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Old 05-24-2019, 08:20 PM
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StainlessSteelCynic StainlessSteelCynic is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Western Australia
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The 32% of body weight is certainly a good recommendation and it can easily be seen for the need of such a restriction in training. If you have a good logistics train then it's certainly viable in wartime as well.
In practical terms though, it's not workable for some military forces simply because they do not have the same sort of logistics capability as any number of better supplied militaries e.g. many of the NATO forces.

In Australia we have a small population and thus a small military that has to cover a landmass that's about the same size as Brazil. Nearly all of Western Europe fits into the landmass of Western Australia alone - if we overlay all of Australia over Europe, Australia stretches from the UK to Turkey.

We don't have the logistics support to allow us to travel freely over our continent and so we also cannot make best use of recommendations such as the 32% of body weight. In the Australian Army, it's long been the practice that if you can't carry it in with you, you're going to have to do without it - hence my comment earlier about the Army wanting pack horses, not race horses.

In Australia we also carry far more water than most NATO/WarPac militaries typically carry. We get issued four water bottles and standard practice is to carry two on the webbing and two on the pack (or webbing if operational requirements dictate it) plus we also carried a collapsible water carrier of about 2 litres capacity as well as a Millbank water filter bag.

This is normal procedure, you are expected to carry all four water bottles for typical tactical operations. If the climate is expected to be hotter or drier, then you carry more water. So on for example, an overnight patrol into the more arid regions of Australia each soldier might be carrying up to 6 litres of water as a minimum amount because we cannot expect to have vehicles/aircraft doing regular resupply.
I mention this because it's been shown in this thread that the load carrying experience between various nations have been quite different and obviously, the difference is dictated by the different requirements in the various nations. While I agree that the 32% recommendation is a good practice, it's not achievable in some countries due to their operating environment.
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