View Full Version : Lightweight it ain't....

2010-01-22, 17:00
Since more troops have been sent to Afghanistan, the leading cause of evacuation has been knee and back pain apparently.

Unlike Iraq, more troops are "hiking" and in vehicles less. Most of the fighting in Afghanistan apparently is not exactly conducive to catching a ride in a vehicle. (Just an amateur historian...I'll let the people who have been there give the real info. :) )

Anyway, on the thread where I read this originally, this link was posted:

From 2003, but imagine the equipment is not too radically different.

The average march load (closest to our backpacking it seems) is 95 pounds for a rifleman! :O As one poster said...it ain't the AT they are hiking.

A "fighting load" is 63 lbs. (Equivalent to one of those dreaded day hikes it seems from a base camp. ;) )


And here's a link on "lightweight backpacking" (if you will!)

Finally..carrying way too much while marching over mountainous terrain?

Seems to be recurring theme. My grandfather did it 65+ yrs ago in Italy, southern France and into Germany....



SGT Rock
2010-01-22, 20:33
Every time they get a piece of gear lighter, some jerk decides you need two of them now.

2010-01-22, 20:39
I always carry 2 lighters. . . .

2010-01-24, 23:49
As an RTO I was the guy who called in medevacs. Most medevacs were not combat related. Heat prostration and dehydration were pretty common along with malaria and hepatitis. I never weighed a pack but I was told that 80 lbs was common. If your knees weren't feeling the love you weren't carrying enough. In 66 and 67 we didn't usually carry the load for very long. Hot LZs lightened the load right off the bat. FNGs were commonly used as pack animals since they didn't know much anyway. It also gave them some time to settle down. I was in country when they gave us the M-16...it was supposed to lighten the load. I assure it did not. We just carried more ammo. I doubt that much has changed.