Bushwalking equipment was fairly difficult to obtain during the war years, when the Club began. Paddy Pallin had been making gear since the early thirties, but this was not readily available in Melbourne. Army disposals shops offered ex-Army gear, but this was generally not suitable for bushwalking purposes. A few early suppliers were:
Andy Broad, 64 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne; Evan Evans, 680 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne; Melbourne Sports Depot, 55 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne; Don Smart, 2 McKinley Avenue. Malvern; John Donne and Son, 372-378 Post Office Place, Melbourne; Hartleys, 270 Flinders Street, Melbourne; Auski, 6th Floor, McEwan House, Collins Street, Melbourne became the agent for Paddy Pallin.
In those first years of the Club the best type of pack was the Bergan or A-frame, usually available in three sizes: ladies, medium or large. If the pack was not large enough for a long trip, two extra carrying bags could be carried at the front, clipped onto the carrying straps. These were called 'shebas' after the well-endowed Queen of Sheba.
Some members preferred to make their own gear, and many experiments were made in lightweight equipment. Into the seventies, Felix Harding was using a lightweight pack with a frame described as a 'lover's knot in cane'.
The shoulder straps on some of the early packs were made of canvas. Once on, these rolled into narrow strips, cutting into the shoulders terribly and making shoulder pads a necessity. The really tough walkers tended to favour a 'Yukon pack' perhaps the forerunner of the H-frame. The Yukon was a wooden, rectangular frame with canvas