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Belts

06 Jun 2014
@ 08:53 am (GMT)

kelvin

Hi all;
I am a finniky bastard when buying gear and have been thinking on what belt / belt system I should get for a while now.

Doing research on belts and found these guys and this belt as my lead so far;
http://www.originalsoegear.com/collections/frontpage/products/cobra-riggers-belt-size-26-to-34
I realise its 1.75 so wont fit standard belt loops…. but am happy with buying uk military kit for hunting in if needed.

While researching (and I don't have a police or military background) I started to find out about inner and outer duty belts etc etc. Has anyone used them - and would they be any good when hunting where I like to go prone for making shots - so don't like a lot of crap on my waist.
I mainly carry a knife - but was looking for back support as well as possibly a GPS pouch and maybe an ammo holder.
I like the theory that you don't need to shed your pants belt when dropping knife etc at the end of the day with the two belt system - but don't know anything much about what I should be looking at or how they work in practice. Much of the info out there seems to be targeted to the US where they will have a pistol on the belt as well - which I wont for hunting in NZ.

Anyway - thought I would throw it out there and see if anyone had any fav's they would recommend.
Any thoughts appreciated.

Replies

07 Jun 2014
@ 07:33 pm (GMT)

faulkner

Re: Belts
Check out the SIMMS "back saver" belt, its light and can easily be adjustable with deferring clothing and adds a bit of support and also warmth to keep the lower back limber. I've been using one for a couple years now and its held up really well and drys fast is its wet. There is also enough 2" belting to hang a knife and a range finder and bear spray or what ever suits you. Hope this helps, cheers, Aj
09 Jun 2014
@ 09:49 am (GMT)

kelvin brace

Re: Belts
Thanks for the reply!
Does this fit with belt loops? kind of looks like a "second" or over belt?
So far I like the thought of something to hold up me pants as well! However I do notice that many people use a two belt system (like the duty belt systems) - one for the pants and one for the gear...
I have had a look and this belt looks like it has lots of lower back support (my brother might be a sure starter as he has a dodgy back).
There is some crew selling these in Aussi for $94.

I am still doing research - as per my earlier post I like the hunt for my gear!
Cheers
Kelvin
09 Jun 2014
@ 10:53 am (GMT)

faulkner

Re: Belts
Definitely a second "over/outer" belt these are. For holding up my pants I use a plain leather belt or a 1" wedding belt but the leather is the best if your going to wear a heavy pack. The Simms belt I were a lot higher, similar to a weight lifting belt. I wear a pack right over top as the pack belt rides lower on the hip. Enjoy the hunt;) Cheers, Aj
12 Jun 2014
@ 09:27 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Hi Kelvin, great thread! This has been a bit of a bug bear of mine for many years. My issues are:

1. keeping my pants up (bloody annoys hell out of me).
2. Keeping kit handy including the essential knife.

If you guys don't mind, I want to wind the clock right back.

In our early settler photos, you will see pioneers and soldiers wearing wool pants. The truth is, these pants were often what what men posed in but did not actually wear in the field. The kiwi bushman actually went native pretty quick (including soldiers) and adopted a basic blanket doubled over and worn around the waist, held in place with a wide belt and large pins- job done. This meant that if the legs got wet (river crossings many times per day), they would dry out quickly. The blanket could also be used as- well a blanket!

In our time and in NZ, a common approach to clothing (sorry to digress from the belt) was the basic short shorts. With the invention of poyprops, this could be taken a step further by wearing polyprop tights under shorts. This really is a great set up, the legs stay warm but are unencumbered. The material dries super fast after water crossings. The system is OK for summer and winter (snow) use. Gaitors can be used to protect the lower legs. About the only weakness of this system is that it cannot really be used for the combat soldier due to fire / melting hazards.

With the short short system, there was no need for a belt to keep the pants up as there was no weight to hold up. A knife belt could be worn separately. I also adopted a belt bag (fanny pack in U.S terms, always a giggle for us down here as this refers to the front bits of a woman). But I have found that belt bags give me a stomach ache once they hit a certain weight (which is where light chest rigging has its advantages).

Fleece pants came next. These are the absolute pits for river crossings, the baggy legs trailing in stiff currents. That's the main problem with fleece pants, the legs being too baggy. Couple this with small belt loops (or none) and you are back to pulling up your pants every five minutes after crossing a river or being out in the rain. Otherwise, fleece can be very good.

Many of you will notice that I have been wearing combat fatigues these last years. This started when we went through a patch when the site and my research was paying so poorly that I was reliant on whatever came along. A retired soldier in a similar situation owed me for rifle work and pair of hand me down pants and kit was given as payment. Amongst the kit was a 2" duty belt. The soldier had purchased most items himself so there was no free lunch from the MOD other than the worn hand me downs. I found that this duty belt kept my new second hand pants up a great deal better than slimmer belts and it could carry a load. The British / Aus / NZ style of pants has wide belt loops for such a belt, something lacking in the U.S kit. I have been using this system exclusively for a while now. I sometimes wear two belts (knife belt separately) but of late I have been wearing just the one belt.

The Mil pants have their limit. They are baggy in the legs and can hold a lot of water, plus they are cold when wet so i have to be careful with upper layerings. On the plus side, they are hard wearing.

The more I look into this though, the more I think our medieval ancestors had it right. From the Roman tunic through to the Robin hood men in tights type set up, I think the tunic was a good idea. A basic wool or fleece tunic, knee length with polyprops would alleviate my pants issue. But I am not sure that I wan to be the first to wear a dress in the hills. Not just yet anyway. Still, I think this has merit. From this, a belt would only have one job- to hold a knife and small pouches. But as soon as the load gets heavy, we are once again faced with the problem of the belt slipping and or stomach problems from wearing a tight belt all day. A tunic with belt loops could partially resolve this- but again, anyone for a dress and tights? I have a wool Swanndri that I seldom use these days. I still wonder about cutting out the arms and making it into a tunic.

I have looked at suspenders but gave up on that idea for no particular reason other than the difficulty of finding something local (industrial type) I could try on. In the old days we used to wear suspenders, especially with our monkey suits when working nightclubs. Industrial type suspenders are an option though.

There is certainly merit in chest rigging so long as it is not cumbersome and allows the shooter to drop into the prone position if need be, without taking a face plant like a human seesaw. Much of the chest rigging I have seen in surplus stores is quite rubbishy, far too much bulk. As hunters, if wearing chest rigging, we really just need something simple to hang a knife on, plus a few handy items. Everything else can be stowed in a day pack. I don't think I would ever ditch this. I have not ventured into chest rigging yet. I may do one day if I can find something suitable that will allow me to hang knife and small items. This may solve some of the problems I have with the whole pants falling down issue.

As for a basic pants belt, either a duty belt or sturdy leather belt have served me well. The 2" duty belt has made a difference, helping keep my pants up!

I see a lot of these modern belt bags (fanny) lack somewhere to mount a decent knife. It is as if the designers have no actual connection with the world of the hunter at all.

In summary, I think both the belt and pants are a combined issue.

Personally, I will be interested to see how you get on.

Most of you guys on the forums do not know Kelvin but he is a close friend of mine, my hunting buddy. Kelvin has been working away from home for many years now so we seldom get to hunt together these days but we both hope this will change in time (looking at kit sounds promising!). Several of you will have seen Kelvin in my videos (SMLE) when he visits home. Kelvin built our first website many years ago and without him, this entire concept would not be in existence.

Kelvin with a boar shot using a .338 Win Mag and 225gr SST. The .338 is dynamite on pigs. The pigs legs are tied together for back packing.



A head shot pig destined for a hangi (hangi = Maori earth oven).

12 Jun 2014
@ 11:25 pm (GMT)

sllindsay

Re: Belts
For the past several years I have been wearing 1.5" belts and I find they work so much better than the typical 1" belt, and still fit most pant loops. Uncle Mikes makes a heavy webbing belt with a Velcro tip that goes through a heavy loop. It is quick on and off, holds securely, and when I am carrying a holster with a 6.5" barrel, heavy-frame revolver, it is easy to tighten to just the right tension to keep it in a comfortable position. I had tried the 2" duty belts, but have not liked them as well - too cumbersome for me. In the US, Cabela's has a very convenient belt bag (fanny pack) that I find comfortable on whole-day treks (Cabela's Outfitter's Series Whitetail, I think), it hold lots, and it has a 2" belt suitable for hanging a large knife at just the right spot. With the tactical craze in the US, there are all sorts of new kit gadgets that make packing around so much easier.
sl
13 Jun 2014
@ 12:08 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Photo: Hand me down pants (NZ Army pattern prior to NZ digital), 2 inch duty belt. Over this I am wearing my leather knife belt. As mentioned earlier, I currently wear my knife on my duty belt- The separate knife belt is just a habit as we used to wear the knife over our swanni's (bush shirt) and sometimes stow equipment down the front of the bush shirt. I still prefer this method when doing possums so that I can stow my fur bag down my front.

13 Jun 2014
@ 12:24 am (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Is this the rig Stephen?:

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Cabelas-Outfitter-Series-All-Day-Transporter-Fanny-Pack/1608920.uts
13 Jun 2014
@ 02:02 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Belts
G'day men & MCPHEE

I wear a 2 webbing belt . I often wear Blackfoot camo clothing, good camo but I like it because its 100% cotton. Army style pants and shirt with 2 side pockets & 2 breast pockets. When you sweat in hot weather it wicks well & keeps you cool. In hot weather I wear shorts but usually wear chaps or light knee pads as I hate burrs in my knees (mind on the job!!)These chaps are good bash through anything.

ps I have a piece of 1" light Velcro strap on my belt at my side,that wraps around the pistol grip of my rifle. It keeps the rifle along my hip and stops it jumping off my shoulder when on my knees. Easy to undo.
Cheers
Bob
http://www.jsenthunting.com.au/protective-clothing.php
13 Jun 2014
@ 05:26 am (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Belts
So if I'm reading correctly, then I need to get myself a kilt and a pair of tights? Check. Photos to follow....
13 Jun 2014
@ 07:20 am (GMT)

Bob Mavin

Re: Belts
Hey Hamish
Hunting is a lot diff in ZL compared to Australia. Other that the terrain ZL doesn't have any snakes or even insects other than a Weta beetle.
Here in Australia we have every known crawly known to man. Especially my pet hate TICK's!!!Once you've hunted Rusa in the wetlands along our coastal fringe you will know what I'm on about. Nothing stresses a marital relationship more than having your loved one, armed with a pair of tweezers, attempting to remove multiple ticks from an area you can't see, let alone reach. Tip number one!!! Make sure she's wearing her glasses!!! And drink copious amounts of Wild turkey, it's the only antidote if you want your relationship to last.

Regards
Bob
13 Jun 2014
@ 08:47 pm (GMT)

Mike Neeson

Re: Belts
Damn leeches, spoiling all my fun. But surely some liberal coatings of spandex should ward them off? How can you deny the utility

http://www.511tactical.com/kiltoff

Yes, Yeeesss.
13 Jun 2014
@ 10:09 pm (GMT)

Drew Pigott

Re: Belts
Mike,

Ha ha thanks for sharing! We all need a little William Wallace in our life from time to time! I particularly enjoyed the guy in the pictures with the AR-15. I wonder how this would work out for a man that had to ride a horse all day??? At least there's a breeze!

-Drew
14 Jun 2014
@ 06:40 am (GMT)

Shawn Bevins

Re: Belts
Never hunted in shorts or a kilt and don't plan on starting. Can't picture trying to find winter camo let alone wearing it at cold temps with a foot of snow. I quit wearing so much stuff on my belt at work because I ended up looking like some of the Yahoos who intentionally wear their pants half off. Suspenders? Nope. Wearing suspenders and a belt makes it look like your afraid someone is going to steal your pants. I wear a modified turkey hunting vest. Very little in the front. In the anti-gun atmosphere in NY, I get some looks wearing camo but I say feck em because it works.. I tried the carpenters belt type but damn near launched myself off a bridge column when I squatted down.

[b]
14 Jun 2014
@ 09:27 am (GMT)

kelvin brace

Re: Belts
Hi all - thanks for the feedback - this thread has kept me smiling all night.
@sllindsay - I saw Mikes belts - and am going to head into an army surplus store nearby and have a look!

The kilts actually look like they would be good in the bush - but not sure I've got the guts to wear em!

As Nathan has now outed me with photos (thanks ;-)) you can see I often go the short shorts route - but in recent years have been wearing long trousers more and more - I cant figure out why - I think peer pressure not to look so bad in hunting photos... In NZ shorts are still my favourite.

I find long pants too hot. I have been running fleece - but find it gets heavy and crap when wet and way too hot unless its snowing. I have been using some pants I picked up in Cabellas in Canada and find them ok - but not as comfortable as shorts. (PS I am happy in short shorts in foot deep snow as long as I have good putties (gaiters) - and have been spotted in Canada in a singlet at -5 by disbelieving Japanese tourists! (I think they were disbelieving - they might have just been frightened)...

@Bob - can relate to ticks in Aussie - was horrified the first time I set up camp by a river and was sitting there feeling like I was really clever for finding such a nice spot when looking down saw a monster scaling my leg... we got hit in not too ugly places before figuring out that shifting the tent 50 meters might be clever.

Back to belts - I have been scoping out the train guards on my way to work and back as they all use duty belt systems and seem to use many variations. I realise this is not really a good translation to hunting - but its interesting to see the many different rigs they are wearing. I have been getting funny looks - I don't usually stand on a train staring at guys belt regions! (my story and I am sticking with it).

So far my thoughts;

I like the riggers belt for the thought of being able to use it for tying off when rock fishing - and the thought that I could use it to get out of odd spots in the bush (probably a fantasy but one that I like - I have spent hours being lowered and lowering others on a pack strap when we got caught in a canyon stream - and the belt would have made me feel much happier.

I like the Simms for the back bracing - but am not sure it is quite what I am after.

I had looked at Uncle Mikes Evo Duty / Outer Belt as it looked like it had good back support as well as looking the bits but as I don't know much about these types of belts was not too sure if it would work for me.

The reason I really started looking at belts was that last time I was home and was hunting with Nathan I had lots of issues with the new knife I purchased. Its a monster and WAY bigger than any other skinning knife I have ever used. For a start I was really unhappy as I was sure I would hate it due to the blade size and had spent good coin on it - but at the end of a few days and with a reasonable number of goats butchered for dog tucker was getting into using it. The only problem was its such a beast it completely sucked on my normal little dress belt (people who see me at work probably don't guess how much guts and blood my good dress belt saw on that trip - I didn't have a spare!). Hence the thought to find something that would stop it moving all round my waste and driving me nuts.

I am still not sure on two belt systems - so will keep looking. Keep the advice coming!
Cheers
Kelvin
14 Jun 2014
@ 10:04 am (GMT)

kelvin brace

Re: Belts
Here is the beast knife in question;


It has an 8 1/4 inch blade - must have been on drugs as I didn't notice that it was so long when I brought it online....
Cheers
Kelvin
14 Jun 2014
@ 10:16 am (GMT)

kelvin brace

Re: Belts
sorry - the one I got has a 9 1/2 inch blade (240mm)... The maker now has a slightly shorter one at 8 1/4.
details;
The knife maker is Takeshi Saji from Japan.
Hitachi Shirogami (White steel) Layered Damascus 240mm long / 5.0mm thick blade, Wooden handle with brown Leather cord wrapped, with black Metal hilt. Comes with a dark brown Leather sheath.

I was slowly getting used to it even being much larger than my last knife of many years being a NZ Svord - one of the earlier hand made ones. Had a 5 inch blade and was a great knife until it got stolen.
The edge holding is fantastic on the Saji knife but I really need to spend more time in the field to figure out if it fits for me or not.
14 Jun 2014
@ 05:29 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Thanks for the Kilt link Mike- bloody brilliant. Long johns and a kilt would be great but I would still prefer a Roman tunic to hang the weight off my shoulders, not my waist. Still....a multicam kilt!

I think hunting methods has been a key factor in changes Kelvin. We used to spend a lot of time on foot, shooting at close ranges (.30-30 for you or .303 for me). But these days we tend to spend time shooting prone which is where thistles become a problem. A few thistles is OK, they eventually come out. But if you are doing a lot of prone work, thistles become problematic. Pants don't stop thistles altogether but they do have a more limiting effect.

If hunting down south, your legs look like they have been hit with a shot gun in no time- Spaniard grass and Matagouri. Fleece makes no difference.

From Peter Maxwell's excellent book- Frontier....

14 Jun 2014
@ 05:33 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Short shorts and polyprops (Merino is now very popular- and very good)...



14 Jun 2014
@ 05:49 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
The characters Titus Pullo and Lucius Vorenus from the TV series Rome. Pants are worn under the tunic....





Note how the knees are tied off...



Now this may all seem very moot. But if we look at the 5:11 tactical kilt with its pockets and carrying capacity, it is not too difficult to see how, with a bit of imagination, it would be possible to expand further. If the roman tunic was made of fleece (or whatever you prefer) and had pockets, plus high waist belt loops, it would be possible to carry some load off the shoulders and waist combined. If the tunic was kept fairly trim (not too bulky), it would be possible to layer up over it. Polyprops could be worn under the tunic. The rear back side of the tunic could also have a goretex liner (dry bum).

Anyway, I know none of this helps- just thinking out loud sorry. These things have been on my mind for some time.
14 Jun 2014
@ 07:33 pm (GMT)

sllindsay

Re: Belts
Nathan,
The belt bag you found is too fancy. This link below is similar to the rig I have, but they don't seem to have the exact one anymore. This one does have the side straps from which one could hang a knife at a good side location and similar ample pockets. Very comfortable, even on long days.

http://www.cabelas.com/product/Hunting/Hunting-Accessories/Hunting-Bags-Packs%7C/pc/104791680/c/104734980/sc/104392080/Cabelas-Outfitter-Series8482-Whitetail-Hunting-Fanny-Pack/1608704.uts?destination=%2Fcatalog%2Fbrowse%2Fhunting-bags-packs%2F_%2FN-1100127%2FNo-48%3FWTz_l%3DSBC%253BBRprd1608920%26WTz_st%3DGuidedNav%26WTz_stype%3DGNP%26recordsPerPage%3D48
14 Jun 2014
@ 11:22 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Sorry Stephen- I'm still stuck on 5.11 Kilts....

Twas a fine wee day for the shooting of long ranges. Ah stood out on the ridge and let me wind meter dangle a bit in ta wind- and a fine breeze it twas that passed through ma kilt. 7 mile per hour me thinks. Ock aye, I'll be aiming a touch ta the right.
31 Jul 2014
@ 04:22 pm (GMT)

Warwick Marflitt

Re: Belts
Great post guys. Well I have found that two large dog collars from Farmlands make the best belt for hunting. Tough leather with strong buckles and the eyes are strong enough to tie yourself off if needed. Or clip the dog's lead to it. Cheap at around $60 for two belts.
My work belt is an Atlas Copco Rockhose jumbo strap . I will get you some to try Nathan. I carry 4 with me when hunting to tie up legs to carry out the meat. If you break pack strap etc . They have a million uses.
Just my10c worth. Happy hunting
31 Jul 2014
@ 06:58 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
Sounds great thanks Warrick.

I have come across guys using Ford seat belts before, the old type with the logo in the button if I recall. They were pretty cool! Haven't seen that for years though.
24 Oct 2014
@ 08:38 am (GMT)

kelvin brace

Re: Belts
Thought I would post my final choice....
I went for the SOE 1.75" Rigger's Belt With Velcro Lining (this is the cheaper version with the buckle rather than the catch). So far its been great - been working moving rocks on the section and no sore backs - this thing is tuff as and looks unlikely I'll need another for a very long time.
Also been out in the bush and it works well under my pack etc. The front buckle can be a bit of a pain if your sitting round as it can pinch your gut - but am getting used to flicking it loose and its easy to tighten again once work resumes.... also included the v ring - haven't had any use for it yet but I can see it being useful sometime (maybe - even if its just to tie a dog to).
All in all well worth it - cost me $75 including shipping from the states so not too pricey.
thanks for all the helpful comments!
PS - Nathan I got a rescueme PLB as well - these seem sweet and might be useful next time I get a tyre ripped out and the spare is stuck if I am more than 20k round trip from the station house! (never again)...
Cheers
Kelvin
24 Oct 2014
@ 03:43 pm (GMT)

Nathan Foster

Re: Belts
That must have been a killer walk with the Jeep wheel in the outback heat. I still shudder.

The belt sounds good. Now we just need to get you home and into the hills away from that desert heat.
 

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