Here I am listing items I carry and consider of good worth for the infantry soldier. My own history in the infantry started in 1994 and is still going. Your comments and input is most welcome. I am always happy to learn.
I have two options for you here. One is the watch I used to carry on me while enlisted. It is water proof and has everything you need and nothing you do not need during training and deployment as privates . It can stay on your wrist for years of continuous work and it is so light and close to you that you will not feel it on you until you need it.
For the enlisted it has an alarm and stop watch which are sometimes of use. The only negative about it is that you have to use the electric light at night to read it’s face.
For the Officer and the seasoned soldier I recommend a simpler and more night friendly wrist watch. It has none of the previous device bells and whistles but since most work happens at night, it will save you from breaking light discipline.
The cost is also important as you will not worry too much about it in case you have to leave it behind or it is stolen or forgotten. Personally I see little need to remove it while wearing uniform.
Right in the rain notebooks will help your diagrams and notes stay there for you in the rain and in the muck. Keep them in an alosak bag with a pen and you are set.
Knives and tools:
I will list the tools I carry by order of removal. The first never leaves me and the second and third and fourth are on my belt and pocket. The Fifth is on my chest rig and the sixth is for when times call for it. All are light, proven in the field and have what is needed with nothing extra.
1 Buck 0860BKS-B Hartsook Fixed Blade Neck Knife – super light, invisible blade when you need it and always on you. Easy to access when in armor and in tight places and small enough to slid into tight spots. The blade is small but very capable and stainless for a long lasting blade. I suggest wearing it with a breakaway chain to avoid snagging your throat. You can only do that wrong once.
2 Victorinox Swiss Army Outrider – The almost perfect Swiss army knife. Scissors for your nails and delicate work, a big knife for food preparation and cutting tasks, A saw for wood work which works and also scraper, Philips driver, hole maker, knot opener under guise of bottle opener and the best can opener there is. I wish there was also a small blade there but is works as is as well while keeping it light and easy to use.
3 Leatherman 831102 Super Tool-300 Multitool – big but not too big, Has great wire cutters you can exchange and sharpen, great screw drivers and saw and blade which are easy to maintain and sharpen, The second best can opener there is 🙂
4 Spyderco Endura 4 Wave Plain Edge – light, strong, stainless, fast to use and to sharpen if needed. Just a blade when you need a good one.
5 Glock OEM Fixed Blade Survival Knife Desert Sand W/Root Saw – This knife is all work and no play. It has a great steel composition and an excellent handle. The sheath is silent and small while keeping great retention and not dirt collection. The saw is multi useful when using on hard surfaces and if you have no bullets it will serve as a last resort weapon without making you tired from lugging it around.
6 Browning Crowell / Barker Competition Knife – This knife is for the big jobs. It is not stainless but with a little care it will last you a lifetime. It cuts better than anything it’s size I have seen and is also a great hole making tool. It is big but not too heavy for the right tasks from making people think about coming along quietly to making them come along quietly (In service of your fellow men of course) to tasks of wood and rope processing and other camp and outdoor living jobs. One more thing about this knife that I enjoy is the lack of pretense. It is just a cutting tool with a perfect blade and handle. There is nothing tacticool here.
Sentry Solutions TUF-GLIDE Needle Applicator, 1/2-Ounce – This little bottle and applicator will save you the agony of firearm malfunction. It attracts no sand and dirt and is dry and lacks any shine factor. It does not smell attractive to dogs and just works and works on all personal and squad firearms you will have. Avoid putting it on food prep tools unless you are in training and the doctor is spectacularly attractive and interested in you…
Patagonia Capilene 1 Silkweight Crew– Quiet, extremely comfortable and moisture management, This shirt will keep you from scratching and feeling uncomfortable under your kit and armor. It feels like silk and stays in great shape for a long long time.
Sea to Summit Mosquito Head Net – This is a high quality net to mask and shield your face from all sorts of critters. It will work for you throguhout the day and night and will also allow air to reach you with no problem.
Source Tactical Gear Widepack Low Profile Hydration Pack – Simple 3 litter water bladder with easy fill opening and cleaning. The tube is insulated so you don’t have the hot/cold water to get through to the bladder water and there is a good cover and drinking faucet that you can work one handed.
Stainless steel Canteen Cup – simple and almost indestructible cup for water heating and cooking. It will fit over a regular canteen if you have one or you have to carry them for the NCB gear. It is also very light and can be a great thing to have in long cold nights and in other people’s mess halls.
Princeton Tec Impulse – Tiny waterproof red light to clip everywhere. It works as a small headlamp easily without setting up straps and gear on your helmet or head and can be mounted on almost anything. I carry it now on my collar lapel in my BDU. It simply works and is not noticeable until needed.
FOURSEVENS Quark AA/ Pro – This was my first good light. It runs on one AA battery (not the laser designator kind, that is 18500) It can be programmed to many types of light output and you can choose with it’s turning cap to have it start on the lumens you are looking for and not have to run through a few modes. I had it on minimum and max settings which is very useful for finding things or yourslef in real darkness and also for illumination and blinding white light when needed. In the years it rested on my belt it was hit, banged submerged and ridden on. It never gave up and kept on giving me what I wanted and when.
4sevens Mini CR2 – This is my backup light. It is tiny. Waterproof and the battery lasts forever (almost) and it also has several light modes for low medium and high and also hidden strobe and SOS modes which I never used but can be helpful at times. It starts from the lowest mode so it is not set for blinding light but otherwise it is a great all around light.
More will follow soon.