Saturday, July 17, 2010

Carrying a Belt Kit

Many of us tend to carry knives, possibles pouches and other gear on our belts. That way they stay close to us, and the chance of loss is minimized. It also provides for a convenient way to reach items that we commonly use.

A problem however often occurs when we try to use the hip belt of our backpacks. If our possibles pouch is on our belt, then the hip belt, will end up going over the pouch.

There are several ways to get around this problem. One is the simply not use a hip belt. Another is to use a military style pack, which has a “waist belt”, which sits much higher on the body than a hip belt. I am not a big fan of either approach because the hips are a great way to distribute the weight of a pack. It is not a big issue when you are out for a day or two, but if you have enough gear for a week, your shoulders will definitely feel the difference.

The solution I use is to take the items from my belt, and suspend them so they rest a bit below my belt. That way the hip belt of the pack can be used without interfering.

I usually have three items on my belt. The first is my knife. Because of the sheath I use for it, it already hangs below the pack’s hip belt, so I did not have to do anything for it. The other two items are my G.I. canteen and my possibles pouch.

The canteen is suspended using an extension I sewed together from a belt.
It allows me to rmove the canteen by unhooking the ALICE clips, without removing my belt.
It easily clears the pack's hip belt and allows easy access to my canteen.
The possibles puch is similarly suspended using two loops sewed from a nylon strap and clipped to the pouch.
Just like with the canteen, it allows me to remove the pouch by unclipping it, without removing my belt.
It has enough clearance to accomodate an even lower hip belt.
I have been using this system for a number of years, and it has served me well. The location of your hip belt is something you should definitely thik about before spending any money on a pouch or sheath.