Para Basic Training advice



About 4 or 5 Members of this forum are going up to catterick in 5 days for para basic. Basically as there are a few members on this forum who have been through what were about to embark on is there any good advice you can give to us, other than the obvious like training hard, which hopefully weve all been doing.

So basically my question is to any old sweats who can share a bit of advice or any information that will put is in good stead for the 30 weeks training for the paras. Also is there any kit which would make life a little bit easier.



I'l reiterate with more detail for those who didnt quite get the jist of my second question.

Is there any kit that you would reconmend taking that is not already provided by the Armed Forces.
hi chris, 5days hey mad init, got all my stuff to together now, you? ive eased of training the past two weeks doin two 4 mile runs a 6miler and a few games of football. just hope i aint takin it to easy, what you been up to?
i did an hour an half of squash today :) but im not training to hard because of my ankle just keeping it supported and hoping for the best. See you all on sunday!

cheers brodz

p.s I nearly got all my kit list, but anything useful which aint on the kit list guys let us know please.


Kit Reviewer
Let us know what's on the kitlist these days then maybe we've got a chance.
But try these for a start:

An iron.
Shedload of starch.
A dozen bungees.
Ziploc bags x many.
Best of wishes to all you lads goin for Para basic this week..Keep your chins up and think of the famous red beret placed proudly upon your nuggins when its all done

Iv got my selection comin up then hopefully all going well, 22weeks at Catterick to look forward to for my infantry training...Who knows, maybe we will all fight alongside each other one day!

again best of luck and wishes

got bungees and i also bought some para cord, loadsa stuff for the flu and tea tree oil, i got insect repellent too. this is some of the things i got told to take by someone in the royal
At last guys you are off , i remember when you came on arrse all gob etc , well its big time now . The best piece of kit you can take with you has to be a sense of humour . I mean it , when everybody is shagged out , pissed off thinking about jacking it its the guy with the sense of humour that pulls through . You dont need all the crap (string , insect repellant etc ) you will get issued what you need any thing else you will not be able to use for weeks any way . Enjoy your training you are about to join the best army in the world . And everybody in the world knows it . Dont get too ''para pissed '' but no doubt you will have your regimental pride . Best of ******* luck boys , you fail you have nobody else but yourselves to blame . Oh and take some kiwi polish. Cheers Recce
cheers recce, looking forward just enlisted this morning and has made me more excited than ever just want to get there to start
You could start getting your feet toughened up to cut down the blisters, some people use surgical spirit to toughen up the skin, here are a few tips:

Make sure your boots and shoes fit. If they don't - change them. It is usually better to have them slightly too big rather than too small.

Always pretty uncomfortable to start with but they do improve. Wear them as much as you can. Soaking in Neatsfoot oil will soften the leather especially if you "work" it. Make sure your boots have insoles - the nylon ones work very well.

Opinions vary. Some people like a thin inner sock and a thicker outer. Some like a single thick sock - you can buy good quality loop, knit socks in the NAAFI. Whichever system you use, always wear woollen socks, never nylon.
A small amount of soap flakes (Lux) inside socks can be very useful to stop blisters. Woollen socks only. Surgical spirit for hard skin. Powder feet twice a day.

Skin hardening
Opinions vary on the use of various witches' brews - some people swear by it.
The best "recipe" is to wipe the feet over last thing at night with surgical spirit. Allow to dry, pat on more spirit and allow to dry.

Simple baby powder is ideal and you should get in the habit of powdering your feet twice a day, every day. Do not use athletes foot powder, as it is too grainy and can cause blisters.

Blisters - Prevention

If you keep your feet dry you will reduce the chances of blisters. Always wear clean dry socks and powder your feet regularly. If you start to get hot spots or blisters, tape the area with zinc oxide tape and leave it there. If it still rubs, put more tape on. The tape can be left in place for many days and early taping will prevent problems later on.

Care in the field: prevention is better than cure.

* Inspect feet regularly.
* Re-apply tape as required.
* Keep feet dry and powdered.
* Change socks twice a day.
* Get air to your feet any chance you have - it feels wonderful.

Blisters - Cure

The best dressing is skin so don't remove it! Blisters usually feel better if the fluid is drained off using a sterile needle. Don't attack your feet with a rusty penknife. The Sickbay is the place to get this done- the staff are very experienced.
We sometimes use Tinc. Benz. Co. which can work wonders at drying out blisters but it is very painful for a minute or two.

After a blister is drained the skin is left intact and usually taped over. We sometimes use other dressings. Do not use elastoplast on blisters. Plasters are probably useless at best.

It is much better not to get blisters in the first place!

Care in the Field

Check your feet whenever you get the chance. It may seem like too much hassle but get your boots and socks off and check for problems.

Your feet will feel great for a bit of fresh air even if there are no blisters. Always keep a small towel and your powder handy (and dry) so you can dry and powder you feet at every opportunity.

Keep your feet dry if at all possible - polish helps keep boots waterproof. You don't have to leap into every stream on Dartmoor.

Change your socks twice a day in the field.
Put the damp ones over your shoulders, under your combat jacket and they will dry out while you are marching. At night put them under or in your sleeping bag and your body heat will dry them.

Do running repairs with Zinc oxide tape.

Don't ignore pain - stop as soon as possible and check your feet. You may prevent a trivial problem becoming a crippling one.
thanks ive printed this off to keep, it will ome in handy, ive got some surgical spirit and neats foot , cheers for the advice
Your going to have sores and blisters on your shoulders and back from the packs as well from time to time, but apart from the zinc tape theres not a lot you can do about them, i found kitchen roll soaked in water in thick wadges used as an under padding between your skin and the pack can ease the soreness quite a bit..
Can anyone tell me how the feck did anyone ever get through training before the internet was available?

I know what you might be thinking........miserable cnut, just cos you had it rough don't mean we should..........YES IT FECKING DOES.

(I'm just gutted its not me lucky, lucky b.arstards, enjoy it to the full)
Lmao, i was thinking that a lot of us had to find this stuff out the hard way, but i still think that given the choice i would have preferred to have known before i got there... ;)

I wish them all good luck..
I used to run pre-para selection when I was serving - The advise on socks, powdering feet.... is all good stuff but the guy who said take a sense of humour has hit it on the head. Para selection is supposed to be hard -if you are still laughing at the end of a good tab you are probably made of what it takes. Old quote from Sandhurst - "pain is a privilige and is just the weakness leaving your body. All the best lads.
Not to take anything away from the advice already given as it is all good stuff but on the subject of blisters.

I found a small pack of Compeed plasters to be very useful the last time I did anything stupid enough to cause Blisters.

Only needed them for a couple of days while the blister hardend but they seemed to work better than plain zinc tape.

Anyone else given these a try?


Kit Reviewer
Aye Compeed or (Duoderm 'borrowed' from the medics) is good kit. Just make sure there are no folds when applying it.

For some reason my feet completely gave up getting blisters so I've not had to use any remedies for some time, but both products are even good as a cushion on the heel/ball of the foot just for comfort too.
Don't experiment with this though, get through basics & P-Coy first.

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