Radio Preppers

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 01:39:52 PM

Title: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 01:39:52 PM
A recent Facebook discussion I had brought up an interesting question; what do you use for a backpack? Now I'm not talking about a little day pack, I'm referring to a fullsize, multi day if not multi week backpack. Several guys stated they love their ALICE packs, owning two of them - both medium and large - and having used them, I said an ALICE pack beat carrying your gear by hand in a suitcase but not by much 8) . They're definitely tough as nails being government issue but in my opinion they're the most unergonomic, uncomfortable, back and shoulder killing contraptions I've ever had the displeasure of packing.


I use an old school external frame pack that is very comfortable for packing many miles over rough terrain. Internal frame soft packs are all the rage these days but the two I tried on short trips were not to my liking, they were too hot having full contact against my back which also necessitated very careful loading to avoid hard pointy things in your back. The soft packs were also difficult to get the center of gravity high enough for my tastes.


So what do you guys use and why?
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KC9TNH on September 06, 2013, 02:27:52 PM
My name is ALICE, but I don't own a restaurant.  I have an old knapsack good for RON trip done in the German style (appropriate forest green).  Not very big, a softpack but good external 'pocketage' and tie-down places for other snivel gear if needed.  My other is a medium ALICE, but not with traditional straps which were designed by someone who didn't have to hump it.  The MOLLE trend brought a more comfortable strap & belt system, with a rather lousy pack (in my opinion).

My pack is a hybrid of the 2 called typically in circles a 'Hellcat'.  A little bit of relocation on the existing frames with some strapping and the MOLLE strap & belt system goes on the pack & frame.  It is very comfortable and tough to defeat; it's what I've been gradually increasing the load on to recover from the sedentary aspects of former life. You can search for the Hellcat ruck and there's a sequence of pictures someone did up to show up close & personal how to get it done.

I'm a typical guy in the sense that I 'could' stuff pockets & space till the cows come home, or I couldn't ruck it. So the medium works for me.  Full-up it can also accept a small tent on top & sleeping bag on the bottom.  Lots of places for attachments of other needs.

When I picked up the frame, a good friend gave sound advice to hold onto the radio-shelf that can be had for them that can clip to the bottom slots on the frame.  That can be awfully handy should one need to dump the load for the sake of retrieving a much-desired can of gas or water.

I look old enough to carry off the ALICE; I just can't bring myself to blend in with over-priced logos & purple.  (Ergo, the grand-daughter's Rustoleum treatment of the little tent-shelter, a la KK0G, thanks amigo.)
 8)
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 03:24:10 PM
I checked out the Hellcat ruck system, thanks for the tip Wes. It still doesn't solve the number one problem I have with ALICE packs; the frame is way too short which puts the center of gravity too far down and aft, this gives the weight of the pack a lot of leverage against my shoulders. I like my external frame pack because it's very tall in comparison to an ALICE frame and it has a thin cross section when viewed from the side, this places the center of gravity much higher and closer to my back. I would guess (because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) ) that the CG is somewhere close to just behind my neck. The CG on my ALICE seems more like it's about 3 feet behind my ass LOL. A high CG puts most of the weight on my hips where it should be.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KC9TNH on September 06, 2013, 03:56:44 PM
...(because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) )....
...my ass...
This last object must be your datum, right?   ;D

I'm really tall & long-waisted so I guess my reference point isn't where yours is.
I'm sure there are really good com'l packs out there. This works for me, so far, but then I'm not packing it like some folks would. In this particular case, the price was as good as it can be so, yes, that's a factor. I keep it riding pretty high.

 I'll have to ask my chiro where she would consider my 'datum' to be... hmm.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 04:07:55 PM
...(because I'm not doing a weight and balance calculation on my pack 8) )....
...my ass...
This last object must be your datum, right?   ;D

I'm really tall & long-waisted so I guess my reference point isn't where yours is.
I'm sure there are really good com'l packs out there. This works for me, so far, but then I'm not packing it like some folks would. In this particular case, the price was as good as it can be so, yes, that's a factor. I keep it riding pretty high.

 I'll have to ask my chiro where she would consider my 'datum' to be... hmm.


The datum is usually about firewall area so that would put it right about at my................ I ain't goin' there 8) .


Humping a heavy pack is a highly personal thing depending on your body type, build and what you feel is comfortable or not. In my case I thought an ALICE pack was just the neatest thing since sliced bread, that is until I filled one up, slung it on my back and started walking.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: cockpitbob on September 06, 2013, 04:34:43 PM
I'll be watching this thread as I need a new pack.  I've always been an external frame guy and I agree with Chris' thoughts on these newfangled internal frame packs.  They also seem heavier for the same load carrying capability.

Still, the vast majority of backpackers can't be wrong about internal frame packs.....or can they?
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 04:46:28 PM

I'll be watching this thread as I need a new pack.  I've always been an external frame guy and I agree with Chris' thoughts on these newfangled internal frame packs.  They also seem heavier for the same load carrying capability.

Still, the vast majority of backpackers can't be wrong about internal frame packs.....or can they?


I think on average that the newer soft packs are actually lighter than a comparably sized old school external frame pack. In my opinion though a few ounces lighter is far less important than how the overall weight is distributed and it's comfort in general. For me it's all about center of gravity, I'd much rather carry 60 pounds with a high CG close to my back with the majority of the weight on my hips than 30 pounds with a CG low and aft and more weight on my shoulders.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 06, 2013, 04:48:46 PM
I have a medium ALICE with frame. I also have two German rucks also military surplus they are made very well but simple in design only two pockets inside. I guess I like the ALICE better than anything. I have ALICE load bearing web also. I have heard some of our active combat troops have ditched their new gear and aquired ALICE either on their own or by request. If they are permitted they get the ALICE.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 06, 2013, 04:59:02 PM
One other thing real quick. The troops say the plastic frame on the molle gear breaks all the time. I have not experience with molle though.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: underhill on September 06, 2013, 06:36:39 PM
I picked up a couple of Gregory Whitney backpacks for my wife and I a few years back. 

Packs have proved very durable since I've had them, no seam or framesheet problems, packbag has been tough, and they fit like gloves.  Huge capacity at 6200cu in, and seem as comfortable as my ancient tyoga frame pack for carrying.  For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.  Lots of pockets for pretty good access.

Being internal frame, they fit close, and 'follow you' when moving across rocks, off trail, etc.  A muffled green in color, and designed for the civilian market, they don't stand out in a crowd, nor in the woods.  I prefer a 'greyman' approach.

Just my 2 cents worth

Allan
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 06, 2013, 08:07:02 PM
Grey is good, Underhill.  :)
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Quietguy on September 06, 2013, 08:11:10 PM
For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.
A long time ago I heard/read that the two pack styles serve different needs - as Allan said, the internal frame pack is best for off-trail use where you are navigating rough terrain.  It sways less and is less prone to being snagged by brush and limbs because it is closer to your body and has a smoother exterior.  External frame packs do best on maintained trails where the gap between back and pack provides ventilation and the extra sway isn't a problem.  I have both types and my experience seemed to confirm that theory - at least for my use.

Wally
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on September 06, 2013, 10:28:58 PM
I remember researching the subjects a while ago and end-up putting the Gregory Baltoro 75 Technical Pack on my Amazon wish list.

Gil.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 06, 2013, 11:07:01 PM
For off terrain, the internal frame design blows away external frame packs.
A long time ago I heard/read that the two pack styles serve different needs - as Allan said, the internal frame pack is best for off-trail use where you are navigating rough terrain.  It sways less and is less prone to being snagged by brush and limbs because it is closer to your body and has a smoother exterior.  External frame packs do best on maintained trails where the gap between back and pack provides ventilation and the extra sway isn't a problem.  I have both types and my experience seemed to confirm that theory - at least for my use.

Wally



I've read almost the the same thing from multiple sources and for those reasons I want to like the internal frame packs, I really do, but so far one as comfortable as my external frame pack has eluded me.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 06, 2013, 11:09:12 PM
Here's the pack I use for my Yeasu FT-8900.

(http://i640.photobucket.com/albums/uu126/RESlusher/Gear/Backpack%20Radio/BackPackRig_zps86d26269.jpg)

The three smaller pouches on the front were all added to the pack separately.  Everything was purchased off eBay.

I'm gonna shoot a YouTube video tomorrow!
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Geek on September 07, 2013, 05:04:17 PM
Where did you get the velcro piece with your call sign?
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Quietus on September 07, 2013, 05:44:16 PM
One positive attribute of the un-modified Alice rucks, is that they have made a lot more good men than they have destroyed.  A person might say that they are "mind developers."
 
The Hellcat is a pretty good mod of the Alice, and can be done for less than $50.  It makes the green tick better, but may not solve CG issues.
 
I have a non-current generation MOLLE II ruck.  It's got a frame that's made of better materials than older ones which apparently were prone to breakage.  It rides better (for me) than the Hellcat, but its one external pocket is not such a great feature, more would be better (Alice, anyone?)  Adding the huge sustainment pouches makes the rig real wide, another bad feature.  The newer MOLLE II rucks have done away with the separate sleeping system carrier, now there is a half-moon zipper at the bottom of the larger bag.  They have also done away with the one external pocket that the old one had-  a bad thing.
 
Currently I'm running a more old-school Bergen-type:  an Eagle Becker Patrol pack.  It has six external pockets, and good organization for storage inside the main bag.  But it does not have any frame, which is uncommon for a pack of this size.  The challenge with this pack, is to keep the load light.  I wouldn't want to go over forty pounds with it
 
ETA:  I've been looking harder at what is currently being sold for MOLLE II rucks from www.entrygear.com, scroll for Specialty Defense Systems products.
 
That larger ruck bag has much for PALS attachments.  So a person could customize the MOLLE pouches he puts on the bag.  Might be able to get it better for outside pockets, than the so-much-hated large Alice.  $175 plus what you already own for pouches, etc., that would make this pack better for you.  That price is for Woodland.  Double it for Multi-cam. 
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 07, 2013, 06:29:41 PM
Breaking silence. I love this thread!
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 07, 2013, 10:08:29 PM
Where did you get the velcro piece with your call sign?

MilitaryNameTapes.com

Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Geek on September 08, 2013, 10:35:46 AM
Where did you get the velcro piece with your call sign?

MilitaryNameTapes.com

Cool.  Thanks.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: RichardSinFWTX on September 08, 2013, 11:26:47 AM
Where did you get the velcro piece with your call sign?

MilitaryNameTapes.com

Cool.  Thanks.

No problem!  I bought two or three of 'em along with some name tapes.  Shipping was pretty quick too.

I found a local place that makes 2" x 3" callsign patches, the size that would Velcro onto tactical caps.  They ship anywhere in the world too.  Once I get my order I'll let ya know if they're any good.

Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: madball13 on September 09, 2013, 04:29:01 PM
I have a woodland MOLLE II pack and of course the black frame is cracked. I guess the manufacturer has since updated the design when the army switched to ACU and beefed it up. Lots of room but sure gets heavy when you add a sleeping bag, food and water.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KK0G on September 09, 2013, 04:34:36 PM
.................sure gets heavy when you add a sleeping bag, food and water.


Odd, mine do the same thing for some reason 8)
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: madball13 on September 09, 2013, 04:37:33 PM
.................sure gets heavy when you add a sleeping bag, food and water.


Odd, mine do the same thing for some reason 8)

And here i thought mine was defective.

Frame manufacturer changed design slightly and now makes a Alice friendly frame.

http://downeastinc.com/cgi-bin/online/storepro.php
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Archangel320420 on September 09, 2013, 04:44:09 PM
That there dang atomic weight of things and that gravity! Sure makes packs heavy. Just kidding with ya, Madball.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: KC9TNH on September 09, 2013, 05:48:57 PM
That there dang atomic weight of things and that gravity! Sure makes packs heavy. Just kidding with ya, Madball.
LOL.  ;D Well, Uncle Sugar keeps thinking up more "lightweight" stuff for people to take along; trickle down technology. As many have said before me, "travel light, freeze at night." Just depends upon one's priorities.

This is an interesting thread and might help illuminate the pros/cons for many of external/internal frame, go light (or not).

Gil, how much chow was it you had to eat to get that last ruck comfy? At the beginning of that sojourn, didn't that puppy start out at 80# or so?
 :)
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on September 09, 2013, 06:09:49 PM
Quote
Gil, how much chow was it you had to eat to get that last ruck comfy? At the beginning of that sojourn, didn't that puppy start out at 80# or so?

Yes, about that, 82 I think.. First mistake was to carry water instead of bringing a filter, 3.5gal. Then bringing heavy foods, like a few potatoes. The hike back without the food and water was just fine! So, next time, I'll bring my water filter. I just need to order a new one because I want to keep a brand new one for emergencies. Then, dehydrated foods, nuts, etc. light stuff. My radio station, I can't get any lighter! Also I now know that I don't need to bring my solar panel for only a week, as my MTR will run all that time on eight AA cells! For my KX3, I plan on getting one 4Ah 4S Lipo pack, and use diodes to reduce voltage to 15V. I am waiting right now for three 3S 1Ah Lipo batteries for the MTR. With my two sets of eight AA cells, I could last a month rag-chewing every day.
Every extra pound saved makes a BIG difference!

Gil.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: raybiker73 on September 10, 2013, 09:41:35 PM
After years with the Condor Urban Go-Pack, I just recently switched back to an external-frame pack for my Get Home Bag. I don't carry a lot of stuff, but even with a small load, it seems to me that external-frame packs are just more balanced and comfortable. I now use a High Sierra Bobcat 65, and I really like it. Even though it lives in the back of the Jeep, I put it on and go for a little hike now and again. Not much point having it in there if I'm not sure I'm able to handle it.  :)
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: madball13 on September 12, 2013, 07:57:48 AM
I won a USMC ILBE Gen 2 pack off of ebay for about $50. I'll load it up with everything in my MOLLE II and see how the fit is. one advantage i see already is the added compression straps all over the pack, the molle II only has a few.

Edit: Added the radio pouch that fits inside the pack. Total cost was $62.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: medic photog on September 14, 2013, 08:53:45 PM
I have a bunch of packs, used to do a lot of hiking and peak bagging.  My favorite pack ever is a Lowe Alpine Alpine Attack 60, no longer made but super light and durable.  It was made for dragging up mountains and mine was many times.  It still looks almost brand new.  I have a pack and harness system from the USAR team that I can't find anywhere but it's good for a 72 hour personal load.  USAR teams are self sufficient for 72 hours and have no impact on any disaster scene area we go to.   We bring our own food fuel, water, shelter, you get the idea, a bunch of specialists that won't impact any resources.  I've loved ALICE packs forever and had a medium now that I just unloaded into a Condor three day assault pack.  I love it.  I also have a loaded out VooDoo Tactical STOMP medical pack that is as close to an ER room as I can get it without an EKG monitor defibrillator or oxygen unit.  i do have oxygen, but it's a stand alone unit with graphite composite bottles.  As my three day assault pack stands, it has everything from the ALICE pack in it and there's room to spare while it feels at least five pounds lighter. 
Title: Backpacks
Post by: Jon_Garfio on June 08, 2017, 04:56:11 AM
All my ham radio gear is into this 5.11 moab 6 backpack, leads, rig, antennas, batteries, solar pannel, chargers etc.

(https://uploads.tapatalk-cdn.com/20170612/c9905e02e98f4a8510cbf930dc60a6f7.jpg)


For backpacking, alpinism, hiking or prepping I have anothers bags between 35 to 65 litres.

The next step is a little peli case to keep the 817 safe.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on June 08, 2017, 10:02:41 AM
Hello,

I got a Hazard4 Plan B to use as my get-home bag. For my PRC-320 I use a Clansman Bergen made for it.

Gil.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Jon_Garfio on June 08, 2017, 11:46:57 AM
Hello,

I got a Hazard4 Plan B to use as my get-home bag. For my PRC-320 I use a Clansman Bergen made for it.

Gil.

No pics, no bags...


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Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on June 11, 2017, 05:23:28 PM
Hi, I will take some soon :-)

Gil

Sent from my SM-G928F using Tapatalk

Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Sparks on June 11, 2017, 06:45:01 PM
All my ham radio gear is into this 5.11 moab 6 backpack, leads, rig, antennas, batteries, solar pannel, chargers etc.

(My emphasis.) There is a large empty space after this sentence and before the two concluding ones, but I see absolutely no link(s) nor pictures or any other kind of illustration in between.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Quietguy on June 12, 2017, 01:11:01 AM
(My emphasis.) There is a large empty space after this sentence and before the two concluding ones, but I see absolutely no link(s) nor pictures or any other kind of illustration in between.

I suspect Jon's photos are waiting for Admin approval before we can see them.

Wally
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Jon_Garfio on June 12, 2017, 01:31:12 AM
There is a pic in my post.
Nobody see it?


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Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on June 12, 2017, 04:05:13 AM
Quote
There is a pic in my post. Nobody see it?

They do now :)

So here are the two bags: The camo bag on the left is the Clansman Bergen for the PRC-320. The one on the right is my get-home-bag, a Hazard4 Plan B. I ought to do a video on it some time. Contents described below...

(http://radiopreppers.com/images/bags.jpg)

Get-home-bag:

Weapons are not allowed in France so the Khukri only makes it to the bag while camping or trekking, even though that is still prohibited.
I plan on adding:


The bag is pretty full as is...
Also planned outside of the bag is a British NBC suit. I have a basha (large camo tarp) ready to be strapped to the bag as well. My MTR tea can is more of a Bug-out bag item. This bag is only to get me back home. I need to be careful where I take this bag because in France, due to recent events, you are generally searched entering many venues, stores, etc. A sad state of affairs... I have nothing prohibited in the bag (not sure about the gas mask) but it might raise eyebrows here, and even prompt temporary detention. In the U.S. it would be no problem at all.

Gil.
Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: Jon_Garfio on June 12, 2017, 04:10:32 AM
Weapons are no allowed in France?

Explain it, I though France has more permisive restrictions than crazy Spain's law.



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Title: Re: Backpacks
Post by: gil on June 12, 2017, 04:21:22 AM
Quote
Weapons are no allowed in France? Explain it, I though France has more permisive restrictions than crazy Spain's law.

In France you can't carry weapons. You can buy any knife you want, but not carry one if it is too big or the blade locks, which is crazy because it is a safety feature. To buy a repeating (manual) rifle or shotgun you need a valid hunting license or be an active member of a shooting club (they keep attendance). To buy a handgun or a semi-auto rifle you also need to be in a gun club, shoot regularly and submit a permit for a license after six months of regular attendance. Then you wait another three months to get a reply. You can buy up to twelve guns. Each permit for each gun must be renewed every five years. You must show proof of ownership of a safe to get a permit. You can only transport your gun from your house to the shooting range where you have your membership, ammunition in a separate locked case and gun disabled in a locked case. It is pretty ridiculous and has of course nothing to do with public safety...

Gil.
Title: Backpacks
Post by: Jon_Garfio on June 12, 2017, 05:06:46 AM
More or less same as Spain.

What a pitty the most EU countries except Chekia or Poland have a insanity laws about weapons.




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