Discussion in 'General Survival and Preparedness' started by Clyde, Nov 5, 2005.

  1. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    I am going to be purchasing a couple backpacks in the near future for me and my wife. I was curious what brands you would consider. Military style or civilian style?
  2. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Personaly I would avoid the military or uber tactical ones if they are being consideder for use as a BOB, basicly due to camo. A person with a hickers back pack would stand out far less than a guy in ubertactical gear. Just my $0,02 worth.
  3. Clyde

    Clyde Jet Set Tourer Administrator Founding Member

    I was thinking the same, but if I was carrying an m1a or ar15 along with me, it would seem that i wouldn't look the part of a granola, tree hugging hiker who was minding his own business on a bugout hike through suburban detroit.
  4. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Alright. I can answer now Clyde.

    I was going to talk about my Kifaru Navigator but as much as I liked it, hadn't really put many miles on it to give an opinion. So, just for you, I took it out for a 4 hour walk in the mountains today.
    I blew out a boot so send me a Pair of Vasque GTX to the usual addy.

    I had it filled with about 40 lbs and it still had room for mare crap. It rode well and was very comfortable so far. I think I need to fine tune a few of the adjustments as I think I was over-adjusting a few straps at times. You just never know until you get out and try it.

    Beats the Medium and Large ALICE packs by a long shot. My medium used to beat me in the kidneys on Humps. I tend to buy my long term gear for , well, long term use. I tend to gravitate to the higher end in things like packs. Kifaru is not cheap yet you can still spend more. I'd say the navigator is around the same as some Good Mountaineering packs in price.

    I have mine set up as a backpacking camping rig right now, with a little survival thrown in. I think you could create a much smaller "Survival kit" but I'm thinking longer term and the need to carry some extra stuff. And I can put my sleeping bag, tent and a few changes of clothes in it for a weekend camping trip.

    I like everything Kifaru I have used and turned my Folks on to the Scout for a recent Africa trip. I think it would make a great pack for a kid as well. Small enough to manage.
    They are built like tanks and I don't think I will ever have a materials or workmanship problem with any of them. go to the Military side and look at packs
    there are other great rigs out there. I just like this one
  5. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

    Get dark color and during the SHTF add camo net to it [dunno]
  6. phishi

    phishi Psy-Ops Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Melbo is on the mark with Kifaru. Get one in OD or Coyote and it will do double duty. It won't scream military, and yet could be pressed into service. I would stay away from a panel loader like his unless you have multiple smaller pieces of gear that you need access to quickly (think medic). These are not as strong as a pack without a side zipper. That being said, melbo would really have to try to over pack his bag before he had a blow out. It something to consider for the long term.

    My personal pack right now is an Osprey Highlander. It is no longer made, but some of its features could be found in packs made by Dana Designs, Gregory, Lowe Alpine, Arc'teryx, Mountainsmith, even Kelty or REI. It is about 4,000 cubic inches, a top loader with a separate sleeping bag compartment, internal frame, with a top pouch that doubles as a fanny pack for day hikes. Its forest green, which at the time was about as close a color as you were going to get to match your surroundings. Now you can find thinks in a more olive or gold/brown shade.

    If I was looking for a pack, I would spend a few hours at a bookstore reading up on what options are available. Books with titles similar to "The morons guide to all the gear you just gotta have to spend a weekend in the woods" are what you are looking for. (Not that anyone is a moron, just trying to get the point across that you want the moron. [camo] ) Learn what you can and then go to a local camping store (REI comes to mind) and put your hands on some packs. Try them on, get fitted, load it up with gear and walk around the store for a bit making sure that you step up on a bench or two if possible. Take notes. Write down what size you need for different packs (helps when ordering later). Try to remember what feels good on you as well as what doesn't. Go to another store to find other brands not available at first. Then go home and find the best deal on line.

    Things I would want: Hydration bladder compatible is a good thing. Spots on the outside to anchor gear that just doesn't fit well inside (cast iron frying pans for instance). Internal frame. Hip belt that actually sits on my hips to take the weight off my shoulders. Rain cover.

    Hope this helps.
  7. monkeyman

    monkeyman Monkey+++ Moderator Emeritus Founding Member

    Oh, by the way, my personal pack (other than the book bag thats in my truck for an emergency kit) is an olg give away from Marlboro gear that has the internal frame, top and side pouches, anchor points and a detachable day pack with 2 more compartments thats like a book bag type backpack. Granted if I wanted to blend out in the woods the bright red pack would need a poncho or some kind of cover tossed over it but it works well for my needs.
  8. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    and, my personal choice is just opinion. I did carry a $40 medium ALICE pack for a few years and it did work. If that's all yoneed , go for it.

    I know Clyde's tastes :)

    WHat else?
  9. Quigley_Sharps

    Quigley_Sharps The Badministrator Administrator Founding Member

  10. Brokor

    Brokor Live Free or Cry Moderator Site Supporter+++ Founding Member

    I have used a medium ALICE pack with frame for years now since my service in the Army. The only thing I have found wrong with it was the strapping not being padded enough, and the fact that it wasn't modular.

    I have now solved my problem. It came in the post today, in fact...

    The Webtex 3/4 PLCE DPM Ruck

    This baby is stitched to withstand HELL, let me tell you. The zippers are mil-spec heavy plastic, and the whole ruck is stitched with quad stitching along the numerous attachment points. It has plenty of room, comes with an internal waterproof cover which overlaps the main cargo area, just like the US Mil Spec ALICE. This pack is a 90 litre scaled down version of the full size PLCE system with the same specification including the day sack. It is 90 litre (complete) rucksack, incorporating a versatile day pack system. Connecting the two detachable pouches to the yoke (included) gives you a useful 20 litre day pack. Two zipped lid pockets, small front pouch, side compression straps, padded shoulder and waist belt, removable internal aluminum frame. Made from 1000 denier waterproof Cordura.

    Last edited: Aug 24, 2014
  11. Andy the Aussie

    Andy the Aussie Monkey+++ Founding Member

    I have a full size PLCE pack and it is bloody great (mine is OD as opposed to the Brit DPM). Have the small yoke to convert the side pockets to a day pack as well.

    Andy [beer]
    Brokor likes this.
  12. CATO

    CATO Monkey+++

    update - lots of backpack posts since this, but this is the first on that hinted of being the "gray man" and staying away from military/camo bags.

    The ultimate "gray man" tactical bag?? You'd have to have a group to carry the other junk (i.e., shelter, food, clothing, etc.).

    Khard 45 - New / Men's / Arc'teryx LEAF

    London Bridge Trading has made some nifty inserts to go in this bag. See pdf.

    Attached Files:

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