Using Military ALICE Pack as canoe pack

While not new to canoeing, I am new at canoe camping. I am planning my first overnight canoe camping trip. Can anyone tell me how a military ALICE pack would work as a canoe pack? I have the military wet weather bags that fit into these packs as well. My darling wife has purchased me a Duluth pack but I would like use my old ALICE packs as well. Please advise!!



ALICE packs are virtually indestructable (well, not really but more so than most civilian packs). Remove the frame and it would be a decent choice. Once wet it may take longer to dry then a lighter weight pack but exposure to the water and environmnet wont effect it as much as a lighter civilian pack. Alice packs are a little small for a trip longer than a couple days but if you have a couple of them, that would work.

Alice packs
With the wet weather bags there wouldn’t be any problem. i agree on the durability of the packs. They’ll last almost forever.

Water Proof…
I can tell you this much…as long as your wet weather bag has no holes (stick your head in it and see if you can see light out of it) and as long as you properly tigh the bag at the neck (fold it over on itself and then use the string to tie) it will be 100% water tight.

The holes in the bottom of the pack allow to drain and the liner keeps everything dry inside.

I am in the Army and during Ranger school in the swamp phase we regularly had to swim with our ruck sacks. They are 100% water tight and act as a floatation device as well.

Good choice. Probably better without the frame though for this purpose. Also, make sure you get the large one, not the medium.


Alice or ruck
We commonly referred to the medium as the ALICE and the large as the RUCK sack.

packing an Alice
use the frame as to raise the pack off the bottom of boat out of the water if you like. Adapt,overcome, improvise then move out. You are on track trooper. Go Re-con! Who-Ya

Who-ya Recon
1ST recon batt, C co. 1985-1988