Gear: Get Real and Be Prepared

I’ve been observing much of the tactical industry and I think it’s time we clarified something. I have often talked about the ‘MVT Fight Lite concept‘ and I have expressly said that your gear needs to be as light as possible, but that it will never really be ‘lite’ because there is gear that needs carrying to a fight. There is a nuance in there; don’t carry the kitchen sink, but you need your first line scales of ammo, food, water, night vision etc.

Many of you will hate every word I have to say in this post, because you are probably living a tacticool fantasy. So I’ll say it anyway.

All the time I see tacticool guys with no real gear on whatsoever. A lot of the time, they will have plate carriers (PC’s), but those carriers will be vacant of any sort of useful gear, including reloads. Maybe they think they will have their truck with them? Will you? How far will you move from your truck? There is absolutely no guarantee that you will have a truck anywhere near you in a kinetic situation. You need to carry a basic first line scale of all the various items, including water and some sort of emergency rations, to last you 24 hours. The ammo that you carry must take your through an initial contact, break contact, and give you some to spare.

But my best guess is that these guys never had the imagination to realize that shooting guns at the range in close proximity to their trucks is not what combat will be like; they have no relevant combat experience, and they are not trained. So it’s just a big fail waiting to happen.


Yes, you need lightweight but effective plates. I use the ShotStop GT2 plates at 3.8lb each, which will stop everything up to M855A1. Being only 3.8lb each, it means I can carry other items without breaking my back.

You need the physical fitness.


Combat is Cardio.


Don’t listen to any powerlifters and their crazy talk!

This is one of the photos that set me off to writing this post:

(I have no idea who or where these guys are).

Everyone has plates, but they are not carrying any gear. But they look cool, right?

You could get away with plates, and wear a chest rig and small backpack. That’s a lot more comfortable, but you will die quicker. Sorry.

What sort of gear do you need to carry? For a start, at dusk and dawn you will need to stop and configure or download your night vision. This means you are wearing a helmet already, or you have a place to put that helmet. A helmet? What! Yes, a helmet. And you need a kevlar one, because it will protect your head a lot more than a bump will. You need a place to put your night vision.

What sort of things do you need to carry on your PC?

  • Sufficient ammo: 5 mags on your PC, 2 on your belt. One in your rifle: 8 mags first line scales.
  • IFAK & tourniquets.
  • Handgun & mags.
  • Radio + batteries.
  • Water.
  • Night vision.
  • Helmet.
  • Energy bars (for eating).
  • Water purification.
  • Batteries (for your devices).
  • Various flashlights.
  • Oil.
  • Solid cleaning road.
  • Lighter.
  • (Spare socks if you can get them in there!)

This means that you have to carry a backpack with your gear. I have gone the route of attaching the backpack to the PC. It’s simply because it is way more comfortable / functional like that, and there are no strap nightmares over the shoulders. What this means is that you have to get anything into out of it, or to do your night vision, then:

  1. Get a buddy to do it for you. Then help him.
  2. If your buddy is incapable of finding stuff or doing up pouches, or if you are alone, then
  3. Stop in cover, take off your PC, and make it happen.

Note that there isn’t really any space on this gear for snivel items or such like. I do have an expandable beaver tail on the back, and that will fit my helmet. Or, I wear the helmet and can stick some warm gear in their. Bottom line, this is fight lite. Travel light, freeze at night. You are on the mission wearing what you have, and you are not going to be camping. Lucky that fighting season always warms up in the summer, right? Minneapolis is burning already. Used to be called RIOTS.

If you are going to stay out there, perhaps for any sort of longer term mission, or in the winter, perhaps an OP, then that requires a different level of planning and gear carriage, and does not fall into the fight lite situation.

There is space in the Tyr Tactical backpack I have on my PC, and it will unzip and expand. I leave space in there for whatever else I specifically need at that time. Like a packed lunch, some Cheezits, and a Capri Sun.

If you have a mind to gear up and go out into a fight of some kind, then you need to make sure you have the right gear with you. It’s not a fantasy.


If we end up in a fight of some kind, life will be nasty, brutish and short. You will be terrified and will most likely die in blood and shit – given the way the ‘Patriot Community” is currently playing their hand. This is not a game. It’s not a fantasy. It’s gonna hurt. It’s gonna be nasty.

So before you gird your loins and man up for the fight, make sure your gear is squared away, and you have prepared physically and mentally for it.


Or don’t waste anyone’s time.

I love you too, buttercup.