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Thread: Weight of back packed gear study

  1. #21
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Don't think that's a good idea.

    SOF can go lightweight for many missions. When you go out hard and fast -- and come back fast you can use the lightweight stuff; it'll tear up but you can replace it easily back at base. With your American Infantryman; he's out fro weeks at a time -- if it tears, he's out of luck. Yes, in an Afghanistan or Iraq like situation, it can be easily replaced. Every war is not like these two and every replacement pack or harness displaces food and ammo...

    Good examples are the Mk 46 and Mk 48 Machine guns; great for SOF -- bad juju for the Infantry; they aren't tough enough; lack of durability kills...

  2. #22
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GS View Post
    As of late I have been writing in my blog ( www.soldiersystems.net ) about the Ultra Light Weight equipment movement for some at the pointest end of the spear. I have been calling it the "330 revolution" because it is the weight of the fabric. Standard issue items are 1000D cordura. The trade off is performance. The 330D and 500D stuff won't last as long, but the units that will use them have higher budgets.
    I tend to agree with Ken. However I have a UK issue DPM Goretex Jacket that I is extremely light, and the 330 would seem to be the way forward with some Cordura items, like Jacket pads. What's the Martindale number on 330? wonder?

    Given the freedom to make the required judgements and run risk, I don't see load carrying as a big problem. It's the leadership and CoC that is the problem. - and again lack of testing and written doctrine. Actually some of the best info is in one of the old FM-7's. I try and look out which one.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
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  3. #23
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Wilf, you may know where this study is. The original Israeli Web Gear "Efhod" was designed in the US. The US rejected it of course and Israel picked up on it and improved it. The point of the study showed a Soldier can carry more weight from his waist down than from the shoulders up. Know where it is?
    There's no real need for a study about it in my opinion.

    The reason for the effect is that weight at waist does not put additional demand on torso muscles. This in turn reduces the oxygen consumption of the torso muscles, which frees oxygen for leg muscles, which increases endurance and/or possible average speed.

    The effect on mobility depends on several variables and will not be visible in empirical studies. It depends on leg muscle fitness, torso muscle fitness, lung performance, food (is the body burning fat or carbohydrates? = different oxygen consumption/energy) and psychical factors.

    A similar concept speaks against heavy boots. The forward-brake-backward-brake-forward movement causes a huge energy consumption. The less weight at the end of the legs the better. That's why Kenyans are great marathon runners - very thin lower legs.
    To save one pound in the boots is much more relieving than to save one pound at the waist.

  4. #24
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    That's all the more reason for a study. The typical effects of weight and marching may not be empirical, but ability to run a simulated battle or obstacle course should be pretty clearly affected if the study breaks down into broad enough weight classes.

    You might start with three broad weight classes (light, medium and heavy) and then distribute those between carried on the back vs at the waist. That gives you six groups, plus you can use a group with "standard" equipment for a control. Have each group run your obstacle course or whatever and time them. Then put them through force marches of increasing length and have them run the course at the end. Differences in timing should become obvious if carried weight is an issue (it is). But differences in how the load is carried also come out.

    As far as individual fitness, because you have course times before and after the weight gets carried you can compare the reduction in performance as a relative, rather than an absolute.

  5. #25
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuchs View Post
    There's no real need for a study about it in my opinion.

    The reason for the effect is that weight at waist does not put additional demand on torso muscles. This in turn reduces the oxygen consumption of the torso muscles, which frees oxygen for leg muscles, which increases endurance and/or possible average speed.

    The effect on mobility depends on several variables and will not be visible in empirical studies. It depends on leg muscle fitness, torso muscle fitness, lung performance, food (is the body burning fat or carbohydrates? = different oxygen consumption/energy) and psychical factors.

    A similar concept speaks against heavy boots. The forward-brake-backward-brake-forward movement causes a huge energy consumption. The less weight at the end of the legs the better. That's why Kenyans are great marathon runners - very thin lower legs.
    To save one pound in the boots is much more relieving than to save one pound at the waist.

    My best friend in High School was named Billy Fuchs....that ain't you by chance? Disagree about evidence not being visible. Research the long term effects of vertical compression of the spinal column and you will find how critical this is. That is why most large civilian rucksacks have a waist belt, it transfers the load to the lower body and has a less damaging effect on the upper body.

  6. #26
    Council Member Fuchs's Avatar
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    Well, I meant that no empirical evidence is necessary because anatomy itself already shows that wait is better than back.
    Supporting evidence is credible, of course - but conflicting evidence (if it existed at all) would only suggest further studies because such a strong factor favours waist.
    Just my 2 cents, as always.

  7. #27
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Are we gonna include

    Quote Originally Posted by Jones_RE View Post
    That's all the more reason for a study.
    equipment reliability, survivability, longevity and replacement cube and weight factors on monthly logistic throughput in that study?

  8. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Disagree about evidence not being visible. Research the long term effects of vertical compression of the spinal column and you will find how critical this is. That is why most large civilian rucksacks have a waist belt, it transfers the load to the lower body and has a less damaging effect on the upper body.
    Any number of us former and current Infantrymen (and a few others...) can personally testify to the real-life effects on the back and knees (amongst other areas - I loved the part when your arms started going numb) that load-bearing produces. Especially when you're practically doubled over carrying 120-130 pounds on your back. No wonder that I knew guys who were in their mid-twenties that had already had as many as three knee surgeries already. And I still have a big scar on my lower back from where the (cheap) Army-issue frame would cut through my uniform and into my flesh. You were really lucky if you could get a hold of one of the old Airborne tubular frames.

    The SAS were onto something good in the old days when they preferred to carry as much kit as they could on the '58 pattern web belts; still even (especially) they couldn't avoid heavy Bergens.

    Some of the effects of heavy-load bearing would be mitigated by spending money on really good boots, not the cheap ones that are standard issue. Armies are quite happy with pursuing programs like Land Warrior that cost billions of dollars, but they won't pony up the money to buy the troops truly good booots that are genuinely waterproof, reasonably light, provide solid arch and ankle support without killing the calves too badly, and absorb shock well, helping to save the back and knees. Like here and here. Note that the first one is no longer in production.

  9. #29
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    The SAS were onto something good in the old days when they preferred to carry as much kit as they could on the '58 pattern web belts; still even (especially) they couldn't avoid heavy Bergens.

    Yep they were Norfolk, and like you say the heavy Bergens ruined it. With Land Warrior talking about the soldier as a system you would think they would look at a soldier as Human System first and find out how his skeletal and muscle infrastructure can or cannot support all that stuff

  10. #30
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norfolk View Post
    Some of the effects of heavy-load bearing would be mitigated by spending money on really good boots, not the cheap ones that are standard issue. Armies are quite happy with pursuing programs like Land Warrior that cost billions of dollars, but they won't pony up the money to buy the troops truly good booots that are genuinely waterproof, reasonably light, provide solid arch and ankle support without killing the calves too badly, and absorb shock well, helping to save the back and knees. Like here and here. Note that the first one is no longer in production.
    I would go a step farther and suggest that it be standard for a podiatrist to make orthotics for every soldier (everyone needs different amounts of support at different points) and put the proper amount of lift in each boot. Lift is often neglected. People assume they are symmetrical while in reality they are very uneven. Even an 1/8th of an inch difference in leg length can ruin your hip over time. If you actually slow down your walk(when legs are uneven, which is always) you can see that you are actually moving your legs in little ovals. Evening this out will save your hips and knees. This type of stuff will save a lot of pain, time and money in the long run. It will only save pain in the short run.


    Adam L

  11. #31
    Council Member Adam L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    With Land Warrior talking about the soldier as a system you would think they would look at a soldier as Human System first and find out how his skeletal and muscle infrastructure can or cannot support all that stuff

    I think they were counting on an advancement in moon shoe technology.

    AdamL
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  12. #32
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Adam L View Post
    I would go a step farther and suggest that it be standard for a podiatrist to make orthotics for every soldier (everyone needs different amounts of support at different points) and put the proper amount of lift in each boot. Lift is often neglected. People assume they are symmetrical while in reality they are very uneven. Even an 1/8th of an inch difference in leg length can ruin your hip over time. If you actually slow down your walk(when legs are uneven, which is always) you can see that you are actually moving your legs in little ovals. Evening this out will save your hips and knees. This type of stuff will save a lot of pain, time and money in the long run. It will only save pain in the short run.


    Adam L

    I actually had that done while I was in the 82nd. It helped big time when you spent hours on guard duty walking on hard concrete.

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    Loved reading in high school about Merrills Maurauders in the CBI theater of WWII. Especially the parts about the mules(didn't want to like the mules having their vocal cords cut) humping through the jungle.
    1968 I got to Vietnam as a USMC grunt with H 2/3 and found out I was the mule. (didn't want to like the part about them cutting my vocal cords, ha). There was almost no place in northern I Corps that we couldn't have used mules. We averaged 80 pounds and later in 1988 at a reunion we figured up a rough estimate that at bad times we carried 120 pounds. "They" routinely resupplied us with a limit of two C rat meals a day because "they" didn't have the birds to load out more to us. My first big op, early Oct., 68 "they" resupplied us with one canteen per man. Guess what, the work detail that loaded the sling loads for us computed one quart per man and did not supervise the idiots in the rear who filled the five gal. jerry cans. Each can was only filled up about 3/4.
    Got to the Combined Action Program in April 69 and we didn't hump so far but we did hump heavy. In 69 the CAP's went to the mobile concept, no more forts. Some times I carried the Prick 25 radio and an M60 MG. Thank god we didn't have to ever fight carrying like that. Ran ambush's at night with one canteen and 10-15 twenty round mags, no flak jackets. We never moved more than two clicks in CAP. Anyway my point being, there are ways to get it done.
    Anyway, we did run out of food during the monsoon down to seven meals for ten days. Never did run out of ammo.

    Boils down to leadership and discipline. Do the basics correctly, supervise, and inspect. Load to the mission, don't let the individuals carry 25 mags, and six canteens, unless you plan for it to get that bad. Leaders may have to be cruel.
    And get some mules where appropriate, but don't tell them you are going to cut their vocal cords.
    Semper Fidelis,
    Tipy

  14. #34
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipy View Post
    Boils down to leadership and discipline. Do the basics correctly, supervise, and inspect. Load to the mission, don't let the individuals carry 25 mags, and six canteens, unless you plan for it to get that bad. Leaders may have to be cruel.
    Fascinating account, and noteable in many ways.

    ...but history, operational analysis and my own experience all tell us that the leaders are the problem.

    The problems are mostly emotional in that leaders don't want to be seen to compromise operational capability by lightening loads and don't want to admit that there men cannot "hump more, than some slack jawed faggot," or any other member of the gay community afflicted with some type of mandible alignment defect.

    The UK looked at setting a finite load limit. You X kg to play with, and you juggled requirements within this. This never happened as, what testing that was done, indicated that soldiers thought it was cool to be "old school" and ignore the new silly weight limit. The culture mitigated against carrying a light and effective load, and the culture was almost certainly a product of poor leadership in terms of education and guidance.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    I took part in a study of this sort in 2003. I can attest that it was very thorough indeed, though even a cursory glance at the study reveals that.

    I have a PDF of it, if anyone is interested.

    Find it here on AKO.
    https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/8278839 | Author: andrew.k.childress | Format: pdf | Date Last Modified: 2007/07/27

    In answer to the question, in almost every case, we are over our max weight by 35 lbs. Ironically, the IBA/OTV weighs just about that much.

    Icidentally, the largest percentage of patients in military hospitals are there for back pain, I am told.

    http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/news/iraq.htm

  16. #36
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    yep that is the study my office and the Natick rep started from here at JRTC

    My NCO was one of the collectors


    Tom

  17. #37
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Tom, is it secret? I don't have that AKO thingy.

  18. #38
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sapperfitz82 View Post
    I took part in a study of this sort in 2003. I can attest that it was very thorough indeed, though even a cursory glance at the study reveals that.
    Is this the Task Force Devil effort done with the CTF 82 and one other CTF?

    I talked to their guys in London, a while back. It is an accurate record of what is carried on operations, but as one their guys pointed out, that raises a lot of questions, few answers. I assume the question and answers bit was done by someone else.

    However, while the US seems to be dealing with their personal Loads, the UK is getting increasingly crippled.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  19. #39
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by slapout9 View Post
    Tom, is it secret? I don't have that AKO thingy.
    No but it is a CALL document. Send me an email.

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by sapperfitz82
    I took part in a study of this sort in 2003. I can attest that it was very thorough indeed, though even a cursory glance at the study reveals that.

    Is this the Task Force Devil effort done with the CTF 82 and one other CTF?
    Yep that is the one.

  20. #40
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Tom it is on the way,Thanks.

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