Matt Forney Makes it to Portland

by W.F. Price on December 10, 2012

Matt Forney stopped by Seattle the other day on the last leg of his journey to Portland, so I went out and had a beer with him. It was nice to meet another blogger here, even if it was a pretty brief encounter. Matt’s a pleasant, polite young man who just completed a long hitchhiking trip across the US. He’s posted a couple articles here at The Spearhead along the way, and now that he’s settled in Portland for the time being I look forward to seeing him step up his output.

Matt had some pretty interesting stories to tell about his time on the road that included some colorful characters he met across the US, and insight into the state of the domestic oil and gas industry. It’s nice to see that it’s still possible for young men to strike out and explore our vast country, and I hope he inspires more to try the same.

Check out his site for further updates — I hope to see him cranking out some of the stories he told me about soon.

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Charles Martel December 10, 2012 at 22:34

OT: Women in combat.

This is no surprise to any man who has done any infantry soldiering, but how many women are able to carry this much weight?

How Much Weight Do Infantry Soldiers Have To Carry?

Soldier weighs – 175 lbs
In fighting order – 270 lbs
With gear to stay out on patrol for a couple of days – 308 lbs

To explain, this soldier is expected to be able to fight – i.e fire his weapon while continuously changing his position – while carrying 95 lbs weight. He is also expected to patrol – i.e. walk – for many miles while carrying 133 lbs.

To be fair, this soldier is a machine gunner so you could subtract 10 to 15 pounds for a rifleman.

In my opinion his fighting order is too heavy. To the best of my recollection it was about 40 pounds when I was an infantryman, plus another 50 or 60 pounds or so for patrolling.

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lavazza1891 December 11, 2012 at 05:26

Charles: When I did my military service in Sweden over 90 % of young men did the service. At the end of the training everybody had to march 30 km with 15 or 20 kg (I don’t remember) plus weapon and ammo in 7 hours. Almost everybody succeeded in my platoon, and we were doing the least demanding type of military service. 55-60 kg seems far to much for marching any distances. We practiced with 30 kg for 15 km. I was slightly underweight during my military service: 70 kg for 189 cm.

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Mike43 December 11, 2012 at 06:43

The seminal work on this subject is “Load of a Nation” which was written by SLA Marshall. In it, he postulated that a load of no more than 1/3 the body weight could be carried for days on end. Marshall has been controversial, so take it with whatever grain of salt that is appropriate.

We used to draw up our rucks with that in mind, and use caches, etc to re-supply. Now, it appears that most units, even the Spec Ops guys, prefer to walk it in on their own backs.

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Matt Strictland December 11, 2012 at 11:47

O/T also

The increase in soldiers load comes from electronics and body armor I’d guess. The actual “kit” is lighter these days.

The vest and plates front only weigh at least an extra 16 lbs and I saw among other things binoculars on that guy so thats another pound there and there is probably a lot more gear. If he has a backplate that another 16 as well. I couldn’t tell

Drop the MG and the half vest, some of the electronic gear , add an M16 and you’d approximate the load weight of previous generations

The thing that surprised me though is how light that guy was for an machine gunner, I think thats a SAW in .223 not say an M60 but in previous wars the MG guy (weren’t they called a pigman?) was usually a big guy. This guy is pretty average.

Maybe its a Canadian thing

As for caching I suspect is not being done because we don’t really control the terrain to a level in which we feel comfortable.

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Cheryl August 20, 2013 at 10:30

To The Spearhead group . Are you sure this guy is worth posting ? Definitely not plesent or polite .

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