I recommend having at least two LRP ration entree in your pack , they are small but add a bit of water and its actually a good meal , and decent amount of food . Some energy gels , like what the musclehead stores carry isnt a bad idea either . I keep one of those big German triangular bandanas in the pack also , good head coverage , and can be used as a sling for an injured arm .
Robin , I have the current issue Russian load carrier , it works great , it has a large lower back support , and a few other interesting things on it . One thing that they do , is they have a small patrol pack that clips onto D rings on the shoulder straps , when you need something , you just flip the pack over your head , retrieve the item you want , then toss it back over your head again . Works very well . The old school US ( vietnam era ) load vest with the floating pistol belt , also has D rings on the straps . I have one of those also , but went Russian because its designed for an AK as the primary weapon . I was going to modify the old style US one for AK mags , but chose to use it for a shotgun based load out instead , love it though , good design . Fast on , fast off , the Russian one is that way also ( once you figure out how to put it together lol )