Range Bag Must-Haves
February 8th, 2020
4 minute read
In October of 2015 I began writing the monthly column, What’s in Your Range Bag? for NRA Shooting Sports USA. Each month I interview a competitive shooter from one of the various shooting disciplines. My interviews with these shooters inspired me to reevaluate my range bag. I don’t know about you, but just like a purse, my range bag accumulates numerous pens, lip balms and hand sanitizer bottles throughout the year. Then I have a bunch of unnecessary items inside, the ones I thought I might use but haven’t touched in years. Of course, many of the items I needed to keep and perhaps even add some I never thought of before. So, let the purge begin.
I started by removing all the items from my range bag and putting them into 2 separate piles. In the first pile, I placed everything from my range bag I wanted to keep. Items I need available every time I go to the range and would stay in there. Here’s the list:
- Eye protection – I wear ESS (Eye Safety Systems) when on the range. The lenses switch out easily, so I can go from a foggy morning to bright sunshine with 1 pair of glasses.
- Hearing protection – Ear muffs by Howard Leight Electronic Impact Sport provide both protection and comfort. During hot weather or for rifle and shotgun shooting, I prefer my SportEars. They fit great inside my ears and offer both amplification and protection.
- Tourniquet – Just in case. It’s not just for me!
- Zeiss Lens wipes – Like Jerry Miculek says, “You can’t shoot what you can’t see!”
- Electrolyte tablets – Throughout the day I pop a Nuun tablet in my bottle of water to stay hydrated. If you’re out there long enough, water alone just doesn’t cut it.
- Pain reliever – BC Powder works quick when I get a headache. For the matches that really kick my butt, I take 2 Aleve before I even leave the range.
- Bandana – Whether I need to wipe something down, blow my nose, or keep my hair out of my face, a bandana works for me.
- Pen and grey & black Sharpies – You just never know when you might need a sharpie and grey works great on black.
- Shemagh – If it starts to rain I throw the shemagh over myself or my firearm. Also, I cover my shotgun and rifle to keep them from getting too hot in the sun. Keeps dust out of the actions of staged guns too.
- Sunscreen – Avoid the burn or you’ll regret it later.
- UpLula – Why should I work harder than I have to? An UpLula makes loading magazines effortless. Both pistol and rifle!
- MS Clean Kit – A comprehensive cleaning kit. If it rains or is really dusty you may have to do a quick field clean of your guns. An MS Clean Kit looks like and is the same size as an AR magazine.
- Medical tape – Whether I need to tape something together, cover a blister, seal a cut or just cover a hot spot on my hands or feet, medical tape does the job.
- Foam ear protection – Great for when friends come to the range. Always have spare ear pro.
- Spare Batteries – For my hearing protection and optics. They always die when you need ’em.
Download a range bag checklist here.
When I went into the second pile. I thought “Why would I even bother carrying that along?” Like the cover that attached to my glasses to block the vision in my left eye or the numerous hooks to hang my earmuffs on my belt. All the duplicates either got tossed, or put them in a bin for later use.
I intentionally left out of the list my ammunition, firearms, magazine, holster and belt. Depending on what type of match I’m heading to, these items always change. Everything I listed above remains in my range bag at all times and gets replenished, repaired or replaced as needed.
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