What to Pack in Your Range Bag
It's always what's inside that counts right? Having the right stuff in your bag will make or break your range day. Let's do a quick range bag check list:
Your Actual Range Bag
This can be anything from a retired diaper bag, a backpack or a tacti-cool bag from some big name company. The idea is that it is sturdy, can hold all your things and ideally is able to be locked. Whether it's a luggage lock through some zippers, a cable lock through handles or maybe it has a locking device built in. Don't forget the keys!
Yes, people forget them. Make sure any firearm you want to use is packed up according to your local and state laws and range rules. Make sure you have chamber flags for each firearm. Firearms should be cleaned, oiled and inspected before taking them to the range. Do not expect the range staff to have any knowledge on your specific firearm, be sure to read the manual and understand manipulations and functions (hey, pack the manual...)
Organize your ammo in such a way that it stays together in your bag. Whether it's plastic bags, ammo bags, cans, cases, or just the ammo boxes (make sure the boxes are sturdy). Be sure you are packing the correct caliber(s), and everything is clearly labeled. Save yourself some time on the range and inspect ammo while you are packing. If you are planning on saving brass, bring a bag for it and if your lucky enough to have a brass retriever, definitely don't forget that! Maybe this won't all fit in your bag, you can use a larger ammo can to hold it all, but ideally it would be lockable.
Mags, Moon Clips, Loaders
Pack at least three mags for each firearm (you should have at least three....but that's a different post). If you're shooting revolvers, be sure to grab your moon clips and speed loaders. Pack any easy loaders (I recommend just leaving these in your range bag so you don't forget them). If you want to save some time on the range, load mags up before you go, be sure loaded mags are not loaded into firearms for transport (unless of course you have a permit). Check all local and state laws.
Eyes, ears, a hat, sunscreen, lip balm, I also like O2 Armor (www.o2armor.com use "mamabear" at checkout with O2 Armor) while shooting indoors, be sure to pack some extra of each. Safety also includes dressing for the elements, especially at outdoor ranges. Dress in layers, leave some handwarmers or gloves in your bag, toss in an old beanie just in case. Remember to pack (and drink!) water, and keep your blood sugar stable by eating before and after. Keep a protein bar or trail mix in your bag.
Firearm Cleaning Tools and Supplies
It's not uncommon to have to field strip a firearm on the range and assess issues, clear a barrel or make adjustments to scopes or triggers. If your firearm requires a special take down tool, you need to have a spare in your range bag. If your optic uses a special wrench or tool to mount or adjust, you should have it in your range bag. Batteries- for your optics, lights and lasers. At a minimum you should have gun lube and a cleaning rod packed.
Last, and most important you must have a first aid kit in your range bag. Safety gear is for prevention, first aid is when prevention failed. A range bag first aid kit is not your drug store kit. Whether you are buying a preassembled kit from a reliable source (activecarrytec.com, use "mamabear10"), or putting something together yourself (also using reliable supplies) you need at a minimum tourniquets, clot stop, gauze, medical tape, scissors/knife, permanent marker, adhesive bandages, tweezers. It is imperative that you also receive training on how to correctly use these supplies. Take a first aid and stop the bleed class. Make sure any epi pens, personal meds or supplies and gear are also included, and if you have children and dogs, pack meds and supplies designed for them. Assess your medic kit frequently and replenish and replace as needed, this stays in your range bag. Remember you will save more lives with first aid training than with your firearm.
What's in your range bag? Set yourself up for success, pack the right gear, pack quality gear and get out and sling some lead!
Thanks for reading, until next time train hard, stay safe,