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As college freshman Joel Sheetz stood in line at the university book store, he realized it was time to retire the old backpack that had served him well in high school. For one thing, he was going to have to carry a lot more books, plus his laptop, not to mention some extra clothes and of course some snacks and energy drinks. But looking around at the crowd of preppies, hipsters and hippies, he realized he was going to have find a bag that you couldn't find at Target. Something that said, "Joel Sheetz...rugged individualist...ready for adventure...ready to tackle the world." He shared his dilemma with fellow student and good friend, Riley who was standing in line behind him.

"Dude, go to the Lemming." Riley said.

"What? The Lemming?"

"Yeah dude, you need to checkout LeapingLemming.com. They've got some sweet vintage military bags, jackets and stuff." Riley responded as he slurped the last of the foam from his mocha latté.

Joel thumbed in the url on his I-phone and within minutes, he found just what he needed--a former Czechoslovakian Army rucksack that screamed, "JOEL SHEETZ". He finished placing his order with the Lemming just as he stepped up to the register to pay for his books.

Joel turned back to Riley, "Dude, you were right, I guess I'm a lemming now."

"Joel, we're all lemmings in this college bookstore line, you're a Leaping Lemming...that's something different altogether." The oft philosophical Riley responded.


Well even though Joel scored one, the Lemming still has a few more of these super cool ex-Czech army rucksack ready for repurpose as civilian backpack or book bag. These used bags are from the 1950's and have a nice broken-in look to them.The bags are made of olive drab cotton canvas and are approx. 18" (46cm) X 18" (46cm), expanding to over 5" (13cm) with two large 7" (18cm) X 7" (18cm) outside pockets. Inside the pack you'll find a divider creating two sections of cavernous space to store your laptop, books, clothes, etc. The bag closes with a drawstring while the top flap and two exterior pockets are secured by cinch straps. There are also lots of D rings and loops to latch on extra stuff. The shoulder straps feature a heavy-duty leather handle and the adjustable straps can be configured to attach to the back in many optional positions. NOTE- The bag you receive is virtually identical to the one in the photo but may vary slightly in fabric color, id markings etc.

These bags are in good overall condition but they are used so they have a great broken-in feel with light signs of use (fading, small stains, wear marks, small holes etc.) that add to their unique character but do not detract from the integrity of the piece. The hardware and straps are in good shape.

We also have some rucksacks of this design that are made of heavier canvas: https://www.etsy.com/listing/105287965/vintage-army-surplus-backpack-rucksack

Vintage Army Surplus Backpack - Rucksack - Canvas and Leather "Ready for Urban Deployment"


  • Vintage item from the 1950s
  • Materials: cotton canvas, leather
  • Ships worldwide from United States
  • Feedback: 1051 reviews
  • Favorited by: 122 people