With the basics out the way, lets get to the meat of your kit:
- PLCE/Plate Carrier/Chest Rig: considering we will be working in a mixed AO of small/medium buildings, open spaces and possibly tight confined space, lightening the load when it comes to you kit may be a must. On the other hand, covering up those vital areas for close range BB strikes takes a high priority. personally to keep bulk down I’ll be wearing a combination of soft-armour (i.e. PACA) and a low weight chest rig. A small plate carrier could be used to this affect as well whilst also giving you that coverage. To keep it even more low-pro you could mix a belt-kit with assorted pouches and leave your upper body free completely but remember you will be sacrificing your ability to avoid painful body hits. Your main focus is to keep yourself mobile, agile and comfortable enough to perform in the assigned terrain, the choice is yours essentially. A daysack to horde all of your extra kit is a must, especially when it can be offloaded at a mobile respawn to come back to if needs be. Not an item to be overlooked!!!
- Comms Setup: This is a biggy. Past events and even game days have seen issues caused by this not being prepped correctly which can sometimes have a detrimental effect on your gameplay. Three rules to radios: Keep it charged, keep it ranged and keep it ready! If you have spares wether it be batteries, PTT’s, antennas etc take them. If you don’t need it someone else may do and could keep the effectiveness of your team tip-top. If your working in a 5km AO and your radio works up the 3km …then your shooting yourself in the foot. If you’re using antenna extensions or large whips then make sure you have clearance and they don’t inhibit your functionality and entrance to door ways/windows etc. My main issue with radios is having them in a place you dont have access to. In a bag or on your back will seriously hinder you from making crucial frequency adjustments and volume levels when your in a tight spot. Keep it ready!!! It’s also handy to keep a copy of the frequencies and channels written down somewhere so if you forget, you can always go back to it.
- Primary Ammo/Magazines: Do you have enough, do you have somewhere to carry it all? If you are using midcaps do you have enough to carry 600rds, hicaps same question. Mags in pockets will rattle and a pouch/carrier is always a better option. Make sure your PLCE has enough space to carry whats required and you arent resorting to carrying a mag via your teeth. Loose ammo (if allowed) will also need some real estate wether it be quick to get to or stowed in a daysack/ruck of some type and make sure it isn’t in a container that can be easily knocked open or makes a horrendous noise whilst moving around the AO. Make sure these items, especially your primary mags are quick to get to and don’t require fuss to change out, else you might as well just shove them down your shirt. Remember, spares are always necessary incase you encounter a fault (I always carry an empty hicap in the bag).
- Secondary Ammo/Magazines: Much the same as above. You wont be using this weapon system consistently all day but you may require enough punch to hold back a room full of enemy at least long enough to get some backup called. If it’s a GBB system do you have enough gas to fuel the weapon system throughout the day stowed away somewhere accessible? The mag pouches for your secondary need to be easily accessible for quick changeouts and transitions. You never know, that quick change could keep the team safe and still in the fight. If you’re using a holster, make sure its the right one and even a pistol lanyard is a valuable asset.
- Pyro/Grenades: given the AO, you’ll most likely need a lot of this. If your running single use pyro do you have enough carriage space and is it accessible? You may need it in a hurry. With items like a BFG or tornado grenade you’ll obviously need to carry spare inserts and primers/blanks to last you throughout the day which includes the tools to re-set them on the fly. Make sure theyre marked up clearly as yours and you can identify them against another model when mixed up. Using and underslung launcher/m203 comes under the same basics as mag carriage and you will need decent accessible real estate to make quick changeouts in a rush. Make sure you have enough gas/CO2 to power the device else it’s just a glorified paperweight. Another handy tip, I learnt the hard way, make sure the damn thing its tightly attached! I’ve had to bin an M203 for not checking it was fixed correctly and no one wants that.
- Maps: Every man in my eyes should have a map. That way when important tactical changes are made on the ground the team can know whats happening and where it’s happening. It’s also good for using during briefs to get a better sight picture of the AO. You obviously need the right map for the AO and a heavily detailed one is going to be better than a photo from google. If you have basic information of start points, make sure it’s logged in a way only your team can understand, make sure you don’t detail your objectives and tasks directly onto the map as if captured could seriously hamper your effect on the ground. Keep it simple, don’t be stupid. Laminate it and have a supply of waterproof markers to jot down non-essential information to your current objectives.
- Hydration/Nutrition: Another biggy, water! This is as essential as anything we’ve been over so far. Do you have adequate storage for hydration and do you have enough. Recommended, don’t enter a game with less than 2 litres buts that’s just my opinion. If you’re using a camelback/bladder type system then keep the tube tucked away safely so it doesn’t snag on your infil/exfil’s to buildings and the like.
- Light: Dark buildings will hamper your effect on locating a camped enemy, therefore you’ll need to aluminate your way through rooms and dark spots. With options ranging from PEQ boxes, Petzl’s and even a taped on torch there’s endless ways to achieve this. Don’t get caught out in the dark, literally.
- Team Kit: Now this is a tricky one. Your game/scenario/objective defines what extra story related kit you’ll be taking so I’ll leave that be and focus on what I will be taking in my team kit. For me, extra magazines is number one and in a place my guys can reach them. On the back of my daysack I’ve attached to mag pouches with stanag recoil magazines (as that’s what my whole team uses) so if my guys are caught short there’s an option available. As we are the MAC, the team will carry a number of our flags for morale so this should be stored in a similar place on each guy for easy access. I also keep my water accessible to me and easily to others as well to help prevent team guys from getting dehydrated, I suggest you do this as well. with the addition of fixed man-carry support weapons we need to make sure any related kit is easy to get to if stowed by another person and that everyman knows where that piece of kit is at all times.
- Attitude: This isn’t typically a kit item, but its above all items stated in importance. Airsoft is a sport and by no means like real-life. So to engage is this activity you need to have a the right mindset and come at it with a good head and heart. If there’s cheating, don’t go in all guns blazing, speak to a marshal afterwards and let the issue be resolved professionally. If someone gets the drop on you, don’t curse you way back to the respawn and definitely don’t go giving away his position. Being the bigger man is sometimes hard but as a team we’ve always fared well in this regard and it’s spoken wonders of us afterwards. We value fair sportsmanship and we believe without it there’s no point attending any event. But more importantly, enjoy what you’re doing, like I said its a sport… go out and have a blast with your mates, get stuck in and smile your way on and off the field. That way even if you come away with a loss, your still winning no matter what the scoreboard says.
Stay tuned for a comprehensive look at what else meets the kit list. It involves steaks so be sure to pop back at a later date.