15.4.12

US Army Large ALICE pack

I'm a fan of the external frame pack and recently decided to swap my Swedish LK35 for a ALICE pack, the pack in question was the large model and after buying a new set of shoulder straps (my old ones were missing??) I packed it and took off for a weekend in the woods.


Some basic info on the ALICE pack and US webbing in general can be found here - http://www.georgia-outfitters.com/_alice/alicemanual.htm

And a good article on packing your ALICE pack can be found here - http://www.ehow.com/how_6723696_load-alice-pack.html

Now i'm not sure of the capacity of the pack - some say its 70 litres others 50 litres - personally I'd be inclined to below 45 - 50 litres which is fine as thats easily enough for a weekends gear. These packs are designed for troops working in extreme winter conditions and as such are robustly made with some excellent features. The two lower left and right bottom external pockets are ideal for taking a 58 pattern waterbottle - while the middle and slightly larger pocket will take a set of German mess tins or my preference a set of british mess tins (with room for a few items stuffed around them) the three smaller top pockets appear to be designed for the addition of extra magazines of ammunition but are ideal for your possibles - mine contain, first aid kit, note book, sharpening stone, para cord, matches, fire steel, hi viz marker flag, mini parafin lantern, torch, whistle, light sticks, tinder etc - or if I'm carrying my jack flask with something hot inside it then that goes int he middle pouch for easy access during a lunch stop for example.

The lid has a small pocket ideal for mapps and such but I usually store my wash kit and housewife (sewing kit) in there as its a low bulk kit.

The main sack has a large inner pockets mounted high at the back and this is wear I store my rations and a 2 qrt canteen keeping the weight high on my back and shoulders - in the main sack I then packed my therma rest, polish army tent, down jacket and sleeping and bivi bag.


While appearing bulky the pack is surprisingly comfortable and stable on the back. The external frame has a comfortable hip belt and keeps the pack off the back 100% - in fact after a days carriage hiking through the forest the only two wet points where a small area across the shoulders and on the hips which is excellent as I hate a wet back after hiking and the horrible sensation of chilling as the cold wind dries the sweat dampened clothing ...................

I'm not a fan of the smaller medium sized ALICE pack but I am really pleased with the large one its a comfortable carry and fits my back perfectly so for bushcraft purposes I think this is a excellent pack which will be hard to beat and one I'm sure to use again and again in the future.

8 comments:

Mike said...

NICE! Big fan of external frames myself having owned an alice pack, British version in the past and now a dragon supplies version.

Baney-san said...

: ). I found this funny because I just did the same ... a la the other way around! :P haha. I've put thousands of miles under an Alice and she's never let me down. Never will. However, as someone who enjoys extreme winter conditions, I've decided the lk35 is an all around better winter rig (for me) than Miss Alice (or even the lk70!)... If anyone is interested in the 'whys' - let me know and I'll explain myself. BUT as a general bushcrafting/survival pack Miss Alice is Queen and hard to beat. The frame, usually labeled the "weak" part of the system, can be field repaired easily with lashings if a rivet pops (something harder to do with welded frames) or pop another rivet (or nut/bolt) in if at home. Also, the large can be used without the frame in worst case scenario by putting a stick/broom handle in the sleeve and attaching straps. Don't pick her up by that sleeve if she's under heavy load though, she won't dig that. haha. 2 pockets sleeved for axes etc. too.

p.s. the leftover straps are usually tucked under the stabilizer loops -that the same straps pass through- on the lid to keep them from dangling around. : )

Baney-san said...

: ). I found this funny because I just did the same ... a la the other way around! :P haha. I've put thousands of miles under an Alice and she's never let me down. Never will. However, as someone who enjoys extreme winter conditions, I've decided the lk35 is an all around better winter rig (for me) than Miss Alice (or even the lk70!)... If anyone is interested in the 'whys' - let me know and I'll explain myself. BUT as a general bushcrafting/survival pack Miss Alice is Queen and hard to beat. The frame, usually labeled the "weak" part of the system, can be field repaired easily with lashings if a rivet pops (something harder to do with welded frames) or pop another rivet (or nut/bolt) in if at home. Also, the large can be used without the frame in worst case scenario by putting a stick/broom handle in the sleeve and attaching straps. Don't pick her up by that sleeve if she's under heavy load though, she won't dig that. haha. 2 pockets sleeved for axes etc. too.

p.s. the leftover straps are usually tucked under the stabilizer loops -that the same straps pass through- on the lid to keep them from dangling around. : )

Survivall said...

POST SCRIPT - I've just put the NORWEGAIN EXTERNAL FRAME on to the US ARMY LARGE ALICE Sack and I like the combination - the noggin frame sits well ont he back and the US sack it more versatile than the Noggin one ........ happy

Lonewolf said...

I've Alice too - squeaks like hell !!!!!
My dad got me it one xmas(90's) still looks new J

Lonewolf said...

I've had an ALICE for years - squeaks like hell loadaed - dad got me one - 90's xmas - still looks new !!!! J

Anonymous said...

I was in the US army. It squeaks because the frame and nylon (obviously) rub under weight. To make the squeaks go away, spray the areas of webbing that contact the tubular frame with a SMALL amount of WD-40 oil. Test and walk around with a full pack to test and spray other areas of the pack for squeaks. Though I didn't totally prefer the large ALICE when I was on active duty, I appreciate it's versatility and simplicity now that I no longer own one! -Carolina John

Survivall said...

Great info John thanks - these days I tend to use a medium ALICE with a frame I made myself - the combo seems to suit me