So what's this about keeping your kit at home?

#23
When I left in late 1977 having handed in most of my stuff, I was put on the reserves for several years. I don't recall the length of time I had to be on there for now but initially, you were supposed to send them a little postcard every year to let them know that you were still fit for service and then they would send you a postal order for thirty bob or something like that.

Needless to say, I never bothered and I suspect that the majority of reservists probably didn't bother either. I was now a civvy and had better things to do than bugger about for a tiny bit of pocket money.

Then in the eighties, the game changed completely.

Reservists were required to attend a reporting centre somewhere in their region on one day a year. They would get a briefing on whatever was appropriate at the time, I was given a training session on the new SA80 one year, and you were required keep a scale of clothing at your home residence which was issued to you in a kit bag on your first days attendance under the new scheme.

The persuader was that you got paid a hundred pounds cash on the day for attending. Naturally I and I suspect most other reservists, thought that for a hundred quid, even though it was taxed so you actually only took seventy quid home, was a nice little incentive to take a day off work and go and see what was going on in those days.

The kit bag with the clothing sat untouched in a bedroom cupboard for several years, except on the day when you attended and had to take it with you to show you still had it all.

When I was no longer a reservist, they stopped getting in touch and after a few more years, some of the stuff in the kit bag started getting used for fishing trips and things like that.

I don't know if they still do that but that's why you kept kit at home in the eighties.
 
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#24
My favourite experience was actually not bringing kit home through customs.

Having been out to Guyana for six weeks, we were returning to the UK. I rocked up at Tacarna International Airport just up the road from the barracks with the rest of the lads and loaded my gear onto the airplane only to be told that I had been selected at short notice for the rear party which meant another week there.

I was actually pleased because I was having a ball in Georgetown when we weren't in the jungle and I knew where to party. The problem was that I now only possessed the jungle OG gear I was standing up in plus my belt kit and my weapon.

A quick hunt around the rest of the rear party produced a shirt, trousers and an old pair of shoes and I was set for the week in Georgetown after a few hours each day at work.

After probably the most uncomfortable plane ride I'd ever had in the back of an RAF Hercules a week later, having thrown away the gear I'd borrowed because nobody wanted it back, I presented myself to Customs at RAF Brize Norton.

The Customs officer asked me if I had anything to declare and I chucked three packets of 20 cigarettes on the counter. The Customs bloke looked over the counter and observed that all I had was my Jungle OG's that I was wearing, my belt kit and my weapon and bemusedly waved me through.
 

jrwlynch

LE
Book Reviewer
#25
knife (with a compass in the handle)
Why do I always get lost when I try to use the compass in my Rambo Ninja Anti-Zombie Commando Battle Combat Hero Knife (£799 £199 £59 £4.99 free with a year's subscription to War Survival Fantasist) to navigate with?

It's so convenient to have my magnetic compass fitted into the end of a foot-long serrated steel blade with its bone shredders, optional eye gouger attachment, limb amputator, screwdriver, corkscrew, tweezers, and the special tool for getting Boy Scouts out of horses' hoofs... but it never seems to point to where North actually is?
 
#26
When I made this post I was under the assumption that kit would be kept at home, not just uniforms. Uniforms on public transit don't warrant suspicion, but someone wearing full rig (may) do.

Or, you know, it's an airsofter... which in and of itself warrants some suspicion,
If only someone would invent something to put it in, they could call it a bag.
 
#27
Join the Swiss army, keep everything at home including enough live ammo to defend the local streetcorner in emergencies.
 
#28
Join the Swiss army, keep everything at home including enough live ammo to defend the local streetcorner in emergencies.
Believe they have to do about 20 years on Reserve,something like that.
Had a mate in B Coy,4 Para in late '60's,he had most of his kit at home,remember him going down to Chippy wearing his tin hat.(Bevvied)
 
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#29
Join the Swiss army, keep everything at home including enough live ammo to defend the local streetcorner in emergencies.
It’s been tried before and didn’t end well.

Three die as fire sweeps Ulster barracks

I was the no2 on the team for that job, some Rupert wanted us to go in the burning building and pull all the ammunition out. Yeah right.
 
#31
Yes reserve kit is mostly kept at home i.e. your black grip, 3x sets of uniform, boots, number 2's, warm kit, goretex etc. Helmets and respirator have to be kept in camp, as should your Bergen unless you sign it out mid week to pack for an ex that weekend (or it's your own bought one). I keep my webbing and daysack at home as it's kit I've bought myself, the issued stuff just sits in my locker.
Cheers for that answer, clears everything up.

I suppose I should start cleaning out one of my cupboards...
 
#34
I dunno about that, you'd need a fairly big bag if my assumptions were true - like a numpty, I thought you'd keep CBA, helmet, webbing, etc at home... it would be a stretch.
I just don’t know how I managed then during my 26+ years.
 
#35
I just don’t know how I managed then during my 26+ years.
I suppose that if the worst comes to the worst, I could wear all of it in one go. I might look a bit silly wearing four pairs of combats, two pairs of boots, a resi, a helmet, all of my webbing and a CBA, but I think it would be alright.
 
#36
I suppose that if the worst comes to the worst, I could wear all of it in one go. I might look a bit silly wearing four pairs of combats, two pairs of boots, a resi, a helmet, all of my webbing and a CBA, but I think it would be alright.
absolutely because when you go away on camp you want to make sure you have everything - don't forget the socks, you need plenty of socks you know.
 
#38
Why do I always get lost when I try to use the compass in my Rambo Ninja Anti-Zombie Commando Battle Combat Hero Knife (£799 £199 £59 £4.99 free with a year's subscription to War Survival Fantasist) to navigate with?

It's so convenient to have my magnetic compass fitted into the end of a foot-long serrated steel blade with its bone shredders, optional eye gouger attachment, limb amputator, screwdriver, corkscrew, tweezers, and the special tool for getting Boy Scouts out of horses' hoofs... but it never seems to point to where North actually is?
You have purchased the version that is issued to the Falkland Islands Defence Force. Everything points South. You forgot the special attachment on the tool for the Army to get the Royal Marines out of the shit. I think it's called a maroon beret.
 
#39
Just store it all in your locker. Otherwise you’ll hoard crap. I’ve got three MFO boxes of crap I’ve moved around 4 countries that I should get rid off.
 

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