Skip to comments.Lines of Gear and Go Bags/ Assault Packs/ Get Home Bags
Posted on 05/15/2013 8:21:00 AM PDT by LibWhacker
Alexander Wolfe wrote an excellent post today discussing Go Bags and Bug Out Bags. I am going to talk about my thoughts on 'lines' of gear. In doing so we will talk about go bags/ assault packs/ get home bags and such.
First line gear is the most basic survival and defensive gear. You really shouldn't be leaving home without it.
Military- Survival gear (knife, fire, etc) and weapon with reload. For most deployed personnel the weapon is an M4 variant but that doesn't really matter.
Civilian- EDC/ Survival gear and potentially CCW pistol with reload. You can see mine here and also a lot of other peoples.
Second line gear is your 'fighting load'. It stores ammo, water, basic first aid stuff, a small radio, maybe a more substantial knife, etc all.
Military- Old school would be your LBE or whatever and a rifle if your first line gun was a pistol. The contemporary equivalent would be body armor, a chest rig if your pouches aren't mounted strait to the vest.
Civilian- There are a lot more options but the basics are the same. Ammo, medical, maybe a more substantial knife, water, etc. This could be a direct or linear descendant of some military system of a smaller lighter setup designed to more closely suit civilian needs. War belts and Active Shooter kits fall into this category.
Third line gear is for sustainment over a longer period. Depending on how your stuff is set up and the conditions the second line is good for a short operation or up to a day or so.The third line is for sustainment beyond that time frame.
Military- Ruck Sack with food, water, warm clothes, hygiene stuff, batteries, maybe ammo, etc all. Set up to sustain an individual within their current environment for a reasonable amount of time.
Civilian- Large bag with food, water, warm clothes, hygiene stuff, batteries, maybe ammo, etc all. Set up to sustain an individual within their current environment for a reasonable amount of time. This is where the BOB AKA 'Bug Out Bag or
INCH "I'm Never Coming Home Again" type systems fall.
We could quibble about what exactly should go where and other minutia. However it's basically the way our military operates these days so I do not think many folks would disagree with the general concept.
So now we are back to the Go Bags/ Assault Packs/ Get Home Bags. I will briefly discuss my thoughts on them then move forward.
The 'Go Bag' is pretty much set up to supplement your fighting load. More mags, medical stuff, food, batteries, etc all. It typically stays in a vehicle and is grabbed to resupply or if you need to bail out on foot.
The 'Assault Pack' is used to carry equipment beyond your fighting load needed for a particular mission. Potentially that could include bino's/ spotting scopes, batteries, clothes, food, additional ammo, explosives, breaching gear, land mines, signaling equipment, etc all.
The 'Get Home Bag' is a bag designed to have sufficient stuff to get a person from where they are to back home. Generally set up smaller and lighter than the 'bug out bag' though one mans BOB might be another's GHB.
So where do the Go Bag/ Assault Pack/ Get Home Bag fall into this general system?
We could analyze the exact composition of every single kit or just make it simple and call them level 2.5. That is sort of awkward but since these kits are typically a split between supplemental fighting load and short term sustainment I think it's the best fit. This is further made awkward because many civilians do not have a 'fighting load' in their general commonly carried systems. They may have a hodge podge of stuff floating around their vehicle or a few spare mags in their level 2.5 system. Also I find the conceptual level 2.5 useful because the level of sustainment is generally for a shorter period of time than the more traditional Ruck/ BOB 3rd level of sustainment.
Yes I categorize these systems in the same range. Furthermore I would go as far as to say they are just variations of the same kit adjusted to different circumstances. A soldier or contractor operating out of a vehicle will probably have a go bag. Inevitably some chow and supplemental clothing plus life's random junk (paperback book, MP-3 player, gum, flashlight, etc) can slip in there. Really while the bag might vary that isn't any different than an Assault Pack. These kits exact composition varies in part based on your fighting load. I've seen contractors who wore 2-3 spare mags for their rifle and 1-2 for the pistol (often in a ghetto made war belt from some pouches and a spare rigger belt) then carried a bag with more of each plus smoke/ grenades/ etc. If for whatever (IMO foolhardy) reason a person in a highly kinetic situation goes with way their 2.5 line is going to have a lot of ordinance in it. On the other hand a guy carrying 8-12 mags on his body has more room for a spare sweater in the 2.5 line.
To me the 'Get Home Bag' is a civilian equivalent of the same kit. It is a fairly small purpose built kit designed to help you with a specific mission, in this case getting home. They tend to be far lighter on ordinance than a soldier or contractor's Go Bag/ Assault Pack. The reason for this is simple. Despite some folks Red Dawn or whatever militia porn fantasies the odds Joe Everyday is going to need a first aid kit, some chow, a coat and a flashlight are a whole lot higher than that he will need an AR with a dozen magazines. Now if you want to carry a dedicated fighting load plus a 'Get Home Bag' type setup good for you but as a survivalist do not carry the ammo instead of the sustainment stuff.
So anyway those are my thoughts on that. I am eager to hear yours.
A word on knives.
If you are going to get one, get one with a nice grip and HAND GUARD!! This keeps your hand from sliding down and getting slice on the blade if you have to stab something hard (harder than you think it is)
Just picture your knife and a stack of pork loin or something at home. If you had to stab through it would your hand slide down the blade and you end up hurting yourself? Especially if slippery blood was involved?
(many homicides are solved this way- when a person stabs someone their hand slides down the blad and they cut themselves)
And if it is a folding knife (not preferred) MAKE SURE THE LOCKING MECH IS NOT A P.O.S.
You dont want your survival gear to help kill you, and a wonded hand can seriously put you out of commission.
I make my daughters wear gloves when helping me around the house for exactly this reason. If you hurt your hands you are useless.
damm i hate myself for not proofreading better
Good thoughts in that article on staging levels of gear to the mission/goal. Keeping those thoughts in mind can do much do reduce the EDC to the real necessities while having the other items either close at hand or able to be recovered quickly.
JMHO but I carry a very large and heavy backpack in my vehicle. It (hopefully) has everything I need, or could need. I don’t plan to carry it as is. I plan to carry only the essentials based on the situation I find myself in and leave the rest behind. Or if I have to shelter in place in my vehicle I have (again hopefully) everything I need.
Lockbacks are crappy locking mechanisms for a folding fighting knife. Okay for a picnic, fugheddaboudit for a save-your-life situation.
Though I haven't even come close to evaluating all the new-fangled locking mechanisms for folders that are on the market today, my favorites are the the old standbys, the so-called "linerlocks" (also sometimes called sidelocks) from highly-regarded tactical knife makers: Benchmade, SOG, etc. Old-fashioned, I guess.
For fixed blade, it's impossible to beat a Ka-Bar for value and its almost idiot-proof indestructibility. imo.
As I have told the libs that I know I store very little when it happens I will take everything I need from them since I know they are not armed. Why waste my money? Talk about making someone mad.
Plus 1 on liner/frame locks.
I’ve got several serrated blade knives. I’ve yet to find them equal to or better than a straight blade.
There may be an instance or two where they are advantage but I’ve not found it.
All my purchases from now on will be straight blade.
Good info, but it’s also going to depend on who is going to carry it.
Somewhere along the way, I read you should be able to carry a 30lb pack over 20 miles in 6.5 hours. I’m in pretty good shape - I did it, but it kicked my butt (plus who has time to train like that every day?)
Can’t see a kid or geezer doing that, especially in a high pressure Bug-Out scenario.
I'm with you! I've got a lot of half-serrated, half-straight knives. I quit buying them a long time ago. Supposedly, they are better for cutting seat belts to get yourself or someone else out of a car in an emergency situation where the seat belt's buckle can't be accessed, or cutting through similarly tough material.
I can see where that might be true, but do I want half my knife's blade given over to a function that I'll only find halfway useful in one-in-a-thousand situations? No. I don't think I'll ever really need serrations. I'm getting older, but I'm still strong enough I can muscle my way through any conceivable material that needs to be cut with a straight blade, so why compromise (and I do look at it as an unsatisfactory compromise) my good knives. Save the serrated knives for cutting bread!
Sharp, pointy stuff ping.
I'm a big believe in redundancy, including knives. Even my smallest bags have enough room for a decent fixed-blade knife, a folding (one-handed or assisted opening) knife, and some sort of pry bar that is heavy enough to spring open a car or house door/window.
I continually check out new stuff, and if I comer across a "keeper", it will go into my "most likely bag", and the older item will start a "trickle down" into other bags as time allows.
Watched a old man skilled in escrima tear up an aggressor with two of the six dollar Oxo brand paring knives he carried 24/7 as tools of his martial arts skills.... Responded to the call vs watched really . Yet the scene was very ugly and all the other bad guys did not try and help their friend who had attacked this old guy with the Oxo paring knives.....
Razor sharp and thin knives....
My Randall 14 and Terzoula ACTF wait’a minute knives have their place as working tools during my career in EOD but something just warm and fuzzy about the large grip on that Oxo blade as a fixed blade carry knife for self defense, concealed .....:o)
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