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I've been looking at backpacks and have found some nice ones in the $100 - $300 range but as I'm just breaking the ice on this new found love I don't feel comfortable plopping over that much cash until I know what I want.

Yesterday I was in a great local army surplus shop and saw some awesome backpacks that were once army-issued for like $25.

I imagine that they probably aren't as light as some of the newfangled packs but does anyone have experience with them? They seem to have plenty of space. Might be a bit heavy but as my initial hikes (for the next few months) will be limited to 10-15 miles I can probably get by.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
jw
 

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Yesterday I was in a great local army surplus shop and saw some awesome backpacks that were once army-issued for like $25.

I imagine that they probably aren't as light as some of the newfangled packs but does anyone have experience with them? They seem to have plenty of space. Might be a bit heavy but as my initial hikes (for the next few months) will be limited to 10-15 miles I can probably get by.

Any thoughts?

Thanks
jw[/QUOTE]

Well Macmonkey, I can tell you have no Military experiance. No Mil-Spec thats any good, is light. Just be careful when buying the used Mil packs for their can be ALOT of wear and TEAR, especially along the attachment points for the straps, top and bottom. On A.L.I.C.E. packs they oftain are torn by over being wieghted and poor packing methods and outright abuse.

I'm suspcious of any pack that has been repaired by supply and would only accept ones with out repairs in those areas. If there repairs eslewhere their usally small and aren't a concern.

Their are two sizes medium that can use a frame or without or the large which is frame use only. Their is also shelves were the pack can be taken off an the frame used as "Mule" or cargo frame.

If you want to invest some more money over time to make it better one can send it to Tactical Taylor (on the web ) and get it updated to M.O.L.L.I.E. like specs.

I don't know where you live and the enviromental conditions you encounter over a years time but here in Ohio one has average summers and cold winters, thus both packs are used, the large for winter when the gear gets bulky for winter camping.

As far as it making a 10 to 15 mile hike it'll make it, if you can make it.:D:D



Godspeed,

Rifleman 336
 

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Beware of the Cheaper Than Dirt assault packs. Some of them are knock offs of original designs, but without the quality. If you are going to spend $25 on a pack, the go with a medium ALICE with a frame. It may not be as comfortable as other packs, but it will survive the harshest beatings you can give it.
 

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Thanks for the heads up Ramius.I never bought one of there backpacks just thought they looked good .I got one of there load bearing vest for 25$ and its great I got the medium ALICE,but it don,t have a frame so its uncomfortable,its strong though
 

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Before I buy any pack, I load it with the approximate weight I'll be carrying and walk around the store a bit. You will never know if it's comfortable with weight until you load it up. And there is nothing more miserable than a pack that does not fit right. Most good sporting good stores expect this and have sandbags or something similar available.
I'm not sure how adjustable the military packs are. I'm sure someone here does.
One of the most expensive packs I ever tried was also the most uncomfortable. So don't let them fool you into thinking big dollars guarantees comfort.
I've got an old Kelty that I just can't kill. Had it for about 9-10 years.
One nice thing about external frame. If you hunt, you can take the pack off the frame and use it to carry meat.
 

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Oh, Yea! Thats Just Great!

One nice thing about external frame. If you hunt, you can take the pack off the frame and use it to carry meat.[/QUOTE]

This is where a little meat, gets you even more meat! After you shoot that deer, you can then bag feral dogs, wolves,coyotes,foxes and the occasional bear! Who'll be carrying the meat after that is up to debate and how good a shot you are!!!!:D:D:D:D Great idea!!! Just make sure you got your rabies shot up to date!!!:D:D:D


Rifleman 336
 

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Surplus packs

I have a MOLLE II pack as well as a ALICE pack both are good. I like the MOLLE alot better though. The government spent alot of our money developing these packs to be very best for our soldiers. I would check them thourghly before you buy. The MOLLE plastic buckes are the weak link to the system but they sell repair kits for about $5.00 at the surplus stores.
 

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i used 1 alice with frame for my main kit and have 1 witout frame for lighter loads
i also have a bit of a rare dog its listed as a cpf-90 for mounted troops
basicly a cpf type pack without frame and a little smaller its a big pack made for mounted troops makes a great throw in the truck bag thats stillwearble
 

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I've been looking at backpacks and have found some nice ones in the $100 - $300 range but as I'm just breaking the ice on this new found love I don't feel comfortable plopping over that much cash until I know what I want.

ahh lookie here, another monkey! hello monkey! hey there is no need to spend that much cash period. backpacks are like everything else, like clothes for example. you can get clothes at say a van heusen store and spend like 1/4 the price of those supposed "designer" stores. but u know what? they are all designer clothes. even the no-name brands are designed.

anyhow... enough of that.. i found myself a Coleman backpack. its a very functional backpack. its got one of those bendable support rods inside. actually two. it form fits to my back. due to straps and what not, it totally takes the weight off the back and transfers to hips. it is a full size or maybe 75% full size backpack. if you want to hook on your sleeping back you can but you need to use your own straps as this did not come with the straps but there is a place for them to hook on both on the top and bottom of the pack. its a very functional, decent pack and its' not feather weight but its not heavy either and whats more is it is brutal, it can take a lot of abuse. there are pockets for everything too. ohhhhhh yes and lest I forget, this has shoulder straps that are sooooo comfortable, they are curved not straight, and there are straps that strap them together so this pack is not coming off. plus there is a waist strap that is padded and acts a lot like a kidney belt.

the best part about this pack is.. i got it for $79 at a Big 5 Sporting Goods store. oh yeah, that was the best part. and the reason why so cheep? because its a Coleman, not some fancy big name alpine pack company. not because its any bit lessor than.
 

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I used an Alice pack for a lot of years. For the last 12 years, I have used a Kelty pack. If you are just starting? I would go with the army ruck until you find a need for something different. They are a sturdy & dependable tool for moving your load on your back.

Don
 
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