1945 – On: Packing War Surplus Rigs

by Pat Works

Packing War Surplus Rigs

Alan K. Griffiths

This a trick to packing tight war surplus rigs!

Lay out folded canopy with sleeve as per normal!


Leave a little sleeve/canopy overhang at either end!

This will help with reducing thickness, ergo, closing strength needed to close container, and will provide a much neater looking rig after packing!

Now here's the trick.....

Move pilot chute to out from bottom of pack where the lower closing flap is!

Be sure to allow enough bridle to match!

(leave rest of bridle stowed on top of sleeve normally)!

Just lay pilot chute and bridle off to one side by the rig!

Thread ripcord normally though housing, but closing sequence of inserting pins into proper grommets will have to wait!

We're going to stage this pack job using simple leverage and geometry!

Now, close over both container flaps as per normal.. (without pilot chute remember)!

Ok, now. Facing top to bottom, knees on either side of rig... or whatever is YOUR strongest arm dictates!

On a standard 4 pin system, dig up the second cone from the top, pull over matching grommet and lock with ripcord pin using pin normally which goes into the third grommet/cone position!

This just a temporary "staging" position!

Now ,with the tight rig temporarily closed...re-position yourself...(best done from bottom, facing rig towards top).

Now, move that pilot chute and bridle over on top of rig somewhere near the third grommet/cone location!

Compress pilot chute and bridle inside center coils of pilot chute!

Transfer pilot chute on top of sleeve and wiggle (as best as you can) at the area still partially open by pin number 3.....,transfer compressed pilot chute etc...setup, and wiggle under closing flaps. Gently lifting up each flap, to make insertion easier...but watch out here!

Here's the tricky part, but is necessary!

Do NOT BEND closing side flaps hard enough to risk bending pins,or tearing grommets sewn on to rig!

Stuff compressed pilot chute and bridle on top of remaining bridle stowed in a figure 8 as to assist in making an artificial launching "platform" for later!

Reach over with your free hand as best as you can....using either knee as a third "hand" to help hold everything down...if needed

Pull the cone side flap up and over as far as possible then repeat with grommet side!

Close number "3" cone and grommet as per normal and use bottom pin to lock temporarily!

now you should have the two middle grommet/cones locked with the temporarily miss located pin!

Congratulations, you now have the hardest part done!


What I do now, was to re-position myself (if needed)...from bottom to top of rig, or,top to bottom of rig...(if need be)...(your own strength and comfort will determine, what's best for you)!

Now,...with top flap and some sleeve crap still hanging out,.. start the final rig closing sequence by

ROLLING UP,..any of that "overhanging",.. excess sleeve/canopy material, Now,.. stick your first two fingers under the number 1 (TOP)closing cone/flap press up hard....and close rig as per normal!

Insert proper TOP # 1 pin into top cone and grommet and lock as per normal!

NOW....Holding down FIRM pressure on closed second cone/grommet position, remove the temporary miss positioned pin there and........insert proper ripcord pin!

There SHOULD have been enough slack from pre-staging, the other pins (out of phase) to do this with no problem?

So... you now should have the top and second pins locked in place properly?

Now,...remove remaining pin in third position by forcing down on rig as not to lose cone and not allow pilot chute to pop out!

Insert third pin into third position as per normal!

You should have 3 of the 4 pins inserted into their proper locations,(with only the last/bottom flap closing cone/grommet to go)!

Close bottom flap by again, rolling up that excess "bulk" of "overhanging"sleeve etc.... remaining!

(This to provide a good base to support bottom cone), Now...close normally!

slide remaining bottom pin through exposed cone and grommet and "Bob's Yer' Uncle"!

Now you can "dress" corner flaps as needed!

The following IS IMPORTANT…

Now is the proper time to make sure all pins are "cocked" in their respective grommets and NOT jammed all the way in, or worse...end of pin not quite feed though cone enough!

If the pin isn't completely resting on the outside portion of those grommets...problems might occur later!!

Hard pulls, even jamming has happened in the past for whatever reasons,... so please be extra careful here!

This will be one of your major pre jump pin checks to review before jumping later!

Remember those old days "PIN CHECKS"

Sadly NOT done much anymore!

Might have saved some lives of my friends!


Now we're NOT completely finished here…

Besides ensuring main ripcord handle is secure in it's pouch....

We still have the pack opening bands to attach!

Attach them now,if you're going to be using rig soon,.. otherwise,.. leave them undone to save strain on "eyelet" loops and steel internal band springs inside!

If I've made some little sequence mistakes...It's because I'm going from ancient memory!

You get the idea, anyways!

Good Packing!

Sorry for any packing blisters for the "newbies"!

They will toughen up into callouses ....eventually? LOL!