|This picture is too dark....|
It is a canvasbag with leather belts and straps. The closingstraps were completely broken and rotten. I could tear them off like thick paper. As you can see the scoutgroup's name was written in large letters on the lid. Not a nice feature....
What are nice features are the size, the way the interior is split up and the carrying comfort (so far). The size is 32cm wide by 28cm high by 11cm deep. The interior is divided in to 4 seperate compartments; 2 in the front and 2 at the back. They are equelly large. That leaves room in the middle for larger, flatter things such as a book or an A4 sized binder. There are also 2 small pockets to the rear. I guess they were for scissors and/or a thermometer.
So I went to work. I removed the rotten leather straps and removed the studs with which they were attached carefully. I wanted to reuse the holes. Luckily I had a small collection of leather straps and I had some which matched the colour and patina the main belt had. I also had some studs left to fasten them, but they are not the kind I like to use. You need to use a hammer to knock them together and previous experiences have shown this kind of stud tends to come loose, again. I'd rather rivet them in place and I will, given the chance.
The next step was to camouflage the hideous writing.....
I had 2 cowhide scraps which are large enough to cover the lid.... I guess you know what happened... it takes care of both the writing AND the military look. And I like it a lot that way.
For the first tryout I loaded it with a IKEA drainer hobostove+pot, a NATO canteen+mug, a set of NATO messtins and my full firstaidkit and reflectorvest plus an array of smaller items. Allthough this all easily fits in there, with room to spare, I immediately noticed that it felt far to bulky to be comfortable this way.
It might make a very good multiple day knapsack with just the hobosetup and the canteen + food and assorted stuff. Or indeed a pack with items needed next to the finnbag.... I have to figure it out of a few trial-and-errors in the near future. Fact is that I really like this bag already, meaning a handfull of other stuff will be "fased out" (sold if you will).