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December 16, 2012 11:01 PM   Subscribe

Help me identify this item: backpack, military, olive drab. Bonus points for finding one in the wild that I can buy.

I came across the pack in an old barn on a friend's property many years ago. Even then the story on the pack was non-existent, but if I recall correctly it previously had dividers in it and was filled with gauze and other basic medical supplies.

I wouldn't mind picking up another one for old times sake but don't know how to start the search beyond basic searches, and the various combinations of 'army', 'pack', 'olive drab', 'medic', etc etc just isn't producing a successful find.

Images: 1, 2, 3, 4.
posted by RolandOfEld to Grab Bag (5 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Definitely an Army field medkit (the caduceus is a giveaway), and probably Vietnam era-ish. I would call a military surplus store, bring the photos, and let them do what they do best.
posted by Emperor SnooKloze at 11:20 PM on December 16, 2012


Doesn't look like the M-1956 era kit. Could be 1967 MLCE which tallies with Vietnam era or even ALICE which replaced it around the early 1970s. The push studs imply 1967 MLCE to me however.
posted by longbaugh at 1:43 AM on December 17, 2012


These medical kits were all over when I was in the army 1990-1994. Another name you might search under is "Combat Lifesaver" bag, because you were often issued one of these bags after you completed the combat lifesaver course (an intermediate first-aid course for non-medical specialists, I recall it was two weeks long when I went). It is a really simple thick canvas bag, and even 20 years ago was rapidly being replaced by nylon models. But there were a lot of them around. I had one for a long time, but eventually gave it to my parents to use as a car emergency kit, so sorry about that. I can't tell if you want to use it as a general purpose bag, in which case just keep checking places like auction sites-- here is a good set of ebay search terms. If you want to make it a medical bag however, just search for combat lifesaver or CLS bag, and buy one of the many newer versions which exist on the market today.
posted by seasparrow at 4:56 AM on December 17, 2012 [1 favorite]


It would probably help us -- ultimately help you -- to give us the dimensions of the bag, how wide, how long, how deep.
posted by dancestoblue at 4:59 AM on December 17, 2012


I don't have the dimensions as the bag was photographed and sent on its merry way to backpack heaven but it sounds like seasparrow and the others nailed it. Now it's just a matter of gleaning through the internets to find one for sale. As an estimate think daypack size, or the size of one of those Jansport backpacks you see pretty often in school settings. Nowhere near a full rucksack size, even the smaller ones.

As far as use case, I'd just use it for whatever it was needed for at the moment. I'd add it to my bag stack because, as seasparrow, mentiones it is just a really simple, sturdy, thick canvas bag.
posted by RolandOfEld at 11:56 AM on December 17, 2012


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