Back Country, Buena Park California Tear Drop Back Pack

Rare label I don’t have too much information on. After scanning old Backpacker Magazine issues I can say that Back Country was like many of its contemporaries a store that both created it’s own products and sold other company’s as well.  Earliest mention I’ve found of the shop is a 1976 ad for Woolrich with Back Country of Buena Park, as a retailer. I suspect they go back a little further than that though.

The pack itself is similar to the designs of others. It does have a few differences that I am a fan of. For one the leather seems to be of exceptional quality. It’s thick, yet still soft and malleable. I suppose this may have some to do with its previous owners treatment, but I have seen enough to know it was good quality leather to begin with.  Secondly the use of nylon on the lower straps and waist belt. where as Alpine Designs would have used leather throughout the strap,  Back Country save a tiny bit of weight and ads a little style of their own by carrying over the orange nylon to these elements.

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Gerry leather Bottom Day Pack

Gerry leather Bottom Day Pack

Early to mid 70s Gerry leather bottom backpack. Two compartments, stacked in the so-called “tear drop” fashion. Sturdy strap construction with thick padded shoulder straps and large D ring /leather top attachment. This model could be considered transitional from the earlier era of felt padded and leather straps. Front lashing with original nylon strap for holding poles or axes. Waist strap features the innovative Gerry two-pronged buckle.