Just a quick one on bags to carry all your kit in, and how to pack them. It will depend on the nature of your event and whether you’re taking everything around with you (tip – stash it somewhere you can get to later), or whether you’re doing things from the safe zone, where you could feasibly just leave everything in your car.
I don’t drive, largely because I like walking. So any event I do go to, the car isn’t an option; I’ll get dropped off and then want things in as few bags as possible. So, I’ll have
- My gun bag (weapon, mags, ammo and small rig),
- A 30l Dutch DPM patrol pack which I carry things like food, water, toiletries and other important bits in
- A 100l holdall by Kombat which carries my camp kit, plus extra clothing, plate carrier if I’m doing the non sniper stuff etc.
I have a few bits of Dutch DPM kit, and they do some pretty good stuff. The 30l backpack is a brilliant pack for daytime use, and I’ve reviewed it previously here.
The Kombat UK assault holdall is a very cheap but very capable bag. I use it a lot, even for going on holiday, because it really does carry everything. It comes with straps too to sling it on your back, which is very handy for carrying around.
The tent, mat and sleeping bag fit easily into the main compartment along with all my clothing for the weekend, and the large side pouches allow me to organise all my other kit and be able to find things when I need the. The base is plastic coated so it’s not a problem putting it down on wet ground. Having a holdall style bag means you can unzip across the length and have easier access to kit than a rucksack. Zips are chunky and robust and I’ve had nothing fail on this bag, very highly recommended. If MTP isn’t your thing, it comes in olive and black too. For only £30, it’s a great addition to any player’s kit regardless, just as a general kit bag if nothing else.
If you’re on the move though, a holdall perhaps isn’t the most practical of things and you’re going to need some kind of rucksack to carry your camp around. There are hundreds of them available on the market, from civilian to military, and for all budgets. Being an airsoft player, I couldn’t say no to a DPM bergen I got from a friend.
It’s huge, rugged and looks the part. A good British army bergen is a great solution to carrying loads, with a truly epic 120l capacity (with the two large side pouches attached) and extra attachment points to add even more.
These are easy to find second hand on a lot of sites, but be wary about personal sales on ebay because some might have damage, broken zips/straps etc. Basically you get what you pay for. Newer MTP models are available too, although a bit more expensive, but you are getting the ultimate backpack for your money. There’s also a site called http://www.jayjaysbrecon.co.uk which sells extra mods for bergens too in case you feel the need to carry even more. One thing that is worth getting is a rain cover like this to help keep your kit dry, especially if you have a couple of bits tied to the outside too.
The one thing I would suggest with a big pack for your camping kit, is to avoid any that have internal compartments. It might seem a good idea from an organisational point of view, but if you have something too big to fit into a compartment (winter sleeping bag perhaps), then you’re a bit stuck because the compartments don’t give you the flexibility to pack as you need to, and add unnecessary weight like zips and extra material. Keep it simple.