Green and Black “Judy” Mountain rucksack loadout

So I decided to see what I could reasonably pack into the green and black rucksack that is a copy of the WW2/1950s+ US Army Mountain Rucksack; for a relatively cold weather.. The only information on it is a white embroidered tag saying “Professionally fabricated by Judy”. So it is now called a Judy rucksack by me, although I have never seen another one.

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Basic loaded up, missing a folding fire stove that would go into the 6×9 center pocket along with fire start kit.

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view of the back panel and painted frame

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The contents of the outside pockets, the blue 3/8″ Closed cell foam pad, and the cook pot carrier. Left to right;

My pyramid A-Tacs shelter with cordage and stakes from A-Tacs shelter tent, cook pot set, army canteen

The lid flap with a zippered pocket, the zipper is a YKK metal zipper. Contents of the lid pocket, missing are antibacterial wipes, 1/2 a toilet paper roll, granola bars and other snacks, likely would be carried on my person

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The contents of the main pocket which is a similar size to the USGI Large ALICE ruck. The stuffsacks and the Catoma Improved Bug Net System pop up bug tent are on top of a 1990s USGI Extreme Cold Weather Parka. Camo stuff sack has my 1970s Hirsch-Weiss (White Stag) goose down mummy sleeping bag, Stansports stuff sack has my BDU pants, and the Double Black Diamond stuff sack has the rest of my clothing.

I might acquire a stuff sack that is in between the two small sizes and the large sleeping bag size to consolidate my clothing.

Left, my 2 BDU pants out of the Stansports stuff sack. On the right, the rest of my clothing, poly-wool blend long johns, polyester underwear, normal socks, cotton t shirt, polyester long sleeve base layer shirt, wool socks.

 

It is not a complete load-out yet, I am thinking I want to make a few add-on pockets; one for the army tent poles coming in the mail, and a pair of either minimalist water bottle carriers/canteen carriers (elastic and straps like the cook pot carrier), or regular ol’ fabric carriers… I might add a couple D rings to the bottom of the main lid straps so I can securely lash the sleep pad on the bottom instead of the top. Water bottle carriers would be strapped to the frame horns on the rucksack frame, so that the heavy weight is closer to my back, and it would free up one of the pockets for carriage of other things. First aid kit is always on my person. The entire thing is not ultralight, or even lightweight, the USGI Large ALICE rucksack is far lighter with the aluminum frame and 420D pack cloth fabric.

 

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A-Tacs FG pyramid tarp tent

Sewed up this pyramid shelter out of 5 yards of  Polyurethane/silicon coated waterproof 1.9oz Ripstop Nylon in A-Tacs FG camouflage colors. Final measurements are 7 ft 10 inches long, 4 ft, 7 inches wide, height at peak, 50 inches. I will have to redo the door closure system to get the overlap needed for further weatherproofing.

There are a total of 11 tie out loops, I may add a few more if it would enable one to do more variety in setups like a blind or an observation post, or something similar to that.

Right now the support it uses are 2 standard aluminum adjustable tarp/awning poles lashed together… it will be changed out for something more low visibility later on.

On to the photos!

 

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Progress photo; door triangles cut and laid next to edge of front of main body, it is folded here, it should show how it looks when laid flat and folded in half.

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front view of the shelter; You can see how the doors have no overlap, and a serious gap that would allow weather to go in….so it is being redone right now.

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Side view, please pardon the USGI poncho peeking out, the poncho is  quite a bit wider than the shelter; The slight inclination of the door panels is evident here. One could add a rectangular tarp or poncho awning here for more space and for cooking/dining/general activities.

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The back view of the shelter, You can see the additional tie outs in the center of each of the 3 edges, and the center of the primary seam line on the back panel. The roof tie out is in case the user wants to have additional space inside the shelter, and the other tie outs are for more secure staking of the shelter in high wind areas, or for alternate shelter layouts to make up for space restrictions.

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Inside shot of the shelter with the doors folded back. The extra length is apparent here compared to the USGI poncho, and the relative narrowness is also evident here. I chose this width and length for a single person with room enough for gear/equipment/furred partner (dogs!), although two persons can snuggle up in there if needed.

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Close up of the door closure system, 1st try. It is simply 6 US Army BDU buttons, and elastic loops that fits on them. The loops will be replaced by something else that would provide me with the overlap needed to keep weather out. This is one of the lightest, most silent methods of closures that I can think of for the purposes of this shelter.

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Shown rolled and wrapped with the single peak line. The Coyote Brown  roll is the Bushcraft USA 10×10 Coyote tarp made of the same type of fabric (1.9oz PU coated Ripstop nylon). The pyramid shelter rolls into a smaller package, and is a bit lighter, even with the door closures being included.

Overnight Patrol setup with green lumbar pack

Using my modified MOLLE I belt system and the green lumbar pack I sewn up, I have made an overnight patrol, to 3 day patrol setup.

Pouches;

2x CMVS Triple ammo pouches

2x Canteen covers

2x Tactical Tailor Large Utility Pouches

2x Tactical Tailor Medium Utility/Canteen pouches

Lumbar Pack

Knife sheath on belt portion

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Pack setup 1

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Pack set up 2

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External pockets emptied except for AR-15 carbine (would be on my person)

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Ammo, goes in CMVS Triple mag, water in canteen , metal cup both goes into canteen cover, food goes into Large Utility Pouch

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other water bottle into other canteen cover, 10×10 Bushcraft USA tarp and bunch of paracord goes into other Large Utility Pouch. Medical kit goes into insert, whatever does not fit goes into the bottom of Medium utility pouch, then the plastic insert box goes on top.  stakes, and fire starting kit with Esbit folding multifuel stove goes into other Medium utility pouch, some stakes would do double duty as canteen cup holder on the Esbit stove.

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Hirsch-Weiss (White Stag) Goose Down mummy sleeping bag out of main bag, with clothes.

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Left to Right; Poly-merino wool long john underpants, nylon long sleeve camo shirt, woodland BDU pants, wool socks, and extra underwear. The wool socks and the long johns are for when it gets colder, and I sleep in base layer in the sleeping bag, the other clothes are change for next day or two days on. Fleece pull over or COld Weather Parka with liner would be worn if colder weather, if not, then lash fleece pull over onto the bag, if dry weather is expected..if wet weather, parka or M65 jacket with fleece inside.

Basically this is an overnight system, and up to 3 days, if I pack extra socks and underwear as well.

MOLLE II Ruck on Large Coleman frame!

Picked up a vintage Large Coleman PEAK 1 backpack with the large frame; and then got a MOLLE II pack with Main Ruck and Modular Sleep System carrier on Gen 2 MOLLE frame; decided to see how the MOLLE bags interface with the large Coleman PEAK 1 frame…. it works beautifully! I have extra space on the frame for the lashing of other things, or if I remove the MSS carrier, another Main Ruck bag!

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Coleman Peak 1 pack, it is roomy, and very nicely made, just very old. (1989 date on the hardware)

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Side view of the thing.

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Suspension view, the straps and belt are not comfortable at all for me.

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So I put the MOLLE II suspension from the stock MOLLE gen 2 frame on the far right side, onto the large Coleman frame on the far left, in the middle is the small “Junior” Peak 1 frame that is useful with the ALICE series of bags but cannot interface with the MOLLE bags due to the MOLLE bags attachment points being much wider.

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Frames without bags, one could lash a lot of items to the frames if so desired.

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MOLLE Main ruck, with MSS carrier attached to the bottom, and MOLLE Sustainment Pouches attached to the sides, I’ve had the Sustainment Pouches for a long time, going back to my old bike packing system..a few years, and they are still holding up very well!

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bare side to attach to the frame

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Upper pack bag’s attachment points, a short strap on the top, and a metal tab thing midway

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Another view of upper bag’s attachment, mid tab, then bottom tab by the shoulder strap attachments

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MSS carrier bag’s attachments, all 4 of them are in use, and again, they are the metal tab system, and they fit the frame as if the frame was designed for it

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Complete MOLLE II backpack on the Large Coleman Frame; there’s about 9-10 inches of space between frame bottom and bottom of MSS bag for the lashing of items.

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Suspension side showing how the pack looks with the frame attached, theres another gap between top of frame and top of pack, again for lashing items, or as a very convenient carry handle.

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Sideways view of pack on frame, you can see how it is rather large and bulky, but should be excellent for winter trips or group camping! Or long travels as well!

The MOLLE Suspension system is very comfortable, and effective…although it is very heavy, it gives one a feel of being bombproof and able to take on just about anything short of shrapnel damage or flames.

I paid $10 for the Coleman Peak 1 backpack system, plus $50 for the MOLLE main ruck, and I think $15 for the pair of Sustainment Pouches, so the total invested would be around $75, for what amounts to two complete backpacks, and the results is that I now have a very comfortable, very sturdy backpack system, and due to the metal tab attachments, I can quickly remove the pack bags if I need to just lash things to the frame.

Bushcraft USA 10×10 tarp set ups and one tree hammock hanging system!

Recently acquired a Bushcraft Outfitters, USA (BCUSA) 10 ft by 10 ft coyote tarp in a forum deal! It was damaged with a tab broken off, I got the tab repaired… anyhow… DSCN2338

Coyote Brown BCUSA tarp in brown stuff sack next to el-cheapo pencil organizer that houses my lighter smaller Long Ogee tarp.

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Damaged tab repaired, I used 1″ Cross- Grain ribbon as the reinforcement material and stitched lines to make sure it aint ever coming off!

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Initial set up, Diamond fly configuration with ski poles, 2 stakes only! a little slack in the material but that’s expected of nylon fabric..

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With two hammocks, more than enough space in there…. I know, I hung the hammocks too low like low hanging fruit but it’s just to give one an impression of the space available..

And with this tarp, I’ve decided I wanted to see how it would look in a vastly different configuration than most of the normal square tarp set ups…the basic layout is the same for the next 3 set ups, just the differences are all in the ridge line tie out location and the configuration of the front opening.

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Front view of the tarp tent set up;

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Back view of the set up, What I did is to stake the back wall down first, and then square up the side corners so that the tabs, which are evenly spaced at 2.5 ft between tie out tabs, are able to be staked down at the same locations, and then from that point between the center and the outermost stake, line up the front corners of the shelter to make a rectangle floor print of 5 ft wide and 7.5 feet long.

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Side view. After I stake the sides/corners down, I then raised the front peak up as far as I could do, and then attached the two tarp clips at the points where I wanted to raise the roof/wall points on the back, to make for a nearly vertical rear wall, and then ran the lines to the ski poles and staked them down. Finally, I run the clothesline ridge line through the ridge seam tabs on the tarp and raised the rear peak up, and tied the end of the line to an overhanging branch. This in effect gives the shelter a house like roof from which rainwater will shed very well, and with the vertical walls, gives one a feeling of increased space compared to a typical A- frame.

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Having seen something similar on a same size tarp, I decided to see if it would work with the ridge line peak tie out moved back 2.5 feet to the next tie out tab on the ridge seam..and bungee’d the resulting corners to bring the front down as far as I could… I disliked this set up because it robs the interior of space, and essentially makes it more a shelter you can only lay diagonally, as opposed to straight up and down.

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Another view of the terrible layout. It might be OK if I had done this with the back being a normal A-frame back though.

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So, keeping the same ridge line tab tied out, I decided to see what would happen if I pulled the corners the other way..and supported them with leaning poles and guy lines… this was the result. A much much better set up, and one that gives me the most spacious feel of the interior, PLUS the protection from almost all angles, the front opening is only 2.5 feet tall and 5 feet wide, a poncho or a small 5×7 tarp folded in half would have provided a great awning/door..One could also put a small piece of bug netting on that area and be fine for bug season…

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The side view of it. It is essentially now a doghouse shaped shelter, and with the amount of room up front now that the gable is pulled further out, one could have a good space for cooking/gear and still be protected from the elements inside.

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Rear view of the Doghouse shelter, again it is showing the rear wall layout, but also, you can see how much more open the front part looks to be compared to the first triangular opening shelter.. And the only two changes from that is the relocation of the ridge line peak tie out point and the addition of two tie out/pole points on the front sides.

With the tarp clips relocated to exactly 2.5 ft from the corners and in line with the side tabs and the ridge tab, I would say the shelter is basically a small wall tent with a front opening.
And now for something quite different! Here’s the one tree hammock stand!

One Tree Hammock stand stuff

First, these are the materials you need, from top to bottom;

a hammock obviously, with suspension.

an USGI General Purpose, Medium Tent center pole, telescoping, and it goes out to 10something feet, so if you ever need to have a visual cue on “not touching this with a 10ft pole”, this is it!

then the camo straps which are for both the hammock attachment and a ridge line in between the one tree and the pole,

then finally, a set of 4 cargo straps with 10″ nail style stakes larksheaded to their ends and tied to each other at their centers.

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Hook up the ridge line with the camo straps, then position army pole, only extended halfway, then run the 4 green straps down to the ground, and nail them securely at a 45 degree angle.. the pole is not vertical, because that is not what you want, you want as much of the hammock load to be on the pole, and less on the lines, so angling the pole out that its around 50-60 degrees from vertical, and then make sure its not going anywhere.. then stake the lines as far as possible.. this in effect gives you a tension based system..

finally, hook up the hammock to the pole and tree strap.

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Another view of the system, with my massive lumbar pack hanging off a steel hook I mounted on the tree strap. Sharp eyed readers will note that I have a whoopie sling in between the two straps on the ridge line, this is to make it easy to maintain tension…

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With the 10×10 tarp set up in an almost ordinary set up… first I put the side up with the poles, then I staked the center of the other side to make a half-diamond shape..then I staked out the “door” sides on the covered side. This gives me a good balance of wind proofing from one side, and yet a nice porch mode on the other side… with the amount of space in there, I can have a 2nd hammock underneath if I dare do so, or an army cot, or a camp chair or two..

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Side view of the set up. I did not stake the lefthand door as close to the ground as the other side is, but it still works here. With the short hammock ridge line, the 10 ft tarp covers me very well…only problem is the gear hanging out in the rain, but a poncho over it will give it the protection it needs.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

MOLLE Yucca Pack, modded to a big Lumbar pack!

My small MOLLE Yucca daypack is now doing duty as a beefy lumbar pack on a MOLLE waist belt set up and H harness set up… the main modifications involved were very extensive, basically a whole panel of MOLLE webbing on the back of the pack, plus 4 Ladder-loc buckles at specific locations to function better as a lumbar pack.. With some adjustment on how I attached my MOLLE Sustainment Pouches, I found that it functions better, and gives me some space in the main sack and on the outside… instead of taking up all 12 MOLLE slots on the perimeter for the two Sustainment Pouches, I have spaced it so that each pouch only takes up 5 slots each (for 10 slots), and a gap of 2 MOLLE slots in between for my Nalgene carrier and small misc item pouch. This also provides me with a convenient route for the flap straps..

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The pack. The top stuff sack houses my hammock and bugnet and suspension, while the MOLLE Sustainment pouches each hold the kelty topquilt and the hammock under pad insulation, and the main sack holds my clothing. The nalgene carrier in the lower middle houses an IKEA kitchen caddy turned into a wood burning stove, and the Buschraft Outfitters 10×10 silnylon tarp in Coyote brown.

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View of the waist belt set up; the large pouch holds my food and cook set, while the smaller pouch holds my first aid kit and fire kit, then between the canteen and the pouches are two modified 40mm ammo pouches, one holds my 4.5″ blade knife, the other holds a small 2AA Angle-head flashlight. Obviously there are two water bottles on the belt at the kidney positions.

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Belt opened up, you can see how there’s quite a bit of padding, the belt pad is size Medium, and is basically perfect as a waist belt on this pack system. You can also see the suspension straps for the pack.

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The MOLLE panel for the back, Instead of a normal method of alternating straps, I decided to fill the whole panel with butted straps so that I have basically as many options for attaching it to whatever I want to.

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The upper harness attachment system, what it is, is essentially a load lifter system, the pack’s D-rings are the anchors, while the harness adjuster only serves to locate the top point, and the Ladder-locs on the flap is the main adjusting point.. because I do not have internal stays on the pack, this method is needed to get the pack to ride as close to the back as possible.

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For those wondering how’d I attach the pack to the waistbelt… these are the 4 5″ long MOLLE straps I made up from the scraps I have on hand.

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A pic of the modified 40mm pouch, the only mods needed is the addition of a snap below the original snap to enable me to securely close the flap for better retention of the knife.

ALICE frame modular stuff sack pack system;

Decided to see what the MOLLE compression panels could take, and set up a backpack system in which the main bag is removable and contains all of my hammock camping gear cept tarp and suspension tree straps!

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Pack with everything loaded onto it

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Side view with hatchet mounted

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Other side view with knife and flashlight

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Bottom view, that is a vintage M1967 sleep system carrier being used as the bottom panel.

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Suspension view. Even though this frame is obsolete, and usually not comfortable with ALICE packs…it works pretty good for this load because of the packing system.

The pack contains the following items;

In the WW2 laundry bag stuff sack;

hammock

under pad

bug net

Kelty top quilt

In each of the 4x USMC Coyote brown pouches;

First aid kit (marked with red cross)

cook set and fire kit

food

back up hammock/gear hammock (Grand Trunk UltraLite)

In the MOLLE Water bottle carriers are the water bottles (self explanatory)

USGI M16 pouches carries my tarp in one, and hammock suspension in other

IDF revolver ammo/handcuff pouch houses my compass

Green Buttpack up top carries my clothes for up to 3 days

horizontal MOLLE pouch on very top carries my stakes, cordage, bandannas.

I do have room enough in the WW2 laundry bag to carry more insulation if I need to.

I notice that the MOLLE compression panels will likely need a 3rd buckle in the middle, and 2 more straps to attach to the frame, so that it compresses better around the main stuff sack.