Friday, May 8, 2020

The Bug-Out Chest Rig

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.
Earlier this year I mentioned that one of my resolutions was to reduce the weight of my Get Home Bag. While I am still in the process of doing that, one of the things which I have done (and is sort of a cheat, but as Lokidude says, "If you aren't cheating you aren't trying hard enough") is to move some of that gear off my back and onto my chest with a chest rig.

While this does not reduce the actual amount of carried weight, it does serve to reduce the amount that my aching back has to carry while simultaneously placing gear in a position where I can access it quickly. I consider this a double win.

The one that I have is the NYCTO Tactical Chest Rig (which I acquired for a price much, much less than the $129 it's being sold for), but any sort of chest carrier will do so long as it has plenty of pockets and can be worn in conjunction with a backpack. For example, a cheaper but less customizable option is the Ribz Frontpack, which has a few large pockets instead of several smaller ones and has no MOLLE webbing.

This is my Nycto with most of the pockets open (the main pocket is exploded below). From left to right:

Grenade Pocket 1: Medical

Magazine Pocket 1: Vision

Main Pocket:  See Below

Magazine Pocket 2: PPE

Grenade Pocket 2: Hand Protection

Main Pocket, again
Some of the contents were spread out so they could be seen. All of this easily fits into the pocket and does not prevent me from lying prone if necessary.

From Back to Front and Left to Right:

Most of this should be self-evident, but here's some explanations:
  • I'm allergic to a lot of stuff and I burn easily. 
  • My medication is with my first aid stuff because that only needs to be taken once daily. 
  • My first aid stuff is in my GHB, because it is bulky and if I need to do first aid I will likely need to take off my pack first. It probably wouldn't hurt to add some band-aids to my front pocket, though, and I'll do that as soon as I hit Publish. 
  • The critical trauma stuff is right there so I can get to it immediately before I or someone else dies. 
  • The Dawn is there so I don't confuse it with regular soap and use it for washing. 
  • The shooting gloves are in the chest pocket because there's no room for them in the grenade pocket. 
  • I don't have a hat with this gear because I always have either a baseball cap or a boonie hat with me when I leave the house. 
  • I still have room to conceal a full-size pistol within the main pocket, if necessary.  

The Nycto C-Rig and all its components weigh 5 pounds. On the one hand, that's not a lot of weight removed from the GHB bag itself; on the other hand, that's 5 fewer pounds I have to haul on my back and they're all items I will want to access quickly without stopping to rummage around in my backpack. 

I encourage all of you to add a chest rig to your GHB or BOB. You won't regret it. 

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