Small Unit Tactics contact patriot-dawn Patriot Rising

Winter Warfare

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  • #53963
    Profile photo of SocksSocks
    Participant

    @First Sergeant. Definitively! :good:
    As much information as you can think of as this is a solid case (for me) of YDKWYDK.

    The price of freedom is the willingness to do sudden battle anywhere, any time and with utter recklessness.

    Robert A. Heinlein

    #53966
    Profile photo of RonWfarmer
    Participant

    @ FirstSergeant. I also want you to continue your posting of advice & experiences with the gear you have tried. It is much appreciated.

    RonW

    #53969
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    Bastardizing Voltaire here – a smart man learns from his mistakes, a wise man learns from others.

    Yes!! @FirstSergeant – yes, please. Learning takes many forms, sometimes learning how NOT to do winter (i.e. mistakes made) may help……..

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #53980
    Profile photo of RonWfarmer
    Participant

    Do the gloves you use allow you to manipulate you weapon? Will your gloves fit into the trigger guard? Can you do a combat reload or a malfunction drill with your gloves on? Everything changes when you are wearing thicker gloves.

    How are you running you mags? Still using a chest rig? Does it fit over top of you cold weather gear? Can you grab your mags and do a reload with gloves on? We are talking about cold weather gloves. What about body armor? Under or over you cold weather gear?

    Do you have a recommendation for winter warfare gloves?

    And what are other members using & what results have you experienced?

    RonW

    #53986
    Profile photo of JohnnyMacJohnnyMac
    Participant

    Want me to continue with the winter stuff?

    Yes 1SGT!

    I’m really interested more in actual mission planning considerations or changes needed from an operations perspective with cold weather.

    #53992
    Profile photo of Joe (G.W.N.S.)Joe (G.W.N.S.)
    Moderator

    …mission planning considerations…

    Here are some commonly overlooked considerations.

    Significant increase in calories needed.

    Movement depending on AO conditions, snowshoes, cross-country skis, snowmobiles.

    Increased equipment needed depending on mission duration.

    Weather forecast if available, if not ability to read winds, clouds, and barometric tendency to self forecast, including solar/lunar lighting conditions.

    #54006
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Inactive

    Snowshoes.

    I didn’t appreciate the need for snowshoes until I crashed a snowmobile into a hidden creek and then could not walk out due to sinking into the snow. I had to roll out to the trail and await the tow snowmobile to arrive.

    #54019
    Profile photo of lovemygearlovemygear
    Participant

    I just re-read the cold weather gear threads listed above. The last couple of seasons I tried a few new layering pieces. I have always had a problem with moisture management while hiking and snowshoeing. I have tried a lot of synthetic and wool options and I always felt “soggy”. I get that some of that is inevitable while moving but in an attempt to improve upon my system I have been using the following:

    Baselayer:
    Brynje Super Thermo Shirt
    https://www.brynje-shop.com/en/sportswear~c12/brynje-super-thermo-shirt-10200300-p6949
    To be honest I think I am now sold on the idea of a mesh base layer.

    Mid Layer:
    Woolpower 200 Zip-T

    Zip Turtleneck 200

    For a “soft” shell layer I have been wearing a smock (arktis 705–unlined but with pit zips, sord smock, or NFM baja smock–I now only go for smocks with pit zips) a First Spear Windcheater, or the Outdoor Research Ferrosi Hoody (Coyote Brown).

    I am always out with a pack and a Kifaru Koala on my chest. Not totally tactical but replicates moving with tactical gear fairly well. Having a chest pack or chest rig on really builds up the heat and limits the ability for the main zipper to vent. Hence I think pit zips are key to any layering system.

    #54024
    Profile photo of RoadkillRoadkill
    Participant

    Love my SORD smock.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #54037
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Inactive

    If the goal is to sweat as little as possible; how much are you sweating with a chest rig versus the battle belt concept? It would seem like the battle belt concept would be better with the on/off, off/on reality of winter warfare.

    #54038
    Profile photo of Anonymous
    Inactive

    Do you know where they are made? SORD

    #54039
    Profile photo of RoadkillRoadkill
    Participant

    I believe Australia.

    RS/CTT Nov 16
    HEAT1 Aug18

    #54045
    Profile photo of lovemygearlovemygear
    Participant

    I hike with the chest pack because the Kifaru Koala is the means to conceal carry. (Similar to the Hill People Gear kit bag). Admittedly I have not tried the battle belt concept in the situation(s) I was referring to.

    #54047
    Profile photo of lovemygearlovemygear
    Participant

    I went on a 5-mile PT hike today (non-tactical, approx 40lb pack, kifaru koala chest pack, snow, temps in mid 20’s). While hiking to my turn around point (mostly uphill) I was good with a lightweight merino base layer and soft shell. Added a mid weight base layer for return trip (mostly downhill) and was good to go. In a non-tactical environment it is relatively easy to thermoregulate by changing layers but takes time, creates a lot of movement and possibly a fair amount of noise that may not be practical in a tactical environment. For example to add a layer I had to drop my pack, remove my chest pack, remove layer from my pack, remove my shell, don layer, put shell back on, put chest pack back on and don pack.

    Looking for advice from members who have actually done this in a tactical environment for real.

    What about a situation where an individual or small unit is patrolling in winter conditions and is dressed/layered appropriately for movement. However, the number and/or duration of listening or security halts present the risk of hypothermia due to rapid cooling. Adjusting layers on every stop is probably not practical. How have you mitigated/managed this?

    #54051
    Profile photo of First SergeantFirst Sergeant
    Moderator

    Christmas got in the way.

    I have a lot more to come.

    Joe, great points, especially the calorie intake.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #54055
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    Another point will be non-movement, i.e sentry duty. Doing barricaded subjects (read we don’t know how long we’ll be out here monitoring the situation), we were taught to dress as if the temp was 10 degrees colder than actual. Standing around or staying in a static position doesn’t burn the calories (and therefore create heat) like activity does.

    So the question remains, “what’s the mission?”

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54056
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    Monitor for dehydration also. In the summer, we tend to monitor our sweating to determine how much to drink. However, in the winter, there is still fluid loss, just not as much through sweating. There is still fluid loss through breathing (see the “smoke”?) and urinating more often, the body still has to excrete water.

    If alcohol is involved, while may feel warm, even more fluid loss through urination (alcohol inhibits ADH – antidiuretic hormone).

    The standard rule for hydration remains the same – monitor the urine color (being cognizant of meds, RX or OTC, which can cause color changes, the most frequent are vitamins – bright yellow urine). Cler to light-light-yellow is OK. Anything darker is a signal to increase water intake (electrolytes may need to be added).

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54063
    Profile photo of JamisonJamison
    Participant

    I went on a 5-mile PT hike today (non-tactical, approx 40lb pack, kifaru koala chest pack, snow, temps in mid 20’s). While hiking to my turn around point (mostly uphill) I was good with a lightweight merino base layer and soft shell. Added a mid weight base layer for return trip (mostly downhill) and was good to go. In a non-tactical environment it is relatively easy to thermoregulate by changing layers but takes time, creates a lot of movement and possibly a fair amount of noise that may not be practical in a tactical environment. For example to add a layer I had to drop my pack, remove my chest pack, remove layer from my pack, remove my shell, don layer, put shell back on, put chest pack back on and don pack.

    Looking for advice from members who have actually done this in a tactical environment for real.

    What about a situation where an individual or small unit is patrolling in winter conditions and is dressed/layered appropriately for movement. However, the number and/or duration of listening or security halts present the risk of hypothermia due to rapid cooling. Adjusting layers on every stop is probably not practical. How have you mitigated/managed this?

    First thing on changing layers. Add in extra time for security halts. What I would do on a patrol with cold weather is to have an insulated jacket on top of pack and easy to get to. I would never use a hard shell gortex unless I’m static, or it’s pouring down rain. Bear in mind, I was using the ecws gen 3 gear as well. Since then, I don’t use the silk base layer tops and have added a soft shell to the mix.

    I’ve done this stuff with both battle belt and chest rig. The belt option is much easier to deal with, although, I will normally wear in the
    to patrol around snow , and how I layer: silk layer bottom, both fleece layer, uniform pants and shirt, fleece jacket (temp dependent), fighting gear (chest rig, belt), soft shell (as needed), puffy jacket (as needed, mostly to keep warm and throw on during halts), hard shell gortex (as needed, pretty much only of there’s rain involved).

    Basically, I have things layered under my fighting gear that doesn’t really change that much, and is mostly designed to wick away moisture. The shells and the heavy insulated gear goes over my fighting gear, unless very specific circumstances (rain, super wet snow) mostly having to do with precipitation.

    I very rarely use any sort of gortex shell over pants unless we’re getting into snow shoeing or skiing. I will have and wear Gators to cover that bottom half of my legs though.

    I’ve never used and soft shell over legs, is it worth it?

    Admit nothing. Deny everything. Make counter-accusations.

    Nulla fatere. Nega omnia. Accusatis calumniatorem. Demanda probationem.

    #54070
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    Late to the party. Cold weather requires planning and adaption of missions. It comes down to correct gear and use of. Cold weather can mean snow or no snow. A snow environment can actually be very helpful whereas a cold wet environment can be harder.

    You will have to carry heavier loads in order to carry the gear to survive. This will go to mission planning, as mentioned in the gear concept articles. Cold weather becomes a game of survival while attempting to be operational enough to complete the mission.

    You need more calories and you need to monitor for dehydration. Consider stoves for hot deinks and hot food. Warming fires may be unavoidable and will be a tactical consideration.

    In a more pure snow arctic style envoronement, it changes everything as per winter warfare. You may be skiing and this requires training and adaption of tactics. Use of snowholes forovernight can be very comforable. Done all this as part of winter warfare / artic training.

    For most of us we may be mote concerned about simply ‘the winter’ with some snow. It is hard to keep people awake and alert in extreme conditions and you have to monitor for cold injury, hence gear, training and planning considerations.

    Moving and then going static is a consideration re: sweat and this makes it a very different game versus truck hunters who simply sit in a hide in the cold.

    Fitness goes without saying and you need to start cold at the bottom of the hill and layer as appropriate with gear to keep you alive for static halts. Consider shelter i.e. pup tents etc.

    Address your gear. Some layers will go under a PC and some will go over it. How to get to mags? This is also a possible use of a PC separate from a chest rig, with the plates under and rig over.

    Wet cold weather is a killer and you need to stay dry with all over goretex. Consider rain running down over trousers into boots and consider gaiters underneath the waterproof pants. UK is very cold and wet and we dealt with this all the time on exercise.

    Either way, if it is cold and or wind chill, and you are not dressed and fed correctly, you can die quick. This is a general survival and not just tactical question. As I get older, or perhaps after surgery, I find it hard to stay warm up in Romney sometimes. Particularly when tired after a training or work day. I swear the Food Lion parking lot is the coldest place on the planet, and I have nearly died of exposure on the way into El Puente many times! :yahoo:

    #54073
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    As I get older, or perhaps after surgery, I find it hard to stay warm up in Romney sometimes. Particularly when tired after a training or work day. I swear the Food Lion parking lot is the coldest place on the planet, and I have nearly died of exposure on the way into El Puente many times! :yahoo:

    Good point. I remember hearing interviews from the soldiers at the Battle of the Bulge (which was one of the coldest in recent history, at that time). Many suffered cold injuries and commented on how their ability to handle cold was forever changed.

    The link is from Medscape (designed for health care professionals – HCP). Scroll through to “Peripheral Cold Injuries” – https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/1278523-overview

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54075
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    What should be stressed is that winter warfare is a leadership function. Weather considerations are part of the factors in the combat estimate and when doing any mission planning you need to take account of the weather.

    For hot weather you would be thinking water, right? Actually it is a common mistake to not consider hydration in cold weather, and due to the cold people do not drink enough. Big time if they have partially frozen canteens. Consider hot brews on a regular basis.

    On ops in cold wet weather it is not unknown to spend time in a state of partial hypothermia, just because of the way the military is! Laying in ambush, etc. There was a time in BritMil when you were not allowed to wear waterproof clothing on patrol – this was before goretex when the stuff was plastic and known as ‘crisp packets’ – not only would you sweat, but you would make a lot of noise.

    Now we have the technology and gear so there is no excuse. As a leader you have to plan the mission around the constraints of your team, their gear and their training. Morale will play an important factor in dealing with, and operating in, the cold.

    So when you come across a constraint, ask yourself “so what?” and the effect this will have, and what can you do to mitigate it? How for example to plan a movement to a static location but then still stay warm enough to avoid hypothermia and cold injury? You may be hovering on the edge depending on the situation.

    Funnily enough, I was up skiing for 3 days over Christmas with the kids. Really cold, like 11 degrees. You have to watch it and take them in for regular hot chocolate in the warmth. You can keep monitoring and they will say they are fine then suddenly you are halfway down the hill and the cold hits the extremities, and then it is crying and emergency. You have to get them to a lift and into the warmth asap. Kids go until they don’t. And that is with full warm kit on. Really cold is really cold and if you stop you will die. On the way back in the car my 9 year old complained of pain in his little toe, and lo and behold, it was slightly red in a small area – beginning of a cold injury. That was with constant monitoring, and he had not complained of cold feet.

    Once at Sandhurst we were out on a defensive exercise in the winter, in snow. It was snowing as we were digging stage 3 battle trenches overnight, then living in them, filling with snow. I thought nothing of it, but on return to the lines, I had hard little white bits on the ends of my toes. Frostnip. This is also why in the cold you have to buddy check each others extremities – noses, fingers, and when changing socks, toes. There is another extremity but let’s leave that alone LOL.

    #54076
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    Also, never get into a sleeping bag with all your gear on, in particular your goretex. You may die of hypothermia in your bag! I had that experience one, wearing crisp packet waterproofs in my sleeping bag as enlisted. Nearly fucking died. Cold as shot until I was gripped going on sentry. Also, you will not feel the benefit of the warm gear if you keep it on, Dress in your bag with enough gear to fight if you are bumped, but save the warm gear fro when you get up for sentry. Things like stand-to are balance of being cold and not having too much kit on, in case you have to move in a hurry.

    #54077
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    As a kid, I used to do a lot of hiking. backpacking. I was introduced to it by my Dad and continued to go either with buddies or often on my own. It’s probably what led me along the path that I took. As a teenager I went by train to the peak district (I think) and the plan was to hike from railhead to railhead over several days. I still don’t know what exactly went wrong, but due to not having money or technology, I had a very heavy pack, and my food was tins, and somehow I must not have had a enough calories for the exertion or the weather. On the last night of this several day hike I was camped by a creek in the middle of nowhere on my own, and I could not get warm. It was just bad, and I did not understand it. Snow on the ground, freezing cold.

    In the morning, I motivated myself to move. I packed up and started hiking to head over the hill and down to the train station. As I was hiking uphill, I started to warm up, and then I realized that I had torn my Achilles tendon. My ankles and feet were simply too cold to feel it. After that, it was emotional. I had no comms, the mist was in, and I had to get to the railway station. It was a wilderness area, not a place where other hiked. There was no one else there. This is where the component of morale comes in, or motivation. It is easy to lay down and die. Suffice to say, I am writing this, so I made it, and had to recover from an Achilles injury.

    I was extremely fit, but this is where cold weather, poor equipment, massive exertion and not enough decent rations play in. Think about the collapse where we are talking about having to conduct these types of operations, and what you may or may not have to eat?

    #54078
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    ^^^^ GOLD!! :mail:

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54085
    Profile photo of First SergeantFirst Sergeant
    Moderator

    As others have talked about above, calorie intake and hydration. You will burn more calories and thus have to take in more calories. There is no way around this. You have to plan on carrying more food.

    You will need a way to heat it up. I am a big fan of MSR’s Windburner stove. It will boil water it about a minute. You also need to take fuel consumption into consideration. That’s another reason I like these stoves. One canister will last a long time.

    One of the things that I always carry in cold weather is bullion cubes. You can heat up a canteen cup of water pretty quick, add in a cube and it is warmth and calories. Goes a long ways when you are cold as shit and it doesn’t look like there is any end in sight.

    When it’s hot, you don’t have to remind yourself to drink water. When it’s cold, you don’t think about it. It is just as important to drink water when it’s cold. Staying hydrated is a must. The color of your piss should be the some as when you are hydrated in the summer.

    Something that goes along with that is bowel movements. Fuck yes it sucks to have to dig a cat hole and expose your ass to sub freezing temps. The longer you hold it, the colder you will become. The body has to use warmth to keep that crap in you. The faster you get rid of it, the better off you will be.

    FILO
    Signal out, can you identify.
    Je ne regrette rien...
    Klagt Nicht, Kämpft

    #54087
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    Something that goes along with that is bowel movements. Fuck yes it sucks to have to dig a cat hole and expose your ass to sub freezing temps. The longer you hold it, the colder you will become. The body has to use warmth to keep that crap in you. The faster you get rid of it, the better off you will be.

    Ain’t nobody gonna like this one………

    The large intestine’s primary job is to reabsorb water. If you’re not drinking enough as you should, you are predisposing yourself to constipation. When you feel the urge to evacuate the bowels and you ignore it, the feces stays and continues to have water extracted. In about 20-30 minutes, you’ll feel the urge to evacuate again, only less so this time. Ignore it and the urge goes away again. Repeat every 20-30 minutes for 2-4 times, then just no urge. All the while that crap is locked up inside having the water removed. Are you starting to get a picture??

    While modern medicine can do wonders when its working, what about in primitive conditions?? One of my interests is in genealogy, so I enjoy reading death certificates. I am utterly amazed at the number of things killing people of all ages just 50 years ago. Those things we take for granted today were killers once and can be again.

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54089
    Profile photo of RonWfarmer
    Participant

    @wheelsee, what were some of the things killing 50 years ago vs. today?

    RonW

    #54090
    Profile photo of Max VelocityMax
    Keymaster

    A long time ago I wrote a post on the old blog about using poor weather. The flip side of weather considerations is how you stack up against the enemy. If you can rise above weather considerations through a combination of planning, training, gear and morale, then you may be able to gain an advantage over an enemy.

    Poor weather makes enemy seek shelter, huddle and have fires. Be inside under shelter. Reduce morale and alertness of sentries. Rain and wind can be used to mask movement. Snow may be a reverse considertion if you are doing recon, due to tracks, but it depends if the enemy are out there patrolling or not, and what tracks are already there: it will affect recon planning for CTR. If you moved into an OP during snowfall, you could get under cover and tracks and your OP would be covered in new snowfall.

    All these things are considerations for your tactical planning, but none of it can be executed without a team, training and leadership.

    #54092
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    @wheelsee, what were some of the things killing 50 years ago vs. today?

    I should have listed the dates 1930s-1950s.
    Tuberculosis
    Ruptured appendix
    Gastroenteritis (vomiting and diarrhea)
    UTI (urinary tract”bladder” infection)
    blocked intestine (small bowel obstruction or constipation of large intestine, it doesn’t specify)
    Scarlet fever (a worsening of strep throat, which is the real reason we treat with antibiotics. In the 1800’s, 30% mortality).
    Influenza

    Keep in mind most of these are either surgical problems or treated successfully today with antibiotics or IV fluids.

    One interesting note re:appendicitis (since we have US and Brits here). In the US, the preferred treatment is surgery (removal of) whereas in Britain, they are seeing good results with the use of antibiotics (uncomplicated, meaning not ruptured, study done in BJM – British Journal of Medicine http://www.bmj.com/content/344/bmj.e2156 )

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

    #54093
    Profile photo of wheelseewheelsee
    Participant

    Max has already written about using poor weather as your friend. Look at our history for positive references. Probably one of the most famous (for us colonists, at this time of year) is General Washington and crossing of the Delaware to get his troops into Trenton NJ against the Hessians on the Christmas night (used not only the weather but also the holiday).

    A quick reference would be watching “Jeremiah Johnson” with Robert Redford. Some of the fur trappers (new ones) would pull their fur hoods snug over their heads to keep warm, at the expense of hearing and seeing potential threats which the Indians (Blackfeet and Crow) took advantage of.

    Which is heavier - a soldier's pack or a slave's chains? Napoleon

    Strength, Honor. Maximus (Gladiator)

    If you tolerate evil, you yourself are evil.
    Col Hugo Martinez, Commander Search Bloc

    William, in The Republic - CRS/CTT 2017, HEAT 2/CQB/FonF 2018, DCH 2018

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