This email from a friend. Some of you may recognize the writing style... I'm going to work with some assumptions. These are to form some parameters in which to work. I am going to assume that one does not, with exception of bugging out, have to carry their world on their back. I am going to assume that one has a base to work from, an area to operate in, and a form of logistical support to resupply from. I am also going to assume that one has multiple missions, some defensive, some offensive, to prepare for. I'm going to work with some facts as well. These are going to add some strength to the parameters we are assuming. Fact, the human body can only carry 1/3 to 1/2 of its body weight and still remain combat effective. For a 150 lbs. man, that means roughly 50-75 lbs. Fact, anything else will need to be moved by another method. Fact, I have limited amounts of cash to throw at this endeavor. That means I need to find the best gear I can afford. Said gear needs to be multi use. I expect it to fill multiple roles to save weight, and to be used over multiple missions. Finally, I will be using a variation of the line system in an effort to sort out what goes where. In my iteration, each line builds on the next. It also has the ability to fit into the line above with what I consider to be the minimal amount of fuss. The goal being to "up" line quickly at a moments notice, or "down" line just as fast when needing to shed gear. Line 0.5 This is your everyday carry. Like right now through the end of civilization as we know it. It's what you put on every morning regardless of whether you are going to the corner store today, or walking around your compound post SHTF. It consists of the following: -Glock 19 with holster -mags x 2 -flashlight -folding knife -small IFAK with TQ -lighter wrapped with bicycle tire inner tube pieces -safety glasses/sunglasses -multi tool -bandana -clothing appropriate to the season, including coat, boots, hat, and gloves -comms (cell phone today/handheld radio post collapse) I believe all of this can be carried in your pockets, or clipped to your belt in what ever manner you see fit. Personally, the pistol will be AIWB holstered just to the right of my belt buckle, mags to the left in a similar manner. Flashlight clipped to my left front pocket, knife clipped to right. Small IFAK in left cargo pocket, lighter in right front pocket, bandana and comms in right cargo pocket. Multi tool on my belt at nine o clock. Clothing as listed with hat either in jacket pocket with gloves or worn. Sunglasses either around neck or on face. Line 1 So you've decided to upgrade your threat level and think that you need to start gearing up. This is now your every day carry method. As such, it builds on the previous list and adds to parts of it. Some gear will now need to be moved, the goal being to be able to do so quickly no matter where you are and what is going on. The list is as follows: -Mayflower APC, with front and back plates with backers -full IFAK with TQ strapped to the outside. -administrative kit (mechanical pencil, pen, sharpie) -navigational kit (compass, map of area) -survival kit (water tablets, 2nd fire starter with tinder) -water bladder -strap cutter Plate carrier and front and back plates, with backers, is a prudent defensive measure if you are upgrading your threat level. Placing a 2nd, full IFAK on the right side under your arm is as well. Hopefully the PC chosen will have a cumberbund that will allow for both the placement of the IFAK as well as a slot for both a radio pouch and two spare pistol mag pouch under the left arm. The strap cutter should be mounted in a place that it won't interfere with weapon use, can be easily deployed, and can be reached by either hand if one needed to cut their gear free. Upper chest area, away from pack straps seems to be a good place. My fear at this point is that one may decided that grabbing their bug out bag and beating a hasty retreat may be the most prudent decision. As such, I am advocating for the removal of all things off the belt so it would not interfere with a battle belt or a waist belt from a pack. It seems that a lot of PCs, including the MF APC, have a kangaroo pouch in the front designed to hold 2-3 AR mags. This would appear to be an ideal spot to relocate the pistol to, while the extra mags could be placed in the empty pistol mag pouches. Move the multi tool to the administrative pouch area on the upper portion of the APC which should also hold the administrative kit, the navigational kit, and the survival kit. Finally move the radio up to the radio pouch where it can be accessed quickly and easily. Add a dedicated water bladder that can be quickly removed for refilling and cleaning and you would have a Line 1 set up that would be easy to donn, easy to add to, and be capable of multiple missions in or around your compound. Line 1.5 So you've decided it's only a few bad guys and you're sure you can take them! You know that a long arm is ideal for this, but you need a way to feed it while you defend your castle. The following is the next up line gear list: -AR15 (light, optic, sling, mag in well, TQ strapped to your stock) -D3 (AR mags x4, Glock mags x2, cleaning kit, extra batteries, sharpening kit, headlamp, face paint, whistle) Now, I know what your are thinking. You're thinking that four mags isn't going to be enough because it turns out that the bad guys just had a couple of truckloads of their friends show up. I believe, but currently can not prove, that there are ways around this. The APC cumberbunds are designed to hold armor, as well as relatively flat items, such as AR mags. I believe that one could carry two AR mags under each arm, for a total of 8 mags including the ones on the D3. They are probably not the easiest ones to draw, but one could use the chest rig for faster reloads, refilling from under the arms as able. Also, the stuff it pouch on the front of the D3 could be used to hold a SureFire 60 round mag which would also allow for a further up line without resorting to a Battle Belt type set up to carry more ammo. Line 2.0 So, you won. It wasn't a clear victory however, and you fear that the threat has only gone to ground to lick their wounds. Knowing that a wounded animal is a dangerous animal, you decide that a patrol is in order. This is the set up one would use for going out side the wire: -Hill People Gear Prairie Belt -Hill People Gear Shoulder harness (if you feel you need it, can be used off of a HPG Tarahumara or bought separate. Unclear, but would also probably need a HPG strap kit to integrate with Prairie Belt.) -Water bottle/canteen x2 (stainless steel or Nalgene style plastic) -water bottle/canteen carrier x2 (MOLLE and PALS compatible) -nesting cup or pot (something metal that the water bottle or canteen can fit inside of) -nesting stove top (some good examples can be seen at canteenshop.com) -mission essential pouches (to carry extra ammo, NVD, additional comms or med gear, optics, ect.) -sheath knife -snack pouch Bear with me on this. My pocket book can't afford to have multiple sets of gear. My goal is to be able to have a complete set up that can be scaled up or down. In reality, I don't see me running much with just Line 2.0. Regardless, this is a way to take quick trips outside the wire and carry a small amount of additional gear. I would set up the mission essential pouches at roughly two and ten o'clock respectively, with the sheath knife at three o'clock, the snack pouch at nine o'clock, and the water bottle pouches at four and eight o'clock. This leaves the lumbar area open. The Prairie belt has some cordage there that can be used to secure something small like a poncho. Line 2.5 So they moved farther away than you originally thought, or you believe it might take longer to track them down. This is the line you would use for a patrol that could possibly turn into an over night: -Hill People Gear Tarahumara Or -Kifaru Scout lumbar pack Or -something similar in size or shape to the above mentioned packs These would be mounted to the HPG Prairie belt and the shoulder harness. It would be used to carry more of what you might need, mainly food, ammo, weather related gear, and mission essential gear. They are small and light and are to be integrated with the Line 2.0 system in a manner that creates one line of gear between battle belt and small pack. This would, in my vision, be preconfigured at base to be used anytime I step out side the wire, regardless if I think it will be for an overnight patrol or not. Line 3.0 To be used from one to three night patrols. Because bad guys don't always stay where they where and still need to be followed and dealt with. -3 day assault style pack Or -larger internal frame style pack that is not packed as heavy as it could be My personal pack pick would be the HPG Ute, not filled full as it could be integrated with the Prairie belt and the Tarahumara I have could be strapped to the back. Another option from HPG would be the Umlindi which, although smaller than the Ute, could be configured the same way. Personally, I can't figure a way to foot the bill for two packs that do basically the same thing, differing only in size. As such, for me, the Ute will probably get the nod. If you where to decide on a lumbar style pack for Line 2.5, I can see two ways to go. First would be a 3 day assault style pack that does not have a waist belt. These are typically short enough that they would sit on top of your battle belt/lumbar pack and remove some of the weight from your shoulders. Option two would be to remove the lumbar pack from your Prairie Belt, replace it with a larger pack such as the Umlindi (or the Ute not packed full if you buy my line of thought), and clip/strap the lumbar pack to the back or top of said pack. This allows you to carry what you normally would in the lumbar pack and not have to take the time to move it or try and make it fit in the larger pack. If you moved to a patrol base, you could then remove it from the larger pack and reconfigure your battle belt so that it can function again at Line 2.5 while you patrol around your newly established base. Again, up and down line with one system. Line 3.5 So you decide that you need to patrol and carry more. Maybe you are expecting to make a hunting kill and need to haul back the meat. Maybe you are looking to forage parts for a generator that has gone down. Maybe it's winter and you need to carry heavier shelter and gear. This would be the pack to do it with: -large internal frame pack that can interface with previous listed lines My choice is currently the HPG Ute. It would work with everything I have already listed above. It's larger capacity (roughly 3240 cubic inches) would allow me to carry what I need without overloading myself to the point that I'm combat ineffective. Other packs could also fit the bill. Kifaru, Mystery Ranch, REI, Osprey, North Face, and Kelty all offer various sized packs that could have their waist belts replaced by a HPG Prairie belt and that could be configured in such a manner that the lumbar or back pack from Line 2.5 could be attached. In the end, I would still pick the Ute. It's designed to work with what I already have and I have been impressed enough with HPGs other products that I believe it will be worth the money. It's also made in America. Final thoughts concerning what I have compiled from sorting through the HPG web sight as well as MG and MV. Most of their packing lists assume that you are equipping yourself to go on forever by yourself with no other help. In my mind, gear can be shared by a team. If you have four people, you only need two sleeping bags/sleeping pads. You only need two tarps and two bivy bags. You need an entrenching tool x 2, a saw, and an axe or machete. One water filter and one group stove should suffice. One group med kit. One long range radio. All of this equipment could be cross loaded among all four people. This would reduce the overall weight that a single person would need to carry, all while keeping the group equip to perform the mission. Just my .02. And my map on how I plan to attack this problem.