Tuesday, March 7, 2023

Gear Stowage

Not actually Erin.
& is used with permission.

No, not storage; stowage, as in "stow your gear". The arrangement of containers, as it were. 

Cole-Tac Popcorn Bag
I've talked about my EDC hip pouch and shown all the things I can fit in it, but one of the problems I had with it was being unable to get to items quickly because they invariably fell to the bottom. Not only was this inconvenient, it could also be life-threatening if I couldn't get to my tourniquet in time. 

Enter the Cole-Tac Popcorn Bag, presumably so named because it resembles a bag of microwave popcorn. 


Per the website:
The Popcorn Bag weighs nothing, packs down to nothing, and keeps that essential equipment easily accessible in cavernous rucksacks. Our Bag compresses your gear into an easy-to-pack shape, and a pull loop on the Popcorn Bag makes it easy to retrieve from a tightly packed backpack.

I have found this to be true. The Popcorn bag fits easily inside my Ghost Racing Drop Leg Bag and stows a surprising amount of trauma gear. 

I use the flashlight as a pull grip.

First layer

Second layer

All contents unloaded.

I've had to relocate my wallet, multi-tool and booboo kit, but that's a small price to pay for quick and handy access to lifesaving tools. 

You can purchase the Cole-Tac Popcorn Bag on Amazon in black, brown, red, green, and gray for $24, or in camouflage for $25. 

USMC Issue Speed Reload Pouches
For a while now I've had a dilemma: I wanted to be able to use my ballistic vest for both home defense and civil unrest, but the weapons I plan to use for those situations are quite different: the first is a 9mm carbine, and the second is a rifle in 5.56mm. These use very different magazines, and while I have pouches for both types, I didn't like the idea of having to unthread the MOLLE straps of one type before I could mount the other. 

My ideal was a magazine holder which could carry both rifle and pistol magazines, but outside of a very expensive (and bulky) solution involving pistol pouches attached to rifle pouches, I wasn't able to find anything I liked... that is, until I took at second look at these rifle pouches, which were given to me by a friend who runs Old Grouch's Military Surplus. 


A 9mm double-stack Glock magazine fits inside the pouch without any problem, and the rubberized liner keeps the magazine from moving around despite not occupying the entire space, yet I have no problem pulling it out for reloading drills. I can't secure the Glock magazines with the Velcro retention straps, but since I don't expect to do a lot of running around in a home defense situation, that's a non-issue for me. 

These pouches are available for $14.95 each at Old Grouch's. You might be able to find them cheaper elsewhere, but I'm only linking to OG so that I can help a friend who once helped me. 

What clever gear stowage solutions have you found?

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