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  1. #1
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008

    Default Equipment list

    A year or two ago some dude on the internet decided to invite others to help him make a list of 100 items.
    He wanted to kind of return to simplicity and thus wanted to reduce his possessions to 100 items, underwear not counted.

    He got lots of suggestions for what's really necessary.

    I personally am tired of threads discussing the perpetual problem of soldier overload.
    Let's do a different one for a change.

    Let's equip a rifleman (85 kg body weight) for a fight that might involve fighting in woods and villages (opposition by small arms, hand grenades, man-portable AT weapons and mortars expected). Moderate climate, spring, probability or rain is 30% per day.
    He is supposed to carry 5 kg of hardware for others (ammo, batteries or whatever - I know 5 kg is not much).

    His carried weight (including the 5 kg and clothes!) should not exceed 30% of his body weight for good enough agility and endurance. That's 25.5 kg or 56.1 lbs.

    Must-have items, for an easier start:

    (1) jacket and clothes behind
    (2) trouser and clothes behind
    (3) boots and socks
    (4) carbine/rifle with iron sights, accessories are up for debate
    (5) Minimum magazine capacity (loaded) 60 rds. More is up for debate.
    (6) emergency ration one day (may be a simple chocolate bar, of course)
    (7) filled small canteen
    (8) individual bandages for own consumption
    (9) dog tags
    (10) some means to open emergency ration (small pocket knife, for example)
    (11) a single hand grenade (may be a small defensive one)
    (12) (5 kg for others, including the necessary containers)

    Let the games begin.
    I suppose a specific discussion and probably a search for more lightweight equipment alternatives might actually yield some insight, for a change. Maybe someone from one of the ubiquitous "tactical" equipment suppliers suggests something as well.

  2. #2
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008


    OK, I get it. I was too subtle.

    Yes, my messages often have a subtlety - most of the time I try to push other's thoughts in another direction than the verbatim text suggests.

    This time I did not care about some lightweight pants, ideal canteen size and all the other hardware.

    It was instead a provocation tog et others to bring their personal preferences to the table. The compiling of such an equipment list was meant to lure out anecdotes, personal opinions about relative importance, different philosophies about how to conduct small unit actions and the like.

    Too bad nobody wants to play with me this time.

    Sooner or later I'll lure you guys out of your safe havens anyway. Resistance is futile.

  3. #3
    Council Member carl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Denver on occasion


    I don't know if I'm qualified to play and maybe this isn't what you are looking for but how about a blanket instead of a jacket?
    "We fight, get beat, rise, and fight again." Gen. Nathanael Greene

  4. #4
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005


    Is it a only a 24-48 hour patrol, or an extended patrol in excess of 48 hours?

    If it is a combat patrol (the intent is to make contact with the enemy, raid, ambush, movement to contact) then I would offer your proposed ammunition load is way too light. If it is recon patrol and your intent is not to engage the enemy you can go lighter.

    If the terrain allows you to refill your canteens in streams, lakes, mud puddles, etc., then two one quart canteens should suffice. Use water purification pills and lets move past this pampering where our guys have to have bottled water.

    If it is a day patrol, a couple of energy bars is enough chow. Climate will determine the amount of clothes needed, but a dry t-shirt and dry pair of socks can come in handy if there is a big temp drop between day and night. We used to move during the day only wearing our jacket/camaflauge shirt with no t-shirt, then if we settled down for the night we put on our dry t-shirt underneath our wet jacket to stay reasonably warm. Situation dictates, but we didn't carry the kitchen sink with us. If you switch socks out at night, you rinse your old out in a stream an hang them on your ruck to dry and repeatedly swap them out. We even used to cut our tooth brush in half to minimize weight and bulk. Sounds execessive but a hundred pounds of light weight gear is still a hundred pounds. Individuals carried their own med stuff to a point, but the medic still had to carry a med kit complete with IVs, chest tubes, hemostats, blades, etc. for more extensive injuries, especially if evac of the wounded could be delayed.

    Communications kit is often a problem, how many radios, and how many spare batteries? It can add up quick.

    Body armor and other protective kit is a huge problem, and I agree we are more effective without it, but not necessarily safer. The argument will be we want our soldiers to have maximum protection. If your goal is protect your soldiers instead of enabling to fight then it is a valid argument, otherwise it is pretty lame.

    Someday in the future I hope we can send out lightly equipped patrols that have a maneuver advantage over our adversaries, but the current mindset in the military won't accept that risk.

    If soldiers were allowed to determine what they needed for each mission instead of having it mandated you would see the load rapidly reduce in weight. Micromanagement is our biggest weakness in the military.

    Another major problem we have is the mindset that PACE created. When I first came we focused on primary and alternate means if the primary failed, but now we what if ourselves to death with having a primary, alternate, contingency, and emergency piece of kit for comms. Great I have four freaking means to make comms, but I have hundred pound rucksack and I'm not going to be maneuvering very effectively with it.

  5. #5
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    I agree with Bill's line of query. The mission and operating environment (conditions) absolutely have to be spelled out in order to come to a comprehensive recommendation. If we work from the frame of reference of knowing the weather, then those two elements are just as important.

    Without that knowledge, this would be an exercise in a lot of "what if".

  6. #6
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2008


    I disagree.
    For example, one might write "rations and water filter for three days: *** grams" and write that it's good practice to support infantry on longer missions, not the least because they might easily run out of ammo within hours, well short of three days.

    Simply don't assume the ultra-risk-averse attitude that all eventualities need to be known or even prepared for. Competent soldiers are supposed to improvise if #### hits the fan. Loadouts only need to cover the probable needs.

    I see, it's the first conflict of philosophies and background-driven attitudes.

    Fight, woods, villages, spring in moderate climate, maybe rain, 5 kg carried for others - go!

    By the way; maybe some day I will get behind the anglophone obsession with patrolling infantry. You can read a randomly selected 10,000 pages of German military literature and field manuals and are most unlikely to read more than two or three paragraphs about infantry patrols.
    Last edited by Fuchs; 11-04-2012 at 08:38 PM.

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