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 Post subject: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 7:30 am 
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Joined: Thu Apr 22, 2010 2:21 am
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Location: Canada
What we get sucks. It's worse in quality than a 30$ chinese CIRAS, badly designed, hot, it's not adapted to wear with a pack and the pouches are useless.

tl;dr: I'm a whore and I want something that doesn't suck, so I'm gonna do it.

I started doing a couple drafts/tests with random fabric I've had laying around, and I was thinking a mix of LiteLok and 500D could be a good choice, however as you might know, LiteLok is only done in Multicam. I looked a bit around and this seemed fairly similar and that it could fit the bill. Thoughts or recommendations? http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Kits/ ... ctive-Grid

Also: Yes I'll register on DIYTactical and practice a bit before I go for the actual project.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 8:25 pm 
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Location: Idaho and Green Bay, WI
Why would you need more than a Conterra chest rig and a pack?


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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed May 08, 2013 9:02 pm 
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Because it's mandatory, and it can't be black per organization guidelines. What I want to do is fairly similar to the Conterra chest panel, but in orange and with a drop-down GPS pouch (à la Emdom) instead of the radio pouch (the radio being on the pack).

I got most stuff in the pack, but in any case I want my Garmin 62, compass and notebook on the front.

This is what we get:
Image

As you can see, both chest pouches end up right under my pack straps. Plus as I have a, ehm, compact size? :P it hangs lower than my waist making it very uncomfortable to crouch (in my defense, the dude on my left is 6'5'' so it makes it looks worse than it is :lol: )

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 3:22 am 
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Location: Head of the Lake, Ontario
This 420 Denier packcloth will work too, and "might" be a little better than the stuff you linked to. Don't forget you can get samples from them. I'm always a bit surprised at how little there is in the way of orange stuff for MYOG. Its hard to find webbing, forget about hardware. I can see it being useful for SAR, hiking, hunting, cyclists, etc.

Where abouts in Canada are you? There is no SAR group where I am, sadly, as it is the one volunteer activity I would really love to participate in.

I'm always a bit turned off by stringent dress codes in SAR groups. One group here makes their members wear hard hats with face visors, a la chain saw helmets), which strikes me as really excessive. The uniform makes everyone look like a cop. Nothing against cops, but I just don't want to be forced to look like one. They also won't allow members to wear a multi tool on their belt. Huh? And members can't have visible piercings or tattoos. Somehow I suspect the guy with a broken leg suffering from hypothermia couldn't care less if I have rings in my ears or my sleeve falls back to reveal tattoos when I pick him up. It just strikes me as petty. I want to do SAR as a pay it forward thing, just like I donate blood. I hope I never need it, but that my having done it will help contribute it being there. I'm a hiker who likes being outside and helping people - I have no desire to obey silly rules about trivial, cosmetic things. Do I show up, am I fit, do I have good gear, do I work hard, do I work well in a team? Yeah? Then everything else is fluff.


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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed Jul 24, 2013 4:37 am 
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Thank for the link! I haven't started, lots of projects (not sewing-related) in already in the way... but I'll keep it in mind :)

Hardware.. bah! That'd be cool, but black on orange works well enough for me. Webbing or velcro would be great though... and though it exists, most of it I've seen is either stupid expensive or extremely low quality.

In in Quebekistan :P Did you check on SARVAC (http://www.sarvac.ca/Links/tabid/186/la ... fault.aspx) to see if there were any groups around? They don't really advertise themselves, so generally you have to know where to look to find them... alternatively, you could try getting lost and hope they send them looking for you :lol:

I guess it varies a lot from team to team. Our team has a recommended uniform (not mandatory, but strongly advised shirt, and pants are a general "please wear dark brown/dark green/navy blue") as far as clothing goes, however equipment such as helmets and vests are supplied by the Departement of Public Safety, which is the body overseeing all officially recognized SAR teams in the province. We are required to wear it to ensure coverage by the Departement's insurance policy. Same goes for protective glasses/goggles, though there's more leeway on that... as long as they are ANSI certified, we can use the ones we want.

While I do understand your point on "looking like a cop", this is generally to look as professional as we can to project this impression on the general public, the media, and victim's families despite the fact that the teams are made up of volunteers.
But as it happens with everything else... there are cases of good-looking, well equipped teams that don't train for shit and are totally useless in the field. It's all about finding the balance...

tl;dr: Clothing, I understand and agree with the general idea of having uniforms. Tattoos/piecing, unless it's a "THUG" on the knuckles or a Swastika in the forehead, I don't care. But multitools? I've never heard of that, but it's fucking retarded.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 8:39 pm 
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Location: Head of the Lake, Ontario
If I've ever seen orange webbing it was polypropylene, not nylon MIL-W-17337 or MIL-W-43668.

I asked someone I met about a dozen years ago who was high up in the hierarchy of Nova Scotia SAR (they and Alberta seem to have very switched on SAR systems), why theirs was so good and why Ontario had not much of anything. He told me that back in the 70s the O.P.P. complained that civilian volunteers were cutting into the amount of overtime their officers were collecting. I can't attest to the veracity of that claim, but considering the source, it wouldn't surprise me. I suppose there is also the possibility that well meaning members of the public (or distraught relatives) wanting to help trampled all over a potential crime scene. I get that many searches are body recovery operations, sometimes the result of misfortune but sometimes the result of foul play. I get that if that is the case, they would want to have a little more control over who exactly is taking part in searches, that they be certified.

I've looked at some of the various sites, but there is nothing in my neck of the woods. Something in Guelph, something in Niagara, but nothing near me. I suppose I could be the one to start it, but not sure I'm in a position to do that right now.


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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Sat Jul 27, 2013 11:44 pm 
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We did get crime scene handling courses, taught by the Sûreté du Québec (provincial police).

In our group, each new member's complete training takes about 2 years (at the rate of one evening every week from september to may, plus 1 or 2 saturday per month sept-nov and march-may, plus actual sorties) so while we're still volunteers and not up to the level of professional SAR, I'd dare say that we're still heaps ahead of spontaneous, not-really-organised volunteers.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 6:50 am 
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It's been a while since I started that thread and I wasn't able to put the time & thought in this last summer as I had planned... but I'm looking at this again hoping I can get that rolling before the spring. I made a post on DIYTactical about it... hopefully someone has tips. Here's a copy-pase of my post there with some more info. Lots is similar to the original post up here but I've added some more/refined ideas to it.

---

Hello,

I'm in a local wilderness SAR team. Our issued gear is shit quality, doesn't fit me (too large), is not adapted for what we actually have to carry or for use with a pack (even though a pack is a mandatory piece of gear...).

Below is the vest we get... top left you basically have a flat pouch for ID, top right a radio pouch (that ends up being under the pack strap for me) and below two big-ass GPs without any organization whatsoever. In case guessing who's the gearwhore in that pic wasn't easy enough, I'm on the left. In my defense, I'm short but not THAT short, the guy on my right is 6'4'' if I remember right :P

Image

Being kind of a gearwhore I wasn't satisfied with the "just deal with it" answers I've gotten when I asked if there were alternatives. In any case, I have no choice but to wear that vest (for high-visibility concerns, but mostly because they want us to look professional and uniform). To get around this, I've been thinking about designing a mini rig/panel that clips straight to the pack's straps, leaving the issued vest empty but within regs.

I do not have a lot of experience in making gear (neither do I have a lot of money to throw into having one custom made, SAR being a volunteer thing and me being a full-time uni student). My plan is to make a prototype/proof of concept to better define the idea. I'll use it for a while and see if I'm satisfied with the durability. If I am, I'll keep using it. If not but I'm satisfied with the design, I'll then see if I can have someone more skilled build a definitive product for me.

Here are the requirements I've set:

- Attaches to my pack (currently a Conterra Longbow Ranger)
- Has a removable harness for standalone use
- Good weight/ruggedness ratio (it's basically bushwacking so silnylon wouldn't hold for long... but not crawling either, so no need for 1000D Cordura)
- Carry (must be accessible quickly):
--- UHF radio (ideally fold-out pouch)
--- Garmin 62 (fold-out pouch so I can use it while keeping it in the pouch)
--- ID card (visible in front),
--- Pen light,
--- Small Rite-in-the-rain notebook + pen,
--- Small knife/multitool,
--- 3x AA batteries,
--- 3x AAA batteries,
--- 2x chemlights,
--- A couple sharpies,
--- Medical assessment summary sheet,
--- Map,,
--- Car keys.
- Should carry if possible (handy, but not necessary):
--- Cellphone,
--- Compass (will have to see if having the GPS or radio close to it messes with the magnetism)
--- Compact camera

I'm working as we speak on a paper mockup to see if my what I have in mind makes sense... I'll add some drawings later.

Any thoughts or suggestions?

Cheers,
Conker

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Sun Jan 19, 2014 7:31 am 
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Joined: Wed Sep 25, 2013 8:09 pm
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Sorry if some of this was covered in previous posts, but here are a few things that might help.

1000D (available in Florescence Orange)
http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Kits/ ... lon-Fabric

200D (available in Orange)
http://www.rockywoods.com/Fabrics-Kits/ ... lon-Fabric

And there is red webbing as well
http://www.rockywoods.com/Hardware-Zipp ... bing-Red_2

There is some coated nylon ripstops on Rockywoods available in orange as well.


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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:25 am 
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nutsnylon, thanks for the link! For the moment and the first version/prototype I opted for locally acquired red 500D nylon. I'll check your links once I've got a decent prototype :)

--

Update:
Quick sketch before I do my cardboard mockup.

My biggest issues at this point (and hopefully someone has suggestions?) are the attachement to the pack and how to secure the radio/GPS inside the pouch while keeping it versatile (making something specific to THAT model radio and THAT model GPS would be fairly easy, but I'd rather have something that can be adapted. It has happened in the past that I got provided another radio when we supported some police units that used secure channels rather than basic UHF/GMRS like we usually do.

As for the pack attachment, my issues are:
- It should be adaptable on any pack (current being a Conterra Longbow Ranger as shown above) so that it doesn't need to be redesigned if I change my pack
- The pack itself shouldn't require any modification
- It shouldn't take significantly longer to take off the pack with this

Now you may be thinking why don't I just build a low-profile harness to be worn under the pack? Simply because as I'm not a big guy, the available space between both pack straps isn't enough. It's just not possible for me to fit anything under the pack.

(click on the images for hi res)


(images removed because reasons)

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Last edited by Conker on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:38 am 
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Some details on the sketch (hopefully by clicking the hi-res you can read the handwritten notes)
- Big square in the middle is the transparent vinyl ID holder.
- Velcro area on both radio/GPS pouches are to add either reflective stripes or chemlights/pen/marker/pen light/etc holders as required.
- Loops under the rig are D-rings for whatever (ie carabiners to hold gloves when I'm not wearing them, carabiner for a map case, etc).
- Main zipped compartment is meant for flat stuff (ie maps, victim's photos, etc).
- Front compartment will have a vertical separator right in the middle so one side can hold the compact camera and the other batteries, small flashlight, multitool, etc., etc.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Thu Feb 06, 2014 1:23 pm 
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Rockywoods carries orange 1" velcro as well.
I recently purchased some good quality orange nylon (not polypro) webbing from the seller below. It isn't listed as 17337,but it looks very similar to me.
http://www.ebay.com/itm/151047040579?ss ... 1436.l2649

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed Jun 11, 2014 6:14 pm 
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I started last week and putting some time on it every day after work, so it's going slowly (and I do a lot of trial-and-error) but it's slowly starting to look like something.

Cardboard proof-of-concept for the flip-open pouch.

(images removed because reasons)

Note that as opposed to existing pouches on the market, it's not custom-cut for a specific radio. I'll be using a mix of bungee cord and interchangeable covers so I can fit my Garmin 62 or my radio in either pouch while keeping access to the buttons and ports. I also did a cardboard proof-of-concept but it looks even worse than that so I'll just post the finished product :lol: it will also be built-in the rig, not MOLLE'd.

Flap for the center pouch...

(images removed because reasons)

Some components...

(images removed because reasons)

I should be able to finish the center pouch tonight, with the built-in GRG/ID flap.

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Last edited by Conker on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:04 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Fri Jun 13, 2014 6:25 am 
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It's starting to look like something.

Note that the pouch isn't sewn to the main body yet. The sides aren't finished and I still have to make the two flip-open pouches.

This is also very much a prototype as, on occasion, I lack the experience to really know which step I should do before the other so I end up having to do awkward moves to sew it properly. After some testing with that one, I'll likely build a second one again that (should) look better.

(images removed because reasons)

Main pouch (Fits medium Rite in the Rain, a letter sheet folded in two, a map, etc...).
Plastic slot for an ID card on the front.

(images removed because reasons)

Built-in GRG pouch (random stuff inside just to show)

(images removed because reasons)

Front pouch (compass, pens, camera and some space left for whatever is needed. The first 1.5 inch is also velcro-covered so i can attach... things like chemlight/pen loops, as shown in this pic).

(images removed because reasons)

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Last edited by Conker on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: SAR rig
PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 6:57 am 
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To test the flip-open pouch design, I've built one that is separate from the rig. I've made it in CB to match my Mystery Ranch pack to use hiking and whatnot. Also mounts to a Yote's shoulder straps and lots of packs... if these packs don't have vertical webbing on the straps, I have an elastic webbing that wraps around the shoulder straps to secure the pouch.

The same thing will be built-in the SAR rig, but obviously in red.

Attachment method.
Note the two velcro loops at the bottom to route cables.

(images removed because reasons)

The top part, seen bungee'd, can be swapped to hold different radios/GPS. It keeps access to all buttons and portes. Many different devices could be attached more or less ghetto without inserts, depending on button and/or screen setup.

(images removed because reasons)

Opens almost 90 degrees.

(images removed because reasons)

Seen from the wearer's POV.

(images removed because reasons)

I still need to put some finishing touches (mostly arranging the bungee and paracord ends to be cleaner) but the idea works, and fairly well.

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Last edited by Conker on Mon Mar 21, 2016 2:05 am, edited 1 time in total.

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