Early Gerry Ruck Sack

I will preface by saying this pack contains no makers markings, tags or labels. It is believed to be from early outdoor gear manufacturer Gerry based on certain characteristics.

It wasn’t until the end of the second World War, when GIs returning from the European campaign settled rejoined the fabric of american life that outdoor exploration as a true hobby and leisure exercise really begin to gain a foothold in the United States.  campaigns in the Alps and Pyrenees along with  exposure to cultures that had survived and thrived in these areas provided some soldiers with a taste for the alpine life when their tour was over. Purpose built military gear provided the basis for these new adventure’s kit.  Modifications for civilian use at some point became drastic enough that an entirely new piece of equipment was created and their creators found business in doing so.

In this pack you can see the lineage of its predecessors.  Even with in this blog you can find examples of Swiss and other military packs of which this bag shares many characteristics. Heavy canvas has been replaced by lighter nylon blended material and  excess hardware associated with military use has been eliminated. The items that work remain; leather shoulder straps affixed with nuts and screws,  main compartment with external pockets for stowing items that need be readily available.  And OD Green, hey, it works and why would anyone want to stray from earth tones any way?

This pack’s tear drop shape, side compartments and top flap are consistent with another pack designed by the Gerry company in the early 60s featured on this blog here. In particular the way the top flap is secured by cords through nylon lashings and knotted. Gerry’s Gerry Cunningham was one of the earliest designer and manufacturer of commercial mountaineering and outdoor goods starting the company in 1946 after leaving the military. Since that time the company has gone through many changes and owners. Its most current incarnation can be seen at www.gerryoutdoors.com.


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