This is an early Gerry rucksack. As I’ve probably mentioned in other posts, the earliest outdoor gear was simply repurposed military surplus and this bag shares many characteristics. Beyond the olive drab nylon the bag resembles very much a European military pack. Specifically one from a company called Bergans of Norway , which was made of more traditional materials, canvas and leather.
Though the design itself may not have been revolutionary or visionary the removable lightweight back panel is. I believe the panel to be made of fiberglass, but may just be something similar. The removable panel replaces metal support systems used on earlier packs. The updated support system with the use of lightweight nylon saved this traditional design many extra pounds.
Example of a civilian model jacket design based on the N-1. The N-1, to a lesser extent of then the Air Force A-2, MA-1 and N3-B became somewhat legendary for being a well-serving, functional jacket. The problem is one had to enlist and end up in certain positions to receive one. Post WWII patterns and probably sometimes even surplus were converted for civilian use. Today you still see similar jackets being produced by everyone from Schott to Abercrombie and Fitch.
The Jacket seen here has a very similar cut and fabric composition as a Navy issue N-1. Unfortunately the liner is made up of a blended pile and not what would have been alpaca. Still the rugged cut and warmth make these civilian versions a great option for someone who wants the style at a fraction of the price for an original.
The red label on this Lee 101-J was used until around 1956. This particular style was introduced in 1948 as the Lee Rider Jacket according to Lee Europe’s website. Later examples remain almost entirely the same with subtle variations to the inside label. In future iterations of the red and gold label have the model and size highlighted in gold thread. The longer “bar” label also produced in red and gold on black. Sometime in the 60s, red was dropped entirely from the label.
This example is in particularly amazing condition for its age. Appears to be washed once if at all. Sanforized so shrinkage wouldn’t be of concern, but I can imagine it was washed or soaked once to ensure the indigo wouldn’t leech into the gold embroidery thread.
Not entirely sure the origin story of this jacket, but it’s probable the owner was a rodeo participant and the jacket a promotional item from Lee. Cheyenne is of course the capital of Wyoming and host to one of the largest, longest running rodeos in North America – Cheyenne Frontier Days, founded in 1897.
Barker Shoe Co. 10th Mountain Division ski boots. Boots are dated 1943 Produced in Boston. This example has original waxed laces with metal ends. Also the wool foot bed for insulation. Goodyear heavy lugged sole provides traction when not full of snow or mud. From what I understand the original design had a flat sole, but traction was impossible so they later retrofitted these boots with the lugs. Squared off toe allows for maximum heel lift during cross-country maneuvers.
This old LL Bean field jacket takes styling cues from both military and upland style hunting jackets. It features multiple pockets inside and out. A corduroy lined collar. Buttonable chin strap. It has small gauge Talon zippers to close inside pockets as well as a back pocket. It’s made of a medium weight cotton body which is soft and pliable compared to the heavier canvas cotton typically used on field coats.
While Gerry Cunningham lead the “warmth without the weight” down movement here in the states, the Moncler company followed suit on the other side of the Atlantic. The company founded in 1952 enlisted the help of famed explorer Lionel Terray to help with the design of its expedition weight jackets in early 1960s. The result is what you see here.
This particular coat was found with a coyote fur hood liner which was a later add. It had button holes around the edges for attachment to a NB-3 or similar military parka. Given the condition of the fur, which appeared to have been laundered, I decided to remove it and bring the jacket back to original. A solution of baking soda and water was applied to the heavily soiled areas around the collar cuffs and front and left to soak in the tub. You’ll see in the pictures the incredible amount of dirt that was released. The coat was then agitated by hand and rinsed thoroughly.
These coats contain a great deal of down giving them the loft needed to sustain the wearer in arctic conditions. The two rows of snaps allow for an adjustable fit in order to accommodate varying layers of clothing underneath. Zippers are not used as thy can be a hassle in arctic temperatures and a malfunction of one would be a pretty grim reality in the cold. The coat also does not have any pockets which could become filled with snow and create compromised areas for which the cold can make its way in. Candidly speaking, I rather enjoy having accessible pockets in my coat. See my post on the later REI Expedition Down Coat for comparison.
Late 1960s early 70s model Gerry Vagabond Pack. This is the pack that help solidified Gerry’s role in the outdoor sports manufacturing industry. The design was applied to frame packs and became an icon and a signature style. Whether you’re a fan or not of the horizontal pockets comes down to personal preference I suppose. While allowing for maximum compartmentalized storage and organization the pockets were somewhat limiting of the objects that could fit within.
This pack is an earlier model as denoted by the Gerry Boulder, Colorado logo, Coats & Clark zippers and the very interesting straps. These are unlike any other’s I’ve seen. Nylon straps with a foam pad. The pads are coated like that of a floatation device and adjustable on the strap to provide a good comfort level. The “wish bone” style pack support is removable and is secured by three snap anchor points.
This model pack was one of several featured in issue five of Backpacker Magazine (1974) and received good marks.
This is an older Roadcrafter suit by Aerostich. It’s constructed of Cordura and Gore-tex and appears to be the same pattern still in use. The new models bear a Roadcrafter label not found on this one. Aerostich produces some of the finest riding gear available. All pieces are made by hand in Duluth Minnesota USA.