Above is the current state of my load out for Iceback 2014, which is taking place this weekend up in Golden, BC. My loadout is largely unchanged in basic structure from last year (PTW, chest rig, Yote), with some small tweaks here and there to suit both the nature of our mission and my experiences from what I ran last year.
More deets and pics after the break.
Above is our team camo: my Pencott Greenzone BDU, with a relatively new combat shirt and boonie hat. The team made a group Pencott order a month or so ago and while already had my set of Greenzone, one of my teammates’ shirts fit him too large – but it fit me perfectly, so I ended up buying it off him. The combat shirt has been a lifesaver in the 25C+ degree weather we’ve been having lately, and I imagine it’ll be useful up at Iceback, although the forecast does call for showers… in which case I’ll likely be switching to my Arc’teryx Alpha jacket (not pictured, but will be in my pack). The boonie hat has been useful as well, with its short brim and for the fact that it actually fits my giant dome.
In a change from last year, when I ran my Pantac 1961a, this year I’ll be running my Pantac RRV. The ability to actually change my pouch configuration around is a definite plus over the 1961a, plus the fold-up bib allows for an admin pouch for stuff like a notepad and smaller tools. After repeated viewings of Lone Survivor I’ve added a horizontal GP pouch below the mag pouches for further storage of larger tools, batteries, and other such necessities. The admin pouch and GP pouch eliminate the need for the (admittedly useful) fanny pack I ran last year. My Puxing-888, which served me admirably last year and in the three or so years I’ve had it, finally bit the dust a month or two ago. Thankfully, I was able to borrow my buddy’s Puxing for the sim (thanks Joe!). I’ll be running an Element military phone to eliminate the need for a PTT or a headset (both of which I didn’t need last year).
I considered running either my Tasmanian Tiger Essentials Pack or my newly acquired Arc’teryx Khard 30 (thanks Ali!) in place of my Flyye Yote, but decided against it with the former being too sparse in the pockets department and the latter being surplus to my needs (though I’ll still be bringing the Khard along for trip for camping and other personal belongings). So the Yote will make a return trip this year, where it will carry my food, water, ammo, and the cardboard box I’m planning to use in the Metal Gear Solid-style solo sneaking mission I will be given this year (but not really).
Not pictured above (but pictured in the top pic) are my PIG FDT-Alpha gloves and Oakley SI Assault Boots, both of which have served admirably in the time I’ve had them. The PIG Alpha gloves in particular are probably the best gloves I’ve ever used – it feels like you’re not wearing gloves at all when you have them on (that being said, durability is an issue I’m concerned about, but I’ll possibly write about that in another entry).
My primary blaster this year will again be my Systema PTW, but this time with my Block II upper instead of my mk12 mod 1 SPR upper. The long range optic on the SPR was great for scouting and such, but the weight of the gun became a little much after awhile without really providing a significant performance upgrade over my Block II upper. On top of that, the 18″ Vanaras inner barrel shoots poorly compared to the 14.5″ PDI barrel in this upper. Also on there is the Novel Arms Tac-One replica that is usually found on my TM SCAR-H.
My secondary blaster is my KWA RM4 ERG, which I’ve grown quite fond of since my buddy Ender (love ya!) managed to get the delta ring off, allowing me to install a quad rail. I loved the real steel Vltor CASV that I initially had on there, but it was ridiculously heavy and I want to toss some sort of 12-13″ civvy rail on there soon. For now I have my old Mk18 rail on there, but that’s just a placeholder until I get my hands on a SMR, NSR, or URX 3.1 (I’m taking suggestions). Performance wise the ERG is second only to my PTW in terms of range/accuracy, thanks to the Prommy barrel and the awesome R-hop job from Stealth of airsoftstore.ca (cheers, bud).
My sidearm of choice this year is my TM PX4, which replaces the TM Glock 17 I carried last year (which incidentally, is for sale if anyone’s interested). The PX4 is a solid performer, as with all TM guns, although truth be told I don’t think I’ll need to use it. Still, better safe than sorry.
So that’s pretty much it – the same load out structure wise as last year, albeit with different actual bits of gear. I wanted to be able to carry everything I carried last year but in a slim, light profile, and I think this load out accomplishes that. I’ll be sure to update with my experiences and hopefully some pictures once I return.