Saturday, December 16, 2017

Range Bag Evolutions

I've been taking part in action pistol competitions for a little over seven years. In that time, the contents of my range bag have gone through many phases. My first range bag was a medium size bag from Elite Survival Systems. I found it worked well for quick trips to the indoor range. As I shot more matches, especially long USPSA events, I found I needed to carry more stuff. So I obtained a much larger range bag from Shooters Connection. And then I added a folding chair. Then a cooler for food and drink. Then a folding wagon to haul it all around.

As I shot more IDPA matches, which typically aren't as long, and require carrying less ammo, I ditched the wagon. I switched my folding chair for a folding stool. I still hauled around a lot of stuff in the large range bag. There was plenty of room for all those things I just might need. When I was going to the indoor range, I would transfer the essentials to the small bag. And then repack the large bag for a match or the outdoor range. That always held the risk of forgetting something.

My current "small" bag, and a friend's minimalist bag
Eventually I grew weary of carrying the weight of the large bag. At the start of the year I decided to dump out the contents of both bags and start over. I went through all the gear and put only the items I used regularly into the smaller bag. Of course I did add a few things I rarely or never use; plastic bags, all-in-one tool, first aid gear, including a tourniquet. (As an aside, I keep a tourniquet in my cargo pants pocket as well.)

Hauling the smaller bag around a match is much more pleasant. I see many shooters who obviously carry even less; spare bullets and not much else it seems. I've never been able to convince myself to go to that extreme. In my car there is also a box with extra gear such as lead wipes, towels, extra eye and ear protection, the folding stool, and a larger first aid kit, among other things.

Soon I found there there wasn't always enough room for food and water in the bag. So now for longer matches I also bring a small backpack. In that bag I have the food, water and any extra clothing I might need depending on the season.

I've even considered that wagon again for larger matches.

The other end of the spectrum

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