Thank you sootch00 for posting this video review of the Maxpedition FR-1 Survival Pouch.
Main: 7″ x 5″ x 3″ with full zipper opening
Carry handle: Yes
Modular webbing (front): 2 rows, 2 x 2.5″ wide channels
Modular webbing (sides): 2 rows, 1 channel
Shoulder strap (Optional accessory): Equipped with D-rings for a #9501 1.5″Â or a #9502 2″ shoulder strap, depending on your preference
When I saw this video the very first thing I though about was putting on of these FR-1 survival pouch on the outside of my Maxpedition Vulture II. The FR-1 survival pouch looks like its large enough for topo map, GPS, compass, flashlight, cel phone and a few other odds and ends
Contrary to popular belief, nature classes do not take their clothes off and run around naked in the woods. In fact its just the opposite. We keep our clothes on and drive to where we want to go.
Saturday morning the nature class that I am a member of did a field trip. The purpose of the field trip was to see some of the native and rare plants, and to see some of the unique geological formations around the Jasper Texas area.
At 8:00am we met in the parking lot of the Stump restaurant on hwy 255, which is just north of Jasper Texas. The places where we were going to go were old logging roads. The people that drove cars parked their vehicles at a nearby hotel, then we carpooled in the 4 wheel drive trucks and SUVs.
The first place we stopped at was on top of a pipeline. We parked our trucks on top of the hill, then walked around the rim of the hill top looking at different types of trees and plants.
After we got finished looking at the plants, we went back to the trucks, over the hill and down to a creek bottom. The cool thing about the creek bottom, it was filled with petrified wood. There were small pieces, large pieces and medium sized pieces. One of the men in the group was an amateur geologist. He talked to the class about the different types of trees that grew in southeast Texas during the last ice age – white oak, pine (conifer trees) and palm trees.
One piece of petrified wood we found must have weighed close to 300 pounds and was about 3 feet long. On the outside of the piece was petrified resin, like the resin that comes out of a pine tree. Some of the amateur geologist estimated the piece could be up to 200 million years old.
Some of the petrified wood sticking out of the ground in the creek bottom seemed to be in layers – layer of petrified wood, layer of dirt, layer of petrified wood, layer of dirt. I wondered how any tens of thousands, or even millions of years had to pass for the petrified wood to be laid down in the manner that it was. Some of the pieces were rather large in diameter, maybe 2 feet across, and that was only about 1/2 of the diameter of the original tree. It was like the original tree broke in half, and only half of the tree became petrified.
After looking around the hill top for maybe an hour, loaded up in the trucks and drove through some of the logging roads. As we were driving along, the guides would stop and show everyone some of the unique plants in the area – like the Arkansas oak tree, wild plums, chickpea tree,,, and a few other plants that I can not remember the names of.
With temps in the upper 90s by noon, I was sucking down the water right and left. I felt like I was sweating faster then my body could digest the water I was drinking.
In 5 hours, from 8:00am from when we started, until 1pm, I drank close to 50 ounces of water – a 32 ounce water bottle, a 16.9 ounce water bottle, and some water out of a cooler. The thing was, the group was not walking “that” much, and we were in the shade a lot of the time.
Being out in the 100 degree heat made everyone sweat more then we could drink. When the group arrived at a waterfall, one of the ladies got under the water to cool off. A couple of other people took their shoes off and waded through the water to cool off. A couple of other people used cloth rags soaked in water to cool their heads off.
Around 12 noon we stopped at a waterfall, ate lunch, and took a break from moving around. The waterfall in the background made for a beautiful backdrop for our lunch break.
Feeling refreshed from our lunch break the group loaded up and headed to the next location, which was a waterfall.
As the group was standing around the waterfalls, I could not help but wonder how primitive man used those locations. Were the waterfalls a place to wash clothes, meet and socialize with other people from the tribe? Just as we ate lunch at the waterfall, did people a thousand years go do the same thing?
We ended our field trip around 1:00pm. Overall everyone seemed to have a good time, except for the heat. We will probably take another field trip sometime in the spring, when the weather is a little cooler.
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.
Mom and I were talking the other day, when she said that her and dad needed a small backpack to take on their rock hunting trips. The first pack to come to mind was a Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy.
During the spring and early summer time mom and dad will do some rock / arrow head hunting here in East Texas. They will load up the 4-wheeler, get some bottled water, snacks, rock hammer, field manual and head out.
The requirements for the backpack include:
Not too big
Something large enough to carry water, snacks and maybe a rain poncho
Large enough to hold a couple of rock hammers and a field guide manual
Easy to carry
Easy to use
A couple of things that stands out – the Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy has 2 built in pouches that will hold a 32 ounce water bottle in each pouch. Instead of having to pack several 12 or 16 ounce water bottles that are going to be thrown away, why not get a couple of reusable 32 ounce water bottles? 1 bottle for mom and 1 bottle for dad. Having the water bottles on the outside of pack saves room on the inside.
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.
Lets 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:
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.
* 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
* 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.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
Summer time is almost here, and so is the summer heat. It wont be long and the 90s and 100 degrees will be the norm, so lets take some time to review.
Pace yourself – You should know your own physical conditioning, your not superman, so dont act like it. If you rush up a hill, get overheated, wear yourself out and still have 6 more miles to go, you have nobody to blame but yourself.
Carry plenty of water – stay hydrated at all times. If your thirsty, then get something to drink.
Wear a hat – to keep the sun off the top of your head.
Wear clothing that wicks away moisture and promotes evaporation – this will help keep your body cool.
While on a hiking trip with my son and nephew in 2009 I got overheated, and I felt like I was on the verge of heat exhaustion, if not heat stroke. It was a very dangerous situation in which we arrived at our destination just in time – a nice cool stream.
Video from my July 2009 hiking trip.
One of the mistakes that was made on the 2009 trip – we did not carry enough water bottles. Instead of having 32 ounce water bottles, 2 of us carried 1 quart water bottles and canteens. For the heat, the 1 quart canteens just were not big enough. When its 100 degrees outside, and you just hiked a hike uphill, 1 quart could be sucked down in a matter of minutes.
For this years trip, the 1 quart US Army canteens are going to be replaced with 32 ounce water bottles. The clear bottles also allow the water level to be viewed, so there is no guessing “the canteen feels like its 1/2 full”. Even though a 1 quart canteen holds the same amount of fluid as a 32 ounce water bottle, I think being able to see the water level helps the hiker keep things into perspective.
Even though my hiking team had some heat related problem during the 2009 trip, I’am hoping to avoid some of those same problems this year.
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
3 eversafe meals
This review of the Maxpedition Sitka Gearslinger should be able to answer most of the questions that people have about the pack. First of all, when the Sitka was received, it was well packaged. Inside the box was a large packing slip that was easy to read and everything was spelled out. The toll free phone number is located in the top left hand corner of the packing slip – so its easy to find.
First impressions: This is everything you might expect to find in a daypack – and more. There is a pouch on the outside for a 32 ounce water bottle, a compartment for a water bladder, the main compartment is big enough for a Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), or an Eversafe meal, rain poncho, some tent stakes (for setting up an emergency shelter), water filter or water purification tablets, and a few other odds and ends. The large outside pocket is big enough for a small first aid kit, TOPO maps, flashlight, matches,,,. The small outside pocket is big enough for map compass, medium sized GPS and maybe a couple of other small items such as a swiss army fire starter.
The reason why its called a “GearSlinger” is because the pack has one shoulder strap and another strap that goes under the opposite arm. The under strap is released and the pack can be “slung” under the right arm and positioned in front of the wearers chest. The pack is designed to be unzipped in a horizontal position while being worn.
Lets get started with the amount of gear that can be carried in the Sitka. Just to show how much this pack can carry, an assortment of dayhiking equipment was rounded up.
This list includes – 2 quart water bladder, 32 ounce water bottle, Meal Ready to Eat (MRE), home made first aid kit with a custom logo custody of my daughter, toilet paper, rain poncho, GPS, TOPO map in water proof case, map compass, water filter, bible, hand sanitizer, insect repellent and strike anywhere matches in a pill bottle. Two things that were overlooked was some cord to build an emergency shelter with and a cell phone.
This should be everything that anyone might need for a warm weather hiking trip. The MRE has enough food for 2 meals – 3 meals if its stretched out, the poncho can be used to build an emergency shelter or worn during a rain storm, water filter to refill the water bladder and water bottle, first aid kit of minor cuts and scraps, bible for reading material, toilet paper for taking care of business in the woods.
This 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.
Red Flare Kits is having a contest to win one of three kits. First prize: Fundamentals First aid kit Everything you would want in a grab’n’go Medical Kit now arrives in a sleek, light-weight, water-resistant package featuring E-Z Easy Care First Aid System.
Second prize: SOL 3 First aid/survival kit This 3-in-1 kit covers all the basics of outdoor safety. Containing medical supplies, survival tools, and gear repair items, the S.O.L. 3 enables you to survive almost anything that Mother Nature throws at you.
Third prize: Pocket Survival pack Keep this indispensible collection of survival tools with you at all times! Designed by Doug Ritter for Equipped to Survive Foundation. A portion of all proceeds is donated by manufacturer to worthy causes.
Read about all of the details in the Red Flare Kits Giveaway forum thread. The contest ends midnight on September 30, 2009. So go on over to that forum thread and get signed up.
Recommended products: These products that have been tested and are survivalist approved.
Item #1: Maxpedition #0605 Operator Tactical Attache Fully-padded large tactical attaché. Main compartment: 15.5” L x 4” W x 11” D. Fits up to 15.4″ (diagonal screen size) laptop computer. Internal divider; external organizer.
Item #2: Maxpedition #0513 Falcon-II BackpackThe MAXPEDITION Falcon-II (#0513) has all of the best features of a small/medium hunting pack or day pack, plenty of room for an overnighter, and is rock solid throughout.
Item #4: Eco Twist’r Flashlight This flashlight never needs batteries, just a few twist of the the handle. 10-30 seconds of twist equals 10 minutes of light. 3 Powerful, Focused White LEDs. It is water resistant. Brightness up to 25000 mcd.