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View Full Version : MMR/Scout for a CIVIE?? (OLD THREAD!!)



copper
02-13-2003, 01:32 PM
I am a civilian and am intersted in a system that would hold a complete 4-season compliment of critical gear on one frame. I live 3 miles from a reactor in upstate and while I am not panicing, I thought it was time to consider a grab-and-go system in case of an emergeny. I chose the MMR/Scout as I thought it would also serve well for hunting/camping. I realize that civilian equipment is generally much lighter and less space-consuming; also lacking heavy tactical gear but I want the strongest pack I can get and also one that could theoretically support 2-4 weeks of provisions/4-seasons in a real pinch. Can any of you soldiers advise or confirm that this system would suit me?? I have had all the bad-luck with cfp-90 and Alice. Also, at 67",150lbs would anyone agree that the Emr is a bit much???

Sgathak
02-13-2003, 09:47 PM
Civilian gear is often lighter than military gear, and more durable to boot... Thats why the "high speed" guys buy alot of there own gear.

Military gear is usually heavy, outdated, and more often than not, made by the lowest bidder...

With an MMR and a Scout, your talking over 5000 cubic inches. Thats alot of Pinto Beans.

By choosing your gear right, packing smart, and being more reliant on what you HAVE than what you can GET (and always more important than what you can have OR get, is what you KNOW... knowledge cuts the amount of stuff you need more than any other thing, and its the lightest, though often quite expensive), 5000 cubic inches should be more than nessesary.

On a recent trip to Russia, I carried nearly everything I needed for the field was either on my person, or in (or on) a 700 cubic inch backpack from Blackhawk... The rest of my gear (which fit into a canvas seabag) was dress clothes, diving gear, and camera equipment. Nothing nessesary for the woods (unless your doing underwater recon of a dinner party)

To cut weight, look into Ultralight hiking/camping... lots of tricks to par down the gear you want, from the gear you NEED. Once you know what you need and what is snivle gear, you will find your ruck a whole lot lighter (and roomier).

And yes, an EMR might be a bit over the top for you.

Razor
02-14-2003, 08:21 AM
I agree with much of what Sgathak posted regarding need vs want and the ability to pare down one's packing list. However, I'd like to point out that while a good deal of civilian gear is much lighter than its military counterpart, rarely is the civilian item more durable. In fact, one of the reasons that the corresponding military item is heavier is because it was built to be "Joe-proof". By that, I mean it was specifically designed to meet or surpass testing that closely simulates the abuse an issued item will endure from not just one owner, but several over the course of many years. In order to meet these requirements, manufacturers will often use heavier, more durable production materials and processes. The cost of this is a heavier item.

Some of the reasons the "high speed" guys purchase their own equipment is because a) some mission essential issue items are in poor shape from repeated issue, and the soldiers are not willing to bet their life against it holding up under hard use, b) the purchased item fills a particular need better than an issued item, and c) since they will be the only owner and will take better care of the item (remember, they paid for it), they decided to forego some of the durability for lighter weight. SOF troops are often required to bear a load much heavier than other soldiers, therefore they look to shave pounds (or even ounces) anywhere they can afford to reduce their overall burden as much as possible.

Furthermore, having been involved first-hand the military contracting process, the old cliche about military gear always being manufactured by the lowest bidder is far from the truth. Folks seem unaware that the military/government controls the contracting process, so they determine the "weight" placed against each selection criterion. I have seen many instances where the selected contractor was not the cheapest, but was still selected because they provided a superior product or service. In cases where the final selection was based solely on price, the decision was the responsibility of the customer (the government).

Sgathak
02-14-2003, 09:05 AM
Touche!

LOL Good points...

BUT (always a but) If you compair weight to durability ratios, civilian gear IS more durable... and I should also point out that my use of the term "civilian" was kind of missleading on second reading (doh!) because I was also figuring in guys like BHI, LBT, Eagle, Wiggys and the other guys who arnt nessesarily making issue equipment, and have a large civilan purchaser base, but is being used by military personell

I really do need to learn to write clearer, maybe I just need to stop writing posts at Midnight?

PHfactor
02-14-2003, 11:04 AM
Hey Copper,
I just purchased an EMR,I thought alot about the packs that Kifaru offers but went with the EMR because the sleeping bag compartment is there when I need it.The 7000 ci is there when I need it and with all the pals webbing I can still add more pouches when needed.
I decided to go big and work my way down.Just because I have all that room dosen't mean I use it all the time,with the compression straps I can get the EMR down to a nice little package when it's needed.
The bob that I have with me at all times is just what I need to get me thru a crisis moment.It fits my needs for the scenarios I'm most likely to encounter in my area.The EMR fits in nicely for my hunting,prospecting needs.I use to cache food and water in the areas that I'll be traveling to at later dates.
The comfort level of the EMR is superb.When I first got it I tossed a 100 lbs. in the thing and took off.I normly don't buy gear over the internet,I like to try it on first or look at it I took a chance and haven't looked back.
PHfactor

copper
02-14-2003, 11:53 AM
PHfactor:
Thank you to everyone that has replied; I really appreciate advice from you guys. You spoke about using your emr for little and for much. Just how little is little? Can an EMR/MMR compress down for 30-50 lbs. and not slosh around the way a cfp-90 does??

copper
02-14-2003, 12:03 PM
Sgathak,

Everything you said made a ton af sense. The part about "what you know"... any advice on where to beef up that part. I had 4yrs Army but as communications; my biggest regret. So I can pack a commo shelter pretty good but a pack is another issue. What avenue would you suggest I take to increase the knowledge part (in addition to getting out there and doing it)?? Thanks again.

Mel
02-14-2003, 12:29 PM
Copper:

I want to jump in for a moment with some comments. You have to be the one to figure out how much gear you need or are willing to carry. After you get that sorted out, then you can start deciding on what size/type of pack you need. Looking at what you want the pack to be able to do (grab-an-go system; hunting/camping; 2-4 weeks provisions; 4 seasons capable), suggests a pack that really does need at least 4000c.i. in my opinion. Again, I'm only going by the needs you stated. You may not need the capacity of the EMR, but, let me reassure you that the EMR is not too large for your size frame. I'm only 5'6" and 150lbs, and I have no problems carrying heavy loads in the EMR. But more importantly, I can adjust the suspension on the EMR for an absolutely comfortable fit to my 5'6" frame. Hope this helps you some in trying to choose a system that works for you.

Mel

Sgathak
02-14-2003, 09:25 PM
Tons of places to get a little more fieldcraft knowledge...

Personally, the places *I* would look would be to find some wilderness survival schools. In NJ (as well as CA and FL) Tom Brown runs an excellent school. In Utah, they have the Boulder Outdoor Survival School (BOSS), In Prescott AZ Cody Lundin has a good school (and probably the most reasonably priced of the 3... not including travel costs) and if your up for some adventure (and have cash to burn) I can put you in touch with some gentleman who run various trips to Russia, including a Wilderness survival trip to Siberia /images/%%GRAEMLIN_URL%%/smile.gif

Otherwise... Local schools can help you increase your knowledge... Google a search for survival schools in your area. Community colleges sometimes have some pretty basic courses.

Get some books on the subject too... Tom Browns series is good (and has excellent practices tips at the end of the chapters), Larry Dean Olsen has a decent book, Lofty Wiseman has several books written for the SAS which are pretty good, US Military manuals are ok (I like the Air Force book over the Army book) but have alot of general information, as well as alot of location specific info, that is good to know, but generally useless.
Ray Jardine wrote a book on Ultralight hiking (he hiked the Appalachin Trail from Georgia to Maine with an 8 (eight)pound pack.

But these are just the places *I* would look... These sources fit MY style in the woods... Your style may require other skills.

Patrick
02-15-2003, 09:12 AM
Copper--

I've been backpacking for 45 years, and I keep looking at that 4 weeks worth of provisions you state, and I gotta tell you the EMR looks like the pack for you. It'll go really small, but it'll also go really, really big. And there's no substitute for that in the scenario you lay out. As Mel said, it will fit you like a glove as well.

Patrick

copper
02-19-2003, 07:52 AM
Patrick and Mel:
Thank you for taking the time to give your input and lend advise regarding my dilemna. I cannot tell you how much it means to deal with a company that cares about its clientel enough to administer a message board and write back. As you know, I have been struggling with the whole 2-4 week/4 season bit since I posted. Despite how difficult this decesion has been, my girlfriend gave me the best advise last evening regarding my order:"let it go and listen to the guys that have a lot more experience than you". This, of course, relates to both you guys in stating that the EMR is the safe bet. Prior to finalizing this, I want to take one last moment to explain a bit better what I have planned; and know for sure from you gentlemen that the EMR is the right call.
1. In addition to the extreme season scenario, I want to make absolutely sure that this pack will compress down to support a summer load, I.E. wiggys ftrss becomes just down overbag, cold weather fleece layers are removed, trip is shorter thus food supplies are smaller, winter boots are removed. Though you supply remarkable compression, will this EMR go down THAT far??!!
2. In the Army, I experienced one huge problem with larger packs: every time they gave us more room, we found more unneeded gear! I know a lot of this is discipline but due to a desire for outer pouches (back pouch,bungee,scout,long pockets) this pack will be capable of 11,150 in/3!! The same equipment mated to an MMR would yield around 7800in/3. If you do think the EMR is it, I roll with you guys 100%. But when the outer pockets I described are utilized, can you assure me just one more time that she will compress down and not sit like a Chevy on my back?
3. Finally, I am in the progress of planning to buy such things as your paratipi/stove, and other advanced items to drop weight/mass. Obviously this will make life easier in either pack. I guess I saw your MMR when I found your company and got it in my head that it was the pack for me. Time and time I become my own worst enemy and a JPEG is no replacement for you, the engineers of these systems. I cannot get a good scope of how the profile of both packs compare to each other and that seems to be the trouble. Yet, both you guys lean toward the EMR. Can you possibly give me some slightly better idea of the dimensions of a loaded MMR, and just reassure me that the EMR is, indeed the all around right pack? I'm sorry to the pain that I am and just want to use your know-how to sleep easy the night I make my order!!

Thank you for all the help you guys have been!
Copper

Patrick
02-19-2003, 08:35 AM
Copper--

With the addition of a ParaTipi/Stove system you will truly be able to remain at top physical form for as long as you want--anywhere, any time of year. Congrats! I can now see you are really serious about being able to bug out.

Please know that Kifaru pockets compress onto the pack--they will NOT compromise the whole load at all.

Note: don't forget that the CargoChair accessory will allow you to sit very comfortably in that heated tipi and fully recover from whatever the day has brought. A month is a long time to be self-supported. Takes lots of "stuff". The EMR was designed precisely for such a mission, and in mid-winter as well. Yet it compresses down to svelte dimensions for much lesser missions, and so do the pockets we designed for it. I think it's the most versatile pack for the missions you lay out ever built. It'll do 'em all. What else can I say? Except Thanks for a series of very inciteful questions!

Patrick

Mel
02-19-2003, 02:33 PM
Copper:

I can send you some pics of a lightly loaded and compressed EMR, side by side with an Eagle Large Becker. They are both loaded with identical gear. All I need is an e-mail address to send them to. If anyone else is interested in seeing these, I can send them to you, also. Shoot me an e-mail at (superterk@juno.com).

Mel

eggroll
01-12-2006, 01:41 PM
a great thread with a lot of insight on pack design and workability.