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A Guide to Operating from a Three Day Pack

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Old February 5th, 2016, 00:17   #16
Bravo One-Six
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A Guide to Operating from a Three Day Pack

Mcguyver, I need your help. You say you don't follow 95% of the suggestions here.

Outside of the recommendations (as they're all personal experiences shared by contributors), am I missing something major?

Are you using a sleep, shelter, clothing, or food category I don't have listed?

Am I missing major things in respect to the considerations one should have when assessing these categories?
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Old February 5th, 2016, 00:48   #17
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Originally Posted by Bravo One-Six View Post
Mcguyver, I need your help. You say you don't follow 95% of the suggestions here.

Outside of the recommendations (as they're all personal experiences shared by contributors), am I missing something major?

Are you using a sleep, shelter, clothing, or food category I don't have listed?

Am I missing major things in respect to the considerations one should have when assessing these categories?
Ok, here goes:

For pack, I have several, and have owned many others at one time or another. I agree with the 30-40l capacity for three days, but anything larger than that is a waste. And worse, you will pack it with every manner of junk that you don't really need, with weight penalties that can be deal breakers. Never buy a pack simply because it is cheap, mil surplus or cool. I owned the ILBE shown above, it is retarded big and heavy and wholly unnecessary for sub-72hr. games.

Sleep. I am a sleep pussy. There, I said it. Now that it is out of the way, I can't stress how important a good sleep is, and how terrible a bad sleep is. On more than one occasion I looked at the sky and read the weather reports, and decided against all info to attach the fly to the tent, and have it pour buckets all night when it was supposed to be calm and clear. That being said, a basha, tarp or hammock are not for me. Tent all the way. That being said, I may try my Snugpak Jungle Bag this summer with the mosquito net and see how it goes. Best bag I have tried for under $90. Insulated pads are a must for me, during awake time, I often have a hard time regulating body temps, but have a high tolerance to cold as I simply ignore it. But during sleep, that conscious effort is lost. I won't ever sleep directly on the ground again, it just plain sucks, and I am an asshole at the best of times, nobody likes me when I am tired and cranky.

To further on the tent idea, I have never attended an overnight event when an area was not available to offer security for an encampment. I have however attended events where security was possible, but not implemented, and it allowed 2 guys with NV to wipe out an entire team (38 before we got shot) with rubber knives, as we caught them all sleeping in nice bags and tents.

Food. I have all the whizzy toys, like Jetboil, dry food, etc.. For games though, it is MRE, and if possible, USGI MREs. The reason being is the MRE already contains water, and keeps your water for drinking, reduces prep time, and hot food is by far preferable to cold food. The USGI versions always have protein and sugary snacks to supplement the courses, and are pocketable for eating on the go. Slow-digesting foods sustain you over time, with the extra snacks supplementing that as needed. I take great pains to ensure that they are always with me, as much as possible.

Clothing. I wear what I fight in, and rarely more. I do have the Snugpak Patrol Poncho for rain, or the Crye windliner for cold mornings (very dangerous piece of kit, use with caution). No coats, softshells. But that works for me, I work outdoors all year, and am insulated.
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Last edited by mcguyver; February 5th, 2016 at 00:58..
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:10   #18
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Cheap backpacks:

MEC's current Brio series is in an acceptably OD colour, has side access, removable top compartment, bottom access, fairly collapsible, and very slick. Also low profile because it is... civilian.
Highly recommended if those criteria appeal. Sub $200.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 01:24   #19
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I suppose this is more of a weapon issue, but seeing as how this also about 24-72 hour gaming, it sort of applies here.

How to see, live and fight in the dark. Without the specifics of lights, lasers, NV, etc., these are absolutely essential items, with relative scale of usefulness that depends on your gear. If you carry all that, you must also carry the support systems, which take weight and volume your pack must accomodate. Things like your nice PVS-14 is risky to simply toss in your pants cargo pocket during the day, but a nice Tactical Tailor hardcase and tossed in the pack is preferrable.

Then, you need a weapon light, you should not be shooting your gun if you can't see down the barrel, a core tenet of airsoft that needs to apply in daylight and darkness equally. No weapon light = blindfiring. Now, you need batteries for that light. As well, everyone should have dead lights and handheld lights, all taking batteries.

Radios, extra batteries as well.

Charging systems. One might look at simple storgae devices to recharge as needed, or solar chargers to attch to your pack during the day. It has long been a problem for warfighters to carry portable power-using devices and keep them going without resupply and carrying heavy batteries. I have a problem with this, as LED lights with visible and IR capabilities are expensive, and incandescant is so much cheaper, but with increased battery consumption. It is an angle I am still working on, but IR is a must when you use NV.

Boots. Long duration games mean lots of walking. Far more important than any other item you will wear.

Socks. Never had more than one pair. Never needed it. Crossed rivers and puddles more times than I can count.

Water. I have in the past always carried my water on me, usually just a bladder. Last year, I got into filtration. MSR ceramic-element filter, with Aquatabs for pathogen. Green Nalgene bottle for unfiltered, clear bottle for filtered. Haven't needed yet to actually use it in-game, as I have only once ran out of bladder water, and that was many years ago. But it sucks when your slurpy buddy blasts through his 2l bladder just so he can piss clear, and weasle off your supply.

Back to tenting. I bought a large tent (Snugpak Bunker) that will sleep 3 Brits or 2 North Americans, and had planned to use it this year. However, I have come to the conclusion that sharing equipment is a bad idea. I lean more towards individual self-sustainment. If your buddy has the tent a mile from you, you are not tenting, and if you are carrying the food, he is not eating. So, I tailored my gear for individual use, and have encouraged my team mates to do the same, although nobody has put much effort into yet that I have seen (2 PTWs but no sleeping bag ).
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Old February 5th, 2016, 08:04   #20
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Mcguyver: thanks for the info about the ilbe. I was interested in it because it came with the assault pack as well, but I'll now be looking for something a little smaller/lighter. How do you guys feel about the old Alice packs? I'd love to splurge on $400 3 day packs, but I have a wife to deal with, so for now I need something a little more affordable, so I'm shooting for the least shitty for $100-200... And hopefully in the future I can upgrade it to something higher end.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 08:38   #21
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Originally Posted by w1lp33 View Post
Mcguyver: thanks for the info about the ilbe. I was interested in it because it came with the assault pack as well, but I'll now be looking for something a little smaller/lighter. How do you guys feel about the old Alice packs? I'd love to splurge on $400 3 day packs, but I have a wife to deal with, so for now I need something a little more affordable, so I'm shooting for the least shitty for $100-200... And hopefully in the future I can upgrade it to something higher end.
Pat, I have an old CF pack you can use until you get whatever...

you have to buy wings at Scroggies though!
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Old February 5th, 2016, 09:30   #22
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That's a definite possibility Hollywood ;-)
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Old February 5th, 2016, 10:51   #23
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I am one of those "slurpee" guys. I sweat A LOT and go through water very quickly (Short Round can vouch for this hahaha). I was having trouble carrying a sufficient amount of water for the whole weekend (for both drinking and cooking), as well as the equipment I needed to stay warm / dry with my 45L.

In addition, my 45L has a arch-shaped internal frame for "air-flow" which really fucks with your ability to pack your stuff. I don't really like it as a pack for games where inclement weather is expected (since you have to pack goretex clothing/bivy and other sustainment gear that takes up lots of room). That's why I personally opted to go for something bigger this time around.

The next thing I'm looking at investing in is a good sleeping mat/pad. The one I use currently is just simple foam.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 12:17   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by w1lp33 View Post
Mcguyver: thanks for the info about the ilbe. I was interested in it because it came with the assault pack as well, but I'll now be looking for something a little smaller/lighter. How do you guys feel about the old Alice packs? I'd love to splurge on $400 3 day packs, but I have a wife to deal with, so for now I need something a little more affordable, so I'm shooting for the least shitty for $100-200... And hopefully in the future I can upgrade it to something higher end.
My packs range from about 20L to about 45L, with my most common packs ( Maxpedition Condor 28L and $225 and 5.11 Ignitor 32L and $229) doing the bulk of the work. The Eberlestock Halftrack is heavy (7lbs. empty), but built like a tank, good capacity and list is $329.

I have a secret to dealing with your wife. Hide your toy money, keep it in cash. If she says "I bet that cost $100", you can reply "Don't worry, honey, I promise that did not cost $100". And you will be able to do it with a straight face.

My Condor is about 12 years old, been through jungles, deserts, bush, South Pacific to Mexico to Florida to Manitoba. Still going strong, one zipper is bit messed up, but not bad enough for me to send it back for warranty.
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Democracy is two wolves and a sheep discussing what's for dinner.

Freedom is the wolves limping away while the sheep reloads.

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Old February 5th, 2016, 13:39   #25
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... How do you guys feel about the old Alice packs?...
A large ALICE or Brit bergen will swallow everything you could ever need for a milsim.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 17:43   #26
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Large packs like the ILBE, Bergen and ALICE are great of you have a basecamp and only have to move your shit for a few hundred meters and have a place to stash them. You wont be able to move far or fast or fight with one on.

Sleep comfort is important and depending on the season the priorities are different. In the fall/spring you need to stay dry and warm. In the summer its easy to stay warm but might be hard to stay dry without overheating and bugs can really bring down your morale.

During no nods we got rained on most of the evening/night and after being wet and tired, not being able to escape the bugs was really getting to me.

Sleeping pads are extremely important not only for comfort but most important for insulation, I see a lot cut here and suffer for it.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 17:49   #27
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Good stuff in this thread from OP and McGuyver.

I personally just pack my jump ruck the way i would for the Army, with the addition of food.
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Old February 5th, 2016, 19:34   #28
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I was all excited, because I suddenly remembered my mother in law had given me a nice hiking backpack years ago, with compression straps, padded hip strap, lid, the whole shebang.... So I pulled it out, and it's like 100 litres. Might be a little bit of overkill there ;-)
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Old February 6th, 2016, 07:32   #29
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A Guide to Operating from a Three Day Pack

The most valuable thing you can do; the most important lesson that I CAN NOT understate is... You must understand your needs.

If your criteria is "a three day pack", you need to do more. Ray pointed out that his choice of the MR 3DAP comes at "the end of a long line of packs". My choice of the HG3D comes after a similar search with 4 or 5 rejects.

Why? Because each pack taught us more about what we were really looking for.

This article isn't about what pack to buy, or how to live in the field. It's designed to get you to really think about your choices, and to consider things that I and others had to learn through hundreds of dollars, and dozens of events. Buy once, buy right is an adage that only works if you really know what's RIGHT for YOU.

It's not telling you to sleep under a tarp. It's telling you that if you NEED a fast, effective way to protect yourself from weather, AND YOU NEED a low visibility solution, AND YOU NEED a way to respond quickly to a threat, AND YOU NEED a low weight/low volume shelter.. That a tarp may be a better choice than a tent.

That's a list of NEEDS, not a packing list. It's a list that guides you to a choice, not a list of choices.

If you don't need those things, then there are better solutions that meet the needs you do have.

Before you even consider buying a 3 day pack, or any gear in the article or comments... Seriously sit down and put some thought into it. Not into "is this a good pack", but into things like...
- "how do I want to perform?"
- "What will make me the most effective?"
- "What am I going to encounter?
- "What environment am I in?"
- "What are the expectations of me?"
... then find something that can check all the boxes on your list.

I can not emphasize that enough. Unless you just want to spend a ton of money and learn it all yourself. That works too.


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Last edited by Bravo One-Six; February 6th, 2016 at 08:27..
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Old February 6th, 2016, 23:03   #30
w1lp33
 
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I feel like I can't shut up in this thread, but I was reading this:

"When setting it up as a tarp I use Nite Ize Camjams and S-Biners with some light Aluminum stakes preset with paracord to keep my setup and takedown time to an absolute minimum. This setup means no knot tying or untying and the same paracord gets used every time so there is no waste."

And I find this setup appealing, but I'm wondering if I could get some more info about how you actually set up the shelter with the poncho? How is the paracord attached to the stakes? What function does the S-Biner serve?

(I'm somewhat outdoorsy/camping challenged, so I'd appreciate any help I could be given on fashioning temporary shelter... (I picked up one of these ponchos today, because out of all the options and suggestions in that section, this is the one that appealed to me the most.)
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