Why are ALICE Packs so Enduring?
Kevin Felts 10.22.19
When it comes time to head to the hunting camp or maybe go on a camping trip, how many people think of grabbing their trusty ALICE pack? Chances are there are many readers who have never used an ALICE pack, so they probably cannot relate.
If you have never had an ALICE pack, think about a friend who has never let you down. Or maybe a pet who will always be glad to see you. Something reliable that will get the job done.
In an age of technology and space-age polymers in which just about everything is comfort-driven, why has something dating from the 1960s endured? Maybe because of how durable and simplistic the ALICE pack is.
What brought this topic up? I am planning a multi-day hunting/camping trip on a local river.
During the hunting season of 2018-2019, Southeast Texas received so much rainfall that public hunting lands along a local river were flooded. The bad news is that I was unable to hunt the areas which had become flooded. Fast forward to the 2019-2020 hunting season: the river is at a normal level and we have been receiving a normal amount of rain.
While planning for this trip, the choices were a medium MOLLE, large MOLLE, or large ALICE pack. Even though the large ALICE is slightly smaller than the large MOLLE, I feel the design of the ALICE is superior to the MOLLE.
Why is the large ALICE superior to the large MOLLE? Design. The large ALICE has six external pouches and one internal pouch. The external pouches are ideal for storing commonly used items such as bug spray, water filter, or bandanna. The large MOLLE has no built-in external pouches. (Some may say this is a bonus as the pouch size can be customized to what the person wants.)
The internal pouch of both the medium and large ALICE is ideal for items such as a stove, canister of blended fuel, cook set, or a small book. Being able to organize items is a huge selling point over other packs. Some people may like how modular MOLLE gear is, while others simply want to grab and go.
However, with all of that said, if someone just wants capacity, the large MOLLE with two sustainment pouches is the way to go. Each sustainment pouch can hold around two days of food, which frees up room in the main pack for other gear. So yes, there are times when the large ALICE is left at home.