View Full Version : Did I get the wrong pack?

03-01-2006, 02:50 PM
Howdy everybody. This is my first post on these boards, so please let me know if I screw anything up. My name is the DirtyBird, and I'm a legal investigator in Seattle. Got a couple of questions, and I'm hoping y'all might be able to clue me in.

Got myself a Marauder, with an emdom 3" wide load pouch inside, along with my wilderness safepacker on a kifaru holster adaptor. Outside, I've got a kifaru liter pouch hanging off each side, for my nalgenes. I can draw my piece from the safepacker through the marauder's top zipper, and the emdom wide load is just the ticket for a mini bug out kit. Everything is OD, 'cept the safepacker.

Thing is, I think the pack is a little too military looking to suit my purposes. I work in an office and walk to work. I know I've drawn some funny looks from folks looking at all the pals webbing on the outside of the pack. I'm legal to carry, but I want to reduce my visibility, so folks will leave me, my 1911, and my bug out kit in peace.

Given that, I'm thinking I need to trade over to an Express. However, I don't want to give up my emdom wideload pouch, as it kicks ass. I also want to keep two nalgenes on the outside of the pack, rather than using a hydration bladder. And I'd like to be able to keep my safepacker strapped to the holster adaptor, rather than have it loose in the pack.

I'm wondering if anybody has any experience using pals-based pouches on an express. If the answer is sewing on some pals webbing, any thoughts about where or how to do it? If I need to have somebody sew some rows of pals on an Express, any suggestions for who to go to? Anybody find that CB comes across as less military looking than OD?

In closing, I want to make it very clear that my Marauder kicks ass. It's well-engineered, overbuilt and far tougher than I am. The funny looks I've gotten from other commuters are entirely my own fault. I've wanted a marauder for so long that when I got a chance to get one, I snapped it right up without totally thinking about what I was gonna use it for.

Thank you for any advice, answers or suggestions you can spare. If there are any other threads that answer my questions, feel free to point me to them.

03-01-2006, 03:19 PM
What's going on DB? It may be a little time consuming but why not have a black Marauder made and sell the OD one? Everyone has a black back pack and the pals won't stand out at all. Plus you'll have all the same features, just a more civvy friendly color for the urbanite. I had the express and it was a great pack but I don't think you would be able to use it as your Marauder (it does not have a radio port so you would have to unzip the entire lid to get to the holster) unless you got the Fold Out to hold internal pockets but then the time to get anything inside the pack will be reduced. Hope this helps some.

03-01-2006, 03:38 PM
OD is an attractive color,I would even bet you got alot of the same looks I got when I was floating around Seattle with my EMR.
For a quick fix in a pinch I found a thrift store and bought a old nylon pack on an aluminum frame for a couple bucks.Pulled the sack off the frame split it down the back and across the shoulders,a couple tie offs with some 550 cord a couple quick releases in case I ran into friendlys and I was good to go.
I would like to point out that there is a wealth of experience and knowledge on this board I learn something new everytime I log on.Welcome DirtyBird.

03-01-2006, 03:45 PM
Put on a series of Patches and 'Flair'

You want put this to the test? Go to UW during midday and observe the HOW, WHAT, WHERE, WHY of how people wear their gear. Place special emphasis on spotting anything green and overtly military looking. See if there is anything on that item that can defuse the fuzzy people, and emulate that.

Repeat as necessary in various settings and observe any constants in equippage.

I make gun bags with a velcro patch on the exterior with the express purpose of placing a hippycam patch (jansport, eastpak, JohnDeere) and immediately people are deflected.

food for thought.

03-01-2006, 07:24 PM
Ok, your question is basically how to deal with the appearance of your rig. Can I suggest you post a picture?

(I've been plotting to upgrade my E&E to a Marauder - I already have two Liter plus pouches, and I would like to see it for selfish reasons)

03-01-2006, 11:51 PM
Re: Express vs. Marauder. You might be giving up a LOT of functionality going from a panel-loader to a top-loader. (I use a Marauder for the office also; panel-loader is the way to go IMHO).

Re: Retrofitting PALS onto a built pack. An expensive proposition at best, considering that the pack will probably have to be cut apart and re-built. The likelihood that your TacTailor's re-build will be as good as Kifaru's initial construction is low, though Scott Cunningham may have some insight (and a good referral).

Re: Walking among mortals with an OD Marauder and a Safepacker. Yeah, you look like a player. Many moons (and career paths) ago I would carry off-duty while knocking around in a pair of tan BDU pants and a LBT Assault Pack. Sometimes I would get "the look." Did I ATTRACT trouble? I don't believe so. Did I DETER any? I sincerely believe I did. Which goes back to the philosophy behind concealed carry permits in most west coast states--deterrence, maintenance of public order and protection of LIFE. It comes down to confidence, competence and judgement. If you have enough of each, your cell phone and your skill as a trained observer will be as important in most situations as your pistol.

As for dirty looks from the double-decaf chai soy latte crowd (I live as a civilian in the SF Bay Area), well I kinda enjoy those.

"Hippycam." Gotta love it.

BTW, this is how my Marauder has always been set up (Yes, there IS a Marauder under there somewhere):


03-02-2006, 08:55 AM
I also work in an office environment and I'm in the CA Bay Area as well. If there ever was an area where you'd need 'Hippyflage' this would be it.

To echo Airsupport's suggestion; there is so much black business luggage around my office (ie: laptop cases, rolling luggage, soft equipment cases, etc.) that no one would notice ANOTHER piece of black gear. I'd stick with the organization/modularity of the Maruader but get a black one. Also, I've witnessed Egg using a 'Jansport' label on his gear to great effect.

In my experience, people hardly notice if the pack is a solid color. When I was training for Bataan last year, I had my loaded OD Pointman with me at work. All I would ever get was, "Why are you running around at lunchtime with such a big pack?" I'd never gotten any of the 'GI Joe' jokes or 'postal empolyee' jokes that I usually get when someone catches me at work reading forums like this one. /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif OK, I'm starting to go off topic now so I'm going to stop. Maybe a piece of velcro and a 'Coleman' patch would cure the looks.

03-02-2006, 09:04 AM
Everybody, thank you very much for all of your input. I feel like I've gotten a bunch of different good ideas, coming at things from a bunch of different perspectives. That's pretty much exactly what I was hoping for when I posted. Thank you for making my first post here so worthwhile.

I'd really like to stay with a panel loader, and I think straps is right that I'd risk losing the pack's bombproof qualities if I had someone mess with it. So I think the answer is to find a way to make what I've got work. I'll take Eggroll's advice and start looking to see what the hippies are doing, and emulate them.

I'll also post some pics as soon as I remember to change the batteries in my damn camera. I'd welcome any further advice after y'all see my rig.

I think it's a matter of not over doing things. Walked in this morning in jeans and a north face jacket, and the marauder and I didn't get so many looks. A little hippycam, and I should be set.

Thanks again folks. Y'all are aces in my book.

03-02-2006, 09:24 AM
I have gotten the best complement on my CB E&E computer bag from a Starbucks girl in Portland. OD will cause more looks than the PALS IMO. Mil surplus packs are everywhere in the PNW, just usually on the homeless. clean green sticks out.

03-02-2006, 09:56 AM
I have a CB Marauder that I take with me to the office daily. I even keep a 2 Meter Radio attached to the side and get no comments or looks. Of course that may be because I'm in WY /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif I say stick some patches to it for the peopleflage effect and you'll be good to go. Maybe you're getting looks from other gear whores who are lusting for your pack? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

03-02-2006, 10:33 AM
???????????? /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/confused.gif
If you were worried what other people might think, why did you set up this rig to begin with?
Do you need a marauder and two water bottles, and a safepacker to get you to work?

03-02-2006, 12:03 PM
My main winter jacket is Multi-cam and I carry an MC E&E or Scout just about everywhere I go. My carry-on bag is a MC Express (soon to be ZXR) and has been to countless major airports. Personally I don't give a darn if I get noticed. Also, if it comes to buggin' out I'm heading to the hills (where MC generally works great) not main-street USA. Just my opinion...
To me, the 'gray-man' approach is only if you get trapped in a city when all hell breaks loose. Other than that....screw em..


03-02-2006, 12:16 PM
I've used Camelbak and Eagle A3 packs both in the woods and around town for years and never noticed anyone looking. I doubt the average joe knows what a molle loop is. I think just like when you first get your CCW, you are imagining looks that are not there.

03-02-2006, 12:17 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Resistor:
My main winter jacket is Multi-cam
Res. </div></div>You have a winter multi-cam jacket? What kind?

03-02-2006, 01:39 PM

Its a custom thing Wiggy's did for me. Ssshhh.....thats a bad word around here.


03-02-2006, 01:41 PM
Don't do what the hippies do! You're falling into their trap! You will slowly turn to the dark side....and once you're a hippie, you never come back!
Nah just messin with ya man, but if you're the type of guy who wants a bag like that, I'd still wear a bag that's "me." At least in non-tac situations...just my .02 cents

Nathan C
03-02-2006, 03:09 PM
I wear shirts that say Testosterone in big yellow letters. Now THAT gets funny looks. Women cover their childrens eyes, other men look away in shame that they don't have the balls to wear a shirt about balls, college girls wink then hope nobody else saw. Ah the power of T /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/laugh.gif

03-02-2006, 04:55 PM
haha oh yes

imported_Scott Cunningham
03-03-2006, 03:00 PM
I have a MC bag, but it mainly is used in the field. I could really care less if people notice the cammo.

On aircraft I try being a bit more discreet. I usually use a cheapie black bug out bag.

I like the Testosterone T shirt idea.

Nathan C
03-03-2006, 04:00 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Originally posted by Scott Cunningham:

I like the Testosterone T shirt idea. </div></div>You can get them at T-Nation.com Just make sure to read some articles and learn something /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif