5.11 Ambassador Gator shared his “Lines of Gear” strategy for the RECOIL / 5.11 Loadout September 2015 issue. We shared the first part of this story a few months back about the First Line (what you carry on your person). The following is an excerpt covering the Second and Third Lines (what you would carry in bags or backpacks).
The Second Line
Second-line gear can be configured in a number of ways, using small slings packs, medium-sized backpacks, and even chest rigs. It all depends on the mission and/or purpose. If you opt for a long-gun as a part of the second-line gear, store it with your bag. A 5.11 Tactical 4-Banger Bag would be a good fit for a second line bag. Be ready to fight from your second line bag. I’ve placed my rifle ammunition in a rolled-up lightweight bandoleer or chest rig. This provides a couple of options. I can access the ammunition from the bag, or place it on my body.
Go bag or chest-rig/armor
Medium-size trauma med kit
Small roll of duct tape
Spare batteries for GPS, optics, and flashlight
Notepad and pen
Charging cables for electronics
Headlamp Glass breaker/window punch
Depending on mission and threat level, add: Flashlight/signal kit/strobes, Rifle Ammunition, additional magazines
The Third Line
If you need to break into the Third-Line of equipment, chances are things are bad and getting worse. Third-line gear is designed to haul the high-profile kit considered part of the disaster plan. Keeping a spare handgun with ammunition, holster, and mag pouches is optional in the event you need to arm a buddy and/or you are displaced from your resources due to unforeseen circumstances, i.e. a weather disaster or civil disturbance.
Having a spare handgun can bring peace of mind. Take it a step further and make sure it’s the same type and caliber as your everyday carry so magazines and ammunition are interchangeable.
Communications capabilities, along with the items that support them, are commonly overlooked, but having a PACE communication plan in place can be a lifesaver. PACE stands for primary, alternate, contingency and emergency. If your primary is your mobile phone, what happens when the towers are down? Having a layered approach will set you up for success.
Once you have considered the purpose of your third-line gear, it’s up to you to decide in what configuration you carry your long-gun. Rifles can be broken down and consolidated into a pack that allows for easy carry. You want this line to be portable; don’t pack the kitchen sink if you really don’t need it. Choose wisely and be practical.
Take the time with your family to establish the game plan for safety and success in the fight. Don’t take shortcuts when purchasing equipment. Seek out reputable and experienced teachers in your area to assist in tactical readiness development for everyone in your family.
Always be ready.
Additional ammo in a chest rig or bandoleer; staged to fight
Spare handgun, magazines/ammo, holster, and belt
Spare mobile phone
Helmet and nightvision goggles (mission dependent)
Emergency cash and credit cards
Copies of identification
Urban SERE kit
Communications support items (solar-powered phone charger)
Extensive medical kit
At least one day’s worth of food rations
Gator is a 5.11 Ambassador and Director of Firebase Combat Studies Group. He is an expert in the art of concealed carry and is a specialist in government high-threat protection.