Homesteading and Survivalism

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Tag: Maxpedition

Maxpedition Condor-II Backpack

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Product Features

Dramatically improved second generation of our military-style daypack
Y-shaped top compression strap and 4 lateral compression straps
Upper front pocket approx. 9 x 5.5 x 2
Lower front pocket approx. 9 x 8 x 2 with pen organizer
Breathable ergonomic shoulder straps

From my review at Amazon

As with all Maxpedition packs, the Condor II offers top notch quality, expandability and quality workmanship.

The pack is a top loader, so you can cram in your gear until its full, stomp on the top, then cram some more.

The bottom of the pack has lash points so you can attach a bed roll or sleeping bag. I used a couple of nylon straps and attached a 32 degree sleeping bag to the bottom.

The pack is covered with PALS (ladder system) to attach MOLLE or ALICE equipment all over it. I have the Maxpedition map and GPS case attached to the small outside pouch. While on a hiking trip, I can lay the pack on the ground, open the map case, get the GPS out, drink from the water bladder and never have to open the main compartments of the pack.

The compression straps work well for keeping the pack slim, and for lashing a tri-pod stool to the side of the pack.

I see no reason why this pack can not be used for an over night pack or even a 2 day pack. The main compartment is big enough to carry extra clothing, one man tent, MREs, hammock, rain poncho, poncho liner, tent stakes. While the other compartments are big enough to carry a first aid kit, flashlights, GPS, topo maps, map compass, water filter,, and other odds and ends.

The water bladder compartment is big enough to fit a 2 quart bladder and have plenty of room left over.

The shoulder straps have plenty of padding.

Overall, this is a well built, well designed pack that I highly recommend.

Do you own a Maxpedition Condor-II?

If so, please share your opinions on this product.

FR-1 Survival Pouch Review

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Thank you sootch00 for posting this video review of the Maxpedition FR-1 Survival Pouch.

Product Features

  • 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

Five Fathers Day Gift Ideas

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Got a preppers or a survivalist for a dad?  If you do, here are some gift ideas for Fathers Day.

Steripen sidewinder with water bottleSteripen Sidewinder from Safe Castle

The Steripen Sidewinder is a hand powered unit that purifies water with UV light. Being hand powered means you can use the unit when there is no electrify, and no batteries required. The SteriPen website claims the UV bulb is supposed to be good for 8,000 one liter treatments. 8,000 liters is an estimated 2,116 gallons.

Fill the included water bottle, then crank the handle for 90 seconds. If you are not cranking fast enough, there are two LEDs that will flash red. When the 90 seconds of cranking has been achieved, the LEDs will flash green.

Instead of cranking for a full 90 seconds, you can crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit, crank for 30 seconds, swirl the unit. the SteriPen website says not to pause between cranking for more then about 6 or 7 seconds.

maxpedition vulture-iiMaxpedition Vulture II

From the Maxpedition website:
* Main Compartment: 20.5″(H) x 16″(W) x 7.5″(D)
* Front Pouch: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W) x 2.75″(D)
* Slip Pocket: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W)
* Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
* Weight: 3 lbs , 8 oz
* Hydration: Up to 100+ oz Bladder
* Support: 1″ Sternum Strap, 2″ Integrated Belt (min 19″ strap alone / max 52″ strap alone; min 34″ loop / max 67″ loop)
* Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner, Hydration reservoir
*1000-Denier water and abrasion resistant light-weight ballistic nylon fabric
* Teflon® fabric protector for grime resistance and easy maintenance
* High strength YKK zippers and zipper tracks
* 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

Visit the Maxpedition Website

Wilson Combat Ultima-Lube II Gun Oil

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Deer Season Daypack Loadout

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Wilderness survival kitDeer season is here, instead of grabbing a pack, throwing some random gear in and heading out to the woods, lets take a look at some items that should be considered.  The way I look at it, your pack needs to contain everything you need to track a wounded deer, find your way back back to the truck after dark or spend an unexpected night in the woods.

A basic pack – This could be anything from a school book bag, to a good quality pack like a Maxpedition Sitka or Maxpedition Noatak.  You need something that is not going to tear apart when your tracking a deer as the last bit of the sunlight fades away.  For my current load out I am using the Maxpedition Noatak.

GPS & Compass – When you get off the trail back to the truck, you might need something to help find your way.  Or worse yet, if you and your buddies have to track a deer through a thicket in pitch black dark.

Mark the truck before you head out and set the GPS to go back to the truck before you head out.  This will tell you how far off the way point is.

Get familiar with your GPS and compass “before” you have to use it.  Make sure you understand the difference between heading and bearing, and which one you need to set your compass to.

Learn how to set and read a compass.

If the GPS says you need a bearing of 130 degrees, would you know how to set the compass to 130 degrees in order to find your way to where you want to go?

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Field trip with nature class

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Wilderness hikingContrary 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.

Maxpedition NoatakFor the trip I bought along my Maxpedition Noatak, 32 ounce Maxpedition water bottle, peanut butter and honey sandwich, bag of chips, breakfast bar (for a snack), GPS, compass, rain poncho, camera,,,, and a few other things.

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.

Post your comments in this forum thread about my nature class field trip.

The idea of strategic default

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The idea behind a strategic default is, if you owe more money then your house is worth, then just walk away. This works well with people who can rebuild their credit, and who can afford to walk away from their investment. But for people who take pride in owning a house, pride in paying off their debts, pride in owning property, strategic default is not an option.

Who do those homeowners think they are they can just walk away from a loan because their house is worth less today then it was worth last year? Lets compare the “walk away” attitude to the rest of life.

Buying a car or truck – Just because your car value drops, does that mean that you stop paying the note? From the time I bought my Toyota truck, to the time that I paid it off, it had lost about 1/2 – 1/3 of its value. But I still paid it off. If we compare a housing strategic default to a car/truck, then I should have stopped paying on my truck long before I had it paid off.

Child support – When my wife and I went through a divorce, and I started paying child support, with the strategic default ideology, I should have signed over my rights and let the kids new step-dad adopt my kids. That way I would have gotten out of paying child support for about 14 years. But that would have also set a poor example for my kids.  If people can strategic default on their home loans, why cant dead beat dads strategic default on child support?

If we apply the strategic default ideology to the rest of life, if its costing us money, lets find a way to stop paying.

Where is personal responsibility – People who bought into bloated housing markets should have known prices were going to drop sooner or later – it was just a matter of time.

The people that got suckered into an adjustable rate mortgage and your rates went up, what did you expect?  Your going to pay on a house for 6, 7, 8, 10, 12 years, and then give the bank a financial incentive to take it away from you?  Why would the bank settle for making a small profit, when they can raise your rates to the point where you can not longer afford your notes, take the home, and then auction the property off for a huge profit?

Flexible mortgage rates give the banks a way to take your home, plain and simple.

A totally unrelated video about the Maxpedition Noatak

Maxpedition Falcon II Pygmy

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maxpedition falcon-ii pygmy backpackMom 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
Durable
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.

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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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Maxpedition Noatak Review

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Maxpedition Noatak

One of the problems that I have, I need a daypack that is big enough to take on a day hike, take fishing, take on the 4-wheeler,,,,,, but easy put on and take off. This is where the Maxpedition Noatak comes in. The Gearslinger design means there is just one shoulder strap, so when your wearing cold weather gear, you just have one strap to put on and take off.

Some specs from the Maxpedition site:

* Main: 11” x 7” x 4” with numerous internal pockets
* Front: 7” x 7” x 2” with internal keyper and sleeve pockets
* Front sleeve: 6.5” x 6.5” with anti-theft device on zipper
* Rear compartment: 8” x 12”
* Water bottle pocket: 7” x 2.5”; fits 32oz/1L bottle
* 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

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Maxpedition Backpack Giveaway

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Every month Survivalist Boards tries to hook up with a merchant to offer some kind of giveaway or contest. This month (August 2010), Maxpedition is giving away 3 packs. One pack will be given away on August 14, the other 2 will be given away on August 31.

The Prizes:

Maxpedition Condor-II – August 14 (OD GREEN)
Maxpedition Noatak – August 31 (KHAKI)
Maxpedition Vulture-II – August 31 and grand prize (DFC)

How to enter:

send entries to: SB @ Maxpedition.com Take out the extra spaces around the @ symbol.

Entries should include:

Name
Address
Email
Phone#

Pictures and videos are for examples only, the actual prize may differ.

Maxpedition Condor-II:
*Main Compartment: 17.5″(H) x 14″(W) x 6.5″(D)
*Upper Front Pouch: 5.5″(H) x 9″(W) x 2″(D)
*Lower Front Pouch: 8″(H) x 9″(W) x 2.5″(D)
*Approximate Overall Capacity: 1950 cu. in. / 32 L
*Hydration: Fits up to 100 oz / 3L Reservoir (sold separately)
*Support: 1″ Sternum Strap, 1.5″ Waist Strap (min 14″ strap alone / max 42″ strap alone; min 28″ loop / max 56″ loop)
*Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner
*Empty Weight: 47.8 oz.
* 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

Maxpedition Noatak:
* Main: 11” x 7” x 4” with numerous internal pockets
* Front: 7” x 7” x 2” with internal keyper and sleeve pockets
* Front sleeve: 6.5” x 6.5” with anti-theft device on zipper
* Rear compartment: 8” x 12”
* Water bottle pocket: 7” x 2.5”; fits 32oz/1L bottle
* 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

Maxpedition Vulture-II:
* Main Compartment: 20.5″(H) x 16″(W) x 7.5″(D)
* Front Pouch: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W) x 2.75″(D)
* Slip Pocket: 15.5″(H) x 12″(W)
* Capacity: 2810 cu. in. / 46 liters
* Weight: 3 lbs , 8 oz
* Hydration: Up to 100+ oz Bladder
* Support: 1″ Sternum Strap, 2″ Integrated Belt (min 19″ strap alone / max 52″ strap alone; min 34″ loop / max 67″ loop)
* Optional accessories: Hook & Loop Modular Accessories and Grimloc Carabiner, Hydration reservoir.
* 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

By entering the contest, you agree to receive promotional emails from Maxpedition.
Your information will not be shared with any other company or person.
You can un-subscribe from the emails at anytime

International winners – Winner will have to pay for Intl’ shipping cost.

Terms and conditions can change at anytime.

Void where prohibited by law.

Post your comments in this forum thread about the Maxpedition August Giveaway.

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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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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Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger Review

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The Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger is unlike a lot of other backpacks, as it only has one shoulder strap. Its designed so that the user can disconnect an under-the-arm strap, and then spin the pack so that its in front of them. Thus, making the pack easy to access without having to dismount it.

Maxpedition makes 3 packs in its gearslinger series – the Sitka, Noatak and the Kodiak. In this article we are going to be looking at the Kodiak.

The single shoulder strap supports the weight of the pack, while the under the strap helps to keep the pack in place.

The Kodiak Gearslinger has 5 compartments on it:
Place for the water bladder
Small outer pouch on top outside
Medium outer pouch on outside
Zipper pouch on outside of medium pouch
Main compartment

Some specs from the maxpedition website:

* Single shoulder backpack designed to maximize utility when rotated towards front of body
* Main compartment: 17 high x 10 wide x 4 thick with internal organization
* Top front: 4.5 high x 9 wide x 2 thick with internal organization
* Bottom front: 10 high x 9 wide x 2 thick with internal organization
* Approximate Capacity: 1100 cu. in.
* Fits up to 15.4″ (diagonal screen size) laptop computer.
* Bag can be worn in front and contents comfortably accessed while sitting down
* Water bottle pocket sized to fit 32oz Nalgene bottle
* Compatible with 100oz hydration reservoir
* Theft deterrent devices built-in to capture zipper pulls
* PALS modular webbing throughout to for attaching accessories
* Top and side handles

Before the pack is taken out on a hiking / camping trip, I wanted to get a feel for it. So I grabbed some Eversafe meals, GPS, topo maps, water filter, map compass, hammock,,, and put everything in the Kodiak.

Top smaller outer pouch that is on top of the pack – bug spray, topo maps, GPS and map compass fit in there just right.

In the larger outside pouch, my first aid kit and water filter fit in there just right.

In the main compartment, I had the 2 Eversafe meals, rain poncho, rope, and hammock. If this pack was being fitted for a real camping trip, I would have to strap a poncho liner or fleece sleeping bag to the outside of the pack, add a multi-tool, and a couple of other things and it would be ready to go.

I like the pouch on the side for a 32 ounce water bottle. Plus, there is a compartment for a water bladder. So if your heading out in hot weather, you should be able to carry plenty of water.

The strap that goes sunder your arm has an emergency whistle on it – which is a nice addition.

Things that I would like to see changed:

The Kodiak Gearslinger really needs some straps on the bottom. I found it awkward trying to strap a fleece sleeping bag to the pack – when the bag was put on the top of the pack and strapped down, the pack deformed so that it would not have fit my back properly. Having some way to strap something to bottom would really be nice.

Take a couple of the straps on the side and turn them vertical – this would make strapping something to the side much easier.  Lets take a tripod for example, I’am not quit sure how I’am going to strap it to the pack.

If you have any comments, please post them in this forum thread about the Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger.

Related Maxpedition Articles:

Maxpedition Vulture-II

maxpedition vulture ii

Kodiak Gearslinger
Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger
Falcon-II and Pygmy Falcon-II

maxpedition pygmy falcon-ii

Internal vs external frame backpacks

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Internal frame VS external frame backpacks, ask a group of backpackers which one they prefer and your sure to get a variety of answers. The truth is, asking about internal and external frame packs is like asking about:

chevy or ford
dodge or toyota
apples or oranges
iron man or spider man

This article is based on my personal opinion, established through years of hiking, backpacking and camping.

There are pros and cons to every argument – some of it depends on what you like, and what your going to be doing with it. Personally, I do not think there is a “right” or “wrong” answer here. All I can do is tell you why I pick my packs and go from there.

Cool weather –   Having the pack right up against your body helps retain some of your body heat in cold weather.  Depending on how cold it is where your hiking at, this may or may not be a big deal.

Hot weather – Here in east Texas summer temps can get stay in the 90s, day and night.  In July and August day time temps can easily reach the lower 100s.   The external frame allows your body heat to escape from around your back. Just having that little bit of air space can help out a lot.

I have seen people carry an internal frame pack during the summer. When they drop the pack, their back and their pack is drenched with sweat. Just having that little space between your back and the pack can really help out when its 90+ degrees.

Strength – External frame packs feel stronger then internal frame packs – it might be just me, when I have a heavy load, I like having something solid to grab onto. Internal packs just seem flimsy and week – but I know that is not the case.

Military testing – the military test a lot of stuff. So there has to be a reason why they continue to pick an external frame pack over an internal frame. I do not know the “exact” reason, but there has to be something there.

Heavy loads – When you start dealing with heavy loads, the closer you have the pack to your body, the better. Extending the pack off your body just a few inches can put more strain one yourself.

Its like when you carry something that is heavy. Do you hold it at arms length, or do you get it as close to your chest as possible? The same goes for your back. The closer you hold it, the better it carries.

To counter the “having your load next to your body” debate, external frame packs seem to handle heavier loads better then internal frame packs.

We can sit back and say – this pack does that well, while that pack does this well. But a lot of it boils down to which pack serves you the best. It might take you 3, 4, 5 or more packs before you get one that fits well and carries well. Regardless of what you buy, later on you might find something that you do not like.

My pack lineup:
Jansport cloth backpack – frameless
Fieldline – internal frame
Medium alice – external frame
Large alice – external frame
Maxpedition Falcon-II pygmy – frameless
Maxpedition Condor-II – frameless
Maxpedition Vulture-II – frameless
MOLLE-II 3,000 cubic inch with external sleep system – external frame
Large MOLLE-II 4,000 cubic inches – external frame
Kelty Big Bend, 4,000 cubic inches – internal fame
and a couple of others

Before I just grab a pack and head out into the woods, I’ll take the time to size up the situation.

How long will the trip last?
Cool, warm, hot or cold weather?
How long will the trip last?
Will I need extra clothes?
How much water and food do I need?
Is it a day hike, or camping trip?
Hammock camping or tent camping?
Sleeping bag or poncho liner to sleep in?
Am I bringing a camp stove or MREs?

Once some of those questions have been answered, then I will sort through my packs and pick one out. The pack will then be loaded and try it out to see how it fits. Mount the loaded pack, do some squats, pick something up off the floor, twist around a little bit and just get the “feel” for the loaded pack. If I dont like how that pack wears when its loaded with my desired gear list, I’ll try another pack. But most of the time the first pack is the one I go with.

Post your comments in the Internal Versus External Frame Backpacks thread of the forum.

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ALICE, MOLLE II or Maxpedition backpack for a 2 day trip

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The other day I received a question asking which one would make a good 2 day pack – MOLLE II Rifleman pack, ALICE pack, MOLLE II pack, or something from Maxpedition. In my opinion, there is no clear cut answer. The large ALICE packs are big, but their too “fat” – meaning they extend off my back too much and make me lean forward to balance the load. For this discussion, lets just talk about the medium ALICE pack, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE II with external sleep system, the Maxpedition Vulture-II and the Maxpedition

For a 1 – 2 day warm – hot weather trip, I would have to go with either the Maxpedition vulture-ii, 3,000 cubic inch MOLLE with external sleep system or a medium ALICE pack.

The large 4,000 cubic MOLLE would be good for cold weather – where you need to carry a large sleeping bag, coat, change of clothes, 4 season tent,,,,,. But for a 2 – 3 day trip in warm weather, the large MOLLE will probably be too big.

A lot of it depends on where your going, temperature, and how much gear you carry. During the summer months, I can usually get away with an 1,800 – 2,000 cubic inch pack for an overnight trip. During July and August, I can get away with a 1,500 – 1,800 cubic inch pack.

Here is a video about the Maxpedition Falcon-II Pygmy that I use as a hot weather pack.

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