Gear: Patrol Packs & Sustainment Loads

Who is Max Velocity, and what is Max Velocity Training?
March 5, 2016
Two last minute places: March CTT & FoF + Rifle Skills Class Price Change
March 8, 2016

Texas 6 Day 2016

This post is derived from the gear talk that I give as part of Combat Patrol Classes (CP). If you have not attended this class, you really should – the prerequisite is Combat Team Tactics (CTT), which is really the MVT ‘basic training class.’ CP really moves you on to a higher level of training, with patrolling, patrol base, recce, ambush, and raid which are staples of any irregular warfare situation – not to mention the utility of knowing how operations may be conducted against you, and the training on Ground Domination Activity (GDA) security patrolling in order to protect your area.

There is much nuance in this post, which may or may not translate well across the medium of the internet. As usual, I see much nonsense out there. Many people get hung up, for example, when watching a class training video, with the exact terrain the class took place in. Well, not only do you not always get to choose your ideal terrain, but either way these TTP’s are the same, just adapted to the specific environment. It is about training the basics, and adapting, rather than becoming focused on, or limited by, whatever terrain the class took place in. Terrain at classes is just a different flavor. Small Unit Tactics (SUT) is simply SUT, adapted specifically to the operating environment.


Read the rest on the MVT Forum:  Forums Tactics & Leadership Patrol and Missions – Combat Patrol (CP)



  1. Diz says:

    Good post. The mission drives the gear, but as yet, lots of folks haven’t gotten the memo. Or they’re just playing games.

    I think I’ve finally found a good set of rucks for all occasions. The AWS assault pack, 20L, the Karrimor 45L, and the issue MTP Bergen, 100-120L.

  2. […] my previous post on ‘Gear: Patrol Packs & Sustainment Loads‘ I make the point that it is not the training environment that matters, you are learning SUT […]

  3. Gravy says:

    Good post. FYI, zinc oxide ointment is sold for diaper rash in .1oz packets. They are small and light, and it works great on butt burn. They saved my a$$ more than once.

  4. og says:

    This article needed to be done, and what a great one it is! Thank you!

  5. SemperFi, 0321 says:

    If possible, in warm environment, skip the skivvies completely. 40 yrs ago in the Corps, none of us wore skivvies, took me another decade to get used to them again.
    Last summer I hiked 65 miles through Yellowstone NP, on day 2 the skivvies came off again (I normally wear mesh boxer briefs, something I learned from dirt bike riding to prevent monkey butt, still too hot). One hiking partner suffered terribly from heat rash, I ended up giving him my tube of 1% Hydrocortisone ointment. Zip off nylon hiking pants/shorts w/no skivvies was comfortable and what I’ll do again this year too.
    Brit MTP basha fills in for shelter and stretcher, can’t recommend enough.Find one on ebay.
    Also recommend closed cell foam pad, (cut down to usable size) inflatable will puncture too easy under field conditions (get roll of McNetts Tenacious Tape for repairs, on rain gear too.)

    • Max says:

      1) Never done the ‘commando’ thing. It always comes up, and I’ve never been sold. On the other hand, we would wear the spandex (actually ‘lycra’) shorts in hot/jungle environments precisely to stop chafing.

      2) while good, the MTP basha has no thermal shielding properties unlike the MVT shield.

      4) I’ve had an inflating / foam thermarest 3/4 length for years. It finally gave up the ghost and I replaced it. They fold down small and are far superior to the roll up closed cell pads.

    • Btfire says:

      My Thermarest inflatable sleeping pad easily has over 5000 miles with no repairs and no problems. I store it lightly inflated at home and only rolled/deflated in the pack.

      • SemperFi, 0321 says:

        I’m real happy your inflatables work so well, I use them too for my backpacking trips. Got a new Klymit Static V Recon pad last summer, it’s awesome.
        But for a more serious tactical approach, where you throw your gear down under the bushes in the dark and find any place to sleep, I never found an inflatable to last long before the bamboo, stickers or cactus poked a hole thru it. But that’s just my experience. And also why I suggested the Tenacious Tape just in case you should poke a teeny little hole in your pad, I have a Thermarest I patched 4 yrs ago and no air leakage yet.
        How do you get 5,000 miles on an air mattress? Mine barely moves.

        • Max says:


          First Sergeant says: “The thermarest he bought in 95 before my deployment to Bosnia, which also served combat tours in Afghanistan, and used for training all over Europe and the States, still don’t have a fucking joke in it, and is still going strong.”

          We’re in the cabin at class, and now he’s getting annoyed. Thanks Semper Fi!

          He now rants: “The reason we stopped using the closed cell foam is because they were too fucking big and too fucking worthless.”

          So there you have it.

          • pdxr13 says:

            Closed cell foam is great for foaming in toolboxes or fragile equipment in a sturdy carry bag (Zero, Pelican, or clone).
            Therm-a-Rest is more compact and more comfortable, while being plenty-sturdy. I have a mid-1970’s orange model bought at the original REI in Seattle that has been factory repaired once with about 6 punctures (field-patched temporarily but good for years) and valve-fixture leaking (it was the leaky valve that wouldn’t stay sealed that got it sent back for $10 lifetime repair). That was from sleeping in hostile sharp-rock Pacific NW unimproved campsites for hundreds of nights over decades. Since then, I’ve found a half-dozen different genuine Cascade Designs pads for cheap in thrift stores, all good or easily repaired.
            Modern repair tape is magic! Always have some, like Bic lighter.

        • Btfire says:

          Walking a lot of places with a pack on my back often for months at a time (using it every night on every imaginable surface).

  6. Diz says:

    Back to rucksacks, I’ve been experimenting with MTP Bergens the last few months, and actually like them over the Molle II (and large ALICE). I like the internal frame and using a belt kit instead of a hipbelt. They are finally available over here, at reasonable rates, thanks to ebay.

    A few observations. 3L water baldder hung on back. Cpvered with folding mat. Then use a big “WP” or liner sack. Stuff the sleeping bag (or system) into the bottom (sans stuff sack), filling all the nooks and crannies in the bottom of the bag. Now stuff the bivy cover, basha, and pole sections/cord, stakes, (if required). Next a small stuff sack with a change of clothes. Insulation layers if required. Then you WP parka and trou. Next comes your cook set, along with freeze-dried rats. On top of that a windshirt. Finally, the windproof smock goes under the lid. By packing in this manner, the heavier stuff is up towards the shoulders, where it actually rides better, especially without the hipbelt. I know this flies in the face of conventional wisdom, which says to pack heavier stuff down low, against the back, but my experience with “TABing” has shown this is a better way to pack. Light, cushy stuff down low, heavier stuff up higher.

    The top lid contains a wash kit, a first aid kit, and a “tool” or “survival” kit. And usually spare wool socks (and sometimes a watch cap and gloves).

    All up, about 30 lbs.

    For extended missions, I add the side zip pouches, which then hold the basha on one side, and rain gear on the other. This frees up more room for additional water, chow, ammo, clothing layers, etc.

    BTW, using a 3/4 REI self-inflating mat, which folds up against the back of the ruck, adding additional cushioning to an internal frame ruck. And carry plenty of duct/tenacious tape.

  7. […] Click here to view the original post.A valid post worth thinking about. […]

  8. […] you follow my posts on gear, I did one very recently (perhaps last month (LINK HERE: ‘Gear, Patrol Packs & Sustainment Loads’)), you will see that I want the […]

  9. […] ruck: which, if you read my ‘Gear: Patrol Packs & Sustainment Loads‘ post, you will realize you want to avoid using whenever possible. Like the […]