Military gear Used for Hot Weather Deployments
We’ve touched on and spoken about the amount of gear that is needed when a team is deployed for a cold weather mission. And it’s safe to say that there’s a lot, especially in terms of their essential uniform. While most people that cold weather missions are the harshest, truth be told a sandbox mission, or being deployed into the desert can be just as tough.
Having to deal with any sort of extreme weather condition can be taxing on the soldier both physically and mentally. In this blog we will be covering the items, gear and clothing that are issued to a soldier during his or her sandbox deployment.
Don’t be fooled, just because the weather may seem “nicer” doesn’t mean that there aren’t certain pieces of clothing and equipment that are needed to help the soldier survive. Keep in mind, the heat – especially extreme heat, can be just as if not more dangerous than extreme cold weather.
How Hot is Extreme Heat? The Iraqi Desert
Before we dive into the nitty gritty aspects of the gear and what is being used to help keep the soldiers cool. It’s important to keep in mind that we’re not talking about a day in which a soldier may be carrying 30 to 50 pounds of gear, while on patrol, dealing with 86- or 90-degrees weather.
For some missions that occur in the desert, such as in Iraq during their summer months, the soldiers are fighting combat and on parole in the Mesopotamian Desert, which can reach anywhere from 120 degrees higher. It’s intense and it can not only affect a soldier physically, but also mentally.
Not to mention when some soldiers are on lookout, they are sitting in concrete towers, in fully body gear and armour. This can raise a soldier’s body temperature another 10 to 15 degrees. It’s so hot than any piece of metal is hot to the touch – it’s uncomfortable to say the least.
So, when soldier’s complete their daily mission or patrol, it’s necessary for them to take the time to cool down properly. Hence why now, a great deal of field tents and patrol cars such as Humvees have air conditioning.
Staying Hydrated and Cool: IVs to the Rescue
While clothing and gear can help a solider withstand the heat, it can only go so far. Another aspect of making it during a 120-degree day in the desert is proper hydration and potentially IVs.
After all, there’s not much a soldier can do other than ensure he or she is getting enough water. In a recent interview with a field doctor, he mentioned that the best thing for soldiers to do is continuously drink and aim for even more than 7 to 8 litres per day. With temperatures that high, the body becomes a “walking evaporative cooler” and all water consumed is essentially gone, causing the soldier to need to urinate very little.
However, after a few weeks in these conditions, the body does adjust and stores some of the water, so the 7 to 8 litres become effective. Another tactic that some soldiers will use is getting an IV to pre-hydrate them before they go out. While there is no actual evidence as to whether or not this will help the soldier during his parole, the field doctor mentioned that it is more of a mental aspect. Soldiers will appear calmer and will feel better knowing that they have received this additional hydration before heading out.
Must Have Gear for Hot Weather Deployments
While IVs and water are helpful, it won’t do much if a soldier is not set up with the right gear in the first place. This is why having the proper uniform, or base of a uniform, for a desert deployment is so crucial. So, let’s dive into the hot weather gear, shall we?
Hot Weather Uniform Coat and Pants
The brand that we have seen pop up most often is known as Tru-Spec and it has been approved by many branches of the Military, including the Army. It was made for hot weather and very humid environments as well.
Not only is it made out of ripstop material that meets the uniform requirements, but it is also extremely lightweight. This helps to lower the amount of weather overall that a soldier is carrying, as well as makes the jacket more breathable to wear.
Both the jacket and the pants are comfortable and are made of a quick drying material (ripstop and nylon) which keep the items wrinkle free, breathable like we just mentioned, and allow a wide range of motion.
HeatGear Military Boot Sock from Under Armour
The importance of keeping one’s feet dry and comfortable are extremely important for soldiers on any type of mission, especially in the heat where items of clothing can easily get damp from sweat.
These socks are equipped with special ventilation mesh that helps keep fresh air flowing to the feet, keeping them dry and comfortable. They are flexible, reduce moisture and encourage good overall foot health.
R&B Military Boonie Hat
A hat is necessary for so many reasons. Not only does it help to keep one’s head cool, but it also protects the head and neck from getting badly sunburnt from the strong rays of the sun. This hat is approved and meets the uniform specifications of the US military. It’s machine washable, can withstand extreme temperatures and can hold up against the wear and tear that occurs on the field.
Other Necessary Items for Extreme Heat Deployments
Clothing can help ensure that a soldier stays cool, comfortable, and of course dry, however there are other items in which a soldier may bring, or request in his or her summer care package. These items include:Cooling Towels and Bandanas: these are necessary to help lower the body temperature of the soldier and are widely used from parole runs to standing watch in a concrete tower.
Metal Water Bottles or Canteens: as we mentioned before, drinking enough water is essential. Large, metal water bottles that will help keep the water cold during extremely hot days are absolutely necessary
Sunscreen: it’s not only the heat that the soldiers need to be prepared for, but also the blistering sun. Not only can a sunburn cause immense damage, but extreme exposure to the sun and its harmful rays can lead to sun poisoning and blisters.
After Sun Care: of course, a soldier has to be prepared for after sun exposure as well. After sun care helps to soothe the skin, keeping the soldier comfortable even after a sun burn.
Chapstick: another necessary item that’s used to help protect a soldier’s skin against the blistering heat. Again, a lot of these products are used to ensure the soldier stays comfortable during the extreme heat and all that it entails.
Baby powder: unfortunately sweat in certain places causing chafing and rashes which are not only uncomfortable but can sometimes be painful. This household item helps to prevent any chafing or rashes from occurring.
Cooling wipes: these are effective while out on patrol or on the field to keep a soldier cool or to cool him down when necessary.
Any type of extreme weather can make things challenging for a soldier. Whether that’s extreme cold or extreme heat. Luckily, the military and its branches not only have gear and equipment that can help combat or offset the heat but can keep soldiers focused on completing their missions without passing out, getting sick, or ending up in the hospital.
If you enjoy the summer heat and being outdoors during extreme temperatures, some of the summer essential gear that we listed may come in handy. Be sure to check out our online store to grab your necessary equipment today.