Custom simple chest rig from USMC Bandolier

This was a test of my newly acquired #1 Zig Zag cam for the Singer 328K; a pair of skeletal MOLLE panels attached to an USMC Bandolier to turn it into a simple chest rig without additional Cordura fabric. I also made a custom H style shoulder strap/cross strap harness with new Coyote Tan buckles

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Shown without pouches, with my retro 6.5 Grendel pistol project20200826_114535

Back of the rig

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Close up of the MOLLE skeletal panel showing the bar tacks and line tacks used together

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Backside without harness, and with two USMC First Aid Kit pouches woven on.

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With the two pouches woven on, and still with retro 6.5 Grendel pistol.

 

Well, I hope y’all enjoyed this update!

Fun with sustainment pouches! Coyote packs

I recently acquired 3x USMC Coyote Brown sustainment Pouches for real good prices before they ran out of them; and proceeded to set up my coyote self-made backpacks with them;

Here they are, all 3 on the 2,000CI MOLLE Mini FILBE with FILBE suspension and frame; it resembles a modernized ALICE pack with much larger pouches

 

And with two pouches, mounted high like the standard MOLLE rucksacks, on the same pack; with the horizontal compress straps running over them

 

Then on the 1700CI Low profile MOLLE ALICE pack without frame, only could fit two pouches, and the set up looks much like a modernized ARVN rucksack; the lid straps runs behind the pouches, due to the space afforded by the Sustainment Pouches’ MOLLE mounting system.

1700 cubic inch low profile ALICE pack

Made this in Coyote Brown 500D Flame Retardant Cordura.

Approximately 22 inches by 13 inches by 6 inches.

Minimal MOLLE on it

Drawcord top closure

Simple slick top flap

Fits 4 different frames; can be used frameless.

Don’t quite know the weight of the packbag itself.

Frameless, with ALICE straps

Shown on the ALICE frame

Medium MOLLE/DEI 1609 frame with attachment details

On FILBE/DEI 1606 MC frame with FILBE Suspension

Shown on 26″ish Outdoors Products Ram-Flex/Small Coleman Peak 1 frame

With 2x Tactical Tailor Large Utility Pouches and 1x Woodland Sustainment Pouch, and expedient rigged horizontal lash strap to retain side pockets

Harness for BDS Tactical chest rig

Updated the BDS Chest rig to Stealth Warrior buckles in Coyote, and made a new low profile unpadded harness and back strap for it, using Coyote Tan 3.5″ webbing and Coyote Brown 1.5″ webbing; also made new 1.5″ elastic strap keepers for the front straps.

 

Me modeling the rig with 6 loaded aluminum AR magazines, wearing a tan button up shirt

Mini -FILBE pack in 500D Cordura

Sewed up a Mini-FILBE (Family of Improved Load Bearing Equipment) Pack in 500D Cordura, Coyote Brown, Flame Resistant coated; using USGI webbing and hardware. The pack is a simple packbag, just one large compartment, no lid pocket, and covered in MOLLE and ALICE webbing.

Specs

19x12x9″, approximately 2,052 cubic inches

7 rows of MOLLE on main bag body

2 rows of ALICE on main bag body

3 rows of MOLLE on lid and bottom

Drawcord closure with flat black grommets and OD stripped paracord

Duraflex buckles from National Molding in Coyote Brown

ITW-Nexus Coyote Brown 1″ D rings; 1.5″ black D rings

ITW Nexus LadderLoc buckles

Black Oxide Tri-bar tabs for frame attachment and compression strap attachments

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Main pack in slick mode

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side of pack showing compression strap

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frame and suspension side

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Showing how side compression strap attaches to frame side horn via black tri-bar buckle

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bottom of pack showing MOLLE for additional lash points or pouches

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with frame and suspension removed. Pack can be used frameless via the 4 D-rings, using ALICE shoulder straps or similar straps available from Fireforce USA and Tactical Tailor

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Upper corner frame attachment point with black tri-bar buckle

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Detail of where the black tri-bar attaches on the frame upper corners behind the shoulder yoke assembly

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Lower frame attachment strap with D ring for frameless carriage

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Detail of how the upper 1.5″ D-rings interface with the load stabilizer buckles on the shoulder yoke assembly. I might add more webbing to stabilize the D-rings in those location to prevent twisting.

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Showing the interior. It is one layer of 500D fabric where the white side is the Flame Resistant coating, and double layer on the back/frame panel. Also you can see how I attached the paracord to the corners for drawcord closure.

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Detail shot of drawcord closure with OD paracord, 0.5″ hole diameter grommets, and USMC surplus duraflex chest rig webbing mount buckles for side compression straps

 

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Shot of pack with 2x USMC IFAK pouches, 2x SDS canteen pouches attached

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Side view of pouches on the pack, showing how close the webbing and fabrics are in colors.

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Comparison shot of Mini-FILBE next to Propper made USMC FILBE pack; yes the USMC pack is HUGE compared to the Mini-FILBE.

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Two shots of FILBE, Large ALICE, and Mini-FILBE packs; the Mini FILBE with pouches seems quite similar in size to Large ALICE, but is shorter in height.

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USMC FILBE next to Large ALICE rucksack. The FILBE is again, much larger than the Large ALICE rucksack.

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Stuffed the FILBE bag as much as I could to better show the size differences

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another view of size differences

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Also stuffed the Large ALICE ruck, again to show differences.

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Side profile shots of the three bags

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Lid size comparison; in these photos, none have frame and suspensions on, to better show the relative sizes.

I do not have an example of a Medium ALICE rucksack to compare against the Mini-FILBE; but I have a hunch it is just a teeny bit smaller.

 

 

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!

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.

Tarp Shelter layouts and set ups!

Decided to go and do several different tarp shelter designs and layouts with the 5×7 tarp, Bat wing tarp, 9×7 tarp, and the latest 10×14 tarp I recently got!

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Flying Diamond pitch, Harbor Freight 5×7 tarp;

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Windward side view, first, tie upper corner to tree or post, then stake diagonal opposing corner down, then stake remaining two corners to make a wind break

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Another view of the Flying Diamond pitch with the 5×7 tarp, it does not provide much protection from rain, but is good for sun shade and possibly as a fire reflector using a pole to support the high corner.

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Batwing tarp in a symmetric diamond pitch with doors staked out on one side.

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Quarter view on windward side, the doors on the ground corner have been folded under, thus turning this tarp into a rhombus of 9 ft ridge line and 7 ft width.

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Head on windward view, the rhombus shape is all too readily apparent here, I think this is a good one man shelter, maybe two if the two people like cuddling together.

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Detail of doors on the pole side. Since the doors are not exactly vertical from the peak, they will go out past the pole or tree, and I might add tarp tie outs on the junction between the doors and the sides, so as to provide a place to stake out further, or suspend between two poles or trees.

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Another 5×7 tarp set up, Low Tetra pyramid…or “Dead Man’s bivy bag” set up due to its tiny size.

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The height of this is around 30 inches, while the width is 60 inches at the far end, and a floor length of 7 feet. This is NOT an ideal shelter for tall people, but for the average user or shorter, it would be a survivable shelter with protection from most elements.

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Windward view, one could make it feel bigger by adding a tie out/panel pull out where the sticker is on this tarp.

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Half-Pyramid open faced shelter utilizing the tan 9×7 tarp and suspended from a Douglas Fir branch.

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Windward view of the tarp shelter

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Tree side view, that is a 5×7 tarp as the ground cover, and there is plenty of room in there for up to 3 people. Best with two and gear, and with a metal pole or similar, one could have a fire in front of the pyramid shelter and be comfortable.

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Interior view with ground cloth and my MOLLE pack in there.

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10×14 tarp set up in a 6×8 narrow pyramid with approx 7 ft height.

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View of door side with door flaps closed up.

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Interior view showing the basic fold of corners and the space given.

Basically one puts tarp clips 3 feet from the corner of the door flaps, for the front, and then put tarp clips an approximate distance (in this case, 4 feet) from the corners on the back to make a 6 ft width between the back two clips, and thus providing just around 8 ft of length between the front and the back after squaring up the stake points.

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With 9×12 tarp erected using 5 more pole sections as an awning.

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Not quite lined up I know, but this gives good space under which to dine or cook or hang around in weather.

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A different pyramid set up, this oddly enough gives me a bigger floor space than the narrow one above, the doors are now 4 feet wide, and the back edge is now 8 feet wide..there is a 6×8 tarp in there, and according to my calculations and confirmed with this set up, I have a floor of 8 ft wide and 6 feet 6 inches length, thus providing me with more useful room in the shelter. Same 7 ft approximate height.

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Closed up, basically weather proof. I could cut a hole in there for a stovepipe but I do not have a stove with pipe yet.

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Side view of Leaning/half Pyramid set up.

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Windward-quarter view, showing the better pyramid shaping compared to the narrow one.

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All packed up save for the pole. I might splurge for a backpacking tarp pole if it means a smaller package than that shown above. Both the 10×14 tarp and the 6×8 ground tarp are rolled up in the bag, along with the stakes and the single long line.

Hope you enjoyed this post!

update; new black pouch, gun shows report and bikepacking rig so far;

OK been a while since I posted here…..been busy with selling surplus equipment and uniforms at the local Gun Shows in Albany; they went rather well; made a bit of money in January and made a little less in February, did not have a vendor’s table at the Rickreall Show at the beginning of March; due to it being a little too last minute for me. Anyways…I’ve completed the first of a run of 8 black pouches in 1000D Cordura with vinyl backing; they are a little shorter than the woodland pouches, and wider than them, meant for 12 gauge shotgun shell boxes, medical first aid plastic inserts, or 12 SKS clips;

black pouch next to standard woodland pouch

back of black pouch showing dual method of attaching to belt; LC clips and belt loop in center

12 SKS stripper clips fits it

USGI Medical Kit Plastic Insert

12 gauge shotgun shell box, 2 3/4″ size, with room to spare

and my current bikepacking rig; with a repainted frame, camo front bag, two camo small pouches behind handlebar, 2x 2 quart canteens in USMC first aid kit pouches on frame, and two MOLLE sustainment pouches on rack with the large black compression sack holding my tent, poles, sleep pad, and sleeping bag. ; some photos shows it with no rear rack or bags;

current bikepacking rig

earlier pic without rear rack/bags, in the environment it’s meant to be in

yes that is an airsoft “army” helmet, will be replaced by a Giro helmet; showing the riverfront environment