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 Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics

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RonC
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PostSubject: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   February 26th 2016, 9:50 am

I posted this on another muzzleloader site in response to the possibles bag versus shooting bag or pouch "controversy." I will put it here in case it is useful to anyone.



I don’t have the vast experience of most on this forum, but I have spent some time trying to decide whether the possibles bag-shooting bag-haversack nomenclature was just semantics or if there were real differences.


According to The Complete Blackpowder Handbook by Fadal, somewhat paraphrased:
The old time kit included a hunting bag, also called a shooting pouch, erroneously referred to today as a possibles bag. The shooting bag was a repository for vital shooting necessities, such as spare lead balls, extra flints for the flintlock, nipple wrench for a percussion rifle, small screwdrivers, and other devices.


Along with the shooting bag or pouch some historians claim there was a possibles bag. In theory, the name alludes to the possibility of finding almost anything in it. The possibles bag was probably a larger pouch in which could be found a bit of tobacco, spare gunpowder, flints, patching material, fire-steel, etc. In short, the possible bag was a catchall. Some students of the Far West don’t buy into the possibles bag story. They think possibles simply meant an array of gear, regardless of how or where it was carried.
 
Some people are adamant about the difference:
“The shooting bag is not a possibles bag.  It should only contain those items necessary to operate the gun. The goal is to have your accoutrements organized and handy enough that you won’t be fumbling around on the shooting line. When you have it all organized just right you should be able to load your gun with your eyes closed or in the dark of night if necessary.”
“Other items that may be needed for a day hunt such as; lunch, a container of water, compass, fire starting materials, etc. are carried in a separate possible bag or haversack.”


Others think that it is your bag and you can put in what you want and call it anything you wish.
Either way, there is a tendency to fill any bag or pouch to excess, particularly when you are new to the activity.
Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   February 26th 2016, 10:04 am

There was an old radio show called Fibber McGee and Molly. He had a closet like that. The running gag on the show was that at least once an episode, she would have to open the closet door for something and, being radio, you'd hear sounds like the shelves at WalMart had all fallen over about half a second apart as things crashed and clattered.

That's about how full my "possibles"/shooting bags are.

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RonC
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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   February 26th 2016, 10:08 am

My solution is to take two shooting bags, each the size of possibles bags, fill them both and wear one on each shoulder.
Then, I take my shooting box and carry it in one hand. Lunch and snacks and hair gel and brush go into a bag in my other hand.
Problem is, I have no way to carry the rifle. Very Happy
Ron
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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   May 17th 2017, 1:04 pm

Ron

From the looks of your avatar....I think you're joshing about the hair gel!

We both use the same barber me thinks!! Shocked Very Happy affraid

I had more hair at one time that Elvis....but a high fever did away with that!! Sad
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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   May 17th 2017, 5:09 pm

I carry a shooting bag..i.e. all I need to shoot with. I carry on the opposite shoulder my haversack, my hunting license, survival gear, food, field dressing "extra knife" maps.......what ever I feel I need "just in case". In the 18th century, soldiers carried on waist belts or shoulder straps a cartridge box, which carry's everything to shoot......in paper cartridges. The haversack carried, food and any other provisions the individual thought he needed....so it's okay to carry both. t up

I forgot to add....typically haversacks were/are made of cloth....cotton canvas or linen. More economical and than leather. Sometimes waterproofed. Mine is a water proofed linen canvas with a leather flap to keep the rain out. Later haversacks in the civil war era were tarred or painted. Indian Wars haversacks were also tarred.

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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   May 17th 2017, 7:17 pm

Here's an example...not mine:

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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   May 17th 2017, 7:26 pm

That's how I always understood it. Well, not always, but quite awhile.

 I prefer the shooting bag to be a belt bag on it's own wide belt. So, when not in use I can turn it out of the way.

 I don't really like bigger bags on a strap. They move around too much and swing out when I bend over. You can fix that to some degree, but I don't think it's as good as a belt shooting bag and a haversack, or some kind of backpack. 

 Woods walks i'll use a haversack, but for hunting we have to cover a backpack with blaze orange. Since i'm already wearing a blaze orange vest I have a blaze orange backpack. It's easier than trying to cover one up with blaze orange.

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PostSubject: Re: Possibles bag - Shooting bag - Haversack, real differences or semantics   May 17th 2017, 8:25 pm

I use to use a "fanny pack" with side bags and suspenders regardless of what I was hunting with. But got tired of trying to get into the main compartment while sitting....haversack is much easier. I have a camo day pack with waist belt and side pockets but I usually walk out the front door to hunt or drive to the ranch.

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