Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Gear Issues

Some lessons learned over the years, as related to gear:

Cold weather + old sleeping bag + rain = Catastrophic Bag Failure

New, high-speed, water-proof sleeping bags, aren't.

New, high-speed, water-proof sleeping bags do a heck of a job keeping water in, once wet.

New, high-speed, water-proof sleeping bags are a mother to carry on a hump, when wet.

Any new pack (MOLLE *cough, cough*) that comes with a video tape to demonstrate assembly is a bad sign of things to come.

When your pack's frame (MOLLE *cough, cough*) snaps EVERY. FRIGGIN'. TIME. you take off the pack, that too, is a bad sign.

The camouflage pattern on military packs is so good, it gets lost on the return flight to the states.

Newer, larger packs can fit more (and heavier) stuff. This is painfully demonstrated on the first hump with the new pack.

When it take more than one Marine to lift one pack, you might want to revise the gear list.

Bees can fit in the water tube of a camel back.

Bees do not taste good.

Camouflage nets are attracted to uniform buttons. And rifles.

New boots have no place anywhere near humps.

OJ and vodka are not officially authorized liquids for use in issued canteens.

Everyone will have Hollywood Sexy gear compared to your own.

Military vehicles can be repaired with zip ties, boot bands, duct tape, and curses.

Issued tents do a decent job of keeping some bugs out.

Issued tents do an amazing job of keeping body stank in.

When driving military vehicles through mud, the red-neck from Texas is a great asset.

ALL vehicles can get stuck in mud. Even when driven by red-necks from Texas.

You can snap rifle hand guards on your shin. It's not highly recommended, though.

As a general rule, new field gear will inevitably be larger, heavier, and less field-worthy than the perfectly good, well used, and definitely older stuff you had to turn in.

Be happy with the newer, larger, heavier, and less field worthy stuff you just got issued lest you get issued even newer, larger, heavier, and less field worthy crap for your troubles.

Deadly force is authorized for use against the PFC who asks the Platoon Sergeant if X item of gear needs to be carried on the hump. (This was usually gas masks, but on occasion was items more cumbersome, heavy, or actually unneeded for the remainder of the field training.)

If given a choice, the amount of cold weather gear left in the rear will have a direct effect on the amount of drastic drop in temperature during the night. (More gear in the rear, more of a drop)

Bringing excessive cold weather or rain gear is the only way to guarantee that it wont be needed.
It will also almost surely tack on another 4 to 5 miles to the hump.

The better the temperature when in the rear during the days leading up to a field training op, the worse it will be in the field.


Mark said...

Ahh yes, while I was in basic we were transitioning from the steel pot to the K pot and the M-16A1 to the M16A2, and a few of the old salts could still get C-Rats instead of MRE's. A word to the wise a C-rat could be from the Korean War and still be edible, a MRE isn't edible even if it was manufactured yesterday. this was back in th mid 80's for those wondering.

Murphy said...


They've come a long way since then (or at least from the mid 90s), but there are still some... interesting creations out there.

karla (threadbndr) said...

""Military vehicles can be repaired with zip ties, boot bands, duct tape, and curses.""

The Marine!Goth is a 3521 (when he's not manning a 220). His motto is "I can fix anything. Where's the duct tape?" He has a tee shirt to that effect.

threadbndr said...

The Marine!Goth informs me that I am in error - 2*4*0Golf or Bravo. My Bad (but I still stand by the duct tape and WD40. If it's moving and shouldn't - apply duct tape. If it isn't moving and should be - apply WD40.)