Last updated 3-6-23
This gear list is for both the Fieldcraft Course and the Bush Tactics classes I offer. This list is extensive for a reason. After we are finished at class you will be fully equipped with the tools necessary to operate effectively off grid as well as continue practicing the skills you learn at the class. This list wasn’t just invented for these classes; these are all tools and equipment that have proven themselves in the past to be nearly essential for those living out in the bush.
I’ve included links to many of the items for clarity and also to help you source them, although you can bring whatever you want as long as the items meet the criteria. If you aren’t sure if something meets the criteria, shoot me an email and we’ll get it figured out. I get no kickback whatsoever if you use these links, I just prefer to go through good small businesses instead of through Amazon.
How you pack and carry your equipment is up to you, although I hope that by doing these classes you come away with a very refined system that works for you if you don’t have one already. My advice: keep your pack-list light and tight. If you’re just starting out please don’t hesitate to email me with questions, I want everyone’s time to be as productive as possible. If you have special circumstances and you’re not sure if you’ll be able to do the class just shoot me an email and we can discuss it.
Please see this article for an example of how to pack for this class.
Navigation and note taking – Land navigation is a big part of these classes. By the end of them you will be able to navigate at a professional level and I have to ensure you have the right tools to do the job. Because of this I will be teaching using the Suunto MC2NH compass and will require every student to have one. If you have other compasses you like to use feel free to bring them and use them, but you need to have the MC2 at a minimum. Recently it was brought to my attention that there are versions of the MC2 that are marked in mils instead of degrees, ensure you are getting the degree version.
- Suunto MC2NH Compass
- 1:10,000 x 1 KM (not 500M) scale protractor. The following are direct links to specific protractors that you can use, in order of my own personal preference.
- MapTools UTM-Slots
- MapTools AdvCorner
- MapTools UTM-FS
- MapTools UTM-TH
- Optional but very useful: this round protractor for plotting azimuths. Everyone who uses mine at class tries to steal it.
- On a side note, because of the intermittent nature of our supply lines these days, a 1CM ruler with 1MM markings will also work for a 1:10,000 scale protractor. Should you need to go this route you can cut the ruler off at the 11CM mark since that’s all the longer it will need to be.
- Map pens
- 3x fine point mechanical pencils
- 3×5 rite in the rain notepad
- Pace beads if wanted
- Head lamp with red, green or blue lens and spare batteries.
- Cloth roll up measuring tape
- Optional: a small solar calculator
- GPS (of any form) is not allowed during the class and completely defeats the land navigation purpose of the class.
Emergency Equipment – The area where we will be training is rough and remote and there isn’t much for cell coverage. Because of this we will utilize radios to stay in contact as well as have some back up emergency signal equipment. All of this equipment will be required to be carried on your person while training away from camp. I advise a small patrol pack, camelback, haversack, butt pack, etc. to carry this gear in while you are training.
- Small air horn
- FRS radio or Baofeng UV-5R (or equivalent if a licensed ham operator) in waterproof bag with spare batteries. Read the manual and familiarize yourself with it before coming to class please.
- XXXL Hunter’s orange vest (in other words as big as you can find, needs to fit over you and your gear)
- 1 roll Orange flagging/ surveyors tape
- 3x orange chem lights
- Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK) with minimum one CAT tourniquet placed in a readily accessible location on your gear.
- Personal first aid kit (PFAK) for cuts and scrapes. Should include assorted band aids, Triple antibiotic ointment, Benzoin ampules, Moleskin, iodine pads, Ibuprofen, Tylenol, Immodium, Benadryl.
Survival and Field Equipment
- Fixed blade belt knife meeting the following criteria:
- Full tang
- 90 degree spine
- 4-6 inch blade length
- Ideally I want my knife to be made of high carbon steel and tempered hard enough to be used as a steel striker for flint and steel fires, a skill we practice in class. This gives me another method of fire starting built into my gear and typically high carbon knives are easier to sharpen in the field than stainless steel knives. It’s been brought to my attention that not everyone wants to beat on their expensive knife with a rock or some folks really like their stainless knives. While this goes against my methodology, I also understand that some people live in a climate where stainless knives are preferred and therefore it doesn’t make sense. To remedy this situation I’ve decided to allow students to bring their choice of knife as long as it meets the above criteria AND if it can’t strike a spark, or they choose not to use it that way, students will need to bring an appropriate fire steel as well so that they can practice flint and steel fires alongside the rest of the class. A suitable and inexpensive one can be purchased here.
- Multitool (Leatherman, Gerber, Swiss Army Knife, etc) with the following tools:
- Wood saw
- Folding saw
- Entrenching tool
- Wrist watch (No GPS)
- 1/2” x 6” Ferro Rod
- Large Bic lighter in water proof bag
- 1 square foot 100% untreated cotton cloth. Cheap dish towels and polishing rags work great.
- 32 ounce single wall stainless (or titanium) container with nesting cup. I highly advise the Pathfinder bottle because of it’s large mouth opening. It is also sized perfectly for use with water disinfection tablets.
- Additional water container to transfer disinfected water into. This can be a standard plastic Nalgene, canteen, camelback or other water container of your choice.
- 100’ #36 bank line
- 100’ 550 cord (earth tone color)
- 1 roll (~150-200’) 1-2MM jute twine
- 6x tent stakes
- 6×8 or 8×8 or similar sized earth tone colored or camouflage tarp. The following are recommendations, in my preferred order:
- Surplus USMC MARPAT tarp (Check eBay)
- Surplus British Basha tarp (Check eBay)
- Small folded Mylar survival blanket
- Appropriate layers, clothing and spares for the season.
- Good hiking/ combat boots
- Appropriate sleep gear for the season. The following is a recommendation based off what I would bring (keep in mind I plan to sleep in my warming layers as well) for the particular time of year, but you are welcome to bring whatever you like as long as you can carry it. This article goes into more detail:
- Summer. 40 degree+ sleep rating – Poncho and Swagman Roll, 3/4 length foam pad, mosquito net
- Late Spring/ Early Fall. 20-40 degree sleep rating – Snugpak SF Bivy Bag, Klymit static-V pad, most of my warming layers, a Mylar blanket plus my summer equipment (minus mosquito net)
- Early spring/ late fall. 10–30 degree sleep rating. All of the above except I will change out the Static-V for a higher R value inflatable pad. I have a Neo-air X-therm but I’ve also had good luck with a Thermarest Hiker too. I will also add another layer like an over quilt or extra poncho liner depending on the expected conditions.
- Inflatable pillow
- 1x 3 mil 55 gallon drum liner
- Canvas repair needle
- Roll of 1” Gorilla tape
- Roll of electrical tape
- 3 days of food that can be prepared and eaten in the field.
- Electrolyte supplements. Gatorade, Salt and Sugar, Pedialyte powder, etc.
- Eating utensil
- Chlorine Dioxide Tablets
- 1 cotton bandana
- Hygiene gear, sun screen, bug spray and poop kit. There will be no facilities available so plan accordingly.
- Day and night eye protection
- Hearing protection
- Your preferred ruck to carry it all.
- Optional- water filter, I only use Sawyer and Grayl filters personally. Check for a filtering level of .1 microns absolute or smaller. We will be sourcing water off the landscape from very turbid sources so keep this in mind.
- Optional- additional water bottles, canteens or Camelbak
- Optional- jet boil or alcohol stove. If you are going to be needing to boil water in order to eat your food bring a stove to boil it in. We will be making our own fires off the landscape but not for every meal.
- Modern magazine fed centerfire rifle with sling. (.308 or less in power). Most students use an AR, a few have used AK’s and I’ve had a couple bolt guns as well.
- 100 rounds of ammunition. No penetrator ammo. Marksmanship training will consist of position building exercises, dry fire and unknown distance engagements out to 500+ yards on camouflaged targets. While you are welcome to bring a rifle with whatever sights/optics you prefer, students tend to do better with magnified optics.
- Enough magazines for 3-6 reloads depending on platform.
- Your preferred style of tactical load bearing equipment which is capable of actually carrying your magazines. This is mine for an example.
- 1 quarter
- Cleaning gear, tools, spare batteries and spare parts for weapon system and optics.
- Coyote sniper veil. Spray paint one side OD so it’s multipurpose.
- Camo face paint
- Earth toned or camouflaged clothing
- For the Bush Tactics Course – 40 blanks for your weapon, no blank adapter necessary.
- Optional- Snap cap if wanted for dry firing
- Optional- Any day or night optics you would typically carry. Many students have found a small pair of 10x binoculars to come in handy.
- Optional- shooting aids such as bipods, tripods, etc.
- Optional – Viper hood/ Ghillie and Ghillie thread
- Optional – knee and elbow pads
5 thoughts on “Class Gear List”
Reblogged this on Alpha Charlie Concepts.
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Well that’s basically my packlist-mindset…which my Wife has been ridiculing me for, for as long as We’ve known each other ( even though I’ve proven my point on several occasions ).
Have made my kip-mat more versatile by cutting it in two parts : 2/3 & 1/3 of my body length. Stuffed each in its own cordura cover, and stitched it shut – adding Velcro on a flap on the bottom ( ‘ cut ‘ ) side, and on the back of the mat. Did that in such a way that I can attach the two pieces together using the Velcro to make a solid mat. When I want to go light, I just use the torso piece. But to avoid the Velcro monster from eating everything it comes in contact with, I fold the flap over to the back and lock it in place using the corresponding piece of Velcro. I have two sets : one in 8 mm and one in 6 mm – which makes for a bunch of versions I can pick from, mix-n-match. And being in pieces, I can place and move them in my pack as I see fit.
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