This installment is going to get into squad level and/or expensive items. Like firearms, the military issue is mostly limited to, well, the military but there are civilian equivalents available. Some, if not most of it will beyond the wallet of the average individual but I'm going to put it in there since I think its cool. Squad level items are what I classify as not each individual needing which is why I didn't include them in Basic gear.
A good set of binoculars can range anywhere from $20 to several hundred. This would be a standard item for team leaders in both combative and non-combative rolls.
Mil-Spec Lensatic compasses go for about $40. Less expensive ones are available. Imperative for any rural activity.
A map is needed in any urban or rural environment for any situation. You can't help if you don't know where you are or how to get somewhere. A good hardcopy map book is the DeLorme series atlas's. These are detailed topographical maps of most individual states. So far it's the only one I've found that has my road on it. :) TopoZone is an online source where you can download and print not only topographical maps, but road and satellite maps as well.
In ADDITION TO (note that) a compass and map, GPS systems are also available. These units range from relatively inexpensive to close to a grand just for the ones I browsed. These are more accurate than traditional LandNav but also suffer from the traditional curse of technologies. They need to be supported. Batteries, weather conditions, and even satellite operation all become considerations.
Standard US Military issue is Class III Interceptor Body Armor w/ plates. This is not available to civilians from what I understand. Law enforcement standard is IIA. Civilian Body armor is available in all classes from Sub I to Class IV in concealable to full tactical styles. Prices average in the hundreds of dollars.
Potentially the more obtainable of the pricey items. A Gen 1 monocular or non-image intensifying binocular can be purchased for a few hundred dollars. Image intensifying units, Gen 2, Gen 3, or 3+/4 (designation varies) can range anywhere from $500 to $5000 dollars or more. These can be had in hand-held units, helmet/head mounted, or weapon scope configurations.
Forward Looking InfraRed*. The Holy Grail of modern optics. Available (if you can say that) also in hand-held units, helmet/head mounted, or weapon scope configurations. The cheapest man-portable unit I've found of any quality runs about $10K. I've seen large used cameras and surplus fire-fighting units at about $3500-$4000.
Current Military issue is the Frequency Hopping SINCGARS manpack. From what I've been able to discover, no civilian model uses the same bands but there are MilSpec units available in other ranges. Most I've seen run from $10K-$25K. A good portable CB radio system (each unit about $35 or up) would be a more realistic but limited option. Remember your ComSec.
NBC detection and safety*:
Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical protection and detection is a serious concern. Even ignoring the terrorist aspect, many companies have hazardous chemicals on their properties that can seriously debilitate unprotected people if released due to fire or other natural disaster. Chemical/Gas and Dosimeters (radiation meters) would be the two most common groups of equipment for general use of detection. On the issue of safety, NBC suits of various types are available to the public. HAZMAT is one of those issues where, unless you are a specially trained individual, we can't do much to help. Get yourself and your family protected and GTFO of the contaminated area.
If there are categories/ideas you think I should add to this, find something factually incorrect, or disagree w/ anything above, feel free to E-mail me or comment. That doesn't guarantee I'll add or change it but it adds to the discussion.
Next up: Vehicles!
*NOTE: Check local laws before purchasing any potentially restricted item(s).
**NOTE: See NIJ Body Armor standards for definitions.
Modern Militia Series
- Part 1: The Uniform
- Part 2: Field Gear I
- Part 3: Firearms
- Part 4: Field Gear II
- Part 5: Vehicles
- Propaganda Corps