These posts may make character creation look a bit complicated. Eh, not really. Life Paths are about 50% of it, and are pretty damned fun to boot. All the crunchy derived values can be pawned off on the math junkie, and most are based off a certain base value. Get the base value, and you can fill in the rest while starting the first session. Hopefully you won't need to know your Critical values in the first 15 minutes!
Group Equipment has a bunch of tables, but Personal Equipment... that's when people can get bogged down. One of the suggestions in the book is for the GM to come up with a default portion of the gear for everyone. EG clothes, outerwear, tools, tent, backpack, canteens, sleeping bag, etc. Some basic stuff everyone should have. Not a bad idea.
I think what I'm going to do for Bob something similar, but just a little bit different. Remember Contacts, how you can just whip out this vague idea of one and flesh it out when needed? I'm going to do that with gear. At any point, if it's reasonable, you can just whup out whatever gear you need and say you've had it all along--so long as 1.) it makes sense, and 2.) you have the weight limit in Personal Gear for it. I think it should keep things dynamic, and ease some of the "oh shit I haven't played a real survival game before!"
The one thing we know he carries already is a Saiga-20 (semi-auto 20-gauge shotgun based on the AK frame).
The weapon weighs 3.4kg, the 5-round magazines weigh .5kg (loaded) each, and Bob decides to take 4 of them (plus the one you can assume comes with the weapon). When asked about carrying it in and out of the vehicle, Bob decides his has been 'tweaked' a bit with a folding stock and a sling (0.2kg). The weapon also gets the quirk "Durable 1," meaning its wear level functions at one level lower (better) than it should--the AK is legendary about such things. He also decides to add a Reflex sight, powered and nonmagnifying. This drops the speed of snap and aimed shots by 1, and adds a +2 bonus to snap shots. This adds .3kg to the weapon. So all total, his shotgun weighs 3.9kg or about ten pounds. The 3 mags take another 1.5kg.
o Durable 1
o Folding Stock
o Powered Reflex Sight
Saiga-20 5rd Mags, 4x: 2kg (.5kg ea)
To carry all that he grabs a set of load-bearing equipment--the old-school stuff, he says, reasoning that his character wouldn't have the most high-speed-low-drag stuff. Plus sometimes it looks really cool to be old-school. Building it from the table he comes up with...
Belt-and-Yoke LBE: 2.1kg (2.5kg with 10rds shotgun ammo)
o Canteen Carrier
o Rifle Mag Carrier, Quad
o 2xUtility Pouch - 1 carries IFAK
o Mag Carrier, Pistol, Triple
o Radio Pouch
o 2xShell Loops (5 shells ea, 10 total)
IFAK: 0.6kg (Individual First Aid Kit)
Stylin'. Speaking of, as a benefit from some background info he's using, the GM advises Bob to go with modern digicams. Bob picks out a few more pieces of gear, based on that:
Field Pack w/Frame: 3kg, 24 Attachment Points (for MLBE)
o Frame can be adjusted (10min), -10% weight of contents
o 12AP: Patrol Pack (see below)
Patrol Pack: 1.5kg (4.5kg w/water), 17 Attachment Points, 6AP max size.
o 3 Litre Hydration Bladder (3kg full)
Tactical Vest + Extensions: 4.5kg, 2 Armor on Chest, Abdomen, Upper arms, Neck.
Fatigues (DPM), Mild Weather, 2x: 2.4kg (1.2kg ea) (+3 Field/Streetcraft to avoid observation, +4 vs electronics)
Combat Boots: 2kg
M9/Beretta 92: 0.9kg
3x M9 mags: 0.0.9kg (0.3kg ea)
That's 20.4kg, which Bob figures is a good place to stop:
1.) It leaves him 46.6kg (his Emergency threshold is 67kg) to "suddenly have."
2.) It lets him kit up for combat and adventure: Subtract 1.2kg (he's not going to carry his spare clothes), swap the 3kg of the patrol frame pack for 3 litres of water (which weighs 3kg, don't forget your Metric!!), and he's at 18.8kg. Add 3 survival rations and he's at 20.7kg, leaving 3.4kg he can add on before taking any penalties whatsoever.
As a final note, Bob decides that half his 100 rounds of ammo (remember that?) is buck, half slug. Makes sense.
Next time: Adventure!!