Whenever I come back from FTXs (Field Training Exercises
) the voluminous pockets of my combats are stuffed with crap. Left over rations (I collect the Soldier Fuel
bars - a chewy high calorie snack bar which most adults find kinda gross- as rewards for the cadets), Ops plan, schedules, FMP (Field Message Pad
), bush hat (swap it with my beret when coming out of the field), an extra spoon (never know you might drop the one you're using in the dirt), pens, sunglasses, wet wipes (always useful)....
And then there's the bulkier items that one should also have about one's person; sun screen, water bottles, rain gear.
If I went to supply and requested a pack (to which I am entitled as part of my scale of issue) I'd get one of these (as demonstrated by a colleague):
|Rucksack with colleague|
A full frame rucksack for humping your worries through the boonies on serious treks. A bit big, and it would in all likelihood have seen much better days back in the 80s. Assuming it had all its straps and buckles.
So I decided I needed a day pack or small pack.
My vanity wouldn't let me get one that was civilian pattern. Something about hiking along with a bright red or blue pack just looks wrong
to me, even though we aren't tactical and most of the cadets are wearing civvies in the field anyway.
The really nice Gucci gear
("Gucci gear" a phrase to describe private purchase equipment to supplement or replace the less comfortable or less useful issue gear
) packs from Soldier Gear
or CP Gear
were out of my price range.
After I got paid for my latest painting commission I went to my local surplus store and found a day pack that fit my price range in digital camo (looks kinda like, but isn't really, Cadpat) with a big enough central pouch for rain gear, training aids and lesson plans and side pockets for water bottles, sunscreen, bug repellent and anything else I might find useful. The straps aren't padded and the buckles aren't quick release, but I don't plan on doing any serious trekking with it.
|Just what the Trg O on the go needs!|
To add to my field swag, one of the drivers who delivers to my store from our warehouse used to be in the Reserves and finds my CIC work interesting. The other day he brought with him a couple of "Junior General Kits" (olive drab zippered canvas portfolios to go over a binder or spiral notebook with pockets for pens, markers, other bits of crap) and a newer, slightly nicer FMP.
He figures I'll be using them more than he ever will.