Homesteading and Survivalism

Living a simple life

Tag: camping

Texas DSHS Urges Precautions to Avoid Rabies

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The Texas Department of State Health Services is urging precautions to reduce the risk of contracting rabies. There has been a higher than usual number of animal rabies cases in Texas this year, particularly in Central Texas and the North Texas region. Protect yourself by avoiding wild animals and animals acting strangely, and by vaccinating your family pets.

The Central Texas region is seeing a marked increase in animal rabies cases, particularly in skunks. For the first six months of this year there were 268 rabies cases compared to 109 during the same time frame last year (January to June 30, 2010). Similarly, the North Texas region is seeing an increase, with 151 cases in the first half of 2011 compared with 81 cases in the first half of last year.

The state is seeing an overall increase in animal rabies cases as well. For the first six months of this year there were 591 animal rabies cases compared to 387 cases for the first six months of 2010.

Bats and skunks are the most common animals found to have rabies in Texas. People can be exposed to rabies by an animal bite or scratch that breaks the skin or if an open wound comes in direct contact with an infected animal’s saliva. People also can be exposed if the saliva from a rabid animal gets in a person’s eyes, nose, or mouth.

The most effective ways to prevent exposure to rabies are:

– Avoid feeding, touching or adopting wild animals, such as bats, skunks, raccoons and foxes
– Report suspicious animals to local animal control.
– Vaccinate your family pets or livestock against rabies.
– If you are bitten or if saliva from a suspected rabid animal comes in contact with your eyes, nose, mouth or a wound, wash the exposure site and seek medical attention immediately.

Rabies is almost always fatal in humans once symptoms occur. However, a series of post-exposure shots can prevent rabies if given in time.

For more information on rabies statistics, visit www.dshs.state.tx.us/idcu/disease/rabies/cases/statistics/.

3 day camping trip on the Angelina River

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Camping on the Angelina RiverIt all started several months ago when I was telling my buddy about the undeveloped / primitive camping spots on the Angelina River here in Jasper Texas.  Years ago we used to go camping along the bayous and marshes around Bridge City and Orangefield, Texas.  But we have not done that in several years.  So after talking for a little bit, we decided to take a camping trip on the Angelina River.

Back in early November, a date of November 29 – December 1 was picked.  The permit was submitted and the site was reserved.

November 26, 2010 – my daughter and I took the boat out – to make sure that it would run ok for the camping trip, and to check on the site my buddy and I were going to be using.  The site we had reserved was occupied on November 26th so my daughter and I could not stop and take a look at it.  So we just turned around, and headed back home.  The boat ran fine, so there were no worries there.

November 28, 2010 – my wife and I drop my kids off at my moms house where my ex-wife will pick them up.  From there, my wife and I head over to my buddies house, visit for a little while, then he rides back to my house with my wife and I.  Instead of him making the drive to my house Monday, we just picked him up on the way back home.

I spent the evening of Sunday, November 28 going through my gear, getting my large MOLLE pack together, rounding up some MREs and Mountain House Meals, charging AA batteries for the camera and flashlight, charging D batteries from my Maglight, dug the tent out,,,,,,,,,,,.

At 9:00 pm central time, The Walking Dead comes in AMC.  So I take a break from getting my gear ready to watch a little TV.

After watching The Walking Dead, I played a little Left 4 Dead 2 and went to bed around 10:30pm.

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My 3 favorite Maxpedition Packs

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When it comes time to head out to the woods, I usually take a few minutes to think about what I’am going to be doing and what kind of gear I may need. If I’am going on a simple day hike, I might bring the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy, if its an overnight trip I might bring the Vulture-II and if its a short trip or hunting trip I’ll bring the Maxpedition Noatak.

maxpedition falcon-ii pygmyLets start with the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy – which is my favorite dayhike / warm weather overnight bag. Even though the Falcon-II Pygmy has capacity of only 1,400 cubic inches, for you ultralight backpackers out there that should be plenty of room.

One of the reasons why I like the Falcon-II Pygmy so much, its a light pack that is not big enough to bring the essentials.  From time to time I see people post in the hiking and camping forum about some of the stuff they bring on a camping / hiking trip, and I just have to ask myself “why?”  There was this one time a couple of my buddies and I went on a boating / camping trip on the Bayous near Orangefield, Texas.  One guy brought a 5 gallon water cooler – like you may see on a construction site.  Inside the cooler is where he had his snacks – chips and other junk food.  Instead of bringing a sleeping bag, tent,,,,, other supplies he brought a water cooler, with a blanket inside and junk food.

Some of the stuff that I took on my last hiking trip with my son and nephew:

Hammock
Rain poncho
Poncho liner
Survival Knife
Mutli-tool
Eversafe meal
Topo map
GPS
Compass
2 – 32 ounce water bottles
Water filter
Cord
Spare socks

Dimensions:
18″(H) x 9.5″(W) x 5.5″(D) Main Compartment
12″(H) x 7.5″(W) x 2.75″(D) Front Pouch
12″(H) x 7.5″(W) Slip Pocket
Capacity: 1400 cu. in. / 23 liters

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Planning a hunting camping trip on the river

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boat angelina riverA buddy of mine called last night and asked if I wanted to go on a camping / hunting trip on the Angelina River sometime soon. My answer was “of course”.

I’am not going to disclose the exact location or dates until after the fact.

The plan involves getting one of the primitive camping spots on the Angelina River close to Jasper, Texas and go hunting in the public hunting lands. When I bought my hunting license, I also bought a fishing and public hunting lands permit. Being on the river would give me the chance to do some fishing, camping, and all kinds of hunting.

The trip will probably span 2 – 3 days.

Now I just have to get a map of the public hunting land available where we are going camping. When I bought my public hunting lands license, a few days later I received a hand book with maps of the entire state of Texas. The hand book showed where the public hunting lands are at.

Back in the summer I did a review of the eureka solitaire one person tent. For cold weather camping, the confined space of the eureka solitaire is just not going to be practical. There is not enough room to move around, sit up, put your boots on, put your clothes on,  or keep the MOLLE pack in the tent. For a 3 day trip, I’am going to have to bring my large MOLLE pack, change of clothes, cold weather boots,,,, and all of that needs to be in the tent where it can stay dry. The eureka solitaire just is not big enough for the job.  So before I go on the camping / hunting trip with my buddy, I’am going to look into another one person tent – one that is big enough to keep my gear in, and move around in.

More details soon.

Summer is almost over

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As Labor Day approaches, this marks a good time to reflect over the past summer. Overall, the summer of 2010 was a great summer – my dad gave me a boat a few months ago, so a lot of time was spent on the river fishing and camping. My wife and I got to go fishing a couple of times. Being sick for the first 2 weeks in August was no fun, but I’am felling a lot better now – except for a slight residual headache. With all Texas summers, the heat has terrible.

Labor day plans include a bar-b-q with a brisket, maybe some ribs, chicken, sausage, ranch style beans and whatever else I can fit on the grill.

After Labor Day focus is going to shift a little more towards hunting. My kids and I might head out to the deer lease to check the stands and feeders out.

This hunting season there is a certain creek bottom that I want to put a ladder stand up. Every year a buck goes through the creek bottom marking his territory. The stand is on the top of a hill, so I never get to see him. This year is going to be different, I’am planning on setting up at least 1 ladder stand 50 – 75 feet from where that buck makes his marks every year.

There is always “something” that is skipped over during summer, and this year it was taking my son to Lake Sam Rayburn to go fishing. Fishing on the river is nice, but I wanted to launch the boat at Mill Creek Park and go across the lake to Bear Creek and do some bass fishing over there. Maybe we can do that before the cold fronts start moving through and the bad weather sets in?

Some of my new favorite pieces of gear include a large MOLLE pack, and a Vargo Hexagon wood stove from readypro.org.

After some debate, I decided it was time to move away from the medium and large ALICE pack and get with the times. I have seen people on youtube talking about the MOLLE packs, so I decided it was time to get one.

I even made a video comparing 2 different MOLLE packs and a medium ALICE pack.  For the full review, check out this link – MOLLE pack VS ALICE pack.

Overall, I like my new large MOLLE pack, I just wish it had more outside pockets and the internal radio pouch.

After testing the Vargo hexagon wood stove in my yard, I took it on a few camping trips – and it did a great job. Instead of using wood like the stove was designed to use, I used a can of sterno. In about 10 minutes I was able to cook noodles.

Here is a video about the Vargo Hexagon wood stove while I was testing it in my yard.

Labor Day is fast approaching, which means we only have about 1 more month of warm weather to go fishing and camping.

My wife and I have been wanting to go camping at Martin Dies State Park, which is at Dam B, but the weather has been so hot, we would have been miserable. So we are going to wait until the weather cools off just a little bit – maybe until the night time temps drop into the 60s.

We also want to take the kids camping before the weather gets too cold. But here in East Texas, sometimes its still hot all the way into early November.

So summer is not fully over yet, nor is Labor Day the “official” end to my summer plans. Its more like a mile marker saying “whatever you want to do, you better go ahead and get it done.”

As I look back over the summer of 2010, it was a good summer. It was one that will not be forgotten very soon.

Maxpedition water bottle holder and mini rollypoly

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Need to carry plenty of water on that pack of yours?  Looking for a way to carry 32 ounce water bottles instead of canteens?  While looking for a water bottle option for my Maxpedition Vulture-II, I came across the Maxpedition water bottle holder and the Maxpedition mini rollypoly dump pouch.

The water bottle holder is just that – its a padded pouch that is designed to hold a standard 32 ounce water bottle.

This is some information from the Maxpedition website:

Water bottle holder

The water bottle holder has webbing on 4 sides – 1 side to attach it to the pack, then webbing on the 3 other sides. The zipper closure makes sure that the pouch stays closed. I like the extra webbing so you can attach a couple of smaller pouches to the outside of the water bottle holder.

The 10” x 4” Bottle Holder is designed to fit a 32oz / 1L Nalgene bottle (sold separately) or similarly sized containers.

Product Features

* Main compartment: 10” high x 4” diameter, padded, with drainage grommet
* Frontal: 6” x 3” x 1.5” with elastic retention
* PALS attachment webbing: Front and sides
* Attachment1: D-rings for optional shoulder strap
* Attachment2: 5″ TacTie™ (sold separately)
* Attachment3: Keyper quick release hook on back
* Available colors: Black, OD Green, Khaki, Foliage Green

Product Materials

* 1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
* high strength zippers and zipper tracks
* UTX-Duraflex nylon buckles for low sound closures
* Triple polyurethane coated for water resistance
* High tensile strength nylon webbing
* High tensile strength composite nylon thread (stronger than ordinary industry standard nylon thread)
* #AS-100 high grade closed-cell foam padding material for superior shock protection
* Internal seams taped and finished
* Paracord zipper pulls
* Stress points double stitched, Bartacked or “Box-and-X” stitched for added strength

MINI ROLLYPOLY® FOLDING DUMP POUCH

Its a pouch that can fold up until you need it. Then its unfolded. Unlike the water bottle holder, the dump pouch has a folding top for easy access.

Folded: 3.5″ long x 2.25″ wide x 1.5″ thick
Open: 4″ diameter, 8″ tall
Total Volume: 100 cu. in.
Belt: Integral Closed Loop
The Mini Rollypoly® (#0207) is a folding dump pouch designed to hold a standard 32 oz. / 1L Nalgene or smaller water bottle. Bungee cord cinch and velcro flap lid secure top.

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5 fire building tips

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Whether your at the deer lease, building a fire in your bar-b-q pit, or lost in the wilderness, building a fire is a skill that must be mastered. There is a difference in knowing how to build a fire with a lighter and charcoal lighter fluid, and knowing how to build a fire just before sundown when your lost in the woods.

1) Alcohol prep pads – These are the things that the nurse uses to clean your skin right before you get a shot. Their good for cleaning wounds and starting fires. The alcohol content allows the vapors to burn before the cloth of the pad to burn, so you might get a couple of minutes of burn time out of 1 pad. Their lightweight, easy to use, easy to light, and multi-purpose items.

2) Pencil and pencil sharpener – Not as easy to light as the alcohol prep pad, but will help you get a fir built. Use the pencil to write with, just as leaving notes at the truck before you head out on a hiking trip, and use the sharpener to get wood shavings to help build a fire.

3) Dip your matches – Even though a lot of people recommend dipping your matches in wax, I do not like doing that. The wax coating makes the match difficult to strike, and in some cases the match head might just snap off instead of lighting. Waterproof finger nail polish will give you a thin water proof coating that is easier to remove then wax.

4) Bow and Drill – Might take you a long time to build a fire, but if it was good enough for primitive man, its good enough for you.

5) Magnifying glass – May only work when the sun is out, but its good for looking at splinters. Being able to look at small splinters and start fires makes the magnifying glass a dual purpose item.

Comments – Post your comments in this forum thread about fire building tips.

Maxpedition Vulture-II

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Looking for a good quality 2 – 3 day pack?  The Maxpedition Vulture-II might be just what your looking for.  When your looking at backpacks, there seems to be small, medium, large and super large.

Small – good for day hikes and short trips

Medium – good for day hikes or overnight trips

Large – good for 3 – 5 day trips

Super Large – good for 5+ days trips (think expedition)

The problem I have, I need a pack that fits right in-between medium and large.  These are the ones where you can pack enough for a 1 – 3 day trip, but not too big or too small.


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Why I like to go camping

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Being raised in Southeast Texas has presented a vast opportunities to go camping. This includes everything from my parents taking my brother and I to local parks, to camping on the bayous with my buddies, to camping at the lake with my kids, hiking in and camping at remote areas, to take my kids camping on the river.

While I’am sitting around the camp fire looking at the coals and staring at the stars, I often wonder about the people that came before me. And I’am not just talking about the people in the last 100 years.

Did the neanderthal look up at those same stars and wonder where he came from and where he was going?

While Julius Caesar was fighting the Gauls, did he sit around the camp fire with his troops, look up at the stars and talk about humanity?

There is a certain peace and quit in the woods that being at home can not substitute. Its a natural peace, something that just turning off the TV can not match.

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Camping on the Angelina river

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For those you in Southeast Texas that are looking for a little adventure, the Army Corp of Engineers has something you might want to look into. And that is a series of primitive camping spots set up along the Angelina and Neches rivers.

The Corp calls these camping spots “Primitive Campsites” and here is a list from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers website. As of July 18, 2010, these is no fee to use these sites, and they have to be reserved. To reserve the site, you just fill out a form, fax mail or hand deliver it to the Town Bluff Project Office (phone number 409-429-3491) and they will give you a permit to use the spot. These primitive camping spots are reserved on a first com first served basis – so do not wait until the last minute to reserve the spot you want.

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Review of the Eureka Solitaire

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While writing this review of the Eureka Solitaire one person tent, I tried to be as impartial and honest as possible. The tent was bought from Academy Sports and Outdoors in Beaumont, Texas and was not supplied by anyone. The first part of the review was setting it up in the yard and the the second part is taking it on a camping trip.

After about 15 years of use, I decided it was time to retire my Wenzel Starlight tent. The replacement had to be light-weight, fit into an medium ALICE pack or large MOLLE pack, easy to strap to the top or bottom of a pack, easy to setup, easy to take down, good for hot weather camping, bug proof,,,,,, just the typical stuff.

Fitting into the medium ALICE and large MOLLE pack are important – due to where I like to carry my tent.  Since the tent is the last thing I setup, it usually goes in the bottom of the pack.  When the tent is strapped to the outside bottom of the pack, there is a slight chance of sticks poking a hole in it when the pack is dropped.  To prevent this, I like to keep the tent inside the pack, and at the very bottom.  Because of where I like to carry my tent, it helps if the tent is no wider then the pack.

The first tent I bought to replace the Wenzel Starlight was the No Limits Sunlight Peak One Man Tent. But one of the tent poles split after the first camping trip, and it was returned to the store. With the store credit from the No Limits Sunlight Peak tent, I bought the Eureka Solitaire.

Before the solitaire was taken out on its first trip, it was setup in the yard – this was to make sure that all of the parts were there and to test how waterproof the tent is. Some thunderstorms were rolling through the area, so why not test how waterproof the tent is before it was taken out on a real camping trip.

The Eureka solitaire sets up like any other 1 person tent – 1 pole in the rear and 1 in the front. The 2 poles are different lengths, because the pole in the front is longer so you have more head room – as compared to the height of the tent in the rear. The 2 tent poles being different lengths allows the tent to have a slope, so rain water runs off towards the rear of the tent.

To enter the tent, just crawl in from the front. The mosquito netting has a zipper on the top of it, but you have to have the rain fly off to access it, and unzipped, it does not provide very much access to the tent. Unless your kinda skinny, do not plan on entering the tent from the top.

There is no vestibule, and the tent is too small to have your pack with you – unless your hiking ultra-light and your pack is only about 2,500 cubic inches or less. So bring a spare rain poncho, and strap to hang your pack from a tree.

This is not a free standing tent, so your going to have to stake it out. If your hiking / camping in a place with a lot of rocks, be sure to take that into consideration.


One of the things that I noticed, was that the floor seemed a little thin.   When the tent was setup in my yard, the stickers in the grass felt like they were going to poke a hole in the bottom of the tent – but they didn’t.  Before the solitaire was taken out on its first real camping trip, 8 foot by 6 foot tarp was purchased for a ground cloth. Folded in half – the tarp fit under the tent perfectly.

On June 18th, 2010 my son, my nephew and I went camping on the Angelina River – which is close to Jasper, Texas. The Army Corp. of Engineers has some primitive camping spots on the river that are only accessible by a boat. So we loaded up the boat and headed out.

Once we arrived at the camping spot, setting up the tent was a cinch. A nice flat spot was picked out, sticks and gum balls were removed, the 6 foot by 8 foot tarp was folded in half, and the eureka solitaire was setup. Total assembly time was around 5,,, maybe a couple of minutes more.

The 6 wide tarp – folded in half – fit under the tent perfectly. There was very little hang over, it was like the 2 pieces went together like peas and carrots.

The sleeping pad that I used was a Magellan, which fit well into the tent.

During the middle of the night, I was able to unzip the mosquito netting in the front of the tent, unzip the front rain fly, and fold it back to allow some air into the tent. The camping spot was in the bend of the river. The Eureka solitaire was setup with the front pointing towards a stretch of the river – that way a breeze can come off the river and right into the tent. When its 80 – 90 degrees at night, any breeze is a good breeze.

One of the benefits of having a tarp – you can string it between a couple of trees and use it as a detached rain fly. And then roll the rain fly back on your tent to allow a cross breeze.

One of the things that I did not like about the tent – the stuff sack does not have anything on the draw cords to keep the sack closed. Its no big deal, because the cords have enough slack to tie a knot. So I guess it depends on how you look at things. Do you “really” need a built in way to keep the stuff sack closed, because you can just tie a knot.

The stuff sack also has plenty of extra room, so your not having to cram the tent into it.. This is really nice so you can include a few extra tent stakes, or some 550 cord for guidewires.

One thing about camping on the river – when the bugs come out, they come out in force. Its like those mosquitoes are playing Ride of the Valkyries from little loud speakers. Regardless of how much mosquito repellent you have on, they will land just long enough for you to feel it. In situations like this, a bug proof tent is an absolute must. If there is the slightest hole in the netting, its going to be found, exploited, and you can expect to spend a miserable night “trying” to sleep.

When the tent was taken down, the tent poles retained a little curve to them. I guess its good that the poles are thin enough so they bend easily, but hopefully their strong enough not to break after a few uses.

Lets Review:

Pros:
Does not cost a lot of money – for less then $100, it seems to be a good quality product.
Bug proof
Easy to setup
Easy to take down
Rain fly can be rolled back for a cross wind in hot weather.

Cons:
Not free standing
Tent poles seem a little thin
Floor seems a little thin
Stakes are cheap – might want to place them or carry spares

There are some things that might be considered a con – but that is just the nature of a one man tent. Its a little cramped, there is not a lot of room for your gear,,,, but that is just the nature of the beast.

Post your comments about this forum thread about the Eureka Solitaire.

Related Forum Post:
Eureka Solitaire
Suggestions on a tent
Backpack contents
Good one man tent

MOLLE Pack VS ALICE Pack

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“which one should I buy, an ALICE Pack or a MOLLE Pack?” – that is one of the questions that I see a lot of on the forum. The answer is not a simple one. Before you can answer a question, sometimes you have to ask a few questions.

How much room do you need
How rugged do you need the frame? – the MOLLE pack has a plastic frame, ALICE has a metal frame

A couple of weeks ago my son, nephew and I went on a boating / camping trip. We loaded up the gear, launched the boat and headed out to a camping spot on the river. While we were there, I decided to put together a video about the packs and do a little comparison.

My first exposure to the ALICE pack was way back in either 1992 or 1993.  One of my good buddies had just came back from the first Persian gulf conflict, and one of the first things he did was buy himself a medium ALICE pack to replace the one he had been using in the ARMY.  I liked the pack so much, I bought myself one.  The difference between my buddies pack and mine – my pack was woodland camo, while my buddies pack was olive drab.  After using the medium ALICE for a few years, I found it was a little so, so I bought a large ALICE pack in olive green.

My first exposure to the MOLLE pack was a couple of months ago after I bought 3 packs off ebay.

The three packs that my son, nephew and I brought on the camping included – Large MOLLE with internal sleep system, MOLLE with external sleep system and medium ALICE pack.

Large MOLLE pack with internal sleep system compartment – digital camo, internal sleep system compartment, plastic frame, no external pouches or internal pouches, map case in top flap, no radio pouch inside of pack, no hydration pocket for water bladder.  The shoulder straps and waist belt are desert camo because I bought 2 desert camo packs off ebay, and used one set of straps and waist belt on my large molle.  I would really like to replace the desert camo stuff with woodland green, but woodland green MOLLE stuff is a little difficult to find on ebay.  Also, the military is supposed to be releasing its new camo to the troops pretty soon.  This might cause the price of digital camo items to drop.

One of the things that I really liked about the large MOLLE is how much webbing it has. The pack also has webbing on the bottom of the pack to strap a sleeping bag, tent, tarp or anything else.

One of the things that I did not like about the large MOLLE – it did not have a radio pouch inside the pack like the alice pack does. Nor does the pack have pouches on the outside of the pack. The plastic frame is also a draw back. Nor do I like having to use the pack with a frame – if the frame breaks your just out of luck.

Large ALICE VS Large MOLLE – If I had to pick between the Large ALICE and the Large MOLLE, to me there is no real comparison – Large MOLLE all the way.

When the Large ALICE is loaded, it seems to “fat”, and sticks too far off my back.  The makes me have to lean forward to off set the weight sticking off my back.

The Large ALICE does not have any compression straps around the pack – this might be one reason why it seems too fat.  Once th pack is loaded up, there is no way to take the slack out, because there are no compression straps.  With the Large MOLLE pack on the other hand,  it has a couple of straps where you can cinch it down nice and tight.  So if your carrying a large load, it can be cinched up so that its close to your body.

The Large ALICE pack has 6 external pouches – 3 large and 3 small, while the Large MOLLE has none.  This has its pros and cons.  The small pouches on the Large ALICE are almost to small to store anything but small items.  The larger pouches are big enough to store rain gear, and a 1 pound propane bottle will fit just right.

The Large ALICE pack has a radio pouch inside the pack, the Large MOLLE Pack does not.  This may not seem like a big deal – but I like a place to store my smaller items, like bug spray, small flashlight, small muti-tool, bible, FM-2176, personal hygiene kit, camera and camera case along with spare batteries,,,,,, stuff like that.

MOLLE with external sleep system – lets just call this one the Medium MOLLE pack – desert camo, external sleep system compartment, claymore pouch on outside, no internal pouches or compartments, plastic frame, map case in top flap – but has plastic on one side of the map case so you can see the map without having to take the map out.

Overall, I view this pack as the least flexible – it has only a few webbing around the pack, none that wrap around the entire pack, and no webbing on the bottom of the pack. has very little webbing on it, no pouch on the inside and only one pouch on the outside of the pack.

Without the external sleep system compartment attached, and with something in it – the pack would not stand up on its own.  It had to be leaned against a tree or something else in order for it to stand up.  Its nice when you can drop and pack, and it stands up so you can dig through it.

Medium MOLLE VS Medium ALICE – If I had to pick between the Medium ALICE and the Medium MOLLE, I would have to pick the Medium ALICE.

The Medium MOLLE does not have enough webbing – this makes attaching extra pouches nice and easy.  So if you need a place to keep a canteen, just attach a canteen.  If you need a first aid kit on the outside of you pack, just attach a first aid kit.

The Medium MOLLE does not even webbing on the bottom of the pack for lashing a tent, sleeping bag, tarp,,,, or anything else to it.

The Medium ALICE pack has 3 outside pouches – which are just the right size for storing rain gear and a 1 pound bottle of propane for a stove. There is also webbing that runs the circumference of the pack, which makes attaching more pouches easy.  The Medium MOLLE does not have any external pouches, and with a lack of webbing, there is no way to attach extra pouches.

Neither the Medium ALICE nor the Medium MOLLE has a place for a hydration bladder.  As long as you can carry plenty of canteens, this should not be a big deal.  But one more thing but that webbing – or rather the lack of it on the Medium MOLLE- if you dont have the webbing, your no going to be able to attach canteens to the outside of the pack.

When the canteens were put in the top flap (map case) the pack became top heavy.  On the camping trip my son used the Medium MOLLE, and noted that it was top heavy because of where we had to put the canteens.

Review:

If I had to re-buy any or all of the packs in this article, it would be in this order:

1.  Large Molle – Well designed pack, the few things I do not like about this pack can be easily fixed with a few add-on pouches.  I still wish it had a metal frame instead of that junk plastic.

2.  Medium ALICE – Battle proven through military use for around 40 years.  Metal frame, lots of webbing,,,.  The only draw back is that its a little heavy.

3.  Large ALICE – Lots of room, but when fully loaded can be un-comfortable to carry.  The lack of compression straps makes this pack too fat.

4.  Medium Molle – I dont know if I would even buy this pack again.  For something that supposed to be used by the military, I’am really disappointed in it.

Post your comments in this forum thread – comparing the MOLLE and ALICE Packs.

 

Related Articles:

Maxpedition Vulture-II

Maxpedition vulture-ii review

Large MOLLE pack

large molle pack review

Maxpedition Sitka

maxpedition sitka gearslinger review

Popular Forum Tags:
Alice Packs
Molle packs
Backpacks

People are like the rain fly of a tent

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Do you play it safe and leave the rain fly on overnight – just in case it rains?
Or do you leave the rain fly off, and will deal with the rain when the time comes?

Do you leave the rain fly on, so no wild animals can peak into your tent at night.
Or do you not care what peaks into your tent while your asleep?

…In other words, do you play it safe, or do you take a little risk?

Getting the maxpedition vulture II ready for a camping trip

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The other weekend I took some time to get my maxpedition vulture II ready for a camping trip. Over the next few months, my family and I have a couple of camping trips planned. One is supposed to be next weekend, on March 13 to Dam B in Jasper, Texas. There is supposed to be another camping trip on the river, and another camping trip along the Sabine River sometime this summer.

Regardless of where your going on a camping trip, its best to be prepared.  On my camping trips, I like to be comfortable, that might include bringing a hammock and a tri-pod stool, or even both.  That way I can get off the ground for a little while and relax.

There is nothing quit like laying in a hammock, in the woods, in the middle of nowhere.  No phones, no cars, no noise pollution to bother you, just the relaxing sounds of nature.

Contents of the backpack:
One man tent
Sleeping pad
Sleeping bag
Hammock
3 eversafe meals
Rain poncho
Garmin GPS
TOPO maps
Map Compass
Maglight flashlight

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Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy for a warm weather pack

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maxpedition pygmy falcon-iiThis is a Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy that is used for a warm weather pack. Its just big enough for a day long hike, or a light weight overnight camping pack.

One of the questions I have been asked, “what makes a pack a warm weather pack?” In my opinion, its the packs size – its so small you can not carry spare clothing. In a cold weather camping or hiking situation, you will probably want to bring extra clothing, maybe a hat gloves, extra socks,,,, the usual stuff that hikers and campers my need in cold weather.

In hot weather you can take clothing off, in cold weather you have to have extra clothing to put it on. If the extra clothing is not in the pack, there is nothing to put on.

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