A learned a long time ago that when shit goes bad, it goes bad in a hurry. Very often you will have little to no time to think about what you really need to do, you just going to have to react. The seasoned prepper knows from experience that there are two basic options when the fecal matter hits the oscillator: Either you Stay Put or You Go Mobile, either on foot or by vehicle. The system I use for going mobile is pretty basic with one of the main advantages being it keeps your gear fairly ORGANIZED so you can lay hands on it in a pinch.
Now without going too deep into the whole “First, Second and Third” Line of gear thing, Here is how I have things laid out.
Slings, Cases, Chest Rigs and Battle Belts
It goes without saying your fighting weapons are your first priority and need to stay ready to be deployed. Ensuring ALL your fighting long arms have a good sturdy sling is mandatory for Going Mobile. Regardless if you prefer 1 or 2 Point slings, just make sure they are durable and will hold up under abuse.
I also have a portable padded rifle case with backpack straps in the event I want to haul more than one long arm at a time. These are bulky and awkward when worn on the back, and I doubt I would ever use it, but it never hurts to have it as a contingency.
There are several options out there for how you stage your ammo and Maintenance and Cleaning gear for these weapons. Some people use Sneaky Bags and Bandoleers. Me, I have found using Chest Rigs and Battle Belts equipped with a holster to fit your Fighting Pistol is much more practical.
For my Pistol since most of the time it is on my person, I simply keep a couple of dual mag carriers (4 mags) stocked and ready to go. This way, irregardless of what goes down, I can either just grab the spare ammo for the pistol or if I feel the need to bring a long gun, holster my pistol in the appropriate chest rig or battle belt and toss the extra pistol mags in my rig or BOB.
For my Rifles and Shotgun I have a Chest Rig and Battle Belt for my Main Fighting Rifle, a Chest Rig and Battle Belt for my DM AR Rifle (.308) Rifle and a simple Battle Belt for my 12 Ga Shotgun. The reason for the different rigs is very simple: CALIBER. I have been asked wouldn’t it be simpler just to switch out the mag carriers and just use ONE Rig? This is a very nifty utilitarian ideal except for the glaring problem that we already mentioned: When Shit goes bad it goes bad in a hurry! You will not have time to be switching out mag carriers, and designing your rig on the fly…you will need to grab your rig and go!
HAVE AMMO, WILL TRAVEL
When you need to move more ammo than what you have on your Rigs and Belts, I suggest using Military Ammo Cans. They are Cheap and Plentiful and stack nicely. The .50 Cal Cans are the biggest and most predominant, but I also have quite a few of the smaller and narrower .30 Cal Cans, which I have found is great for storing bricks of .22LR Ammo and 12 Gauge ammo. There is also the added benefit of being able to know what ammo is in what can simply by the type of ammo can it is stored in. Just an added perk when you need to get to it in a hurry.
YOUR BOB, VBOB, MEDIC PACK and SURVIVAL PACK
Since this is not a beginners article, I am not going to go into the importance of BOB’s and VBOBS. As far as gear goes, they are pretty much the center piece of a good preparedness plan, so put some serious time, effort and money into building yours.
A Word about VBOBS. Besides the standard items, don’t forget to pack some vehicle maintenance items too; Remember, in a post-apocalyptic, SHTF world AAA is not available. Now obviously you cannot prepare for some of the more major mechanical problem that may arise, but you can prepare for some of the more common ones.
Here is a short list:
- Belts (Serpentine or Individual belts depending on your make/model)
- C Clamps
- Bailing Wire
- Duct Tape
- Work Gloves
- Screwdriver/Pliers (Regular and Needle Nose)/Wire Cutters
Also, regularly check that your spare is aired up and your jack and other equipment is intact. You would be surprised at how many people forget about that one. Remember: PRACTICAL, NOT TACTICAL wins the day!
As far as a MEDIC PACK, I know a lot of you keep a fully stocked Blowout Kit/Trauma pack in your BOB/VBOB’s and that is awesome, but experience has taught me it is more practical to have a separate medic pack fully stocked, ready to grab with everything from your basic “boo-boo” kit to a full trauma workup with surgical tools.
Also if you have a family, tailor your medic pack to their needs. So often folks go full tilt “Tacti-Cool” in outfitting their bags with Quick-Clot and Sucking Chest Wound Seals and forget about the more practical stuff you will be grabbing much more frequently, like Sting-EZE, Burn Balms, Anti-biotic Ointments, Benadryl, etc.,etc. Also if you have anyone in your tribe that had medical issues and takes maintenance medications (diabetes, heart conditions) these need to top the list obviously.
A SURVIVAL PACK to many people is basically a BOB with 2 to 4 weeks of supplies versus 3 days. Experience has taught me however to minimize everything but FOOD and WATER in these. The main reason being is if you have to exfil in a hurry, this is going to be the only bag with large amounts of food and water in it. Because of weight concerns, you will only be able to carry so much water, this is why it is mandatory to include a well made water filtration unit and several dozen water filter straws for everybody in your tribe. I also pack a small camp stove with some fuel and a GI Grill (County-Comm is selling a version of these right now btw.)
As far as organizing the rest of your gear, I suggest you have a bag for each category below:
- Range Bag/Training Kit
- General Field Gear
If I forgot anything, create a bag for it!
Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!