Ever wondered what equipment a soldier carries on Exercise Cambrian Patrol?
It's no secret that soldiers have to carry a lot of kit and equipment when they deploy on Cambrian Patrol (a minimum of 50lbs and in many cases much more) but what exactly is it they need to take and why?
Weapons and Uniform
British soldiers use the SA80 rifle (approximately 5kgs) and will carry four full magazines each holding 30 rounds of ammunition, and smoke grenades.
As well as their standard uniform (boots, trousers, shirt and smock) they will carry or wear (depending on the tactical situation) combat helmets (4kgs) and webbing (Personal Load Carrying Equipment) consisting of yoke, harness and pouches.
Equipment including weapons, ammunition, head torch and spare battery, water, food, lighter, notebook and pen, multi-tools, emergency medical equipment, hearing protection, cylumes, a map and compass, will all be carried in webbing or on the person in case they are separated from their larger bags.
One of the most important things for individuals to ensure is that all their kit is waterproofed correctly, particularly before the water crossing.
A Bergen (rucksack) contains a large portion of the bulkier items and a smaller bag (day-sack) is also carried and can be attached to this.
Warm clothing (gloves, hats, scarves, socks) sleeping bag, roll mat, beret and desert hat, spare uniform,/footwear for the river crossing, a basher, bungees and para chord (tarpaulin sheet and ways of securing it to make a shelter), sand bag (to collect items) and CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, nucleur) protective mask and clothing should by carried by all individuals.
All members of the section will carry enough rations to last 48 hours and a minimum of two litres of water.
Many will carry water purifying equipment so they can drink water out of streams rather than carry the weight of extra litres of water.
Weapon-cleaning kit, wash kits and other personal items (wet wipes, toothbrush, talcum powder etc) are also carried but content and where they store it varies from person to person.
Some patrols will cut down on weight by having a couple of portable gas cookers between them rather than everyone having their own.
The Rad Op (Radio Operator) will carry a Bowman radio which weighs approximately 4kgs with spare batteries distributed between the rest of the patrol members. Although all members members of the team carry personal radios (PRRs) the Rad Op is able to communicate with HQ and access more channels.
Section Commanders and 2IC (Second in Command) will carry model-making kit (for operation planning), binos (binoculars) and Tams (Tactical Aide Memoir).
All members will carry their own emergency first-aid kits but a designated medic will carry a stretcher and extra equipment such as FFDs (First Field Dressings) and tourniquets. At least one patrol member will carry a spade or a digging tool.