12 October 2014

Bag Of Evil on a budget...Medium ALICE PACK

These days I do most of my traveling on my 92 Harley Davidson Fatboy.  Over a period of time, I tried to make just about every bag that has attained BOE status work on the back of the bike.  They all had at least one of the following problems:  they were either too tall, or they were clam shells.  Too tall meant they were taller than the sissy bar, and clam shells meant that if they were bungee corded to the bike it was hard to get stuff in and out.  Instead of running saddle bags, I only have a small swing arm bag that contains a TIMS Kit and some tools.  I like it that way because I don't like to leave a bunch of stuff on the bike for someone to walk off with.

The solution turned out to be the first pack I was ever issued, a medium Alice Pack.  Picked this one up at the military flea market WWII Weekend in Reading PA this past summer.  I think I paid $30.  A little cheaper than your average "tactical" pack.

The first thing I did, as with all new packs, was to go over it with a fine tooth comb and burn off all loose threads.  The second thing was to get rid of the ridiculous buckles on the main straps and replace them with this Fastex Mod.  Then I pulled some gutter paracord loops through some of the eyelets to provide additional bungee hooking points.  Some small carabiners were added for the same purpose.  On one side you will also see something that I do with every one of my bags.  Using some elastic and a cord lock, I make a little loop to hold my Mechanix Gloves on the outside of the bag.  This way I don't have to dig for them in an emergency.  The bottom two paracord loops hold a 12 inch bungee that is used to attach it to the sissy bar.

If I am riding solo, the pack goes on the passenger seat and doubles as a comfy back rest.  If I have a rider, it rides on the rear fender just above the license plate and tombstone taillight.

The pack has three large outside pockets.  The one on the far left contains my TIMS/Boo Boo Kit and is conspicuously marked with red on the outside.  The middle compartment contains my admin pouch, spare glasses, and hand sanitizer. The outside of the middle pouch has a piece of black paracord with a reflective pique adorned with a GITD bead.  This allows me to locate the bag easily in low light conditions (like when the lights are turned off).  The last pouch holds my Cat Crap, lens cleaning cloth, and water bottle.

The inside is usually about 60% empty but does contain my rain gear, power pouch (cell phone charger, batteries etc), and repair pouch (bank line, sail needle, wire, 100 mph tape etc), shemagh, Bind Horse Bushcrafter, and some other things.  The incredible thing about the ALICE pack is exactly how much you can carry in/on it if you let the straps out.  The manual says it was designed to carry 50 lbs.  When Momma and I go out for a ride when it is cool out, you start off with everything on and take stuff off as you warm up.  The pack is great for compressing lighter items under the main flap.  Being a top loader using a draw string closure allows me to get stuff in an out while mounted on the bike without dropping stuff all over the ground, or people seeing what's inside the bag.

Some will say that it looks too military and draws attention, but I say people look at me, my big American Legion Riders back patch, and figured the pack was issued to me long ago.

In the future, I plan to get a new one and do some other mods including replacing the snaps with Fastex.

Even though things get a little raw during the winter here in southwest PA, I still ride all year and look forward to this pack serving me well.  So whether you are on a bike or are just simply looking for a BOE on a budget, consider picking up a medium ALICE pack and some pouches and see if it works for you.

1 comment:

  1. very nice. i have been using a old North Face backpack that i bought at a gear swap for $5 in high school. it has served as my primary bag since 09 but i need to replace it.