For absent-minded people like me (I’ve locked my keys in the car three times in one week), it’s helpful to use dedicated-purpose packs whenever possible.
I keep my gym bag stocked with toiletries, towel, sneakers, and the like. My hunting pack sits in my garage with ammo, a hunting license, binoculars, a blaze orange hat, and a field dressing knife ready-packed. This is my system—it ensures I won’t forget to pack key items.
So when our Canadian friends at YNOT sent me the Joe Robinet Bushcraft edition of their Wildland Scout pack, it quickly became my go-to dedicated carry-on travel pack.
That’s a far cry from bushcraft, I know. But the pack has held up all the same.
The pack’s dedicated “axe pass” has gone unused (TSA won’t allow a hatchet), but the lapotop/hydration pouch made whipping out the computer before boarding the plane a breeze. Note: my 15-inch laptop fit perfectly, but anything larger would be impossible.
Two side pockets are part of a system of interchangable pouches and add-ons. They offer easy-access storage for stuff like charging cords or a Nalgene bottle.
A 400D Diamond Ripstop Nylon floating separated liner probably saved me $3000 when the contents of a 1L water bottle emptied into the main compartment. My laptop remained safe and dry in its dedicated pouch. The liner is water-resistant, so I was able to just dump the pack upside down and let most of the water run out.
I scoffed at first at the lack of a waist strap (an add-on is available for $39.99), but I’m not sure now that I’d want one on this pack. The Scout sits very high on my upper back—and while it has a bit of a “first day of school” look, the ergonomic fit makes it worthwhile.
Packs that distribute weight low (like my old The North Face traveling pack) pull on the shoulders, but the Scout is comfortable even when fully loaded.
If I could change anything about the pack, I would add another built-in zippered pocket for the dozens of small items I cart around with me such as earbuds, earplugs, baby pins, pills, pocket knife, etc. I want to feel like I can be careless with my pack if I need to be, and that means keeping those tiny items in something sealable. (SoG Founder Kevin Linderman is the same way, and found YNOT’s Wildland Packing Pouch suited his needs well).
I solved this problem with a Ziploc, but YNOT does sell a $55 add-on pocket that installs into the pack.
The Wildland Scout is available in five styles: black, army green, smoke grey, coyote, and woodland camo. The packs sell in our store for $299.99.