What do you pack along on a day of airsoft? Here’s what I bring and why (for what i leave in the car while in game click here):
Kits By The Season:
I live in Oklahoma where hi temps range from 0-40 in the winter and 90-110 with very high humidity in the summer. Because of this I run two styles of kit, one light and airy in the summer and the other comfy and cozy in the winter.
ALICE in the Summer:
My summer kit is based on the venerable ALICE or LC-2 kit worn from the 1970s up until just after 9/11. The primary reason for this is that it keeps my chest and back completely clear for air to circulate (A must in the Oklahoma heat!). I generally keep my BDU jacket unbuttoned most of the way down to circulate even more air. I find that with a few modifications, the limited pouch selection of the ALICE system is more than adequate. Finally, the low cost makes building multiple kits for specific missions well within my reach.
Above is my kit as it is put together today. It is set up to supply me for roughly four hours max, as the individual missions I go on are rarely longer than this. During longer games I resupply myself via a cache at my team’s respawn point. Beyond that If I need to be on mission for up to 8 hours, I will replace the rear small arms pouches with a butt pack, move the radio inside it and move my second ammo pouch up to the front to retain the same amount of ready ammo. Note, my sidearm is not in this photo.
Ammo: This kit is set up for use with my support gun which is a G&P Mk23. I carry 3,000 rounds for it in two BB resupply tubes available from Bunkerboxes.com. One tube fits nicely in a small arms pouch, and if I require more ammo for extended patrols, I will carry two more resupply tubes in a buttpack.
Water: I carry 3 quarts of water on this kit- plenty of water is another must in the Oklahoma heat. 2 of those quarts are in a 2qt canteen with a drinking straw attachment. This is the water i drink while on the move or fighting. My other quart is in a single quart canteen and I drink this water while stationary.
Radio: I have modified one of my small arms pouches to securely hold a radio so that the knobs are accessible while on the move. The headset is not pictured, but the wire is routed up the shoulder strap and secured by tape and or rubber bands cut from a bicycle tube.I went to a local bike shop and asked them for one of the busted tubes they had in the trash. Voila! lots and lots of strong rubber bands!
Sidearm: My current sidearm is a KWA glock 17 and I carry it because I am required to as a support gunner. I chose a KWA because they have a very good track record as well as the glock model because it is the lightest available, very reliable and I am familiar with the platform.
Tools/Parts/Medical: My last small arms pouch holds my tools, spare parts and medical equipment. First, I keep my multitool in this pouch for very minor gun repairs and in case i need tools while interfacing with in game props. I also keep a length of weed eater line to use as a barrel cleaner should a bb get stuck in my barrel. I also keep a black plastic 55 gallon trash bag in this pouch. The purpose of this is to waterproof my electronics should I need to do a serious water crossing or to carry miscellaneous items in the field. I also carry a spare battery and adapter to replace the battery in my gun or that of a teammate. Finally, I carry a small medical kit. This focuses on stopping minor to moderate bleeding and contains equipment to sterilize and treat small wounds. My purpose is to patch up smaller wounds to stay in the game and also stabilize larger ones until medical personnel arrive. Lastly, I carry a spare 9v battery for my box mag and an AA battery for my goggle fan in a tiny ziploc bag. These ride in the small outside pocket on my 2qt canteen pouch.
Other Equipment Carried: The only other equipment I bring into the field with me is a watch, wrist compass, map, pocket knife, pencil, note pad and granola bars. These items are on my wrists and in my BDU pockets. I keep the cargo pockets in my pants empty for any temporary items i might need to carry.
Final Thoughts: I am not trying to say here that ALICE is the only way to go for a summer kit. I have a MOLLE Fighting Load Carrier that makes a great summer kit but it does cover more of the chest. If you must have the plate carrier look during the summer, then you must train for the heat. Your body has to get used to being hot so it knows what to do when you cover your torso and expect it to be at peak performance.
MOLLE in the winter
In the winter, I wear an EB airsoft CIRAS plate carrier replica and a pistol belt. It’s not high speed and there’s no clout in wearing it but it carries the load I have very well and is warm and comfortable. I carry much of the same items as the above kit, but with some differences because this is set up for a mag fed weapon.
On my pistol belt, I carry a Safariland Raptor holster and a TAG dump pouch. When more equipment is necessary, a general purpose pouch is added to the center rear of my belt. This is all held in place by an inner belt threaded through the belt loops on my pants that has velcro on the outside (the pistol belt has velcro on the inside).
Ammo: This kit is designed to carry 10 m4 magazines. Two are in a Condor dual m4 pouch with the top removed for quick reloads. 6 more are in an Eagle 4 mag pouch and a second Condor dual mag pouch. The final two mags are in an upside down shingle style dual mag pouch mounted on my hydration carrier. This set up keeps my kit as low profile as possible. This is important because in Oklahoma we do alot of fighting on our bellies in the woods.
Water: Water is carried in a hydration bladder inside a replica of the standard Eagle hydration sleeve. The tube is routed through the shoulder pad and is secured under the flap of the admin pouch.
Radio: My radio is held in an EB replica MBITR pouch. On a side note, my headset is not shown, but it has wires routed through the MOLLE and at times the shoulder straps.
Tools/Parts/Medical: I carry the exact same items in this section as I do in the above kit. They are carried for the same reasons. They are carried in a Condor rip away EMT pouch.
Other Equipment Carried: I still keep a watch and compass on my wrists. I also carry a map but it is either kept in my admin pouch or a admin wrist panel. My food, note pad and pencil are carried in my admin pouch or in pockets.
Final Thoughts: Again, I know very well that this is not the only way to go. That said, this works very well for me. Would I like to change anything? Sure, but with my current budget and with the relatively few number of times I wear my MOLLE kit it is just fine the way it is.