Mosby: Packing for Partisans – A Conceptual Approach to Equipment Selection and Load-Bearing

The best suggestions I can make here:

1) Read this material.

2) Print it and put it next to your bed to re-read several times.

3) Organize your gear accordingly.

4) Get others on your side to do the same.

Also listed permanently in the WRSA left margin under “Practical Resources”.

Thanks greatly to JM for the hard work.

8 responses to “Mosby: Packing for Partisans – A Conceptual Approach to Equipment Selection and Load-Bearing

  1. Lean and fast.
    That’s my universal approach.
    Take what’s necessary, nothing more.
    No plates, no load bearing anything, minimal food, water, ammo.
    Most of the tools are stored in my head, not my back.
    Worked long ago in FTX at Bad Tolz, will work again.

  2. My comment above was made prior to reading the article.
    After reading it I have to say it is impossible to get ANYTHING done carrying the weights he mentioned. 150 lbs, really? Yes, that is a pack mule and nothing more. That person will conduct NO fighting. period. And he will be a hindrance to the success of the mission.

    Whoever is coming up with these *doctrinal* loads needs to be shot.

    You have to look at the mission, the duration, and engineer your load accordingly. Nothing more, nothing less.

    In the mid 70’s we each carried an Alice of about 25-30 lbs, that was our approach load for routine missions. We also had our butt packs on H straps under the Alice. Get close, drop the Alice then proceed with the just the butt packs. simple, effective, infinitely repeatable. This was the SOP for the common LRP and recon/attack.

    I can’t imagine what these people are carrying in 150lb packs, or why.
    All that stuff needs to remain back at the CP, if at all. My entire TA50 load was less than 50lbs and that included gear for all seasons down to 40 below and wet.

    I’m old now and even though I can still hit the headboard 3 times a week I have neither the stamina nor will to carry the kitchen sink just because. By default I have to stay lean and mean. Onward.

  3. I just can’t stay outta this place.
    One more thing, about Mosby’s mention of paracord 550. I disagree.

    I’ve seen this stuff mentioned many times and always cringe and wonder if the person ever used the stuff at all. 550 as boot laces? Come on. What good is a pair of boots with the laces being used to hold a shelter half? And, try to get that zig-zaggy 550 to cooperate with the branches and sticks and shit all over the place. Good luck with that. Same for the woven belts, wrist bands, etc., etc. What a tangled up nightmare. If cordage is worth having, and it is, in fact I agree with him about the knife/cordage premise, it is worth having in a working mode. I have a 1 qt zip lock with 200′ of black 550 coiled in 8″ loops. The zip is rolled up and 3 long bread ties keep it tight and compact, right there in my VN era buttpack on H straps and web belt.

    All of my boot laces, and I wear ONLY boots at all times, have replaced 72″ hiker grade braided laces, snipped and burned to the proper length to thwart tangling. The feet are the foundations that support the structure and MUST be taken care of properly. I approach everything from an engineering perspective, guess why. Logic+Principle=Fact

    • Semper Fi, 0321

      I have a pair of jungle boots from Okinawa I’ve had for exactly 40 yrs now, still in pretty good shape considering they’ve been half way round the world and back. They still have paracord laces I put in in the mid 70’s. Never had to use them for a hootch or anything else.. GS, the idea is to pull out the inner white cords, then re-use the outer shell for laces again, do what repairs you need with the inner white stuff.
      Excellent article overall, much of what I’ve done follows similar lines. Every one of us will do something different, or based on previous experience, has old likes and dislikes, (see GS above) but as a base to start organizing from, this is great, especially for someone who can’t figure out where to start. For older guys like me, lots of this gear didn’t exist, have learned to mix and integrate newer equipment to what we were familiar with in our day. And throw some of the newer shit out, again too, there is just too much crap being issued that isn’t needed. Remember KISS! Keep It Simple,Stupid. I totally agree with compass vs GPS, learn to use map/compass and leave all the battery driven toys home.
      I too abhor armor plates, won’t carry that stuff on patrol. Like my old days in recon, flak jackets and helmets stayed home. Will wear it in the rear though.
      Sleep gear is more important for me, here in the Rockies were have winter 7 months of the yr, summer actually lasts 2 months, so bags are needed.

      Mosby, wonderful write up!

      • Agreed, he packs a lot of pertinent info in that article and does so from a users perspective. I do wish, however, that he would somehow address all of the ABC items. I am familiar with many, but he comes from a more recent era than I and when I hit one I don’t know I’m sort of deadlined. Must be worse for non-prior service readers.

  4. Gringo Viejo

    I realize you men have have such considerations. But as an old man, I write this with a wry grin, I know that my bus ticket is a one-way fare. When my moment arrives, I hope to respond as Jasper Palmer, Michael Caine’s character in “Children of Men” did.
    “Here! Pull my finger! Seriously! I want you to pull my finger!”

  5. Semper Fi 0321 your right on about the 550 cord as boot laces. At SFQC survival phase (good old Camp MacKall) I gutted the 550, constructed a gill net with the inner threads. Caught fish in Bones Fork Creek and ate good. Re-laced the boots with the 550 shells. Later on in my career I used the strands to sew up a busted ruck shoulder strap. It’s got so many dual uses it’s stupid not to have it in your ruck.

    • Semper Fi, 0321

      I was at Camp MacKall in spring of ’76, attending Counter Guerrilla Warfare School with 5th/7th and 19th SFG. As Recon Marines, we were very impressed how laid back SF was, how professional they were, and how well we were treated by the SF staff. Great memories.
      I don’t go anywhere without at least 25′ of paracord in my pack, girlfriend even bought me some rolls of the new Multicam and desert camo stuff. Every zipper pull has been replaced with a loop of knotted paracord, love it!