Everything plus the kitchen sink (What to take and how to take it)
In this study we shall examine the kit required for the modern Guerilla fighter, operating for protracted durations, in a rural or wilderness environment. We will approach the topic from the solo operator or small unit, with zero re-supply, no pre deployed caches, or external logistical support, other than what may be harvested from the Earth or assets liberated along the way. We shall assume that transportation is via LPCs (leather personnel carriers) and that negotiating many miles, in hostile and varied terrain will be the likely event. Unfriendly conditions that dictate 100% self and /or team reliance.
One must recognize that mission, topography, weather, environment, physical health, and abilities of the operators are going to influence and often dictate clothing, gear, and weapons selection. Depending on what it is that we are up to- recon, raids, bugging out of an area, laying low, scouting, sniping or just causing mischief, the tools needed to succeed in the given environment/situation will differ considerably. Environmental conditions, weight, availability , and man power are indeed factors that effect our load out. With that in mind we will try to examine this with an open mind to change and adaptability to the kit as needed. The topic shall be examined from the standpoint of general survival and sustainability of the rural operator, that must carry everything with him that he needs to sustain daily life, accomplish the tasks at hand, and respond to emergencies.
Organization of gear is a critical component.I am an advocate of layering my equipment into three tiers. These are adjusted as situations and conditions warrant, and of course modifications can be made depending on individual needs with in the tiers. Layer one is on the body always, the second tier is your load bearing harness, vest, chest rig, etc. and the third tier is your backpack containing all of the remaing items in your possession.
The first layer of kit is what is on my person proper, be it contained in pockets, pouches on the belt, lanyards around the neck, etc. The selection and placement of the tier one items is based on emergency ’must haves’ with the idea that you will always have them should you have to scoot at anytime and E&E a pursuing threat. If you are dressed the kit is there. A folding knife or multitool is essential. Matches, lighter, magnesium fire starter / flint striker, etc. is a must. Fifty feet of parachute cord, a short length of wire (picture frame or gardening variety), and several feet of duct tape come in handy. A small flash light such as a Surefire E1 and/or one of the button key chain lights should be included. One of the commonly available space blankets is good insurance against the elements. I carry one of the small compressible Platypus water bottles (empty) with a filter straw and some water purification tablets contained inside. Some cliff or power bars and some hard candy can help with hunger and provide energy. A small compass (back up) and a topo map of the AO are important. A watch equipped with electronic compass and GPS are excellent in this role. A small note pad, pencil, and any information sensitive to the mission, contacts, or general Intel should ride on board your person.
Carry a combat tourniquet, maybe some Celox, any personnel medications that you need, and of course eye glasses or other items that you may require to function at your best. I like to wrap a pair of lightweight gloves such as nomex aviators in a watch cap and stuff them in a cargo pocket if I’m not wearing them. Other items such as wire saws, emergency ponchos, or dedicated survival kits are good to tote on board. I consider it wise to have a supply of the local currency and some silver/gold coin on my person, as it may be easier to buy your escape or safe passage, than hijack your means.
I consider it extremely important to carry a pistol and spare magazine on your person. If your kit is set up so that your pistol is on the web gear, consider having an empty holster on your pants belt to house it anytime you shed the battle rattle. The same could be said for a fixed blade knife mounted to the belt. The bottom line is you will likely want to have your pistol with you if you deplete the contents of your chest rig or become separated from your rifle and have to ditch the load bearing equip to run like heck for the border!
Have your tier one equipment with you at all times. If you are bathing, sleeping, or in any capacity that doesn’t allow it to be on your person, it must be with in arms reach period! You do not ever want to be the freezing, bootless, unarmed guy on the run!
Tier two is your second layer. It is the fighting load. Generally speaking this will be a chest rig, vest, harness and battle belt or similar load bearing device. It will support your long arm by carrying the majority of your ammunition and magazines. It will likely contain a more substantial medical kit than what is in your pockets. If utilizing communication gear such as two meter or FRS/GMRS radios it would likely be on the rig. The load bearing device needs to have your primary navigation equipment such as topographical maps, GPS, compass, pace counting, and path finding gear.
I like to have mine set up with its own hydration system (this can be of smaller capacity than the one in your pack). A larger illumination device than the pocket light is usually carried here, as well as a multi tool, and I like to carry my weapon maintenance essentials (like a Rapid Rod, CLP, lens cleaner) here. You will likely have a fixed blade knife or tomahawk mounted on this layer. I supply my LBVs with Para cord and 100mph tape. Extra batteries for Nav, illum, and comm equipment are best stored here. A ration and any other items that you may want to access on the march may be located on the rig. I often toss a pair of goggles or shades and a pair of HD gloves in my dump pouch if I’m not wearing them.
Binoculars or night vision equipment (depending on time of day) are best stored at this layer. Think ‘what do I need to fight, navigate, communicate, and provide immediate medical care, plus stay hydrated’ and you will be accurate in setting up your tier two layer. As addressed earlier, the pistol may be housed at this layer as well as basic survival equipment and possibly a water filter, climbing , or breaching tools