An excerpt from our latest video on using an army surplus, Vietnam-era medium Alice pack with a tumpline as an alternative to a traditional canvas canoe pack.
I love traditional gear, but some of it is very expensive. If you’re wanting a traditional canoe pack, either to hold all of your gear for an expedition or as a functional day pack, you can make a substitute using an army surplus Alice pack and attaching a tumpline.
I bought this particular medium Alice pack 40 years ago in 1982. They last. It is simple to attach a tumpline to it, and the result is very secure. The tumpline in the video was made for me by Blake Towsley at Full Tang Outfitters.
So if the price of a new Frost River pack gives you sticker shock, this is a good alternative. Check your local surplus store, ebay, and the usual suspects – there are a lot of these things sitting in warehouses.
The entire video and associated discussion is available on our private online community at BushcraftSchool.com. It’s free to join.