> TEOTWAWKI Blog

4/16/15

Mad Max: Fury Road - Legacy Trailer


Some epic-ness right here.

Have been waiting for this movie ever since the summer after 4th grade, when I caught a re-run of Thunderdome on TBS and fell in love. Spent the rest of that summer building dune buggies out of Legos.

Yep, it'd be better with Mel, but Charlize is certainly an upgrade from Tina Turner.

4/11/15

Discussion on Gear Evolution - Battle Belts, flexibility and plans



Last week, MVT posted up a video talking through his current fighting gear / load bearing equipment, which includes a new chest rig made to his specs. It also includes a pretty cool first person run through a shooting scenario - worth paying attention here to pick up on some of the tactics/techniques that Max teaches.

The set up that Max shows here - a light battle belt and midweight chest rig is interesting in that it is a pretty significant shift from the heavy British Para-webbing style battle belt that he used to be a big advocate for--here's the most recent example that I can find:

Image via MVT.
10-12ish mags, handgun, 4x canteen pouches on the back and a couple handgun pouches to round it out. We'll call it a "British-style" battle belt for lack of a better name.


I toyed around with a British battle belt, similar to Max Velocity's, through part of last year. Went cheap on the belt - got a Condor knock off and their harness, bought a few surplus USGI canteen pouches and used pouches that I had lying around to cobble one together.

Found a lot to like about it - way better load carrying ability and generally more comfortable / better mobility than a comparable weight of chest rig. Gives you the ability to carry a decent amount of food, a canteen, survival gear and a big IFAK, which can be a challenge using other load carrying gear. Good place to put your sidearm and good access to it. Easily adjusts to different weights of clothing, too.

After a bit of T&E, I ended up giving up on a British-style battle belt for my purposes, at least for the time being. Why?

The big deal breaker is operations in/around vehicles, and to a lesser extent moving through structures/room clearing. Canteen/utility pouches on the back and triple-thick mag pouches on the hips extends your width pretty significantly and you start having to turn sideways to get through doors, can't sit in a normal car comfortably, etc.

Image via BPRE
There's also no lighter/low threat profile to choose from with just the heavy belt. A lighter battle gives you the option of operating with just the lighter, more comfortable, lower profile belt on. Options and flexibility are good.

Of course, this isn't exactly a revelation--Max's heavier weight battle belts were a bit of an outlier in the tactical gear world. Folks have been running lighter battle belts in conjunction with a lighter chest rig or plate carrier mounted pouches for a while.




It looks like Max has arrived at a similar conclusion and ditched his big ol' battle belt, at least for general use. In his recent write-up on the new chest rig featured in the video above, Max says:

I have most recently been settling on using a light battlebelt, which is comfortable enough to wear most of the time, augmented by a chest rig. I feel that this is the most practical application across operational environments; it works well for both dismounted operations, vehicle operations, and with or without armor.

This matches my own personal assessment after running a variety of gear - plate carriers with pouches directly attached, stand alone chest rigs of a variety of sizes, 'British' battle belt, etc.

I'm currently mid-process of re-building my kit to incorporate three different layers - light battle belt, chest rig and slick plate carrier. In conjunction with concealed carry/daily carry gear, these standalone pieces give you the flexibility of different profiles to address different situations. Slick plate carrier and CCW if anticipating potential trouble but need to maintain low profile. Light battle belt for running drills on the range or hunting. Throw it all together if the Nazi Zombies are at the front gates.

Chest rig and carrier are sorted out - HSP D3CR and a Velocity Lightweight Plate Carrier. I may down the line drop some coin on a custom rig from Extreme Gear Labs, designers of the D3CR, but generally the stock D3CR does what I need it to do. Looking forward to a couple of the enhancements HSP has in the works this year. The ability to directly attach the D3CR to the carrier, or run it as a standalone rig is money.

Battle belt is a work in progress - ideally want pistol, pistol mags x2, 2-3 rifle mags, dump pouch, IFAK, H2O of some variety, flashlight and multi-tool. Maybe comms, too. Not sure if I can manage all of that with the given real estate, but we'll see.

Follow up posts/reviews are incoming.

In my experience, most people are continually tinkering with/adjusting their gear. Trying new things, incorporating new ideas or revisiting old ones. Travis Haley makes a big emphasis on preaching the importance of staying dynamic and adaptive...and at worst, adjusting and evaluating what you're doing exposes you to different ideas and keeps you on your toes.

Interested to hear from the tribe - are you tinkering with your battle rattle? What gear ideas have you tried out recently and left by the wayside?

4/9/15

Still alive...

Not dead, in jail or abducted by aliens. Busy busy with life and other projects. 

Have more than a few things that I need to get wrapped up and posted -- stay tuned.

3/30/15

The Walking Dead - Season 5 Finale

Spoilers after the jump.


3/23/15

Busy-ness, PT, AR-(20)15, the Glock 43, 5.56...

Been pretty crazy busy 'round here as of late. Slammed at work, three little kiddos,  getting caught up on house projects and starting up some much needed PT/strength training. Spare time - and spare time when I can sit at a keyboard, focus for five minutes and hammer out some coherent thoughts - has been pretty durn limited as of late.

Heck, I haven't even watched last night's Walking Dead yet!

A week ago, I finally made it out to the range to get project AR-(20)15 sighted in and run through its initial paces. Threw a bit of Lucky Gunner-provided ammo down range and the carbine ran extra smoothly. It deserves its own standalone entry, but suffice it to say that I am well pleased. More to come on that, and I know I owe a write up or two on some questions that came from the tribe.

Unless you've been living under a rock, Glock finally dropped a single stack 9mm, the 43. They will sell a couple million of these puppies. I am somewhat glad that I've held off on buying a single stack 9 of my own. Glock 43 and the XD(s) are the contenders right now.

5.56 is quickly recovering from the mini-panic now that the proposed "framework to be stupid" has been withdrawn by the BATF. Also, we not only won that round, but got the Director to take his ball and go home to the private sector. Good work, 'Merica.

A few interesting pieces of legislature are in the works, too - proposals to rid the world of the BATF and/or simply limit its ability to ban the sale of ammo.

Either would be great in my book!

3/20/15

Vigilant Gear Refreshed



Our friends over at Vigilant Gear just launch a revamped website. Aside from apply some spit n' polish to the site, they've slashed shipping prices - $2 domestic, free if you spend more than $50.

For those OCONUS types, they've also added shipping to Canada, UK, Australia and Middle Earth/New Zealand.

If you're unfamiliar with Vigilant, they deal in a great variety of compact survival and escape tools, including many hard to find items. Check 'em out, tell them T-Blog sent ya!