Today I want to talk a little bit about a very handy piece of equipment that I have used on a daily basis for over a year and a half now. It’s the Mil-Tec 50 Liter backpack. I had, and I guess still have, a German Flecktarn camo pattern obsession. I used to travel quite a bit for a living, it was part of my job at the time, and I would go through the El Cheapo day packs like water, they just could not hold up to the demands of my profession. When the last one started ripping apart at the seams, I decided it was time to get something that I knew could take it, or at least have a better chance.
The first thing I went looking at was real military day packs, or patrol packs as they prefer to be called. I saw several, but unfortunately I’m picky about patterns… and unfortunately the Germans are the only ones that issue Flecktarn (the Russians do also, but its a poor rip off of the German version). Anyway, I started pouring over the internet and found a Molle Flecktarn pack! It was made by Mil-Tec. Now I am familiar with that company as I had a few of their other products before this one, and they all seemed to be of pretty good quality. Most are made in Germany instead of China. Despite the appearance, and description, I don’t think any military in the world issues this pack, rather its a niche product, but the manufacturer is good. After reading the reviews, I ordered the pack, sight unseen, and I was pleasantly surprised when it arrived and unpacked for inspection.
Being old school, I really despise metric measurements and 50 L meant nothing to me, CI is what I prefer. But these are made in Europe, so I cant gripe too much lol. The pack is a good size larger than a typical day pack, it has two main compartments, each separate from the other with there own zipper, good zippers by the way. The largest one has a small zippered compartment next to the back, about the size of a large envelope. I put important papers and other things in it. The large compartment also has a large mesh pocket, now I really don’t like mesh pockets, to me they are a pain in the ass and rather a cheap ass concept to me, so I promptly cut it out and tossed it. The next main compartment has a good organizer pocket set up on one side, I use it a lot and it does not interfere with the overall compartment. The pack then has two external zippered pockets attached to the secondary main compartment. One small one medium, with lots of Pals webbing, the pack also has Pals webbing on the sides of the main pack.
The Molle/Pals webbing has become a critical feature for me now, and I almost won’t buy anything that doesn’t have it. The reason for this is that after getting used to it on all the military gear I have, I now understand why the military makes such heavy use of it. This system allows you almost complete customization abilities, this is very important because every persons situation and needs are going to be different, and an off the shelf arrangement will not cut it for most of us. Molle allows you to build your load as you need it to be. In this case I picked up 4 Molle canteen/ gp pouches, two on each side of the pack. Only one has a canteen in it, the others carry small gear that I may need most often, like a military poncho (flecktarn lol) gloves, first aid kit, etc. Leaving more room in the pack for other things.
One other feature this pack has are compression straps, this is VERY handy. What they do is allow you to pull in unused space to make your pack smaller when it needs to be, it also helps stabilize your load. Compression straps also provide another attachment point. I typically roll up a light jacket and slip it under the straps, its held firm, its easy to get to, and eliminates the need to take up room in the pack. This pack has NO FRAME, I don’t have a problem with that, for what I use it for, but just letting everybody know. This is pretty comfortable pack for the loads you will carry. Its held up well so far, I love it.
You will notice our Siamese cat, he insisted on being part of the show, he is actually a very big cat, the pack is not that small…
And some more angles (click to enlarge):
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Fortunately, we have some very gracious sponsors who are willing to sponsor this fun contest. Please visit their sites and review the products being donating as they are certainly good people doing good things for our community. Here’s the prizes…
|CampingSurvival.com is donating an Exotac nanoSTRIKER XL Ferrocerium Fire Starter in Olive Drab.The description says “We created an evolutionary derivative of the original nanoSTRIKER with a larger rod and striker handle. It utilizes the same innovative design as the original, but with just enough extra size and heft to improve its ease of use without making it too big or bulky for key chain carry. The striker handle is 46% bigger, making it easier to grip. The XL version also sports a 33% larger ferrocerium rod, which improves the durability and lifespan of the rod even beyond that of the original nanoSTIKERs. Slowly scrape shavings off the rod into a small pile. Use these shavings on top of your tinder bundle for even better sparks! Use the nanoSTRIKER? to light gas stoves, alcohol stoves, fuel tablets, BBQ grills, etc.”|
|MayflowerTrading.com is donating an The Guardian First Aid Fanny Pack. Contents include: 1 – Fanny Pack, 1 – Eye Wash, 2 – Instant Ice Packs, 1 – 3″ ACE Bandage, 1 – Bandage Scissors, 1 – First Aid Guide, 1 – CPR Mouthpiece, 3 – Iodine Prep Pads, 6 – Pair Nitrile Gloves, 3 – 2 x 2 Gauze Pads, 4 – 4 x 4 Gauze Pads 1 – Tissue Pack, 6 – Alcohol Prep Pads, 2 – Water Gels, 1 – 1 x10 yds Adhesive Tape, 1 – Bio-Hazard Waste Bag, 1 – Box 3/4 x 3 Bandages, 1 – Tweezers1 – 4 ounce Hand Sanitizer, 2 – Eye Pads, 6 – Wet Naps, 1 – Hydrogen Peroxide, 1 – 5 x 9 Combine Dressing Bandages|
|OzarkMountainPreparedness.com is donating $100 Gift Certificate to any of their wonderful survival courses.”Our mission is to provide the highest quality instructional courses to people who desire to pursue a self-reliant lifestyle; whether in the wilds or right at home. By blending both modern and primitive methods into our curriculum, we offer a comprehensive and practical view of survival and preparedness. Our course topics include wilderness and urban survival, fur trapping, bushcraft, primitive skills, long-term wilderness living, land navigation, home disaster preparation, outdoor cooking, food procurement and storage, foraging, wild edibles, and others.”|
|RifleStock.com is donating a set of five Self-Watering Grow Buckets. I recently got a set and will review them soon. What is a grow bucket? “It is a 4, 5 or 6 gallon bucket altered to grow vegetables and flowers using a water reservoir in the base. Growing plants in self-watering buckets has been around for quite a while now, but our design has improved on the old method of using two buckets, one inside of the other, to create the water reservoir.”|
|I figured my sponsors shouldn’t do all the work, so I’m throwing in a McNett Tactical Aquamira Frontier Pro Ultralight Water Filter:•Military edition portable water filter system with straw-style design
•Attaches directly to water bottles, cups, or bladders
•Removes 99.9 percent of Giardia, Cryptosporidium, and other contaminants
•Activated carbon improves taste; universal connectivity adapter system
•Filters up to 50 gallons; removable bite valve doubles as hanging drip filter
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