Trapper Nelson Backpack, Private Collection. Photo NVMA.



Trapper Nelson

The “Trapper Nelson” pack has been blessed (and cursed) by many mountaineers and backcountry campers from the 1930s onward. Before then, the usual means of carrying gear was in a “rucksack” – a simple canvas sack with shoulder straps. It had to be packed carefully or its contents would dig into the climber’s back. Also, the pack often sagged low on the back, causing strain and pain. The Trapper Nelson, with its external frame, distributes the load, while the canvas jacket and straps cushion and ventilate. A version of the Trapper Nelson was manufactured by the Jones Tent and Awning Company of Vancouver, British Columbia.

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