Both the Pouch Attachment Ladder System (PALS) and the Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment (MOLLE) method are designed to help identify and choose the right set of pouches and bags for carrying accessories. With the popularity of surplus military gear in the civilian market, the various and specialized options for carrying items varying from brick roads, to ammo loads, to MREs (Meals Ready to Eat) are available for whatever purpose can be imagined for them.
For the most part, manufacturers of this kind of military accessory are private firms on contract to the government, or are private manufacturers that seek to sell their designs directly to the soldiers who will be using them, so they can personalize how they carry their gear to best suit their needs and preferences. Companies that sell to soldiers directly will also often offer their products to the public for sports and survival enthusiasts. After all, hikers, campers, hunters and long distance bikers have the same need to be able to carry all their necessary gear in the compact, easy to manage fashion that soldiers do.
Civilian hunters and outdoorsmen are entitled to use the same military quality pouches soldier enjoy. Ammo pouches, even more then generic pouches, are designed to hold things securely, while enabling easy access. That can make them a great storage tool for an emergency kit, or anything else that a person might want to reach on short notice. (Bear repellent anyone? Useful if you are touring Yellowstone.) Other pouches can be used exactly as they were intended: to carry a first aid kit or radio, or as a handy place to keep lunch; or they can be put to use creatively, for what the user feels they would be best suited.
A chief advantage of military-grade pouches and products is their durability. In order to hold up to the needs of a soldier, standard materials used in military pouches include tactical grade nylon, and CORDURA, an unusually durable and abrasion resistant version of nylon.
There are many options available to anyone looking to find military pouches. They will be available in any military surplus store, or can be found through online retailers. Used ones can be found on EBay. In some cases it is possible to go directly to the manufacturer’s website. This is especially true of manufacturers that offer customization options, such as Pactech. Before buying anything, is it also worth looking into PAL equipped transport systems. MOLLE style packs, for instance can be found on the civilian market. Most military style pouches are designed for use with a PAL system, and will function best if such a system is available.