The essentials. Signaling, first aid, communications, fire starting and navigation gear that I want with me all the time is carried in a Hill People Gear Kit Bag that I wear on my chest.
All zipped up with just the VHF radio antennae sticking out. The Kit Bag measures 12 inches wide, 8 tall, 3 thick and as currently configured weighs 3.3 pounds.
The separate pistol pocket is placed closest to the chest and is easily accessed.
This is how I normally mount the speaker mic for the VHF radio. It is easy to use but out of the way.
A look at the contents as they are stowed. While the Kit Bag could be a touch smaller for my specific use, the extra room makes getting to the equipment and putting it back where it belongs exceptionally easy. Top to bottom and left to right; Fire, first aid, VHF radio, SPOT, Garmin Foretrex 401, ACR Firefly 3, Petzl Tikka 2 Plus headlamp.
Here is the Kit Bag being used in the field with a Camelbak Linchpin daypack.
Not everybody likes the idea of wearing a chest rig but once you try it you will appreciate the utility, convenience and tactical benefits of the concept. I learned a long time ago as a SAR Tech-EMT and Ski Patroller how helpful enhanced radio harnesses from Cascade Toboggan and Conterra were. I also found utility vests from Tactical Tailor and Blackhawk very functional. The Kit Bag from Hill People Gear occupies the middle ground between a radio harness and a vest and puts to good use that often wasted ventral space.
Operationally, a chest rig makes sure that you have ready access to your most critical gear and that it is always with you even when your pack isn’t. The Kit Bag is the best one of its kind although it could made even better. I would very much like to see the addition of a 2 by 4 inch patch of soft Velcro sewn across the front and swapping the static nylon straps for top grade elastic ones. Elastic straps will help it to ride better and be more comfortable over long periods of time.
I mentioned that the Kit Bag could be made a touch smaller for my taste. In fact they have a thinner version that gets rid of the middle pocket. I would like to see another version that gets rid of the gun pocket but retains everything else including the semi-rigid back that touches the chest. However, Hill People Gear is a small outfit so I may have to wait a while for that one.
Quality is very good, it rides well under a pack and it works beautifully. I like it, I use it in the field and I think that you should give it a whirl too. I am pleased to recommend it to you.
Sorting through the fads and fashion of the outdoor equipment industry to identify and promote the very best wilderness gear for high end recreational users, backcountry professionals and government agencies.
We can be educated and persuaded but not bought, bullied or bs’d. Hardcore Outdoor is dedicated to those who can’t or won’t turn back.