Will, I've let ray know, so he'll be by to explain a bit. But definitely go to your closest forest and practice setting it up. Makes life a lot easier on game day.
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Yeah, that's the plan. I'd hate to show up on game day and be like "just give me two more hours guys, I've almost got it!"
Hey Will, just set up my poncho in the back and snapped a few pics but my imgur app isn't working.
Basically S Biners are my choice because they allow me to quickly configure the shelter to adapt to the terrain, weather and situation. Cam Jams allow me to cinch the shelter tight so rain runs off and doesn't pool. This setup lasted all of OP Black Oak with zero water allowed under the poncho.
Thanks for the info six by ten. This is a lot of stuff I haven't given too much thought to, as most of the events I've gone to have had 'safe areas' or fixed camps that could be attacked but not captured, so I haven't needed much in the way of shelter/sustainment. So this is the year where I want to start branching out into the kinds of events where carrying your life on a pack is recommended or required, and the info from the various participants in this thread has been invaluable.
Like Bravo said this thread has done a great job of listing the right questions to ask in order to put you on the path to finding a solution to your pack "problem".
I've used small assault packs, to bergens, to drag bags, and more, eventually landing on an Eberlestock Skycrane II.
It serves my needs well:
-large capacity if needed but not a default configuration in order to prevent "big bag not full, must pack more" syndrome
-assault pack + rucksack package
Packed with the basics, with lots of room left for BBs, batteries, loaders, etc.. Sprite bottle used to show scale. Total weight 27lbs with pistol. Add 2lbs for every litre of water carried, so 6lbs for the Camelbak and 2lbs for the Nalgene bottle in the open-top pouch.
Everything shown fit it the pack, lots of room left.
From the Top
Pack - 5.11 Ignitor $229
Sleeping bag - Snugpak Jungle Bag $85
Sleeping pad - Thermarest XTherm Neoair $220
Pillow - Sea-To-Summit Aeros Large $59
Tent - Catoma (MMI) Raider $249
NV Case - Tactical Tailor PVS-14 Case $49
Eyepro - Oakley M-Frame 3.0 full set $249
Axe - Gerber Downrange Tomahawk $375
Flashlight - Streamlight Polytac $69
Folder - CRKT M16-14 $100
Fixed - Hardcore Hardware LFK $149
Water Filter - MSR Miniworks $89
Nalgene bottle $15
Sea-To-Summit dry bag with toilet paper $15
MREs x 2
Sea-To-Summit large towel $30
Bushnell storage battery with photocell charge (velcros to the pack to charge on the go) $90
On the bag:
HSGI 1P1R Tacos x 2
HSGI 1P pouch (light)
Maxpedition 1P pouch (folder)
Blackhawk Serpa for 1911
Adventure Light IR beacon
Camelbak 3L bladder (internal)
First of all, thanks to everyone who's contributed information, and especially grateful to six by ten and mcguyver for pictures.
Here's where I'm at so far, given budget and factoring in gear I already have. This will likely change and be added to or upgraded as needs and future budget dictates, but I wanted to post up what I have to work with so far, to get some feedback if what I have is at least meeting a minimum of sustainment.
So without further ado:
Pack - Rush 24 (Already owned, 37 liters. Have added 4 side compression straps and two BFG medium utility pouches to the sides) Also considering the option of adding a hip belt to it, but not sure if that's going to be necessary, I won't really know for sure till I can get everything loaded up and test it out.
Food and water - JetBoil and Mountain House meal(s) for when I know I'll have time to make a hot meal or coffee, along with an MRE(s) for faster eatin'. As for water I have both a 3L and 2L bladder, the 2L will likely be attached to my chest rig, and I may (unless the weight seems to heavy) carry the 3L in my pack. I worry about not having enough water, because I drink a shit ton of it. (I'm currently researching water filtration systems as a way to supplement)
Shelter - USGI poncho, with paracord/CamJam/s-biners to string it up as shelter (BIG thanks to six by ten for the pictures and explanation on his setup)
Sleep - USGI goretex bivy, poncho liner (woobie). I have a sleeping bag as well, but I don't think it's really suited for this sort of use, and budget doesn't allow much else at the moment, but I think between the bivy, poncho liner, and whatever clothes I'm wearing, that ought to be more than enough for warmth for spring, if not the most comfortable sleep in the world. I'm still considering a sleeping mat and possibly a surplus USGI sleeping bag (The green one out of the MSS system)
Clothing - This I already have, bdu's, various thicknesses of long john shirts and pants, 5.11 fleece hoodie, Condor soft shell coat... Various thicknesses of gloves. I also have compression socks, gore-tex socks, and merrino wool socks.
I have a good sized dry-bag for in my pack if needed, and am looking at getting a compression dry bag for the bivy, which will likely hang along the bottom of the pack.
So that's where I'm at for now, I think that should be enough to keep me going, at least for the events I'm signed up for so far, and the pack is small enough that I can fight and move with it on if the need arises. And as we come into fall/winter, I should be able to shore up any of the areas where my current setup may lack.
I realize that what you do or don't need is subjective, and will vary based on the individual, but I just figure a committee could help point out any obvious shortcomings or missing elements. So thank you for reading this wall of text, and I look forward to hearing what all of you think.
Oh, and if you made it this far, I have one more question. Do any of you carry a second primary with you? If you're out in the bush for 24-72 hours without a main area, what do you do if your gun goes down? Just use your secondary for the rest of the event? Or carry a small backup primary with you?
(Also, since I'm obviously always going to be eyeballing future gear purchases, I wonder what you guys think about the Eberlestock X4 as a pack? I like the way it's angled at the bottom to force the weight higher up on your back, and seems fairly slim and comfortable to wear.)
Will, it sounds like a great starting point. :)
Now you'll just have to start hiking with it, setting up camp, using it overnight (although maybe wait until we're back around the 0 degree mark). It's amazing how quickly you'll be able to add to your list of needs once you put it into practice.
The only thing I might suggest is to add some quick eating snacks. Even an MRE needs to be worked through a bit. With some BLOXS or clif bars, you should be able to slam those down even if you were under fire.
You may want to run your bag loaded and in ops a bit as well before you decide to pick up another. You may find things you need in a pack that we can't outline here, even if we own the pack you're peeking at.
I love this stuff, man. It's a long journey to a place where you feel almost done. But you know how this works... There's always something out there to buy. ;)
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eberlestock makes great packs. other companies like mystery ranch or kifaru do as well but i've only owned eberlestock so i can't attest to the other's strengths or weaknesses
See that's normally what I would do with a second primary, but I'm thinking specifically of events where you may not have a dedicated cp that won't move. If I felt I needed to keep a second rifle with me, I'd be eyeing the X3 from Eberlestock, with the built in scabbard for a rifle, and keep my honey badger in there as it's small and light.
Thanks for the feedback on the Eberlestock, it's something I'm going to keep my eye on. The only issue I have with my current Rush pack is that it has the space, but it's fairly squat and fat, so all the weight feels like it's hanging a foot behind my back, which I can see being uncomfortable after a while, so I'm considering other packs that are a little taller and narrower front to back, to keep the weight closer to my body.
Just to drop a note: The Pantac Forward deployment pack (a.k.a Diamondback Tactical SOF Assault pack) was on sale for ~50% off at WGC nearly 2 months ago. I got it, with shipping for about U$120 from WGCshop while it was on sale.
If it comes up again, grab it. The main compartment alone is about 35L in capacity. Everything adds up to roughly 55-60L in capacity.
35L packs tend to suck when you have to pack in fleece, raingear and spare clothing for wet-whether events on top of food, NODS, spare stuff, batteries etc. (I have a Camelbak Tri-zip)
Pantac FDP is back on sale again, CB for ~U$100 + S*H
Seriously, if you want the most economical pack ever and you need the option to pack a kitchen sink if you ever need it, get it. The main compartment alone is 35L which is what some would consider a "72hr pack" capacity.
I don't want to steer this thread too off-topic, but I'm interested in what people's opinions are on using civilian packs in airsoft, and in the role outlined by this thread?
I've found a lot of the advice in this thread helpful, but most of the "military" packs I've been drawn towards have been way beyond my budget. I've generally been hunting for a pack in the 50-60L range, which I realize is a bit larger than some of the recommendations here; however I also intend to use it for backpacking/camping and maybe some travel within the next year.
I really like the idea of front-loading bags like the Kifaru Xing and Tactical Tailor Extended Range Pack. Both of these bags run north of $500 US. I also considered the Eberlestock Destroyer which is pretty much the type of pack I was looking for. At 60L it is styled more like a contemporary civilian pack (positive for me), but it is unnecessarily heavy from what I've read, and still beyond my budget at $400 US.
I recently bumped into Tasmanian Tiger Packs, which seem to be a bit more affordable; particularity the Ranger 60L (which is a lot like the Destroyer) and Raider 45L, but most reviews are in German. If I was to go with the raider, I'd probably supplement it with more pouches or my MSM adapt pack to bring up the capacity, at least for camping and travel.
The decision of what pack to buy has been made harder by the fact that most of the packs I'm interested in are not available locally for me to try on. I've resorted to trying on civilian packs at MEC/Sail to give myself an idea of capacity and what feels right, which is partly how I landed on 50-60L as an ideal capacity for myself. Obviously civilian packs don't use cordura, so there's a weight and durability difference there, but trying on packs from Osprey and Deuter at less than half the price and weight of some of the milspec ones I've been interested in has made me think twice. Obviously civy packs don't come in multicam, but there's always black and half-decent subdued, earth-tone colours.
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