
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Reviving an old thread. I found this Universal Field Equipment backpack at a thrift store today for $5. Not that I do a lot of extended backpacking and camping, but I appreciate the equipment. Especially the history.

No idea if it's any big deal, but for $5, it's worth it for a picture of me with some Danner A70 loggers, a Class 5 chamois button down and a Filson single mackinaw. Haha!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/11qGiRo5chVrwulOL2p45B2banK4oI7EN/view?usp=drivesdk
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Ski
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PostSat Jul 27, 2019 6:09 pm 
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let me know if you want to part with it.
it looks like my "Trail Boss" model.

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I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Centaurus3200
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PostSat Jul 27, 2019 6:36 pm 
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Hey ski, your thread is literally the only info on universal field equipment. It's an odd pack. It's not a field boss, and it's not a trail master it's almost somewhere in between judging by your pics.

Let me play with it for a bit. maybe it will get me and my wife to go on an adventure. Funny thing is I used to work for Quest a long time ago doing packaging design, but I was never a big camper. This pack sparked a certain desire to "man up". ;-)
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Ski
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PostSat Jul 27, 2019 6:42 pm 
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model name should be on that patch at the lower left on the flap which covers the main compartment.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Centaurus3200
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 9:55 am 
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I took another look at the pack. No model name that I could see. It's an interesting frame. You'd think it would be similar to the kelty mountaineering frame, but there is no middle crossmember. So it's still a 4 cross, not 5 cross. I assume there's a reason beyond cost cutting for this?
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 12:49 pm 
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Both my "Trail Boss" and "Trail Master Supreme" have four horizontal tubes on the frame.

Here's a Kelty D4 with five horizontal tubes:
https://seattle.craigslist.org/see/spo/d/seattle-kelty-external-frame-backpack/6928529047.html

Here's an "Olympic Trails" lightweight three-tube model:
https://seattle.craigslist.org/tac/spo/d/tacoma-vintage-olympic-trails/6950064180.html

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Centaurus3200
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 1:53 pm 
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interesting. do more crossmembers equate to a better pack, or it's totally arbitrary?
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Ski
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PostTue Aug 06, 2019 2:25 pm 
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I knew the answer to that question about five years ago after I spoke at length with the guy at Kelty, but right now I cannot recall exactly what it was I was told about the differences between frames with three or four or five horizontal tubes.

I just got off the phone with Kelty and feel no more informed than I did 10 minutes ago.

"Structural rigidity" and "carrying capacity" are the two points he raised on the phone just now.
A high-end pack would have more horizontal tubes than a low-end 3-tube model.

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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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Backpacker Joe
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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 10:15 am 
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They work great for weight distribution and carry ON trail.  Not so much off.

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PostFri Aug 09, 2019 1:12 pm 
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Ski, in the original post of this thread five years ago wrote:
Please don't derail this thread debating the merits and drawbacks of internal vs. external frames. There are already dozens of discussion threads here addressing that issue.
This pack has seen 45 years of heavy use and abuse (85+ pound loads on many occasions) and has served me well.

It's now 50 years and it's still working just fine, on or off the trail, thank you very much.

And since you reminded me, its maiden voyage was the same week that Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. My brother and I caught 72 trout that day. I remember the count because he made me clean them all. wink.gif

I don't know where the photos are of that 1969 trip, but here's one from August 5, 1994, taken somewhere on the Queets - probably up near Bob Creek.
I'm carrying the Universal Field Equipment "Trail Master Supreme" and the Universal Field Equipment "Trail Boss" tied onto it with a length of 1/4" cotton clothesline rope. My partner on that trip was kind of tired of carrying that heavy pack, so I tied hers onto mine and hauled them both out. wink.gif


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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SwitchbackFisher
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PostSat Aug 10, 2019 9:11 am 
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I love my kelty trekker 65, only complaint is it does throw your balance more than an internal frame when scrambling, but if you pack them right I can carry tons of weight no issues.

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Ski
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PostMon Aug 12, 2019 8:20 pm 
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a friend dug this one out... same trip as above... up near Bob Creek... August 5, 1994


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"I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach. 
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each."
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mosey
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 3:40 pm 
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Backpacker Joe wrote:
They work great for weight distribution and carry ON trail.  Not so much off.

Even on trail your limbo skills need to be up to par, and I found myself knocking trees too often. Still love them for carrying a good packload easily.

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Damian
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PostFri Aug 30, 2019 7:49 pm 
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Good to see a few folks still using externals.  I still have and regularly use my first pack.  A 40 year old Jansport D7.  It is now partially retired to winter hikes, mostly on the ocean but I still love it.  I load it up to the max for those hikes.  Slugman style.  The fold-out wings allow it to stand by itself with easy access to every compartment.  It's been sewn and re-sewn, zippers replaced several times and reinforced in multiple places.  I was amazed that only a year ago I called Jansport and they sent me several replacement parts, still free of charge.  Now that's some customer service.

True, they are not as good on wobbly terrain.  But neither are humans  smile.gif .
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