Sunday, October 13, 2013

Tiered Gear: Bringing It All Together

I've been struggling with this mentally for about a year. I keep putting together more and more kits. I basically had 3 'survivalist' kit as well as 3 militaryish kits (home defense, fighting load, ). I had my EDC, EDC bag,  a get home bag and a Bug out Bag. I also had a home defense setup, a fighting load and a never totally put together but always on the radar full on red dawn/ Doug Carlson type ruck. It has been a big mess for awhile.

Anyway here is where I am going. 

Level 1- Normal Everyday Carry. I keep some extra stuff handy in case a knife/ lighter doesn't get moved from one pair of pants to the other.

Level 2-HSGI War Belt, Chest rig (Probably MOLLE II review to follow), Body Armor as appropriate. It's a decent bet but I'm hoping the war belt works out. If the chest rig which ups my rifle mag count from 2+1 to 10+1 is coming the body armor almost surely would be. There is potential to add a camelback if the situation dictates. Camelbacks (and other hydration systems) are an interesting discussion for another day. Suffice to say I like the option of wearing one but they are a hassle when wearing a ruck or a bulkier assault pack.

Level 2.5-Get Home Bag/ Assault Pack. This is sort of an awkward to define but useful kit as I have talked about before. Mine is primarily set up as a get home bag though since it's mostly empty could easily be set up with mission specific gear in a more assault pack fashion. While it would suck it is compatable with attaching to my ruck. That would put the total weight close to 90 (70-75 w/o armor) pounds which is getting silly but I guess it's good to have options. Also if I ate the food and drank the water in this kit the weight would drop considerably to a more reasonable level. The immediate survival type portion of this kit might live in my Hill People Gear kit bag.

Level 3- Bug Out Bag/ Ruck. Tonight I began the conversion from an excellent civilian backpack to a surplus ALICE bag. The reason is the ALICE is high enough to work with the war belt. Also while I dislike carrying them the damn things last forever. If things go all Mad Max/ Red Dawn this is the uncomfortable bag I want to be carrying.

Do need to pick up a couple more pouches to make the transition work. The ALICE is big enough but most of the space is in the main pouch. I like being able to be a touch more organized than that I will probably pick up some MOLLE sustainment pouches to fit onto the sides. Also maybe a pouch of some type for the bottom. I have plenty of space NOW but probably not enough for a slightly heavier winter module. Anyway I'm working on it.

Discussion- In normal times the war belt will be my bump in the night kit. No real changes needed though I will probably add a burner cell phone and photocopy of my drivers license. Also the level 2.5 will live in the vehicle I drive to and from work.

One of the biggest benefits of simplifying the amount of kits/ systems I am using is that it will let me combine stuff to have overall better setups. This will let me have better gear present without breaking the bank. Also it just makes things simpler which is good.

So that is my thinking for where stuff is going. As always your thoughts are welcome.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

The warbelt is a great idea until you go to put on a ruck-as you discovered. I switched from a large ALICE to a Gregory ruck and I'll never go back, thus no warbelt for me. The ALICE makes 50 lbs feel like 75. The Gregory makes 75 feel like 50.
I use a Camelback waistpack for hydration as part of my fighting load. The waistpack comes off when the ruck goes on. My chestrig works well with the ruck.
No system is perfect and after 30+ years I am still trying new things and modifying based on METT-T and new gear that is available.
Sounds like you're on the right track with streamlining and simplifying.

Anonymous said...

There is a website called vtarmynavy that sells pouches that you can put on your ALICE. I think it's under the "field gear" section. They are g2g.

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