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armchair commando
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Discussion Starter #1
So, I ask myself this question. How big of a pack do I need/want?
The bigger the pack, the more stuff you cram in, gets more heavy and if a situation comes up and you have to hike out...you don't want to tire out.
My way of looking at what I need to put in the pack is, you never know what idem you may need, and if you leave it out due to weight, chances are you'll need it.
So my question to you guys/gals is this...what made you decide on what size pack to get and why?
 

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Communications Bunker
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963 Posts
I don't have an ALICE pack, but I did pick one that is similar in design. it has one main compartment, 2 smaller compartments and a third smaller compartment. Due to my health I have to keep pack weight down so I grabbed a light weight pack instead of a already heavy military surplus pack. My pack can easily support the weight I have in it and on it. I have a 30 pound limit for my pack and this small pack helps keep me around that limit. Right now I am at just over 31 pounds. The way I chose this pack was to assemble my entire 72 hour kit without a pack, organize everything into groups and pack them in their own containers with labels. I organized those containers based on how easy they need to be accessed, made some rough estimates of the size of the compartments needed to pack all of it and went pack shopping. I ended up with a no-name "Made in Mexico" pack that had reinforced seams, heavy nylon zippers and had a good quality feel to it from a flea market vendor. I had to modify the pack with additional webbing to hang gear from on the outside and to suspend my shelter pack from the bottom. Basically I chose my pack based on what I need in it and by the weight I am able to carry. I can carry a lot larger pack, but not for very long. Basically, the size of my pack prevents me from making it too heavy for me to carry. Overall, its a good pack.
 

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I originally chose my pack based on what I felt I'd need for 3 days. It's a tad small, but I can cram the stuff into it. It's at 29lbs right now.

I WILL be upgrading. :) Using it a few times showed me some deficiencies.

Each review of the pack is based on my imagined usage and my actual experience. To answer your question directly, I decided on its size based on my original mission objective, which as to stay alive for 3 days from the perspective of food and water, clothing, heat, medical possibilities and some sort of evasion. This covers on-foot buggin' away from a disaster area in the event of vehicle break down, surviving in-place due to accident in the hills, or a ravine, ditch, back road etc.... until helps arrives. (assuming I'm injured too badly to walk out - in that case, my gear will keep me for 8 days or more while non-mobile) It also allows me to help people I come across that have been in accidents, or have survived an attack, though with injuries.

Lastly, if I have to bail for any other reason, I can keep myself going long enough to reach help, or meet help at a predisclosed location.

I still want a bigger pack. :rolleyes:
 

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Diamond Dog
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1,504 Posts
Any of you guys have Large alice packs with/without frames? I'm looking for a new bag to use as my camping/bug out bag and wondering if thats good and comfortable enough for the long hall? and holds alot?
 

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You can get an idea of the size of the medium and large pack by looking at the alice pack listings on ebay. Allot of the auction show someone wearing one.
 

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Diamond Dog
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Couldnt find pictures on ebay adam..
 

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Diamond Dog
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1,504 Posts
All those are medium and way too small.
 

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I personaly have a large alice pack...and can stuff all of my gear in there with room to spare...i also have a large buttpack that will keep me good for at least a week...i think i could even carry all of my sons stuff in the alice pack(hes pretty small yet)....still trying to get my wife to put a pack together for herself....
 

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Diamond Dog
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1,504 Posts
I personaly have a large alice pack...and can stuff all of my gear in there with room to spare...i also have a large buttpack that will keep me good for at least a week...i think i could even carry all of my sons stuff in the alice pack(hes pretty small yet)....still trying to get my wife to put a pack together for herself....
Large alice sounds good for me than..I'll pick one up a few weeks before i go camping.
 

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armchair commando
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1,184 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
I am really looking at the large packs. But at the same time, know me....lol I'll pack sooooo much crap in there just because I can, thinking I'll "need" it. An it will be too damn heavy to lug....:eek:
I'm one of those guys that think...."we'll I MIGHT need it" so....?
Maybe I just need to pack one up, go camp a few days and see what I REALLY need....:D
 

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Bleeding heart tree lover
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153 Posts
My brother brought home a camelbak motherlode and I knew at first sight that the thing was way too massive for me. So I went with a camelbak motherlode just based on the stuff I had for my pak.
 

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I recently purchased the medium ALICE pack and it can hold a lot.

I packed 3 MRE's (1 outside pocket holds 2 entrees and 2 side dishes), gas stove, 50' paracord, 2 books, extra pants/socks/underwear/sweater, 4 ponchos, esbit tabs & pocket stove, sling shot with pellets, tracker knife, sharpening stones, oil for stones, pocket utensils, 5 piece mess kit, multi-tool for digging, camper's mirror, tarp/wool blanket (stapped to outside), 1 man tent (strapped to outside), sleeping bag (strapped to outside), small med kit, and 2 canteens.

I could probably fit more but it's already at 35lbs. I packed it out just to see how much it can handle if I wanted to do extended hikes and if it could handle it. So far not bad and it straps ok on my back. I would opt to get the frame as it helps out with the versatility.

Here are 2 video's I made detailing the ALICE and my Hydration Pack:


 

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I just received the Ali-pad from HSGI yesterday for my ALICE packs (medium and large). I haven't had a chance to do a real field test yet, but I loaded it with a few supplies and walked around with it. All I can say is WOW! The comfort is far greater than it was before! The padding is a little stiff right now, but from what I've read, that is normal. It takes some time to properly break the padding in for far greater comfort. There is room in the padding for two hydration bladders, or other soft gear, but I haven't tried putting any bladders in yet.

Next I need to pick up some more SAW pouches for extra storage capacity.
 

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I love this *****
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33,879 Posts
So, I ask myself this question. How big of a pack do I need/want?
The bigger the pack, the more stuff you cram in, gets more heavy and if a situation comes up and you have to hike out...you don't want to tire out.
My way of looking at what I need to put in the pack is, you never know what idem you may need, and if you leave it out due to weight, chances are you'll need it.
So my question to you guys/gals is this...what made you decide on what size pack to get and why?
Interesting that you should bring this up. I just got a new pack a couple days ago. I started stuffing it with everything I thought I might need should I have to Bug Out to the mountains. When I was done stuffing it, I walked around with it on my back for a while to see how it felt. It's a great bag but I got tired walking a short distance on flat ground. I'm going to have to do some real thinking about what I really need. I may have to buy some lighter versions of the stuff I already have. There's no way I could go very far as it is. I mean, fear and determination are great motivators and I could probably go farther than I think but I need to exercise some real wisdom here.
 
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This last year on my elk hunt I had my medium alice pack with all my hunting and cleaning gear, my rifle across the top, and enough food shelter and other gear that put me up in about 9,400 feet on the mountain for 4 days. The first night last october went down to 17. with a nice snow storm. Anyways I was warm and some times to hot, harvest my cow elk and am still feeding off of it. The wieghed about 40 lbs and I was confortable. I'm just 5'4 172lbs I afraid of what I would put in a large pack so I'm all for the medium.
 

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I have two medium Alice rigs - one on Alice frame for the car BO bag, and a larger rig on a longer civilian pack frame that is more comfy and carries more gear.
One thing I learned - ditch the bulky mess/cook kit. For a 3-day BO use, with MREs or simple cooking, use a GI canteen cup. Packs on the pistol belt with a canteen, saves room in the pack.
Don't forget the TP! :D
I keep the packs tailored to current weather - right now, I have light-weight summer undies and shirts - don't need the heavy clothing.
Ditto on the MREs in the outside pouches. I also have a few packs of instant oatmeal and grits for breakfast, and instant coffee with sugar packets for a hot cuppa! A good spork completes the meal stuff.
I carry an Esbit stove and plenty of Trioxane tablets for heating. Very light-weight.
My summer sleeping bag and light bivytent fit in a nylon compression-bag strapped underneath, with a shortened 4 foot foam sleeping pad rolled and strapped on top. Light-weight tarps are stuffed into the rolled pad.
On the bigger rig, a couple large hunting pouches are strapped on the sides above the pack to carry more food. Additional ammo pouches are on the front of the belt, with pistol holster and mag pouches and large knife.
Small PSK and FAK complete the rig.
I try to keep the weight down, as I do have a bad back, and am 'bigger than the average bear'. I won't be moving fast, but I can go pretty long. A walking staff really helps with the load.
 

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pack light, move quietly.
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556 Posts
One thing that I have experienced and you will too, or likely already have, is that when you say cram all your gear into your pack, you mean cram. Regardless of weight I have found it highly useful to have at least 25% more room in your pack than you need. Stuff grows as soon as you hit the trail.
 
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