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New: Wynnchester Patrol Pack

We are very pleased to have recently launched our new canvas and leather rucksack, the Wynnchester Patrol Pack. The design is based on the very rare vintage military classic the Norwegian Army Patrol Pack.

After many years of restoring and repairing these amazing old packs in our workshops, it was a natural choice to begin our long-planned line of new-made canvas and leather packs. Through this initiative, we are aiming to bring back to life in updated forms the very best and rarest vintage military backpacks, many of which are now next to impossible to source.

The knowledge and experience of handling and repairing these packs over the years enabled us to recreate a new-made canvas rucksack which whilst updated for modern use remains true to the original classic in functionality, design, and materials.

A perfect daypack size, whether out in nature or in the urban environment, the new pack features military-grade waterproof canvas, folding 3-panel back system, side attachment straps, leather base, brass buckles and rivets, and thick full-grain leather.

The project has taken over a year to get to this stage but we are extremely pleased with the end result - we feel it really does justice to the original classic and after the first packs have gone out to advance order customers we've already had some great feedback:

"This is an absolutely great little pack. I love it . Thanks again.

"The colours of the pack are straight from the woods. I’m really liking it so far.

"I am really impressed! You’ve made a great job of reproducing the pack and I love the attention to detail and craftsmanship. I spent many years in the Royal Marines and the Norge pack was used by so many people. After 30 years, I finally have the day sack I wanted."

“This is the mother of all daypacks”

Some photos below, and full details and more reviews available on wynnchester.com.












For full details, availability and ordering please see our manufactured products site at wynnchester.com.


Swiss Army vintage flask & cup set

Vintage Swiss Army oval canteen set with cork stopper

Vintage SIGG Swiss Army oval canteen 

Some photos of our new design for the leather skeleton harness for this set (available here) which is based on an original Swiss Army classic oval canteen set made by SIGG from 1890 onwards (photo above). The cast aluminium flask became the basis of SIGG's successful water bottle ranges that are still popular today.

This compact oval design was later replicated for the one hundred year anniversary with a modern cup set in the 1990's  as the "SIGG Classic" (shown below), but not many were made and it is now impossible to find, we've been lucky enough to have had a few through over the years which have been passed on to our customers.

Modern replica by SIGG for the 100 year anniversary

We were determined to make this superb form available again, and after trying a lot of different options and being forced to look right across the globe for suitable components we finally landed on this brand new oval flask from legendary Swedish quality brand Primus, paired with a newly made aluminium oval cup, and our specially designed leather harness. Our latest version is made of saddle-tan Spanish equestrian leather which is very close in colour to the Swiss Army leatherwork of the period, with brass rivets, it fits the cup's butterfly handles better, adds a retaining loop and clip for the flask lid when unscrewed, and a solid brass stud for easier removal from the harness. In response to feedback it's also designed to be easier to attach side-on to a belt or pack than our previous design. The set is available here.


Vintage Props for WWII Film "ALLIED"

Starring Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard "ALLIED" is a stunningly-produced WWII spy thriller by highly acclaimed director Robert Zemeckis, based on an original story by British screenwriter Steven Knight. Brad Pitt and Marion Cotillard play two agents working together behind enemy lines in North Africa. We were approached by Paramount Pictures early in the project to provide authentic props for the movie including our original vintage Swiss Army rucksacks from the 1940’s.

The film opens with Brad Pitt as Canadian Royal Air Force agent Wing Commander Max Vatan parachuting into the French Moroccan desert before making his way to Casablanca where he will meet up with Marion Cotillard as French resistance agent Marianne Beausejour. The Casablanca setting by Production Designer Gary Freeman and carefully researched authentic period costumes by Joanna Johnstone has deliberate echoes of Casablanca the hollywood classic which itself was released in 1942, the same year in which the ALLIED story is set.

Below are some stills from the movie as Wing Commander Vatan starts his mission and heads off to Casablanca with his customised vintage Swiss Army canvas & leather pack with added side straps and a single bandolier-style shoulder strap, together with other scenes from the movie and from the location filming.




 

 

Some of the vintage props we provided being prepared for shipping:


On location photos (via Twitter):

 


Vintage Props for JUMANJI movie

We were approached by Sony pictures to provide some suitable vintage props for the remake of the 1990's classic JUMANJI movie which originally starred the late Robin Williams. Filmed earlier this year on location in Hawaii and starring Dwayne Johnson, Jack Black, Karen Gillan and Kevin Hart, it's set to be a rip-roaring super-natural jungle adventure based on the original board-game-becomes-reality story, but this time where the characters are stuck inside a retro computer game found in a basement.

The movie houses are always tight-lipped about exactly what or who the props will be for, but we think they could be for Jack Black's character as a pith-helmeted Victorian jungle explorer:

UPS delivered the goods again for us taking a large box from our workshop to the temporary production HQ location set up in Hawaii ahead of filming in under 48 hours, door to door. Quite amazing really when you think of how far that is and all the stops a package has to make for a journey like that. Picked up from our workshops in rural Somerset, to the local depot, to the U.K. sorting hub in Gosport, then to Gatwick airport, across the Atlantic, through customs at Chicago airport, from Chicago out to the middle of the Pacific Ocean to Hawaii, from the airport to local depot, and safely without damage, delay or incident to the film production HQ. That's over 7,000 miles, in less than 48 hours.

The official trailer is just out (here) and the movie is set for release at the end of 2017. Meanwhile here's a few photos released from the set, or via Dwayne Johnson's Instagram feed:


New Vintage Swiss Patrol Pack Photos

Some new photos of our Vintage Swiss Army Patrol Pack with new hand made leather shoulder straps made in our workshop. These amazing Swiss Army rucksacks all have the name place and date of manufacture, this one shows made in 1954 by Ernst M'anzi in St. Peterzell, Switzerland.

The original maker's leather stamp showing this one was made in 1954 by Ernst M'anzi in Wald St. Peterzell, Switzerland.


Customer Photos - Vintage Swiss Patrol Pack

Some fantastic photos taken by a customer of one of our reconditioned vintage Swiss Army patrol packs out in the hills & coast of Langdale, Cumbria, UK.

"The Patrol pack put through the paces in Langdale, Cumbria. Off to Harrison Stickle and back via The Band...  and a well earned pint at the Old Dungeon Ghyll... The pack was a pleasure to use and remarkably comfortable. Perfect all day pack." AF.

And on the Shetland Islands


Huus Gstaad Hotel Outfitting

Our Swiss Army blankets and Vintage Swiss Army Rucksacks were supplied as authentic alpine room decor at the recently-opened Huus Gstaad design hotel. The landmark hotel sits at 1050 metres elevation (3,445 Feet) in Switzerland's most prestigious ski resort town of Gstaad, in the Bernese Oberland region of Switzerland.

The old hotel has been completely re-designed by Norwegian Architect Erik Nissen Johansen of Swedish design company Stylt Trampoli and the rebuild of the 300-room hotel, spa and conference centre was recently completed with the design based on a classic 'Alpine Adventure' theme with luxurious rooms, restaurants and bars and resident guides offering rafting, skiing, mountain biking and other alpine activities, all under the gaze of the stunning Western Alps. We worked closely with Stylt Trampoli to provide authentic props to complete the stunning redesign, ready for the press launch and the photography for the Huus Hotel website.

Huus Gstaad Swiss Hotel rucksack blanket rolls

Swiss Army mountain troops from the 1880's showing the classic Swiss Army blanket rolls

 


Vintage Safari Luggage Set

Just finishing a nice Vintage Safari Luggage Set for a customer. We don't get to do these very often as they are acquired and made to order only as they are very hard to find but they are such beautiful bags. Made of an unusual ribbed green canvas and very thick leather the set is made from a Swiss Army mountain rescue equipment bag, the Stgw 57* battle rifle ammunition case and the combat engineer' small-tools bag, it makes a very special set all together. Here's some photos of today's finished article:


Ben Fogle - New Lives Old Rucksacks

Ben Fogle - New Lives, Vintage Gear

Ben in Morocco at the start of his trip with the modified M39 rucksack.

Our reconditioned Vintage Swedish Army M39 rucksack along with other gear was shown in use by Ben Fogle during much of his fascinating and highly recommended "New Lives in the Wild" TV series, including in Morocco and the Appalachian Mountains among other places, where he travels to meet and live with people who have left modern life and started simpler sustainable lives in remote wilderness locations.

We specially modified the vintage M39 pack for Ben, removing the external metal frame to make it more compact for Ben's global travel requirements (which avoids the frame catching on things during transportation especially) and indeed Ben's was seen slung in the back of a trailer alongside him as he is pulled along by a donkey in Morocco for example. For the short flight to Ibiza just off the Spanish coast and in to the islands back-country we spotted Ben using our vintage waxed canvas duffle bag, visiting an off-grid sustainable community in the hills. And the M39 Swedish Army pack was back in use in the snow of the Cascade Mountains in Washington State where Ben stays with British-born Lynx Vilden who has spent more than half her life living, hunting, eating and sleeping in the wilderness.  Ben was also using some of our gear during the stunning documentary The Great African Migrations including a vintage Swiss Army wool pullover which kept the cold out in the early morning whilst ballooning over the Serengeti. Some images from the various shows below, all of which are highly recommended viewing.

Travelling by donkey in Morocco

Ben Fogle in the Appalachian Mountains

Ben Fogle in the Appalachian Mountains

Having arrived on foot with his M39 vintage rucksack Ben investigates his accommodation in the Appalachian Mountains.

ben fogle new lives - duffle bag

Ben exiting the airport with our vintage military waxed-canvas duffle bag, ideal as simple carry-on baggage.

Stepping out into the back country of Ibiza

And arriving to begin the episode, at a sustainable living experiment off-grid in the hills of Ibiza.

 

Ben with his Wynnchester M39 Swedish Army vintage rucksack in the North Cascade mountains, Washington State

Ben meets up with Lynx Vilden to join her living and surviving off the land in the Cascade Mountains

Ben Fogle Serengeti

Ben Fogle in the Serengeti wearing a Wynnchester Vintage Swiss Army Pullover filming The Great African Migration.


Canoe + Bedroll Camp

June on the river for a mid-summer canoe UK trip using our Adventurer Canvas Bedrolls - fantastic long days on the river in bright sunshine of a UK heatwave, after stopping in a spot where we have special permission to camp right on the river and enjoying the long midsummer evening light we slept out next to the fire under the stars, with the canvas bedroll 'roof' open, but warm, protected and comfortable using a standard roll mat on the ground - and listening all night to big Atlantic salmon just yards away leaping up the river in the summer salmon run back to their spawning grounds farther up stream.

We woke to swirling mist shrouding the water surface, pulled along down stream by the current, and the majestic dawn chorus from the woodland birds all around, and later the awesome sight and sound of nesting Peregrine falcons swooping and diving overhead. Other gear in use was our reconditioned 1960's canvas and leather Swedish Army framed rucksack, a Norwegian Army canvas Telemark pack, the superb compact Swiss Army hand saw, and our canteen cup set in waxed cotton cover where the stainless steel crusader mug was used to make nettle tea (see below).

 

 


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