MY GEAR, PART 1
I’d like to preface this by saying; you should always be fine tuning your gear, as such, it changes time to time (and gear is not a substitute for skills).
more on that here - https://www.mymilitia.com/blogs/blog/10-wquons-input/
This is what I started out with (with kit and ballistic “diaper”), because it was mandatory.
Sometimes, even if you don't know where you’re going at the moment, you can narrow your choices by where you don’t want to end up. This has been the case many times in my life.
I knew I wanted something more breathable and lightweight. There are many flavors, but I chose a carrier that was just enough to carry plates and had the ability to snap on a shingle/micro rig.
The more I used it I realized that in most circumstances I was looking at, I didn’t need a plate carrier. However; I wanted it to work with my carrier. I also wanted modularity, because “missions” usually change. Having a fixed load-out, like an LBV, I generally found overly irritating.
All this brought me to the Spiritus micro chest rig;
Since then I’ve also learned that I don’t like elastic retention. It is a pain in the butt to index mags, and I am not the only one. Had an idea and found others have done the same;
So yay, I’ve chosen a chest rig and have found the right retention for me... but I need to haul more stuff.
First, there are many gut pouches you can buy for the spiritus (and aftermarket companies), and they can come in many different sizes. At moment I’m using one thats on the smaller side for my medical. I’m still experimenting on a good place to put my IFAK. I may do a blog addressing that at later date.
Second is a pack. Again, I wanted something to work with my carrier and chest rig. I found the flatpack by HailyStrategic.
Note; they have change the design, it now opens in a clam-shell fasion (which is much better).
Something I’d like to try later on is using packing cubes for easier organization and for “on the fly” load-outs.
HailyStrategic also has some specific to their flatpack bag (and level 3A armor inserts);
This is not a bag for everything at “base camp” but more of a patrol pack. My Chest rig also fits into it well;
Hydration was another concern of mine. Heat index regularly gets past 100F in my area, so I wanted the ability to carry plenty of water. Looking at the dimensions online the source ILPS 3L bladder was too big. Found one on sale, and it fit!
I haven't filled it to max capacity yet. I’m waiting on my rapid refill attachment. its a bit too snug to max fill and then get it past the hydration pocket zipper.
Another hydration system I’ve use is the IcePlate. It only holds 1.5L and is rather bulky compared to a bladder, but the real appeal is body temperature control and the performance benefits therein. I have been out running around in the woods with friends and, to say the least, I can feel the benefits. Having had a heat injury before, I need to be a bit more aware or overheating myself. If you have the time, access to a freezer, and are wearing your carrier, I strongly recommend the IcePlate. You can also put hot water in it for cold weather (GrandThumb talks about this too).
This is also something that you could throw in a vehicle without being too obvious, especially if you choose the grey color. along with some lighter wet and cold gear.
If you want it on there more “permanently”, you can attach it by MOLLE and take all other straps off, and snap the chest rig on via the buckles.
I want to be able to drop my plate carrier if I need to become more mobile. I overlay the rig on the carrier and use the shoulder pads as keepers. I’ll show a pic of one in and one out.
I also have the option of taking the carrier side buckles off in favor of the ones on the pack.
The brand names of these are costly, so I bought china clones off ebay just to try them out. As expected, the quality is lacking. I found my plate carrier also fits in the pack, when expanded, but the straps started to tear away from the bag (including the handle) and it was less than 30 lbs.
However; I am looking for someone local that could make it with a few simple tweaks. Another issue with the name brand is that they’re scarce, they generally sell out very quickly. If you have the coin, I would recommend buying the quality name brand.
If you choose the ebay route, make sure that they have stock in the US. otherwise shipping may take much longer.
I’m also leaving a reference pic I made for a group a while back, for the chest rig.