Maxpedition Noatak Article
By Donald Rearic III
This is my first article on my Dad's website, so I shall talk about my favorite pack; the Noatak. The Noatak is one of the seven (soon to be nine) packs in the Gearslinger line by Maxpedition. The Noatak is a great get-up-and-go bag. It can carry a pretty decent amount of supplies.
It has a front pocket that will only carry compact objects such as a signal mirror, a thin wallet, or a good-old MP-3 player. The small cargo pocket will support gear of a slightly larger size like personal/pocket sized survival kits, a spare pocket knife and flashlight combo, and the like. The main cargo compartment can store a lightweight sleeping bag and tarp along with some other survival goodies such as a large fixed blade. The compartment has a small Velcro field to attach a Maxpedition CCW Pistol Holster to carry your choice of handgun along with a few magazines. It can even support small to medium sized tackle boxes.
There is a 1.5 liter water bladder compartment at the very back; it also has a Nalgene bottle pouch on the side which will accept a 1 liter bottle for a grand total of 2.5 liters of carrying capacity. This pack can be paired with a Maxpedition Janus Extension Pouch that uses Duraflex Warrior Buckles that connect to the shoulder strap. This sling pack also has some MOLLE/PALS Webbing to attach other modular pouches to it. The bag can be worn sideways on the front which is pretty neat as it allows easier access to your gear while you’re on the move or while you’re seated in certain vehicles, like public transportation buses, etc. You can reposition the pack from rear to front on the move to do this as well.
Modifications and Extras
When I got my Noatak it did not have the securing strap on the front so I took the strap from an old Pygmy Falcon. I modified the securing strap to be a little longer so I can carry my sleeping bag on the bottom; like you would a bedroll. I redid all of the zipper pulls as well and put Glow-in-the-dark beads on them in order to locate them in the dark. this will also help so I won't be fumbling around like an idiot trying to locate the bag itself at night as well. Instead of using the Janus pack, I took the Velcro strap from it and put it through the sleeve area at the top of the pack to use as a mounting point to hang my Woobie Blanket (USGI Poncho Liner).
I thought about modifying the pack by sewing a Velcro strap to the top of the bag. the Velcro strap would go over the two zippers at the top and stick to the loop field on the front of the bag. This would keep water from infiltrating the bag through the little gap that opens up between the zipper wedges. This modification would have had a security function as well, it means someone has to undo the Velcro to get at my belongings. It is pretty obvious because the Velcro has to be pulled open, and even if you couldn't hear it being opened in a noisy environment like a crowd of people, you would feel the tug when somebody yanks on it. But I chose not to due to the fact that could compromise the integrity of the top of the bag.
In the front pocket I put in a Rite In the Rain tablet, a bandana that has First Aid tips, and a wallet that has a Knot (Tying) Card and some other survival tips, ID, a Boker .45 Caliber Pen, and a Fresnel Lens Magnifier. This area can also house a decently sized lock picking kit to get out of tight spots quick. If you know what you are doing that is!
The small cargo compartment has a Maxpedition Fatty Organizer that contains a P38 can opener, a Tick Key, a fire tinder tube, a very small T.O.P.S signal mirror, a pair of tweezers, a wire saw, a Hunter Model Swiss Army Knife with a magnesium fire starter and striker. It also holds two small containers that houses the components of a small fishing/sewing kit. The Maxpedition Fatty Organizer also has a T.O.P.S Latitude Knife, a Petzl Tikkina Headlamp, and an old USGI Lensatic Compass. If I had to, I could grab the Fatty Organizer out of the Noatak and I would have a stand-alone survival kit in case I had to ditch the Noatak in a vehicle, etc. With the spare room in the compartment I put in a pair of Oakley Sunglasses, a hollow Kubaton, and a Chico Bag. The small compartment has a key leash (or Keyper as Maxpedition calls it) with an old dog tag from my childhood and house key.
The Nalgene sleeve is self-explanatory. In the large compartment I put a Bivvy, A Millbank Bag, a Heavy Duty space blanket, some hand warmers, a half dozen Pink Lady type candles, a regular space blanket, and another Chico Bag. The Chico Bag is like a grocery or looter bag, it can fold inside out into a little pouch sewn onto the side. I also put in a Spec-Ops Cargo Pants Organizer that holds a keffiyah, a handkerchief, Parachute Cord, and a small health kit.
And the big Kahuna, the OnPoint Tactical produced by T.O.P.S Knives for moderate chopping and whittling chores (it also has a Ferro rod with two magnesium rods that slides into a piggyback adapter on the sheath for storage). In the very back pocket I put in a ParaCord whip and a West Marine Quick Guide to Weather (because I like to know when severe weather is approaching so I can enjoy watching severe storms blast through safely). On the front of the bag there is a Velcro field that has a TacRabbit morale patch. On the strap I slipped on a CountyComm Technician’s Screwdriver and an Eddie Bauer Branded penlight. I tried to stuff in a Cold Steel CHAOS Tanto style Knuckle Knife, but sadly it couldn’t fit. So it goes on the belt when I need it. If you read this Andy, thank you for the knife!
Maxpedition make some of the best backpacks and shoulder bags out there. With the right care these bags will last a long time. You can pass these bags down to your kids so they can have the peace of mind of knowing that they have the tools and gear necessary to get through whatever life may throw at them. This is my EDC bag not my I.N.C.H (I'm Never Coming Home) bag. That article is in the works.
These last two pictures just show an interior view of the bag.
(This article is my Son's
first on my website. I'm actually quite happy with that! I started this website
when he was just out of diapers. It's hard to wrap my mind around that. He
turns 20 this coming Spring. May 2016. As I look forward, I see the horizon
and the twilight and it is time to make sure that he can carry on with this
website. Back when he was a toddler, I always had rattan sticks lying around
and he was always watching Winnie the Pooh or Thomas the Tank Engine or Jim
Keating or Kelly Worden Videos with his Dad and loved hitting the focus mitts
with those rattan sticks!)
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