Cold War Provost - Hints for your webbing contents!
Required (i.e. 'issued') kit...
First things first; there are a couple of required (issued
to squaddies) items: These are:
tins, which MUST be the pukka British issue things - best
sources - any decent military surplus store - look for the
arrow or "crows foot" on the hingeline panel of
the folding arms, along with the NSN, or Nato Stock Number
(which varies, it seems).
pattern water bottle and mug. Do NOT, say again, NOT, go for
the inferior chinese knock-offs. Remember, genuine british
military kit will have the arrow or "crows foot"
on it: On water bottles and mugs, it's very clearly marked
on the front along with the NSN. Watch out for clever copies
- they're made of inferior plastic, not thick black
shiny plastic, and do NOT have the NSN. If you're not sure,
don't buy it; ask on the C20 forums for advice on where to
find (which shops) sell the real deal kit.
Next up, the "gucci" items...
first aid kits are a useful thing to have, whether or not
you're a LIving History re-enactor or not. The main problem
is that current offerings on the market, by and large, are
either DPM camouflaged, or very brightly coloured, with pouches
made from some form of "ballistic nylon" or other,
so are not exactly period-accurate.
Best way around this? Grab hold of a US Personal First Aid
kit. They're 20 quid or so, and you'll most likely have to
bin a few out-of-date items from them, but they're worth-while,
are OD green, and period-accurate - and yes, the author HAS
seen these on British soldiers in the early 1990s (sorry,
no photos), so it's not outside the bounds of possibilities
that British Soldiers had - ahem - horse traded some item
or other (most likely a pack of GS rations, which at the time
were far and away better than US MRE ration packs at the time)
for a US first aid kit. This said, there is a "Jungle
First Aid Kit" (pictured) available that, while it comes
in a nylon pouch, is at least OD Green. The only problem with
them is that there's no place to hang them on 58 webbing -
The author got creative, and stuck his one into his bergan
when he was in the RMP(v)!
should also buy or somehow procure a First Field Dressing,
and tape/secure that to the upper left front riser of your
58 webbing yoke - these were issued, and were surprisingly
effective at what they were intended to do - plug holes in
sets. The author was issued, right out of the mess, a knife,
fork, and spoon. Even a brand new in-traning squaddie would
tell you that these'll rattle like crazy in webbing. So, the
first order of business down the NAFFI shop or PRI shop (if
one was available) was to get a set of civvy camping cutlery.
In the end, and amusingly enough, the chinese supplied the
Similar to what you see on the left, they came with an OD
Green canvas-like sheath, which had a flap one tied off to
secure the cutlery inside. The cutlery itself consists of
a knife, fork, and spoon, which slip into a collective holder
that doubles as a fairly good can-opener and bottle-opener.
In the days of GS tinned rations, this was a godsend, as
the issued can opener that came with every pack of GS rations
was a fiddly pain in the posterior to manipulate!
The Army issued - and still does - a perfectly good compass
to the RMP - the Mk 4 Silva (similar silva compass shown to
the left). Marked in mils and degrees, with a handy series
of grid scale markers on it, you can tell the military version
as it'll have the obligatory "Crows' Foot" arrow
on it - best place for these - militaria fairs.
When you've got one, grab some para cord, and tie a lanyard
to it - you do NOT want it to fall out of your pocket - do
NOT put it into your webbing - it'll most likely get crushed
or broken when you absent-mindedly throw your webbing into
a corner somewhere when knackered!