I have been prepping a lot of molle gear (pronounced Molly – like the name). You have seen these at almost every prep site and if you are in the military or have even seen a recent war movie – you have seen it in action. Basically it consists of interchangeable pouches on vests and backpacks allowing you to customize your “loadout” or setup based on what your activity or mission is.
The key to the system is a series of nylon straps that form a web. Then, compatible accessories, which are made by many, many manufacturers, attach to it. There are literally 1,000′s of accessory pouches and attachments. You can have magazine pouches, first aid, pistol holsters, hydration carriers, flashlight pouches, knife sheaths and even grenade pouches… I wish I could get me some of those! (well, I can, I just don’t have the grenades to put in them)
The question I was struggling with was “am I just getting this gear as part of my machismo GI Joe fantasy?” or do they serve a prepper’s purpose. I have concluded that they serve a prepper’s purpose.
FIRST – The hallmark of prepping is being ready for anything and everything. This system uses that as its core. You can have your foundation vest and have one configuration that is search and rescue and another that is combat defensive or combat offensive. Depending on the nature of the event that has occured, you can adjust. You can strip your load out down for missions where you need to be quick and nibble or you can load up for longer scavaging missions or overnights. You can even have thigh rigs that use a thigh based platform to attach pouches to. These would be great for first responders who need to travel light and respond fast!
SECOND – They are battle tested, readily available and interchangeable. These are the same systems being used over seas and if they are good enough for the desert – they are good enough for me. Given the unfortunate length of our overseas wars, this gear is being pumped out in mass! It is everywhere – ebay, amazon.com, you name it – they carry it. Chances are you could trade other, like-minded preppers for molle gear because they will be using the same systems.
THIRD – These vests can go from zero to armored for less than $100. Go over to AR500 Armor and get some inexpensive armored steel plates. Drop them in your molle vest plate carrier and you have instant rifle-level battle armor. No, steel isn’t the best armor in regards to weight but for the price – the protection can’t be beat.
Use your vest for scavenging and other little opportunistic adventures when the S hits the fan - use dump pouches (I like maxpedition’s dump pouches) for gathering loot, a hydration bladder for water, a flashlight pouch, a multitool pouch, admin pocket for maps and a first aid pocket for yourself or others…. then, when you need to, switch out the pouches for AR mag and pistol mag pouches, drop in your armor and trade your first aid pouches for combat pouches with combat tourniquets and QuickClot. BRING IT!
PREP NOW AND PREP HARD