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What Does the Typical US Soldier Carry in Their Backpack?

Posted - 12/02/2011

The American fighting man no longer carries a backpack. Instead, he carries the MOdular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, also known as the MOLLE and pronounced like the girls name. A typical MOLLE with combat load will weigh just over 100 pounds. Inside, the U.S. soldier carries an assortment of items to meet his immediate needs. An easy to reach hydration bladder holds 70 ounces of water. Supplementing this bladder is an emergency intravenous fluid bag with an addition 500 mls of fluid. To curb his hunger, two MRE’s are included. For protection against the elements, the soldier is equipped with a poncho and poncho liner. For longer duration missions or ones in extreme weather, the soldier is also issued a combination sleeping bag/tent, known as a bivy sack. A spare undershirt and two pairs of socks allow a soldier to rotate sweat drenched clothes and put off hypothermia. 20 pounds of spare batteries and a rifle cleaning kit for an M4 or M16 round out the list. Incidentally, this amount of batteries will only last three to seven days. The MOLLE also contains a pouch attachment system whereby additional items, secured in pouches, can be attached to the exterior of the MOLLE.
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