15 Fighters: Load-Bearing Equipment

Same idea as the recent knife post.

You need to equip 15 fighters with the gear to carry ammo, IFAK, water, and rain gear, along with various other bits and bobs.

Money is tight.

What do you use, why, and where do you get it?

Links are very helpful.

105 responses to “15 Fighters: Load-Bearing Equipment

  1. Old ALICE equipment in good condition still be had on eBay and Craigslist but is getting up in price. Gun shows tend to be pricier but you can haggle. There’s a ton of Woodland gear and uniforms to be found. The military used it for 30 yrs. Forget MOLLE.

  2. Practical Man

    My last trip to A-Stan looked something like this:

    – Blackhawk brand plate MOLLE carrier with rifle mag punches and IFAK on front plate. Blackhawk brand isn’t special; just what was issued.
    – pistol in a modified safariland 6004 holster, 2 mag pouches, small fixed blade and BOK on belt that holds up my pants.
    – LC2 style suspenders and belt to carry 4 canteens and extraneous second line gear. SAW ammo pouch and a butt pack are useful when walking; not helpful when vehicle borne. NODs and Binoculars fit nicely in saw ammo pouches; as do 30 round GI magazines.
    – SOF-T wide rubber banded to rifle stock. Yes, that’s a lot of TQs. 3 total. When you need one,you need one. Same for Celox gauze; keep it handy cause when you need it you won’t have time to go get it.

    – Helmet and plates of your choice. I kept my MICH at ETS. Still researching plates. AR500 doesn’t seem to be the answer. Interested is what others might be using.

    – 3d line gear in a modified large Alice pack with frame. It works well enough and it’s paid for.

    If a guy wanted to be lower profile, a plate carrier under a flannel shirt, a small daypack with essentials, and a couple water bottles might get it done for realistic wood cruising or suburban scouting. METT-TSL usually drives those choices.

    • Johnny Paratrooper

      I could kill a lot of bad guys with this setup after a long range patrol.

      Blackhawk gets a bad reputation. Granted, they do make a lot of tactical crap. But their stuff is nearly indestructible, serviceable, and affordable.

      I have a shotgun with that “recoil reducing buttstock”. For $150 it was a little pricey, but it has the best recoil pad in the industry, and a ergonomic grip for a gloved hand. I built a trench/riot shotgun with more shell carriers than I have ammo… (j/k) but still. Good stuff brother. To hell with those inbred retards.

    • theirritablearchitect

      Never was in the military, so I don’t know dick about body armor.

      However, I’ve run across a composite plate that’s made in the EU, available from a Finnish supplier called Varusteleka.


      Supposedly, Level IV, stand alone plate, and at 6.6 pounds, seems much lighter than most others. Cost doesn’t seem too bad either.

      ANYONE with thoughts on this stuff should chime in.

      Pete, you might put the word out and ask around.

  3. lastmanstanding

    Was over at http://www.gadsdendynamics.com last night. I should have gotten a chest rig and war belt in November…think they were 35% off. Prices are fair and reviews good. They have an email list that keeps you in the loop.

    Wow, load bearing gear/packs. Much of that stuff is bombproof and comfortable. If price is the important point, shop places like http://www.sierratradingpost.com and http://www.opticsplanet.com

    I picked up a couple of those Ontario knives that Aesop mentioned last week. I’m still feeling great about that $70 that I spent. I was figuring that the sheaths would be crap and that I could have a local guy do kydex for me. Not the case. They were perfectly safe and functional.

  4. Its tough to beat the surplus Woodland LBVs that can be found just about anywhere for less than $15 a piece and often closer to $10 in serviceable condition. Here is an online example at $12 from Midway USA:
    Add to that a butt pack ($20-25) and canteen with pouch ($25 for 2), and pistol belt ($5-7) and you have a quality setup for less than $70, closer to $55 (or as I’m sure some competitive person will point out they got all of theirs for $2, congrats you win, I’m listing average real world prices) if you find them used at your local army navy store or gun show and that also gives you the option to pay cash. Given the equipment you listed they wouldn’t need a full rucksack, I would make sure people include comms gear under “bits and bobs”. Maybe not everyone but 1 in 4 probably need a handheld radio.
    So that’s the “what” I would use and “where” to get it, to follow instructions and completely answer your post the “why” is several fold:
    1. It fits the “money is tight” requirement
    2. It is readily accessible from many places most of whom take cash
    3. They just work. While the LBV isn’t the latest and greats Tier 1 SEAL Team 6 Delta Force setup it can be adjusted to almost any body type (including the fat bodies out there or over winter weather gear) and it holds up well. This stuff isn’t crappy Chinese knock off Airsoft gear, it will take a beating and keep doing its job based on plenty of real world testing.
    The only downside I see (taking into account this should NOT be compared to $500+ setups) is the while the magazine pouches are a little bit flexible they were mainly designed for metal USGI AR/M4 mags, some people struggle with even MagPul mags not to mention other rifle platforms. So depending on the groups weapon of choice this might be an issue.

    • I bought four new USA made Alice ammo pouches off amazon. Pouches don’t have plastic dividers inside like I had while serving. Magpul mags fit fine with no struggle

      • Johnny Paratrooper

        One can always purchase AK-47 Mag pouches. Those will hold the 40 rounders and AK-Mags.

      • SemperFi, 0321

        Our early 1970’s 30 rd pouches had nylon/plastic dividers, which when cut out, allow you to put in 2 M-14/FAL/G-3/AR10 mags also. Ace wrap or gauze roll in bottom to raise them up.

    • If you have anyone carrying a Garand, the Grenadier LBV will give you places for 14 D-clips, tourniquets and/or flares, and all the belt room of a normal LBV for canteens, more ammo, buttpack, holster, dildos or whatnot.

      Chicom chest rigs make a cheap solution for bandos, and the real sadistic can pick up a blooperman vest (14 more D-clips, no belt) to throw on over it all.

      Stack ’em right and you almost have a Level II armor sieve.

    • All the stuff is here, if you have time and know what you want.

  5. Johnny Paratrooper

    I would simply go to a surplus store and put something together. I personally have enough gear to outfight a fire team.

    It took years to put together my gear since I purchased quality stuff. However, all of my stuff is second hand with the exception of a Multi-cam TA-50 layout.

    I wore ACU’s during my service. I still have all of my ACU gear, which I use in Wyoming as work pants and hunting clothes.

    One thing you absolutely don’t want to cheap out on is canteens or the shoulder straps and belt.

    Old, gross canteens make the water taste weird. Which is a little depressing. You can simply purchase good canteens, and your water won’t taste like a plastic poison pill.

    Make sure you purchase a quality padded pistol belt and harness. Everything else is perfectly fine in my opinion. As long as it is serviceable and neutral in color.

    You WILL bleed and get an infection if you have and uncomfortable rig.

  6. Johnny Paratrooper

    Who makes those leather suspenders? I have been looking for something exactly like that.

    • The firms changed ownership in ’45.

      Mebbe re-enactors these days?

    • Jeffery in Alabama

      The “Y” straps appear to be WW2 German. While some of the German field gear of WW2 was “crew served” (it was difficult for one soldaten to put on and take off), the waist belt and “Y”-straps provided the foundation (normally the belt held by loops two ammo pouches, a canvas bread bag to which the canteen and mess kit were fastened, entrenching tool and bayonet. NCO’s usually carried a pistol holster. NCO’s, MG crewmen, and medics carried various other items on their belts (i.e. mapcases, first aid kits). There was also an “A”-frame assualt pack which attached to “D”-rings on the “Y”-straps. The A-frame had various straps to which a zeltbahn (shelter quarter/poncho), mess kit, or a small canvas pack could be attached. The German rucksack also had attachments that would fit the “A”-frame whereby it could be carried without shoulder straps. It really wasn’t a bad system, but proved “noisy”. It is basically the foundation for what many armies use today for the standard infantryman. For decades after the war many European countries used an almost identical load bearing system. The leather Y-straps can be purchased on Ebay as can leather and canvas repro belts, A-frames, etc. . I’ve seen repros the Chinese are cranking out and they are well made and serviceable. Also, you can Google all sorts of information and illustrations to see how this system worked.

      • SemperFi, 0321

        Ein soldat=singular
        Zwei soldaten=plura
        Re-enacting in the Heer must be fun when nobody is shooting at you.

  7. Based on request for low expense and basics. This gets you started for a total fee of $82.94 each, or $1,244.10 for the entire group. All links provided, but IMHO, should be used as a baseline and all procurement done in cash FTF unless you don’t care who knows.

    The ‘why’ for these particular choices is cost, because money’s tight. The LBV provides 6 standard mag pouches and more can be added to the belt. The collapsible canteens, when used properly, reduce sloshing noise. The IFAK pouch would need ALICE clips, but it’s still good and cheap. Butt packs are a PITA, but a SAW pouch or two can hold a lot of small ‘stuff’ and balance the load with one on each side. The poncho is THE worst piece of rain gear, save for one, saving, wonderful use as a lean to. Other more modern rain gear is much more expensive.

    Load Bearing: $15 – Free Shipping – https://www.ebay.com/itm/USGI-Enhanced-Load-Bearing-Vest-Free-Shipping/233026278546?hash=item364172d492:g:bIkAAOSwLSZcAEZG:rk:16:pf:0

    Belt: $13 – Free Shipping – https://www.ebay.com/itm/USGI-MILITARY-ISSUE-LC2-MODERN-BUCKLE-WEB-PISTOL-BELT-SZ-LARGE-OLIVE-DRAB-USED/253679295216?hash=item3b1076daf0:g:6ikAAOSw7m9bG-2s:rk:28:pf:0

    Collapsible Canteen w/cover: $13 – Free Shipping (X2) = $26 – https://www.ebay.com/itm/USGI-Military-Army-1-Quart-QT-OD-PLASTIC-COLLAPSIBLE-CANTEEN-w-1QT-COVER-NEW/280862917149?epid=1431839547&hash=item4164bc021d:g:64oAAOxy0rZRF08h:rk:4:pf:0

    IFAK pouch: $4.90 – Free Shipping – https://www.ebay.com/itm/USGI-INDIVIDUAL-FIRST-AID-KIT-POUCH-OLIVE-DRAB/321877231776?epid=692399004&hash=item4af160c8a0:g:1awAAOSwKIpWB2JL:rk:1:pf:0

    Cheap Poncho: $12.24 – Free Shipping – https://www.ebay.com/itm/Army-Military-Outdoor-Woodland-Camo-Emergency-Camouflage-Rain-Poncho-Raincoat/112235579356?epid=589275707&hash=item1a21c307dc:g:aHYAAOSwCEdYT3Sd:rk:41:pf:0

    Accessory Pouch X 2: $11.80 – Free Shipping – https://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-ARMY-ACU-MILITARY-SURPLUS-100-ROUND-SAW-AMMO-UTILITY-POUCH-MOLLE-II/372554249133?hash=item56bdf6b3ad:g:O8IAAOSwcxhbhrFb:rk:1:pf:0

    • So true about the poncho! The only people that like them are people that have never used them! To start with you are dying with sweat if it is over 65 degrees out so you end up wet underneath anyway. They collect all the rain hitting you and funnel it to your shins and then down into your boots. After a half hour of hard rain army ponchos basically leech through where you are making contact with them so again you are wet. Perhaps the only upside is being able to cover your pack with it but they make quick, cheap, and easy dedicated pack covers that work great and allow you to wear superior rain jackets.
      They are a good impromptu shelter though as mentioned. I once slept with my NCOIC under our two taped together and strung between some trees for 16 nights at Ft. Polk for a JRTC rotation but given more notice I would have opted for a dozen or more off the shelf dedicated shelters to include just a tent footprint pad that doesn’t have a hood you have to tie shut.

      • Johnny Paratrooper

        Walmart makes a $20 Camo tarp that is excellent.

        However, I am not sure weather it reflects IR or not.

        I would assume it works very well because I have seen the Mexicans using it.

        • Johnny Paratrooper

          I also do not recall it glowing or reflecting anything during training.

        • Squeeks&Geeks

          There’s some stuff called “the veil” that is sold on radar detector and anti traffic/red light cam sites. It’s acrylic clear coat paint that has an additive mixed in that blocks and does not reflect IR light. It’s not terribly cheap but they are the only ones selling anything like that to civilians. It will wear off your car after a year or so.

          There’s a Swedish company and Cerakote make “special” ir and visible camouflage paint that does the same thing. They will only sell it to .mil/leo and treat it like it’s the nuclear launch codes.

          There’s American and Israeli companies that make similar coating that work on the frequencies of medium and long wave ir light used by thermal scopes and Almost never seen or talked about openly, “special” nvg’s you can not buy unless you are someone special inside US DoD. It works really really well. Like magic. Not a chance in hell of obtaining any of it though.

          Someone should buy some Veil paint and request a safety data sheet to see if they list the ingredients. If the secret Anti ir sauce isn’t listed take up a collection and send a sample to a lab with a gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer. That will without a doubt tell you exactly what’s in it. Then set that info free in a non traceable open source kinda way. Only if that’s not illegal of course.

    • Good stuff. Thanks.

      Regarding the poncho, what would you recommend for something more durable for a few more shekels?

      • A Brit basha or a USMC field tarp. Bigger, more robust, and won’t break the bank if you take your time and look.

        • SemperFi, 0321

          The Marines screwed the pooch when they copied the Brit Basha. It’s a lot smaller, and doesn’t have the stretcher handles down the side. The Brit material is also tough as nails and waterproof as hell.
          Brit basha hands down best pick.
          Since I backpack too, I weigh shit now, most military gear is way too heavy for me to use dual purpose. The basha weighs as much as my Big Agnes 2p tent.

          • Weigh everything and mark it with the weight in Grams. I was amazed at how much variation there is in a 1L bottle (full weight- add 1000 grams).

      • Remember when I took my young son to climb to Mt LeConte[sp?]
        in the summer years ago and raining, we went up with umbrellas,
        to avoid the sweating.
        Humm??? Maybe unbrella’s made with KEVLAR??

        • SemperFi, 0321

          The ultra light long distance PC/CDT/AT backpackers use umbrellas, not a dumb idea at all. 20-25 lb packs and 20-30 miles a day.

          • Just found this SemperF,0321

            Around here a yard of carbon fiber goes for about 32 FRT’s,
            so, maybe make one with carbon fiber and should be a lot
            stronger. Hey…. a bigger one can serve as tent too.
            KEVLAR costs much more….
            Hummm, even to cover gear etc.

            Still remember the USMC two piece pant and jacket
            hot rubber raingear 🙂

  8. I have 4 complete sets of East German gear using the Y harness you have pictured there. I modified some Yugo mag carriers to work with it, but otherwise its breadbags with a canteen and a mess kit, and the waterproof pack that clips on those hooks on the shoulders. Its not the best gear out there but I have less than $80.00 US in the whole shebang.


    I ETSed in 1970 with all of my issue TA-50, including the old-style entrenching tool with the wood handle. Everything still works and fits. I check it every once-in-awhile to change out the rubber bands which secure the straps and buckles from making noise and flapping around. The canvas may not be as durable as all of the new-fangled polyester/nylon gear. But, it does not melt. I hope I do not have to wear it again, but that possibility gets more probable every day. Bleib ubrig.

    • SemperFi, 0321

      The US m1956 gear that was used thru most of the VN War was the best gear they ever issued. The newer nylon versions didn’t seem to hold up as well, and it was too flimsy in some cases. The old rubberized poncho was hell for stout and it’s nylon replacement was plain old leaky shit. The Bundeswehr rubber poncho is the next best thing, or maybe better. Heavier, yes, but they worked for their intended purpose.
      Same for the old wood handled US m1956 E-tool. Best E-tool ever made by any country, though my Swiss ones are pretty awesome stout too.

  10. Anthony Judge

    German Military Surplus Wet-Weather Poncho, when you can find them (https://www.sportsmansguide.com/product/index/german-military-surplus-wet-weather-poncho-used?a=1800856) , go for about $20-30, sometimes less. Mine is close to 25 years old with a few rips and tears (fixed with green duct tape), and provides warmth in the winter and less wettness in the summer.

  11. Anthony Judge

    Forgot to add if you are gonna go old school water canteen, be sure you get the aluminium (tin) cup. Will save your cold butt on any occasion but really come in to it own after a krappy, long, sporty day in craphole city, when it warms up that small packet of instant coffee that you had stored under the cup. Coffee never taste better. Hydration pouches have their place, but will never replace the old tin cup.

  12. ALICE and MOLLE both work just fine.
    MOLLE jingles less, but gets caught on more shit.

    Hot tip: You can get great deals on the shit-tastic Army ACU only-camouflages-you-with-granny’s-sofa MOLLE LBE.
    Buy it for the price.
    Then fill a Rubbermaid Roughneck trash can with hot water, and a couple of bottles or packets of dark green RIT Dye, and stir with a sacrificial broomhandle (unless you like green eggs and hands).

    Throw your gray-green ACU LBE pieces in the stew, and stir it around for half an hour or so. Do all of it at the same time.

    After time, take the pieces out, and hose them off with a garden hose. Hang ’em up to dry. Then rinse them again.
    When the dye that didn’t take stops coming off, so should your rinsing.
    (Don’t use the Significant Other’s spendy laundry machinery unless
    a) you want an ass-whuppin’, and
    b) you want to risk everything you own (and everything everyone else using that machine owns) having a light to dark green hue to it for a month or two.
    Don’t do it.)

    You may need to experiment, or repeat, or add darker colors, but as a rule, even with nylon, you can turn that shitastic ACU color palette (which doesn’t camo any-damned-thing) into a decent half-assed forest MARPAT (which works like the shizznit).

    Because ACU items are so deservedly reviled and despised, you can save lot$ more than the co$t of the dye, and get cheap, great LBE gear, new or nearly so, for a fraction the price of tracking down MARPAT or Multicam items.

    With ALICE, your friends are black and brown Krylon.
    And you can eliminate all those clinky clanky metal ALICE clips, and replace them with single-use cable zip ties.

    Double bonus:
    Think Outside The Box
    LBE is nice, in the woods.
    In town, where Mosby et al point out repeatedly Underground and Auxiliary are a lot more likely to be playing, your winning move is to turn a commercial fly-fishing vest into an under-the-jacket combination LBE and SRU-21P.


    Under a jacket, you’ll look like a typical middle-aged fat American, instead of Tactical Timmy, especially when Team Oppression is deciding who looks like they need a bullet in the face. Looking non-descript and unimportant may spare them wasting a bullet on you, while enabling you to tote the toys you need, right in town, and no one else having any clue.

    Some people are old enough to remember renowned holster-maker John Bianchi’s tuxedo photo with dozens of undercover pistols.

    Think about being able to do that with concealed/concealable mission-essential survival and fighting load vests that could pass a casual glance under a windbreaker, hoodie, light jacket, or even under a grubby set of coveralls.

    If it’s stupid, but it works,
    it’s not stupid.

    • Still have my issue (1981) pilot’s survival vest; it takes my 686 JUST fine, along with a nice amount of sundry items. It’s really good for a myriad of scenarios, and if you know a nice person with an industrial sewing machine, you can make all sorts of neat little mods…..good luck finding one now at a reasonable price, though. The good ones have gone through the roof. As with anything, you get what you pay for….

      • Made a good friend at Marine Air Station which his specialty
        was getting all survival vests ready to go and even made
        authors alterations 🙂 He was damn good too with all specific
        helmet designs. Around the same years ( 79 to 81 )

  13. If you have a canteen cup, why would you need a mess kit? Pile your grub into the cup. Ounces equal pounds eventually.


    • Johnny Paratrooper

      Agreed, You can just boil your MRE pouches (Or whatever) in the canteen cup. I bought 4 of them with the lids and the BDP free Canteens.

      I only carry two at a time. They work nicely.

      • A.B. Prosper

        Don’t forget modern MRE’s often come with their own heater and cook right in the bag.

        I haven’t tried them myself but MRE Steve on YouTube shows them in all their glory . Odds are they don’t keep as well over time as the older ones but you can’t have everything

        I’m not qualified to recommend a carry rig however I do think Aesop as usual is on the right track

        If things go really south, a lot of ops will be dirty urban ops and both Molle and Alice gear are a hindrance in such situations.

        My suspicion is that a lot of fighting will end up being Mosby’s Guerrilla Gunfighter work and the suppressed pistol will end up used as much or more than an AR

        If that’s your AO or where the mission is than you need gear for that more than heavy LBEs .

        Obviously one or more of each is best but know your role and go as light as possible for your situation.

    • There are advantages to the container style kits. Lets say that I get enough time to hold up in a relatively safe spot. I want a hot meal so I knock that out now a couple of hours later I need to get moving but I want a cup of coffee or tea before I do that. Well depending on what I did for the meal I may have a dirty canteen cup. Now I have to use water to rinse it out or my coffee tastes like Dinky Dog or Dinty Moore or whatever. Well with a kit, I still have a clean cup to brew up a tea or some joe. I don’t have to use up any of my water to just clean the cup.
      Here is a dude showing the different kits out there. I like the German style ones.

  14. This weekend found my old M-17 Gas Mask, an old warbelt
    with canteen(plastic) and canteen cup too! Gas Mask pouch missing though:-)
    Heh… even found bootcamp Rifle Marksmanship and Data Book!!
    NO TOILET SEAT Badge either 🙂

  15. Dodge, once again steps up, does a good job. I’ve done things different. While everything suggested is right on.

    Over the years, like my mid 20s to now, things and gear have changed. One difference is we still use TA-50 with the metal clasp up front. Old SF guys and Rangers taught us to tie everything on with PR cord, slip the pr cord thru the suspended ends then thru the highest attachment hole on your combat belt, inside out, overhand knot, trim burn excess. Holsters knives ammo pouchs everything attached with PR green cord.

    Everybody does it different. I can say that was early 80s to early 90s. I’ve still got that gear, it’s ready to go when needed. The pr cord is as strong as it was then.

    We never buckled our front buckle, wanted that shit out of the way when we hit the ground. I was also taught by SF, that our three mag pouch holders should go directly in front of your stomach.

    We never buckled the belt buckle, when we went to ground the belt just kinda ended up right next to us, mags readily available.

    Ponchos. Again we were taught to use the heavier older rubberized ponchos, with a wool blanket sewn inside, then resealed over the stiches. What was the saying, ” go lite go all night. Was taught to carry two, mine were both the early rubberized models, but I’ve since purchased the newer light weight ones. Thinking one of each summer. I’m sticking with the older models in the winter. I’ve got several, still in decent shape. Stored in cool dark places.

    Found the rubberized ponchos to be able to keep more rain out, and keep more warmth in. Had to be careful regarding sweating. I still have those older rubber style wool lined ponchos. Also got newer ponchos with woobies cut poncho style and worn under the newer lighter mil ponchos.

    For out turf, we prefer od green gear.

    Have multi cam, was issued those uniforms for working in the forests chasing cartel dope growers. Works quit well here. I burned that asat shit. Total failure in the woods here. Could see movement long distances. Lose lose.

    Guess we’re fortunate we still have an army surplus store here in town. It’s older Namand earlier era stuff.

    Lastly I prefer aluminum canteens with the canteen cup, both are od green.

    Good stuff, thanks Pete. Think I’ll get my stuff down off the garage shelves and review it.


  16. Places where you can order all the Nazi uniforms and equipment you can pay for. Best quality. “AT THE FRONT MILITARIA” Good prices. “1944 MILITARIA” HIGH PRICES. But you can get it all from this guy. Ether one of them will have links to all things WW2 German. You can dress up as a Waffen SS. Top to bottom. Oldguns.net has a nice selection of German firearms this month. Many collector grade, if you want to go full monty.

  17. Learn about building your 5-10 program; Please call in to the show and ask questions.


  18. Mike V. always said “Guns are easy, logistics are hard”

    Nothing is more difficult or dangerous in combat than having to contend with poor or non existent infantry combat gear, like fumbling for an extra mag in the middle of an L shaped ambush or in the dark under attack from enemy who has infiltrated your base or shooting position.

    Nothing wrong with Alice gear. Sure its old school, but it works well, battle tested, gives you a considerable range of options and modifications. It was cheap too, and sources are drying up. But the 3 M16 30rd mag pouches, belts and shoulder harness’s are still out there for under ten bucks per piece of the ensemble.
    Still see the pouches for 3-5 bucks used. Repro belts are $15, plenty of H Harness’s out there, butt packs, 1 & 2 quart canteens.
    There is a great zero cost method for mounting the 3 mag ALICE pouches with grenade packets, solidly to MOLLE. Carefully cut away the grenade pouch, leave the button strap, use the ALICE clips straight to the MOLLE, mount the pouch where you like it, and weave the grenade strap up to the highest horizontal MOLLE strap, and back to the snap it connects with. Works like a charm. Been through live fire combat classes and my own brush busting, not once has this expedient method come loose in 7 years of using it. I put the 3 round ALICE pouches back around my hips, and run TACO’s around the front so I can get low as possible.

    The MOLLE 1 vest is a great cheap MOLLE platform. (here’s one listed, they misnamed it, it is the MOLLE1 version, was $12.95, they are going up. All the ones I’ve bought where brand new. Nice trim close fitting with infinite adjustability: http://armysurpluswarehouse.com/molle-ii-fighting-load-carrier-vest-woodland-camo/ )
    The 1st version without the zipper is the best. It is infinitely adjustable. Lot of real estate. They sell still for under 20 bucks. I picked up two more for $14. Got them set up as12 gauge vests, straight ammo carrying vests with all the pouches possible that can be attached. 3 vests each set up different as combat rigs, very short range, a regular standard combat load out with 360 rounds in mags, and a get home no matter what last two line levels of gear, that I throw a over the shoulder bandoleer of ready mags with in the truck if I’m more than 5 miles from home. And a .762 combat vest rig for the obvious reason.
    12 years now, the MOLLE1 has worked for me excellent. I have no complaints once I got it set up how I like to run them.
    The MOLLE II vest I do not like. Stupid zipper, and strap set up. They should have left the original as is. I sold those off and got more MOLLE 1’s.

    Of late have started to build extra combat rigs for tribe members. Along with ordering extra MOLLE 1 vests, 1st thing I did was buy these nice combat belts from Gadson Dynamics, as I had extra bucks:


    Has awesome sticky liner materiel keeps it from sliding all over, has the military grade plastic latch and just the right stiffness to hold mag pouches and canteens. Put a used, under 8 bucks, MOLLE 1 quart canteen cover and ALICE canteen, and 3 mag pouch on them, for around $75.
    For the vests, been buying used MOLLE and ALICE pouches. A basic combat vest set up been running around $35 – $50+.
    I only give the vests and belts out to those who will train with me in SUT as MAX Velocity taught me in the classes I took at his school and his manual’s.
    The rest I’m holding in reserve for future developments.
    Over the last 10 years every month or so when I have a few extra bucks been buying a couple pouches here, a vest there. An ALICE pack frame or pack for cheap on sale, it adds up. It all increases in value, I could sell it all at a modest profit now. But thats not the point, the investment is priceless when things go south on us.

    I doubt I could procure less costly rigs in another fashion.

    One could do the same with 80% AR lower’s, and say the excellent M4orgery kit SARCO sells. You can build a basic all Mil Spec parts flat top carbine for under $400. Not too long ago people would have thought a little cheese fell of you cracker you told them you could build a combat quality AR for under 400 bucks.
    Forged Mil Spec anodized 80% lowers, are around $45 now, SARCO’s carbine kit, melonite lined barrel, is regular $299, every couple weeks they have an extra low sale, seen it as low as $275: http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/ar15m16partskitminuslowerwteloscopingstock.aspx

    This guy sells his “Stupid Cheap Slings”, for 16 bucks you get a good rugged combat sling, goes up in cost from there:

    A sling?
    Oh yeah. You never put your rifle down. Ever.
    Besides, how you going to work your garden, do firewood, do manual chores and have your rifle ready in a second?

    I got them on everything. Saved a ton of cash. Yes they ain’t Tacticool Gucci, they are slings that work.

  19. LBV is a good choice for on the cheap that will not fall apart. No integral plate carrier, but plenty light enough for the “G”. Fellow listed the site above. If you don’t mind spending the money, the Shellback Tactical Banshee. Missed your knife post: My favorite is split between the Gergen Strongarm or the Mora Garberg Carbon steel. Do not buy the stainless Garberg. You can’t strike a spark with a Flint when using stainless knives.

  20. Gerber Strongarm…..damned auto spell……

  21. not to be a buzz killer, but remember back in spring of ’14 when all those russian “troops” showed up in sevatopol to seize the crimea, and we all laughed at them for the spanking new gear and nothing in the pouches? if you’re looking for a classic photo-op, start there. and don’t be that guy.

    you’re better off in “going to the mall” clothes and carry light gear that you can easily ditch, then blend in with the locals, where ever the locals are at the time. carry zero o.d. green stuff. and no patches. they don’t make you run faster or bleed slower. expecting to be more of a hit and run / distraction run force than an occupying force. nobody would suspect a thing if your group looks like a bunch of illegals that just crossed the border. when nobody is looking closely, then you look just like everybody else.

    • Upcoming question for the Fifteen Fighters series:

      “What gear can be used to best replicate fighting resources under non-permissive/normy circumstances?”

      Working title:

      “What I Wore That Night To The County Commissioners’ Meeting”

      • lastmanstanding

        Nice…I’m looking forward to the comfortable but stylish ankle holster recommendations.

    • lastmanstanding

      Some of us have the same thoughts as you do. Traveling light and relatively in fashion has its advantages.

  22. This is a very good resource for camo smocks, and lots more. They’re in Europe, shipping isn’t too bad.


  23. Been gathering the old M56 gear where ever I can find it. I carried it, I still carry it; I know it’s ‘heavy’ but the shit will outlive me. I use 20rd mags, so the pouches work. ‘H’ harness, Glock knife, metal canteen and cup . . . yeah, cut up an innertube and silence the damn thing. Butt pack, old time poncho, just like we did it back then. Even an old timey e-tool. No ‘C’s though.

    So far I can load out ten guys.

    Also use Swiss Army denim
    fatigues. Kinda Feldgrau.
    Wear like iron. A little heavy when wet, but they don’t rip and don’t ‘swish’ and they don’t say ‘Kamo Kid’

    My two cents.

  24. Alfred E. Neuman

    Reblogged this on FOR GOD AND COUNTRY.

  25. theirritablearchitect


    Can anyone give feedback on this, talking within the thread about body armor:

    “Never was in the military, so I don’t know dick about body armor.

    However, I’ve run across a composite plate that’s made in the EU, available from a Finnish supplier called Varusteleka.


    Supposedly, Level IV, stand alone plate, and at 6.6 pounds, seems much lighter than most others. Cost doesn’t seem too bad either.

    ANYONE with thoughts on this stuff should chime in.

    Pete, you might put the word out and ask around.”

  26. I shoulda stolen a bunch of this 782 gear shit when I was in. Many of my comrades did, but I felt doing so was wrong, and I didn’t.

    I’m such an asshole.


  27. “work pants”
    Wrangler RIGGS 3W060 Ripstop Ranger Pants – Relaxed Fit – Dark Brown
    Frequently not-$41, but $30 at Bi-Mart.
    “Relaxed fit” means that you can wear thermals and still do squats.