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Thread: Pack recommendations?

  1. #21
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    forgot to add

    that these packs are the most hydration-friendly of all packs, IMO. You can run 2 100oz Camelbacks at once.

  2. #22
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    Old British Army saying, "Live out of your bergen, fight in your belt order and survive in your smock".

    The same principles apply to general BoB's, SHTF kits, emergency/disaster kit ...... whatever you want to call the thing. The reason I mention this is because you say you would carry your PSK in your ruck. Bad move, you lose your ruck and you lose everything. Your PSK should always be on you as should a basic IFAK.

    Back to the rucksack question. I have four GOOD rucks from 25l up to 110l in capacity and only the 110l one is military ...... it retired with honours. The 3 non-military rucks are all L*we's. I do not hold with the majority of military style molle covered rucksacks as most of the companies building them only sprang out of the manure post 9/11. Firm's like L*we and B*rghaus have been around perfecting the art of load-carrying equipment for years and not throwing together something to sell for a fast-buck to a newly deployed soldier. Added to which, they take the piss with the prices being charged for 'militarised' rucks. You can buy an excellent civilian ruck for around $100.00 with change.

    The good book of Federal Disaster Preparedness says that you should have enough to live for 5 days. That is not going to fit in a three day pack along with a sleeping bag. But then you do not need a 110l pack like my biggie ......... to be honest unless you are SF moving thru hostile country and need to carry the kitchen sink you do not need a 110l pack.

    Somewhere between 50 and 70 litres should do it for you and there are plenty of subdued colours to chose from that are not Molle, millie, velcro. Put together the kit you want to take with you in your ruck and then go to the outdoor store and try out the rucks to see if it all fits in and how comfy the ruck is. If you are going to glue, screw or nail lots of molle pouches outside the ruck just buy a bigger ruck ......... pouches: cost more; catch on things; can fall off. Note: If you are in a SHTF situation and are carrying military gear the expectation and threat you present to people is differetn to that presented if you are carrying civilian gear.......then you can always surprise them if the need arises.

    Inside the ruck you should order everything nicely in stash bags. There are some good sil-nylon waterproof bags out there nowadays and you should be able to get some from the same outdoor shop you get the ruck from.

  3. #23
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    The Mrs. (with my help) grabbed me a Remington BigHorn backpack from wallyworld ($22). It's a fairly large bag with a small, medium and large compartment on the face, a small zippered pouch on each side, has pockets on each side for a typical water bottle (included), a sleeve and clips for a hydration bladder/hose, and provisions for attaching a companion waist pack. So far I''ve got four emergency blankets (foil type) and ponchos, compass, folding stove and fuel, five piece mess kit, basic first aid kit plus advil, antibiotics and neosporin, "camo compact" (her idea. Guess she wanted me to say I had a compact in my BOB), waterproof match container, fleece hat, gloves and neck gaiter that match the bag, all in the medium pouch. The larger compartment will get BDU's or hunting-style camo, a change of socks and drawers, a shirt or three, my two way radios, batteries and a few boxes of two two three. JIC. The small side pouches will hold mags for my handguns, if I so choose. Or need. There's some other oddities and endities I need to grab (water puritabs, flashlight, food provisions like cliff bars, vitamins......???????)

    Overall, I think it's more than just a good starter bag. Some may want to go smaller, some larger. I think this bag has enough options to be a good compromise.

  4. #24
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    I bought a Eagle Industries AIII Pack with molle in Multicam. It's my bag I use to take to the range (which will be replaced by a EDC Versipack soon), machine gun shoots, and gunshows. It's pretty nice and you can add on to it.
    "There are only two kinds of people that understand Marines: Marines and the enemy. Everyone else has a second-hand opinion." Gen. William Thornson, U.S. Army

  5. #25
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    Survival items

    First things first: Water, get yourself a sweetwater pump to filter water instead of using the iodine tablets. This will pay dividends for years to come. You can store the water in some non-lubricated condoms. IIf you put them in a sturdy pair of socks, it will protect them.
    After the water issue is solved, carry a few bulion cubes. I like the beef. It will add flavor to otherwise bland ass food that you gather. It is nice to have some tinfoil as well. You don't need a ton, just about 2 feet. It will fold up nicely into a compact square. Carry some lead weights and fishing line with some hooks for trout lines. Go to gander mtn and get some edable vegitation cards or a small book. There is nothing worse than guessing what is good and what is bad to eat. A folding fixed blade knif is a must as well.
    Lastly, carry a small book and a deck of cards. It is nice to have something to pass the time when you find yourself in a survival situation. One on traps and snare could come in handy.
    All of this can fit into a small tupperware bowl that will not take up much room in your pack.

    -RLTW-

  6. #26
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    Sorry to resurrect this zombie thread, but do you all have any recommendations for packs in the 4000 cu in range? There is a deal on GEN II MOLLE packs, but then I got to thinking about the USMC ILBE packs or even the Arcteryx Tango packs. I'm trying to keep the cost to under $300.00. I currently have a CFP90 pack and while its large, its not the most comfortable.

  7. #27
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    If the molle system is essential, don't get too caught up in it while you're purchasing a pack. You can always go to a seamstress and have them stitch them in for cheap.

    I agree with the idea of looking for a company that has been around for a while, and not just slinging crap to the post-9/11 crowd.

    My three main considerations for a pack, for any situation, is hydration, suspension and organization. I like the camelbak's because they have a waist suspension set-up, a great hydration system including pouches for water bottles, and a good amount of organization.

    Remember, if you'd like a pocket here, or a strap there, you can always have them stitched on. I have a camelbak that I'm putting some molle bits on it so I can strap on my tent, sleeping pad and sleeping bag for hiking.

  8. #28
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    I have spent most of my life as a backpacker. I have carried everything from a Boy Scout Haversack, WWII ski troops rucksack, ALICE kidneykiller, Kelty Tioga, Lowe Expedition and finally today I carry a Lowe Contour 4. Two years ago I spent 32 days on California's John Muir Trail walking down the spine of the Sierra Nevada. Lessons learned.

    1. Get one big enough. The extra space doesn't weigh much but too small forces you to leave important things behind or tie them on.

    2. Avoid tieing things on or external pouches, they fall off, snag on brush, flop around making the pack awkward to carry and negatively affecting balance.

    3. All packs should have a good waistbelt that will take the load off your shoulders allowing you to breathe.

    4. Good quality is crucial. The worst thing that can happen to a pack is the bottom to rip out or a strap to tear out when you need it most. You end up carrying your kit in your arms. Don't ask me how I know this.

    5. Today's packs tend to be overbuilt and heavy. My Lowe Countour is 6 lbs, ie the heaviest single item in my kit. Look for a simple bag without load bearing zippers. I like one big pocket for camping stuff, a smaller one in the bottom for clothes. Most folks put a sleeping bag in the bottom but a sleeping bag is the last thing one uses in a day so I put sweaters, tshirt, Goretex jacket and pants etc that I will need in a hurry in the bottom pocket. A top pocket for small stuff is also best.

    I am like a woman hunting for shoes. I have yet to find something adequate for all uses. Right now I carry a Lowe Contour IV 70 liters and am considering a simple Arcteyrx Tango or Echo. For day use I hump a Black Diamond Sphynx L45.

  9. #29
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    Osprey packs are always really nice. I just ordered a TAD F.A.S.T. Pack P.S. v2, should be getting it this week. I'm not going to be carrying around the same essentials you do, my bags are basically used to keep basic camping/survival stuff and climbing gear with me at all times. I use to take random trips to climb before I moved for a job, now I don't really need it so the kit is going to be revised some. I've had numerous Osprey packs though, all good to go.
    "My craving is, and always has been, to be involved in actions conducted to ensure America remains strong, safe, and free of those who have its destruction as their goal."
    - Billy Waugh

    "When you enter a room full of armed men, shoot the first person who moves, hostile or otherwise. He has started to think and is therefore dangerous."
    - Robert "Paddy" Mayne

  10. #30
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    Vendetta where do you climb? Most of my routes are here in the east but I've been a couple of places out west.

    More on Packs... Stay away from the new US Army MOLLE rucksack. It's the most awkwardly shaped and riding thing I have ever seen. THe Marines seem to have a more competant supply organization with their Tango, Echo and Charlie packs.

    For good info on just about anything backpacking check out Backpacker Magazine's Gear Guide. But stay away from the "ultralite" stuff if doing military or SAR work. It won't hold up when bushwacking. Again don't ask how I know.

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