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Thread: ruck vs assault pack + FLC sizing...

  1. #1
    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    ruck vs assault pack + FLC sizing...

    So I'm going to be getting back into hiking...to get back in shape.... and am looking at some solid gear...

    I've been dancing between a large MOLLE ruck (polymer frame, sustainment pouch, padded belt, etc) for less than 100$, but seems like it may be a bit large...

    Then I see an assault pack, which looks like a glorified school backpack, which looks nice and simple (less to go wrong) and a lot lighter....

    Additionally, how are FLC's sized? I'm a big guy (6'2" 325#) and I know most of the stuff designed for military isnt designed for overweight guys like myself...

    I was planing on running the FLC with crossdraw holster (hiking in mountains) and a few pockets for radio/map/compass/flashlight/etc, with heavier stuff either fitting in the assault pack or the ruck...


    I'm also using my hiking trips to test my B.O.B. ... essentially fine tuning it every trip... My current B.O.B. is essentially a duffel, but I want something easier to carry (read: shouldered)


    Suggestions?

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    Regular Member 25sierraman's Avatar
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    I have a Ruck and an Assault pack issued to me (active Army) and I have to say that for my size (6 feet 220lbs) the Ruck is extremely comfortable. The old Metal frames were horrible especially for larger guys and heavy for their purpose. The Polymer one is a bit larger in dimension and extremely light. The only problem that I've had was when i dropped my ruck after a 12 mile ruck march with 75lbs and the frame actually cracked on me. You don't have the nice CIF people to just DX your equipment when its damaged during training for free so you might want to take that into account. The assault pack is basically an over glorified jansport with a few extra bells and whistles added on but I used to carry mine everywhere before i got an Under armor gym bag. It's also very easy to "expand" upon with add on pouches and what not. Also the Assault Pack doesn't have a frame to crack on you but then again it also doesn't distribute the weight quite as nicely. I guess it all boils down to how much you're planning on lugging around and what fits you best.
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    Is your "hiking" with a 'pack' like backpacking? There is as much archly specialized discussion of the proper pack as of the proper gun and in specialized forums.

    Backpacks are carefully sized. Half of the misery is due to an incorrectly sized pack. Military influenced design emphasizes a whole realm of capabilities not needed while backpacking.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug Huffman View Post
    Military influenced design emphasizes a whole realm of capabilities not needed while backpacking.
    Agreed, there are also better fitting and more cost effective backpacks out there that won't make you look like ex-military gone crazy while out in the woods and would do better in the elements. If you're looking to spend a little less than $100, there are actually quite a large selection of backpacking backpacks up to almost 70L/4200 cubic inches that will work great as a B.O.B. I also find it just as easy to adapt weaponry to a yuppy "REI special" as I would with a military specific backpack.

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    Regular Member TechnoWeenie's Avatar
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    Main reason for the mil solution wa the flexibility of the MOLLE platform. I can cchange the packs config depending on the 'mission' (seasonal, dry/wet,etc).

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    I'm not sure I would be too concerned about changing configuration of the pack to suit your needs. Many packs nowadays have built in rainflys that tuck in at the bottom for quick deployment and convenient stowing. Large main pockets I've found to be adequate for carrying all of the big things (food, clothing items, maybe even sleeping accommodations, etc), and I haven't ran into a pack that doesn't have secondary and tertiary pockets for storing smaller items and a hydration system. Anything that can't be contained in the pack is usually strapped on the outside through the various tie-down options on the exterior of the pack itself.

    However, this is simply my own extensive personal experience saying that I don't see the need for what you're looking for. It's really going to boil down to your own personal preference and comfort level though and if that means going with something that is as heavily configurable as you'd like, go for it. I just think that you're going to spend more than necessary on something that won't be as comfortable or really as universal as you might think it is.

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    Read The Complete Walker by Colin Fletcher, now in its fourth edition co-authored by Rawlins now that Fletcher, my acquaintance, is dead.

    Another, Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills by The Mazamas. Particularly influential for me for its treatment of 'lightning'.

    I applied the information in my 1966 John Muir Trail walk and the Sierra Club's (then) Qualified Leader program.
    Last edited by Doug Huffman; 10-22-2010 at 01:24 PM.

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    Campaign Veteran since9's Avatar
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    I just use a Camelback while day hiking, and an old Kelty frame pack if I'm heading out overnight. If it weighs more than 30 lbs, even in the dead of winter, I've overloaded it. If I'm doing extensive day hiking, I'll still take my Kelty, but with about half the normal gear.
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