Those of us in the MilSim West grapevine all have heard or know, this past weekend was MilSim West’s “Assault on Volgograd”, located out in Manchester Ohio. From the media we have seen, it was pretty soggy all weekend long. If you’re looking to attend a MilSim West event and don’t want to end up a sad soggy panda this article will give you a good idea how to pack for any future MilSim West games you may attend.
This coming Memorial day weekend is MilSim West’s Clash on the Steppes. We’re looking at their first time extending for an extra day resulting in a good 40 hours of bblarp in the woods. but don’t fret: You’re just looking at packing a little extra over your current gear(if you have any yet). Today we’re covering the basics of what you should pack in your ruck, as the guns and uniform requirements vary based on your role and faction.
Be advised, as you pack you should pay attention to any MSW updates added through Facebook and other channels and keep up to date on the weather. It is also a good idea to communicate with any squad mates to coordinate shared equipment. Some items can be shared like tarps or camping stoves, so why weigh yourself and your squad down with unnecessary equipment.
In this image below, I’ve basically got a spread of what my ruck will consist of, next to my Mystery Ranch Snapdragon (38L pack):
From bottom to top:
- Spare uniform (orange stuff sack)
- spare underwear (socks, t shirt, boxers in blue stuff sack)
- Camping stove (Try to pack 1 per two guys)
- Goretex bivvy (Sucks to get rained on while sleeping)
- Outdoor Research knee-high gaiters
- Food for 2+ days worth of operatons (mix of MREs and freeze dried food. Avoid perishables for obvious reasons.)
- Poncho (For the real wet times)
- Spare fuel for stove (jet boils can hold one small can of propane inside)
- Condor Soft-shell jacket
- Sleeping bag
Ideally, you also have a pad strapped onto your pack somewhere because the ground is hard and cold. I also elected to stuff my eyepro case, and some extra bits like a battery bank and contact lenses into a small yellow pelican case. There are tons of snacks, easily accessible in the top pocket of my ruck. Be mindful, FOBs can be attacked at any time, and you’re more than likely on your feet for a great majority of the game, so be sure to pack tons of snacks high in protein and calories (dried fruit, nuts, and jerky are great). As mentioned before, pay attention to duration of time you’re going to be deploying and pack accordingly. An extra set of underwear probably isn’t going to cut it for 4 days of crap your pants awesome.. But be careful not to over pack, you do have to carry all this stuff.
There are a ton of food options out there from Military MREs to Mountain House dehydrated meals. MRE’s are simple and if you are brave you can even eat them cold, I however prefer dehydrated meals because they take up less space and are lighter. Depending on the event I would plan at least 2 meals for each full day of operations plus one meal for day one, and another for the last as the first and last day of the op are usually part day operations. For a 4 day operation that’s 6 full meals. Lunch tends to end up being snacks(and i bring a lot of them because killing all of the HATO Dogs burns mucho calories), because lets face it heating up water and cooking meals on patrol doesn’t always happen.
Outside of the ruck you will need a hydration bladder of sorts for patrols and field operations. Much of the time staff provides water to keep people hydrated, so thankfully you wont have to hump 40 lbs of water with you on the field. Unless you brought someone to hump the pallet of water bottles your Hydration Bladder will be your water transport method for the weekend. Ear protection can also be very important, despite the low volume of an airsoft rifle, there will be a fair amount of blank fire weapons incorporated into the game. You may unexpectedly be stuck next to rifles shooting fireballs, such is life. Personally I wear a pair of MSA Sordins, but you can go with anything that provides hearing protection while still allowing you to hear important things like “incoming!”. The Surefire Defender series of earplugs are a reasonable option as well.
The TACSOP has all the important information and a packing list (page 9) outlining the bare minimum requirements. The rules and expectations are located conveniently on their website as a PDF file.
Another reminder, pay attention to any news or updates posted by the MilSim West staff and Cadre on Facebook, and again pay attention to the Weather forecasts.
Some last words of wisdom before the game, hydrate as much as you can. Cut out sodas and drink lots of water, because pre-hydrating is the best thing ever, if you wait until your dehydrated to drink your weekend is going to suck. Packing well for a MilSim West game can make or break the miserable experience they’re so well known for.