“Survival of the fittest” is a term that is thrown around liberally, but what does it mean? The meat of the phrase means that those who are most prepared, equipped and alert will be the ones that will come out on top of the pack. Going into a battle situation, it is to your benefit to give yourself every advantage you can think of which means to more than satisfy the criteria of the definition of being “fit.”
The secret to being prepared and equipped is having with you everything you may need in any given situation. This can be challenging when you have to carry all of your gear. However, with the right TA-50 or deployment bag, you can have enough room for everything you need, and if you pack carefully, perhaps even a small kitchen sink! The perfect deployment bag begins with essentials in an orderly arrangement. Essentials will be different for everyone, but at the core should be your body armor, some ammunition and a small first-aid kit. Here are some tips for packing the perfect bag:
1. Combinations are KEY! Try combining articles such as putting gloves, a pair of socks and a couple extra rounds in the cavity of the body armor. This will enable there to be more room in the bag as well as keeping things that you will need to use together also packed together so there is no time or energy lost in grabbing something you need. Body armor is bulky and odd shaped for packing, and chances are that if you need one piece, that you will need the same things each time so put them together in a way that they all work together. For example, if you have an extra pair of shoes to pack, consider putting something else that you will be using at that same time in the shoe to save room in your bag.
2. Zip tight bags are awesome! Water leakage inward to your bag (if it’s not waterproof or if it gets a hole in it somehow) or liquid/gel leakage outward of a container can prove to be a huge problem if you are traveling or on deployment. Zip tight baggies can save your day! Put shirts or outfits, socks, underwear into gallon size baggies if you are going to be deployed to a wet area with a lot of rain or will be trekking through water. If not, zip tight sandwich baggies around your toiletry items individually can prove extremely helpful. If one thing spills then it doesn’t get on each item turning it into a gooey mess. Also, with the use of zip bags, you will know that socks are always in one bag, underwear is always in another bag, and so on alleviating wasted time spent rearranging or hunting down items that you need NOW. Time spent hunting should be for your adversary instead of for your socks.
3. You can pack your kitchen sink and your bathroom medicine cabinet. Just because you are deployed or traveling does not mean that you have to go without necessities due to lack of space anymore. There are some deployment bags out there that are so ultra-roomy and sturdy that you can pack what you need; one of which is a safety/medical kit. Keep a few bandages, muscle pain patches, minor pain meds in travel packages, snap-light fishing glow sticks, all in one mini-tool, and snap-released hand warmers. Maybe put those in a round of duct tape or a funnel and put that in a zip baggy or just in a little toiletry case.
4. Why leave strategy to the battlefield? To win the war on clutter and mess, you have to plan a method of attack. Strategize and think about putting together your bag right the first time. What will be easiest for you and save you time? What will be something that you will actually do and maintain? Will zip baggies be something that you can do? Will arranging socks with socks work better for you rather than arranging whole outfits together? Does it make sense to pilfer through your bag each 17 wsm ammo time you need something? Plan what you are going to do and then keep it up so you know exactly where everything is! Arrange things considering shape and frequency of use. Does it make sense to put something you use three times daily on the bottom of the stack? Arranging in slices instead of stacks helps. Think bread slices in a bag. That way you don’t have stacks of stuff to look under but rather can see a small sliver sample of each thing you have. Planning your bag will make your time more efficient and lower your stress level because you are more prepared in a shorter amount of time.
Incorporating a few of these ideas or using them as a holistic system really can aide you in being more prepared, more equipped and more “fit” than your counterparts or competition. Saving time, energy and mental stress will aide you in keeping your performance at an optimum while still not compromising your personal comfort. Performance levels at their optimum will ensure you are among the most “fit” and will help to guarantee your success at your mission, both on the battlefield and beyond.