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  1. #1
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    military sourced bags for touring or bikepacking; and racks

    Here's a good way to get into bikepacking/touring without spending too much money and then deciding that it's not for you anymore..... OR then deciding you like it so much, you go out and get high quality bags and items...use military surplus bags and pouches; you will note that there are several different sizes and types...I am aware that Out Your Backdoor offers customized ex-military bags for bicycle touring and bikepackers; I am also aware that some of the items shown are not necessarily as heavy duty as dedicated bikepacking bags are; but they are sufficiently heavy duty for me personally...and because they're cheap, people out here don't seem to notice or care...other than random comments I've gotten along the lines of "awesome/that's cool!/where'd you get camo panniers!?/do the Army use bicycles!?"
    Basic set up for me; four bags; the front bag is an "Israeli Paratrooper" bag from some unknown manufacturer, modified to attach to handlebars; then a VooDoo Tactical general purpose pouch, and two MOLLE Sustainment Pouches on a lightweight rack; they have stiffening panels added from what used to be a 3 ring binder, whose spine got cut off. Realistically, this would be excellent for overnighters and ultralight cycling; with one pannier bag holding clothes, the other holding food and a folding stove, the front holding the tarp and blanket, along with Sterno cans and small foods


    Voodoo Tactical general purpose pouch; mounted to handlebar; its awesome for holding small tools, camera, phone, gps, and a washcloth.


    relatively heavily loaded set up; utilizing the following bags;
    three 3-day training packs, two SAW 200rd ammo pouches, three USMC First Aid Kit pouches (two for 2qt canteens and one for actual first aid kit), one MOLLE Sustainment pouch, one 1qt canteen pouch; this is set up for a long camping trip, with three or four days worth of foods and clothing, sleeping bag, tarp, ground cover, small pillow, a gallon of water in two 2-qt canteens. Also carrying is a bbq grill and a small bag of charcoal, a canteen cup with fire starting kit, lots of rope and some stakes, and poles.








    experimental loaded touring rig; with front rack attached. (close up of the crappy beat to hell strut that DEFINITELY NEEDS replacing... rack was bent and cracked, so I don't have much weight on the front.)
    two MOLLE sustainment pouches up front; holds a blanket, and tarp, tent poles, rope. supported by rack, is also the "Israeli" bag holding my art stuff for drawing, then on the back, a laptop case with extra padding, two USGI 3 day training packs holding some clothes including towel, ground cover, small pillow and attached to the packs are two USGI 2-qt canteen covers, they are insulated, so as to keep water cold; the pannier bags are not heavily loaded; so as not to give too much weight to the front handling; but it was interesting riding it today; so I'm not sure if its a smart idea having the panniers up front...could be lighter by removal of the art stuff lol. I might look into getting a SOMA Mini front rack and toss this old rack into the trash due to it being bent and cracked with really bad struts...







  2. #2
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    +1

    I have had this old bag with an European camo pattern for years and had no idea what the clips on the back were for. While looking at panniers on ebay I saw the exact pack listed as a pannier bag. I dug it out and what do you know...works like a charm!

  3. #3
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    I, very much, like your ingenuity but I'm not convinced by your pictures that the canteens on the back of your rear panniers couldn't get in your spokes.

    This, from someone who had an Alice pack go over the rear fender of his motorcycle and lock the wheel up at 65-ish mph. That woke me up!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by bugshield View Post
    I, very much, like your ingenuity but I'm not convinced by your pictures that the canteens on the back of your rear panniers couldn't get in your spokes.

    This, from someone who had an Alice pack go over the rear fender of his motorcycle and lock the wheel up at 65-ish mph. That woke me up!
    a few days of riding with them on and filled...yeah I do see your concern...so I lashed them to the frame using couple straps; only thing is; they hit my knees when riding; due to the fact that the way these canteen pouches are made; they aren't held to the belt or webbing at their corners which is what bothers me..so I might modify them so as to have webbing loops at their corners and thus be more secure.

  5. #5
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    I totally dig the set ups. Anytime you come up with more I'll be looking forward to pics.

    Subscribed.

  6. #6
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    revised set up; smaller bags up front; tent/sleeping bag/pad in a roll up front on handlebars;



    lately I have taken to using 32oz gatorade bottles in the desert camo canteen pouches attached to the top tube as a way of carrying water that's easily accessible; and putting a couple canteens in the side bags in the rear so as to spread the weight out a bit more; and not have to deal with knees hitting things..will be taking pics of the new set ups once I get my camera working or replaced.

  7. #7
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    ^ this set up looks to be quite a bit less cumbersome! Keep us updated as you streamline and refine your setup.

    Are the bags up front med pouches?

  8. #8
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    the brown ones; yes they are USMC IFAK pouches; the desert camo canteen covers are 1 qt size; and they are very useful for holding anything you can think of....as long as it physically fits I use them for 32oz gatorades myself.

  9. #9
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    Thanks for taking the time, I love browsing Mil Surplus stores. Will keep my eye's pealed.

  10. #10
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    with completed Oswego bicycle; here is a set up that I think I will be trying to use more..
    the woodland Sustainment Pouches will hold food and jackets, maybe a few more bits, depends on how long the trip is.

    the cockpit; MOLLE utility pouch on top, and two DCU canteen pouches for water bottles or extra items


    the USGI 9-Strap Compression Stuff Sack; inside is a tent, tarp, sleeping bag, sleep pad, poles. I weighted it on a fish scale and it came out to 12 pounds, so its not so bad probably could be lighter without the aluminum poles.

    the overall shot from head on, the Paratrooper bag would hold clothes and light stuff, along with the USMC IFAK pouches on the Trek front rack.
    CamoDeafie's Tactical gear and bike-packing blog-
    http://sbtactical.wordpress.com/

  11. #11
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    This is great. When I was in, my Team and I would just laugh our asses off at the FOBITS who needed all this Molle Tactical gear so they could work in their AC offices on KAF,BAF, Balad or where ever else we would see these FOBITS in their support roll. Most of our Molle we would just chuck and not even take it with us.

    BUT......... You have certainly won the award for best use of Molle tactical products I have ever seen. I never once thought half that issued Gucci had a use but seeing this is great. The butt pack is the best one, you could even run it like saddle bags on your top frame bar near the riser.

    Went to your site, gotta say I too believe is riding armed but damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you really ride out with that LBE ready to work. Hey if you can get away with it then more power to you (fire power, LOL), I keep it small and concealed and my riffle broke down and stowed.

    Keep it up man, its the first rig I have seen dressed by Black Hawk or 5.11. I think Bob Denard or Eric Prince would salute you.

  12. #12
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    Went to your site, gotta say I too believe is riding armed but damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Do you really ride out with that LBE ready to work. Hey if you can get away with it then more power to you (fire power, LOL), I keep it small and concealed and my riffle broke down and stowed.
    no I don't ride with my LBE on; that LBE is something I made on a whim since I wanted something particular, just to have it around..usually I would have my 9mm and its mags on me, with SKS on a scabbard ready to clip onto the rear rack; if I have to, I would throw the LBE on under a light coat.
    anyways, thanks! I know Out Your Backdoor sells repurposed military bags for cyclists to use as bike bags, although I haven't seen much..several people have come up to me and asked where i got the cool camo bags
    CamoDeafie's Tactical gear and bike-packing blog-
    http://sbtactical.wordpress.com/

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