Home > Uncategorized > Light is Might in the Fight and that’s Right

Light is Might in the Fight and that’s Right

I am a big proponent of the light fighter, epitomized by this Oleg Volk photograph:
A Minute Man, photographed by Oleg Volk
(Originally found at Mike Vanderboegh’s site; I’d link to the photo on Oleg’s page, but can’t seem to find it.)

Note the light load of this warrior: rifle, bandoleer, magazine bag, boonie hat. Nothing else – no water, no rucksack, not even a watch. You know that if he is caught, it won’t be because he was slowed down by too much extra crap. Compare that with photographs from the current ongoing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – the Soldiers and Marines are loaded with rifles, a dozen magazines, Camelbaks, armor plates and carriers for same, elbow pads, knee pads, first aid kits, radios, and God only knows what else. All that crap weighs a lot, and it makes a difference.

If a militia warrior trains and equips for guerrilla warfare, he must adhere to a spartan load. Guerrilla warfare requires speed and surprise. Surprise can be had if one knows the enemy’s activities beforehand, which requires intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR in the current parlance). Speed cannot be had if you’re carrying around all the stuff you should have left at base camp.

For most surprise engagements, a rifle with a magazine bag will do just fine. Tomorrow I’ll show you what I call a “speed bag”, which grabs the Minuteman concept (a forerunner of the modern guerrilla) and puts it in some modern equipment.

In the meantime, as a practical exercise, consider what you would carry into combat if you had thirty seconds to get out the door of your house with your rifle and an effective combat load to do battle with an enemy. Write it all down and collect it. Lay it out in front of you and figure out a way to carry it in one simple bag.

  1. 15 January 2011 at 10:56

    I commented on this a while ago…


    You have to be able to move.

  2. 15 January 2011 at 13:30

    Totally agree. I live in a very mountainous area and have done extensive hiking. If I had to carry all that gear I wouldn’t get far, especially in the deep snow or on hot days. I would wear myself out within a week. Better to travel light and live off from a stash of hidden supplies.

    I might choose an AK-47 or mini-30, which lightens the load considerably in rifle and bullet weight yet are excellent for forested mountain regions where I live.

  3. Rusty W
    16 January 2011 at 22:36

    “Light is might” only if you only have to survive a brief encounter and will quickly be able to get to food, shelter, and water. I have my web gear all packed and ready to go with several loaded magazines for two different weapons, a canteen with cup, a small first aid kit, and a butt pack with various items: small first aid kit, esbit stove with 3 fuel tablets, protein bars, mosquito headnet (seasonal), about 50 feet of 550 cord, magnesium firestarter, and a few packets of hot chocolate and oatmeal. I also have a two ponchos and olive colored thermal blanket strapped on the bottom of the butt pack. It goes without saying that I *always* have a pocket knife on my person.

    Up here in the north woods hypothermia is a real concern, and I want to have the means to keep warm, *even in the summer*! With the poncho I don’t have to risk getting soaked by a sudden downpour, and with the other poncho and thermal blanket and 550 cord I can rig up a quite comfortable shelter in some out of the way place.

    I feel that without this minimum of gear, I wouldn’t stand much of a chance of surviving out in the woods. And yes, I do belong to a militia.

    Rusty W

  4. 16 January 2011 at 22:45

    Rusty W brings up a great point. If the climate of your area of operations requires a slightly bulkier load to survive, then add what you need to survive. I would only suggest that what you add be carefully considered in terms of total weight of the system.

  5. The Infamous Oregon Lawhobbit
    17 January 2011 at 14:04

    Thirty seconds? Even the Minutemen got a whole 60 seconds to grab their stuff and get out the door. 🙂

  6. 17 January 2011 at 21:18

    Minutemen had a ten pound rifle or musket, but the M4 with 30 rounds is barely 7 pounds. So even with all that high-speed, low-drag gear that everyone seems fond of packing along, thirty seconds shouldn’t be a problem at all.


    Besides, you’re exercising with your speed bag (or something like it) so you’re used to moving fast with at least some sort of combat load.



  1. 5 January 2011 at 23:02

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