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Modded military bags for camera gear

Discussion in 'Photography EDC' started by majorspud, Aug 23, 2018.

  1. majorspud

    majorspud Loaded Pockets

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    Here’s a few images of what I carry as my main 2 body, 2 light stand, 3 flash, 4 lens, 2 flash bracket, iPad camera bag. It's very configurable and functional and can be rearranged very easily to match the assignment. It’s a USMC Corpsman Assault Pack (FILBE) made by Propper. There's also a commercial version of the pack available from Propper or their resellers. https://www.propper.com …s/proppertm-u-c-pack.html . There are various velcro backed and Molle pouches and add ons to carry everything I need and I’ve also done some strap modifications to attach things. The internal pouches are all Propper, except the TSSI mesh that I’m using to hold the iPad and the pen and accessory pouch on the lid. The flash units are in a divided Propper pouch that comes with the Corpsman Assault Pack issue and the corded, black external flash power packs are contained within a USMC Flashbang pouch, attached with Molle Stix and has a ITW Nexus 1 inch male buckle at the top to attach to the corresponding female buckle on the light stand. The trauma pad pocket on the bottom of the pack holds a belt with 2 USMC Drop Mag Pouches on it so I can use that to quick change lenses and carry various items. All in all, the pack carries very well, but there’s room for improvement with the right pouches. Here’s some pictures:[​IMG]

    [​IMG]IMG_5379 by Stephen , on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5384 by Stephen , on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5389 by Stephen , on Flickr
     
    Last edited by majorspud, Aug 23, 2018
    #1 majorspud, Aug 23, 2018
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2018
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  2. majorspud

    majorspud Loaded Pockets

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    Here's my location Lighting bag. It's a Condor Sniper Drag Bag, which I don't think is in production anymore. The lens and flash (water bottle pouches) and deployment bag are all Condor. It's just perfect for everything I need for 3 stands, 2 umbrellas, 3 flashes (with external battery packs) and other various little thingys... Here's a couple more images:

    [​IMG]IMG_5372 by Stephen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5374 by Stephen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5376 by Stephen, on Flickr
     
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  3. majorspud

    majorspud Loaded Pockets

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    And here's my larger lighting roller bag. It's a ThinAirGear Hybrid 365. The bag is great, though I did have to make a modification or two which allows the umbrellas to slide under the bag dividers (which are removable) and on top of the bottom of the bag. I had a long velcro sided divider from the location lighting bag that I wasn't using and used it for the umbrellas. I also had to attach the National Molding ElastoLok closures on the strap handles so I could attach the 42 inch light stands. The ThinAirGear bag has an extendable pull handle which allows you to pull the bag without getting a surprise in the rear from the light stand. It's actually more bag than I need, but I can load cameras, lenses and other stuff in there too if the gig allows and I don't need to be all that portable. The bag also has built in backpack straps for cross country trekking and the ability to turn into a hanging locker, but I would image that was for it's intended military use. Heck, the bag even expands into a longer bag with a quick unzipping. Great piece of kit if you ask me. Another eBay snag for well under the retail price.

    [​IMG]IMG_5355 by Stephen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5358 by Stephen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5360 by Stephen, on Flickr

    [​IMG]IMG_5354 by Stephen, on Flickr
     
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  4. majorspud

    majorspud Loaded Pockets

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    If you're not familiar with military gear, the previous posts may be a bit confusing. Pals and Molle are two terms that are used when attaching pouches to bags or whatever. There's a ladder like 1 inch webbing that's bar tacked into sections. That's the PALS webbing. The MOLLE side is usually what you want to attach to the PALS webbing and usually located on the pouch, which consist of a length of webbing as long, or just a tad bit longer than the pouch itself, which is then woven in and out of the PALS webbing on the bag and the MOLLE side on the pouch. It makes for a very secure attachment. You can find tutorials on youtube for sure. It's easy-ish to take pouches on and off, which allows whatever you're making, to be highly customizable.

    On the smoke grenade pouches I'd mentioned above, I use MOLLE Stix, which are a 5 or 6 inch polymer popsicle kind of stick, only wider and it has a small clamp thingy with a string to secure it to the top rung of the PALS webbing. They slide right out and they're a heckuva lot faster to secure the pouch back on to the bag. I use them for the external flash battery packs so I can quickly take them off the pack and either snap them onto the light stand (the light stand has a female 1 inch buckle and the smoke grenade pouch has a male 1 inch buckle attached to the MOLLE webbing). Or, I have a female buckle attached to both sides of my belt with the drop mag pouches, so I can just clip the smoke pouches on each side of the belt for when I'm flash firing both cameras. Everything quickly attaches and comes apart, but all the attachments are solid.

    All in all, it's a really versatile system and I've got it configured the way I use it. And if I need something easy to get to, I just attach a pouch and it's there. The Corpsman pack is also velcro lined, so I can move all of those pouches wherever I want. Gone are the days of not having the right divider to fit this or that and making things all squared off. And I know I won't be able to kill the bags, because, well, they're made for the military. That gear is made with extreme use in mind. If Marines have to work extra hard to break it, well, that far and exceeds the efforts in which I would go just to prove my point. Solid construction, affordable, maybe not glamorous fashionable, but fully customizable and functional, which is really what we all want in terms of gear, in my humble opinion. I'll try and post more pictures as I have time, but there's a ton of pictures just screaming for retouching...
     
  5. Ross2187
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    Ross2187 Loaded Pockets

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  6. Journo

    Journo Loaded Pockets

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    Medic bags do seem to be the ones that make the best bags for photo kit, I suspect it's because they're easy to gain access to and there are higher levels of organisation than with other packs.
     
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