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What goes in a three day assault pack?

They don't hold much. I barely can fit bare minimum supplies to stay alive like a small tarp, fire starting material, etc. From a bug out or patrol kit perspective (not talking INCH bag here) what goes into a 3 day assault pack for say a 1-3 day patrol?

I've set one such pack up with night vision goggles, gloves and such. As they don't have much room and weight is a consideration with plate carrier and or chest rig, what does one take with them?


Bare minimum; using USGI stuff...

1 pair of BDU pants, or ACU
1 BDU shirt, or ACU
3 pairs of boxers/briefs/jockeys/underwears
Polypro base layer
Fleece shirt
1 undershirt, maybe 2
3 pairs or more of socks; 1 pair being wool
Toiletries-soap, either dry or wet, toothbrush, deodorant, foot powder, shave kit if needed
Woobie/poncho liner (can replace with lighter down quilt)
Poncho or basha tarp, smaller or lighter the tarp, the better.
1 MRE complete, or 2 stripped MREs with MRE Heater
Bandolier of 6 AR mags if room left (or use USGI Shingles MOLLE'd onto pack)

To get everything to fit in; Ranger Roll as tight as possible on the clothing.
Attach foam sleep pad or inflatable mat to compression straps.
Edit, thats assuming the larger SDS Assault Pack, or a Medium ALICE pack sized backpack
  • Woke Up Like This
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1/3 more than a 2 day assault pack.... and 1/4 less than a 4 day assault pack. Of coarse if it's just going to be a quick assault-and-run, a simple brick in your purse should do the trick.

If it will be a 3 day verbal assault...a thesaurus and a dictionary (abridged) and throat lozenges should suffice.


You want a headscratcher? Why of all things did the US Mil call the venerable small butt pack a 3 day training pack? ;) lol

No way a soldier/Marine could put in a 3 day packing list in the 90s-2000s into such a small pack :rolleyes:

I forgot to add water carriage to the list, usually a camelbak, or 2qt canteen, or 2x 1qt canteens attached to the pack exterior
A few thoughts...

In 15 years of service and beyond, primarily as an infantryman, I’ve humped various types of packs.

I’ve never cared for the term assault pack; if the mission is an assault, then you will be dropping packs at the final point of departure.

For smaller sized packs, generally under the volume of a medium Alice, I like the term patrol pack. As noted it’s really intended for sustaining operations for a few days with mission essentials

Gear is heavy. The more gear, just in case something happens, the more weight you carry and more effort needing to be exerted. Patrol packs have the advantage of limited room and thus forces you to select only the necessities.

Here is a canvas pack I bought in 1985 and used for a couple of decades - no longer the original OD green. I believe it’s based on the old ARVN pack and sized perfectly to ride above the butt pack. Water, rations, extra socks, weapons cleaning kit, wool sweater, gloves, rain gear, goggles, rope at the bottom, glow sticks, strobe light, extra magazines or M60 belts. Lots of miles with this thing on my back.



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