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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A canteen cup as used by the military is very useful to prepare a meal or boil water for coffee and tea.
A very efficient cooking setup is the Swedish army ”Trangia” system. This is a cooking pot nested in a special designed windscreen. Inside this windscreen is a folding pot stand. The heat source is a alcohol burner. The cooking pot has a cover lid that can also be used as a pan on its own.
The cooking pot stands inside the windscreen. By enclosing the bottom from the pot by the windscreen the heat from the flames is transferred more efficiently into the pot. Also the flames stay inside the windshield instead of going everywhere. It also makes sure that rain and wind have almost no effect on the burner. This windscreen stays around the pot when carried. It acts as a storage container. Big advantage is that the black soot that will be formed on the pot cannot easily be transferred to other equipment and your hands. Alcohol burns relatively clean compared to petrol based liquids. The smell is less and the formation of black soot is also lesser. Alcohol is widely available and you can bring it in a small bottle for a day hike or a big bottle for a multiple days. With gas burners you need to bring a whole canister. If running out of Alcohol you can also burn some wood twigs in this stove.
During the 80’s the Austrian army had a load carrying system that consisted of a large backpack that looked like a US army Alice Pack and a smaller bag that could be carried as a front pack or as a butt pack. Alternately the small bag could also be worn as a shoulder bag or a small backpack on it’s own. The bags are made from Nylon (Polyamide) and usually carried in combination with a pistol belt.
The idea from a front pack was copied in later years by the Dutch army. They had a small duffel generally known as the Rotota bag or soldiers handbag. This was also attached to the shoulder straps of a backpack. However the Dutch used plastic fast release buckles while the Austrian pack system uses metal hooks. Another difference is that the Dutch front-pack is carried on the chest while the Austrian front-pack is carried a little lower, on your belly. Perhaps this was done so the soldier has more space to handle a rifle.
When you are travelling you need to wash your clothes sooner or later. Luckily you can find many laundry services in most countries. They will wash and dry your dirty clothes for a small amount of money. But sometimes you just want to wash one or two items or you just stay one night in a place. Then it is an option to do a quick hand wash in a bucket or in the bathroom sink. For these situations it is super handy to have your own small rubber bucket with you. It is light and it doesn’t take much space in your suitcase or backpack.
The Dutch / Belgian military rubber bowl will stand right up by the pressure of the water what is inside. The bowl isn’t that big (approx 4 liter) but it is large enough for a T-shirt, a pair of socks, some underwear and a short. Just let your laundry soak in the water with soap for a few hours and then wash the soap out of the laundry under running water from the tap.
The Dutch army daypack aka KL daypack or KLu daypack is a small backpack but equipped with foam-padded shoulder straps like it is a full size backpack. The bag has a main compartment with an internal divider and two side pockets. The weigh is about 1,35 kg and measurements are 45 x 28 x 18cm for the main compartment and 7 x 15 x 25 cm for each of the side pockets. This gives the backpack a total volume of 28 liters. However, on online army shops and second hand trading websites the volume is very often stated as 35 liters. The outside contains two attaching belts for extra equipment like a water bottle or first aid pouch. These items can be attached with alice-clips, but also the old Dutch/British webbing system hooks. This backpack was made during the 90’s in 3 colours; Woodland (Dutch DPM), Dessert (Dutch CDU) and olive green. The olive green one was only issued to the Dutch Airforce (KLu) and therefore harder to find nowadays. Big advantage of this last one is that the camouflage pattern will not fade out after years of usage. Also the color is more neutral and suitable for urban traveling. An even rarer version is the black one issued to members of the Dutch military police (Marechaussee). This one was however made of a much softer normal fabric.
At some point in history alcohol stoves or Spiritus stoves with a controllable flame were widely manufactured and used. These stoves are also called gravity fed alcohol stoves or valve controlled alcohol burners. The alcohol fuel isn’t under pressure as it is in petrol stoves. In the past many of them were manufactured in Germany. Today there is only one factory left that is still producing a classic proven design: Heidersdorfer Produktions- und Vertriebsgesellschaft mbH
The current model HPV Salsa (Spiritusbrenner) was previously sold under the name BAT Spiritusgaskocher 55/1 and Enders Cooky 1 Spirituskocher. Besides the single burner version there has always been a double burner version. The current model is named HPV Flüssiggaskocher Mambo or Spirituskocher Mambo.
Specs of the HPV Salsa alcohol stove:
– Power: 1.0 kw
– Fuel consumption: 0,2 l
– Fuel storage tank: 0,4 l
– Dimensions: 25 x 32 x 12 cm
– Burn time: up to 120 minutes
– Weight: 1,4 Kg
– Color: blue or white powder-coated
Easy to use and re-use system for pour over coffee. In this way you can enjoy a fresh cup of coffee instead of falling back on (tasteless) instant coffee. It is very suitable for one or two persons. The filter can be used as a filter itself or in combination with a additional paper filter.
Twp Dutch companies (RubyTec and Bo-Camp) are offering these types of filters. They work according to the same hanging principle as some prepacked coffee filters from Thailand. Those ones are single use while this is refillable. They also work good with a small paper filter. Then it is more of a filter holder instead of a filter itself.
The Dutch army mess tins are almost identical (just a little smaller) as the British army mess tins. It is a two-piece set of a smaller pan nesting in a bigger pan. Both pans have a fold out handle. The design dates back to the days of the 2nd world war. Armies around the world are still using this style of mess tins. Modern outdoor equipment suppliers as Highlander, Bo-Camp and BCB are still producing this design for the civilian market. That says something about the quality and practical usage of this type of mess tins.