Guide to Gearing Up For Milsim West
A question I have been asked a lot regarding bringing my gear to Milsim West events is: “how do you pack all of that wet/cold weather gear into your ruck?” or even “what gear do you use/bring to milsim west events?” and “What load-outs/gear do you find works best?”
You would be surprised how little you actually need to survive on over a 3 day period. The bulk of the weight is, of course, tactical equipment/blanks/weapons, but secondary to that bulk is sleep/cold/wet weather gear.
I’ll quickly go over the cold/wet weather gear I use, but if you want a very in depth article on this gear and how I use it you can find that article here.
First I will describe what gear I bring and use, and lastly, how I pack everything into my ruck and on my person ready to be rucked at a Milsim West event.
Please note, I pretty much exclusively play Rusfor/Militia, (in particular polite green men impressions) and as such, this article is geared towards Russian bias.
The first item on my list is the BTK Winter uniform. As mentioned in other articles, this provides maximum comf and warmth during evenings, nights, and mornings, especially during colder months.
Never forget your wet weather gear. A commercial nylon set and an EMR cover so I don’t look totally farb when it rains. Going to be replacing these with a VKOB rain suit though.
In case you are going to have to make camp in the woods, bring a tarp, my dudes.
Bring a bunch of paracord. It’s super useful and you’ll thank yourself later when you need it for something you had no idea it would be useful for.
The Military Modular Sleep System. Depending on the weather I’ll decide which bags I need. The cold weather bag (black bag) is the heaviest and takes up as much room as both the green and bivy combined. I find in warmer weather (like if it’s gonna be 45°F+ at night) I can just use a combination of my BTK uniform and the green bag. So if I know the weather isn’t going to be complete shit, I can save space by just bringing the bivy and green bag. However, if I know it’s going to be cold, there’s nothing better than stripping to your undies and getting between both layers of the MMSS.
VKBO balaclava for face comf, warmth at night, and Russian aesthetic. You would be surprised at how much warmth this keeps in.
Spare underwear sets. Bring a couple just in case, I usually don’t need to change mine though.
For protective gear, I love the SPLAV X-forme pads. As you can tell by the picture, I have fucking abused the shit out of these at many events. They are adjustable, comfortable, and save your knees when you need them the most. I’ve never regretted bringing them. I always wear fingerless gloves because I like using my fingers, but gloves will really save your hands especially if you have to climb up and down ladders a whole lot. The gloves I always wear are the SPLAV Rage fingerless gloves.
When it comes to my helmet, I usually opt for the 6b47 (pictured in the rear). The helmet is very light weight, more so than any other helmet that offers the same level and coverage of protection. The built in NVG mount allows me to snap my GoPro easily onto it and includes a side rail which you can snap on a light or other attachment if needed.
If needed for aesthetic reasons, I will sometimes wear my 6b27 (Pictured in the front) although usually only for pictures pre-event. Although, helmet choice can also be dependent on impression choice or requirements.
Armor wise, there is nothing more aesthetic than a traditional 6b23. I will use this if running a traditional greenman kit with an EMR uniform.
Uniform all depends on the faction or impression you are trying to recreate. My personal favorite is the 6sh122 suit, also called the reversible Ratnik suit. This uniform is the most comfortable military issue uniform you’ll ever wear. No joke this shit feels like you are wearing pajamas in the battlefield. There are two sides, one is a grayish color and the other is a green color.
The uniform is meant to be worn over another uniform and over body armor, but typically I’ll just wear an undershirt and a pair of athletic shorts with pockets. Nice thing about running with this impression is the fact that you can get away with not wearing body armor and not look farb, as your armor wont be seen even if you do wear it under your uniform. The Ratnik suit has openings on the side of the pants to allow access to the pockets of the uniform you are wearing under it. This setup is breathable and keeps me cool when rucking or in strenuous battles.
My personal favorite rig is the 6sh117. I personally find the 117 to have a much better layout compared to the 6sh112, and I am able to arrange my rig to my personal taste better with the webbing layout. I personally rig two buttpacks to the sides of the rig, for quick access to blanks or other necessities I might need on patrol. I find this setup ideal as I do not need to bring an assault pack with me as I can fit everything I need into the two buttpacks.
One of my favorite things about the rig are the two zippers which open up to two side pockets contained in the webbing of the rig. I can fit all kinds of small things in there for ease of access, and it’s very conveniently located.
I’ll bring an EMR boonie to wear during downtime and to keep the sun out of my face, as the helmet can be bulky to wear all the time.
Since I run blanks, I personally use the GSSH-01 headsets. I will be honest, these are not the best electronic earpro out there, but they are very comfortable and fit perfectly under the 6b47. However, they need the helmet to stay securely on your head, otherwise they do tend to slip around. Although other earpro are not nearly as comfortable under a helmet in comparison. The GSSH-01 do tend to turn off completely during firefights and can be a little finicky. They are fully waterproof however and do fit that Russian Aesthetic.
A good multi-tool is a must. What use is all that paracord if you cannot even cut it? And how else are you going to dig into that can of fish you brought? If you are running an airsoft gun, it might also be a good idea to bring a set of hex keys, in case you gotta do some airsoft repairs on the fly.
Next on the list is the 6sh112/116/117 three day assault pack. I will use this backpack as my primary ruck, and stuff/attach everything I need for the event into/onto it. You’d be surprised at how much you can stuff into a 25L pack.
Food is fairly unimportant. This is typically all I need to last all three days. (4 bars of granola-bars not pictured, I ate them.)
Finally, a few electronics. I’ll bring a battery charger to keep my phone and GoPro alive during the event, spare batteries for flashlights and earpro, and I’ll also usually bring a full flashlight and a headlamp. The headlamp is a lifesaver at night when you need use of both hands for setting things up, getting changed, taking a piss, or getting in and out of your sleeping system at night. I put this item on my absolute essentials list.
Next up. I’ll explain how I pack all of this gear up to use at a milsim game.
As stated earlier, I like to have two buttpacks, and I’ll rig them on the sides or front of the rig for rucking. Distributing weight off your back can help with the ruck, and make it a little easier on your back.
The first buttpack will be dedicated for packing in items needed to keep dry. I’ll open the buttpack and stuff my rain gear into it. While not pictured, I will put them into a sealed plastic bag first, making sure that it is airtight to prevent condensation from forming on the insides.
This will keep everything dry in case it does rain and during rucking, rain gets inside of the pack.
The next thing I will pack on top of that are my spare underclothing, such as my telnyashkas, socks, and underwear. Again, these will first be packed into water tight plastic bags to prevent them from getting wet.
On top of all of my cold weather gear, I will pack in all the food I am going to be eating at the event into a plastic bag, compress all of the wet weather gear downwards, and put the food on top. From there I can pull the ties and then strap the cover over all the contents.
The buttpacks have two side pouches, in which I will pack in misc items. In one of the pouches, I will put in all of my spare batteries, lights, and electronics. Any spare room will be used to pack blanks into.
Next up, I pack my EMR BKT winter suit into my 25L assault pack. You would be surprised at how condensed you can roll it up and fit it inside. Alternatively, you can also attach the jacket to the outside of the pack after everything is packed inside, as it is the largest part of the winter suit, however I usually only do that if I need to bring the black cold weather sleeping bag and want to stuff everything into my ruck.
Once the winter suit is rolled up tight, I pack it into the empty 25L pack. It’ll probably take up most of the space inside of your pack, but no worries, there’s still room to fit everything else in. You’ll see my dudes.
Next up, my bivy. Alternatively you can just put your sleeping system in the compression sack and rig it to the bottom, but I like to try and stuff everything I possibly can into the ruck, and that includes my sleeping system. Plus, not having the extra weight of the compression sack is a little weight we can throw out, and let me tell you, ounces are pounds.
Once I have everything stuffed in the main sack, I will roll up the tarp and stuff it into one of the side pockets with the paracord. If it’s going to rain, let me tell you, you can never have too many tarps.
Now, if I need the black cold weather sleeping bag as well, I will either stuff it into the compression sack and then rig it to the bottom of the backpack, or if I need more room in my assault pack for blanks, then I will put the whole sleeping system into the compression sack and rig it to the bottom of the assault pack. Or alternatively, I will remove the BKT winter jacket, stuff the whole sleeping system inside the backpack, and then clip the jacket to the back of the backpack, draping it over.
For those interested, /k/ and /asp/ will be joining together to form an entire Militia platoon for the Caspian Breakout in Perry Georgia at the Guardian Centers. Make sure to read the entire MilSim West TACSOP, and you can purchase tickets for “Cossack Militia (The Caspian Breakout)” here:
We are organizing under the name “Gruppa Clover”
You can join our planning group here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/241687949620089/