View Full Version : ALICE pack.. My SCORE

November 8, 2009, 01:24 AM
Well I was invited by a veteran to go to the VA hospital on Friday as he hates to drive the trip alone. He informed me on the way that it was the day they have a "Stand Down" to help homeless vets and the generally needy. I thought this meant used BDU's etc... NOPE it was new gear with the exception of the "sea bag" duffel and sleeping bag. I got a set of NEW black BDU's i will use hog hunting (I can tote near a 12 pack in the pockets:o), A "LONG HANDLE" bottoms that are PREMIUM gear! There were a few other items but the cream of the crop was a NEW "large ALICE pack with aluminum frame"...

Man this baby is sweet! I will be using it to pack in my hunting gear for GEN GUN...
The locations I really wanted to hit on EGLIN AFB WMA are at least a 4 hour hike and now I can easily take the goodies. I fully intend to set up a camp and stay over night once I know that no bombing will make me a grease stain on the soil...

November 8, 2009, 02:13 AM
I forgot, I need experienced service folks to tell me how they pack the units for effective use... What are the 2 slots behind the 2 side pockets for? I doubt they are for rifles as the muzzle would clog if you fell or if you sat on a log to rest.

November 8, 2009, 02:34 AM
alice packs are not very good, you'll find that out on a 4 hour hike...

November 8, 2009, 02:45 AM
It has to be better than the over the shoulder bag I been using...:D

November 8, 2009, 06:53 AM
I used an Alice pack for SAR about 20 years ago. With 70 lbs of gear it killed my lower back. I then spent some money and bought an internal frame pack.

November 8, 2009, 07:06 AM
Alice Packs with frames are good up to about 50 pounds (they will hold much more, but become uncomfortable). I find them very comfortable myself. I think being taller has something to do with it, as it hits my back in a comfortable spot. A lot of people do complain about them tough. I am uncertain about the "two slots" but I think you are talking about where most people tuck the whip radio antenna if they had a large radio to carry.

November 8, 2009, 01:15 PM
yep, keep the weight under 50 and you ll be good. that being said i have carried 80+ lbs 10+ miles frequently with it.

November 9, 2009, 12:41 AM
Get a padded hip belt at the Army surplus then the Alice pack with frame works real good. The hip belt allows your legs to take the weight; that saves your shoulders and back.

Although I lived with an Alice pack for over 21 years, I can not recall what the space behind the side pockets were for - maybe skis?


November 9, 2009, 07:59 AM

This is a field manual for the A.L.I.C.E. pack. If you can, attach the shoulder straps so they do not sit on your shoulders. I had mine so I could fit two fingers between the top of my shoulder and the strap. Its main purpose is to hold the pack against your back, not to support weight. Basically the proper fit for a pack is if you don't feel the load on your shoulders at all, you feel all the load on your waist, When you put it on, lift the load so it sits on your hips, then tighten the gut belt, if it doesn't have a gut belt, GET ONE a padded one at that! You'll thank yourself for it!!!! If the shoulder straps don'th have a sternum strap to hold them together get a set that does. A sternum strap ma Carry it around for 20-30 minutes, anyone can carry an off balance load for a few minutes. First time I loaded one, I loaded it heavy on the right side. Two miles into our trip carrying most of 80 lbs on the right side, I could no longer feel my right arm. I had to stop on the trail and re-pack. It was very annoying for everyone to say the least. Put the heavy items in the bottom lighter stuff on top. Once you pack it, pack it that way every time, it will help you get used to it. I used one for years fishing and it did fine. I did end up with an internal frame pack tho.
An after thought, anything not going inside the pack, but being lashed to it. Make sure its lashed tight! Something such as a bedroll swinging off of the pack will make it as comfortable as the shoulder bag you have been using! I learned that one the hard way as well!

I hope this helps, and I haven't told you a bunch of stuff you already know!


Uncle Buck
November 9, 2009, 11:12 AM
Congrats on the the Alice pack score. When I was still on active duty I liked the bigger pack because not only could I carry more if I had to, but I could rummage around in it and not have to totally unpack the thing to get something out of the bottom. If it was not packed full, I had enough room to just move things around inside the back.
On the top flap (Cover, what-ever you want to call it) is a pocket inside the cover itself, held together with Velcro. That little pocket in the cover came in very handy (so long as noise was not an issue) for carrying all sorts of little things.
One of the big pockets on the front is just big enough to carry a full roll of Air Force Form 1 (Toilet paper).
I can not remember what all the pockets and belts and stuff were for, but I know you'll find a use for them.

Definitely get the padded straps, you'll appreciate them after just a few minutes.

I gave mine to my nephew when I retired back in 2004. He thought it was the neatest thing going and was the envy of the boy scout troop. :D

November 9, 2009, 11:16 AM
Mine has the padded shoulder straps and kidney strap. I turned down a canteen not knowing it would fit a pouch on the pack:o Oh well The mag pouches look like they will hold 20 ounce water bottles that i can refill from the springs. I am sure I will find use for every pouch on it... Now to find a source for cheap MRE's to take to the woods with me...

November 9, 2009, 11:35 AM
You can buy bladders that will fit inside the pack that can hold a couple of gallons or more, keeps it out of your hands and side pockets. I also took a piece of 1/4" Masonite and laid my machete sheath on it traced it out and cut the shape and glued the sheath to it, cut off the belt loop,and slid it behind the side pockets on the right had side. I could reach up and get the handle and cut brush if I needed to, the Masonite kept the shape so I could get the blade back in the sheath easily without taking the pack off.

November 9, 2009, 04:35 PM
Also IIRC I would stuff the free ends of the flap straps into the space behind the middle pocket so they would not dangle and catch on brush, etc.


November 9, 2009, 05:02 PM
Slots, I think I remember now. If the slots are small and say big enough for your thumb maybe and what runs between the pockets then you are talking about where the tie down strays go after you cinch the pack up tight. I left mine back at the homestead so I can't look at it. Be sure to pick up some alice clips at the local surplus store so you can easily attach stuff to the outside. Have fun with the pack.

November 9, 2009, 05:47 PM
I humped a Large Alice for 25 years:eek: I am talking about the pack dude:)

They are good packs for what they were made for. Keep the weight between 35-50 lbs and it will be fine. The good thing about them is they can carry a lot of stuff. They sit low on the back, this is good and bad. Good because the pack does not hang up on stuff over your head, bad the weight is low. You can get a padded hip belt for them and it will help. A chest strap helps a lot also. They join the 2 shoulder straps together at your chest.

I always cut the straps that held the top flap and put a fastex closer on them. The 2 slots in the outside pockets are for Skis or snow shoes to go in. The outside pockets are great for 1 qt canteens. We always put our Poncho and 4-6 bungee cords in the middle outside pocket and maybe a pair of socks in a ziplock bag. The 3 little pockets are nice for ammo. They will hold a 30rd M16 mag. They are great for small stuff you need and you don't want to root through the whole bag for. That is another drawback as all you stuff in one area. You have to pack it the same each time. I can go through mine(Yea its packed) and I know where everything is. But I have done it for a long time. I still use mine hiking on short trips and hunting.

The inside Small pocket near your back is for a PRC-77 Radio but anything heavy should go there as its close to your back. You will need to get a water proof bag for your stuff on the inside(A large Garbage Bag works great better yet 3 of them one inside the other).

You lucked out dude, and as a Veteran I thank you for helping one. I hope you have fun on Eglin. I hated the place as that's is where you go through the last phase of Ranger School(Class 10-83). I have a few buddy's that served there in 6th RTB and they all said the hog hunting was exceptional.

Here is mine with my hiking buddy Dusty. We are in the Uwharrie NF here in NC.

November 10, 2009, 03:44 PM
I always packed it with some wet weather gear in the three outside pockets, and everything else in the main pouch area. The best thing about an ALICE pack is that it isn't so wide to where it sticks out and snags on every branch and vine. The worst thing about one is that they do not distribute weight well AT ALL and are hell on your back.

I live in this area, and plan on doing some hunting on Eglin this up coming season. Without getting too specific (not trying to steal your hunting spot), what part are you planning on hunting? I've been here for a few years, haven't killed a deer yet though. Hoping this will be the year. Thinking about hunting in unit 6 for squirrels, and 7 and 14 for deer.

November 10, 2009, 03:52 PM
Daniel, check your PM box...

Lee Lapin
November 10, 2009, 06:20 PM
In years gone by, a certain number of GIs at Ft. Bragg were substituting a Coleman plastic pack frame (Peak One?) for the GI aluminum pack frame. They still used the ALICE pack itself, just with a different frame.






November 10, 2009, 11:52 PM
Load low and close to the body. The pockets can be used for any and everything with the ability to tie stuff on. Do not overload as it will kick your butt and put you off balance.
Not the best but the best we had at the time.