In a small mountain town called Åre, deep in the Swedish countryside, lives Emil Eklöv. We first met Emil, in Sweden, on our travels. He has a kind of independent spirit that we connected with instantly. His love of nature and simple living reminded us of the principals Millican Dalton lived by. We felt it was only right that he tried out one of backpacks, putting it through the tests of a modern day adventurer.
Words & Photography by Emil Eklöv
I have a weak spot for outdoor gear – more the genuine kind that makes you feel like a character from a folktale than a high-tech astronaut. Twelve years ago I found a lovely rucksack at second hand shop with the right kind of character. The brand was long forgotten, but I was stoked to get outdoors and test it out. Sadly, it let me down on first try: once packed and ready for adventure it started to painfully dig in to my back. I threw the bag into a dark corner of my dads basement, where I think it’s still hiding. In the years since, I’ve been working my way through a number of high-tech packs and a sad pile of those that never passed the test has been growing. Until last summer when Millican sent me a Smith The Roll Pack to try out.
Firstly, I want to add that we are talking daypacks here – around 25-30 litres. The kind of size that lets you bring the essentials for a full day of adventure. Whether in the backcountry or exploring abandoned grounds in the city – Smith The Roll Pack really does its job. When picking gear I need it to be strong enough to handle anything; from being tossed over a concrete wall to stepping down into a cave, together with durability and the ability to stand against the impact of wind and weather.
I also want it to look awesome, as well as being made of sustainable fabric and have all the pockets I need to stow away a multitool, thermos and fire-steel. It also has to have protected sleeves for my Macbook and iPad, since a lot of my exploring takes place during a lunch-break or after a day at the office. If you can imagine an outdoor setup that is stylish enough for meetings, but it holds the scent of firewood and the outdoors, then you have perfection. I found all of this and more from a brand I hadn’t even heard of a year ago. Since the first day my Millican bag has become my everyday companion. I have even used it as my only bag on five day trek in autumnal Sweden – this to me meant packing goatskin for resting, down blanket, two pairs of shoes and a cotton parka as well as all the other gadgets and clothes needed for a weekend in the capital.
The only slight downside at first was the closing of the roll-top being slightly loose, fortunately for me this means more possibilities. Since I always bring a lot of stuff, this strong buckle makes it easy to wrap my blanket and jacket into a big roll and secure it under the closure (see picture).
Even though, as a carrying system, it’s only meant to be a daypack, the bag provides great comfort no matter how heavy the load and the side pockets easily fit a food canister and thermos. My Smith The Roll Pack has everything I need in both design and materials. And it’s a great companion on the path of growing wise from adventure and getting marked by the trails of life. See you out there!