Battle belts, also known as war belts are essentially just gun belts, that offer a great and easy way to carry your essential gear. Battle belts can help you up your game, always wear your essentials and distribute your overall gear weight on your body.
There’s a popular saying about battle belts: Battle belts are for “making holes and plugging holes”. Meaning the equipment and gear one carries on his/her battle belt should be focused on either making holes (your fighting gear/ and gear that supports it) and plugging holes (your medical gear)
Setting up your tactical gear, in general, can be quite overwhelming, there are always so many different options and ways to go about it and setting up your battle belt is no different. So here are my recommendations for 4 things you should always carry on your battle belt:
1. Your Side Arm
You should always keep your sidearm set together. By sidearm set, I mean your pistol and the magazines. And by together I mean that they should both be either on your belt, battle belt or your plate carrier.(I personally recommend keeping them either on your belt or battle belt). At all cost you should avoid a situation where your Pistol is on your belt and the magazines are on your plate carrier or such. Keeping the set together or “on the same level” is crucial. If you need to lose the plate carrier for whatever reason, then you would still have your sidearm set together.
Your handgun holster should be on your main hand side of the battle belt. Placed either straight on the molle belt or slightly lower (lowered with special panels). I wouldn’t recommend using a drop leg holster. I find that they make moving around harder, especially when you have a lot of running jumping and etc. If left too loose they tend to move around a lot on your leg and if they are too tight they will start cutting off your blood supply to the leg, making it really uncomfortable to wear for a longer period of time.
Pistol mags should go on the opposite side of the battle belt. Where they are easily accessible.
2. A Dump Pouch
A dump pouch (or drop pouch) is essentially just a container for your empty magazines. It’s basically a bag-shaped pouch, that can either be rolled up or packed together, when not in use.
Drop pouches are great for speeding up your tactical reloads. You won’t have to start fumbling around trying to place an empty mag back to the magazine pouch, you can just quickly drop the mag into your dump pouch. Also, they are a great alternative to dropping mags on the ground (minimizing the risk of losing a magazine or getting extra dirt in them)
Plus dump pouches make excellent utility pouches, where you can store pretty much anything you like, or have to in a specific situation.
Dump pouches are usually kept either on your reload arm side of the battle belt, or somewhere on the backside where you could reach it with both of your hands.
3. IFAK Pouch
An IFAK pouch is basically a first aid kit (IFAK is the acronym for “individual first aid kit”). Having an IFAK ready and available can mean the difference between life and death. You never know when you might need a first aid kit, especially in a combat or other dangerous situations. Anything can happen, accidents can happen even in the shooting range – so you should always come prepared. Some shooting ranges even have a mandatory first aid kit carry requirements. Having an IFAK pouch on your battle belt makes it more accessible for you and you will always have it at hand.
The IFAK pouch should be placed where you could access it with both of your hands (the reason behind this is, that you might injure one of your arms, and need to give yourself quick firs aid) I recommend you keep it in the back of the battle belt, straight in the middle.
There are a few different options when it comes down to choosing the right IFAK pouch for you. I like to use ripoff pouches for my first aid kits. As the name implies you can rip these pouches off your battle belt (they have a velcro panel, that is attached to your battle belt and then the pouch sits on top of that) whenever you need any of your medical supplies. This makes searching and accessing whatever you might need in your current situation a lot easier.
To read more about med pouches and IFAK’s continue to our IFAK 101: Everything You Need To Know About IFAK’s And How To Assemble One article.
4.A Good Knife
There are a million and one reasons to carry a knife or a multitool with you at all times. From the simple need to cut something to self-defense. Whatever situation might arise its always good to be prepared. Witch is especially important in a tactical environment, where anything can happen and every second counts. Having a knife on your battle belt is a good way to assure that.
There are more ways to place a knife on your battle belt that I could probably count. But I like to follow some simple rules here. First, you should keep your knife on my main hand side of the belt, somewhere in the front section. Secondly, it should be easily accessible when needed and drawn by both hands. Third, it should be well secured, you don’t want it falling out of its sheath and lose it. And finally, it shouldn’t interfere with accessing your other equipment (I have it tucked under a pouch so it doesn’t take up too much space).
If you are interested in reading more about battle belts and about battle belt setups go check out my complete battle belt setup guide. Where I talk about the basics of setting up your battle belt. About what they are, how to use one. What pouches and equipment should go on a battle belt and where to place them.