Question about Jungle Kit / Training

Discussion in 'Weapons, Equipment & Rations' started by kravver, Jul 2, 2008.

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  1. Hi,

    I'm a civvy who's been directed to these forums as somewhere I may be able to get some help.

    I'm a civvy (Sorry!) and have been a outdoor instructor to youth groups on UK low level expeditions / DofE / Cadets etc and am of to India for 3 months as an adventure trek leader for a charity youth expedition in September.

    The trip will be in Kernetaka region which includes Savannahs, scrub lands, forest and rainforest and my role is expected to be 3 * three week treks with about 25-30kgs of kit.

    As the military tend to be more experienced at long distances over varied climates with heavy packs than gym personal trainers I'd appreciate any helpful suggestions or comments regarding?

    My questions to anyone kind enough to answer them are:

    1) What boots do they recommend for varied / Jungle environment? I'm guessing that Magnum Amazon boots won't be up to the task? (Has anyone tried the Altberg Jungle or US issue Jungle boots and are they any good?)
    2) Any tips on other essential equipment to take for that type of environment?
    3) Any tips on campcraft and personal hygiene in remote regions for prolonged periods? (The stuff I've been taught has assumed access to wash facilities within 1/2 days)
    4) How best to get fit for carrying a heavy rucksack for days on end over rough terrain which is pretty much all hills? (I am currently doing 2/3 tabs a week with increasing pack weights up and down hills)

    Basically any help or heads-up you can give me would be hugely appreciated! If I've posted in the wrong area or it would be better posted on another forum, then please let me know and I'll get it sorted. Thank you.
  2. Anything else PM me and I'll see what I can do
  3. Couple of additions to a very good post:
    1. Rucksack. I have a Lowe alpine Tucana; women's model I know, but plenty of room, fairly waterproof (buy another raincover and use two) and has a floating lid if you're carrying a lot of stuff ( which you might be). Get a medium Ortlieb for it too.
    2. Boots. The US issue jungle boot is quite good, but if you're not goping to be in the jungle all the time think about taking another waterproof boot which would provide support (Lowa supercamps are very good). Don't even think about using Magnums; poor quality, no support, not waterproof, not durable.
    3. Lifesystems do good first aid kits and mozzie nets, but don't use DEET on mozzie nets etc because it damages the fibres. Buy a 100% DEET repellent for your skin. The Katadyn water filter looks good, but I've had bad experiences with them; they don't always remove all viruses. Take and use chlorine tablets as well, and neutralising tablets if you're bothered about the taste (which you won't be after a day's tab in a sweltering jungle). You might want to think about doing some advanced first aid courses and taking your own sterile supplies (syringes, IV cannulae, scalpels, gloves etc) in case the hospitals aren't up to much.
    And take a good knife and machete. If you're in a jungle, having something to cut with is essential, otherwise you won't be able to detach yourself from the thorn bushes. sells basha sheets and lightweight hammocks for shelter, and lots of little bits you might need. If you have any questions about it, the owner moderates this forum.

    Otherwise, have fun; sounds like a good trip.
  4. Further to my last post I got a PM asking me for a first aid kit, I thought it might be useful to post my reply.

    More than happy to help. The biggest contributing factor to ill health in the jungle is the environment itself. The humid damp conditions are great for all sorts of interesting fungi and bacteria to grow with wild abandon. As with any medical issue prevention is better then a cure.

    Your first task is to look to yourself, your basic fitness and general wellbeing before you hit the bush are very important. An individual who is physically fit will adapt to new environments more rapidly and with less stress on the body. Secondly get any underlying health issues squared awawy before you go, even the most minor you'd be amazed what a mild case of atheletes foot can turn into! What ever it is, as far as is possible, get it resolved before you go away as the extreme environmental conditions can massively amplify even the most simple of health issues.

    Next task is protection. Given all the exciting beasties which live in the bush your primary task should be to prevent them getting access to you, or more specifically the inside of your body. Forget about looking alli in the bush, shirt tucked in, top button done up, cuffs done up and full brim on your bush hat. Get yourself a mossie headnet, you'll look like a nob but it'll bring some comfort. Wear some fingerless cycling type gloves to protect the backs of your hands. Next protect from sunburn, you won't always be under the tree canopy. The best product for this is a brand called P20 you can get it in superdrug and Sainsburys. It's a factor 30 sun block but the best thing about it is that it is an oil whichs soaks into the skin and stays there, you can't sweat ti off and it doesn't come off in the rain. I have used this in many different types of environment and it has never let me down. Next keep the beasties away, don't miss the opportunity to get your clothing treated with permethrin. If you can don't stop at your clothes get your doss bag and mossie net done too. You'll also need a personal mossie rep. There's been lots written about Avon moisturiser used by them etc, to my mind get something that's Deet based as it's tried and tested. Something I found also helped was to take garlic suppliments. You can buy these from health food shops, after you've been taking them for a while it begins to come out through your pores and the mossies hate it. Don't panic, you won't end up smelling like an italian waiter's apron, it's why mediterranean types don't gett bitten much, it's the garlic in their diet. Also to bear (sic) in mind is that your warm sweaty bits are going to be even warmer and sweatier in the bush. This is the kind of environment that fungi love! First off make sure that you give all these bits a good scrub every day. Don't use soap an it can dry skin out leading to other problems. Once you're clean and dry give your groin and feet a good dusting with and anti-fungal powder like mycota or similar. Also try to avoid getting exercise claw, get that norwegian formula hand cream and use it liberally, cracked skin is a great source of ingress for all sorts of nasties.

    The bush being what it is, you will get lots of little cuts, scrapes and bites. The key thing here is to ensure that you keep them clean. Get some antiseptic wipes, again easily available from boots etc, give the wound a good clean and then seal it with either synthskin, which you paint on, or the elastoplast spray advertised on telly looks quite good. Right, insect bites next. Don't scratch them! Anthisan do a great product, it's a little spary bottle, like a breath freshner, an couple of squirts from that and the itch just goes away. A tube of witch hazel gel is good for bites and stings too. Don't pull leeches off, you'll probablly leave the mouth parts in your skin an bleed like a bugger! Drip mossie rep on them and they'll just drop off. Burning them off with a lit cigaette is also really dumb, it looks macho but isn't very effective.

    Sorry to be so long winded but there's no point in giving you a list of things to buy without explaining what they're for. See more comprehensive list below:-

    P20 sun cream
    Deet based mossie rep
    Garlic suppliments
    Anti-fungal foot powder
    Canestan cream (for if the foot powder doesn't do the job)
    Norwegian formula hand cream
    Antiseptic wipes
    Synth-skin/elastoplast spray
    Anthisan bite relief spray
    Witch hazel gel
    Loratadine tablets ( this is the active ingredient in Claratyn, cheaper to buy boots own, use this for any more extreme reations to bites/stings)
    Vasaline (use on eyebrows to make sweat run away from eyes)
    Sudocrem (Big grey tub in the baby section, use for sweat rash especially soothing on the bum!)
    Zinc Oxide tape (Get the issue version, the stuff for sale on the high street just isn't up to the mark)
    Tweezers (Get pointy medical ones, eyebrow ones are no good for getting hold of thorns etc)
    Sterile canula set (good to have your own stuff if you're going somewhere outside Brit maed chain, and good for digging out thorns etc)
    Alcohol hand gel (use before eating or preparing food and after a shit)
    Aloe Vera gel (great if you do get caught out by the sun look in the sun tan section)
    Lucozade/poweade powder (or similar electrolitic to aid with hydration)

    That should just about cover it, add any medecines you take regularly and of course any anti-malarials etc
  5. in_the_cheapseats

    in_the_cheapseats LE Moderator

    Can I just suggest you look v carefully at the weight you are intending to carry as it seems a lot. You don't need much in the jungle in the way of clothing - one wet and one dry (and lots of socks; agree lots with Goblin on that one)- and so the weight should come from food and water. What is your resupply options/timing during your 3 trips?

    There are a few v good packing lists for the jungle that have been discussed in threads before with a lot more info on what is worth taking.

    I suggest you do a search for them
  6. This seems to be a subject that rears it's head every so often, Mods would it perhaps be worth merging this thread to the one I linked to on my 1st post and making it a sticky so that it can be contributed to in the future?
  7. MrBane

    MrBane LE Moderator Reviewer Reviews Editor

    Briefly on personal hygiene in the jungle especially, forget it.

    Unless you are getting access to wash facilities as often as you expect, the only hygiene you can really deal efficiently with is your feet and teeth. Good quality foot powder such as Mycota and plenty of socks, and a couple of those tiny disposable toothbrushes.
    Make sure they get in between the toes when cleaning!

    *Shrugs* The rest of the guys have done a great job with their replies. Hope it all works out!