To be able to travel, on foot, across country the outdoorsman needs a pack! For hiking and bushcraft I personaly like a sturdy pack with an external frame. I also want a pack that isnt to small nor to large.

My favourite design of pack is the ALICE model - but the frame sure does suck something awful pa!

My favourite design of external frame however is the Swedish LK35 - the to sack is a tadge to small for extended trips.

So whats the answer??

DA DA!! Mix the two - a ALICE/LK35 hybrid - the ALKICE pack- and I tell you what its a cracking combo!!

 I also added or changed a few minor bits as well to shape the pack to my needs - for example as you see below I added quick release catches on the sacks lid straps, however unlike some who make this "mod" I didnt cut and stitch the original straps. Instead I used a pair of utility straps to improvise this. The use of utility straps means I can go back to the old closure system is I want to - but also the utility straps can be used for other tasks for example as straps on the external frame should I wish to use this without the sack attached.

Speaking of the attachment of the sack to the frame - firstly let me point out its a tight fit getting the frame inside the ALICE's sleeve but a little wiggling and curses gets it there. This sleeve on the ALICE is a recognised weak spot especially if your tempted to lift the sack by it so to protect this I made a simple carry handle from some 7mm paracord.

I decided to keep the LK35 shoulder straps as these are stronger and less fussy than the ALICE ones

But to make these fit better and allow a little more scope for adjusting the fit I also used another pair of utility straps to allow straps and sack to fit better.

 I keep the belt hip pads from the ALICE pack and this fits perfectly onto the LK35 frame so no worries there.

Overall the tweaks have given me what I consider to be the best bushctaft pack I have ever had - it meets MY needs, is confortable to carry. The two packs needed to make the hybrid are both excellent in their own right and neither is expensive so the merging isnt beyond the pocket of most people should they want to and with no cutting of materials the option to change either sack back is still there should the hybrid not suit the user .............

I've tested this out now for a few weeks - taken it for a weeks hiking int he new forest and I have to say its met and excelled my needs.


Anonymous said...

Nice going, Gary. This is the kind of stuff I like to see: mixing/matching/modifying gear to meet our respective needs. I find doing things like this really makes an item "your own".

Anonymous said...

Is that a medium or large Alice pack?