The Art of Creative Bushcraft

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ALICE Pack with MSS Carrier and Molle Straps

ALICE Pack with MSS Carrier and Molle Straps


How to attach FASTEX buckles to your Alice pack, a tutorial.

Added a nice video on HOW to attach the MOLLE straps to the ALICE frame. Scroll down to see it.

I figured it’s time to do a short post and video about the pack I use when I go out wilderness camping and bushcrafting. This is not the pack I use for day hikes, rather this is what I use when I need a complete system for staying out in the woods for as many days as I desire.

For now, I’m just going to show you the pack itself and how I have it set up because it’s basically a frankenpack, using parts and pieces from different generations of gear.

The pack and frame are Military surplus ALICE gear, which stands for All-Purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment, which I prefer for it’s simplicity and durability over some of the newer military packs. I like the easy access to compartments, the layout of said compartments, and the overall size and shape. However the ALICE did have it’s shortcomings, and that is the shoulder straps and the size, of you have gear for more than a night or two.

The newer MOLLE system did have some improvements over the ALICE, and one of those was the vastly improved shoulder and waist straps. So I retrofitted those onto my older ALICE system frame and pack. This is a pretty common mod, and my happiness with it shows to me why that is the case.

I do steer clear of the MOLLE packs because of problems with the plastic frame breaking and the zippers are often coming apart. Also I just don’t like the layout as much.

The last thing I borrowed from the MOLLE system is the Modular Sleep System, or MSS, carrier. This is not the whole system (though I do have one) rather it is just the carrier. I use it to increase the amount of gear I can carry without having to resort to the big, ungainly large ALICE pack. As you’ll see in the vid, this still houses my sleeping gear, quite nicely.

ALICE pack with frame and MSS carrier

Military surplus stuff is great, since it is tough as nails and super affordable. Keep in mind this is not for  long distance, multi-day hikes. I would not use this rig on the PCT or AT any time soon, that would be brutal! I may go ultra light some day, when I can afford to spend the money on it, or my knees demand it hehe.

ALICE pack with Modular Sleep System and Molle Straps

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