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Rucksack Changes for this Rural Evader

Posted by Ivarr Bergmann on May 9, 2020 at 6:00 PM

A total rucksack overview is not my intent today. I'm simply passing on some ideas i think will come in useful to others looking to Evade.

 

As Ive mentioned time and time again an Evader is not a soldier. You have to think outside the metric machine of soldiering to be outside that box.  A properly functioning kit complement that flows with the situations will save the Evader countless issues and getting made by the OPFOR. One piece of kit should always work with the other in a cycle of success that suits the ever changing landscape of the Hammer Dropping. In this article I will discuss avoiding the fuss. The fuss of burdensome liability in the form of audible and visual signatures caused by kit.  Moving is unavoidable, as is a certain amount of audible and visual report from moving. This can be dangerously amplified that much more when you're tired and prone to making mistakes.  The Evader will make mistakes but preparing your kit in such a way as to limit and reduce the impact of such mistakes can pay you back endlessly. These preparations should never be an excuse for not observing do diligence and properly executed creep mode/stealth mind-set and attitude. Such preps are merely an addition to the tools and skills that the Evader should take with them the day the Hammer Drops. Nor should such preps and mind-sets be viewed as a way out in terms of neglecting to cultivate good habits with your kits organization and maintenance. All if for naught without properly cultivated habits that can easily be severely impacted by fatigue, stress, hunger and the fear/anxiety a Hammer Dropping collapse would obviously bring to the Evader.

In this article I hope to pass along some quick and simple ideas to help. I use, and am a loyal user of the British PLCE "Bergen" Rucksack. This is probably the best rucksack I have ever used and it continues to prove that its a loyal custodian for all my cargo needs for training in the now and for when the Hammer finally drops. It consists of a very simple 3 cell system. One large main cell and two smaller side cells. The two side cells are 20 Liters each while the main cell sports a 90 Liter capacity. This is the "Long Back" version that I HIGHLY recommend over the short back version. Its also has a zipper pocket above and under its lid that seem to be very convenient and well though out. Its build for simplicity and function. You wont find Gucci pocket organizers and pocket pussy pouches like on commercial designs and as found on many military packs these days. You will not find a rats nest of MOLLE webbing and a cluster fuk of unorganized and unruly adjustment straps. Its really just a very strait forward pack that delivers support and service to the Evader.



Whats more about these rucksack is that they are designed to ride high. This means they are ideal if you are wearing web-gear/LBE of a traditional configuration..They are designed to use with the British PPLCE LBE system but will act the same with most others, just to a point though. Thet seem to require a firm and robust type pouch on the LBE/PLCE webbing to rid on. They absolutely can be used w/o such support and go good with chest rigs or vests type LBE units.


Moving on...


So to start the green season i wanted to address a few issues I had with this ruck that caused me to try to stray away a few times over the years. Regardless of my misgiving I always returned becuase it truely has always been the best for me, but the issues were still there. I realized I was looking at the problem from a contemporary perspective and through a scope that was the given norm. And it was wrong. And again doing what the "heard" was doing has proven to me once again that it will NOT to fit into the Evader perspective and requirements. The pack wasn't the issue, my perspective and subsequent execution of the task was the problem. I was applying my E&E perspective but not going far enough with the pack and what it could offer and being blinded by my own perspective and past experiences. The answer was there I just didn't see it. I didn't need a new rucksack, I needed to use it in a different way!

One of my biggest issues was the one main cell (and the smaller ones to a lesser extent) were a SUPER PAIN IN THE DICK to get things in and out of, especially in the cold. I hated it. Fuking hated it. With one large cell I would load thing in and hope later I wouldn't need to gut the ruck to get to them, but it was never so. It felt like it was a cycle of madness I resented the shit out of. Trying to remain at the ready with kit and remain organized was taking too much time and effort because I was simply looking at this from what I thought I knew- The conventional thinking of how to load a ruck... That was my main peeve with the main cell. To a lesser extent I had the same issues with the side pouches as well. Though more so with the ration and cooking kit side pouch rather then the shelter and construction side. The construction side was what it was and was usually used once and that was that. But the ration side was used a few times a day and between the rations and cook kit there was never enough room go go past 2-4 days depending on season and how hungry I became. Its was a constant unloading of the pouch to get the task done. Add in fatigue and/or bad weather and it pissed me off.

#1

The first thing I did was take out the sleep sack. Strait away this freed up nearly half the room in the main cell. I then thought about the winter. I usually use a sled in the winter and stow the Arctic sleep-sack in that separated from my ruck .. So moving that aspect of this task aside I went to a green season sleep requirement. A lightweight system on the outside was the answer and a very simple one. I simply took a British DPM bivvy bag and shoved a poncho liner inside, rolled it up and lashed it on using 550 cord. Sso it could still stay in the winter as a back up because of the Arctic sleep-sack in the sled. With the Bivvy sleep sack on the outside this will offer me convenience and expediency. I have a place to sleep that is simply two lashing cords away and I don't have to gut my rucksack to get to it. Its smooth,less visually and audibly reporting and whats more is that the rest of my ruck is still intact so If i have to flee and leave the bivvy behind i stand a better chance of getting away with the remainder of my kit... The bivvy offers a respectable amount of protection from the elements in the event slinging up a shelter isn't safe. The Evader must know the difference between a hasty RON and a relatively secured RON when it comes to selecting a spot to sack out for the night or a few days.....


 

I also added a professional grade water-tight liner to the main cell. It cost a nut and a toe so itbetter keep my kit dry inside..


#2


The second change I did was to move all the cooking kit outside the the ration pouch to its own spot in a new pouch. This freed up loads of room by half ! It always surprises me how fast room is used up in a rucksack. And again this freed up room provides smooth expediency and access to kit aiding in organization and maintenance. I have a German Mess Tin with cooking stove and utensils, plus a cup and wash rags inside this pouch. The pouch is made from a separate side pouch from another PLCE Rucksack, cut and sewn to purpose. Its attached by simple fastetx snap clips and is 100% removable. When I took out the cooking kit I was able to double my ration haul. From a slim week to a full belly week. Now I can just open the side pouch and take out what I need and not have to dig and unload things. If I organize meals i can simply start at the top and never have to worry about digging in the pouch. There was no way to do this before- The cooking kit would only sit firm and stable at the bottom of the side pouch. It had to be stored at the bottom also because sitting the rucksack on the ground often damaged cans and packaged after prolonged hauls- This is still a worry but the benefits outweigh the risk. With the new liner in the raition pouch it offers a good element of cushion like protection because its thick and oversized. This water tight liner also provides protection so I don't have to worry about perishables being ruined by the elements.



Notes....

With room gained in the main cell I can now store 2 full sized Austria Zeltbahn shelters, and my Survival Smock inside it. Storing the smock there, and at the top of the mouth, is important. The weather here is now very hot and if its located at the mouth this makes it easy to grab and ditch the rest of the ruck should the need arise and to also retrieve it for use around RON camp. The spare clothing complement has stayed the same and will remain so. I see no point in changing it at the moment. The construction side has also stayed the same with its compliment. I will in time, as my PT progresses to start this season, be examining this too for changes and modifications to its compliment of tools and materials. I have also decided to use the small mess tin pouch that is located under the bivvy bag and that is standard option of this rucksack as my weapons cleaning pouch. As this unfolds I will get into it more. I thought all of this this would be a good topic to share..


Simple mindfulness serves me well. I'm human and I'm not perfect. Some things come to me fast-others not so much. There is still much to do- it doesn't end. I'm sure there is more I haven't discovered that I could change for the better, but I'm looking forward to it. Its an evolution. Smooth is fast and smooth is productive. The less the burden, the better the situations start and end for the Evader. The less noise and fuss the Evader produces when deploying his kitthe better off the Evader will be at avoiding OPFOR and becoming dead or skull raped by



Old Ruck Video Link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Er_-Shg8n0

Remember .. "DONT FEAR THE RUCK"


Ivarr






Categories: Kit Posts, Drill Posts, Shit I feel like talking about Post

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16 Comments

Reply Selfreliance Quest
6:53 AM on May 24, 2020 
Ivarr Bergmann says...
After years of trying different rucks which never seemed to work out right, I finally picked up a long back bergen. It arrived this week. I am excited to put it through its paces and make the mods that will get it working for my situation. Hindsight is always 20/20 and I'm already wishing I would have done this years ago. This thing is bomb proof!


No. there is no weight shift or pull to the rear at all. And yes I was using a short back for some time. I HATED IT. Most of the 90L capacity is in the mouth sleeve and not the actual rucksack. It was quiet ridiculous. I then tried a USMC MARPAT ruck but that was a horror show of ridiculousness..so now im back to a long back like I started with here 12 years ago..

and you're very welcome.. thank you for your time here.. Its appriciated..

Ivarr
Reply Bushranger
8:35 PM on May 15, 2020 
Ivarr Bergmann says...
ahaha.. Yes Sir.. feels like you know how to get there and back on a dime.. You post has truth (though no one needs to tell you that, just say'n).. If there were more ppl like you and me celebrity "Survivalist" would ho broke..

Indeed, friend. Real survivalism is ugly and brutal... not the best content for grifters who want to make a buck off people who know no better. Here in Australia, the entire outdoors culture is dominated by people who purchase beefed up 4WD vehicles with every bell and whistle you can imagine and take every single amenity of home living (the fridge, showers, comfortable tents) and go out into nature and leave trash everywhere, basically living at home just without the 4 walls around them and doing nothing. Really being out in the field is going without those nice amenities and using your skills to make it through the night, sometimes going to sleep not sure if you will ever wake up... THAT is really being in the outdoors. When the hammer drops, these people simply won't make it in the long term.

Great new video by the way, Ivarr.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
8:16 PM on May 15, 2020 
Bushranger says...
Yeah, my hoochie, sleeping bag, bivvy and poncho are all in auscam which blend in well to the bush. The hoochie already has the ridgeline set up so that I can have a viable shelter in less than 3 minutes and I put it in the front large pouch for easy access. I am also using a DPM Smock for the Winter months and DPM field shirt which works well in my AO and the smock is great value for its money as I have it set up as a "backup" survival kit on its own so even if I am separated from my pack I can still get by.

All of my gear wasn't procured by watching some "gimmick" gear reviewer channel that showcases overpriced useless junk, it was a long process of evaluating what I needed and getting the best deal for them. For example, I could buy a $150.00 Stainless Steel canteen with all the bells and whistles, or I can buy a $30.00 SS canteen with cup from eBay and it holds up just as well. In Australia, finding actually useful kit, especially in stores is quite a task, so every penny saved goes towards getting actual quality kit that you can't skimp on.


ahaha.. Yes Sir.. feels like you know how to get there and back on a dime.. You post has truth (though no one needs to tell you that, just say'n).. If there were more ppl like you and me celebrity "Survivalist" would ho broke..
Reply Bushranger
7:51 PM on May 15, 2020 
Ivarr Bergmann says...
Ive done all of the above to the ALICE as well.. Molle pouches and all but I never tied anything as large as a sleep sack on the outside. Im small and the large ALICE was a monster on me, add a external sleep sack and I think Id be so off balance it be simply dangerous.. Im pleased when I hear of ppl using their stuff to know its needs fixing.. Thank you for that on this hazy eyed morning.. (was a long day in a TA Moscow yesterday scouting)...I used a ALICE in between PLCE Rucks.. saddens me they price of these rucks is sky rocketing like they are on the surplus market.. I actually used a MED camo ALICE yesterday as my day sack.

Im all for a basha/hoochie.. In fact I found one I long forgot I had and plan to use it soon.. Is your in AUSCAM?

Great reply mate, I thoroughly enjoyed it..

Stay healthy,,
Ivarr


Yeah, my hoochie, sleeping bag, bivvy and poncho are all in auscam which blend in well to the bush. The hoochie already has the ridgeline set up so that I can have a viable shelter in less than 3 minutes and I put it in the front large pouch for easy access. I am also using a DPM Smock for the Winter months and DPM field shirt which works well in my AO and the smock is great value for its money as I have it set up as a "backup" survival kit on its own so even if I am separated from my pack I can still get by.

All of my gear wasn't procured by watching some "gimmick" gear reviewer channel that showcases overpriced useless junk, it was a long process of evaluating what I needed and getting the best deal for them. For example, I could buy a $150.00 Stainless Steel canteen with all the bells and whistles, or I can buy a $30.00 SS canteen with cup from eBay and it holds up just as well. In Australia, finding actually useful kit, especially in stores is quite a task, so every penny saved goes towards getting actual quality kit that you can't skimp on.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
12:04 PM on May 15, 2020 
Bushranger says...
Great post, Ivarr. I myself use the original LC1 Large ALICE pack with ext. frame and there were some pretty big problems I had to fix when I got it in the mail. Had to make some mods such as a cordage carry handle, modern clip buckles for quick access of main pack and purchasing two MOLLE pouches to attach to the sides of the pack for my IFAK and water filtration kit respectively. You learn pretty quickly what adjustments need to be made to your kit when you take it out in the field and actually use it.

The pack is pretty complete now but I came across a similar problem as you with how quickly the inside fills up. My auscam sleeping bag, even in its compression sack took up nearly half of the usable space inside the pack which was addressed by getting an auscam bivvy bag, and having the sleeping bag inside that and then again inside the compression sack, then tied onto the bottom of the ALICE bag with some cordage, this means that without having to even open my pack, I can roll out my entire sleep system quickly without much hassle. In my AO, that sort of shelter system can take you pretty far, but of course I also have a hoochie that provides ample cover from rain.


Ive done all of the above to the ALICE as well.. Molle pouches and all but I never tied anything as large as a sleep sack on the outside. Im small and the large ALICE was a monster on me, add a external sleep sack and I think Id be so off balance it be simply dangerous.. Im pleased when I hear of ppl using their stuff to know its needs fixing.. Thank you for that on this hazy eyed morning.. (was a long day in a TA Moscow yesterday scouting)...I used a ALICE in between PLCE Rucks.. saddens me they price of these rucks is sky rocketing like they are on the surplus market.. I actually used a MED camo ALICE yesterday as my day sack.

Im all for a basha/hoochie.. In fact I found one I long forgot I had and plan to use it soon.. Is your in AUSCAM?

Great reply mate, I thoroughly enjoyed it..

Stay healthy,,
Ivarr
Reply Bushranger
8:38 AM on May 15, 2020 
Great post, Ivarr. I myself use the original LC1 Large ALICE pack with ext. frame and there were some pretty big problems I had to fix when I got it in the mail. Had to make some mods such as a cordage carry handle, modern clip buckles for quick access of main pack and purchasing two MOLLE pouches to attach to the sides of the pack for my IFAK and water filtration kit respectively. You learn pretty quickly what adjustments need to be made to your kit when you take it out in the field and actually use it.

The pack is pretty complete now but I came across a similar problem as you with how quickly the inside fills up. My auscam sleeping bag, even in its compression sack took up nearly half of the usable space inside the pack which was addressed by getting an auscam bivvy bag, and having the sleeping bag inside that and then again inside the compression sack, then tied onto the bottom of the ALICE bag with some cordage, this means that without having to even open my pack, I can roll out my entire sleep system quickly without much hassle. In my AO, that sort of shelter system can take you pretty far, but of course I also have a hoochie that provides ample cover from rain.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
12:32 PM on May 11, 2020 
Longhunter says...
It's the thin OD green folding mat. I think it was meant to slip into a pocket on the inside of a german ruck to be used as a backer or stiffener? But I'm not sure.
I keep it folded inside my ruck or it can be rolled instead of folded inside of the bedroll depending on how many others layers I have inside or how big I want it to be.
It's definitely thinner and not as comfortable as the USGI sleep mat but the german one packs better wether folded as intended or rolled. I got mine on ebay a few years ago.

The wool sleeping bag is awesome but it gets tight when used as the outer layer over the bivy and everything else. You can fold a wool blanket in half and sew the bottom and side up to your knees or so to make a sleeping bag if you need more space.


Ok I know the one.. I remember when they were like 10 for 15$ back in the day.. I didn't know you could roll then. Good info-thank you!

I like the sounds of your ruck rig... ... Thanks for the replies and info.. Very much appriciated..

Ivarr
Reply Longhunter
12:29 PM on May 11, 2020 
It's the thin OD green folding mat. I think it was meant to slip into a pocket on the inside of a german ruck to be used as a backer or stiffener? But I'm not sure.
I keep it folded inside my ruck or it can be rolled instead of folded inside of the bedroll depending on how many others layers I have inside or how big I want it to be.
It's definitely thinner and not as comfortable as the USGI sleep mat but the german one packs better wether folded as intended or rolled. I got mine on ebay a few years ago. I just googled it and Varusteleka has them in stock and you can see how it fits into the BW ruck. https://www.varusteleka.com/en/product/bw-folding-sleeping-mat-su
rplus/1062?country=US&gclid=CjwKCAjw7-P1BRA2EiwAXoPWA5V-jrXHauV0o
S05iCYb9-oHj9LPRJHndVWhxlr54MNcWNy2UtRxhxoCFJwQAvD_BwE

The wool sleeping bag is awesome but it gets tight when used as the outer layer over the bivy and everything else. You can fold a wool blanket in half and sew the bottom and side up to your knees or so to make a sleeping bag if you need more space.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
11:45 AM on May 11, 2020 
Longhunter says...
Have you considered adding a smaller bag to compliment the smock if you had to ditch the ruck? Something like a claymore size bag or maybe incorporating a sling to the bivy/woobie combo so you can grab that off the ruck and go.
I have a similar bedroll set up I will use for some situations that consists of a folding german army sleep mat, gortex bivy, WW2 wool sleeping bag, green patrol bag and/or woobie. It's modular and can be tailored to the seasons/situation. The wool sleeping bag an be used inside the bivy or outside if I'm sleeping next to a fire. The german army sleep can be rolled inside the bedroll or folded up and kept inside the ruck.
Thanks.



Well if I ditch my ruck I fall to the LBE.. I if ditch my LBE I fall to the smock.. With the HOT ASS weather we are having I have considered a small pouch as an alternative to the smock but as its stands I have enough kit slung on me so simply taking a few critical items from the smock and storing it with the remainder of it kit it at the mouth of the ruck for fast retrieval seems the logical choice for me.. I I totally get what you're saying and it makes perfect sense.. I have furthered this idea with a small homemade pouch i made using East German parts but I have yet to go much further with it.....Its a small 5x5 belt pouch with simple belt loops..we shall see..

When you say German sleep mat is it the thin green one with tiny squares on it? Not the folding square one simply rolled up? I like the use of your WWII kit.. Love that shit= ppl making do and not grabbing what ppl say they need! (reply as a new comment- dont reply directly to this reply..the program has been eating direct replies of older replies)
Reply Longhunter
10:03 AM on May 11, 2020 
Have you considered adding a smaller bag to compliment the smock if you had to ditch the ruck? Something like a claymore size bag or maybe incorporating a sling to the bivy/woobie combo so you can grab that off the ruck and go.
I have a similar bedroll set up I will use for some situations that consists of a folding german army sleep mat, gortex bivy, WW2 wool sleeping bag, green patrol bag and/or woobie. It's modular and can be tailored to the seasons/situation. The wool sleeping bag an be used inside the bivy or outside if I'm sleeping next to a fire. The german army sleep can be rolled inside the bedroll or folded up and kept inside the ruck.
Thanks.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
11:21 PM on May 10, 2020 
Journeyman says...
Interesting ideas. Slick set up with the now easy to get to mess kit. That will definitely make a world of difference while on the move. As a side not, will you be posting videos on this platform as well?
Nate

It made sense seeing how I go for the mess tine at least twice a day and I was already following the principle on my patrol rucks...

Yes that is my goal.. I posted the first one on the front page yesterday. It went well.. It was just an intro type I already had made in my files but it was fitting...

Thank for stopping in..
Reply Journeyman
11:15 PM on May 10, 2020 
Interesting ideas. Slick set up with the now easy to get to mess kit. That will definitely make a world of difference while on the move. As a side not, will you be posting videos on this platform as well?
Nate
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
11:41 AM on May 10, 2020 
Selfreliance Quest says...
Seems like some great adjustments to your kit. Have you found the additions to the back are back heavy at all? It seems like there isn't a lot of weight back there so probably not. I'm just curious. For some reason, I always thought you were running a short back not a long back. Thanks for posting.


No. there is no weight shift or pull to the rear at all. And yes I was using a short back for some time. I HATED IT. Most of the 90L capacity is in the mouth sleeve and not the actual rucksack. It was quiet ridiculous. I then tried a USMC MARPAT ruck but that was a horror show of ridiculousness..so now im back to a long back like I started with here 12 years ago..

and you're very welcome.. thank you for your time here.. Its appriciated..

Ivarr
Reply Selfreliance Quest
7:03 AM on May 10, 2020 
Seems like some great adjustments to your kit. Have you found the additions to the back are back heavy at all? It seems like there isn't a lot of weight back there so probably not. I'm just curious. For some reason, I always thought you were running a short back not a long back. Thanks for posting.
Reply Ivarr Bergmann
12:13 AM on May 10, 2020 
IntSur says...
Nice work. I too am working on my kit. Took a few pages from your old kit video, but mostly just stowing the mess kit and stove immediately after use in case you have to pick up and g in the middle of eating. I simply applied to a few other things as well. Great article.



THANKS MAN.. Im super glad some of my stuff came in handy for you... and thank you for the compliment!

Ivarr
Reply IntSur
12:05 AM on May 10, 2020 
Nice work. I too am working on my kit. Took a few pages from your old kit video, but mostly just stowing the mess kit and stove immediately after use in case you have to pick up and g in the middle of eating. I simply applied to a few other things as well. Great article.