The Military Backpack - An Essential Soldier Kit

Over the years there have been a number of different army backpacks. Although the basic design has not changed much over the years, the way they distribute the weight has. Originally the shoulders carried most of the weight which became difficult to carry for long periods. Nowadays the weight is offloaded (about 90%) through padded hip belts. Because the hips are much stronger than the shoulders the carrier is able to carry more weight for much longer period of time.

Backpacks generally fall into four categories: frameless, external frame, internal frame, and body pack. The frames are used to help distribute the weight across the body of the backpack and transfer this weight to the hips and legs. The shoulder straps are then just used for stabilizing. Army Backpacks usually fall into the external frame category.

Canvas and nylon are the most common material used for durability and lightweight. The material is attached to the frame either lashed or pinned. The frame is usually made of metal, but could be plastic. In the military however, this frame is almost always metal.

The military backpack is an important part of a soldier's kit. The two that are common is the smallpack and the rucksack. The smallpack is very similar to a standard small backpack and very useful for everyday use and for carrying light loads. The rucksack has been designed to maximize the amount of kit that a soldier can carry. They are designed to carry much more weight than a smallpack. The rucksack has a large section that can carry the soldiers extra clothing and gear. It has two side pouches and one front pouch that is perfect for carrying flashlights, kfs, etc. On the top there's a large pouch that is able to fit many essential items. The bottom contains a valise that holds the two sleeping bags, a groundsheet, fly net, and more.
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