For the last year and a half I’ve held a “desk job” that involved a lot of travel to talk to people, observe training, participate in working groups and planning sessions. Lots of work, lots of different locations (from Hawaii to Ukraine) but not a lot of “field time” in terms of wearing kit and participating in any sort of force on force training. Coming up that streak will end, although once again I’ll be in observation mode rather than participant mode, I will be all kitted up to blend in with the other observers.
Rather than have a mismatched uniform and gear setup, I purchased a civilian tactical assault panel style chest rig that I could set up observer style. Magazine pouch for a radio, canteen pouch for a canteen, re-purpose the 9mm pouches to hold a spare folding knife, add in a compass pouch and multi-tool pouch. Add in loads of instant coffee packets in a quart ziplock to another M4 mag pouch, spare subdued patches in a velcro pocket. Hang the pace beads on the left side strap with the old Garmin Foretrex 101 (yes, I’m that old that I was issued a 101), hang the solar powered quartz watch on the right side strap so that should I need to see where I am, and what time it is, all I have to do is check my wrist or chest. When I get out to the field, the pouches that would normally hold loaded magazines will hold meal replacement bars (for me) and candy bars (for the exercise participants should they get frustrated with how artificial the scenario can be). All the other required accoutrements go in the duffel bag, knee pads, ballistic eye protection, ear plugs, all the cold weather snivel gear I can fit.
After all this time, putting the old kit bag together, gets less and less adventurous, and more and more like a work.