Phoenix Bird


By Warrior Woman

We've talked a lot about gear setup and the need to standardize. We've discussed and made lists of LBV/LBE and ruck contents . You said a picture's worth a thousand words, so here's ten thousand words' worth!

Before you begin setting up your gear, remember: Your gear needs to be tight. It needs to be quiet - you don't want things bouncing, rattling, clanging and jiggling around! Make sure you have some electrical tape and Ranger bands to quiet down buckles, loose snaps, etc. If you have "empty" spaces in pouches or inside your pack, an extra roll of toilet paper, more socks, or some other light items make good sound-deadeners.

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Warrior Woman's LBV - front view

LBV's are extremely comfortable, with such great weight distribution that you can carry a lot of equipment in them. My LBV is probably heavier than my ALICE because the weight is distributed so well that I don't notice it!

All the attached pouches ride to the front of the arms but off center mass. This allows you to quickly go prone without jamming mags and other items into your upper abdomen and chest. Note the traumedic bandage pouch (on the right shoulder strap as you face the photo) - it contains 2 packs. Every LBV/LBE should have at least 2 traumedics.


Warrior Woman's LBV - back view

Note the radio pouch for 2-meter HAM or FRS (on the right shoulder).


Putting it all together

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Warrior Woman with LBV and medium ALICE pack

This ALICE has one of the aluminum frames that a team member made. Even though I'm relatively short (5'1"), all of this equipment fits together quite neatly. The pack straps are located to the side and back from the LBV straps. The aluminum frame is comfortable, sturdy, and lightweight.

When you set your gear up, your ruck shouldn't "ride" on top of your buttpack - if it does your pack may shift. Adjust your ruck straps or buttpack fasteners to allow a very slight clearance.


Warrior Woman's LBV laid out - pouches closed


What's in there?

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Warrior Woman's LBV laid out - pouches open.


What's inside the ALICE?

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When people pick up my ALICE, they're surprised at how light it is. It's light because I don't carry much, but I have everything I need. In the beginning, I was loaded for bear but soon realized that carrying a 35-lb. pack wasn't going to work for someone my size. As my survival skills increased, I made it a habit to remove items that I no longer needed every time we spent a day in the field. I got my 35-lb. pack down to somewhere between 15-20 lbs., which is a "do-able" weight. A man's pack is heavier than mine, but so is my partner!

We both carry a PPA in case we need to set up some perimeter security while we're in the field or on the trail.

When we pack our gear in, my partner carries the tent and I carry the poles inside my ground pad. We also carry a 2-qt. canteen and more MRE's


What's in the ALICE pouches?

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The drawback to a medium ALICE is that it only has 3 outside pouches, so cutting gear to the bare bones is necessary - especially since one of the outside pouches is reserved for the medic! Carrying sample sizes of toothpaste and other personal items, a compact sewing kit with pre-threaded needles, and other "miniatures" saves room. When it comes to comfort, thinking small can give you the extra room you need for necessities. Don't forget deodorant if you want your teammates to talk to you!


Warrior Woman's Buttpack - Unpacked

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This is what I carry in my enhanced buttpack originally from Ararat Trading. There's still a lot of room inside but I don't want to overload it. The balance on my gear is close to perfect the way it is. Keep that in mind when loading up - you need a stable platform from which to move and gear that's top- or bottom-heavy will make your life difficult! Too much gear is as bad or worse than too little! As survivalists, we can make do when we find ourselves on the short end of the gear stick, and there's no sense in having to leave perfectly good gear on the trail because your pack is unbearable (puns intended!).

More on the enhanced buttpack→

Warrior Woman