70 Pattern Rucksack

An important feature of the South African 70 Pattern webbing set was a large rucksack that was used in the veldt to carry all the items that a soldier might need in the field. It was known as a ‘grootsack’ and was large and well thought out:

The rucksack did not attach to the rest of the webset, so could be worn on its own without any of the other components. The back of the pack has these shoulder straps, which include a small chest strap to help hold the weight safely and move some of it away from the shoulders and onto the pectoral muscles:

A grab handle is fitted to the top of the rucksack:

The main part of the rucksack is accessed under the top flap, which secures with two straps and the standard pressed metal, epoxy coated, South African friction buckles:

Note also the D-ring that allows further pieces of equipment to be clipped to the outside of the rucksack, this being a key feature of the webset and reflecting the need for flexibility in webbing sets that the Bush War had highlighted. Under this top flap, two weather flaps are fitted that secure with a single press stud:

Loops and buckles are fitted to the topflap of the rucksack to allow a sleeping bag to be attached for longer operations or to allow a pick axe or entrenching tool to be attached:

A horizontal strap and buckle are fitted to the front of the rucksack to steady a pick handle if needed:

Like much of the rest of the web set, a pair of ammunition pouches are attached to the side of rucksack:

In reality these pouches were not always used for magazines, but were ideal for putting items that needed to be easily accessible such as rations.

The base of the rucksack has a pair of drainage eyelets in case the pack were to get saturated:

As far as I can tell, this pack was a well thought out and reasonably well liked design and saw service for many years with the South African Defence Forces.

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