field weekend - TA

#1
hello

i am going on my field weekdn next week, and just wodnered if anyone could give nay advice on extras to take, or just gernal advice on how not to complety mong it?
 
#2
You should have been given a kit list. My advice would be not to take any extras. It's only a weekend - the people who arrive with half of silvermans in their bergens and enough extra rations/mars bars/trail mix/brew kit to feed half of Birmingham will be too knackered humphing it around to get any pleasure from the minor advantage any part of it could offer.

Once you have been out in the field a few times you will have worked out where you personally would benefit from any item of extra kit. Only extra bit of kit I use regularly is my buffalo fleece and even then only when sitting still in harbour locations. I've even gone back to good old Hexy Telly in the last few years.

Edit to add:

Agree with Clownbasher - babywipes the only sure way of getting rid of cam-cream. Morale boosting sweeties I'm not so sure about. Canoe style waterproof bags were a real fashion statement with my OCdts earlier this year but not universally popular - borrow one and see what you think before you go to the expense of buying one.
 
#3
Waterproof bags (from an outdoors shop - the sort you use for canoeing etc) to keep all your stuff in. Some morale-boosting stickies or whatever. Wet Wipes / Baby Wipes to get the cam cream or other dirt off. Electric razor if possible.

The issue kit isn't too bad these days for going halfway towards giving you a comfortable weekend. Obviously pay attention to your feet.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#5
At this time of year be sure to take your issue fleece and as extra a bini hat and some warm gloves (issue gloves are bulky and not particularly warm).
Other than that, your issue kit is all you really need for a weekend.

Get yourself a gas cooker, hexy is poo.
If you are going to use hexy then get yourself a Zippo lighter as army matches are a bugger to light and plastic lighters tend to brake very easily.

A couple of cans of Stella is never a bad idea either :D

Edited to add –

Plenty of fags, nothing passes the “hurry up and wait” better than a smoke and cup ‘o tea.

when I develop lung cancer I’ll be blaming the army
 
#7
abacus said:
Edit to add:

Agree with Clownbasher - babywipes the only sure way of getting rid of cam-cream. Morale boosting sweeties I'm not so sure about. Canoe style waterproof bags were a real fashion statement with my OCdts earlier this year but not universally popular - borrow one and see what you think before you go to the expense of buying one.
Sweeties - up to you. Don't bother if (like me) you are not that bothered normally... but they can be useful. I think my "canoe bag" was about £8-10 and I've been very pleased with it, having gone through the bin bags, ziplocs etc. I've had it for years (6??) now and would recommend it. Don't go mad though, you don't need to buy enough, or one big enough, to fit everything you are issued in. I just have a smallish one that I keep in my small odds and ends and things that would really be best not getting wet.
 
#8
Agreed with the above- expecially the gas heater. You have the choice, noise and clean mess tins vs black mess tins and bright flame (Little tip for getting rid of this though- as soon as you are finished rub the bottom of the mess tins on grass, cleans them up a treat. Better than trying to scrub them with scotchbrite later).

Definately at this time of year black/green gloves and hat. Mars bars always prove useful. Nice for evening or morning after CFT. As many fags as you need to smoke.

Black bin liners for keeping your warm kit dry. If you can, ball up some clean socks and tie them in sandwich bags. Keep your warm kit at the top of your bergan so you can put it on as soon as is needed.

As for baby wipes- don't get the Tesco value cheap ones. Seriously, get the ones the girls use to remove their make-up. The mutts nuts! If they can remove Jodie Marsh's make-up they can take off cam cream and clean you up.

Enjoy! ;)
 
#10
Robbo,

If this is your first field weekend (and therefore part of your training) the training team may wish to check that you're okay to work with just the issued basics as may stop you from using anything else. It may be worthwhile checking.
 
G

Goku

Guest
#11
This sounds like you first weekend in the field…

Just put effort into everything you do and don’t worry about monging it, you’ll learn the hard way and after a few weekends it’ll become second nature.
 
#12
Experience is the only thing that will tell you what you need. I take extra - Buffalo, fleese hat and sealskinz gloves, shemagh, six pack mars bars and six pack extra strong mints, cup size thermos (you make one and stash it in the cup and drink one) The best "idea" I was given is cut up some flannelet into small squares and put it in a small screw top sample jar doused in lighter fluid. When you go to light hexi, just put small sqaure underneath and light. Much better than pissin about with matches etc.
 
#13
Decent daypack! Rocketpacks suck!
That said, gingwar is right, you probably wont be allowed one as youre in training, so wait til you're done and have saved up some pennies...
 
#14
How not to mong it? When you get a chance to sleep, do so. Know where everything is in your kit and accessible. Put things away when you've used them as soon as you can. Listen to what you're told. Look out for everyone else too, not just yourself.
 
#15
How not to mong it?

Listen to your instructors and not necessarily the other recruit who's dad/brother/uncle/cousin was in SAS/Army/Navy etc. I'm not saying they are all numpty's but you do get a few who usually go on to pack in 'cos it's not what they were expecting ie. thy're not right all of the time but don't like being told.

Do what the instructors tell you & if you're not sure of something DON'T be afraid to ask, any instructor worth his salt would rather exaplin something a few times than have to fix something or someone that's broken because when he said "Do you understand" no-one had the guts to say "No".
 
#16
As this is robbo9's first weekend in the field and it's likely to be cold, I agree with recommendations about bringing a warm pair of gloves and a woolen beanie hat (ideally with Thinsulate in the inside).

But r9, don't go mad buying too much kit this early on. Softie/Buffalo jackets are about 50 quid, gas stoves 20 at least. Make do with your issue stuff and add to it piece by piece as time goes by.

Useful tips for weekend 1 (apologies to any reader already expert at sucking eggs):

(1) Wear your hat when you doss down at night. They say 25% of body heat loss is from the head; when the rest of your body except your head is all snug in your doss-bag that figure must be more like 90%. I'm telling you: bare head asleep make soldier weep.

(2) Get used to using hexy before going out and buying a gas stove. You may have to fall back on the stuff at some stage and it would look a bit jack for a newbie to have a gas stove already. Plus, hexy is damn effective and provided you wipe the mess tin on grass or dew as soon as poss after use it's a doddle to clean off the goo. As regards lighting the stuff: buy a cheapo lighter. Works for me!

(3) Baby wipes are absolutely essential. In all sorts of ways.

(4) I imagine NAP6W brings a six-pack of Mars bars because he does the decent thing and offers them around. You'd be surprised at how necessary a little morale boost like that is for everyone. Weekend exercises seem very, very long when you're trying to assimilate lots of new skills and info. Spread the love.

(5) Although asking questions of your instructors is good, don't get clever-clever with them. Cross-examination of DS (whether using their own previous inconsistent statements, what your best mate in the SAS says, or what you read in Jane's Defence Review) won't make your life easier.

(6) stabtastic's advice on how not to mong is bang on the money, especially the bit about looking after your buddies. It's what "giving 110%" actually means, maths fans: you do your own job and look after yourself (the 100%) and then have a bit left over to make sure your mates aren't failing. But don't be continually on your mates' case and don't be too Florence Nightingale: strike a sensible balance.

(7) You're most likely to start monging it, despite yourself, if you get too cold, wet and tired. So: if possible, make sure your food is properly hot before you eat it; make sure someone makes a brew whenever the chance arises; if you get wet through to your t-shirt, change it for a dry one if you can; rather than stay up giggling and chatting or writing your war poetry, sleep.
 
#17
If you are on ex and use hexi after the sun goes down, dig a whole for it or shield it somehow or you can be seen for miles.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#18
R9, Remember that you are only out for about 36 hours. Do not pack the world and his wife. As stated previously, just work flat out, and try not to let the cold/wet/lack of sleep make you mong it. The extra effort required to do things right will bring their own rewards.

Nowt wrong with hexi and rat pack for 36 hours. It is not as if you have had time to get sick to the back teeth with it yet - learn to soldier with the basics, and the luxuries will come later.

Duke
 
#19
If it is your first weekend in the field, don’t go spending money on anything more than is on your kit list (which should include stuff like a torch and a lighter). If you enjoy the TA and spend time in you’ll have plenty of time to spend your bounty on softies and the lot. If you decide it really isn’t for you, you’ll be left with a green jacket that you shelled out eighty quid for and you’ll never wear again!

You should be taught about hygiene in the field so take a normal razor, not an electric one and just crack on with what the DS tell you.

As commented, a soft hat is probably the only thing you need to buy in addition. Issue gloves aren’t perfect but are absolutely fine.

As to how not to mong, agree with Dr Evil. Don’t switch off, listen to the instructors and do what they say, and definitely don’t treat it like a girl guide camp and start chatting and giggling when you get in your doss bag.

Most of all, remember, the more you put into it and take it seriously the more you will enjoy it and the more you will get out of it.
 
#20
(4) I imagine NAP6W brings a six-pack of Mars bars because he does the decent thing and offers them around. You'd be surprised at how necessary a little morale boost like that is for everyone. Weekend exercises seem very, very long when you're trying to assimilate lots of new skills and info. Spread the love.
T_B_B is a cheap barstärd and goes for the 'tesco own' bag of fun size ones. Spread the wealth, not willy nilly but when moral starts to dip.

Where you can't scrimp is pukka Haribo. No cheap knock offs.

One last thing. "The more you put in..." etc bit means effort not cash. Many get confused. Learn the basics then perfect them. Then buy the gucci kit if you 'need' it.
 

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