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U.S. Army Large Alice Pack

U.S. Army Large Alice Pack

I'm a fan of the external frame pack and recently decided to swap my Swedish LK35 for an Alice pack, the pack in question was the large model and after buying a new set of shoulder straps (my old ones were missing?) I packed it and took off for a weekend in the woods.

Alice is an All-purpose Lightweight Individual Carrying Equipment, basically a backpack.


Now I'm not sure of the capacity of the pack, some say its 70 litres and others 50 litres, personally I'd be inclined to say below 45 - 50 litres which is fine as that's easily enough for a weekends gear. These packs are designed for troops working in extreme winter conditions and as such are robustly made with some excellent features.

The two lower left and right bottom external pockets are ideal for taking a 58 pattern water bottle, while the middle and slightly larger pocket will take a set of German mess tins or my preference a set of British mess tins (with room for a few items stuffed around them).

The three smaller top pockets appear to be designed for the addition of extra magazines of ammunition but are ideal for your essentials, mine contain, first aid kit, note book, sharpening stone, para cord, matches, fire steel, Hi Vis marker flag, mini paraffin lantern, torch, whistle, light sticks and tinder etc, or if I'm carrying my jack flask with something hot inside it then that goes in the middle pouch for easy access during a lunch stop for example.

The lid has a small pocket ideal for maps and such but I usually store my wash kit and housewife (sewing kit) in there as its a low bulk kit. The main sack has a large inner pocket mounted high at the back and this is where I store my rations and a 2 qrt canteen keeping the weight high on my back and shoulders, in the main sack I then packed my therma rest, polish army tent, down jacket and sleeping and bivi bag.


While appearing bulky the pack is surprisingly comfortable and stable on the back. The external frame has a comfortable hip belt and keeps the pack off the back 100%, in fact after a days carriage hiking through the forest the only two wet points were a small area across the shoulders and on the hips which is excellent as I hate a wet back after hiking and the horrible sensation of chilling as the cold wind dries the sweat dampened clothing.

I'm not a fan of the smaller medium sized ALICE pack but I am really pleased with the large one, it's a comfortable carry and fits my back perfectly so for bushcraft purposes I think this is an excellent pack which will be hard to beat and one I'm sure to use again and again in the future.
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