Massif Rocks!

Jungle Loadout

A friend of mine with decades of SOF and PR experience, most recently in the SOUTHCOM AOR shared this briefing with us. He uses the attached it to prepare others for deployments. While it goes over the equipment he uses, it does not include firearms. Rather, the briefing focuses on existence and survival equipment. The slides offer some great examples but are by no means definitive.

To download your copy, click here.

I encourage those of you with similar experience to share it in the comments section. For those of you who do not, use this as an opportunity to learn. Feel free to ask questions.

54 Responses to “Jungle Loadout”

  1. Ken Galbraith says:

    Just to clarify, some redundant and additional medical and survival gear was carried for use as training aids to provide example options for the personnel being trained.

  2. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz says:

    A good discussion on this subject can be found here:

  3. Insane Soldier says:

    In the second photo there are 2 Olive drab canteens. What make are these and where does one get these?
    Awesome job!

    • Ken Galbraith says:

      Those are called Ranger Canteens. They are 1 quart GI-shaped, with a wide mouth the same size as a 1 liter Nalgene. A buddy of mine came up with them and these are prototypes / early production samples. He is currently working on finding a US manufacturer for them and also is working with the SOF community on getting DoD SOF to buy them as an issue item.

      • Insane Soldier says:

        Outstanding Ken! Thank you for the reply. I will definitely get these canteens.
        Have your buddy make a canteen cup also.

        • Ken Galbraith says:

          Just got word from my buddy that he will begin full production of the Ranger Canteens in one month with a 100% USA manufacturer.

          • mike says:

            I know the Marines tested a wide mouth version the standard issue OD Canteen a while back, I believe at MWTC. Last time I saw a picture of one was several years ago though.

          • JJ says:

            That’s awesome!

  4. Max says:

    Great article! Really interresting to read.

    I am curious, whta is an Alpenstöck? is that a combination of a walkingstick and a mountaineering Pick? And for what do i use this?

    • Ken Galbraith says:

      Basically, yes….it is a long ice axe like the wooden shafted ones used long ago by mountaineers in the Alps. I created a modern version to use as a hiking stick, but also for a number of other uses such as pounding in stakes, gaining solid purchase on steep terrain, digging, and…snake bonking.

    • Kirk says:

      What you probably want to take a look at is the Black Diamond Whippet, which is probably one of the more versatile modern interpretations of a classic Alpenstock. They’re available in carbon fiber and aluminum, for around a hundred bucks. Check Amazon or any other major outdoor retailer.

      I think they may be the only people currently making something like this, but I stand to be corrected.

      • Ken Galbraith says:

        Before I made my own, I thought about getting the Whippet, but decided to build my own because I wanted it to be strong enough to put up with some abuse. I also wanted to be able to hammer with it. That’s why I used an old Grivel 3rd Tool with the hammer head, and mated that to a heavy duty metal shafted telescopic tool, added a Leki ski pole tip, with a small trekking basket.
        During one overseas trip, I was even able to bury it as a deadman anchor for teaching some guys hasty rappelling techniques. It held and worked out well.

        • Kirk says:

          The pure Alpenstock is probably the direct ancestor of the modern ice axe, with the pick being used for self-arrest on ice slopes. The original heads I’ve seen all had adzes opposite the pick, for hacking out steps. As such, the closest thing on the market for modern hikers is probably that Whippet, with both sets of tools being optimized for use up in the mountains on ice.

          I know exactly why you wanted something similar in the jungle–I know I sure as hell wanted something similar for reaching up and hooking roots and such climbing slopes in Panama. I think the design you’ve got looks really good, but I think I’d add one of those old-school sliding metal loops for a wrist lanyard, so you could vary where you were holding the loop from up at the head to down by the spike, depending on how you were using it. The adze isn’t really a necessity off ice, but it might be nice to be able to swap out with a hammerhead or other tool. If you look at the new Martinez M1 framing hammer, you can see a really good way to attach toolheads to something like what you’ve got going here.

          If it were I designing something like this, I’d have a short handle section up near the head that I could swap various toolheads onto, from hatchet to alpenstock, and then have a telescopic section that screwed into the base with the spike and basket. That would give you maximum utility for the tool head, and still give you a good trekking pole to use. Probably too “niche”, but we can dream, can’t we?

        • Brian G. says:

          I’d love to see more pics of the DIY Alpenstock. I can see that being a great substitute to a walking stick. What exactly did you use for the telescoping portion? It almost looks like a paint roller extension pole.

          • Ken Galbraith says:

            Believe it or not, I used a modified gardening implement that I bought at Lowe’s. It was built strong, so it met my needs for modifying and pairing it with the Grivel ice tool to build it.

  5. Freddy says:

    What pouches are attached to the front of the kit bag? This is some great information. Thanks for sharing.

  6. IW says:

    Who makes that multicam/orange pack cover?

    • Ken Galbraith says:

      A company called Bad Moon Rizing. Good product, but it took a really long time for the guy to come through with it. I think they went out of business. An acceptable alternative can be found on the Eberlestock website. One side is orange, and the other is Unicam (an Eberlestock digital derivative).

  7. James says:

    Curious about the gaiters, have a pair of the OR BugOuts, I’ve never seen them in any color but the white/ beige. Is that just a really good rattle can job, or do I need to look harder?

  8. Dev says:

    Good stuff. I prefer the SADF style 2l bottles over anything else though.

  9. Freddy says:

    What pouches are mounted to your Recon Kit Bag?

  10. Rob says:

    Dad was a LRRP 67-8-9 and carried 15 canteens for five days. There is not so much water in the highlands and when it is found, you can guess who is there too.

  11. Lt. Dan says:

    Why do you carry the Kestrel around?

    • Ken Galbraith says:

      While on this particular trip, I needed it for prevailing and windspeed data during a helo recce of some jungle HLZs. Needed to be able to make sure the host nation helos could land the spots I needed, especially due to surrounding trees and ground slope. Also used it to keep track of weather data to determine if any storms were inbound to our camp.

      • Ken Galbraith says:

        I then recorded the data I got from on the ground to provide to the host nation pilots, then went back with them to fly the spots and ensure all was good to go. Same HLZs can then be used for future trips to the same area.

      • Lt. Dan says:

        That first sentence was the most outstanding thing I’ve read all week!

        Thanks for the response

  12. Iggy says:

    Whats it all weight before water?
    Re the rope gear: what system you climbing/rappeling/belaying/fixing with?

    • Ken Galbraith says:

      It was coming in at about 35’ish lbs, before water. The High Angle Kit was for steep earth climbing in jungle terrain. Some of the jungle mountains and hills made you earn every step. Very steep, wet, and covered with vegetation. I would use my Alpenstöck to aid me in getting up to a certain point, dragging the static rope behind me. I would then sling the base of trees or roots. Others with me could then use the rope as a hand line. The other use was for a fixed line down and back from our water source…a river. I slung stout roots and tree bases to pt in the fixed line with runners as needed, so that we could safely get down to the river and back up with full canteens without folks busting their ass on slick ground or rocks.

      • Iggy says:

        Thanks for the details. Quite light for 3 days.
        How long/mm if rope you carrying? Agree when ysed efficiently rope can take a lot of risk and bullshit out of civerung ground.

  13. JBar says:

    Glad to see Hill People Gear

  14. wb says:

    Where are those pill boxes from? Seems simple, but they’re just the right size.

    That Via though… #money

  15. James says:

    Primary and Secondary has a live podcast on jungle warfare going right now on youtube, will post a link for the recorded version tomorrow.

  16. redbeard says:

    Oh, it’s an plug for Hill People Gear. I was confused at first. Neat load outs, though.

    • SSD says:

      No, it wasn’t a plug for them. That just happens to be what Ken prefers.

      However, I can tell by the “neat loadouts” comment that you aren’t the intended consumer of the information.

  17. Bill says:

    Ken, who makes the fixed blade knife on page 3?

  18. Renaissance Marine says:

    very interesting loadout. are you in the ft. walton beach area?

  19. CRM says:

    I am late to the party but this is great information, thank you.

  20. Tomas says:

    Hi Ken! Great spread on the jungle loadout, something you definitely don’t see everyday.

    Who makes your helo ops retention lanyard, HAK, carabiners and related hardware?