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If there’s the one thing I learned, oahu is the power of ‘Count’n Ounces.’ In my prior life, I went “to the area” within an airplane, so when the time came… jumped. I jumped having a parachute. I jumped having a reserve parachute. And, I jumped that has a rucksack and LBE (Load Bearing equipment… that is military jargon for just a canteen belt and suspenders) that contained everything I would supply to me to complete whatever was I was exploring field for. Let’s remember your weapon, ammunition, and also other munitions. All told, everything I went the door in the aircraft carrying from 120-160 pounds… or higher. Thank goodness, the parachute did its job.
When I started my career, there were a rucksack known as a “jungle ruck.” It contains a tubular metal frame and also a bag that held maybe 1 ½ to 2 cubic feet of space. Not a lot of space, considering everything there were to carry. On the frame (most of the top half) we will strap using a waterproof bag that carried sleeping gear as well as perhaps a few other items. Now for any soldier maneuvering to the field for 14-30 days, the primary priority that gets into the ruck is mission critical supplies and equipment. For me, that meant at least one heavy radio, multiple batteries (big batteries), antenna making supplies (wire, insulators, rope, etc.), as well as a bunch on other miscellaneous stuff. Next came my share of other required team equipment.
After that, I can begin looking at my needs. Food, clothing, toiletries, sleeping gear, “snivel gear,” etc. Every man had his standard number of personal stuff he took. And that which you took was as smaller than average lightweight as is possible. You literally started ‘Count’n Ounces’ as you were going to handle every ounce you took. And if you have access to away leaving that extra ounce behind, learn about. Here’s one example: Back then, you had been issued a couple of types of field rations: C-rations or LRRP’s. C-Rations were “wet food.” It were only available in a box that have individual cans on the main meal, fruit, cake, bread, crackers, peanut butter, whatever. It also a sundry kit which had coffee, creamer, salt, pepper, tissue papper, along with a few other pursuits. A full C-Rat may weigh 2 to 2 ½ pounds. You could either carry that whole thing… or… you might break against eachother and take only everything you wanted by leaving the rest behind. And that’s what we should did. I couldn’t consume the box. It stayed behind. I didn’t want the creamer. Out it went. Whatever was inside that box that I had not been going to consume, I left out. It may just have totaled an oz or two, that is weight I didn’t have to hold. Everything was scrutinized in that manner. Probably the most valuable lesson I learned was the very idea of “Dual Use.”
What is Dual Use? It’s the collection of items that I took when camping that could be employed for two or more tasks. Comfort, it doesn’t matter how menial, was essential to us in this line of business. If you may carry something which had a dual use that provided some way of comfort, that it was worth the weight in gold. What’s a good example of a dual use item? A canteen cup. The old G.I. canteen cup was created of stainless, and molded ordinary way that this canteen fit inside. It was relatively heavy, but you might use to warm up food, drink coffee, scoop up water at a shallow creek that will put into the canteen (yes… we used iodine tablets to purify the stream), boil water for sterilization of medical instruments, collect berries and other native edibles, etc. Another dual use item? Just about every man stood a “drive-on-rag.” This was a triangle cloth known as a cravat that she wore around his neck for warmth (when cold) or hang something on (as being a flashlight), tie around his check out keep sweat outside of his eyes (when hot), and also to use like a filter for bugs along with debris from water being collected and poured in to the canteen (from your canteen cup). A multipurpose knife, being a Leatherman, have also been popular. It were built with a knife, pliers, screw drivers, punches, a good saw. Parachute cord (aka 550 cord) was invaluable.
We had another saying, “Travel Light – Freeze at Night.” Sleeping bags were heavy… particularly when they got wet (Army bags are down filled). Better to require a poncho liner (nylon) and also a lightweight poncho (also nylon) and summary in them in the evening. Not as warm, yet not as heavy. The rucksack was the pillow. No tent either. Instead, we used another poncho strung with 550 cord.
Time continued and the old jungle ruck was retired and substituted for the ALICE Ruck. A much bigger bag and then we could carry more stuff. Eventually, that was substituted for what was the LOWE Ruck. Even bigger, just about all was MUCH HEAVIER versus the jungle or ALICE rucks. We were issued additional gear, too. Technology shrunk it down, but 100 pounds of lightweight gear weighs approximately 100 pounds of heavy weight gear. So, ‘Count’n Ounces’ had been the name with the game.
In future articles as I mention specific getting yourself ready for or conducting treasure hunting adventures, whether it is metal detecting, gold prospecting, or whatever, I will be supplying you with my “spin” on supplies and equipment to look at. In most cases, I’ll recommend something which is dual use, at least light weight, yet has got the job done. I’m big on comfort, and a part of that comfort has able to get from point A to point out B wonderful my “stuff” rather than so exhausted that I no longer can do what I went there to perform. Until then, start thinking of ‘Count’n Ounces,” and commence planning your future treasure hunting adventure.