Friday, July 21, 2017

Modifying an LK35 Swedish army backpack

I've been having a new favorite backpack; an LK35. Legendary and iconic within the bushcraft world, I managed to get my hands on one..... and was not overly impressed by it! 
Here are my original finding; Swedish military backpacks LK35
Because I was not happy with the way it rode on my shoulders and back, I started altering the straps. I took a set from a derelicted Berghaus Vulcan II and also took the waist strap from that one. That made a huge difference. However attaching it to the frame required some more tweaking and I ended up sowing a minor strap from a cheap, civilian backpack to the shoulder straps, creating a "Y"-shape. With this the end of the straps remained in place by fastening them to the frame as well. From that same backpack I added a sternum strap.
Now the setup worked like a charm! I went nuts and deliberately overloaded the original frame and backpack up to 18kg with a bedroll and poncho on top and a sleeping mat at the bottom. The only thing happening was on of the waist straps coming loose, but the whole contraption rode well.

But I didn't stop there. I went one step further and tried a frame I had modified earlier in order to use it with a German backpack, as seen here; part I and part II. In hindsight that did not work too well, but the new combination did!! And it saved almost 1,5 kg in weight too.
The frames compared; you can see the "new" frame being wider and taller and has a brace big enough to keep the pack standing. A good thing on wet or dirty underground.
 But I still was not quite satisfied and the last modification I did, was a pure cosmetic one. I really did not like that bright green colour and I had been messing around with a wooden box, painting it green, adding trees, tracks and animal images to it, but in a way that might resemble camouflage;

You can see where this is going, right? Yup, you guessed it!

The pattern consists of real fern leaves oversprayed with dark green, the animal tracks in antracit grey, followed by animal depictions in brown.Now it really is MY bag. Love it!

Here's what a standard issue setup looks like;

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