Combat Patrol – Gear & Info

AAR #3: DEC 14/15 CRCD – D Close
December 18, 2013
AAR #4: Dec 14/15 CRCD – Doc
December 19, 2013


There have been numerous comments, for example in the ‘Out In the Woods‘ post, concerning winter clothing and equipment, sleeping equipment, and gear requirements, for the Combat Patrol Class, the first one of which is running on January 18 thru 20 2014.

Given that is is a requirement to have attended CRCD prior to attending the Combat Patrol Class, students will receive an updated copy of the CRCD information packet. As of writing, I am not planning on including an addendum on the Combat Patrol Class. Instead, I have posted on the Combat Patrol Class page on this website, with gear that is required.

I will update the information on that page as a result of comments and questions received on this post.

Here is a copy of the current information on the Combat Patrol page:

COMBAT PATROL: This is a three day patrolling class. It is a requirement to have attended CRCD prior to Patrol. This class will involve living in the field, tactical movement, actions on contact including break contact drills, ambush, raid and reconnaissance patrols. The first part of the class follows a teaching format similar to the CRCD class, with training taking place in the schoolhouse with transitions between teaching and tactical phases to practice what is taught. The course is entirely live firing, with electronic pop-up targets playing enemy. The final night involves an overnight tactical patrol base. Equipment is required as per a three day patrol pack, to sleep tactically in the field.

Classes are open to prior CRCD students only. Priced at $500 per person for the three days. There will be a requirement for one night spent tactically in the field. Gear and patrol pack/ruck will be required for the patrol base operationl. This will be a practical patrolling and live firing course. Class size: minimum 4 to max 12.


The class will follow the style of the CRCD class. You will not be thrown into the deep end with a three day patrol living in the woods. The Saturday and Sunday will alternate between teaching sessions in the schoolhouse, moving into tactical phases to practice what has been taught, then back out to teaching.

Example Topics Covered:

  • Patrol Movement:
    • Signals
    • Formations
    • Halts/Security
    • Linear Danger Area / Obstacle Crossing
    • Route Selection
  • ‘Actions On’:
    • Enemy Contact (incl. pre-seen)
    • Lost
    • Separated
    • Casualties
  • Tactical Living in the Field:
    • Patrol Base
    • Lay Up Position (LUP)
    • Shelter
    • Administration
  • Patrol Preparation/Orders/Rehearsals
  • Types of Patrol:
    • Recce patrol:
      • Close Target Recce
      • Observation Post
    • Standing Patrol
    • Fighting Patrol:
      • Ambush
      • Raid
    • Ground Domination Activity (GDA) Patrols:
      • Satellite Patrolling
  • Live Fire Tactical Execution:
    • Actions on Enemy Contact/Break Contact
    • Raid
    • Ambush
    • Patrol Base

In this way, the topics from types of patrol, living in the field, contact drills, actions on various things such as crossing linear danger areas, ambush and raid will be covered and rehearsed, before moving into a full tactical phase to practice it live (with live rounds), then back out to debrief and further teaching.

Example: Ambush. The subject will be taught. You will then be briefed on an ambush scenario. There will not be time in the class for full sets of orders before each tactical phase, but the scenario will be briefed. The operation will then be rehearsed pre-patrol and we will then go out and conduct a live ambush in full tactical conditions. We will then recover back to the school house for tea/coffee and medals, a debrief and then on to the next topic.

Note: this class will focus on basic patrolling operations. The primary aim is to execute a patrol base/LUP, further movement and contact drills on top of those already practiced on the CRCD class, a limited recce patrol, plus a live ambush and raid. Each tactical operation, live or not, will take place within a briefed exercise scenario.

Accommodation: this will be the same as for a CRCD class. You will be able to stay locally in hotels/motels, or camp on site. The Sunday night is the exception; this will be a full tactical execution of an overnight patrol base/LUP.

Weather: bring appropriate tactical clothing for the time of year. Wet/cold weather gear. If severe weather impacts on the patrol base operation, it will be called in the name of safety, to prevent hypothermic or frostbitten students. It is about learning, not suffering. (Well, a little bit of suffering will be included, this is the infantry, right?).

Safety: Most of the tactical phases will be executed on the live ranges under range conditions, live firing. The usual safety rules from the CRCD class will be briefed and adhered to. When in other phases of instruction, and when overnighting, all weapons (rifles and sidearms) will be either fully unloaded or the ‘Make Safe’ procedure will be adhered to . This involves a full unload (chambers checked) followed by a load of the magazine, without charging the weapon (no round in the chamber). The ‘Make Safe’ procedure allows for a greater margin of safety with responsible weapon handling. It also allows a supervised intervention and ‘Make Ready’ command to chamber a round in preparation to a move into a live tactical exercise – and also allowing a supervised moment for ear protection to be implemented.

Gear: The standard CRCD suggested equipment list remains in place for Combat Patrol. In addition, you will be expected to bring and carry a patrol pack as well as your battle belt/vest. You do not have to carry all of the gear for the three days all of the time: a light patrol pack will suffice for most of the class. You will only be fully living out of your patrol pack for the patrol base overnight operation. Use it as an opportunity to pack light and sort out your gear. You will need to bring appropriate gear for the weather but don’t overdo it. We will  work with lighter patrol packs and then pack in heavier for the overnight patrol base phase.  It is about training and learning, not humping heavy gear.

For winter classes, Make sure you bring cold weather and rain gear, a full change of your tactical training clothing, spare socks, hat, gloves, headover etc. Not all of this gear needs to be carried all of the time, but it should be available. Conditions dependent.

A headlamp is invaluable, with a red or green filter. Bring a small tactical flashlight (red or green capable). Have a tactical flashlight mounted on your rifle if possible. For tactical operations at night, including the patrol base, you will not be using light. NO LIGHT. Light discipline in the patrol base will mean you will have to be able to pack, unpack and find gear in the dark. For non-tactical phases at night, the headlamp is ideal.

Sleeping gear: for the patrol base night, you will be sleeping tactically on the ground. This means you will need appropriate sleeping equipment to sleep on the ground. This is the gear that you should bring:

  • Sleeping bag. Appropriate to the season. Don’t overdo it – you will be clothed inside it. For winter, I use an olive color Snugpak Sleeper Lite. Job done. Summer I use a Snugpak jungle sleeping bag.
  • Gore-Tex Bivvy Bag: you can pick up the woodland military surplus ones for cheap.
  • Shelter Tarp. A Nylon (not polypro nastiness) military style subdued color shelter tarp. Military ponchos are ideal. If the MVT Shield is available by then, use one of those.
  • Thermal sleeping mat. A 3/4 length thermarest or knock-off is ideal. The ones that slightly inflate and pack down small. Without this your heat will leech off into the ground, big time.

Ammunition: As per CRCD, minimum 500 rounds. More is always useful. I will get more specific on ammunition amounts as the class beds in.

Technology: If you have NVGs and FLIR, bring it. We will work with what we have, just like SHTF. If you don’t have night vision, or don’t want to use it, that is fine. If you want to use it, that is also fine.

Rations: as per CRCD, bring food for lunches and for all meals if you are camping. For the patrol base overnight, you will need to bring appropriate rations. A couple of MRE’s will suffice. You are also welcome and encouraged to bring some sort of small camping stove, such as a propane or solo stove, to heat water/food and to make hot drinks. For tactical phases, these will be used as appropriate to the tactical situation and during daylight.

Entrenching tool: you will not be digging shell scrapes for the patrol base. You will have access to the latrine on site during the class and also during the patrol base operation. For this class, an e-tool is optional, but remember that you will need one for real.

Live Hard.

Die Free.






  1. Bergmann says:

    One of the biggest issues Ive come across here in Alaska while creeping (Patrolling) in cold weather is working up the body temperature and then having to sit static for what ever reason. Even for a short duration on the move I get sweaty and my clothing will get wet. Seem the older I get the more I sweat. I dont skip light on kit here and in any cold weather anyplace no one should. There is no such thing as “going light” here. You’ll freeze and die at night, even in the summer..

    Here is a short idea of some measure i have taken for winter. Everyone is different so you wont know what works best for you unless you get out and use kit in training…

    Its layers. I never rely on one solid coat for everything. I have found that one best bits of layer kit for me when creeping (patrolling) is the British issue Army green Norwegian poly-pro type shirt (sportsmans guide usually carries them) over a T shirt for moderate cold (25-10 degree F). This shirt works much better then its counter part, the brown US issue polypro shirt that I have found is over kill and wears like shit. This is covered by a HOODED loose fitting DPM wind smock and proper head gear for moving. Usually a patrol type cap will suffice even down to 0F or below for me because I have a hood. If i need to switch out for more warmth I keep in my webbing or cargo pocket a wool Army Issue skull cap. These work best for me. I stay away from synthetic “micro blah blah blah” modern materials head gear for cold protection. If they get wet from perspiration it will not keep me warm if you have to halt for a duration and i have had them freeze right on my hair (this only happened once). I also keep a few wool neck toques in my webbing or in a side pocket. They will warm your neck and can be pulled over your face. They can also be used as a skull cap. I store them in a ziplock bag (s), rolled tight with the air squeezed out and the mouth facing up to manipulate and retrieve with one hand. The bag can be very noisy in lower temps so take care for this. On the rare occasion I use insulating balaclavas to keep warm. I will generally use a synthetic version for this. The reason is i have the hood for added protection and I have found that wool balaclava is just too warm to cover my entire head on the move.

    For colder temps I use a good dedicated wool sweater. Wool. Noting else will do. Pure wool, not a blend. Wool will keep you warm when its wet. My two favorites are the grey Swedish Army surplus wool sweater or my British civilian wool sweater (British wool is awesome) i got from the second hand store for 5$. Wearing one of these sweaters over a simple Tshirt and the British Norwegian shirt is ok for me on the move in combination with a smock that has a HOOD. With the other implements i keep at hand I can function well down to minus 15 or so…

    For the bottom half of me I have found that wearing over sized British issue wind trousers with US issue cold weather liners (this liner is made of the same materials as the US Field Jacket liner)that are all held up and together by trouser suspenders to aid in the baggy comfort-ability works fine in any temp from mid 20 to very low sub 0 temps. They are worn baggy to control the heat retention and vent perspiration. I can either trap the air to get warmer or vent it out by loosening the hips to let air out to cool off. It all goes out the smock zipper if you open it to cool off. I usually wear a set of normal fitting DPM wind trousers under all this but they are rare so US BDU trousers will suffice in both cases of the outer and inner layer. I’m a Med and I use XL for this outer layer. Over all that I wear only cotton camo over whites. The reason for me only using cotton for camo whites is they will not let the woodland camo bleed through very well when they get wet. I have found that over whites made of Nylon materials will let the camo bleed through a lot when wet and in some cases even when they are dry, ruining its camo and concealment abilities. I use to use Gortex on my bottom layer but recently resorted to sewing Gortex on the knees to save room and weight. It wasn’t necessary for me. I keep a rain over-parka on my webbing if i get rain (it happens even in winter here).

    I keep a heavy dedicated Arctic DPM “Falklands Parka” in the top of my ruck for easy retrieval. This is heavy and is lined. I replaced the British issue liner with a US fishtail parka liner. Its liter and warmer and the parka has a lined hood. This parka is the tits. If i added this to my sweater layer in the event i had to stay put for a long while, i could stay out in some very cold temps w/o a sleep sack. Micky-mouse boots with wool socks and arctic boxing glove mittens are the order of the season from November to April or May..

    This was just a summary. How you select your kit and the preparations you take are paramount in finding success or failure out in the elements of winter. To know, you have to get out and train and test what works for you in your area.

    The rule of thumb is if you stand outside in your patrol kit and in 3 minutes you are shivering, you’re good to move.


    • Joseph Fahy says:

      Thanks for all the info.

      How do the bunny boots hold up hiking with your ruck? I have a couple of pairs from some Icex camps in the Chukchi Sea back in the ’80s, and they are really warm, did make my feet peel something terrible. But I have no experience with carrying a load over uneven and slushy ground.


  2. What Bergmann has said is spot on. The only mod I would make to his suggestions is this. Wearing a fleece cap works much better than a wool watch cap, if your using a helmet, due to it being thinner, but the wool cap is warmer, and the advantages he spoke of apply. I use a BE-X Smock most of the time, and I’ve sewn buttons into it for a field jacket liner. This gives me the option of using the liner in moderate cold, or a heavy fleece jacket, in extreme cold.

    • Joseph Fahy says:

      Hey MDT,

      Your last two emails ended up in my spam file. I don’t know why. Maybe our 3 letter compadres are having their fun with me. Anyway, with the inches of mud I now have in my pastures, it sucks to be an animal on the Fahy farm, I will get back with you soon.

      Say hi to, well you know.


  3. I sent it again Joe, it was the new RBTEC handout, all 24 pages with pics/illustrations, enjoy. I told you buying a pintle mount for your combine would send up red flags Brother. greetings relayed and returned, Merry Christmas to you and Helen. BTW, I know the bunny boots are good to have on hand, but I’ve found for sedentary activities, such as stand hunting, LPOP, or guard duty(the reason why a lot of people in temperate areas use those boots), the insulated boot covers, such as Ice Breakers keep your feet just as warm (without wearing boots that will make you sweat terribly while rucking), come off in two seconds, and also double as an effective way to obscure tracks on your trail if necessary. Their only downside is bulk, but I strap them under my ruck normally so it’s not a problem.

  4. Brian from Georgia says:

    When do you think you will have your combined CRCD/Patrol class?

    Brian from GA

  5. Michael Brady says:

    How about that Arktis 310 smock? Is that warm enough for overgear use?