Just got my Multicam Tara in the other day and set it up belt & suspenders style. I also got the MC Recon Kit Bag set up for use during navigation training and also for upcoming tactical environment work. The Tara docks to an extra large modified hybrid / external pack I have....an HSGI TRASH Bag. It docks to the back easily by using four Grimlocks and even acts as a nice compression panel on the larger pack, just like it would on a Ute. I also added an SO Tech Mission Go-Bag into the mix. With the Tara and Mission Go-Bag attached to my war belt, I can comfortably carry enough to go for a solid 3 days, easily. This will be my warm weather set-up for a while, and also during some straight-up high country patrolling I'll be doing soon while providing some training to some DOJ folks that are running into some backcountry threats. Thought I would go ahead and post up some pics of how the set-up looks and hopefully give others out there some ideas for their own rig. I also added a shot of my new plate carrier and some edged tools that I fixed up a wee bit. Any comments and questions are of course always welcome!
Oh yeah...I apologize in advance for taking photos of Multicam gear on top of a Multicam tarp....not much contrast to pick out details, so you'll just have to zoom in as best you can. Guess I didn't think through artistic and aesthetic aspects of my photos completely enough!
Here's the HSGI TRASH Bag with the Tara and SO Tech Mission Go-Bag docked to the back and top of the ruck. Pretty easy to dock them, and it carries decently this way...of course, not as nicely as the Ute, but still pretty good. The DEI 1606 AC frame is a bit noisy, but is solid and a way more comfortable frame than the old ALICE frame.
Top view of the SO Tech Mission Go-Bag docked to the ruck.
Suspension view of the ruck. The addition of the HSGI Alipad makes the external feel more like a hybrid. It's very comfortable and even provides some additional capacity for soft goods or hydration bladders in the pockets on each side of the Alipad.
Here's the Tara docked to my war belt, with the SO Tech Mission Go-Bag docked below it. It takes about 10 minutes to make the switch from the ruck to the war belt...not too bad! The belt and suspenders style set-up feels very comfortable to me. I can easily load this for a solid 3 days during warm months. I constructed delta straps off of the Tara down to the war belt, with outrigger / load-sharing straps running to the Mission Go-Bag. Everything pulls right into my lumbar and feels really good and stabilized. I can run the war belt connected and high with the cobra buckle, or run it lower and loose with a standard dual adjust side release strap I rigged to the front of the belt, attached with G-hooks. I've also got this belt set up so that I can quickly safety in on a helo or rig for a rappel, by simply attaching my safety arm and leg loops. The inner belt of the war belt is an Ultimate Rigger's Belt I bought from 215 Gear.
Here's the Recon Kit Bag, set up for multiple applications, with a Blue Force Gear Admin Pouch riding on the front. I also figured out that I could attach an HSGI AO Small Chest Rig below the Kit Bag, using the Kit Bag's harness as the primary suspension. The AO Small now rides more at low chest / high abdomen level, with a single strap around the back. Works pretty nice like this, so far! The HSGI Soft Taco on the right in the photo can hold a lot of different sized items....radios, water bottles, etc. Pretty cool.
Below the RKB and AO Small is my new plate carrier. This is the STT by First Spear, available exclusively through SKD Tactical. This PC is the bomb! It feels more comfortable than any other PC I've worn, including the really high-end one I had from Crye at my last job. The trick for this thing is to ensure you order the right size cumberbund. I don't run side armor, so the size small cumberbund was perfect for a low-profile / low-vis and nimble PC. I like a slick PC best, and prefer to run a Rhodesian / chest rig. I've got low profile Level III stand-alone plates in it and the whole rig feels a lot better than others I've worn. The Recon Kit Bag rides well overtop the plate carrier.
I put a shaving sharp edge on the Kershaw Outcast Evan & Scot sent me...took a little while to get a good edge on it due to the D2 steel (hard to sharpen), but now this bad boy will slice a sheet of paper and shave your arm effortlessly. Hopefully the edge will stay for a while. I also warmed and reformed the Kydex sheath for it, as that the blade was rattling around in the sheath...problem solved. Below the Kershaw....I stripped and forced a patina onto my Condor Warlock using apple cider vinegar and brown mustard. It turned out pretty neat, I think! I also worked on the edge of this blade and it is now scary sharp. Below the Condor, I've got my new hawk...an H&B Forge Large Polled Camp Hawk. Love this thing! I paracord wrapped the handle for additional grip and made a Kydex sheath for it using a sheath meant for another type of hawk and modified it for my H&B Forge.
All three in their sheaths. I made danglers and carry straps for the two jungle choppers, so that they can be worn as a belt or bandoleer style.
A close-up view of the apple cider vinegar and mustard patina on the Condor Warlock. I've got a custom Kydex sheath on order for it from AZWelke. Looking forward to getting the new sheath.