Existence load Everything you will need to subsist in the field, including sleeping, shelter, feeding, cold and wet weather gear

Rucksacks

Best

*OD/US Woodland USGI Medium-frame ALICE pack
USGI Large-frame ALICE pack

Better

USGI CFP-90 Large Field Pack *USGI CFP-90 Patrol Pack Foreign-issue ALICE pack copies (Turkish, Austrian)

Acceptable

Any non-conspicuous olive-coloured bergan rucksackBritish GS Bergan

The three types of ALICE pack. From top: OD Medium frame ALICE pack, US woodland Medium pack, OD large pack. The large pack is only available in OD, and is distinguished by a much larger main size, and three supplementary pockets at the front of the main compartment. The Medium ALICE packs can be worn without a frame, but a frame is required for the large pack as it has no strap attachment points.

 

CFP90 Large Field Pack. More voluminous than the large-frame ALICE pack, and slightly more comfortable to carry. Has mounting clips to attach the matching CFP-90 patrol pack (Below).
CFP90 Large Field Pack. More voluminous than the large-frame ALICE pack, and slightly more comfortable to carry. Has mounting clips to attach the matching CFP-90 patrol pack (Below).

 

CFP-90 Patrol pack. Has nearly the same volume as the Medium ALICE pack, but can be worn as a supplementary assault pack with the CFP-90 Large Field Pack
CFP-90 Patrol pack. Has nearly the same volume as the Medium ALICE pack, but can be worn as a supplementary assault pack with the CFP-90 Large Field Pack

Shelter systems

Best

*French Army two-man tent

Better

*USGI Shelter halves *USGI poncho in US woodland or OD Austrian shelter halves
Other foreign military issue pup tents in OD nylon or canvas

Acceptable

Any civilian tent in subdued colours (OD/khaki/brown)

Note: Ensure your shelter has the necessary hardware to correctly set it up before you arrive on site. Recommend at least 8-10 heavy-duty tent pegs, paracord, and pioneering poles if your shelter does not already include any.

French Army Two-man tent (Tente biplace). While not authentic, this comes as a personal recommendation as the system is a good shade of military OD, has a thick, rubberised built-in groundsheet, easy-open zipper, insect netting, and more often than not includes a separate nylon rain sheet which can double as an emergency shelter on its own. In addition, this has become somewhat a common sight for US players at Red Mist, ensuring a degree of uniformity. Ensure your tent has all necessary pegs and two collapsible poles, along with the rain sheet or you may need to improvise one out of a poncho or tarp.
French Army Two-man tent (Tente biplace). While not authentic, this comes as a personal recommendation as the system is a good shade of military OD, has a thick, rubberised built-in groundsheet, easy-open zipper, insect netting, and more often than not includes a separate nylon rain sheet which can double as an emergency shelter on its own. In addition, this has become somewhat a common sight for US players at Red Mist, ensuring a degree of uniformity. Ensure your tent has all necessary pegs and two collapsible poles, along with the rain sheet or you may need to improvise one out of a poncho or tarp.
USGI shelter half. Often sold in single sheets, you will need two for a complete shelter. Ensure you have 10 pegs (seen above in photo) along with six pole sections.
USGI shelter half. Often sold in single sheets, you will need two for a complete shelter. Ensure you have 10 pegs (seen above in photo) along with six pole sections.

 

USGI Shelter Half
Two (of many) possible configurations of the USGI poncho. Multiple ponchos can be buttoned together to create larger, more complex shelters

 

Austrian shelter halves. An almost identical copy of the US shelter, but in nylon. Comes in two pouches and can be buttoned together to make larger shelters. Very inexpensive, often used as an equipment storage tent
Austrian shelter halves. An almost identical copy of the US shelter, but in nylon. Comes in two pouches and can be buttoned together to make larger shelters. Very inexpensive, often used as an equipment storage tent

Sleeping system

Best

*USGI Modular Sleep System (MSS), complete (patrol bag, intermediate bag, bivvy bag), and any quality isolator roll mat

Better

*British issue Arctic or P58 sleeping bag with Goretex bivvy bag
Other foreign military issue sleeping bags with waterproof bivvy

Acceptable

Civilian sleeping bag in subdued colours (OD/khaki/brown)Note: Ensure you have an isolator roll mat or similar, particularly if you are sleeping on the ground. The British issue mats are very cheap and easy to find in the UK, while the German folding mats stow away very easily. Both are recommended. In addition, at Red Mist you will often have the opportunity to sleep in an authentic military section/squad tent. For this reason, it is recommended to invest in a quality USGI/British folding cot.

USGI Modular Sleep System (MSS) - Counter-clockwise from top: US woodland bivvy bag, green lightweight patrol bag, black intermediate bag, stuff sack, isolator roll mat. The three bags combine to form a four-season sleep system, and can also used independently of one another along with the bivvy to regulate temperature. Avoid the newer UCP (ACU) patterned MSS if possible, as this is of inferior quality
USGI Modular Sleep System (MSS) – Counter-clockwise from top: US woodland bivvy bag, green lightweight patrol bag, black intermediate bag, stuff sack, isolator roll mat. The three bags combine to form a four-season sleep system, and can also used independently of one another along with the bivvy to regulate temperature. Avoid the newer UCP (ACU) patterned MSS if possible, as this is of inferior quality

 

USGI/MoD issue military cot. The recommended choice for sleeping in communal unit tents at Red Mist.
USGI/MoD issue military cot. The recommended choice for sleeping in communal unit tents at Red Mist.

Cold weather gear

The first casualty as a result of cold weather is morale; the second could be you. Ensure you are warm and safe with quality cold weather layers.

Best

*USGI US Woodland Coat, Cold weather, Field (AKA the M65) with button-in liner and thermal underwear (USGI polypro)

Better

*USGI Bear suit fleece
*Polypro underwear
USGI/British knitted jumper
British issue Norgie
*Current MoD issue light olive PCS underwear and fleece

Acceptable

Civilian long johns in subdued colours (OD/khaki/brown/black)

Note: It is also highly recommended to bring a black knitted/fleece watch cap for nighttime patrols. A wool neck gaiter or OD scrim net scarf is also recommended. Avoid shemaghs or similar: these became popular in military use only after recent involvement in the Middle East. Avoid any form of cotton thermal underwear as this will absorb moisture and cause anything from discomfort to pneumonia.

M65 Jacket (top) and button-in liner (bottom). Both are recommended. The jackets are rarely sold with the liner included, so you may need to seek out a matching size liner. The winter clothing system also included a matching set of trousers, which could also be fitted with a quilted liner.

M65 Jacket (top) and button-in liner (bottom). Both are recommended. The jackets are rarely sold with the liner included, so you may need to seek out a matching size liner. The winter clothing system also included a matching set of trousers, which could also be fitted with a quilted liner.

 

USGI "Bear Suit" fleece jacket. This thick underlayer is correct for the time period and very warm.
USGI “Bear Suit” fleece jacket. This thick underlayer is correct for the time period and very warm.

 

Polypro underwear. This consists of a 3/4 zippered top with fleecy material on the inside and matching long john drawers. Highly recommended to supplement any of the cold weather gear such as the M65 jacket.
Polypro underwear. This consists of a 3/4 zippered top with fleecy material on the inside and matching long john drawers. Highly recommended to supplement any of the cold weather gear such as the M65 jacket.

Wet weather gear

Nothing discourages players worse than inclement weather: beat it to the punch by fighting in the dry with the appropriate wet-weather gear

Best

*USGI US woodland Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) Parka (ECWCS trousers optional, but recommended)

Better

*USGI US woodland Improved Rainsuit (M65 liner recommended)
USGI Rubberised Rain parka Reproduction
US woodland ECWCS parka (*Helikon, Rothco, etc)
*Foreign issue US woodland waterproof parka (Italian, Dutch, Russian, etc)

Acceptable

USGI Poncho, civilian woodland rainsuit or similar Note: Ponchos are better suited as a form of shelter or groundsheet rather than a waterproof combat garment, a proper waterproof layer such as the ECWCS will keep you fighting comfortably in cold and wet weather.

 

Improved Rainsuit sympatex parka. Similar to the ECWCS, but unlined and made by ORC Industries exclusively. Press studs on pockets and can be fitted with the M65 liner.
Improved Rainsuit sympatex parka. Similar to the ECWCS, but unlined and made by ORC Industries exclusively. Press studs on pockets and can be fitted with the M65 liner.

 

Parka, wet weather. A rubberised fabric overgarment with zero breathability, ensuring you'll be as wet from perspiration as you would from rain. This is, however, extremely historically accurate for the time period. Becoming rarer as most are falling apart from rubber degradation.
Parka, wet weather. A rubberised fabric overgarment with zero breathability, ensuring you’ll be as wet from perspiration as you would from rain. This is, however, extremely historically accurate for the time period. Becoming rarer as most are falling apart from rubber degradation.

Eating/Hydration in the field

Best

*US MREs, stripped down, in buttpack
*2x USGI 1 quart canteens on webbing
*1x USGI 2 quart canteen attached to rucksack
*1x USGI steel nesting mug plus nesting cookstand

Better

*British/foreign/civilian camping rations + any form of cooker and mess tins (Hexamine, Esbit, Trangia)
Foreign issue canteens (British, *Dutch, etc.) Foreign issue or civilian nesting metal mug (*Dutch, British, *Italian, etc)

Acceptable

Packed lunch or similar
Collapsible sport or metal camping water bottle

Note: Always ensure you have at least two litres of water on your person or in your patrol pack. Drink regularly throughout the day, regardless of weather. Red Mist events run over the course of three days: Friday evening, all Saturday, and Sunday until early afternoon. Ensure you have enough packed meals in any form to carry you through. As a guideline, two MREs will feed you on the Saturday and Sunday main meals, supplemented by two packed breakfasts and two dinners, which can usually be prepared in-camp.

MREs. Many designs throughout the ages. Ensure your MRE main meals are stripped from the packaging and placed back in the brown bag, rolled up. Make an effort to consume the entire contents of your MRE as you will need the calories. The MRE spoons are nigh-on indestructible; save them, and keep as a dedicated racing spoon.
MREs. Many designs throughout the ages. Ensure your MRE main meals are stripped from the packaging and placed back in the brown bag, rolled up. Make an effort to consume the entire contents of your MRE as you will need the calories. The MRE spoons are nigh-on indestructible; save them, and keep as a dedicated racing spoon.

 

Canteen with pouch, nesting cup, and NBC lid (bagged). Aim to have two bottles on your webbing.
Canteen with pouch, nesting cup, and NBC lid (bagged). Aim to have two bottles on your webbing.

 

USGI 2 quart canteen with pouch. This can be mounted to a belt, the ALICE or CFP-90 packs or carried on a shoulder strap. Recommended for cooking and refilling your canteens.
USGI 2 quart canteen with pouch. This can be mounted to a belt, the ALICE or CFP-90 packs or carried on a shoulder strap. Recommended for cooking and refilling your canteens.

 

Top: Canteen, mug, and nesting burner. Bottom: cook system stacked together. This will fit into a normal canteen pouch. The nesting cookstand is a fast way to heat up your canteen cup, simply overturn, place a fuel tablet underneath (Trioxamine, hexamine, Esbit, etc), light, and place the mug on the stand burner. Ensure your cup and cookstand are both GI, as reproduction cookstands will NOT fit GI cups and are of poor quality.

Top: Canteen, mug, and nesting burner. Bottom: cook system stacked together. This will fit into a normal canteen pouch. The nesting cookstand is a fast way to heat up your canteen cup, simply overturn, place a fuel tablet underneath (Trioxamine, hexamine, Esbit, etc), light, and place the mug on the stand burner. Ensure your cup and cookstand are both GI, as reproduction cookstands will NOT fit GI cups and are of poor quality.