Attaching the ALICE Frame to the USMC FILBE Main Pack. 

Thanks to Nomadicfieldcraft for helping with another awesome guide on rucks. This is an undervalued skill to have, and Nomadicfieldcraft makes it easy and accessible to all to learn, re-learn, and master these skills.

Having the ability to ruck with a full load, live out of the ruck, and sustain yourself in a field environment is a skill everyone should have and should strive to be constantly improving. It takes a lot of mental fortitude to throw on 65 pounds, ruck 10-20 miles, and then set up camp with all the supplies you just carried in.

In order to accomplish all this though you need one very important piece of equipment, and that is a rucksack. Finding one that’s big enough to hold sustainment equipment for a few days, is tough enough to withstand the rigors that a field environment will throw at you, and finding one that can be comfortable enough to do this for days on end as you get older can be a challenge. 

This ALICE frame ruck that Nomadicfieldcraft has built with us has quickly become a favorite of ours for a few reasons. We both were grunts in the Marines and have a lot of experience, time, and painful days spent carrying a ruck and living out of one. And while the USMC FILBE was a great piece of gear it definitely has its drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is the internal frame/chassis we used while in, but using the lightweight and rugged ALICE frame with it the FILBE pack gets an automatic upgrade.

With these two pieces of gear stacked together, you now have a rugged, large pack, capable of operating and accomplishing your mission tasks, while at the same time maintaining the comfort you need on a multiple-day field op to sustain the mission and your trip. The ALICE frame allows you to wear the pack high on your back, letting the strongest part of your body and the frame do most of the work. 

Why the FILBE?

Having a rugged ruck you can depend on and live out of is an essential piece of gear everyone should have.

The USMC FILBE is a tried and dependable piece of gear that fills this requirement, and most importantly, it’s readily available and affordable to most. 

Its size allows for multiple days worth of gear to be packed, and when worked in conjunction with its “day pack” it is a fully versed system ready for most missions. 

See our previous guide, Drop-In Ruck, to learn more about utilizing both of these together. 

Many who have used this pack when in the Marines are probably shaking their heads at this right now, but the FILBE when utilized with the proper external frame is the best ruck you can get for the money. 

Hands down. 

When used with the internal frame many of us had issued, it is garbage, especially in full-kit.


All-Purpose Lightweight Carrying Equipment (ALICE)

The addition of this ultra-lightweight and durable external frame to the FILBE main pack turns that pack into the ultimate ruck. 

Both of these items are readily available at your local surplus store and/or numerous online retailers.

ALICE FrameALICE Frame and FILBE Main Pack

Attaching the ALICE Frame to the FILBE Pack (Step by step)

  1.  Slide the frame into the frame pocket on the back side of the pack

ALICE FrameFILBE Main Pack Frame Insert


ALICE Frame inserted into FILBE Main Pack

  1. Remove shoulder straps from the frame. Reattach to the frame top bar, through the strap bracket, loop over the bar, and reattach to the strap buckle over pack material. Pull TIGHT. Want straps to touch the top frame bar.

ALICE FrameWhat it should look like after ALICE Frame has been inserted into FILBE Main Pack.

  1. Find the strap with two metal clasps on the pack just above the kidney/back strap of the frame. Loop strap through both clasps, then back around and through the clasp closest to the frame. Pull TIGHT to secure the frame to pack.

ALICE FrameFILBE Main Pack straps to ALICE Frame

  1. At the bottom of the frame, there is a circle through the frame, your shoulder straps should be coming through here. There is a small tab attached to the pack in this area, pull the tab through the circle.

ALICE FrameALICE Frame Attachment Points

  1. Grab a zip-tie or, as our friend from up north, Nomad, calls it, a zap strap. Run the zip-tie over the bottom bracket of the frame, which is a triangle/wedge shape, and then through the loop in the tab that was described in step 4. Connect/secure the zip-tie to the bottom of the frame. Pull TIGHT. Would utilize a leatherman or pliers to get that as tight as can be.

ALICE FrameALICE Frame being zip-tied to FILBE Main Pack

  1. Enjoy your new awesome ruck and get out there and train!

ALICE FrameFILBE Main Pack + ALICE Frame completed picture

Saved Rounds

Make sure the shoulder straps are adjusted as tight as can be comfortably worn. This will ensure the pack is worn high, allowing the weight to be carried high up on your back.

This allows for the weight to be easily carried, allowing the frame to do most of the work

It also allows for one to wear a web belt or other duty-style belt without the pack/frame rubbing and interfering with your gear.

Final Thoughts

Thanks for making it to the end of this guide! If you got some value from this please make sure to like, share, and save it for later. We make these to help give people a baseline when making decisions for their next firearms or gear purchases.

Give NomadicFieldcraft a follow if you don’t already as none of these field-related guides would be possible without him. He is truly in a different class when it comes to anything field-craft-related.