Basics of RECCE and Recon Kit (How to become DEADLY in the mountains, PART 1)
Basics of Recce and recon is a subject that is near and dear to my heart. In the following 20-30 part series over the coming years I will be instructing and showing you every single thing I know about becoming deadly in the woods/mountains, from the basics to the advanced applications of Recce and recon. I hope that you enjoy this multi part series and are able to make yourself more proficient in this very crucial skill set.
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All Comments (21)
As a former recce soldier myself I have a huge tip that I'm surprised wasn't mentioned in this video: If you carry wet wipes/baby wipes (and you absolutely should) you carry them inside a ziplock bag in the inside pocket of your jacket so they don't freeze. Yes, wipes will freeze. For the dirty/used wipes you carry a spare ziplock bag which you keep in an exterior pack pocket to encourage it to freeze because it will stink less. For each one that you place in the discard bag, sprinkle in just a touch of foot powder, you can do this with your dirty next to skin clothing items (socks, underwear and t-shirt) as well, in their own bag obviously.
Remember that when filling up your water bottle or bag from a running water source, always point the opening downstream so that as little debris gets into the bottle as possible.
I'm "just" a reservist from Finland but I have a lot of hiking experience. Here are some tips.
1) In your backpack pack all the heaviest equipment close to your back and as low as possible to minimize the burden.
2) On your pack synch first the hip straps on the front, then tighten the pack to your back with the side-hip straps, then clip the chest band, then adjust the top straps of yours shoulder straps, and only last tighten the lower straps on your shoulder straps to bring the pack close to your body.
3) Use waterproof bags for your sleeping bag, down jacket and clothes especially if you are operating in water or are in danger of falling into water. For example while skiing over streams or lakes.
4) Dried ready made home meals + dry soy make a cheap rations if you have water on the trail. But make sure you have the time and the fuel to prepare them. Remove air by making a hole, pressing out the air and taping it shut. Always make sure the food that you bring stays down and doesn't make you puke. Keep salts and sugars separate so you can adjust on the go. Real foods help a lot in avoiding gastro intestinal stress.
5) A small plastic bottle that can take boiling water can be used to heat your boots in camp to help them dry. The bottle can also be used to create a water purification system using sand, moss and coal.
6) News paper in the bottom of your boots helps to capture moisture in freezing conditions so your boots don't freeze from your feet sweating. Also wrapping your feet in plastic bags does the same job.
7) To dry clothes in freezing conditions in your sleeping bag put them in a plastic bag and place at the foot end of your sleeping bag with the mouth of the bag through the zipper so the moisture can get out.
8) Good tarry kindling can be found on stumps or injured trees that have died some time ago. Low dead branches, especially those in sunny places are usually dry and good firewood or kindling. High nitrogen bark such as birch bark is also excellent kindling.
9) Go as light as possible with your kit. This reduces the risk of injury and makes everything easier.
10) Prepare for blisters for the whole group. One person who's missing their skin from half their toes and both heels is going to drag the whole group. Test run your kit, wear in your boots in and use tape as a preventative measure + on the trail on hips, feet and nipples as needed (yes they can also chafe and get sore).
11) Use flip-flops or crocs + woolly socks in the camp to let your boots air out and dry. Crocks are also excellent for crossing streams.
Another great part of surviving in the hills/mountains (at least where I live) is possum/raccoon/groundhog recipes. I usually hear stew. Any other hot tips?
One of the things you learn from large amount of time in the mountains is how to see and navigate the terrain. One day it just clicks and you begin to be able to “feel” the best route. Can’t be taught it comes from time.
Great video! Here are a few tips from my years as a recon/sniper…
1) Don’t forget to take full advantage of noise (planes, trains and automobiles) as a great time to move quickly. The noise will mask your branch breaking and vegetation smashing.
2) If you get tangled up in bushes or tree vines, don’t go into full-on MMA with the greenery, it will give your position away in a heartbeat.
3) Treat your feet like your crotch! Keep it dry, keep it clean and avoid chafing!!!
4) Keep food bars in your pockets for EASY and QUICK energy.
5) keep that TP or small butt-wipe handy for the stop, drop and go! (Don’t forget to bury it!)
Never forget your mixture of 4loko, adderall, and 5 hour energy. It significantly improves your movement speed and allows you to smell colors in the dark
I'm British, so i am used to Forested/Wet/Undulating Hill terrain, and I am an expert on most terrain types
How to be undetectable:
-Take old pair of moon boots.
-Cut off sole of boot.
-Tie soles of old moon boots backward onto your new pair with some boot bands.
-Walk where you please, confusing your enemies as an invisible ghost.
Thank you, I'll take my teaching position at the next Robin Sage whenever you're ready, thank you.
11B Army dude here. Weird thing I've noticed while setting up ambushes and various recce missions is that people don't usually see what they're not expecting to see. As long as you don't stand you, you don't need to be absolutely blended in, so long as there is no expectation of your presence their. With zero movement and moderate concealment - most people would simply glance over your location without a second thought because they're either not LOOKING for a concealed person or they're expecting to see something else. Brain programs itself to see what it's looking for and to ignore something it's not unless said thing they observe stands out enough to be noticed. Note; Trained spotters or those who are on a higher status of alert will generally be harder to hide from, so the use of near perfect concealment and movement is therefore necessary.
Zip ties are also fast and really nice to keep. I’ve been laughed at over it, until I put up an expedient shelter with a tarp and branches in like five minutes. But they can work for a lot of different stuff, even gear failure: especially GI issue stuff and you don’t have time to figure it out. Zip tie it. Sometimes 550 cord can be to slick, or 90 mile an hour tap can get wet. (I carry all that stuff too, not dogging on it). Just food for thought.
One thing to consider in the mountains is that you're going to be sweating a lot climbing uphill, even in the cold, so it's really important to have good wicking layers, and dry stuff to change into, so you don't go hypothermic when you stop. It's also good to wear layers that you can take off easily and quickly when necessary when you're working up a sweat so your clothes don't become soaked.
In central NC we have the army SF Q-course. I worked this for 15 years in 18Charlie and the culmination exercise Robin Sage, as a guerrilla role player. The students would come to Sage at the end of the q-course, fresh off working against a time clock. As a result they storm through the woods like a herd of elephants! One of the task I was given was to slow them down, teach them to move in the woods again. Staying off sticks, lifting you feet, even when exhausted, rather than shuffling your feet through a noisy bed of leaves was easy, a couple of reminders was all that was needed. Our environment had a rise and fall in elevation around 5 to 8 hundred ft, thus the tendency to grab a sapling or small tree, especially going up, was the problem. When tired and under a load it's almost impossible to get guys to understand, when you grab that tree and it moves, your observable silhouette becomes the height of that tree. Movement in the woodline attracts the eye more than color. Just my two cents. There's a lot more lessons but too much to put here..
One thing I've learnt just from hunting and just passed down family knowledge it's that nature knows when you are the odd ball in there. The more you interact with nature the more you learn how to not disturb it because one spooked animal can give a hint of something is off in that area.
Growing up in the woods one thing that is not often covered is shooting uphill and downhill. Most people practice flat facing a target whether it’s up close or distance . Scent , stealth, moving slow ,moving fast over terrain is very important . If your with a group of operators learning how to peel off in a fire fight while engaging the enemy over different types of terrain also is key . One more thought a lot of the camouflaged colored clothing today has polyester in it . Most people are unaware that with night vision equipment this type of clothing does more to expose you than conceal you some are better than others do your homework.
On the topic of unnatural smells, I do through-hiking in Appalachia quite often with friends. Last spring we were on a short, 4-day trek and came up on random campers bathing in a river. The wind was in our face and I could smell their soap from about 90-100 yards away. It was insane how much it stood out and that was just after 2 days into our trip.
He mentioned having a lighter, coming from an Arctic unit we have these things called Arctic necklace. It’s a lighter, chapstick, and 550 (parachord) taped together with 100 mph tape so you can create a “necklace” as the name implies. What this does is keeps the lighter warm with your body heat so it will always light and not freeze. Same goes for your chapstick. Chapstick is important in the cold weather because it keeps your lips moist and prevents cracking which happens in Arctic weather.
I could listen to Garand talk about this for 10 hours and still not get bored I have a military background and know a lot of this stuff but it's nice to hear other perspectives.
Love the channel keep it up.
Nicely done. I was a military reconnaissance specialist so long ago that almost none of this equipment existed but the principles haven't changed. I definitely would have loved a modern water filter. Iodine tastes nasty. The other biggie is the modern lightweight sleeping bag. "Back in the day" sleeping bags were so heavy and bulky that we just didn't carry them. I've spent many a night rolled up in a poncho and liner. Travel light, freeze at night as we used to say. I would add that a good combo is silk socks with wool socks over them. Turn the wool socks inside out so the nap is on the outside. Blisters are caused by friction, not by pressure. By wearing silk socks that sort of stick to your skin, you transfer a lot of the "slippage" from the interface between your foot and the sock to the interface between the silk sock and the wool sock. It makes a big difference.
Resist the urge to carry too much stuff. There are all kinds of things that would be really nice to have under some circumstances. We used to call that "snivel gear." Ounces become pounds and pounds become injuries. We were pretty rigorously restricted to 35 pounds plus water and ammunition. I didn't know why at the time but many years (and a medical degree) later, I understand it. An adult male can carry 20-25% of his lean body mass day after day essentially forever without injury. At 50% he can carry it for a couple of weeks. Above 50% you will be injured. Not might be injured -- will be injured. It may not show up immediately but someday you will pay for it.
I really wish you would do more of these loadout videos as well as tactics videos. I work very long hours so getting away for a training session is very hard & nearly impossible. You passing on your knowledge is invaluable to me.