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Offline Devlin

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Packing a Ruck
« on: October 27, 2002, 21:07:00 »
Hello All:

I have been asking around my unit about how to pack a ruck properly. For example what to put in it and where to put everything. Yes we did have an instruction given to us during basic with what they required we have in our ruck but this list was designed to meet the needs of our basic course and not the field. Any advice, especially from the infantry types on the list would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks again  :confused:

Offline Doug

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2002, 22:16:00 »
Of course there are some basics‘, but really it‘s all up to you.  It will all come with some experience.  Most units have a kit list for garrison and for those people who don‘t have a clue.  Myself, I have certain things that I like to pack for climate or location/terrain.  However, more times than not I end up with the bare minimum because operational kit takes priority (and space)  Things like radios‘, ammo(all kinds), NVG‘s, GPS, rations, etc... will weigh down your ruck in no time.

My unit has a winter kit list that reads like this:

Rucksack:  White cam cover rolled & secured to top of frame.

   a.  Right, Left, & Centre Pockets.
       
    ammo.
    rations.
    white toque.
    camouflage whites, top & bottom.
    white helmet cam cover if not already on helmet.

   b.  Main Compartment.

    cbt shirt.
    cbt pants.
    polar fleece top.
    cbt t-shirt.
    underwear.
    thermal underwear top & bottom.
    socks, grey, 2pr.
    spare duffle socks, mesh & felt insoles.
    50 ft 550 cord.
    2 x snap links & sash cord.
    plastic plate, cup & KFS.
    2-qrt water bottle w/carrier secured to side.
    entrenching tool w/carrier secured to side.
    flashlight.

   c.  Sleeping Bag Carrier.

    sleeping bag complete.
    bivi bag.
    shaving kit.
    towel, hand.
    utility sheet or poncho.

   d.  Therma Rest Mattress secured between cargo main compartment and sleeping bag carrier.

That‘s the suggested "kit list" for inspections and all that.  I personally don‘t pack like that!  Like I said, after a few exercises you will get the hang of it, sometimes it‘s hit and miss.  For example, you could be going on exercise in a nice warm place like Florida.  Common sense would suggest that you don‘t need much in the way of warm kit or sleeping gear.  However, Florida might just happen to have a freakish cold spell with snow and the works!  You is screwed, doomed to freeze your but off.  At least everyone else is in the same boat, brrrrrrrr.....

Good luck, pack what you think that you‘ll need.  Next time you can leave out the stuff that you didn‘t even come close to using.
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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2002, 22:41:00 »
I don‘t have much experience either, but I found out this weekend that a toque and a scarf is a MUST on any ex that looks remotely like it‘s going to be cold.
And a bivy bag and sleeping bag is pretty damn warm.

Offline Sharpie

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #3 on: October 28, 2002, 07:03:00 »
It seems that any base in Canada has it‘s own climate seperated from the rest of the Province it‘s in. Especially Meaford. Pack for all weather conditions I say.
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Offline bossi

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #4 on: October 28, 2002, 08:29:00 »
I DISTINCTLY remember an MWO in Meaford (wearing his parka) laughing at us shivering in our cbt jackets ...

It‘s true - experience will help you decide/remember what you need.  Flexibility helps, too (i.e. we used to always take our rain jackets and a fleece top - combined, they would get us through unforecasted cold snaps ...).

This time of year, gloves are taken for granted, however they‘re worth carrying all year round (especially when your hands aren‘t made of leather ... another lesson from the school of hard knocks).  A tocque/balaclava doesn‘t take up much space (and berets don‘t keep the ears warm ...).

Another item is food - sure, you can wait until the rations are distributed ... or ... you can tuck one or two personal specials/favourites into a handy pocket (lay off the candy, however - sugar rush doesn‘t last very long - nuts are good, but can make you thirsty - trail mix or reasonable fascimile thereof is reasonable alternate) - key to packing emergency rats is to make sure they‘re accessible.

Similarly, spare (dry) socks can be a lifesaver ... provided they‘re still dry ... ("ziplock", but squeeze the air out first).

And, first aid stuff doesn‘t have to be bulky - during the Falklands War the after action reports all commented on the shortages of normal cold medicine - you know what medicine works best for you - tuck in a few cold pills and painkillers - one day, you‘ll be SOOOO thankful you did ...

Other than that, it‘s a statement of the obvious but ... make sure it‘s balanced (not forcing you off balance to one side), and think about the order you‘re putting things in (i.e. at the bottom, put the stuff you‘d have lots of time to fish out - at the top, put the stuff you‘d have to grab in a hurry).

You‘re the one who has to live with your handiwork, so time spent in planning and preparation will benefit you.

And, as soon as you get back from an exercise or operation, clean your stuff and repack your ruck RIGHT AWAY (while the lessons are fresh in your memory)!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

At some point in time, there has always been "a first time" for everything - thus, if you‘re absolutely convinced you‘ve stumbled upon a good idea, then give it a go (within reason) - however, don‘t be too surprised if it‘s already been done before, or if it doesn‘t work out as well as you‘d hoped ... (it‘s funny, but sometimes the old way has survived ... for a reason ...)
 
With time, experience, and success, it‘s get easier and easier (which is why it seems that "old-timers" can do this in their sleep ...)

Good luck.
MB
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Offline combat_medic

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #5 on: October 28, 2002, 16:12:00 »
Since I‘m always carrying an extra 20lbs of medical kit, I‘m very conscious of the weight of my ruck. In Vancouver you can always count on rain, so there‘s always some wet weather gear and many changes of socks. I‘ll include 1 change of pants and t-shirt, long underwear (it‘s light and compact), fleece shirt, gloves, toque, scarf, toiliteries kit, baby wipes (great for cleaning your face in the morning, cleaning your hands before a meal, wiping off cam paint etc.). And then sleeping kit, jump bag, and webbing.

If IMPs are required, make sure you leave room in your ruck/webbing. If you need to carry extra ammo, a radio, water, or anything else, make sure you leave room for it. Never count on the weather, try to be prepared for everything, but make sure you‘re capable of carrying it for long distances.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline Doug

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #6 on: October 28, 2002, 22:03:00 »
Of course EVERYTHING in your ruck should be waterproofed in it‘s own individual bag.  Extra warm kit if you‘ve got the room.  A bunch of chocolate bars for the absolute worst part of your day when things couldn‘t suck more!

Definitely some medication i.e. painkillers, decongestants.  And if you‘re like me, your ruck is all modified to ****  to allow better placement of all the extra crap you may have to carry, especially a couple bungee cords permanently attached to the frame in key locations.  I might post some pictures from around the company of different guys rucks.  One guy that I work with who is just happens to be instructing on the Pathfinder course right now is currently using the bag off the 82‘ pattern ruck(read leg ruck) in place of the sleeping bag valise.  So it‘s the 68‘ pattern ruck(jump ruck) with the 82‘ bag attached on top.  He also has two utility pouches sewn into the bottom of his ruck.  There are definitely a lot of different ideas floating around out there.  Only you can determine what‘s really right for you.
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Offline radiohead

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2002, 22:13:00 »
One thing that I would add for sure if instant coffee bags there just like tea bags.   They actually taste pretty good, and if your like me and need a coffee to get going its a must.

But please do post your pics of rucks.  I like to see how its done before I have to pack them.

Offline portcullisguy

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2002, 22:46:00 »
Question #1:  What the ****  is a bivy bag?  I‘ve heard it described, but found no such thing in my basic kit issue list.  My sleeping bag includes a liner, inner and outer, and that‘s it.  Should I have been issued a bivy bag?  If not, should I acquire one after basic?

Question #2:  I know this has to do with rucks, not the small pack, but how on Earth are you supposed to fit everything they suggest in kit lists into the small pack?  With the gloves, cbt hat, rainsuit, complete, hexy tabs, emergency kit, matches, and spare socks, I can‘t find room for the "Extra ammo" or "1-2 imps" or some of the other nonsense recommended in my kit list... good thing it‘s a basic course, and I don‘t have to carry ammo anyway! (yet)

Question #3:  Again, not entirely related to rucks, but I‘ve just learned today that such a thing exists as rehydrant powder.  Does any one have any experience with this?  Is it realistic taht at some point during an ex, someone will go down with dehydration due to all the physical exertion, and is this better to have than, for example, an IV?  Or do medics already carry this and I shouldn‘t worry about it?

Lastly, Question #4 is for Doug:  Where can I find resealable (ziplock) bags large enough to fit cbt shirt, cbt pants, cbt jacket, etc., into?  My freezer bags are only really big enough for a pair of socks or spare underwear/t-shirt, or sewing-kit & toiletry kit, etc.
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Offline combat_medic

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2002, 23:14:00 »
A bivy bag is a goretex bag that goes over your sleeping bag and keeps everything warm and dry (really great piece of kit). It usually isn‘t issued until after you finish basic training, but if you don‘t get it then, mention it to your unit stores.

In your small pack, you should keep your rain jacket, but the rain pains aren‘t really necessary unless it‘s a torrential downpour. After your basic, toss them. In 4 years I‘ve never brought them, and never even had an occasion to wear them. Also, you should have your C9 pouch in which to store kit (unless of course you‘re carrying C9 ammo).

As for rehydrant powder; the only thing that would come close is glucose tablets or sodium tablets. These replace lots sugars and salt in your body. They WILL NOT rehydrate you. The only thing that will rehydrate you is fluid... PERIOD. Drink lots of water, and make sure to add a pinch of salt to your meal. Water is your best friend; drink even if you‘re not thirsty... when you feel thirsty it‘s usually too late. I cannot stress this enough... water water water.

As for plastic bags (don‘t mean to steal your thunder, Doug), it‘s not necessary to use ziploc bags, even if ones that large existed. Just use garbage bags of a reasonable quality so that they don‘t rip too easy and don‘t leak. Also use a garbage bag to line the inside of your ruck, and you won‘t have to individually pack each thing in your ruck.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Harry

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2002, 23:33:00 »
Porty.

Before you get all gung-ho.  Here are a couple of thoughts.

Zip Locks great, for the big stuff, they have the BIG freezer bags.

Back in the days of lore before all the high tech baggies came out, my kit load was packed simple.
Big black heavy duty garbage bag in the main compartment and shopping bags for the side pouches, worked a charm.

However, if one must and I know I did.  The US Army has a very nice rubberized valise liner, it is also large enough for the main compartment.  I used the large zip locks for the side pouches (I.E. socks in one, ginch in another yadda yadda) and the items in the butt pack were individually bagged.

For the Butt Pack, if you can get your hands on the old style thermos holder, you can use it to stuff kit in and strap to the top.  I used one in Germany to carry my Ranger blanket and ammo(never left home without it).  Trust me, the stuff you indicated is a far cry from some loads.  And I see the Melmac ensemble isn‘t included...

For packing the kit for the small pouches and butt pack.  When you roll it or fold it and put in those little zip locks, sit on them and force out all the air and close, almost like vacuum packed and reduces bulk.

I carried a small trench/patrol sniffle pack in my butt pack, just a few singular items just in case and a small self aid kit on my ruck.

Just remember any fool can be uncormfortable in the field.  You pack it, you carry it.  And make sure you remember exactly which tree you burried the extra kit under for the after End-Ex return...    ;)

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #11 on: October 29, 2002, 00:50:00 »
Great soldier stuff...,

Biggest issue when bringing all your kit to the field is looking after it so it is avail to you.  At the end of a hump when you go to ground there is a big temptation to get your gear sread out and hit the sleeping bag before your 0300 sentry duty.

Take 5 min and repack what you have taken out and waterproof your kit because rain or heavy dew will soak it and there is nothing worse than hauling around wet kit.

Like previous posts I like bungy cord in long and short pieces and earth tones to make a hooch faster and more water proof (tighter).  I also put my matches in a film cannister as it is waterproof although there is an issue item out.  Bring a flashlight with colour lense insert as you may be the point individual that runs into a friendly patrol.Don‘t assume your sleeping bag valise is waterproof use a green or black garbage bag as a liner.  And for what its worth I pack two knives one a 7 in fixed blade on my webbing and the other a pocket lock knife as well as about 12 ft of para cord.

Years ago I broke my collar bone in a jeep accident so on one side of my ruck strap I have taped some foam padding to keep from getting rub marks-I bring this up so you can get the idea to personalize your kit.

Enjoy your field experiences as it is one of the major things that if you learn to like it and practise your craft you will set yourself apart from most civvies.

Offline Spr.Earl

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #12 on: October 29, 2002, 04:29:00 »
Listen to the infanteer‘s as they have to pack and
hump what  they carry.
One thing though your sock‘s,gonch,t-shirt‘s all in zip lock bag‘s and as some do put a garbage bag in
the main compartment of your ruck and put everything inside as mother nature will get in if she can.
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Offline Doug

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #13 on: October 29, 2002, 07:22:00 »
Sure, I used to use garbage bags for the main compartments.  I learned some lessons.  In my battalion we get issued ruck liners like the Americans(but they are the old type?)  I bought some of the stronger rubber lined ones at a surplus store in the states.  
All of my kit in the main compartment is in individual bags, Ziploc and other types(if not transparent, marked!)  Then it‘s all in one of those hazardous waste army orange bags(thick plastic) and then the waterproof ruck liner.
In my valise, the sleeping bag is all together inside my bivi bag and then all rolled up.  Then placed inside another orange bag, then into ruck liner. Then into valise.  I roll it to keep it balanced.  I can also stuff things into the middle or roll things into the middle for easy access, or to be well padded.

I remember my basic/battle school when we had to cram all that extra garbage into my butt pack, there is no way to make it better.  It will be a monstrosity until you are allowed to pack what you want.  You could however roll up your rain gear and attach it to the top of you pack with bungee cord.  That might give you a little more precious space back.
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Offline portcullisguy

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2002, 12:02:00 »
Some great ideas, thanks a lot guys!  Our first outdoor weekend on this course will be later in November, at Borden, and I suspect the weather will probably be **** by then.  The garbage bags, etc., will definitely help.  On second look, the ruck bag and valise don‘t really look so waterproof, so these tips will come in handy.

As for the small pack, I think I‘ll leave the complete rain suit in for now, and then probably bungee the jacket only to the top after I am done basic, and toss the pants in the ruck.

Once I get a bivy bag, do I get rid of the sleeping bag outer?  I have two kit lists, one from this course, and one from steadfast warrior, and neither mention carrying a sleeping bag outer, but one or both mention the bivy bag.

Thanks again!
portcullisguy

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Harry

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #15 on: October 29, 2002, 12:59:00 »
Port,

Heres a little story.  Many (and I mean many) moons ago, we had a little patrolling exercise we deployed on for five days.  Leading up the weather was nice, REAL NICE.  We only had fighting order, and being a keener, I took my parka outer, just in case, night sentry can be a bore.  I also rolled my ground sheet up nice and tight and bungied it to my butt pack (the days before the Ranger blanket).

Never thinking it would get COLD, no one and I mean no one took a fart sack, or anything even remotely similar.  Incidently, it snowed our first night out, who whudda thunk.

On the upside, you can cram four grown men into a zipped up ground sheet with a parka outer os the leg warmer.  Our section was the only one that actually met all our objectives and never froze.  

Me, I was a hero, until the next ex, Winter Warfare that is, when I almost blew up our tent.  But that‘s another story...

My point, be prepared, and unlike the Boy Scouts, they have trained leaders,   :D

Offline Jarnhamar

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #16 on: October 29, 2002, 16:44:00 »
Range control has a weather machine.

Heres a little trick.
Things are heavy. Make friends with whoever works in with the CQ and give them your nuke bag or kit bag full of goodies to hold and when you go into a hide if the truck shows up your set.
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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #17 on: October 29, 2002, 20:19:00 »
Oh, and roll everything. You can fit more stuff that way.

And I got my bivy bag when I was issued my kit. Am I merely lucky?

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #18 on: October 29, 2002, 21:10:00 »
Yeah, lots of people are having trouble getting bivvy bags....
Heck, I had trouble getting a sleeping bag for my BMQ.. In the end I got one, and it made a nice pillow during our very brief field ex on that course. :biggrin:

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #19 on: May 21, 2004, 16:36:00 »
Im off to BMQ this summer and so far I have all my kit issued.. Im trying to pack everything and find out where to put things before I leave so I dont look like a complete tool. The thing im having the most trouble with is the sleeping bag.. How can you make the inner sleeping bag and outer sleeping bag fit together and have them roll up small enough to fit anywhere. Ive heared some stuff about the valise, what is it for? Any info would be great

Offline combat_medic

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #20 on: May 21, 2004, 17:28:00 »
If you‘re going on course this summer, only bring your outer sleeping and MAYBE your liner (if you have a ranger blanket, bring that instead). Stuff that into your valise, but don‘t roll it up. If you roll it, you put too much stress on the fabric, and it will tear more easily. Just stuff it all in, close it up and squish all the air out (squeeze it, sit on it) and it will get compact enough that you can carry more kit.

With careful packing, you can fit all layers of sleeping kit with bivy bag, ranger blanket and a pillow in that valise.

As for packing it all, don‘t worry too much about it; it‘s one of the first things they teach you. Each course is different, each standard is different, so just pack it however they tell you to pack it. Once you‘re done your courses and have more experience, you‘ll find a preference and work accordingly.
"If you're in a fair fight, your tactics suck." - Paracowboy

Offline WB

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2004, 14:35:00 »
Quote
I might post some pictures from around the company of different guys rucks.
Please do, Doug.

To add my own .02, Powerbars are awsome in the field. They‘re easy to eat on the move, taste better then IMPs, and when combined with half a canteen of water they make a noticable difference on your energy level.

Offline Doug

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2004, 23:05:00 »
wow, this was an old thread.  I guess I should get around to taking some pictures.  Most will probably be of my own ruck though.  Since we‘re only doing light PT for the next couple weeks(lots of drill coming up!)
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Offline Spr.Earl

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #23 on: May 22, 2004, 23:38:00 »
Quote
Originally posted by Doug:
[qb] wow, this was an old thread.  I guess I should get around to taking some pictures.  Most will probably be of my own ruck though.  Since we‘re only doing light PT for the next couple weeks(lots of drill coming up!) [/qb]
Dog and Pony coming up Doug?
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Offline Scotty

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Re: Packing a Ruck
« Reply #24 on: May 23, 2004, 20:18:00 »
Doug, in your original post in this thread (the one with the winter kit list) how much would all that stuff weigh?  Just curious.