Spring Camping/Training event: Recommended equipment

Aug 29, 2010
130
0
16
49
Odenton, MD
#1
I have the opportunity to train with some folks this Spring in the mountains of W.VA. Per the syllabus: "This is as much a camping trip as it is a long range shooting class." A brief description of the class:

This course is designed for the long-range rifleman focusing on engagement distances from 100-1200 yards using a .308 win (or comparable caliber). This course will also include high-angle shooting, alternate firing positions as well as stress shooting. This course will be beneficial for law enforcement and military snipers as well as long range big-game hunters.

I got the camping part down, but not sure about the class portion. It's going to require a bit of hiking and extended exposure to the elements for two days. Although I've been shooting for quite some time, this is the first time doing something like this. The instructors are accessible to me but wanted to get your take on a few questions I have.

As mentioned, I am good with the "camping" part, but I am not sure when it comes to the class. The class runs from 0700-2030 each day with a few breaks in between. Below are some of the questions I have:
  1. Jeans? Or some sort of tech-pants? Under Armor Cold Gear + Pant okay?
  2. 4 layers top: Long sleeve t-shirt, Under Armor Cold Gear, winter coat (Shell and liner)?
  3. 2L of water for the class portion? More? (I know this is subjective, but wanted to get a general rule of thumb)
  4. 3-4 Nutrition bar + small bag of jerky?
  5. Drag-bag with a harness or Pack w/ scabbard?
  6. Any need for a war belt?
  7. Should I bother with any rear-bags or shooting sticks?
  8. How do you store your ammo? I'll need about 200rds/day.
I tend to overpack, but want to mitigate that as much as possible. Also, anything I am forgetting? (Besides toilet paper, that is.)

Thanks,
Little Yoshi
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
4,205
1,749
113
#2
Wear nothing made of cotton if there's any chance at all that it might rain while you're out there. Lots of people who are never far from a dry home when "outdoors" don't realize how uncomfortable, and potentially dangerous, cotton clothing is in cool/cold and damp environments.

I would also NOT wear jeans, even if it were going to be bone dry. There are much more functional and comfortable choices these days.
 

jbailey

Gunny Sergeant
Jul 27, 2010
1,553
88
48
45
Arlington VA
#3
call me anal, but the first thing I always pack is a good first aid kit, even if others will have them. Given your camping application, I would throw in a fire starter kit.

Next make sure you have a good shell to keep the wind and rain/snow off you. Wind is the real killer in the field. If you are looking at cold weather (WV location suggests cold weather likely), I love a light weight fleece vest and a thin down vest or jacket under the shell. Base layer of something that will dry quickly so your sweat doesn't end up freezing your ass. Pack two really good fleece hats and wear one all the time and the other is in pack as back-up.

And jeans? Seriously? Drop those damn things in the trash can.

Boots - get a good pair that fit. Wear them in and understand them BEFORE heading out. I never buy Chinese boots, simply too much at stake to go cheap here. And good socks. I love Fox River socks - warm even when wet and they resist smell a long time.

RE water and food. Ask your guide on this.

Go with a Pack with good shoulder straps. Drag bag doesn't offer the storage and mobility you need.

Leave the war belt at home. Rely on your pack and pockets for its function.

Rear bag - absolutely, if its light and small footprint. Shooting sticks - no. Rely on your pack if you need evaluation.

Regarding ammo storage. I love the Tab Gear Bullet binders. Very well made and keeps everything neat, safe and quiet. Haul out your brass to on the other end. They are expensive ($65 for 40 rounds of storage) but they are worth it to me. https://tabgear.configio.com/pd/923...et-binder?returncom=productlist&source=search

Then on your ballistic solutions - don't rely on your smart phone. It has a weak battery and it will fail at extremes in the field. I love my Kestrel 5700 AB. That and have back-up hard copy of your dope (laminate the thing).
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
4,205
1,749
113
#4
Do not underestimate wool

Merino wool socks, merino wool underwear, wool sweaters, are all legitimate alternatives to fleece and hardly weigh more. If you suffer from cold hands and/or feet, there are two words you need to know: Dachstein wool.

A pair of Dachstein wool mittens, a Dachstein wool beanie, and a pair of Dachstein wool socks will be a godsend if you are cold and wet. Throw in a pair of light weight Dachstein wool gloves and you're set. They are expensive but the best almost always is.
 

Jude

New Hide Member
Feb 2, 2018
11
1
3
Central Ohio
#5
X2
Do not underestimate wool

Merino wool socks, merino wool underwear, wool sweaters, are all legitimate alternatives to fleece and hardly weigh more. If you suffer from cold hands and/or feet, there are two words you need to know: Dachstein wool.

A pair of Dachstein wool mittens, a Dachstein wool beanie, and a pair of Dachstein wool socks will be a godsend if you are cold and wet. Throw in a pair of light weight Dachstein wool gloves and you're set. They are expensive but the best almost always is.
 
May 4, 2005
157
8
18
West Virginia
#7
Let me echo what they said regarding the jeans. Don't even think about that!

I live in Preston Co. WV (if you're going to where I think you're going it's not far away), and the weather here is really variable.

308pirate is spot on about wool. Especially the pretty boy merino stuff. I just got back from creek boatin' (whitewater kayaking) a few hours ago, and that's my favorite stuff to wear this time of year (under a drysuit). I used to be a wool-sweater-from-a-garage-sale kind of guy till I learned about merino wool.

You could encounter several weather conditions. Plan for

1. Really cold.
2. Really warm.
3. The worst, 1/2 way between. It could be really warm, you get comfy, then it rains, then snows, then stays cold. You just never know.

You're prepared if you can have a friend spray you with a hose then stand in comfort in a cooler. Wear you pack, too, for the great test hosing. Is your spare warm gear dry?

I'd just add to your list a waterproofed lighter and more food. The food is especially critical if you get cold. Power bars/jerky just won't cut it. I watched a hypothermic girl come back from zombie land one day with crackers and canned tuna and doing the silly dance around a fire.

And as silly as a silly dance sounds, it really works. Keeping active is key to not getting cold.

Jeans! Please no!

While you're here, stop by any payphone and you can call heaven for free. It's a local call :^)

Enjoy your visit!
Bob
 
May 4, 2005
157
8
18
West Virginia
#8
Let me add wool pants and and a waterproof, preferably breathable outer layer for over the wool (preferred) or poly pro base layer.

Big warm hat goes a long ways, too. Good call.

Keep something absurdly comfortable back at camp so you can change out and warm up/dry out, too. I'm talking big thick fleece, bunny ears optional.

Speaking of your base camp, the ground and snow here right now is thawing out and oozing water. So it's wet ice, truly obnoxious for camping on, and these conditions can occur in the spring. When/if you camp on that remember to bring a waterproof tarp to put your tent on. Fold the ends upward so that ground water won't collect and end up under and between the tarp and your tent.

I saw a suggestion for down. While that's really comfy for the cold, WV in the springtime can be cold and wet. Down isn't so great if it's cold but not cold enough to keep stuff frozen. That could be the case when you visit.

WV's known for rain (whitewater paradise) in the springtime.

On the other hand, it might be Song of the South Sunshine on my Shoulder pretty out. Don't plan on it, though!
 

308pirate

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 25, 2017
4,205
1,749
113
#9
Natural down is an absolute NO GO in damp/wet/cold conditions. Down soaks water like a sponge and once wet it has almost no insulation value.

Leave that stuff for the dry climates like the desert southwest and intermountain west. Primaloft and similar high-loft synthetics are what you want.
 
Feb 14, 2017
936
130
43
DC Area, MD
#10
CMT sniper course? I was under the impression they stayed at a cabin, but I could be wrong. For clothing, consider the following: appropriate synthetic or wool baselayers; thick-ish softshell pants of your choice; Patagonia R1 or similar type fleece - anything thicker will be overkill when moving and you'll have an insulating layer for when you're not moving anyway; insulated and packable jacket; emergency waterproof jacket and pants (you'll be laying down in the rain for hours at a time. Fleece hat. Maybe a pack shelter if there's a downpour, but shit's gonna get wet either way...don't forget dry bags for sleepwear and spare socks/baselayers. Insulated pants may be worth your time, but they might not - I would only consider if the forecast is subfreezing all day every day because you'll only use them when shooting and that's just more heavy shit to carry.

Natural down is an absolute NO GO in damp/wet/cold conditions. Down soaks water like a sponge and once wet it has almost no insulation value.

Leave that stuff for the dry climates like the desert southwest and intermountain west. Primaloft and similar high-loft synthetics are what you want.
Primaloft Gold or better, to be specific. Down is wonderful, but you're fucked if it gets wet. You want this layer to be lofty and packable, because you're only going to use it when you're not moving - the rest of the time it's going to be in your pack.
 
Jul 28, 2011
371
179
43
St. Louis, MO
#11
I have the opportunity to train with some folks this Spring in the mountains of W.VA. Per the syllabus: "This is as much a camping trip as it is a long range shooting class." A brief description of the class:

This course is designed for the long-range rifleman focusing on engagement distances from 100-1200 yards using a .308 win (or comparable caliber). This course will also include high-angle shooting, alternate firing positions as well as stress shooting. This course will be beneficial for law enforcement and military snipers as well as long range big-game hunters.

I got the camping part down, but not sure about the class portion. It's going to require a bit of hiking and extended exposure to the elements for two days. Although I've been shooting for quite some time, this is the first time doing something like this. The instructors are accessible to me but wanted to get your take on a few questions I have.

As mentioned, I am good with the "camping" part, but I am not sure when it comes to the class. The class runs from 0700-2030 each day with a few breaks in between. Below are some of the questions I have:
  1. Jeans? Or some sort of tech-pants? Under Armor Cold Gear + Pant okay?
  2. 4 layers top: Long sleeve t-shirt, Under Armor Cold Gear, winter coat (Shell and liner)?
  3. 2L of water for the class portion? More? (I know this is subjective, but wanted to get a general rule of thumb)
  4. 3-4 Nutrition bar + small bag of jerky?
  5. Drag-bag with a harness or Pack w/ scabbard?
  6. Any need for a war belt?
  7. Should I bother with any rear-bags or shooting sticks?
  8. How do you store your ammo? I'll need about 200rds/day.
I tend to overpack, but want to mitigate that as much as possible. Also, anything I am forgetting? (Besides toilet paper, that is.)

Thanks,
Little Yoshi
If you take speed you can stay awake and training longer. It'll make you a lot better. Trust me.