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Max Velocity on Patrol Loads and Packs

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United States Army ranger during the military operation

Max dropped some truth bombs in a post today over at the MVT blog – check it out.

A few quotes, but the whole write up is worth a read:

You have to figure out what you think it is sensible to carry, and what you can carry, and how it applies to your task. I tell people to pack smart. You need what you need, but you should try and cut down. Prepper mindset can lead you to try and pack a whole bunch of stuff, ‘just in case.’ Well, unless it is absolutely essential, like your weapon, then don’t take it! Be smart about it. Concentrate on ammo, water and food, shelter (as applicable) with items to support that WITHIN REASON.

You have to get away from the idea that you can operate in some sort of self contained way indefinitely. So you pack a weeks’ worth of rations and all your camping gear. Now you can hardly move, and are no longer alert on patrolling. After a week you run out of rations. Perhaps pack 2 weeks? NO. You need a base and you need logistics. If you are operating out there for an extended period, you need a team and a logistics plan. You cannot operate on your own indefinitely. How about someone resupplies a cache by some means? ATV, vehicle, whatever? Use your brain to figure it out so you can move lighter and smarter. If you are planning on some sort of extended forward patrol base operation, see what means you can use to get supplies in there without having to hump them, or at least cache them close?

If you are conducting security patrolling, you may be patrolling light at relatively close range to your base, in your standard loadout, like my light battle belt/ CUTT chest rig configuration as an example. Ballistic plates or not, pick your poison. I recommend a light hydration pack so you have water and the ability to carry a small amount of other gear, such as night vision, some food , extra mags etc. Camelbak MULE type item. That loadout will probably have at least 8 or 9 x 5.56 magazines on it (including your rifle). If you are going on an extended patrol and need to take the patrol pack, then you need that ‘second line ammo scale’ on the patrol pack, which would be another 8 mags. See how this is never going to be light anyway, so you need to cut it down where you can.


I will carry the least amount of gear that I can get away with, but there are basics that will always be present. Here are some examples, not an ultimate list, just what pops to mind mentally going through gear:

First Line: Light Battle belt / CUTT Chest Rig / hydration pack:

  • Rifle
  • Rifle magazines (9)
  • Handgun
  • Handgun magazines (3)
  • Small IFAK
  • 2 x TQ
  • Radio – if using.
  • Leatherman Tool
  • Knife
  • FLIR Scout
  • PVS-14 / Crye Nightcap
  • Map/Compass
  • Basic rations – energy bars
  • Water bladder
  • Water purification tablets / straw
  • Lighters
  • Smoke
  • Batteries for all above.
  • (Ballistic Plate carrier – if applicable)

Add Patrol Pack:

  • Magazines (8)
  • Water (either stow the hydration pack as a mini ‘grab bag’ or carry a separate bladder in the patrol pack)
  • Rations (3 days stripped down)
  • Light jungle sleeping bag / blanket (upgraded for winter)
  • Goretex bivvy bag
  • Thermal sleeping mat
  • MVT SHIELD (use as tarp shelter)
  • Spare socks
  • Spare clothing / cold weather gear
  • Foot care kit / first aid / medications
  • Lightweight rocket /solid fuel stove with pot
  • Helmet – if applicable / night vision
  • Folding saw
  • Paracord
  • Add misc. items such as batteries and misc. gear.
  • Add special to task gear as appropriate.
From Alex: Again, read the whole write up, it’s good advice.
I’ve been writing about keeping bug out bag/patrol packs/go to hell bags (I prefer the latter term personally, but whatevs) as light as possible for a while. That doesn’t mean ditching the essentials, it means packing what you need and trimming weight where you can. Your pack might not be an ultralight one, especially if you’re conducting some variety of post apocalyptic patrol/operation, but it shouldn’t be heavier than it needs to be.

Example – you don’t need a stove, but you might want to have one for convenience/comfort. But if you are going to pack one around on foot, it’d better be pretty lightweight.

My personal pack lists is fairly similar to what Max details above — certainly some nuances; I don’t have a stove or a bivvy bag, have 5 mags versus 8, I do have a weapons cleaning kit, that kind of thing. Max didn’t intend his lists to be exhaustive and all encompassing, just a starting point for a total collapse, armed citizen’s patrol pack.

C.
TEOTWAWKI Blog

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