Friday, December 17, 2021

Varusteleka's Take on Lines of Gear

This morning I got the following email from Varusteleka:

Our spies told us that you recently bought some combat equipment. Now we want to give you some tips on how to structure your combat gear based on the line / circle principle.

In layered clothing, each layer has a specific role to play. A very similar model can be applied to other gear, too. Different countries use different terms to describe this but the concept is a similar three-layer model. In Finnish, these layers are called circles but elsewhere they are often referred to as lines. In this article, we go through the basic principles of this kind of thinking and give a few examples of how to use the concept in military and civilian applications.

The full article is here, and is worth reading. Unlike a lot of pieces I've seen on the "line" concept, it differentiates between different roles. E.g., recon scout, infantryman, military police, and civilian.

Other worthwhile articles discussing the different lines of gear include:

This concept is helpful in keeping your stuff organized, whether you're in the field or the city.

The email was prompted because the other day after watching Jess's review of the Särmä TST themal cloak, I decided to order one. I have a Jerven Original but it's a little small for use as a shelter. I also have a Jerven Hunter with 67 gsm Primaloft insulation, but I'm a bit wary of using it as a shelter because of the insulation and inner lining.

At approximately 7 feet by 7 feet, the Särmä cloak will work much better as a tarp while still not being too large for use as a bivvy or cloak. The one I ordered is one of their "special batch," which was made in the PRC rather than Estonia, as an expedient during Covid.

I should get the new Särmä thermal cloak next week, in time for my upcoming Winter break. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try it out soon.

Wednesday, December 15, 2021

Särmä TST Thermal Cloak

Jess on Endurance Room has a really nice review of the Särmä TST thermal cloak. This is a shelter/poncho/bivy/sleeping bag inspired by the Jerven bag. Check it out.

I have a Jerven Original and a Jerven Hunter (insulated). These things just plain work and I'd expect the Särmä version to work just as well. A few years ago I used the Original on an overnighter as my shelter.

Incidentally, this pitch worked for the clear night I had, but the trekking pole in the middle was annoying when I had to get up in the middle of the night to pee. It protected me nicely from the wind, however.

One improvement I see on the Särmä is that it has loops for tie-outs instead of the grommets on the Jervens.

The one thing you need to be aware of when using these as a bivy or sleeping bag is condensation. They are waterproof and not at all breathable, so you'll get condensation. You'll want to air them out after a night's sleep.

A less expensive alternative for those on a budge is the USGI casualty evacuation blanket, or a heavy duty space blanket. I've used one many times as a "taco" around a sleeping bag or poncho liner. The downside is that they are smaller than the Särmä cloak.