Reprinted from Chapter 5, The Infantry Soldier's
Handbook, By William H. Waldron
297. The American soldier's pack is the result of
an exhaustive study of the subject made by a board of officers of the
Army. It was adopted by the Government in 1910. It is essentially an
American institution, original in design and construction. It is based
upon American Ideas of how the American Indian squaw carries her papoose
and how the American woodsman carries his load.
It is the lightest as well as the most scientifically constructed Infantry
pack in the world.
280. Desirable Features.
1. The center of gravity of the load you carry is brought as closely
as possible to the vertical through your own center of gravity.
2. The load is hung upon the framework (skeleton), so as to economize
muscular effort to hold it in place or maintain equilibrium.
3. A reduction to a minimum of pressure upon or constriction of any
of the soft body parts, large blood vessels or nerves.
4. It eliminates all obstacles to the full expansion of your chest,
thus giving free play to your lungs and heart.
5. The load is arranged so that there will be no interference with
the free use of your arms and legs.
281. The degree of comfort with which you will carry the pack depends
entirely upon the manner in which you prepare it and adjust it to your
body. There is a right way and a wrong way. Get your's
right. It will pay large dividends in comfort and efficiency.
282. There are two methods of preparing the roll. (a) when rations
are NOT carried the "long roll"
is made up; (b) when rations are carried the "short
roll" is made up. The length of the folded blanket
is the determining factor in the length of the roll. It is rolled the
long way for the long roll and the short way for the short roll.
283. Contents of roll when the long roll is made up.
One shelter tent half; one shelter tent pole (when provided); five
shelter tent pins; one shelter tent guy rope; one poncho; one blanket;
one condiment can; one bacon can; one pair drawers; one undershirt;
two pairs of socks; one towel; one cake of soap (in soap box); one comb
and one toothbrush.
284. When rations are carried and the short roll is made up the following
articles are carried in the haversack instead of the roll itself: one
condiment can, containing coffee, sugar salt and pepper; the bacon can
containing the meat rations; the underwear, the socks and the toilet
How to make up the Pack
285. 1. Spread the shelter tent half on the ground. Fold in the triangular
end forming an approximate square.
2. Fold the poncho once along its long dimension then twice along its
long dimension and lay it on top of the shelter half about 8 inches
below the upper (button) edge.
3. Fold the blanket the same way as the poncho and lay it on top of
Arrange the remaining items of the contents along the edge of the blanket,
having the condiment can inside the bacon can and placed at one end
to form a solid foundation against which to tighten up the bottom strap
of the carrier.
Fold the two sides of the shelter half over the ends of the blanket.
Fold the near edge over these, then fold up about 8 inches the far edge
top form the envelope.
Now, rolling the pack is a two-man job. Get your bunkie to help you
and you can help him. You will find the task much easier if the two
of you work together.
Begin on the near side and roll the pack just as tight as you possibly
can. Take care that nothing slips
7. As you near the far end of the roll, open up the fold and roll the
pack into it thus forming an envelope. This prevents the pack from slipping.
8. To make the short roll for the Pack when rations are carried, the
process is the same except that the roll is rolled the short way of
To put the Pack in the Carrier
287. 1. Spread the carrier with the haversack attached on the ground
and the pack on same. Top of the pack even with the top of the haversack
2. Fold over the straps and tighten them. Great care should be taken
to get the lowest strap pulled up tight. If this strap should come loose
you may as well unpack.
A Marching Song to the Tune of Tipperrary
288. It's the long roll that's scientific,
It's the long roll that fits,
Up and down your spinal column,
From your shoulders to your hips
Thirty-nine pounds Stewart tells us,
And you've missed some darn good fun,
If you've never hiked along the highway,
With this scientific Ton.