Central War Gaming Blog

Central War Gaming Blog


Saturday, March 12, 2016

Load Carriage Options - Steven Hoober

As we've discussed in principle a few times already, integrating load bearing gear and your pack is an interesting exercise. If you've never done it before, it can be challenging and annoying to get it all fitting right.

Instead of just pronouncing the principles at you, and saying "try it out first" we're going to share with you some examples from the staff. First up, Steven Hoober's rig.


For this event it turns out I didn't have an LBE that would work. My "universal" chest rig wasn't really good with 7.62 mags, so I had to make something else real quickly. This went through a couple iterations already, but I think this is the final one:

It is an older (so simple) Tactical Tailor padded battlebelt, two Tactical Tailor triple M4 pouches (hold two FAL mags perfectly!), and a variety of admin pouches. I mostly forget who made them and now they are mounted it's hard to tell. The harness is a cheap French surplus one I've used because it's an H harness, simple, and un-padded. H harnesses are more stable than simple Xs so when I unclip the front, it stays in place, without flopping or twisting. Much easier to pick up off the ground and put on than my previous harness was as well. 

I added some inner-tube keepers to the back, even though the French seem to trust the velcro alone, and I glued a little glow in the dark tab to the crosspiece on the harness. I've never had too much glow on the back of anything.

Note that I have put the whole load on the sides, so I can lay down prone, and wear a pack without having to move or dismount gear. Also, as an officer I am carrying a handgun, and have the Safariland UBL to drop it down well away from my LBE, without the need for a leg strap. More on that in a minute. 

The big pouches to the back are filled with water now, but I plan on carrying an assault pack with a Camelback inside and using those for other stuff like grenades. So first, I need to make sure the assault pack works. 

In this case, almost perfectly. The natural position of the shoulder straps on my Lightweight Assault Pack are just outboard of the H harness on the LBE, and since my arrangement is a belt worn high, not even the sternum strap (I like those to keep it all in place) gets in the way of actual LBE gear. I also will mostly use a RAID modded BDU blouse with arm pockets instead of chest pockets, so can get to my stuff there easily still. But what about the ruck? 

This is a bit harder. The pack is a Kifaru Zulu G1. The shoulder straps work fine, riding the same place as the assault pack. But the waist belt takes some threading. The tall sustainment pouches drop below it, so I needed to bring the belt up under them. Note in the photo above since I was posing I forgot to tighten up the load lifters; it'll actually ride up against my back. And I'll probably have a lot more stuff in it, so it will be somewhat taller. 

Also, ideally my LBE would ride about 1" higher. I have always worn my hip belt higher than most, so YMMV but I needed to bring the LBE higher to make the ruck ride right. This works fine, but it does make the front LBE harness a bit loose. If I have something heavy in that one strap-mounted pouch, it would not be great on the march.

Lastly, you have to un-ruck about as carefully as putting it on. I always try to do this, so my straps are in the right position to put it back on, but here I can also snag the waist belt clip on top of the holster. Not a problem once you know, and now I make sure to get the waist belt free before dumping the pack itself, but you have to know the first time.

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