If there’s one GIANT takeaway from the COVID-19 pandemic, its that a whole lot of people are waking up to the reality that no, tomorrow may not be promised. At least not the same way we lived yesterday. Its a different world today than three weeks ago, and while a lot of you out there reading this did your own due diligence over the years, Charlie Mike-ing it up (continuing movement) on your own preparedness, we know a hell of a lot of people went to sleep on or about NOV 2016.
But, it is what it is.
Like I’ve said in other posts, a lot of hard lessons may be about to be re-learned here in the the land of plenty. Although its going to suck, I pray it won’t be as bad as it could be. But that said for now your role should be getting your neighbors and extended family up to speed. Whether that’s food, water, building materials, or whatever else, you also have to have a way to protect it. And with that said those same lessons are familiar to anyone who’s lived in the third world- even down to things like weapons and equipment.
The prepper movement is synonymous with guns. Honestly that’s the prerequisite for most folks to get into preparedness, and I know a lot of people that have spent tons of money on gear for themselves. But what about others? Its easy for us to say “well damn son, you shoulda had….” but that doesn’t solve anything and the reality is that a large portion of people out there who are just waking up to smell the ovaltine are gonna be in need of basic equipment. And if you have a piece of gear to hand off to that Johnny-come-Lately, it’ll do much to build loyalty. Its just as important a morale builder as being able to provide your people with a hot meal. One of the frequent memes I’ve seen in the prepper movement over the years has been the need to arm the neighbors. And ok, that’s a worthy notion, but how do you plan on also equipping them?
There’s a lot of directions that can go, but the broad answer needs to be keeping it simple, stupid. You need to understand that you’re not arming and equipping soldiers. They’re people with only very basic levels of training at best, and the more simple you keep their gear for them, the better its going to function. One of the most enduring designs out there is the Chinese Type 81 Chest Rig. The chest rig is named after the Chinese Type 81, which was the Chinese primary combat weapon in 7.62×39 for many years until its replacement, the QBZ 95. Its a heavy weight cotton duck material, similar to Carhart. We used to call them the jihadi starter kit, because it seemed like every insurgent wore them, but the point is they’re absolutely bomb-proof. I prefer the Type 81 over the older Type 56 because it has 4 magazine pockets rather than 3. It’s cheap, usually under $25 bucks, and endlessly modifiable if you have even basic sewing skills. And while its designed for the AK-pattern magazine, you can stuff a roll of gauze in the bottom of the magazine pouch and double stack AR magazines in each pouch. While its not going to win any awards, its cheap and it works.
Is there better stuff out there? Sure. But the old pattern chest rigs endure for a reason. I’ve got mountains of spare kit for my people, but I keep using the same basic designs because of one reason- they work.