Attending your first firearms training class can be a daunting experience when it comes to planning and deciding what to bring along. Thankfully, we can learn from the pros who host these classes and those who have already taken several training courses.
The very first thing you should do once you’ve signed up for a class is to begin making a list. The class presenters will provide you with a generic list of things you’ll want to bring. Add this to your own list and begin writing down things that apply to you personally.
- Your personal medication
- A favorite hat to keep the sun off
- Supportive shoes
- Water bottle or Camelbak
You’ll want your clothing to be functional, comfortable and tough. Cargo pants or army surplus BDU pants work great. They have the freedom of movement you’ll need and the deep, secure pockets that are handy for extra ammo, glasses, and snacks.
Put all your extra gear like raincoats, knee pads, knife, and sunscreen in a duffle bag or backpack. The bag should be something that you can carry around easily and find things inside without too much digging.
Trainer and Author Steve Collins has another piece of advice when it comes to what you should pack in his article, “What Do I Bring to Class? It Can Make or Break Your Training Time,” on USConcealedCarry.com:
Bring plenty of ammunition! I usually bring one-third more than the course syllabus calls for. It’s easier to allocate funds for ammo at home base than to have to scramble around after the first day of class to find a shop that has some training ammo. Trust me on this, the nearest big box store (which is usually a long ways away) won’t have enough ammo for you, so bring your own. Test fire your ammunition in your gun before you go, and make sure your firearm functions with that particular ammo. (Read Steve’s full article on gun safety and other training here)
If you aren’t sure if you should bring an item, just throw it into another bag, and stow it in your vehicle. If it happens that you DO need something in that bag, it’s much easier to retrieve it from the car than from back at home!