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Old August 20, 2012, 20:13   #1
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Combat Load: How do I carry all this stuff?

http://www.arizonaresponsesystems.co...mbatload.shtml
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Old August 20, 2012, 20:56   #2
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Interesting read. Thanks for putting it together.

I have no high speed low drag experience, but other's who've "been there done that" on here have told me 12 FAL mags would be a stretch to carry, burdensome, and prohibitive. I find it interesting you came to an alternate conclusion. I undertsand the scope of your article covers a lot of bases, and while your needs may not call for that heavy of a load, the fact that you feel it is plausible is good to know.
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Old August 20, 2012, 21:30   #3
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this is well done...and thought provoking.
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Old August 20, 2012, 21:36   #4
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Nice job.
I like to carry as many mags as possible as well. For my AR i have one rig set up to carry 12 30rd mags but i have another set up for 8. I like how you mention that people should wear their gear with it's load as much as possible. I'm lucky that i have several farms i can go to and test my loaded gear. It has helped tailor my gear so it works efficiently.
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Old August 20, 2012, 22:15   #5
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Interesting read. Thanks for putting it together.
other's who've "been there done that" on here have told me 12 FAL mags would be a stretch to carry, burdensome, and prohibitive.
It's been 25 years since I read "War of the Running Dogs" but if I remember correctly, 12 magazines was the British SAS load-out in the Malayan campaign - I was particularly interested in how they operated in 4-man teams.

Looking at this South African belt, it is designed for 12 magazines.



I've never not carried 12, so I wasn't aware as to it being a burden. Twelve here too, (8 in front, 4 in back) although I am not impressed with the expensive Eagle pouches. They were so tight that undoing the snap was tough.



ETA, Carrying 600+ rds of belted 7.62x51 and an M60, that was a burden! 2 cans w/ 220 rds attached to ruck with carabiner, 200 rds in a slung demo bag, and maybe 30 on a starter belt. My AG carried another 600+ rounds with the tripod/T&E. Now it was supposed to be a 3 man team for the 1200 rd basic load but that almost never happened. Weapons squad was always last to get new packmules soldiers.
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Old August 20, 2012, 22:36   #6
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Thank you GP!
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Old August 21, 2012, 00:38   #7
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Well thought out and written, GP. Thanks.

I used to carry the "normal" combat load of 7 M4 mags on my vest/LBE and what I figured would be "nice to have" maybe 3-4 more in my assault pack.

That was until I had a particularly disturbing Emotional Event when we were at a static urban defense location that got hit HARD from what seemed at the time was EVERYWHERE. It didn't take very long at all for us to be BLACK on ammo. Before anyone could get to us we were completely OUT of .50, 40mm (both for our Mk19 and M203s) our SAW gunners were all down to 2 drums or less and I personally had 1 full mag plus what was in my M4. We were preparing to load our trucks and Get The Fk Out Of Dodge, which would have meant we failed our mission of securing that particular location. NOT a good day. Luckily for us, some Bradleys were finaly able to push their way to us and kick out some crates of ammo which held us until we could get a "real" resupply. BTW, it took us about 3-4 hours to "go black" on our Basic Combat Load. The attacks were on/off with heavy fire for a couple minutes, then relative calm for 5-30 minutes, which luckily for us, allowed us time to redistribute ammo from man to man and keep everybody with something to shoot.


After that, I swore that I would NEVER let me or my guys get into that situation EVER AGAIN and I carried NO LESS than 12 mags ON MY PERSON and had another 10 in my assault pack. Each of my trucks carried 2 SAW cans full of loaded M4 mags and another case (1680 rnds) of 5.56 and however much extra belted 5.56, 7.62 and .50 we could fit in our trucks. We standardized our vehicle load plans as much as possible so no matter which truck you could get to, you KNEW where the ammo and aid bags were.

Later I heard a saying that I adopted......The ONLY time you can have TOO much ammo is when you're trying to swim, or on fire.
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Old August 21, 2012, 01:12   #8
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Standard issue here was 6 20rd SLR magazines, one on the weapon and five in the basic pouches. That of course was nearly always "supplemented".

Mark, the Aussie SASR in RVN ended up deciding that five man patrols was the most versatile having worked initially with four man patrols in Malaya.

My best mate (an ex "meatbomb") carried at least ten thirty round magazines for his M16/M203 and often more depending on circumstances.
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Old August 21, 2012, 11:30   #9
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Well,

Fully uploaded Army Interceptor Body Armor foot marches then into a stress shoot in summer at FT Rielly were challenging. In rolling hills marches under 8 miles, at a 15 minute mile pace, in less than 80 degree heat were doable, much past that and we started to get heat casualties and troopers that couldnt shoot for crap.

This was full IBA front, rear and side ESAPI plates, Kevlar helmet, 7 mags of ammo (M-4), 2 liter camel back, rifle, and squad radio. No assualt pack and no crew served weapons.

Once we hit Iraq in summer with 120 degree heat that same load couldn't be carried for more than 3 miles, which was done only once, until the Battalion Commander (who was in incredible shape) said "No more, call the trucks to begin exfil." We did have a few troopers with SAWs M-249 and a few M-203 Grenadiers on that march. On average the younger were more tolorable to the heat.

That same Battalion Commander would sponsor the Iron Raider Challenge. 3 mile run under 21 minutes, 100 pushups under 3 minutes, 100 situps under 3 minutes, 12 pullups, 25 dips. Only ever had 8 winners other than the BC, 1 CPT, 1 BG, 6 Troopers. Even in my best shape I could never make the run.

In my opinion, IBA and helmet and basic riflemen load is all you can carry if you expect to be on the move at all. Trucks would be a nessacity with anything more.

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Old August 21, 2012, 11:45   #10
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Great read, very thought provoking. Thanks for posting it. I do have an equipment question somewhat related to your topic. What is that helmet/bump cap you are wearing in some of the pics? I, like most armchair commandos, have not given much (any) thought to head protection beyond a ball cap. Also, one of my thoughts on load out is that at some point it may be advantageous to carry some ammo in known-reliable larger capacity magazines. This would be 40s for 7.62X39 (AK), 45s for 5.45X39, 40s or even 60s (Surefire) for the AR15, 30s for the FAL/L1A1, 50s for the 5.56 Galil, etc. This of course depends on having a suitable pouch that will not get in the way, etc. I see two advantages to the larger capacity mags. One is less weight for a given amount of magazine capacity. In other words, two 30s weigh less than three 20s. Another is that under some circumstances, such as static defense, having a larger amount of ammo on tap and actually in the gun is a very good thing for repelling boarders and such. In this instance the extra length and weight is not too much hindrance.
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Old August 21, 2012, 12:20   #11
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Great read, very thought provoking. Thanks for posting it. I do have an equipment question somewhat related to your topic. What is that helmet/bump cap you are wearing in some of the pics? I, like most armchair commandos, have not given much (any) thought to head protection beyond a ball cap.

It is a PRO-TEC and there is a story behind it.

I use an open face motorcycle helmet (bowling ball) for off-roading in my UTV. It has good impact resistance, but is by no means bulletproof. I sold my early K-pot with the plans of buying a newer one with better protection, lighter weight, and an improved suspension system (hate the old leather). I never got around to it as I had other financial priorities. I did buy one but found it was a fake and the suspension system sucked.

I needed a mount for a PVS-14 and decided a helmet mount was the most practical. I added the rails for mounting a video camera for my gunsmithing videos (not working too well). The helmet also doubles as a bicycle and horse-riding helmet. So it is just a general purpose dings and knocks helmet - I have no illusions as to its ballistic value.

Also, one of my thoughts on load out is that at some point it may be advantageous to carry some ammo in known-reliable larger capacity magazines. This would be 40s for 7.62X39 (AK), 45s for 5.45X39,

I had 20 7.62x39 40 rd mags and 20 5.45x39 45 rd mags. I used them for my full-auto RPKs. I got rid of them. I just found they were too unwieldy. They might be fine for a fixed position, but like drums, I personally find them more trouble than they are worth. Try shooting uphill from prone with a RPK magazine.

Now the Russian pouches are like a skirt so they carry well. I've made some protype MOLLEs for them (and the SAIGA-12 10 rd mags) but was unable to find a production company that could deliver - all hat and no cattle.

One of my friends has the sure-fire. He hasn't really tested them under adverse conditions. I am optimistic, but not ready to buy one myself. Anecdotal reviews suggest they just ain't all that.

As you mention, static defense is a different thing. Were I defendinf a fixed position, I"d consider having an open can/sack/case of magazines in addition to what I wear on my person. Use them first, just in case I have to run. As a machinegunner, I'd S-roll my ammo in cans so the last round stuck out one side and the first stuck out the other, so I could link multiple cans together. Heck, I worked on a 2000 round magazine (modified 20mm ammo can) for a vehicle mounted minigun.
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Old August 21, 2012, 12:27   #12
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Here is my stupid question for the day. Is there any advantage to carrying ammo in bandoleers and not loaded in mags if the ammo isn't going to be carried in your web gear? For the 7.62 NATO weapons carrying extra ammo in bandoleers seemed common but for the 5.56 weapons it seems like people only want to carry what is loaded in mags.
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Old August 21, 2012, 12:49   #13
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Here is my stupid question for the day. Is there any advantage to carrying ammo in bandoleers and not loaded in mags if the ammo isn't going to be carried in your web gear? For the 7.62 NATO weapons carrying extra ammo in bandoleers seemed common but for the 5.56 weapons it seems like people only want to carry what is loaded in mags.
I'd rather carry extra loaded magazines in my rucksack than bandoleers - unless I simply didn't have any more magazines. I don't think there is anything wrong with carrying ammo in addition to magazines, as long as it is in addition to sufficient magazines and not instead of sufficient magazines. There is a slight weight savings.

When the cost of magazines increases, the practicality of separate ammo increases, but I'd say that's after a dozen mags. So for ARs? The mag is $10 for GI and as low as $15 for P-mags. I'd just buy more mags. If mags were $35+, then I'd think more about separate ammo after the first dozen mags.

On the other hand, I've always considered ammo and mags an investment as they rarely go down in value, so putting money in mags instead of a 401k makes sense to me.
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Old August 21, 2012, 12:55   #14
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I still have a cobbled up harness (set of suspenders from an LBV over the waist belt from a Vector pack) It solved most of the complaints I had against standard Alice belts and y suspenders, namely not enough padding or rigidity where it mattered. But, with 8 FAL mags in C1 pouches loaded 3 weak side/1 strong side and two 2qt canteens, a FAK, and a knife, it is tipping the scales at 25 lbs before I tuck a sidearm and a couple pistol mags into it. It is probably the most comfortable way to move that much weight for just straight humping. Prone is no problem and shooting from either shoulder is a snap.

But, once you dive into either the water or the ammo to any extent, it gets horribly lopsided. Plus, your first line and second line are pretty much one line of gear with a harness.

I train with one of the Eagle Universal/SKD version chest rigs along with a war belt now. Lots of ammo upstairs with a FAK and couple of tools, while the war belt downstairs carries a sidearm, dump pouch, care package opener, etc. Although not as convenient for carrying lots of water, a padded war belt allows me to carry a couple quarts there with the rest in a pack (where it belongs). It also means that I use the war belt as a true 1st line and the chest rig as a true 2nd. It is not quite as comfortable with a pack as the harness is and 2 sets of straps under your arms can be tough on circulation ( maybe a good lats workout routine would help.)
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Old August 21, 2012, 13:36   #15
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Old August 21, 2012, 16:11   #16
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Great thread Gunplumber !!

Besides ammo and pistol, what other interesting tidbits do you always carry on your medium rig?

Thanks,

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Old August 21, 2012, 16:39   #17
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Funny the Pro-Tec brain bucket gets mentioned..I just bought one to run around on my new two wheeled toy..cant generally use a rifle with a normal MX helmet si I figured this was the answer....scored on new on sale here for $30 and bought the largest size in stick (that would normally also fit me) but when it arrive XL is just a little snug and they don't have any in XXL. My meatbomb mate has decided he wants it so no loss but now I have to try and find one that fits. GP ... how well did the Pro-Tec take paint ? I may have to get one here that is not in a nice subdued colour...
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Old August 21, 2012, 16:53   #18
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Funny the Pro-Tec brain bucket gets mentioned..I just bought one to run around on my new two wheeled toy..cant generally use a rifle with a normal MX helmet si I figured this was the answer....scored on new on sale here for $30 and bought the largest size in stick (that would normally also fit me) but when it arrive XL is just a little snug and they don't have any in XXL. My meatbomb mate has decided he wants it so no loss but now I have to try and find one that fits. GP ... how well did the Pro-Tec take paint ? I may have to get one here that is not in a nice subdued colour...
Mine was OD green, but I rattle-can camouflaged it. Then I thought it looked too pretty so in my vanity I kicked it across the gravel a few times and it really didn't scratch up very well. But with Krylon and a sea sponge it only took 10 minutes to paint and I can always redo it.
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Old August 21, 2012, 17:05   #19
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In the early 80's in 5th group I carried 12 20 round mags on my LBE with 1 in the well. All water, food, explosives, other stuff, and extra loaded mags and boxed ammo were put in my ruck sack.

I was 6 foot tall, 145 pounds at the time, and my typical load was easily over 200 pounds. Everything except ammo and perhaps 1 canteen was always put in the ruck sack.

The LBE was typically loaded with ammo and a knife. You'd put your LBE on first (loosely) and then your ruck. If the SHTF beyond a manageable means you'd drop the ruck and run like hell. This would at least leave you with your weapon and some ammunition.

If it got really really bad then you'd drop the the LBE, and just run for your life.

If it got really really really bad, then you'd chuck your gun, clothing, by God anything you thought slowed you down, and run like hell.

I learned this from my 1st A-Team Sergeant.

I practiced it.

I'm still here.

My 1st team sergeant was a really interesting man with a lot of history covering all of vietnam specops up to 1986 when he retired. The acting team sergeant that recruited me to the team after JFKSWC also had a very weird and interesting history. He seemed to move in and out of the army with out ever moving in or out of the army.
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Old August 21, 2012, 17:10   #20
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Boy Scout 10 essentials

1. Knife. I carry a box cutter, a multi-tool, and usually a K-bar or USAF survival knife. Sometimes a machete and rarely a hatchet.

2. First-aid kit. This can be anything from a few bandaids to too much to carry. When I trained as an SF medic, My Korean war medical bag was stuffed to overflowing. Probably 30 pounds and a lot of that was a minimal load of IVs. Way too much for an individual. I usually have a "blow out" kit. Enough for one penetrating wound. Tourniquet, bandages, battle dressings. Kerlex. Duct tape. Try to keep it small. Then enough bandaids, moleskin, and Motrin for personal comfort, scratches, etc.

3. Extra clothing. This is one of the Boy scout 10 essentials, but for me it's not so much spare clothes, but enough clothes for a severe weather shift. So a few multipurpose ponchos, extra socks, maybe gloves and a light jacket.

4. Light. I keep a Surefire that can be weapon-mounted, a couple LEDs.

5. Rain gear. See extra clothing.

6. Water. I'm in the desert. I carry 4 quarts on my ruck, 2 quarts on my belt, and depending on time of year, I can cram another 4 quarts into the radio pouch of my ruck or use a camelback.

7. Map and compass.


8. Fire starter. I like carrying several bic lighters. I haven't time to screw around with primitive means, but I can if I need to. Can always bust open a cartridge for gunpowder.

9. Sun protection and sunglasses. In arizona this is not optional. The sun is not your friend.

10. Food. I strip 2 MRES, add a few things to them like extra coffee and reseal as "one day"

11. Toilet paper. I enjoy my creature comforts and wiping my ass on a cactus ain't on my list of fun things to do.
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Old August 21, 2012, 17:52   #21
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11. Toilet paper. I enjoy my creature comforts and wiping my ass on a cactus ain't on my list of fun things to do.
.... you think a cactus is bad... try a Tiger Pear.... fuggers have barbed thorns ...!!! It is just plain embarressing when you have to have those picked out of your arse..!!! Don't ask...

Thanks for the info on the helmet.... glad I am not the only person to throw something down the road to give it a little character... Reminds me of a close close mate that decided his coffee pot needed "character" and he decided this "character" was to be a .22 bullet hole... 25years later he still has, the now functionally useless, coffee pot that his 15YO son has started asking about ... I can't wait to tell the boy the story....or the language that was involved... or how if his father was a better shot his coffee pot would still work...
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You could do some searching and find a nice TLC and do the same thing, still saving a bunch of $$ and end up with a nice, comfortable CAPABLE rig...

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Old August 21, 2012, 19:46   #22
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Well,

GP does give an excellent break down. The only fault I can find is the in depth lack of info on body armor. Body armor totally changed the equation on just about everything a Soldier carries.

If you are going to a two way shooting range without body armor, both soft and hard plates make out your complete will and power of attourney, you won't be long for this world.

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Old August 21, 2012, 20:04   #23
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If you are so burdened down with armor, you may end up getting shot when you otherwise may have had the mobility to avoid it.

Don't get me wrong, if I'm going to get shot, I'd rather be wearing armor. But I don't see moving 20 clicks through rough terrain wearing it.

This has been a difficult balance since the dawn of warfare.
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Old August 21, 2012, 20:53   #24
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Fight Light !
If you must wear rifle plates wear only a front and back, forget the sides. While you're at it forget the ballistic helmet too. The damn thing won't stop a rifle round so why wear it into combat. That's exactly why the members of Delta wear the helmet gunplumber is sporting in his photos. It protects the head from retards throwing rocks as well as any bumps you may receive while on the move or in a vehicle plus it holds your night vision device but weighs less than a ballistic helm.

A close friend from my AO believed in his helmet until the day an AK round went through it and ended his career as an Force Recon Marine in the stan.
Gunplumber's boy scout rules are right on too. I was in scouting from cub up to eagle and had a similar list, although his is modified.

The one thing i'd modify on his list is the "blow out" kit. I use a High Speed Gear blow out pouch with med shears, a few chest seals for sucking chest wounds, at least 3 Israeli bandages, some celox impregnated gauze and 3 cat tourniquets. I carry 3 cats because you may receive more than one wound that needs a tourniquet or one of your buddies may need one. I learned that from a combat medic with actual experience. I learned from several Uncles with combat experience, (SF, LRRP, SEAL & regular Infantry) that it's best to go heavy with ammo and carry less of the other stuff. It worked for them and many of their comrades so i heed their advice.

Thanks again GP for your time, effort & shared experience.
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Old August 21, 2012, 21:10   #25
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One of the things that is in the back of my mind is the environment. If we are looking at a severe breakdown, and you have a tension hemo/pneumo thorax, there is no MedEvac to a trauma center.

Chest seals only delay the inevitable. Doesn't mean not to use them, but what happens next? I can stabilize you with a needle thoracentesis, and maybe even rig a primitive vacuum for a chest tube. But after a couple days, you're toast anyway from infection.

High velocity projectiles cause tissue necrosis far outside the primary cavitation. One may be able to debride a wound to an extremity - maybe using grub to eat away the dead tissue. But armor isn't going to protect extremities anyway.

I predict that 90% of the fatalities in a systemic collapse will be from pathogenic organisms, not bullets.
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Old August 21, 2012, 22:03   #26
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One of the things that is in the back of my mind is the environment. If we are looking at a severe breakdown, and you have a tension hemo/pneumo thorax, there is no MedEvac to a trauma center.

Chest seals only delay the inevitable. Doesn't mean not to use them, but what happens next? I can stabilize you with a needle thoracentesis, and maybe even rig a primitive vacuum for a chest tube. But after a couple days, you're toast anyway from infection.

High velocity projectiles cause tissue necrosis far outside the primary cavitation. One may be able to debride a wound to an extremity - maybe using grub to eat away the dead tissue. But armor isn't going to protect extremities anyway.

I predict that 90% of the fatalities in a systemic collapse will be from pathogenic organisms, not bullets.

Since basic sanitation items like clean water are history during a natural disaster, a prolonged event will amplify this. Add to the mix an ignorant population(anyone who doesn't or won't think about stuff like this, not just certain socio-economic groups)and diseases like cholera and typhus will certainly thin the ranks.


Like several others have said, thought-provoking stuff, Mark...
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Old August 21, 2012, 22:07   #27
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I predict that 90% of the fatalities in a systemic collapse will be from pathogenic organisms, not bullets.
Yep- 50 million, give or take a few in 1918 from fargin influenza.

Thanks, Mark.
This will start some conversations with a few folks.
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Old August 22, 2012, 05:50   #28
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I predict that 90% of the fatalities in a systemic collapse will be from pathogenic organisms, not bullets.
I'll second that. Most folks have no idea what untreated water anywhere near concentrations of people will do to you. Dysentery kills.
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Old August 22, 2012, 13:05   #29
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Interesting read. Thanks for putting it together.

I have no high speed low drag experience, but other's who've "been there done that" on here have told me 12 FAL mags would be a stretch to carry, burdensome, and prohibitive.
I have never been there or done that, BUT I have taken some classes involving all day hiking in mountainous and wooded environs with my combat load out. That would be 12 fully loaded mags plus water plus some snacks/lunch in the buttpack plus full sized FAL with SUIT mounted plus whatever other doodads I brought along.

I am not an athlete but it wasn't all that bad. Keeps you warm when it's hovering near or just below 0 degrees F.

Of course, the morning after was a bit of a bitch to get out of bed...
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Old August 22, 2012, 19:14   #30
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I read your article and I think you put a lot of thought and effort into it. While I won't be marching off to war I thought it was well thought out and a good read for anyone that thinks they might be.
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Old August 22, 2012, 20:01   #31
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I gotta ask , no experience NONE what so ever ,you pack out the 12 loaded mags , you change them ... you gonna keep them all or some . I seen in the pics GP had of his rigs , it seamed to be a dump pouch on his left side , or was that what it was used for . I really can't see leaving a bunch of empty magazines lay where you changed , or am I just smokin somtin ??? Curiious about this one aspect .

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Old August 22, 2012, 21:21   #32
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Dump pouch is for empties. I used to use my cargo pocket or tuck them inside my shirt. Magazines are not expendable items.

Not that I'd save a mag at the risk of my life, but I don't think ditching the mag should be the default.

After being introduced to the dump pouch, I was sold (can't tuck in my shirt when wearing a chest plate). $22.50, voodo tactical.
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Old August 22, 2012, 21:48   #33
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Yep, very common out here now, also useful if you need to ditch you NV unit fast or any other item that does not go back into dedicated carrier easily when under external "pressures" ..
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Old August 22, 2012, 22:08   #34
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Thanks you for the reply , it just didn't seem logical to leave equipment unnecessarily behind unless it was prudent.

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Old August 23, 2012, 15:22   #35
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Great write up and very thought provoking. With all the info posted, being in shape is a must.
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Old August 23, 2012, 16:54   #36
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cfish,

GP, has the best point and its an eye opener. If there is little to no medical care, just about any chest or abdominal wound will be lethal. Either know a Dr that lives near by with combat surgical skills or have made peace with your maker.

Getting into a shooting match leads to a high death probabability, make sure the objective is worth the sacrifice.

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Old August 23, 2012, 17:36   #37
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GP, I'm a few years older and in worse physical shape. Still, my thoughts roughly parallel your own. I still like my old ALICE gear. I use a layered approach. Leatherman tool on my pants belt with handgun in my old Jackass shoulder rig. Over that, my ALICE belt and harness (H-type) with M-16 pouches with spare 5-rd clips in the bottoms to make my FAL mags sit high enough and my belt knife. Two 1-qt canteens on the belt with canteen cups, stoves, and water purification tabs in the carriers. Dump bag on the left rear. Butt pack with the other things I REALLY don't want to be without (TP, solid fuel for stove, socks, emergency food, first aid, water filter, hygiene items, 550 cord, etc).

ALICE clips get bent and come loose at the most inopportune times, so all ALICE items are secured with zip-ties instead. Generally, where you use 550 cord, I use zip-ties.

I also still use my ALICE pack with external frame. Even in mid-TN, having airflow across your back is a welcome benefit in the summer. I keep two-more canteens attached to my pack, and usually a collapsed two-quart inside just in case I decide to carry more water. Most folks have no clue how precious water is or how fast it gets used.

If TSHTF in almost any scenario, sepsis will be a huge issue with any type of injury. Anyone who knows even meager first aid has a huge advantage. Most community colleges offer EMT training at modest cost. Well worth the expense and effort.
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Old August 23, 2012, 20:08   #38
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Mark, thank you - and the others - for sharing your insights and practical experience. For those of us who have not had any real world experience in these matters, your information is more than just interesting, it helps us make informed decisions which could ultimately save our butts.

I've thought through and tried many options over the years - intellectually it is not a difficult excercise, but is akin to mental masturbation unless you can actually try out your ideas and/or validate them through the experience of folks such as yourself.

Again, I thank you
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Old August 23, 2012, 21:47   #39
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Most of my "experience" was in the late 80s, early 90s. Too many years without a real conflict led the military back into complacency. When my son enlisted, it was different. Still not ideal, but he was wearing his armor and carrying his rifle from the first week of basic. A lot more emphasis on war fighting and less on spit-and-polish garrison crap. And he got as standard issue what was considered super-secret special-teams-only gear in my day, if it existed at all. Can you believe we had to check our bayonets in at the arms room as a "sensitive item". Hogwash. We were the first army unit to test them - the M9 Phobius III and our general consensus after breaking most of them in the first week was that it was a heavy piece of shit. Army Times wrote how we all loved it. So while I enjoyed some technology, we were mostly working with stuff that came out in the '70s. Heck, I had to hump a TVS-5 (not to be confused with a PVS-5), which was barely second generation NVD.

This has turned into a mixed blessing. While training with lower tech, I got the fundamentals. I can think in meters and do declination in my head and can look at a map an instantly know the best route through terrain association rather than dead reconing through dinosaur land. I bought a GPS but never got it working and now it is obsolete.

We layed in our mortars with aiming stakes and a plotting board. Satellite plotting and computer controlled FDC is great - until it isn't there anymore and you don't know how to do intersection and modified resection with a protractor and scrap of dental floss.

So technology is wonderful, but it cannot be a replacement for basic skills.

Heck, I had a short stint with a mechanized infantry unit. They were going on a 20 mile "road march". I was impressed. 20 miles was a tough march even for conditioned rangers. 12 miles was the Friday morning standard (3 hours by platoon, 3:15 by company, 3:30 by battalion, 65# rucks). Then I discovered a "road march" meant taking a seat in an M113 and driving . .. . .

The most basic skill for a foot-soldier is to ruck up and move out. And there is no way to learn it from reading a book. Physical fitness remains my greatest challenge. I drink a 12 ounce beer and I gain a pound. How the heck does that happen? I cut myself and it take 10 days to heal instead of 2-3. I'm 43 and it is 10x more work to be half as good as I was as a 17 year old ninja.

The only humor I get out of it is when I'm doing some kind of physically demanding work with young pups. They can't understand how I keep going. I can't understand why they quit so easy. I don't tell them that if I sit down I won't be able to get up again.

It's mental. And the mental conditioning, the mental "hardness" is largely born I think from grueling road marches where I would rather have died than embarrassed my squad or platoon by falling out (and they'd have to carry my gear). Where I learned that there really is nothing a man can't do by shear force of will. To quote Amy Lee "I can stop the pain if I will it all away". You learn that roadmarching.

I freely admit I'm a frumpy middle-aged guy and the best I can hope for is not to suck too badly. But I thank God I had the opportunity in my youth to serve with the best, and will carry the lessons I learned for a lifetime.
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Old August 24, 2012, 07:49   #40
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Lol GP, ya the young pup thing cracks me up. I'm a few months shy of 50 and 2 weeks ago I was challenged to a 50 yard dash with my son and his 2 buddies. I smoked all of them. Of course I had to go in the house and catch my breath before I passed out. I use to run a 5.8 in the 50 in high school. And the next morning everything hurt.
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Old August 24, 2012, 09:32   #41
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The only humor I get out of it is when I'm doing some kind of physically demanding work with young pups. They can't understand how I keep going. I can't understand why they quit so easy. I don't tell them that if I sit down I won't be able to get up again.

It's mental. And the mental conditioning, the mental "hardness" is largely born I think from grueling road marches where I would rather have died than embarrassed my squad or platoon by falling out (and they'd have to carry my gear). Where I learned that there really is nothing a man can't do by shear force of will. To quote Amy Lee "I can stop the pain if I will it all away". You learn that roadmarching.
We start losing neurons around age 30 and with that comes decreased sensitivity to pain. Add in the will, confidence, and skills of previous painful experiences and it gives us a good indication of where the concept of "tough old bird" came from.

I work a 40-50 lb pack at least 2-3 days a month, with some exceptions. Granted, it is a good pack but I normally find myself slowing my pace for more youthful, some fitter, hiking buddies. I sleep better on the ground than they do too. Once Day 2 is over though, I find myself digging in the Ranger candy as I am try to get up and going the next morning. Back and joints dont recover like they used to.
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Old August 24, 2012, 10:47   #42
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Ruck March

Had the privilege of belonging to a "Light Infantry" unit in 80s. We didn't have a vehicle assigned to unit. Couldn't request a truck for movement less than 7 miles. Had to carry all equipment in ruck for range work, only exception was anti armor or mortar ammo, we had to carry launchers and tubes to range but got to have ammo delivered.

Miles and miles under a ruck. My best time was 3hours and 7 min For 12 miles with 90 lbs of sand and equipment. I came in 7th. I was 25.

You just can't understand without doing what it's like to live under a loaded ruck.

We had to breakin new troops out of basic and AIT gentle like until we got them in shape.

And spend money on your shoes, socks and foot powder. I'm not kidding. Your boots are as important as which ruck or webbing. I have seen a fistfight over a lost pair of Fox River Himalayain socks. I still think the guy who lost the socks deserved to get his ass kicked, those were some good socks.
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Old August 24, 2012, 14:44   #43
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GP, I'm a few years older and in worse physical shape.

DITTO

[/QUOTE]
ALICE clips get bent and come loose at the most inopportune times, so all ALICE items are secured with zip-ties instead. Generally, where you use 550 cord, I use zip-ties.
[/QUOTE]

How do you do this without squishing the belt that you are zip-tying or 550 cording the pouches too? Or if not tightened down do they flop? I really like the concept but am having trouble understanding how this really works.
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Old August 24, 2012, 15:43   #44
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While I've occasionally had an ALICE clip come loose, the requirement that everything be additionally secured with a cord (or zip tie in later times I understand) was for airborne operations. Having a canteen or ammo pouch hit you from 800 feet can be fatal. So canteens were dummy corded to the pouch, and the pouch additionally tied with a piece of para cord. I have found that using para cord only can cause the pouch to scrunch up and not lay as flat against the belt.

This is not to be confused with the meat hooks. On the LC-2 harness, there are steel hooks to attach it to the belt. Replacing these with para cord is quieter and more comfortable (in my opinion).

Finally, it cn be difficult to feed para cord through the slot on the back of ALICE pouches. On my Swiss Army knife is a fish scaler and on the end of that is a little "v" that is called a "fish hook degorger" It works great for pushing the cord through. Zip ties are stiff enough to do by themselves, but I always ended up abrading myself on the sharp plastic, so they aren't my first choice. They also don't last long in the desert - they become brittle and crack. So I'm sticking with para cord.
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Old August 24, 2012, 23:46   #45
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I used zip-ties until I had a few turn around on my belt, so the sharp end from cutting them with dikes ended up digging into my side. I've gone back to ALICE clips for some pouches, MOLLE for others.


My vest/war-belt setup is a mess...
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Old August 25, 2012, 17:50   #46
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Saw this MOLLE humor video. Had to pass it on.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FrAIF...edded#!http://
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Old August 25, 2012, 21:29   #47
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Priceless!
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Old August 25, 2012, 21:43   #48
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Very funny video
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Old August 26, 2012, 13:39   #49
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He would need tactical snorkel or scuba tank,cause he 'd be walken on the bottom!
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Old August 27, 2012, 23:16   #50
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Okay, I was laughing out loud. I think that was possibly a better hat than the "nice hat" in The Fifth Element.
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