CF Load bearing Equipment

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This is required equipment for NATO Canadian Forces participants.

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The Canadian Forces Pattern 82 web gear is the standard web gear for Canadian Forces attendees at East Wind. No other web gear is acceptable.

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Notes on the 82 pattern webbing

Look here for the 82 Pattern Webbing Users Manual.

The 82 Pattern Web-Gear was the load bearing system in service within the Canadian Forces during the time frame that OP East Wind takes place. The webbing consists of the yoke (the shoulder straps) as well as the web straps which secure it to the web-belt which all of the associated pouches hang off of.

The typical Infantry load out consisted of two C7 magazine pouches, a utility pouch, bayonet frog, butt pack, knife for spoon (KFS) holder and canteen pouch with a 1qt canteen. Depending on the mission, it might also be fitted with the Entrenching Tool (E-Tool) carrier or a respirator carrier.

While the 82 Pattern E-Tool carrier could be attached to the back of the yoke, this was rarely done in practice as it interfered with the ability to quickly throw on a rucksack and it flopped around a lot. Some troops opted to use the back of their yoke with custom fitted bungee straps for holding rain gear or other kit, while others commonly tucked 5.56mm magazine chargers in them.

A standard combat load was one magazine in the rifle and four magazines in the pouches. One often overlooked feature of the C7 magazine pouches, is that while each pouch can accommodate two standard STANAG style magazines, each pouch also has a small strap inside. These straps are designed to have the magazine rest on them inside the pouch, so that once opened, the end of the strap sticks up allowing the user to quickly and easily pull the strap and the corresponding magazine out of the pouch. These were designed, so you could access them with one hand - your other hand on your rifle.

Troops also typically carried the older style utility pouch or the newer utility pouch which was also known as the C9 Pouch as it was slightly enlarged to accommodate the 200 round belt box for the C9 Light Machine Gun. Fire team partners and other members of the section would commonly help spread the two section light machine gunners load by carrying extra belt boxes of ammunition for them.

The Canadian "Nella" Bayonet, was the Canadian licensed version of the U.S. M7 Bayonet. The black hard plastic scabbard was also a unique Canadian design with a plastic nub to hold it within the 82 Pattern Bayonet Frog.

The butt pack was normally worn on the webbing, but could be detached and used with it's own stand alone carrying strap as well. The inner pocket along the back of the butt pack was normally where the melmac plate was carried. Troops normally carried boot powder, spare socks, boot bands, batteries, matches and water purification pills in a Ziploc bag inside their butt packs. This was in addition to what other additional load they needed to carry, whether that be extra warmth layers, rain gear, ranger blankets, rations, water, ammunition or special equipment.

Because the straps over the top of the butt pack (used for cinching it shut) were fairly long, it was not at all uncommon to see jackets or larger pieces of kit and equipment secured to the outside or top of the butt pack as well.

At OP East Wind, to ensure everyone always has enough water, we carry two 1qt. water canteens. One of the canteen carriers (or canteen pouches) also contained a canteen cup. Some soldiers also had canteen cup stoves which fit around the actual canteen cup its self like a sleeve when not in use as a stove. The canteen cup stoves were normally purchased through kit shops or through personal acquisition but they were not an issued item.

The correct layout for the 82 Pattern Webbing for OP East Wind from left to right (as if you're wearing it) is C7 Magazine Pouch, utility pouch, canteen pouch with 1qt canteen, Bayonet and Frog, Butt pack, KFS holder, Canteen pouch with canteen cup carrier (canteen stove) and the 2nd 1qt canteen and the second C7 magazine Pouch.

If there was room, a spare C7 magazine pouch might be added on the right side near the other right magazine pouch. Depending on the soldiers role (ex. machine gunner or section commander) the soldier may have a Browning High Power Pistol and corresponding 82 pattern pistol holster for it in this spot as well.

Things to be aware of when shopping for your 82 Pattern Webbing:

Most times, webbing comes in its individual components. Rarely will you find an entire set assembled, much less including everything it should. As such, you will often have to piece it together and assemble it yourself.

When buying webbing, try the web-belt on and see if it fits with a little extra room (so it can fit over a jacket and or pants when you're wearing long underwear). You do not want a belt which is tight before the straps for the buckle have been tightened. There are different sizes but they are not marked - so make sure yours fits. Also make sure none of the metal eyelets are missing in the front two columns of eyelets at each end of the belt or for approximately four columns of eylets left and right of the centre of the belt.

This is because those eyelets will be connected to the yoke and shoulder straps and will bear the most strain. If those eyelets are missing, then the web-gear will come apart at inopportune moments.

Likewise, on all of the pouches and straps with the plastic nubs for connecting into the eyelets - make sure they are still there and not broken off or that the plastic plate that they are part of is not cracked under neath the web material that stitches them to the pouch they are part of. Make sure to check all four of the shoulder straps and that all of their plastic nubs are intact as these are critical to keeping your web-gear together and capable of carrying any significant load.

Also make sure that the plastic buckle/fastener on the front of the pouches isn't cracked and therefore unable to keep the pouch closed. When these crack, it's typically a hairline crack and not possible to see unless you try pulling at the plastic fastener. You will also want to check the hardened canvass material which goes through the plastic loop to fasten the pouch closed - to ensure it isn't too frayed so as to make it difficult to fasten the pouch closed.

Also beware that there were two different models of butt packs. The original ones, used a plastic tri-glide fastener to cinch the butt pack closed, while the newer and more preferable pouches used a Fastex buckle.

Be sure to adjust the shoulder straps to a comfortable position so that the web-belt tightens around your hips and not your waist. Once you've adjusted the straps to a comfortable position - french roll the ends of the straps.

This not only keeps them from being unsightly and just dangling around, but it also prevents them from coming undone. French rolling the ends, means taking the end and pushing it back under and through the plastic tri glide buckle and starting with the tip if the strap, folding/rolling it in on its self tighter and tighter until it is tightly rolled up against the tri glide buckle. Use of the needle nose pliers off of a multi-tool assists immeasurably with this.

When you are trying to connect the plastic nubs on the various pouches to the metal eyelets in the web-belt, be sure to try and press into the centre of the plastic plate that all four plastic nubs are part of (which is hidden under the web material making the plastic nubs part of the pouch its self). By pressing this, you can flex the nubs around as needed to get them to more easily pop into the metal eyelets. While a certain degree of aggression and effort is required to connect everything onto the web-belt, it's important not to get too carried away as it's too easy to snap one of the plastic nubs off the pouch which may potentially wreck its ability to carry a load. Likewise, when possible - use the same approach (pressing on the centre of the plastic plate the nubs are connected to) to give yourself some slack to detach the pouch in question without breaking any nubs off.

Often times, when you're sifting through piles of pouches at a surplus store they may have FNC1 and FNC2 pouches mixed in with the C7 Pouches. The easiest magazine pouches to differentiate are the newest ones which had small C10 grenade pouches on each side of the pouch at the bottom.

However, if you have some of the older pouches, you'll have to be more mindful as to how big they are. The FNC1 magazine held 20 rounds and while wider than the C7/STANAG magazine it was also shorter. A C7 magazine will not fit into a C1 magazine pouch - so ensure the pouch is at least 5 1/2 inches in length to ensure it's a C7 magazine pouch. The C2 pouch, while more rare, is also easier to tell as it is considerably longer than the C7 pouch as it was designed to hold a 40 round magazine.

Maintenance:

Soap and water, even just a straight garden hose is usually enough to clean your webbing up if it gets excessively dirty.

It's always good to have an extra magazine pouch or two, partially so you can carry an extra two magazines, but more so in the event one of your load bearing magazine pouches hooked up to one of your shoulder straps fails.