The Sleeping Bag in a Can Was Real and Fantastic

Popular Mechanics | 1/3/2018 | Kyle Mizokami
PaMe (Posted by) Level 3


During the Cold War, the U.S. Air Force issued sleeping bags in “spam cans”—steel cans opened with a metal key. Unintentionally silly by today’s standards, it was part of a serious effort to keep crashed or shot-down airmen alive in cold regions until they were rescued.

YouTube vlogger Taras Kul picked up a M1949 sleeping bag on eBay. The M1949, also known as “Sleeping Bag, Mountain, M1949” is well known in collector circles. Introduced in 1949, the M1949 is what we would today call a “mummy bag.” The bag features a cotton shell with down filler and is meant for mountain or Arctic conditions.

M1949 - Spam - Markings - Kul - Model

This M1949, however, is different: It’s vacuum-packed in a can like Spam. The external markings on Kul's model indicate the bag was part of a U.S. Air Force contract. The contract number is difficult to run down, but it appears the sleeping bag was part of a contract for 1950s-era F-84F Thunderstreak jet fighters....
(Excerpt) Read more at: Popular Mechanics
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