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When to buy Milspec, When to buy commercial?

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by powersbj, Nov 21, 2009.

  1. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    In general what items do you prefer milsurp/Spec vs commercial gear (MSR, mountian hardware etc....) My background is as a backpacker so I tend to find the obsession with milsurp gear to be a bit over the top in survival forums.

    Examples if your really going to do the bug out thing...

    Number one on the top for me is boots... Military boots suck, period. If your walking 20 miles a day spend your money on top of the line boots. Go to REI\Cabelas... try on every pair they have and dont look at the price of any until you find the one that fits.

    Second is packs a high quality backpack that is fitted correctly is a very good investment.

    But one thing to go MILSPEC on is good old 550 para, that stuff is just freaking awsome....

    Discuss... ;)
     
  2. drand

    drand Stayton Member

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    I always go with commercial outdoor gear when there is an option that fits my needs. Arc Teryx is my go to for clothing and packs, Montrail for boots (except for insulated boots when I do default to Danner) and similar for tents, sleeping bags etc. I do have milspec items but it is only for those things that aren't used in backpacking; battle belts, pouches etc.
     
  3. TonsOfOregonBrass

    TonsOfOregonBrass Sandy, OR Active Member

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    For Guns. i would stick to mil-spec so there are plenty of available part.

    As for other gear, I would avoid mil-spec. Military gear like everything government issue sucks. Unfortunately the government works off of lowest bidder wins. so everything in the government is made as cheaply to spec as possible.

    Like the example of the boots above. They are crap. I cannot believe we expect our soldiers to wear that crap and march and fight wearing those.

    So i avoid mil-spec, and mil-surplus for anything but guns. for the most part mil spec guns are nice.
     
  4. aflineman

    aflineman Both South of Eugene and East of Portland. Active Member

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    I go mil-spec, because it was issued. I already have it. Why buy another? If I have to buy something, I look at what I need it to do, then decide. Boots, I was issued Danners and Westco. Works, until I wear them out. Then I will buy commercial. Nothing wrong with GI, if it works for you and the price is right. Pay extra for GI? Nope.
     
  5. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    I'm sure it's the same over here but in the British military, most guys buy the good stuff and only use the issue kit if necessary.
    The best piece of issue kit was the goretex bivi bag. The worst was the sleeping bag that weighed about 5 lbs and took up half the PLCE Bergen.

    I mix and match. I found the issue boots comfortable, but would choose my goretex lined Carhardts as they will keep drier and are very comfortable.

    "Norwegian Army" shirts were issued (in the British infantry) and are fantastic long sleeved underlayers.
     
  6. powersbj

    powersbj Seattle Area Active Member

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    So what items from the armed forces are better than commercial stuff?

    A brit bivi sack...
    Para cord....
    How about ponchos?
     
  7. ORBrit

    ORBrit Eugene Member

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    Ponchos are great if you can get the newer more waterproof ones.
    The civvy ponchos I've found are pretty lightweight but won't hold up to a lot of use as a shelter
     
  8. cameronhu

    cameronhu Ridgefield, Wa Member

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    I don't think there really is a rule of thumb- Buy what suits your need regardless of whether it's milspec or commercial. I use both. I also tend to buy a lot of stuff used. The military surplus gortex stuff is usually _much_ cheaper to buy used than commercial. Used REI kit is also available, and very good stuff.
     
  9. Vstromvoyager

    Vstromvoyager Keizer Member

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    A lot of the guard units issue things such as Danner boots now for people deploying. They must be considered milspec. And as far as some of the other gear as stated above it does suck. The sleeping bags are too big and heavy if your packing in on foot. The perspective would be that the gear that matters from the gov. is that way to last longer in the field. Some of the lightweight gear on the commmercial market is good for here, but not in a combat zone.