The Enhanced Kit Bag was designed to fill all the voids that were left by other kit or gear bags. We found a lack of organization, durability, and innovation in the standard-issue kit bags issued in the military and decided to design a bag that can house and organize all of your mission essential gear during travel that is both large enough and durable enough to stand up to the rigors of frequent military travel. When designing the Enhanced Kit Bag, we decided to make substantial upgrades to the standard kit bags commonly found in the U.S. military and law enforcement to give our service men and women the ideal gear bag.
The exterior of the bag features a clear ID tag insert so your bag can be easily differentiated from the rest of your unit. A velcro patch panel and an organizational pocket on each side have also been included for ease of identification and quick access to essential items. We also made a substantial addition with the waterproof vinyl bottom that ensures your gear stays dry in wet conditions even if it sits in a puddle of water inside of a Conex-box or on the tarmac while awaiting a flight. We’ve added removable backpack straps for easy carrying which is a massive improvement on the old standard issue kit bags. The fully opening zipper exposes the interior of the bag, featuring seven organizational mesh pockets and a large MOLLE attachment panel. All your small items such as mags, NVG’s, batteries, and passports can be organized in the seven internal mesh pockets which opens up room in the center of the bag for the larger item such as helmets, rifles, and plate carriers
The Enhanced Kit Bag is made up of durable 1000D Cordura and can carry over 650 pounds without showing any signs of failure. It is available in Multicam, Ranger Green, and Black. The Enhanced Kit Bag is made in the USA and is Berry compliant. Enhanced Kit Bags are available for unit purchase through our government reps at Quantico Tactical.
If the desired color or camouflage patterns not available, we have the ability to do custom runs for order quantities of 100 bags or more. If you would like to do a custom run, please contact email@example.com for an official quote.
Unfortunately, we are no longer producing The Operator Band™ which was the first band designed to fit the mission needs of Special Operations personnel. Created by a Special Forces S.E.R.E Level C graduate the components of the band are intended to provide everything needed when encountering a survival situation.
Make sure you keep reading for our 5 alternate options, listed below.
Each Operator Band came standard with seven different survival tools. This included essential items such as removable/reusable hidden handcuff key in the buckle for an escape from illegal restraint, 80lb test braided fishing line used to make a snare or shelter, 18″ 45lb test water snare wire, and a ferrocerium fire starter that burns at over 3000 degrees.
Upgrades to the Operator Band could be applied with the addition of LiveFire® Paracord and/or a Suunto® Clipper Compass. The LiveFire Paracord was an additional strip of cord down the center of the band that was internally coated with a flammable chemical agent. The Clipper Compass offered an illuminating bezel, rotating declination dial, and waterproof encasing, detachable from the band when needed. The accuracy of the compass allowed for the ability to set declination for easy day and night navigation.
12′ of 550 Paracord
30′ of 80lb Test Spider Wire Fishing Line
18″ of 45lb test Eagle Claw Snare Wire
P51 Can Opener
Hidden Handcuff Key Buckle
LiveFire® Paracord (OPTIONAL)
Suunto Clipper Compass (OPTIONAL)
Veteran Made in the USA
No longer available at tacticalequipment.com
We’re sorry we no longer produce this item, but we went ahead and left its description so you can use it as a comparison when you’re out there shopping for a survival-style bracelet from someone else.
Again, our Operator Band is no longer being produced. However, we’d like to recommend 5 other great survival bands if you’re in the market.
We may not be producing the operator band anymore, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t some cool survival bands still on the market. This duel grenade/bracelet set by The Camping Trail has some similar features.
The Magnos Somnia Emergency Paracord Bracelet is a 3 in 1 survival kit that includes a 4 in 1 survival bracelet. If you ever got stuck in a situation where you needed to build a fire or needed to find your baring, this survival bracelet can give you just that. You have the choice of either wearing it on your wrist or attaching it to your backpack.
If you’re really trying to go all out when picking your survival bracelet, maybe look at the Kopwin Paracord Survival Bracelet Set. Not only can you make sure you’re prepared, but that special someone can survive with you. Also, you get a fancy multi-tool to add to your emergency kit.
If you want to get the most out of your survival cord, it has to have more than just the paracord. This particular survival bracelet comes with all the little trinkets, which fit nicely inside of the buckle. It also comes with 10 feet of paracord, meant to fit a man or woman’s wrist.
This Gecko 5 in 1 Tactical Bracelet comes with all the basics. Need to start a fire? You can do that. Need to alert the world of danger with your survival whistle? You can do that too. Also, the plastic clip was made so it’s easily removable when it’s cold outside.
PFC Henry Gurke was a member of the Third Raider Battalion during WWII. He was awarded the Congressional MEDAL OF HONOR posthumously for his heroic actions on May 31st, 1944. The MOH was awarded to his parents by the assistant secretary of the Navy. PFC Gurke later had a Destroyer-class naval vessel; the USS Gurke named in his honor in 1945. He was eventually laid to rest in Neche Union Cemetery in Neche, North Dakota. His citation reads as follows.
The President of the United States
in the name of The Congress
takes pleasure in presenting the
Medal of Honor
Rank and organization: Private First Class, U.S. Marine Corps. Born: 6 November 1922, Neche, N. Dak. Accredited to: North Dakota.
For extraordinary heroism and courage above and beyond the call of duty while attached to the 3d Marine Raider Battalion during action against enemy Japanese forces in the Solomon Islands area on 9 November 1943. While his platoon was engaged in the defense of a vital road block near Empress Augusta Bay on Bougainville Island. Pfc. Gurke, in company with another Marine, was delivering a fierce stream of fire against the main vanguard of the Japanese. Concluding from the increasing ferocity of grenade barrages that the enemy was determined to annihilate their small, 2-man foxhole, he resorted to a bold and desperate measure for holding out despite the torrential hail of shells. When a Japanese grenade dropped squarely into the foxhole, Pfc. Gurke, mindful that his companion manned an automatic weapon of superior fire power and therefore could provide more effective resistance, thrust him roughly aside and flung his own body over the missile to smother the explosion. With unswerving devotion to duty and superb valor, Pfc. Gurke sacrificed himself in order that his comrade might live to carry on the fight. He gallantly gave his life in the service of his country.
The newest addition to the REFT survival gear product line is Kevlar Cord. Kevlar Cord is an excellent accessory that can be added to any load-out to improve functionality and survivability. Kevlar Cord can be used for an abundance of different tasks and is exceptionally durable and versatile.
Kevlar Cord is pound for pound, some of the most reliable and multifaceted material on the market. With a 75 pound tensile strength, it is capable of cutting through wood, zip-ties, and seatbelts. Kevlar cord is a must-have for any outdoor enthusiast or operator who is looking to make their loadout more versatile while keeping it as light as possible.
Kevlar Cord can be used to quickly cut out of illegal restraints such as zip-ties, rope, and duct tape. It can also be used to make shelter, set snares, and fish because of its durability and tensile strength. Weighing in at less than an ounce per twenty feet, it can easily be carried in abundance no matter the terrain or mission.
Now available at tacticalequipment.com
Made of strong, commercial-grade Kevlar
Weighs less than 1oz per 20ft
Kevlar is a registered trademark of DuPont™
The Deployable SSE Backpack is designed to allow operators access to an easy to use, an extra bag for SSE (Sensitive Site Exploitation). The Deployable SSE Backpack stows away in it’s integrated stuff-sack when not in use and can be deployed in seconds. Measuring 12 x 17 x 4 in. (13.3L), the 70D water-resistant nylon Ripstop® backpack offers an extremely light, yet durable design that can hold an abundance of items when needed, and stows away in the compact integrated stuff-sack when not needed.
The belt loop allows the bag to be carried on your person so it can be rapidly deployed when time is of the essence. The belt loop features a durable velcro closure for quick access while still staying put when stowed away.
The adjustable backpack straps with AeroMesh™ allow the backpack to be worn so that the hands are kept free during movement to extract. The straps are light and breathable while still maintaining durability and strength to handle anything you throw at them.
The backpack features a large main compartment with zipper closure for larger items such as laptops or weapons. Two small secondary exterior pockets have also been included for documents and other smaller items. The SSE Backpack is made in the USA and is Berry compliant for government purchases and is available in Black, Coyote Tan, and Multicam.
The E&E Bag, (AKA The Go-To Shit Bag) is specifically used when shit hits the fan, and you can only carry essential items with you. You may have to E&E (Escape and Evade) the enemy on foot alone or in a very small group so you will need to be light while still being able to pack the biggest punch possible. Your life will depend on your training, the items on your body, and the items in your E&E Bag, so choose what you carry very carefully.
Do not leave out items that you may need because someone else in your team is packing it. You may be split up, and you will be shit out of luck if you decided not to pack a smoke grenade because your buddy had extra. Always be self-sufficient and never neglect to pack the essentials. Pack the Bag for the worst possible scenario so that you will be ready if the worst happens.
Situations that this list is designed for are compromised reconnaissance patrols, where the team is already small and on foot. The E&E bag will be retrieved out of the ruck and all sensitive items destroyed as per SOP.
Extra mags are first on the list for obvious reasons. If you are alone, on foot, and behind enemy lines, you are your only immediate support. You want to have enough mags to sustain you during a firefight as you will more than likely be outnumbered. You may have to suppress the enemy alone and fire at rates that you usually wouldn’t if you were with a team. You will need to intimidate the enemy and appear to be as big of a threat is possible which you will be unable to do if you are firing onesies and twosies. Try and take as many as you can fit but six mags should be the minimum.
Frag grenades are a very close second to extra mags. Frags can be a massive deterrent to for the enemy and make you appear to be a much more significant threat to the enemy. If the enemy has to keep his head down because of your accurate suppressive fire, then all the sudden gets covered with his buddies insides from the frag you just chucked from 30-yards like Bryce Harper throwing a runner out at home, he will probably reconsider how much he wants to kill you. A big boom never hurts your chances winning a firefight and if thrown accurately can immediately shift the odds in your favor. The efficient use of frags can give you precious time to move to a different position, use the radio, or run like hell. Take at least one frag if possible.
40mm (If you have a tube)
Like frags, 40mm rounds have a big boom and can open up opportunities that will be tough to come by if alone. An additional benefit of the 40mm is you can shoot these bad boys a country mile while you have to depend on your arm strength for throwing a frag. Try and take as many of these bad-boys as possible. With two being the minimum. Smoke rounds can also be uniquely useful so consider packing them during pre-mission prep.
Smoke Grenades can come in handy for a bunch of reasons. Ideally, you will use them to signal for extract. You’ll hop on the bird and ride off into the sunset and have a perfectly happy ending, but this outcome is somewhat unlikely without at least a few snags in the plan. But fear not, they can still be handy and save your ass in other equally important ways. Smoke grenades can provide cover, and mask your movement. This will be a crucial tool if you are alone because movement without suppressive fire is never a smart idea. We have sent chimps to outer space, so if you can’t figure out why you shouldn’t move from cover without masking your movement, we probably can’t help you. Using smoke to conceal your movement is an excellent alternative to suppressive fire when alone. You may be saying to yourself, “but they can shoot through smoke” and you are correct. The alternative is sitting in one spot and firing until you run out of ammo, then get overwhelmed and killed or worse. Your call, but it might be wise to throw smoke and get the hell out of dodge. Take one to two of these life-savers with you depending on how much room you have.
NVG’s are a no-brainer. You want every advantage you can possibly get so being able to move at night can be clutch. You will have more freedom of movement at night should take advantage of this fact. Do a map study, plan your route, and lay low during the day, and move to the extract location under cover of darkness. Don’t forget to take plenty of extra batteries.
Unless you plan to contact higher via smoke signals or Dixie cups connected with string, you might want to have a form of communication. A satellite phone should be taken at the very least for tertiary comms. Believe it or not, you can now get a SAT Phone for around $500. So if you want to be smart pick one up for home or for your deployment If you have sat-comm communications for your primary radio, take a beer-can antenna if possible and at least two extra batteries for each comm device you have.
Always, always always, pack cash with you. You never know how long it will be before you get extracted so it is wise to have some money to buy goods that you may need or to bribe someone who is hesitant to aid you. You know what they say, money talks, and it might just talk loud enough to convince some asshole that he wants a few hundred bucks more than he wants to kill you. You can also use cash to barter for things like a ride, to use a phone, or for food and water. Take at least $200-$500 in USD and an additional 200-500 in local currency if possible.
You may only have room for a couple of these so pick some that have a metric ass-ton of calories to keep you going as long as possible. You may have to move a long way to a DAR ( Designated Area of Recovery) site so make sure you have the energy to do it as safely and quickly as possible.
The cool equipment mentioned above like NVG’s and comm gear will be nothing more than dead weight if you don’t have batteries to power them. This is a pretty straight-forward concept.
The VS-17 Marking Panel is always a good option for signaling for extract or flagging down friendlies that you happen to come across. A VS-17 Marking Panel is light, yet large enough to be a useful marking tool and has multiple features that can come in handy like the 6″x11″ silk printed American flag, IR patch panel, and Rare Earth magnets.
This list is merely a suggestion. If you feel that there are additional or more important items that should be on this list please let us know. Please keep in mind though that this bag needs to be as light and deadly as possible which is why some items have been left off the list. Also, certain items such as water and navigation equipment such as a GPS (the new Garmin 701 is pretty boss), maps, and compass are typically carried on the body, so have not been added to the list.
Let’s be honest; there are some ridiculous first aid kits out there with everything from a single piece of combat gauze to almost anything you might find in an operating room. But what do you actually need in there? There are a lot of pre-packed kits on the market that I think fall short, mainly because the purposefully omit life-saving products in order to reach a certain price point.
Before we go much further, let me make the statement “IFAK kits will be expensive.” Expect to pay at least $200 for your IFAK and accompanied medical items. I know this may sound like a lot, but if something dire happens to you, you will spend the rest of your short life wishing you had splurged on the good stuff.
What does IFAK Stand For?
IFAK stands for Individual First Aid Kit or Improved First Aid Kit.
The below-recommended contents are based on years of real-world experience, actually seeing what does and doesn’t work. These items will fit in a small IFAK and will provide necessary life-saving options. I will expand on this and say that none of the below medical equipment will do you any good if you don’t know how to use them. I’d argue that knowing how to use these items is more important than actually having the items themselves. While I could go into all the recommended courses available, I will save that for a later post.
I will make my IFAK list based on the MARCH algorithm. The military’s MARCH algorithm varies from the traditional ABC (Airway, Breathing, Circulation) used by civilians. MARCH stands for: massive hemorrage, airway, respiration, ciruclation, hypothermia/head injury.
The military puts Massive Hemorrhage at the top of the treatment list. This means that if you arrive at a patient, you’d want to treat a massive hemorrhage first before moving on to any other injuries. Now, it’s important to note that a massive hemorrhage means a sizeable arterial bleed is dumping copious amounts of blood onto the ground. This isn’t a cut that is dripping on the ground; it is large volumes of blood loss that could lead to death in less than a minute or two.
This pertains to being able to draw air into the lungs. Airway would be something like an obstructed airway due to debris, a tongue of an unconscious patient or mouth and throat burns.
This pertains to the actual breathing process. Standard treatment for respiratory ailments would include something like a collapsed lung or a sucking chest wound.
At this stage of the algorithm, we go back to general bleeding and lacerations to keep lots of cuts from leaking precious blood out of the body.
This last piece of the algorithm is a little bit contentious in that many healthcare providers believe you should treat hypothermia throughout the MARCH treatment process. I agree with this method of thinking, but it is always wise to reassess for hypothermia after all the holes have been plugged.
With the above algorithm in mind lets look at what items are going to treat those issues. Keep in mind this doesn’t address things like spinal cord injuries, burns, smoke inhalation or other possible non-visible injuries that you as a civilian might encounter. However, those are injuries that you as an everyday civilian wouldn’t be able to treat with anything out of your IFAK anyways. So these items cover things that you can personally manage and potentially use to save someone’s life.
Tournaquets don’t always work, especially if you’re dealling with a mass hemorrhage. If you run into this, you will most likely have to resort to something known as wound packing to help control the bleeding. You can do this with compat or combat gauze. If you want to learn how to do this, there are some great videos on Youtube showing you how to pack a wound properly.
I’d say this is probably the most critical piece of medical kit you can carry. It’s cheap, small and has a ton of different applications. If you have a sizeable massive bleed gauze is the only thing that can fill a large cavity and provide the pressure needed to stop the bleed. You can wrap gauze, stuff gauze, use it as a sling, use it to splint and a multitude of other applications. I would suggest carrying at least two packages of compact gauze.
Combat Gauze is probably the most expensive piece of kit you could add with the cheapest versions starting around $20. However, if appropriately used, Combat Gauze can be crucial in stopping a massive bleed. Combat Gauze works by putting an agent in the gauze that causes the blood to coagulate and in theory stop the bleeding faster than just gauze. The problem with this product is that it only works if applied correctly. If you merely stuff the gauze improperly into the wound or lay it on top, you won’t be helping out the situation. The gauze must be applied to the cut artery to work. However, when overseas, I like to carry a lot of packs of these in place of compact gauze because they can offer the same functions as compact gauze and I don’t have to pay for them. For this, I’d recommend carrying at least one.
Arguably more important than gauze is a tourniquet. Tourniquets are a quick fix to a complex problem. They are relatively inexpensive, easy to carry and fix most extremity bleeds. While there are a ton of tourniquets on the market, we sell and recommend the RATs. However, the CAT and the SOF-T are both great tourniquets that will do a phenomenal job of stopping an extremity bleed. At the end of the day, I recommend finding a tourniquet you are comfortable with, know how to use and trust and buy that.
NPAs are probably the best item you can carry to treat an airway. This inserts into the patient’s nostril and creates an airway. These are inexpensive, easy to use and easy to carry. While there are other airway items you can carry like a King Airway or Cricothyrotomy Kit, the NPA is the most practical item to carry with minimal training.
Respiration issues could require anything from simple to advance paramedic skills. If you don’t know how to decompress a tension pneumothorax, we recommend you don’t go cutting into someone’s chest wall. Doing so could cause more harm than anything. So, what you put in your IFAK should be based not only what you can carry or what you’re most likely to encounter, but what you have the skills to do.
The HALO Chest seal is designed to fix a sucking chest wound by applying a self-adhesive occlusive dressing. These are easy to use and can usually stick to skin with hair, sweat or blood.
Tension Pneumothorax Kit
These are designed to treat tension pneumothorax, a complication that takes place when there is a hole in the lung. These are crucial in longer-term care where a tension pneumothorax is expected, however, this does require some advanced training. There are great to add to your kit if you’ve had the chance to practice with one.
When it comes to circulation, your goal is to keep someone from bleeding out. There used to be a time where it was recommended not to turn a tourniquet too many times or you’d cause a person to lose his or her arm. However, for life-saving reasons, we’ve gone away from this type of thinking. Would you rather lose a leg or lose your life? Good items to carry in your IFAK to help control bleeding are compact guaze. You don’t have to worry about cutting off circulation, but you’re still controlling the bleeding. Trama tape is another great option outside of a tournaquette. We like to add these items to our list because circulation management with iV/iO access requires you to have a lot of gear you probably won’t have room for in an everyday IFAK.
Like compact gauze, control wrap/Ace wrap has a ton of different applications. One of these is helping provide the necessary pressure for bleeds. I prefer control wrap over ACE wrap because it’s a unique design that allows the user to get the wrap extremely tight.
Athletic Tape or Trauma Tape is essential for your IFAK since it too has a lot of multiple uses. I prefer Trauma Tape because it allows the user to record the patient’s vital signs without having to carry additional paper or cards. The tape can also be written on with almost any kind of pen.
The bag- This is the part that tends to change the most from person to person. Some like small bags, some like big bags, but none the less you need a bag that is durable, portable, and compartmentalized. The pictured bag in this post is our ASO Bag. This is considered a larger than normal Go Bag and would be designed to fit more in a trunk than at your feet. Not sure where to buy a bag? No problem, everyone carries their go bag that they swear is the perfect design. The bottom line is figuring out what works best for you and your mission that can carry all of your goods but still be portable and efficient.
Extra Ammunition- You can never have too many bullets in a firefight, and your Go Bag is the perfect place to store extra ammo. It is wise to carry ammo for your most casualty producing weapons such as your M-4, Shotgun (police), or Crew Serve Weapon but remember to store a few extra mags for any other weapon systems you might have on you. If your primary goes down, you want to have a few extra mags for your secondary. I like to carry an extra load of ammo of 8xM4 mags, and 3xG17 9mm mags. Also I store magazines in the doors, glove compartments and any other available space in any vehicle I am in.
Hand Grenades- These things are powerful and can change who is Mr. Awesome in a firefight in a snap. One or two in a Go Bag can go a long way. Don’t have access to hand grenades? Flash Bangs are also helpful in at least increasing your violence of action.
Medical Equipment- This doesn’t need to be a portable trauma center, but you should have enough essentials on hand to tend to 3-4 wounded personnel. Remember to carry equipment to treat what injuries you would most likely see like tourniquets, chest seals and needle decompression needles, NPAs, packs of gauze, coagulating agents and a few transformer bandaids for the guy that complains about his boo boo. Carrying some 9 Line MEDEVAC format is also a good idea and essential for getting the Helicopters in the air. REFT carries MEDEVAC stickers for your weapon, radio or Go Bag at refactortactical.com Keep in mind these are only suggestions (from a bunch of knuckle draggers), and you should go to your combat medic or healthcare provider for a detailed list of what to carry and how to use it.
Batteries- Optics, flashlights, IR Strobes, NVGs, GPSs, laser designators, radios, cell phones, and iPods are all electronics that will go out when you need them the most. Be sure to go through your kit and find anything that requires batteries or a charge and bring a way to replenish it. Putting batteries on the back of your helmet is another great way to store them and helps to balance out your NVGS a little bit. The bottom line is you can never have too many batteries or change them out enough to ensure that your electronics will be working when you need them the most.
Water- Kind of a no-brainer. This is especially important if you might need to E&E through some drought-rode shit hole sand box. While water bladders can carry a lot of liquid, they also break easily. Nalgenes, on the other hand, are durable and can also carry whiskey if your mission turns into a party later on… Or for use with Iodine tablets, potato I guess. At the very least carry enough water to last you through a good movement and remember this is the water you only touch in an emergency.
Iodine Tablets– These things are for when the above runs out, and you need to replenish. While a water pump will taste better, these tend to be more portable.
American/UK/German/Australian/Whatever country you work for Flag- When the going gets tough, it’s always good to have some identification. This can help the friends determine if you are the foe or not and is especially important when operating undercover.
Signal Kit- Always have the ability to mark your location with big bright and shiny things. A good signaling kit should include a VF-17 panel or bright orange marking (hunter orange works as well), colored smoke, IR panel, pen flare or star cluster and an IR strobe. Remember to think P.A.C.E (Primary, Alternate, Contingency, and Emergency) when coming up with your signal plan.
Emergency Commo- Even though you carry a radio and most likely a super sweet iPhone you should also consider some emergency commo plan. As with signaling, you should come up with a P.A.C.E for communications. Things like Sat phones, local cell phones, emergency radios and cans with string on them are always a plus when your primary means of commo doesn’t work (as it most likely won’t). Be sure to get with your commo guy and listen to his excuses about how he can’t make comms because of the sun spots and misalignment of the moon to the planets is messing him up. He should be able to explain to you how all of your equipment works.
Food- Like water this stuff keeps you going during long movements. You don’t need anything substantial like a full MRE or enough food for 3 square meals. Instead, choose things that will help keep you going during an E&E like protein bars and power gels.
Survival Kit- Again don’t make this be anything crazy but be sure to have enough stuff to help you out if you have to rough the elements for a few days.
Items could include: 550 cord, duct tape, fire starters (matches and a lighter), wire, pocket knife, salt and sugar or Oral Rehydration Salts, Map of the Area, compass, handcuff key, lock pic (bobby pins work well), fishing line and hook, pencil and notepad, and a plant and animal ID guide. 550 Cord Operator Bands like the ones sold at refactortactical.com are also great for keeping much-needed cord on you for anything from setting a snare to tying up officers who have “a very good idea.”
Flashlight- So you can see things when it’s dark. Flashlights can also be an effective means of signaling for help or recovery.
Again these are all suggestions, and each individual should tailor each bag for their needs.
Have more ideas or comments on what to put in a Go Bag? Post them below; we always appreciate your opinions!
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