If there’s one factor I discovered, it is the facility of ‘Count’n Ounces.’ In my prior life, I went “to the field” in an airplane, and when the time got here… jumped. I jumped with a parachute. I jumped with a reserve parachute. And, I jumped with a rucksack and LBE (Load Bearing tools… which is navy jargon for a canteen belt and suspenders) that contained all the things I might have out there to me to do no matter was I used to be going to the sector for. Let’s not neglect your weapon, ammunition, and different munitions. All instructed, all the things I went out the door of the plane carrying anyplace from 120-160 kilos… or much more. Thank goodness, the parachute did its job.
When I began my profession, we had a rucksack referred to as a “jungle ruck.” It consisted of a tubular metallic body and a bag that held possibly 1 ½ to 2 cubic ft of area. Not a variety of area, contemplating all the things we needed to carry. On the body (often the highest half) we’d strap on a water-proof bag that carried sleeping gear and possibly a couple of different issues. Now for a soldier heading to the sector for 14-30 days, the primary precedence that goes within the ruck is mission vital provides and tools. For me, that meant a minimal of 1 heavy radio, a number of batteries (huge batteries), antenna making provides (wire, insulators, rope, and so on.), and a bunch on different miscellaneous stuff. Next got here my share of different required workforce tools.
After that, I can begin taking a look at my wants. Food, clothes, toiletries, sleeping gear, “snivel gear,” and the like. Every man had his normal listing of non-public stuff he took. And what you took was as small and light-weight as attainable. You actually began ‘Count’n Ounces’ since you have been going to hold each ounce you took. And for those who may get away leaving that additional ounce behind, you probably did. Here’s an instance: Back then, you have been issued considered one of two kinds of area rations: C-rations or LRRP’s. C-Rations have been “wet food.” It got here in a field that had particular person cans of the primary meal, fruit, cake, bread, crackers, peanut butter, no matter. It additionally had a sundry package that had espresso, creamer, salt, pepper, bathroom paper, and a couple of different issues. A full C-Rat could weigh 2 to 2 ½ kilos. You may both carry that complete factor… or… you possibly can break it out and take solely what you wished and go away the remainder behind. And that is what we did. I could not eat the field. It stayed behind. I did not need the creamer. Out it went. Whatever was inside that field that I used to be not going to eat, I left behind. It could have solely totaled an oz. or two, however that is weight I did not have to hold. Everything was scrutinized in such a way. Probably essentially the most priceless lesson I discovered was the idea of “Dual Use.”
What is Dual Use? It’s the collection of gadgets that I took with me that might be used for 2 or extra duties. Comfort, irrespective of how menial, was vital to us within the area. If you possibly can carry one thing that had a twin use that additionally offered some technique of consolation, it was value its weight in gold. What’s an instance of a twin use merchandise? A canteen cup. The outdated G.I. canteen cup was product of stainless-steel, and molded in such a approach that the canteen match inside. It was comparatively heavy, however you possibly can use to warmth up meals, drink espresso, scoop up water from a shallow creek to place into the canteen (sure… we used iodine tablets to purify the water), boil water for sterilization of medical devices, gather berries or different native edibles, and the like. Another twin use merchandise? Just about each man had a “drive-on-rag.” This was a triangle fabric referred to as a cravat that he wore round his neck for heat (when chilly) or to hold one thing on (like a flashlight), tie round his head to maintain sweat out of his eyes (when sizzling), and to make use of as a filter for bugs and different particles from water being collected and poured into the canteen (from the canteen cup). A multipurpose knife, like a Leatherman, was additionally standard. It had a knife, pliers, screw drivers, punches, even a noticed. Parachute wire (aka 550 wire) was invaluable.
We had one other saying, “Travel Light – Freeze at Night.” Sleeping luggage have been heavy… particularly once they acquired moist (Army luggage are down crammed). Better to take a poncho liner (nylon) and a light-weight poncho (additionally nylon) and wrap up in them at evening. Not as heat, however not as heavy. The rucksack was the pillow. No tent both. Instead, we used a second poncho strung up with 550 wire.
Time went on and the outdated jungle ruck was retired and changed with the ALICE Ruck. A a lot greater bag so we may carry extra stuff. Eventually, that was changed with what was referred to as the LOWE Ruck. Even greater, but it surely additionally was MUCH HEAVIER than the jungle or ALICE rucks. We have been issued much more gear, too. Technology shrunk it down, however 100 kilos of light-weight gear weighs simply as a lot as 100 kilos of heavy weight gear. So, ‘Count’n Ounces’ was nonetheless the secret.
In future articles as I discuss particular planning for or conducting treasure searching adventures, be it metallic detecting, gold prospecting, or no matter, I will likely be providing you with my “spin” on provides and tools to take. In most instances, I’ll suggest one thing that’s twin use, or at the least mild weight, but will get the job completed. I’m huge on consolation, and a part of that consolation is having the ability to get from level A to level B with all my “stuff” and not so exhausted that I can’t do what I went there to do. Until then, begin excited about ‘Count’n Ounces,” and begin planning your subsequent treasure searching journey.