American Tomahawk

This Is A Jungle Ruck

This is what a jungle ruck looked like when we had spent several years fighting in tropical envirnments.

Lightweight, Simple, Inexpensive

23 Responses to “This Is A Jungle Ruck”

  1. Brian says:

    The good old tropical rucksack. That was a great rucksack, especially for the era. I have one in my collection. Do you know the origin of the photo? LRRP team? I can’t imagine it was a line unit with a cut down M79. Cool photo. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Eddie says:

    Inexpensive? Maybe back then. Lel

  3. Shea says:

    Three words that are not in the Army’s vocabulary…

  4. Craig says:

    I have been looking to get another one of these since I had a home burgerlery and had everything from 18 years service stolen.

    The prices are thru the roof because all these “Airsofters” and Milsim Soldier wanna-be’s have it tagged as “SPECIALFORCESRANGERRECONLRRPSEALDELTA” used packs,and I just cannot see paying hundreds of dollars for a small pack, just because of it’ users, when,for the same price, I can get other brands,of new packs.

    This really was a great Jungle oack, as was another almost impossible to find pack, the US “Contra” pack, out in the 80’s. Smaller than a Medium ALICE,bigger than a buttpack,, it alsoo filled the role pretty well.

  5. Colin says:

    Some days I think about getting another medium alice, and customizing it, some days..

    • badjujuu says:

      Just do it. I went with medium alice, got myself a Tactical Taylor frame, shoulder straps and kidney belt. Its like a modern twist on a old classic.

      • Colin says:

        I guess I will before they become likewise rare treasure, I got issued Blackhawk SOF ALICE Ruck, with all TT frame straps etc, its ugly and heavy but good for moving a lot of stuff particularly in the cold.

  6. Timmay says:

    I had that same pack in canvas IIRC, was called an ARVIN ruck, at the time (early-mid eighties) everybody in my Explorer Post got one for about $20 per. That rivet in the center if the frame could get you if you didn’t keep your back strait during a rapel.

    • SSD says:

      Yeah, this one is slightly different than the ARVN ruck I had as a kid.

      • Timmay says:

        Details then?

        • SSD says:

          Mine was all cotton while this one looks to be nylon and my shoulder straps were different. They didn’t have a Quick Release.

          • Timmay says:

            Yeah same with mine. Wish I still had mine but we couldn’t find another supply after that initial buy so mostly we passed them down when we left.

  7. ODG says:

    Awesome picture!

  8. redbeard33 says:

    File this under, Wish they’d bring back the M14.

    Fine for the time, but that time is gone.

  9. Darrel says:

    I guess as a collectors item, the jungle ruck is interesting, but it is so far inferior to the ALICE, which itself is a piece of crap that people have glorified for similar nostalgia reasons.

    I played the game of buying an ALICE, and upgrading to a TT Frame, belt and strap set. I was not really any happier with it than I was with the stock LC-2. I think it’s time to bury the ALICE.

  10. Jayson says:


  11. BillC says:

    Loving that M34

  12. Erin says:

    I didn’t enlist till 2002 and have used both the Alice and Molle rucks. These older design are so much simpler. I always preferred the feel of an Alice on my back. True the Molle can hold a metric-fuck-ton more but if it’s sloppy on your back it doesn’t help.

    • redbeard33 says:

      Try one of modern military pack designs like SOCOM uses and I think you will see that there is no reason for ALICE to be brought up anymore. Or MOLLE or ILBE/FILBE. Such a dead horse.

  13. Craig says:


    I understand your argument completely, and do agree to a point. However, the SOCOM packs (I am in and have been in SOCOM units, so AM familiar with all of them) are heavy,both in materials,as well as hardware & straps. Even 500D is heavier than the 70D nylon of the ALICE and jungle rucks and the “Contra” pack I mentioned earlier.

    Unfortunately, the Military cannot think about more than 1 thing at a time,so, when fighting wars in the Middle East & sand,with wide open expanses ect, that’s ALL they focused on, letting any other theater of operations they may operate in during future wars drop by the wayside,along with research & development for equipment for those area’s. They also closed the only Jungle training area the Army and USAF had,JOTC in Panama. Yes, I now there are others in the PI and Oki, but those are (primarily) for the USN and USMC, and you know, due to stupid interservice rivalry, the Army and USAF won’t use those to train their troops. Stupid, but the way it is.

    Thankfully, the 25th, now the Army’s only “Lightfighter” Division since the 7th ID (L) was deactivated, & training, actively, for Jungle Operations. Thus, along those lines, they opened their own “Jungle School” on HI-they even have a locally authorized tab upon completion of the school/course. Unfortunately, HI is not Panama,or any Central/South American type Jungle,with all associated flora,fauna,and critters. The best way to describe the difference between area’s would be to liken it to the M-16A1 and the M4. Similar, but not the same.

    Anyhow,respectfully Redbeard, I think the ALICE system, just like the M-14/M-1A ,still has a place in today’s Military, it just depends upon the application and environment. At least until the Military-US Army (as always) in particular, takes Jungle training as seriously as desert warfare,and starts some serious R&D for associated equipment.

    Sorry was so long, and thanks for reading fella’s.