This is gear recommendations for being self reliant in an every man for himself world. This is not exactly complete for everything you need but it will cover the core for the most part. I left out med kit stuff because that really is up to you to decide what you want and do your own research that to be but as far as tourniquets go get cat tourniquets from a reputable dealer, no Chinese fakes. You can use this as a basis for looking into building your own loadouts for what you need. If you do choose to build your own loadout my advice is to be patient, you have lots of time to save up and do research but I can save you some money from not fucking up the critical areas that set you back and realize you made an dumb purchase that is not viable. 5.56 is much lighter to carry than 7.62×39, you can use a soda can as a fishing pole, a man can be a nomad with a 11.5 in barrel ar15 and 300-400 rounds of 5.56 with a Glock 19 with 50-100 rounds of 9mm all in his backpack and not look like hes absolutely down trodden and miserable like some soldier with unnecessary heavy issued equipment. Test your gear out, go into the woods offline for a while your group-chats are boring and useless anyways. Remember try to be as lightweight as possible so look into the lighter options of these recommendations along with the price tags and decide whats best for you
Were going off of 2 popular rifle platforms and brands to stick with. Generally I want rifles to have 3 things, chromed lined cold hammer forged barrel, pinned gas block, and chrome lined bolt carrier group.
you can build your own ar15 putting all your parts together, but generally I at least want the upper to be same brand so the upper receiver, bolt carrier group, barrel is literally made by the same company to operate effectively. Stay away from budget rifles so you don’t have to deal with failures and quality control issues. Also don’t go below 11.5 in barrels for 5.56 because you wont get good velocity from 5.56 below 11.5 in barrel and there is serious fast parts wear on ARs that are below 11.5 in barrels due to violent action, plus make sure you get a heavier buffer for a smaller barrel AR like h2 or h3 buffer for 11.5 in barrel. I like companies like bcm, their free float hand-guard options though do not have pinned gas blocks which is not optimal for duty use but their front sight block options are pinned.
Sionics makes great AR uppers etc for the price same with ballistic advantage.
Geissele, lmt, noveske, radian, knights armament are definitely more high dollar brands if you got the money for it.
Stay away from US made AKs and stay away from cast trunnions.
Arsenal makes great imported AKs, they’re considered the more high dollar ones if you can afford it.
Zastava has currently the best for the money AK but its a Yugo AK so you cannot fit AKM furniture with them.
Wasr10 is a proven AK some have quality control issues but none the less they’re good to go. Generally any import parts kit AK is good to go especially the combloc stuff.
Optic mounts for AK to go with if you have side rail mount is rs regulate. If you don’t have side rail mount ultimak gas tube rail is a great proven option. Also AKs tend to be overgassed but if you buy a kns adjustable gas piston it can make your AK action way less violent and more smooth.
best handguns are striker fired polymer handguns like Glock, CZ, Sig. Glock has best aftermarket so its best to go with Glock.
stay away from any Korean made mag!
for AR15 magpul pmags and okay industries mags are proven.
For AK imported steel mags or polymer work good, if its polymer mag be certain it has metal locking lugs.
For handguns the brand of your handgun is best, but magpul makes fairly good pistol mags.
I mostly would recommend red dots or holographic sights like eotechs for the most part. But for red dots the budget option of holosun has worked fairly well so far they have some qc issues because theyre made in china but still. Great american options are trijicon, they have a red dot MRO HD which looks promising (stay away from regular MRO because it has slight magnification and it sucks very bad) they also make lpvos that are solid and acogs.
Eotech makes great holographic sights with amazing field of view only downside is battery life is only like 600 hours or so but if your pair it with a magnifier the reticle stays the same and you don’t need to worry about the reticle changing due to magnification.
Aimpoint has a budget option the aimpoint pro, solid duty optic but a little outdated as its big hence the cheaper price tag. Aimpoint t2 is a great lightweight red dot with 50,000 hour battery life that is more for duty use than compared to holosun and scalarworks makes great optics mounts for them. A good budget magnifier is the vortex micro 3x magnifier. Lpvos you need to do your own research for certain because theres lots of details on them.
Surefire, Streamlight, Modlite are all solid options. For best budget option for rifle is a surefire g2x, you can either get a mount or tape it. Best budget option for handgun is streamlight tlr1 hl. Do your own research for what you want exactly.
Ferro concepts slickster is probably best all around plate carrier, generally for a civilian a slick plate carrier is more useful. Other good plate carrier companies are lbt, first spear, and even overt plate carriers from us milsurp on ebay work if you find them for a decent price.
stay away from steel plates. Nij certified ceramic level 4 or special threat plates are the only way to go. Rma has best budget option level 4 nij certified plates. Best budget special threat plates that block armor piercing rounds are hesco l210s but they are single curve and are not as comfy but you can buy plate backers to make them comfy or cut up a yoga mat. Most will tell you to get multi curve and if you can you should but that’s up to you once again do your own research.
vertx gamut 2.0 can fit a 11.5 barrel in AR in it if you have a law tactical folder adapter on the buffer tube or you can just take off the upper from the lower. Its a 25 liter pack so not that big but generally all around best packs are 30 to 35 liter packs. For long range hikes just get a milsurp bag or hiking pack that’s 45 liters and above.
sawyer squeeze is the way to go, you can attach it to a smart water bottle and carry 2 one for the water to filter into the clean bottle.
Sleep insulation from ground:
Switchback ultralight sleeping pad
some lightweight tarp that resembles the zpacks hexamid pocket tarp is optimal. Their should be Chinese knock offs. Bug bivys are lightweight option to keep bugs from eating you alive. Budget bug bivy is a hammock with mosquito net and you can either lay on ground or use it as a hammock, up to you.
Sleeping bags or down quilts:
down quilts paired with sleeping pads work very well. Budget options aegismax brand on amazon. Downs pack tighter for more room in pack and they’re lighter and have good insulation.
toaks titanium pots, pick your size.
fold-able titanium portable wood stoves work well and no gas needed. You could go with ultralight gas stove if you choose.
down jackets are packable lightweight insulated jackets. Forclaz trek 100 is a great budget option.
frogg toggs work well for budget option.
Shoes and boots:
hiking boots or combat boots from salomon, bates, some other brands work well. Stay away from gortex boots and shoes your feet will sweat a ton and gortex takes longer to dry out. Running or hiking shoes of some sort with soft cushion soles for pavement will save your feet and legs from constant shock. Gel insoles for boots are recommended to.