Going to the range and forgetting a crucial piece of equipment can ruin a day. Depending how far the range is from your house, it can be time-consuming to go to and from the range getting gear that was not packed in the range bag.
I recently went to the range and I forgot some of my gear so I had to go home to get it. The particular range I was at requires payment/reservations by the hour. The range was busy and I had already paid for my time slot.
So I ended up being able to use just part of my paid for time at the range. But having a functional range bag with a packing list can reduce the trips to and from home. After this experience I decided to better understand how to pack a range bag and create a list so I don’t forget gear when I go to the range.
To pack a range bag can vary depending on the type of weapons being used or the type of range that you’re going to. First start by creating a list of all the gear that you will need to be able to shoot your weapons.
What To Pack In a Range Bag
- Eye and ear protection
- Emergency identification card
- Bug spray or sunscreen (if shooting outdoors)
Gun accessories And Ammo
- Gun mat or towel to set weapon on
- Additional gun clips
- Paper Targets
- Gun oil
- Trigger guard
- Multi Tools
- Cleaning rod
- Masking tape
- Screw driver
- Pen and notebook
- Small flashlight
- Tape for targets
- Small first aid kit
- Wipe down cloth
- Staple gun with extra staples
- Cleaning kit
- Maintenance tools
- Water bottles
- Extra batteries for any gear that requires batteries
- Zip loc bag for round cartridges
- Small bag to cover ground in case of rain
- Rain Parka
What Gear Should I Have In My Range Bag (Essentials)
- Safety Glasses
- Ear Protection
- Emergency Identification Card
- Trigger guard
- Tape for Targets
Range Bag Organization
As we can see a range bag can have so many different items packed in the bag. It is so easy to forget what has or hasn’t been packed. In addition it’s easy to forget where certain things are packed. More times than I can count it takes me 5 to 10 minutes just to find one item and my range bag.
Fortunately there are a ton of range bags on the market that help with optimal design for functional use. Something that I have found that helps with storage is to label pockets and create a master list that shows which pocket and item is in. This can be easily done by labeling Pockets A, B, C, D E, F, G and so on. Then have a list on my phone or piece of paper that says A equals this item, C equals this item Etc.
Be Prepared For Weather
Rain at a gun range can make a bad day go worse. A few weeks ago I took a trip to the range and it started to rain. I didn’t have essential items to protect my gear from the rain elements or to make it easier to shoot at the range.
After going home that day I researched what the essential items are to prepare for rain when at the range. Now before I go to the range I check this list and ensure I have the items packed. Her are some of the most important items to include in a Range Bag to ensure you’re prepared for rain.
- Plastic Garbage Bags
- Rain Parka
- Ziploc Bags
- Portable canopy
Plastic Garbage Bags
When it rains when I’m at the range or if it’s rained recently the ground is often muddy and dirty. Mud gets tracked everywhere and sticks to shoes and pants etc. Having a plastic garbage bag makes it super convenient in that it covers the ground below where you’re shooting and makes it a cleaner area to enjoy shooting.
In addition sometimes I like to kneel down when shooting. So I don’t have to worry about getting my knees or legs dirty. Garbage bags make it easy to lay down while shooting and not get dirty.
Rain Parkers are great for protecting from the rain. Last time I went shooting at the range my car was parked a ways from the range so the rain parka helps protect my body from the rain. In addition I was able to hold my range bag underneath the parka and my weapons as well to prevent them from getting wet while I walked to the car. Having a car holster makes it really easy to store weapons traveling to and from the range.
Rain parkas are often very functional in that they come in very small packages and can be stored away using a little to no space.
Ziploc bags can add function and convenience to range bags at little to no cost. When I have extra items or bullet cartridges, Ziploc bags are my go-to. Don’t forget Ziploc bags can be great for protecting weapons if it starts to rain.
Last summer I was shooting at a range near our house with a friend. The range provided overhead cover. Although there was a particular spot I wanted to shoot from that did not have overhead cover.
On that particular day it was extremely hot and very sunny outside. I used an umbrella to block the sun so that I could better see when shooting. In addition the umbrella provided some shade from the Sun. Umbrellas are always a great protection from rain as well.
Last but not least the portable canopy. I see portable canopies more and more at outdoor shooting ranges. Outdoor shooting ranges don’t always require overhead cover.
Portable canopies are an amazing solution to provide some shade and protect from elements such as rain. portable canopies are getting more and more affordable.
More times than not it will not rain. But for the times that it does rain these items sure do make the range more enjoyable.
As we can see there are a ton of items and gear to bring to the range. Although don’t feel overwhelmed as you do not need to bring all these listed items to the range. Be mindful of the elements you’ll be facing at the range.
In addition keep in mind the essential gear that you will need for your particular circumstances. Will you be shooting outdoor, indoor, shooting competitions etc?
For example if I’m shooting at an indoor range, I may not need the things that someone will need when they are shooting at an outdoor range.
In addition if I am only shooting a pistol in an indoor range at a short distance, I may not need the same gear that someone needs shooting at an outdoor range with a rifle at a long-range. But it may be a good idea to bring binoculars for someone at a long outdoor range.