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WWI Backpack??

Article about: I acquired this backpack at a yard sale and I need some help IDing it. The seller thought it might be a WWI British or Canadian backpack but I’d like a 2nd opinion. Any help would be appre

  1. #1

    Default WWI Backpack??

    I acquired this backpack at a yard sale and I need some help IDing it. The seller thought it might be a WWI British or Canadian backpack but I’d like a 2nd opinion. Any help would be appreciated!

    WWI Backpack??WWI Backpack??WWI Backpack??WWI Backpack??WWI Backpack??

  2. #2


    I've never seen anything like it! To me it looks home made, and that copper piping looks like plumbing pipework. Sorry I can't be of any help, but maybe someone on the forum will recognise it and be able to help you more than I can.


  3. #3


    It looks home made, I mean how much could one pack in this thing, the brazed copper bar with a point on the end ? Presumable to stick in the ground? The knot is impressive, the one leather piece with buckles resembles a rifle sling of some sort, I guess it may be some type of Boy Scout rig for an unknown purpose..
    I'd rather be A "RaD Man than a Mad Man "

  4. #4


    Sorry I'm a few months late, but I am quite certain this is called a packboard wich is used to carry equipment. The US had many different versions of these since WW1. I have little knowledge of these but yours seems to be a U.S. variant, later modified with the copper pipe and possibly shoulder strap.
    Though I do not know what the ink stamps represent, the appearance of the stamps is very similar to the ones often found on items from WW1 and earlier. The colour also matches much of the web gear of that era, but with such little knowledge I can not be certain of its age. Perhaps other members may know.
    Hope this helps!


  5. #5


    Here's a photo of some. Not quite the same version but very similar.
    WWI Backpack??

  6. #6


    I love a good mystery. Although I too have not seen anything like this before I think Daniel’s thesis has possibilities. The copper piping/pole is a bit strange, but I do not think it was designed to stake into the ground: it does appear to be designed to project ‘backwards’ if that makes sense, to allow it to support rolling out a cable when one is moving. It’s my understanding that most US war time cables were on wheeled type instruments, but that photo does prove alternatives, even field made items were possibly used. Do we have any signal corps experts here?
    Last edited by christek; 01-21-2023 at 11:54 AM.

  7. #7


    I understand these to be known as ‘Yukon’ pack boards, designed to support heavy items, away from the body, with the canvas spreading the load more comfortably over the wearer’s back. These are often associated with mountain troops, signal teams, MG and heavy ammunition carriers, &c.

    The somewhat ‘homemade’ appearance of the woodwork may suggest a repair, or even rebuild, at some point in its history, but it’s still a good looking example (nice canvas), and the straps and fittings - with possible exception of the copper pipe work - all seem to be original parts (it is surprisingly common to find such apparently feeble leather straps employed on early equipment - strong enough when new, but soon weathering beyond their task)! I would certainly put this in the pre-/Great War era.
    The markings elude me too, but have a very pre-war style about them.

  8. #8


    Here is an illustration of the WW1 Yukon Pack and its use.

    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture WWI Backpack??  

  9. #9


    Looks like a normal Yukon Packboard The copper tubing looks like a display stand to hold it upright not sure about British use but it was used by Canada & the US

  10. #10


    design of the British Aluminum 1945 packboard was based on the Yukon

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