FirstSpear Gear – Fight Strapped

Full disclosure – Yes I was sent this item by FirstSpear to try out, keep and make a video on.  However they’ve sent me a fair few bits of kit at this point and I still pointed out the many issues and shortcomings with the first batch of Wind Cheaters, so believe me when I say getting sent stuff does not compromise my viewpoint.  I also very specifically requested this item because of the intended usage I had for it, they do not tell me what they want me to publicise/produce overview videos about.

Overall considering the low price (for the quality) and the numbers of different things this platform could be used for outside a mere ammunition bandolier, I think it’s a very strong option given the huge versatility.

Who Needs Living Space Anyway?

I’d imagine some folks will have noticed I’ve slowed down a lot with the gear posts the past 2 months or so, certainly by comparison to the frequency I had been working to.  I’ve still been buying my usual unnecessary gear because I have a problem, but that buying (and subsequently trying to learn about and understand) is very much the part of the hobby that I’ve always been most interested in.  I started doing all the social media stuff because it seemed very much wasteful to not at least attempt to try and share what I learn along the way with other folks who, like myself, might be keen to educate themselves about this equipment for whatever reason.  However, my job is my priority and though some small elements of my hobby can fit in to my work (kit wise), airsoft is generally about recreating the actual gunfighting portion of the military and the reality is gunfighting is not my main role; there are other people much better trained and qualified than me who go out and do that.  My job is to maintain, issue and generally deal with certain systems and bits of kit that allow those fighters to go and do their jobs, so the actual gear I need (and is suited) for doing me is rather different to all the super cool stuff that SF guys use and which is so popular amongst hobbyists.

I’ve mentioned this before, but the ‘dull’ reality that Hollywood and games and airsoft don’t show you is that keeping yourself warm/cool, dry, generally comfortable, free from illness and minor injuries, fed and hydrated are the key things in an operational area.  You can’t do anything else effectively without that solid foundation.  Doing all that stuff in your own comfy home is a piece of cake of course, but it in less plush circumstances is more tricky and the closer you get to the front line, the harder it becomes.  Again, in my role I’ll be in places most of the time where doing that stuff is comparatively easy.  I’ll have access to showers, laundry facilities, all the food and water I need and opportunities for rest in an area that’s an awful lot more secure than the open countryside.  That said, some service people still manage to fail in their basic task of keeping their body’s working even at home sometimes, let alone in slightly more austere conditions.

Kitting for deployments these days is based on many years of many people’s experiences up to this point, along with a government and military that is extremely risk-adverse with no desire to suffer any more losses after the casualties sustained since 2001 and the deluge of media that has accompanied them all.  Now, the kit people like me receive is still not of the highest quality compared to the stuff SF have and the stuff airsofters lust after, but it’s kit designed to keep you safe from a lot of things most folks don’t tend to think about; then facilitate combat for self defence if necessary.

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I won’t go in to a ton of detail on everything here, since the picture is just intended to illustrate the sheer volume of equipment that is given out to folks deploying in 2016.  That’s my entire bed covered and though it’s not really visible, almost the entire area is 2-4 layers deep in clothing and other bits and pieces (you can see how deeply buried the bottom box of Haix is).  This doesn’t even include various bulky items of cold weather kit I’d previously been issued for my time down the Falklands along with all the other layering and uniform that is basic issue to everybody for the UK.  Not to mention certain items I’ve purchased myself and of course my issued L85, G17, holster, magazines for the rifle and pistol, weapon cleaning kit and pistol belt line.  Oh and all my tons of paperwork, some gym kit, 1-2 bits of civvies, my laptop, wash kit, more socks and underwear etc etc etc….

The MSM Boss Beaver pack pictured of course isn’t issued, but it was just standing in for the 50L MTP daysack I was provided with after the picture was taken.  I’ve been using the Boss on a daily basis since it arrived and I just really bloody love the thing.  How exactly I’ll use it while away I’m not 100% on just now, but I look forward to continuing my testing and evaluation of it regardless.

So yes, if you come to this site and follow the accompanying FB and IG accounts for the super tacticool stuff then I’m not sure when that regular service will resume, but rest assured I’ve no lack of material to post in that department.  My head simply has not had the luxury of being in that ‘zone’ of late.

Buy Smart

Little consumer tip for anyone buying in the US. I won’t tag them over on facebook in case they change their system somehow, but check out www.TacticalGear.com
 
They carry some rather low-end stuff I wouldn’t tend to recommend like Condor and I’m not a fan of Propper clothing either; but they’ve also got lots of stuff like Vertx and LOWA, Tru-Spec, 5.11 and a few others that I do tend to like. Good mid-range apparel that often uses the same fabrics as the top end brands but with a more spartan feature list to keep the prices far lower (almost always far-east made vs US made of course). You have to obviously do some sifting and make sure you make good choices as well, because 5.11 and Tru-Spec in particular offer items that range in price and the lower end of the lines isn’t nearly as nice but the upper end will only cost about $15-20 more.  Particularly when stepping up from Poly/Cotton to Nylon/Cotton, this is well worth the investment.  PYCO works ok no doubt, but your colour/pattern will stay longer and the fabric is just more comfortable (thinner and more flexible) while also more abrasion resistant with NYCO.
 
First off, as with any American store, you need to wait for the sales. They come around often because there’s some ‘holiday’ weekend in the states every 5 minutes and the stores love putting on sales. Second, find what you want, add it to your cart, make an account, then just leave the stuff there for 4-5 days. I’ve had codes for free shipping and 15% off come through my inbox from them simply because I put stuff in the cart then didn’t buy it right away.
 
Getting good kit isn’t about having a ton of money, it’s about taking the time to find the deals and making your money work hard.