Alice pack seems small

Discussion in 'Packs, Bags & Pouches' started by Joe Willson, May 4, 2012.

  1. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    I'm not sure where all the space went but my medium Alice is FULL. I don't really feel that I have all that much equipment packed either. Does this seem excessive?

    Bedroll tied underneath with sleeping bag and tarp

    Pockets:
    Hammock - skeeter net
    Nalgene water bottle
    saw - stove fuel - tinder bag - 550 cord - firesteel - flashlight

    radio section:
    heavy reflective sport/space blanket
    whisperlite stove
    partial roll of TP

    Main bag:
    Clothing:
    1 pair shorts
    1 long sleeve shirt
    2 T-shirts
    2 pair undies
    2 pair socks

    food:
    2 cans chicken
    1 can cream of mush soup
    2 Ramen
    cheese
    sm container instant coffee
    sm container creamer
    garbage bag

    .8 ltr tea kettle:
    sweetener - drink mixes

    water bottle w/cup

    When I was in the Army we used to only put our waterproof bag and sleeping bag into the pack. Don't remember what went in the pockets.
    At least this way I run out of room before I run out of strength to carry it...
     
  2. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    Canned food takes up a lot of space and is heavy. There are other options at the grocery store.
     
  3. Grizzix

    Grizzix Guide Bushclass I

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    Wet weather gear took up front pockets in basic training if I recall. Check out IAWoodsmans packing an ALICE pack video. His loadout is pretty awesome and leaves room for clothes and food.
     
  4. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    True, but we are talking 2 cans the size of a can of tuna and a can of cream of mushroom soup. All three are taking up about the space of a rolled up T-shirt. I just can't believe that those 3 things are wasting that much space.
     
  5. Bush Otter

    Bush Otter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

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    The man who could come up with a good dehydrated spam could make his fortune from bushcrafter . dehydrated Bacon would be unbeleivabley wonderful and light.
     
  6. rdec

    rdec Guide

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    For bacon, the precooked packs small and light (and actualy costs less than uncooked bacon by the slice.) I really miss the old Wilson meat and bacon bars. It is suprising some outdoor food company doesn't revive them in some form. Crumbled half a bar with dried potatoes, rice or noodles with some flavor of Knorr soup as a gravy made a good meal.
     
  7. solocanoe

    solocanoe Bushmaster

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    I guess the size of the clothes and the type of the fabric could play a big role, eh?
    (and I say that as a 6'4" 3x guy, lol!)

    I found that my Railriders pants roll smaller than a wool pair of socks...and then of course you look at several options on all the rest (some I'm NOT getting into! lol!) but I guess you could look closely at your clothing choices....THEN get them into stuff sack and scrunch them down even farther. these really help when you can compress all your clothes.

    the rest? you can be as 'hard' as you want to on it -
    take the condiments out of their containers - small ziplocks.
    the soups could be dry packages,
    I've seen the really UL folks post that they break down all their packaging, pre-break their ramen noodles, etc...

    you can get crazy, but if you get it where you like it - that's all that matters!

    good luck -you'll get it!
     
  8. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    Thanks Solocanoe. I guess this isn't bad for an overnight or maybe weekend pack. Couldn't do a week with it though without some serious modifications like putting clothing in bedroll and going all dehydrated food. The clothing compression sack is a good idea.

    So, HOP and rdec,
    You guys think my full pack issues stem from a lack of bacon? ;-)
     
  9. OddTheViking

    OddTheViking Guide

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    Yeah, the medium ALICE is easy to fill up. But the thing is, there are all kinds of ways to attach stuff externally. I always used a fanny pack or a small patrol pack to keep my go to stuff like lights and cord on top of the top flap. Left more space inside for bulk like clothes, and then when I got to camp I could detach it and use it by itself.

    Also, I have heard of people storing all kinds of stuff in the gap in front of the frame. Poncho, space blanket, etc.
     
  10. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    With the top flap of the alice you can stack higher. Get a stuff sack for your clothing and put that on top. Oddtheviking has the right idea. Your mileage may vary.
     
  11. Grizzix

    Grizzix Guide Bushclass I

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    I had my shelter tarp in a stuff sack with pegs and line kit in the open gap in the frame for a while. You can even secure a camelbak in there fastened to the inside of the frame. I wouldn't recommend doing that with anything larger than a 2 liter though. Mine is 3liter and I ended up with a soaked back from squeezing the bladder between myself and the pack. :(

    Grizz
     
  12. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    You guys are right about the external attachment points and being able to go a bit higher than the top of the bag.
    I think my initial issue was that it's hard to feel like you are going minimalist at all when your pack is stuffed full, even if it is a smallish pack. I culled a lot of things I have carried in the past and not used, but then I also added a stove, fuel bottle and kettle that I don't normally carry... We will see how this trip goes and refine it further next trip.
    Maybe next time I'll take a lot of bacon to get more room :)
     
  13. idahoelkhunter

    idahoelkhunter Scout

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    +1 on IAWoodmans video.

    I use to be a strictler about bringing an extra pair of clothes in the field from my Marine days. Extra clothes take a TON of space and weigh alot if you are wearing Carharrt pants and hickory shirts like I normally do.

    One day I realized, I never wear them. Ever!!! If I get wet I dry them with body heat on the move, build a fire, or ignore the fact i can't feel my fingers and toes. For emergencies I pack a pair of synthetic long underwear in the summer and super thin fleece base layer in the winter (like polar tech 100). My emergency plan if I take a dive in an icy river is to switch to the long underwear/fleece and my rain gear until I can dry my clothes out. I usually have an extra pair of wool socks - more for comfort.

    So dropping the extra clothes may give back enough space for more of that dehydrated bacon - sooooooo good.
     
  14. Panzer

    Panzer Prepared Wanderer Supporter Bushclass I

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    I am with you. 1 undie, 1 sock, and a long sleeve poly pro T and maybe a bottom. That's it for extra clothing for 2-3 days. Maybe a fleece if it gets chilly at night.
     
  15. woodsmannorway

    woodsmannorway Guest

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    In my opinion the medium alice pack is good for 2-4 days packed for one person.
    If you fill it up too much you carry too much.. cut down on comfort items and luxury items. Find smaller gear to replace the big bulky gear you have.
     
  16. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    woodsmannorway,
    I posted the packing list. What "comfort items" and "luxury items" would you suggest I eliminate? I don't even have wet weather gear in there. Which other gear would you suspect of being too large? (except for my 3 cans of food)
     
  17. woodsrunner

    woodsrunner Banned Member Banned

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    i added a molle sustainment pouch to either side of my medium alice and lived out of it quite comfortably for a ten days backpacking trip in wyoming
    i carried my sleeping bag and extra clothing in the mss sleep system bag attached to the bottom of my pack. that freed up the pack for every thing else
    heres a picture from that trip, you can see one of the molle
    sustainment pouches attached to the hellcat...woods
    [​IMG]
     
  18. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    Those 2 sustainment pouches would add a bit of room. I have been thinking about it today and wonder if the bottom of my main bag is fully expanded or if it is getting smooshed by my bedroll. I'll have to look at that real quick tonight before I leave. I kind of don't want to find a ton of extra space because I don't want to fill it and have it get heavier. I would like it to just hold the stuff I need.
     
  19. Joe Willson

    Joe Willson Guide

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    I just looked and there is a little, not a bunch, of space that was hidden. Probably just the right amount for what I need though.
     

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