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3/19/2015 9:05 PM
 

First, I updated my ILBE with the HPG Prairie belt. It took all of 3 minutes to replace the issued ILBE belt with the new one. Well I just completed my third ruck march with the new belt, today was just short of 6 miles and had right at 45 lbs in the ruck and it felt like a whole new ruck. The belt is the first one I have used that I can place below the iliac crest and cinch down to a point that it doesn’t slip and is extremely comfortable. It has made all the difference. Ive yet to exceed 70lbs in the pack with the new hip belt and ill update when I do, but for now I have high hopes for this set up.

Second, I have contemplated many ways to carry an additional day pack with my main pack for shorter excursions after base camp is set up. The draw back is the added weight of an additional pack. When I first started out I was carrying a butt pack strapped to the outside of my backpack that I would use for just this purpose. Over time I have tried out haversacks, draw string packs, day packs etc. 







Well now thanks to the HPG Prairie Belt, I can attach the ILBE lid to the belt and make it into an extremely comfortable unit for day hikes. I call it the Prairie Pack (pat pend) 







I never thought I would be comfortable taking off the main belt on my ruck in the field to use as an accessory on another item but with the ease of taking off the pack belt from the ILBE I have no concerns doing it. For a size comparison of the ILBE lid, I put my complete full size HPG kit bag in it for weight. The belt fits snug and there is very little wobble or movement when walking (ran up and down the stair a couple of times for a quick test. Will add a field test with a few miles later on.







The whole process of moving the belt from the pack and attaching the lid took less than 5 mins.

 
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3/19/2015 9:37 PM
 

Some more pics

 
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3/19/2015 9:43 PM
 
Sorry guys, first post. Got the pics a little mixed up.
 
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3/20/2015 6:45 AM
 
Nice. I've been considering a PB for my frankenALICE (HPG Shoulder harness, MOLLE belt, 1606AC frame, med. ALICE bag), but others here have shown that it's putting lipstick on a pig. Now I need to start looking for an ILBE again.
 
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3/20/2015 11:54 AM
 
Looks like a great setup!

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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4/2/2015 6:42 AM
 
Did the same thing with my ILBE. It turns the pack into a great load hauling pack for sure.


 
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5/19/2015 2:41 PM
 
My pack was 65 lbs before water today on my 5 mile training hike. Terrain was rolling. The HPG belt has continued to hold up and is amazingly comfortable. This has become by far my favorite pack. My opinion may change after I get a HPG UTE but until then this one is rocking, all thanks to the prairie belt.
 
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6/19/2015 4:39 AM
 
Bit a thread de-rail, but I've read the PB/ILBE threads here and a few other forums and I'm modding my ILBE as time allows.
I'm going to remove the built in beaver tail and add the ability to dock a Tara if needed. I can get looplocs, but I'm not real thrilled with the idea of paying $5-$10 in shipping for $3 worth of looplocs. In my bits and pieces box are a bunch of 1 inch tri-glides. Is there a huge difference in strength between a tri-glide and a looploc (both made by ITW)? Any reason I should NOT sew in tri-glides in place of looplocs?

I also wouldn't mind a source for brown 2inch nylon webbing to attempt to rig up a forward pull system for the ILBE while I wait to buy a PB. Used ILBE belts are less than $10 on Amazon and I'm thinking that might be the way to go since I don't need much and I would probably end up with a better belt body than the one I've got. I swear this pack was the last one or two on the shelf at the place I ordered from! It's rough.
 
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6/19/2015 12:53 PM
 

New guy here. I am also overhauling a surplus ILBE pack. I took it and myself on a shakedown short weekend trip and learned a lot about me and the pack.It had been 15 years since I backpacked. We both need some work, and both could stand to cut some weight.

After the trip I cut off the hypalon on the lower sides, and removed the tubing from the zipper pulls. After another trip or two I will probably cut off the beavertail and some PALS webbing. I have modified the load lifters by cutting the row of stitching below the top of the stays. It helped, but my next plan is to remove some extra length off the webbing where the upper superloc attaches. This should help get the angles better for a functional load lifter. Some of these ideas I got from this site, some from other sites. 

I have also since added the PB. Seems like a great addition. I will probably through some weight in the pack tomorrow and see what kind of difference it makes.

Since having this idea to go backpacking again, I am down 20 lbs, my pack down just under 1 lb, and I have identified another 7-9 lbs to leave home next time. Progress.

 
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