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What to bring to your Appleseed Event

Started by Appleseed, July 19, 2009, 02:52:28 AM

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What to bring to an Appleseed
Event Checklist

Not everything listed here is necessary.  This list was compiled from the experience of those who have attended an Appleseed.  It includes those things which did or would have made their experience more enjoyable.  Remember that you need to bring whatever it takes to learn to shoot better.  

Appleseed will be providing the Instructors, targets, proven instruction methods, some fun information and some instructional handouts.  It is your responsibility to come prepared to learn.  Your Instructors will do all within their power to help you learn; however, we can not anticipate all of your personal needs.  

* Please be sure you are prepared to shoot in all weather, rain/shine/hot/cold - bring all the items you may need for your personal comfort - and please ensure you have any and all medical needs unique to you, as many of our shoot locations are remote, so you need to be prepared to spend a full and solid day on the firing line.*

Personal items

A teachable attitude (most important thing)*
Ear protection - Muffs and plugs *
Eye protection*
Elbow pads or shooting Jacket  
Ground cover (Rug remnant works well)
A folding chair (helpful but not required)
A hat
Little notebook (those little 2.5 X 3.5 work well)
Sun Screen
Lots of water (Must stay hydrated)
Light Lunch
Folding Chair (not necessary but nice)
Wet wipes
Bug spray
Aspirin or Ibuprofen
Necessary clothing for any kind of weather.

Cold weather items

Dress in layers
Thin gloves - For shooting
Large over-mittens - For standing around
Insulated container for ammo
Small broom - to sweep snow and ice off of your mat

Gun related stuff  

400 rounds*, minimum, of the same type and brand of ammo if possible (if you can bring 500+, you will have plenty - better to have too much than not enough)
Sight adjustment tools
GI style web Sling
5 Mags unloaded if not more.  20rds works well if State law allows
Gun cleaning supplies and lube
Instructions for your rifle (if you have them)
Know your rifle - spend an afternoon at the range before coming to Appleseed, if possible, to make sure it's working
Something to cover your rifle to keep blowing sand or rain off it.
Staple gun (if you own one) or thumb tacks.
Know the laws of the State you are going to and only bring that which is within the law.*
Spare rifle (if you have one)  

* = Required items


A teachable attitude (most important thing)*   This is without a doubt the most important thing you can bring with you.  Be Ready to Learn.  Our experience has been that many folks learn a great deal at Appleseed Shoots. Having the proper frame of mind will enable you to take the most home with you. You will not only learn how to improve, you will learn how to pass what you learn on to others.

Ear protection Muffs and plugs *  This is a MUST!  You will be laying down next to several other shooters, and there will be many rounds going off on the firing line.  It is very important you have hearing protection.  Both plugs and muffs will give you maximum protection and comfort if you are next to a centerfire rifle.  If you find yourself next to only rimfire rifles you can get away with one or the other.

Eye protection*   Another MUST.  There will be spent shell casings in the air for a good part of the day, so having something over your eyes is a very good idea.  There are many reasons to bring and wear eye protection, one being that many ranges require it - if you do not have any, you will not be allowed to shoot.  And this is where that wide-brim hat will do more than shade ya!

Elbow pads or shooting Jacket  You will spend a good deal of time shooting from the prone position.  Elbows are usually the first "casualties" of the Shoots, so if you come prepared, you will have a more enjoyable shoot.  You can get good shooting jackets from Fred's M14, Click to go to Fred's or, tell them which Appleseed you are going to.  If you get elbow pads, we highly recommend you DO NOT get the kind with the hard outer shells, as they make positions less unstable.  You can get inexpensive, soft elbow pads at Wal-Marts, Home Depot, Lowes or other hardware stores.  A soft, folded up towel is a good substitute for formal elbow pads.

Ground cover (Rug remnant works well)   Again, you will be shooting from the sitting and prone positions, you will be more comfortable if you have something between you and the ground.  Carpet, foam camping pads, tarps, whatever you have will be better than nothing.  You may find that padding is beneficial as well, as some locations have gravel on the firing line.  Having something waterproof to lay on can be good if it rains, and the ground turns to mud.

A hat  A hat with a bill or brim will help keep the sun out of your eyes or keep the rain off of your head. And the occasional piece of hot brass from your neighbor. Remember, we shoot rain or shine, so your hat will be a useful tool either way

Little notebook (those little 2.5 X 3.5 index cards work well)  You will want to take notes; there is a ton of information which you will be given.  Much of the stuff is covered in some handouts; however, you will have specific information you will want to record.  Don't trust your memory, you will really be receiving a lot of information; you may think you can remember, but likely you won't, without notes.  Also, you will want to note your rifle and sight settings, important both at the Shoot and when you are home.

Pen Not only for taking notes, but for marking your targets.  A Sharpie marker is handy as well - and can mark your sights as well, so you won't lose/forget your zero.

Sun Screen  Did we say we shoot rain or shine?  You will be out all day in the sun, protect yourself well, and bring enough to reapply during the day.

Lots of water (you must stay hydrated)  This is a must, especially in those hot and dry locations.  Don't wait for someone else to tell you to drink - please, you are responsible for your own health - so be responsible for it.  Appleseed Instructors are there to teach you marksmanship and American Heritage, they can not monitor everyone's fluid intake.  Water keeps very well so you can not bring too much; if you have some left over, you can take it home with you - or share with a fellow American not as foresighted as you are. 

Light Lunch  You will want to stay at the range for lunch, as this is when a good bit of the Heritage Instruction takes place.   A Light lunch is best, since it is a very active day. You don't want to get loaded down with some heavy foods.   

Snacks   This is important!  You will be spending all day at the range.  While there will be a break for Lunch, having a breakfast bar, jerky, nuts, fruit, or several different snacks near the firing line will allow you to keep your tummy happy so your mind can concentrate on all the good information you will be learning.

Folding Chair (not necessary but nice)   You will find there are moments to steal some "rest time" during the day as well as wanting a comfortable place to sit during the Heritage presentations.  Something which is light and easy to carry will be best.

Wet wipes   You will be more comfortable if you have a way to keep your hands clean.  Also, many of our Shoot locations are remote, with only porta-potties available, so wet wipes are nice to have around.

Bug spray   Even though they are not invited, we get the pleasure of bugs at our Shoot.  If you put a little bug spray on, perhaps the really hungry ones will pass you up for one of your neighbors, or an Instructor.  :)

Aspirin or Ibuprofen  Chances are you will be shooting in positions you normally don't shoot in (perhaps you should dry fire at home to prepare for shooting from the prone and sitting/kneeling position).  As a result, you will feel some complaints from your body.  Having some pain reliever available will help you cope with this new sensation of becoming a Rifleman. 

Necessary clothing for any kind of weather.  We really do mean ALL KINDS OF WEATHER!  At Appleseed, we shoot rain or shine, and even snow!  We have had shoots on 16" of snow, in 100+ degrees, and everything in between.  Be sure to bring rain gear - Appleseed Shoots are a known "rain maker".  Even if your favorite weather man says it will be nice, the rain gear is light and easy to bring. 

Wear layers of clothing, this allows you to add or remove layers to maintain your comfort and to adapt to either temperature changes or activity levels. 

Gun related stuff 

Rifle  Yep, you need to bring a rifle to your rifle course.   Any safe, legal and properly functioning rifle, .32 Cal/8 mm or smaller.  Here is a link for detailed discussion on "What Rifle to Bring"

400 rounds, minimum,  of the same type and brand of ammo (if you can bring 500+)  You will find 500 rounds will get you through most Appleseed events.  For those locations which have a "Long Range Component" associated with it, be sure to have an extra 100 rounds of centerfire ammo for that portion of the course.
Folks attending New England Appleseeds:  The folks in the Northeast ask that you bring 600-700 rounds to their shoots.  It is something they do up there.  However, if you do not have that much ammunition, you will gain a ton with the recommended 400 rounds, and they will be happy to work with you!

Sight adjustment tools   We see many different rifles on the Appleseed firing lines, it is very difficult for us to anticipate which we will see at a given shoot, and nearly impossible for us to have all the tools each rifle may need.  You will be well ahead if you have your own tools, even if you are unsure how to use them.   If you have your tools, the Appleseed Instructors can help you in using them.

GI style web Sling   This is one of the best and least expensive shooting aids you can purchase!  Here is a link to information about what sling to get, how to install it, and how to use it. If you need a GI sling, you can order a new one from The Appleseed Store at

5 Mags unloaded if not more.  20rds works well if State law allows  You will be making mag changes, and shooting strings of 13 rounds or more in a row.  We HIGHLY SUGGEST you bring 5 mags (or even more) to your Appleseed Shoot.  Now if you only have one, or two, don't feel you can not attend if you can not get more before the shoot.  If you can shoot 10 rounds, you can participate at Appleseed (even if you can't, we still want you there and you will still learn a ton).  Two mags should be an absolute minimum, so try to have at least two.

Gun cleaning supplies and lube  You will want to clean your rifle after the first day.  Also, if your rifle starts to malfunction, often either lube or cleaning will fix the problem and get you back on the firing line.

Instructions for your rifle (if you have them) Again, we see all sorts of rifles on the Appleseed firing lines.  If you can bring your manual with you, if there are any questions about the function of your rifle, your Appleseed Instructors can help you answer them.

Know your rifle   This goes along with the above.  There is a chance, if you have lesser common rifle type, your Appleseed Instructors may not be familiar with its function, specifically the safety related items.  You may be asked to demonstrate how to load, unload, and make safe your rifle. 

Something to cover your rifle to keep blowing sand or rain off it.   You have heard that we shoot RAIN or SHINE at Appleseed Shoots?  Bring a cloth, towel, small blanket to cover your rifle from the rain, dust, or sun.  A rifle laying in direct sunlight, on a very hot day, will get very hot to the touch.   

Staple gun  (if you own one) or thumb tacks.  We will be putting up many targets.  If everyone brings a stable gun, the process will go more quickly.  If you don't have a staple gun, bring some thumb tacks, they work just as well for putting up targets, just get the kind you normally see with bulletin boards, so they are easy to pull out.

Staples   If you have a staple gun, you will need to reload it.

Know the laws of the State you are going to and only bring that which is within the law.   This is important and your responsibility.  Appleseed can not keep up with all 50 states, so you need to be aware of the laws which will apply to your Appleseed Shoot.  There are plenty of good resources for such information.

Spare rifle (if you have one)  Rifles are mechanical tools, sometimes they let us down.  If you have a spare rifle and plenty of ammo for it, bring it.  If you have a malfunction on your first rifle, you will have an opportunity to retrieve your spare and get back on the firing line.  Be a shame to have a broken rifle and a fully functioning one back home.


For a printable "what to bring" checklist in PDF, load this file;
I do regard with horror a state of affairs which would make our country both unready and unwilling to defend its honor.
George S. Patton jr