Originally Posted by Brian McIlmoyle
yes.. you have the idea..
a lot of guys run a basic belt rig, with their radio, sidearm, ammo for the sidearm and some ammo for the primary weapon, plus a Individual first Aid kit (IFAK) and maybe a dump pouch and a utility pouch with small tools and room for a snack. this is your "first line"
Over this would go your rig.. either a vest or chest rig .. in this would be the bulk of your ammo, plus some sustainment provisions, lights , batteries, a reserve radio. this is your "second line" you would carry water as well.. probably a low profile camel back or bottle in a pouch
then get your second line this will enable you to participate in longer duration games.. and day long milsim games
then get your third line .. and all the accessory gear to fill it up.. this will enable you to participate in 24 hour games.
As Brian indicates, this is a good plan of action. Note - weather can also play a role in what gear you wish to invest in, and whether you are playing primarily indoors, or out.
I have two separate rigs, pretty much tailored to the weather, for two primary weapon systems. To date, i've primarily played day-long skirmish events, at outdoor fields.
On 'HOLY SHIT IT'S HOT!!' days, i run an M14 rig, which consists of a basic battle-belt with suspenders, with a hydration pack built in. This has a pistol holster, 2 pistol mag pouches, 4 M14 mag pouches, radio pouch, flashlight pouch, and a utility/mag dump pouch. I can also change this around a bit for an MP5 loadout by removing the M14 pouches, and running an MP5 mag pouch drop-leg. I planned it this way in case i got into CQB indoor skirmishing, but so far to date, i haven't done that.
On more temperate days where i'm not in danger of seriously overheating, I run an M4 rig, which consists of a molle chest rig with a hydration pack, and 6 M4 mag pockets built in. Delete the 4 M14 mag pouches and add 2 M203 shell pouches as above, and it's the same basic pouch loadout.
Mine isn't a true to military form setup, but it does work for me - both rigs are primarily of Condor products. The M14 / MP5 setup is in basic black, while the M4 is OD. IMHO, Condor is reasonable quality for a "budget" setup.
For the sort of playing that i do, versatility is the objective of the game. The above meets the bill for the type of play that i have engaged in, so far.
I've only gone over the above, to show what you should be thinking about in starting out for gear, assuming that you are going to be starting off with "skirmish" type field events. You can get fancier, and definitely more expensive, if you've got the budget to support that. To a certain extent, the weapon system you choose, also dictates the sort of chestrig/battle-belt/vest setup that would make sense.
As ArmyIssue has plugged his site.. that's a damn good place to go to starting out, and i'm sure that the trip would be worth it, as he'll show you what makes sense for a good, basic startup rig.
Beyond the above, other basics like gloves, and head protection (more from the sun, than from BB's) is a good idea.