I used this rig for about 2 years then switched over to a COLEMAN hydration daypack. Today I still use the COLEMAN for most of my outings. But sometimes I just want to go light and carry the absolute minimal gear when a-trail, and after awhile I got the urge to own a sling bag. I saw folks at a couple of survival schools carrying these modern haversacks....MOLLE bags with velcro sections for nametapes and patches, and lots of loops and compartments for stashing bits of kit. I admired how so many essentials could be carried on one's person in a small package.
I started pricing tactical sling bags by major makers and found them too pricey for my taste [I am very cheap] and started brainstorming a solution. I like making my own improvised gear anyways, and what I came up with was to make a "saddle" to convert ALICE clip gear to shoulder carry. I went to a nearby leather shop and purchased a piece of stiff cowhide from their leather scrap bin and formed a saddle:
Saddle for ALICE clips
With a little dumpster diving I came up with some hardware from discarded luggage to make the attachments for a shoulder strap. I purchased some locking oval rings at the hardware store, along with some Olive Drab nylon web strap. What I came up with was this arrangement shown below:
Sling rig for ALICE gear, disassembled
Sling rig, assembled
I found that I could slide a small knife sheath onto the saddle behind the canteen, where it was convenient, out of the way, and protected. I used an inexpensive little knife with a ferro rod in it's sheath, so I had a firemaking tool as well. I also added a homemade pace counter, which I made from beads my wife received doing laps at a Cancer Walk:
Homemade Ranger Beads
Improved saddle pattern
This new saddle is going to be a little wider and thus will accommodate a USGI magazine pouch. I plan to place a disposable poncho and a space blanket in the mag pouch. There should also be enough room to place a sheath knife on the saddle as well. The leather saddle is somewhat flexible, and so it will bend and conform to the curve of the waist when wearing the rig. I'm also thinking of streamlining the attachments and just using small carabiners and plastic sliders for the shoulder strap.
If you've got some old ALICE gear and want to put it to work, this saddle is easy to make...just some cardboard for a pattern, and a Swiss Army Knife to cut out the leather and awl to make holes for attachment hardware and you are ready for the trail.