03 November 2011

Rifleman's Bag

Sometimes you just want to get out for a day, travel light and far, boots on the trail before dawn and tracking back to the home fire again at dark. Rifle in hand, and a good bag to haul your kit comfortably and reliably. Not claiming any historical accuracy here, just what works for me.

My Rifleman's bag.

I want to carry a kit that can sustain me if need be, keep my thirst quenched, needful things at my fingertips, and if required, support me if I find myself out overnight.

My contents change often, though there is always a means for fire, shelter, and water in it, some of the other items change depending upon the season and the weather. When I know my walkabout is on a fixed course not far from the barn I'll sometimes swap out things I know I won't need, like today for example, I didn't bother with the hand axe.

My bag is some long forgotten surplus bag from World War II and our Greatest Generation. Trimmed in heavy leather, solid buckles, heavy thick canvas. Leather shoulder pad was an add on and it certainly makes the shoulder strap much more comfortable. I like for it to ride on the left side and well to the rear so it doesn't catch on brush, trees and whatnot.

I also slipped a six round .45-70 shell holder on the strap. When I have the bag where I like for it to ride the shells are in just the right place for me to pull from the right and reload.

Plenty of space in the bag for a basic kit. As far as other items, primary knife, fire steel were tethered to my belt and my FAK was in a cargo pocket. Those two things I typically keep on my person.

Here's what I had in mine today.

1. BushCraft Outfitters Survival tarp.
2. Canteen & Cup
3. Moleskin journal & pen
4. Brunton Compass
5. Sardines
6. PSK
7. 2 Space Blankets
8. Char Box
9. Fire kit (Green waterproof box full of goodies)
10. Biowipes
11. 25' braided cordage 1 heavy biner


Snare wire
hot melt
fishing kit
sewing kit
3 blade broadhead
electrical tape
100mph tape

Navigation by way of a Brunton as well as a Silva clip on. The smaller Silva also has a thermometer and a windchill chart.

I keep a field journal, this little moleskin that my wife picked up for me is great. Perfect size, lined paper, durable. The pen is a Fisher.

Today's quick lunch was some sardines in mustard sauce, I'm not picky, and today wasn't a good day for a fire and something more elaborate, very dry, heavy leaves and heavy winds.

I don't know what era this canteen and cup are from, I think Swedish 1930s or early 40s. Works great for me when I don't need to carry a larger amount of water. When I do, the bag holds a 32oz Guyot and nested stainless steel cup.

The construction on the bag is bombproof, heavy leather, heavy stitching, heavy canvas. The entire thing is trimmed out in heavy leather, the corners and edges as well as a wide piece that reinforces the back.

Mine has served me well for a long time. When I don't need a full pack but want some insurance or still want to carry a few things, my Rifleman's Bag is always there.


  1. If you're any farther than out of earshot from the back porch, it pays to go prepared. That's a good-looking and sensible set-up.

  2. Hey you got pretty darn nice kit and pack there, man. Well thought items and if the stay in the bush gets tough or longer than expected, i bet you dont have any problems soon with that compact, yet very capable gear.

    Your canteen, sadly :) still might be even from 70´s and most likely made for Swiss army by SIGG. I have a few of those and theyre pretty neat, and yet, if looked that way, classy vintage stuff made to last. The pack itself, i think....i have seen those not so long ago, nbut i cant swear if they were made for german machineguns, or SGT rifles. That might be french too but germans liked to make sturdy box shaped small bags for ammo. Back in the day, the use of leather,brass and twill cloth was the formula to make bomb poof gear, sadly not today. Who knows if yor bag has been for set of bino´s or what ever, and thats not the case for you i think. Well, what ever it is, its still beatiful, rugged obviously, and beats any modern warfare molle nylon in my eyes :).

    Sometimes i pack some tin can food with me too, usually smoked and in oil. Theres no need to make the "mandatory" bannock always,hah :). Nor to carry the axe either.

    Youre using Finnish Kupilka utensils ? I think theyre good items. Bit pricey even here but compared to lets say, SPORK´s, theyre more durable and better to handle. And as they have some wood fiber in them, i´ve nticed that they dont melt so quickly, if i happen to mix some grub on pan above fire and the utensil touches the steel pan accidentally.

  3. Nice set-up. I usually use a wooden spoon. I think I need one of those canteen...

  4. Looks like a relaxing time!

  5. G'day from Aussie, just stumbles onto your blog via a link (I think in BCUSA) like the Bag well set up But I REALLY LIKE that leather Butt Cover on the Marlin. I have a 336T 1976 vintage would love to have one like that for it. Is it detailed here on the blog anywhere or.. can you tell me a bit more about it Please?
    Only a teasing look at it in these Pics but looks real nice. Cheers! DJW