How to Mount a Lightweight Rucksack High on the Frame

The lightweight rucksack is described as having multiple mounting methods but the Training Circular TC10-8 does not actually show any other methods besides the default low position. While that is a distinctive look and probably better for carrying heavy items as if puts the heavy items higher up and allows more space to do so, it is somewhat awkward as a rucksack/backpack. I has sort a full diaper look and feel to it. So it is no surprise that as the war in Vietnam went on troops switched the pack to higher position more and more often. There are a number of ways to do this. Two of the most clearly photographed ones I’ve seen are to use the cargo buckles at the top of the frame to run the pack mounting straps through, and the other is such a mess I don’t really no how to describe it. So I’ve been playing around and searching the internet for different ways to mount the lightweight rucksack high on it’s frame. And I think I came up with a pretty solid solution. I’m sure I’m not the first to think of this method but I didn’t find any directions or photos elsewhere so thought I would share.

Lightweight Rucksack in it’s normal position

To start go ahead and remove the pack bag entirely, and then swap the position of the cargo buckles and cargo straps. So the buckles will be in the lower/middle bar slots and the straps will be in the top bar slots. Side note I’ve seen a lot of pictures of people putting the should straps in the outer slots instead but unless you are built like a refrigerator I wouldn’t recommend it. It will make the shoulder straps want to come off your shoulders constantly.

1. I pass the loop end of the cargo strap through the outer top slot. Going from the outside towards the back and then passing the free end through From the outside towards the middle allows it to lay nicely and will fit better at the end.

2. Slide the end up through the D ring on the top of the pack.

3. I run the strap through or behind the back strap. 

4. Run the strap under the middle bar from the back side towards the pack and through the bottom buckle on the pack. Before tightening make sure the strap is all the way to the outermost end of the bar. It helps keep the strap in place if you have already attached the the cargo buckles in the two outer slots on the middle bar. Cinch it tight.

5. Pass the remainder of the strap around the bottom bar  and back up to the cargo buckles.

6. You might want to use the little side straps to keep the sides of the pack snug to the frame. I prefer to use them as it keeps the bag more spread out but it doesn’t effect the overall mounting.

I find this to be the most efficient method as it mounts the pack as high and tightly as possible while still allowing you to use the cargo straps for gear. One of the other methods I’ve seen used is to leave the cargo buckles in place and to pass the bag straps through them and around the bar. This could be considered “mid level” I suppose. It is an easier and faster way to move the pack bag up but it also only leaves a small amount of space at both the top and bottom. As well as prevent you from using the cargo straps. This “mid level” was used by troops as well so it is period correct but I prefer this method I show.

Here is a video run through which should help.

For further reading check out my other articles;
Vietnam Era Lightweight Rucksack
High Mounted Lightweight Rucksack
Vietnam Rucksack Setups
Rifle Butt Pocket Strap and Assembly

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