Tactical Loadouts for Preppers

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Tactical Loadouts for Preppers

In this guide we’re going to go over tactical loadouts for preppers.  Why should we talk about tactical loadouts?  Most people are under the impression after SHTF survival will be dependent upon your ability to outlast a disaster.  Honestly, I don’t think this is the case.  I think after the apocalypse it won’t be about outlasting disaster, it’ll be about fighting for survival.  For the purposes of this guide do not confuse bug out bags with loadouts.  A tactical loadout is focused on battle components versus survival components.  On the other hand not all preppers are battle hardened bloodthirsty warfighters, ergo preppers’ loadouts are not subject to a the same standards and guidelines.

What does a good SHTF loadout consist of?

You know what really grinds my gears?  Gear fags.  You know who I’m talking about, the tactical ninjas you see at the range with gear that cost well over two grand, scrutinizing others’ ‘cost effective’ gear.  We get it, buddy.  You’re the most tactical fairy in all the land.  Meanwhile back in reality many of us have girlfriends, wives, and families to take care of.  With this in mind if you find something that works for you and fits into your budget, by all means use it.  

Tactical Marauder LoadoutA good loadout should include a plate carrier that fits well without restricting mobility, can fit Level IIIA (soft body armor) and Level IIIA (body armor plates), rugged, well made, and sustainable (I want this stuff to last longer than a decade if possible). Additionally, you want your carrier to be inexpensive when possible.  For instance I love Mayflower’s rig but its $800, and cheaper rigs like the DLP Marauder cost around $300 so you decide.  Some people may not like MOLLE/PALS everywhere, but for preppers they come in handy.  Whatever is included in your loadout should never exceed your body’s limits if you’re slow in combat you’re dead.  Loadouts should be assembled to mission specific parameters i.e. don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.  No matter what loadout you go with, it should not be configured in such a way that restricts access to your primary weapon, secondary weapon, and ammunition.  In fact, your loadout should be focused on the fight, making everything else secondary.  As a rule of thumb, if you’re an athletic person over 5’8″, your loadout shouldn’t exceed 45lbs.  With all these guidelines in mind we’ve drawn up a few loadouts for three different kinds of people. While each loadout may not fit for your specific needs, it’s a good place to start…

Warfighter Loadout

A warfighter loadout can be used when you have a specific mission that will lead to (or could very well lead to) combat.  Throughout usCrow.org we present many scenarios in which you will be in a firefight highlighting the need for such a loadout.  What should a warfighter loadout include?

  • Load bearing plate carrier with ballistic plate inserts, magazine pouches, mag dump pouches, and a couple pouches for your radio, GPS (or compass), flashlight with strobe function and an IR cover, smoke grenade, and a water canteen
  • Assault pack with 100oz hydration bladder with; iodine tablets, MREs (2), spare batteries for all your equipment, night vision equipment (PVS-14/PVS-7), rifle cleaning kit, camo face paint, hygiene kit, butt wipes, 550 cord, headlamp, electrical tape, multitool, chem lights, and/or anything specific to the mission at hand i.e. tools for breaching when needed
  • Kevlar helmet rated NIJ Level IIIA
  • Basic combat load around 180 rounds of ammunition for your primary weapon (see your LBEs guidelines) plus 52 rounds +/- of ammunition for your secondary weapon
  • Semi Automatic Rifle as a primary weapon chambered in 5.56mm or higher with six thirty round magazines (with a couple extra mags in your assault pack for good measure) with accessories including sights (ACOG TA11E/F, Eotech 553 in FDE, or an Elcan SpecterDR in FDE) and a two point sling
  • Drop leg IFAK moved from plate carrier to increase mobility
  • Sidearm as a secondary weapon chambered in .45ACP with four magazines
  • Knife via MOLLE to your carrier with sharpener
  • Camouflage fatigues that will help you blend into the surrounding environment with pants that have knee protection
  • Combat boots with GoreTex for breaching, back support, and ankle support
  • Eye protection like Wiley-X goggles
  • Hand protection like Mechanix Mpact gloves
  • Ear protection with some simple Combat Arms Earplugs

Recon Loadout

Unlike a Marine Reconnaissance loadout with every damn thing regs require weighing too much, this loadout is meant for a lone prepper who needs to do an actual reconnaissance mission where stealth and mobility are critical to your mission. Ask any recon marine and they’ll tell you their load outs are packed to the brim. Why should you consider having a recon loadout prepared?  Let’s say you’re part of a group that’s holed up in the mountains, and if you were to walk into a clearing that overlooks some small town you see fires off in the distance starting at the furthest edge of town.  As you stare off into the small town below you, you can faintly make out multiple gun shots.  They’re a few miles away, and you figure you’re safe where you are.  The next day however you notice more buildings are on fire, and the gunshots are getting much more distinct.  Whatever is down there is getting closer to you.  So what’s the first step you take?  Reconnaissance.  You need to be able to get down there, monitor the situation, gather intelligence on the threat, and report back to your group to plan an assault.

  • Load bearing plate carrier with soft plate inserts, magazine pouches, mag dump pouches, and a couples pouches for radio, GPS (or compass), flashlight with strobe function and an IR cover, and a 100oz hydration bladder
  • Assault pack with an MRE, spare batteries, night vision equipment (PVS-14/PVS-7) for night ops, rifle cleaning kit, camo face paint, chem lights, butt wipes, spotting scope like the Bushnell LMSS 8-40 60mm and a ghillie suit to match the topography
  • Scout load around 100 rounds of ammunition for your primary weapon (see your LBEs guidelines) plus 52 rounds +/- of ammunition for your secondary weapon
  • Scout Rifle like a Steyr SSG 08 as a primary weapon chambered in .308win with six ten round magazines (with a few extra mags in your assault pack for good measure) with a suppressor and a long range scope like the Leupold VX Scout Scope and a two point sling
  • Sidearm as a secondary weapon chambered in .45ACP with four magazines
  • Drop leg IFAK moved from plate carrier to increase mobility
  • Knife via MOLLE to your carrier with sharpener
  • Camouflage fatigues that will help you blend into the surrounding environment
  • Eye protection like Wiley-X sunglasses
  • Hand protection like Mechanix Mpact gloves
  • Ear protection with some simple Combat Arms Earplugs
  • Hiking boots with GoreTex for better mobility like Merrells Moab waterproof hiking boots

Medic Loadout

Unlike the other two loadouts this one isn’t appropriate for any other people than medics, or someone with a medical background i.e. paramedics, nurses, CNAs, and doctors.  Otherwise you’re going to have a lot of shit in your loadout you’ll have no idea how to use.  If you have a medical background and in hostile territory, you’re ‘doc’ after SHTF and will need a loadout suited to you in this capacity.

  • Load bearing plate carrier with ballistic plate inserts, medic chest rig, combat shears, CAT tourniquet, sharpee markers, casualty cards, magazine pouches, mag dump pouches, a couple pouches for your radio, flashlight with strobe function and an IR cover, water canteen, and any other items you feel the need to include on your rig for immediate access
  • Drop leg holster for sidearm (moved from carrier to allow for easier access to medical equipment)
  • Unit one pack with MREs (2), butt wipes, extra batteries, IV fluid kit, IV catheters, Fast 1 infusion kit, trauma bandages, kerlix gauze, hemostatic agents, 14 gauge catheter for needle chest decompression, chest seals, nasal trumpet, combitube, cricothyrotimy kit, nitrile gloves, alcohol swabs, muslin bandages, bandages, band aids, ace bandages, coban, tape, hypodermic needles, SAM splint, antibiotics, acetaminophen, naproxen, benedryl, and etc with a 100oz hydration bladder
  • Basic combat load around 180 rounds of ammunition for your primary weapon (see your LBEs guidelines) plus 52 rounds +/- of ammunition for your secondary weapon
  • Semi Automatic Rifle as a primary weapon chambered in 5.56mm or higher with six thirty round magazines (with a couple extra mags in your assault pack for good measure) with accessories including sights (ACOG TA11E/F, Eotech 553 in FDE, or an Elcan SpecterDR in FDE)
  • Sidearm as a secondary weapon chambered in .45ACP with four magazines
  • Camouflage fatigues that will help you blend into the surrounding environment with pants that have knee protection
  • Combat boots with GoreTex back support, and ankle support
  • Kevlar helmet rated NIJ Level IIIA
  • Eye protection like Wiley-X goggles
  • Hand protection like Mechanix Mpact gloves
  • Ear protection with some simple Combat Arms Earplugs

Final thoughts…

You have noticed an absence of battle belts in these loadouts and that’s because I can’t stand the damn things.  As I was saying before, your loadout should be catered to your particular tastes, needs, body types, and whatever is critical to the mission at hand. When I look at a lot of other people’s loadouts, especially the tacticool nerd loadouts there’s a lot of unneeded baggage that adds to their total loadout weight while not mission essential. As you can see above these loadouts are set up to be light, keeping your mobility and speed up.  Another thing you might notice is I called for two point slings and not single point slings, while some guys might like the simplicity behind a single point, I however don’t like getting hit in the balls so no thank you.  I’m not infallible by any means and as I said this guide isn’t meant to be true to military specifications, so if you guys have any input feel free to throw down below with your loadouts.

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About Runik

Certified NRA Instructor, Certified Military Platform and Performance Orientated Instructor, Training Personnel, and Emergency Management. Currently working towards M.A. Emergency Management - 101ABN/82NDABN - Charlie Wardogs

21 thoughts on “Tactical Loadouts for Preppers

  1. The half-full mag sloshing around with green points in your cargo pockets and slapping into your knees at a full-pace?
    While destroying the pants is scratching your skin?
    That sucks.
    I also tended to lose rounds in my pocket if the half mag stayed in the cargo pocket for a little while.
    Now last weeks holes are losing this weeks lose ammo.
    Irksome.
    If I’m going to tactical reload I’d use my dump pouch(also my redman stash pouch). It’s helpful.
    I like mine at my back left hip on a belt system.
    Really I can’t think of anyone who ever enjoyed a thigh holster for carrying anything and then had to run full speed.
    It’s awkward as shit.
    The kinetic force of a grown man running full speed is enough to get the thigh holster whipping around your leg like a stripper on a pole.
    Then the dinky snap holding your pistol opens, and if you don’t have a secondary retention system, your pistol goes skating down the street.
    I’ve seen medical gear on a thigh holster.
    Maybe since the gauze has such small relative weight, that’d work.
    But generally I’d just use a bag for that.
    Humbly submitted.

  2. Who really needs armor? and the drop leg could hold extra mags instead of your IFAK, which should be team designated and placed in an area with ease of access that doesn’t inhibit your mobility. Also, I dumped the dump pouch and use my cargo pockets to retain mags.

  3. Condor cyclone plate carrier, picked mine up for 80-100 bucks. ~ your friendly neighborhood infantryman.

  4. I disagree with the 45acp. I would rather have a 9mm and have 3 times the ammo. Same weight, same effectiveness with today’s newer ammunition. I know there’s the die hard 45acp guys who think they just have to have their 1911 but that is so 30 years ago. Just my .02 worth.

    • I second this. 9mm, prominent around the world, all continents. Basically same stopping power, better penetration, flatter trajectory, lighter, carry more rounds, less expensive. Although IMO .45 probably better in winter with heavy clothing due to larger hollow cavity maybe being a bit more dependable as far as expansion when cavity fills with clothing. That was Masaad Ayoob’s observations.

    • Amen. 9mm is easier to control, lighter, and the Ammo is cheaper to buy, and easier to find. More accurate shots down range, means more targets down, down range.

      • Decision between 45 and 9 depends on mission as well as preference. Sure a 9 mag holds more and is lighter. But 45 carries more stopping power, which, trust me, you will want in the event you find the need to use your sidearm. Because 9/10 times you’re only gonna use your sidearm when someone runs up on you in the middle of reloading your primary. And in a situation like that, you’re gonna want the stopping power the 45 provides to neutralize that threat. But, then again, a 9mm Glock is great as well because of magazine capacity, lesser recoil, and higher fire rate. Then again, if you’re gonna go 9mm, why not get a full auto Glock 18 for good measure? Again, take into consideration the mission as well as your preference and ammunition availability.
        (9mm is more ccommonly used) Also, remember that DHS has been stocking up on 9mm among other calibers in the thousands. So in a SHTF event, where will your ammo and supplies come from? The enemy.

  5. Thanks for the article and question follows about body armor. A retired LEO told us that body armor is useless after it gets wet. She says this includes sweat. Is this true as I have zero experience with body army. We want to know before we purchase. thanks

    • Depends on which soft armor plates you have but generally they become pretty ineffective if wet. Ballistic plates however can get wet and retain their bullet stopping power.

  6. Only thing I see missing would be a dump pouch. Dropping am empty mag, you need a place to put it securely. Because without them, your weapons are useless.

      • It’s better to use your cargo pockets for something else and just invest the $20-30 into a drop pouch. Trust me, cargo pockets are too much of a hassle when dumping empty mags. It’s a hassle getting to your cargo pockets if they’re velcro’d or buttoned shut, and your mags will fall out when u move if you keep ur pockets open. Ya better off just getting the drop pouch.

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