Hello World!

Welcome to Military Travel and Outdoor. This site is about military surplus items that can be used for traveling, outdoor and camping purposes. Other commercial available items that will come in handy will also find its place on this website.

This website is a continuation from Thailand Travel Base. Beside information about traveling in Thailand it became more and more a website about military travel and outdoor gear. The .EU domain was added to the website to clarify that goods purchased are send from Europe. More specific; from The Netherlands.

Fjällräven Rucksack No. 21

The Fjällräven Rucksack No21 looks like a classic canvas backpack from decades ago. However it is a modern pack. The base material is G-1000, a combination of 35 % cotton and 65 % polyester. The water resistance can be improved by waxing it. Fjällräven sells his own wax product for this: Greenland Wax. This is made from a mixture of beeswax and paraffin.

Just like old school classic backpacks it doesn’t have zippers. It’s drawstrings and buckles only. The front pocket and side pockets don’t have any closure at all. However the top of each pocket is somewhat tighter than the rest of the pocket. This will keep your stuff clamped inside the pack.

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Enders 9061 military petrol stove

The Enders 9061 petrol stove was produced in the 50’s and 60’s by the German company Enders. This company is still alive and selling outdoor products nowadays. It was in use in the West German army, the Bundeswehr. Other nations also used this petrol stove as part of the inventory of the German Leopard tanks. The stove is as German as it can be; Top notch quality, complicated design and lots of spare parts. The NSN number was 7310-12-120-0877 and a very similar version of this stove, the Enders 9060D, was manufactured for the civilian market

The stove is loved by many outdoor enthusiasts due to its good flame control and the ability to serve both small cups and big pans. The folding box design make it easy to carry and store. Although the weight is makes it quite heavy for your average backpack trip. Empty weight is 1,9 Kg and the weight of the stove + a full fuel tank is 2,2 Kg. People who like to de bring no longer working stoves back to life (aka stove fettling) might have a hard time to do so with the Enders stoves. This article will give some guide to do this successfully.

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French army F1 backpack

The French army F1 backpack was in use till the mid 90s. For many years these backpacks were commonly found in army surplus stores. However nowadays they are getting difficult to find. The pack is made out of tough heavy duty materials which makes it very durable. This backpack is super strong and won’t disappoint you.

The French Army F1 backpack can be extended with a chimney. That’s why the closing straps are extra long.

The French army F1 backpack is compared to a modern lightweight backpack a bit heavy (2,2 Kg) and a bit uncomfortable. Actually it is more a very luxury duffel bag. For example; it doesn’t have side pockets and it has grip handles on both sides. Besides that you can also wear it on your back.

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The (British army) Rucksack Other Arms vs The Osprey Porter

The Rucksack Other Arms from the British army and the Osprey Porter are both “single” compartment backpacks where you can hide the shoulder straps. This allows you to use it as a hand carrying bag. Both the backpacks are not very high compared to their width.

If you spend most of your time carrying your luggage at your back when hiking or going to the woods and mountains, then a real backpack is most suitable. If your backpack spends most of its time in a luggage compartment of a bus, train, air-plane, mini van, taxi etc. then a single compartment bag with no extra straps or side pockets is more suitable. This setup comes close to a suitcase that you carry on your back.

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Wool for the outdoors (and indoors)

Now the weather is getting colder in this time of the year in Europe and large parts of North America it is wise to dress up warm. Not only for the outdoors but also for the indoors now the energy prices for home heating are rising tremendously. Despite being old fashioned wool is still a very good choice. Especially since modern wool varieties such as Merino Wool doesn’t bring the itchy feeling on your bare skin. Wool is natures own wonder material. Modern synthetic fibers are often designed just to mimic the properties of wool.

Label inside a Marine Corps wooly Pully.
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COLEMAN 533 Sportster stove

Single burner stoves from American manufactures Coleman have been used by armies since WW2. Not sure if the model 533 was also in military service. The single burner stoves from Coleman like the 442 Feather and the 533 Sportster are nowadays very popular in the Motorcycle camping world. The ability to work on regular automotive fuel is what makes it the stove of choice. Although regular automotive fuel will wear out the stove, resulting in poor simmering control or a blocked generator tube, it is just too tempting for most bikers. White gas such as Coleman Fuel or Aspen 4T will ensure a longer life span of the stove while burning much cleaner.

Motor cycle blogger Stuart Fillingham made a very informative YouTube movie about the Coleman 533 Sportster stove.

Other advantages of the single burner stoves made by Coleman are that they can be lighted without pre-heating. Coleman has developed a fuel adjustment system in which the volatile vapors above the liquid are burned first and so serving as a pre-heating source. The burner in mounted permanently on top of the fuel tank. So leaking of fuel as you will encounter with stoves with a tank attached by a hose will not occur. The pot holders will accommodate small cups such as canteen cups but also much larger pans.

Civilian reproductions of army issued gear

Some army issued products are very popular for use as camping or traveling item. Among them are mess tins, jackets, rucksacks and sleeping pads. As with all army surplus they will run out of stock or are after a while difficult to find in good shape. Then it is interesting for commercial companies to reproduce them for the civilian market.

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US Army style duffel bag for traveling

Soldiers in the army have usually something like a kit-bag, see sack, weekend bag or duffel bag. This not to use in the combat field but to take all their clothing and gear from army base to army base or from their barracks to home during weekends. These bags are usually very simple. In case of a duffel bag it is usually a one compartment bag with rings and a clip to close it instead of zippers. Most duffel bags have just one strap to throw over your shoulders. The US army duffel bag however is one of the few designs with two straps so that it can be worn as a (improvised) backpack. To improve the possibility of carrying the duffel bag as a backpack the bag has a rectangular shape instead of a cylindrical shape. A round shape will flip sidewards all the time when you have it on your back. A flat shape will be much more stable.

US army (style) duffle bag

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Dutch Army one man tent

This tent was was introduced into the army to replace the classic pup tent in the early 90’s. Most of them are marked KL-94. Usually from the company Wittock Industry. The design of the classic pup tent was almost unchanged since WW2; two shelter halves that can be connected into a tent without ground sheet for two persons. This new design came with a bath tub rubber floor. Quite luxury for army standards.

KL Pup tent
The DPM Woodland camouflage makes the tent perfect for stealth camping.

Although advertised as a 2 man tent it is more convenient as a one man tent. Maybe when you’re in a really close relationship this will do as a 2 man tent but that will be very tight. The dimensions are approx 225 x 90 x 117 cm.

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Fuel cap rubbers on classic camping stoves

The fuel cap on man classic camping stoves (Kerosene stoves such as the Primus 210, Primus 96, Optimus 45) made in Sweden or elsewhere in Europe are basically the same. A screw cap with a outside diameter from 23 mm, inside diameter 18 mm and a pinhole screw that can be opened to release air pressure out of the tank. In order to keep the stove working it is important that the pressure is maintained inside the tank. This is ensured by adding a extra rubber ring inside the fuel cap. Over the years and decades this rubber ring will become stiff and brittle. Although mostly not visible the rubber then doesn’t seal the fuel cap air tight. The result is that once the stove is burning the flame will fade away due to leaking pressure. Then it is time to replace the seal for a fresh and flexible new one.

Material of choice
It is from uttermost importance that the seals are made from the right material with the characteristics suitable for the purpose. In the case of liquid fuel stoves the material has to be able to withstand fuel (solvents, aromatic compounds, organic solvents etc.) in the first place. Resistance to heat and flexibility is also important. Many rubber types such as NBR or EPDM are affected by fuel. The rubber can swell up or can completely disintegrate into rumble. This isn’t immediately visible but will happen over time. Usually after a few weeks or months the problems will occur. To avoid this a high performance rubber such as Viton® (a trademark from DuPont for FKM) is a good choice.