Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Being a Prepared IDF Soldier

 If you’re in the IDF or plan on it there are some things you need to understand about it.


It’s a civilian army. Meaning that few of its members are professional. Many of the people who are there don’t want to be there, or at least wouldn’t be there if not for the draft. There is a widely fluctuating spectrum of discipline and morale amongst each individual. So do not maintain any romantic illusions about the nobility of IDF soldiers as individuals. Many including myself have had loaded magazines stolen from them by other soldiers who had foolishly lost their own in an environment where lives could easily have depended upon that crucial equipment at a moments notice. So be prepared.


You may be poorly outfitted in terms of gear. So here is a list of recommendations for items that are either superior to IDF standard issues or not issued in any form whatsoever. These have been recommended to me by people far more knowledgeable than myself--my own homework has validated those wise reccomendations. Where brand names are mentioned they are done so for a reason and should not be disregarded. AND btw, be smart, do your own research on the topic. This should only be considered a primer, if the topic is new to you. If you’ve got better ideas I’d like to hear them. Honestly.

Water/filter/purifier options (one of these, or something similar):

First choice - Blackhawk! makes some of the best designed/toughest operator gear there is. Don't know this product, but would assume it is top notch, BlackHawk® Hydrastorm™ In-Line Filter:

Second choice - Camelbak makes good stuff. Very good filter, a little pricier than the Blackhawk! one, Camelbak HydroLink™ In-Line Microfilter:

Third choice - polarpure: ProductDisplay?productId=13879&memberId=12500226

Fourth choice - Bulkier but cheaper:

Finally, as a last resort and by far the cheapest, lightest, simplest water carrying and purification system there is a Ziplock bag. I use heavy-duty Ziplock freezer bags. Fill with biologically questionable water. Let sit in sunny place until water gets very hot (160+ F or 71+C). Let cool. Drink. Much better than nothing.


Cost $10-15, weight about one ounce. Something like this:


A waterproof, tough, teeny red LED flashlight, about $10-15, weighs less than one ounce. Similar to one of these. Gerber used to make a very nice one, can’t find
it now.

If you want bigger/better, SureFire G2, maybe the one with the red filter, about 6 inches long.

GO THE RIGHT WAY (not to Ramallah):

An inexpensive Silva or Suunto compass with luminous points. Cost $10-20, weight 1-2 ounces. Don’t get an off brand compass.


Leatherman Wave or equivalent, or equivalent Gerber, around 6-9 ounces, around $50-70. At least a little pocketknife or cheap multi-tool knockoff. But I’d
recommend not;go with a Leatherman or Gerber. Don’t get a Swiss army knife, even a good one (for these purposes).


Either of these is a bit bulkier and weightier. Worth thinking about having one or both of these:

I think this is a US version of the Israeli Trauma Bandage, which is probably better, and about which I have repeatedly heard great things:

Also some of the new, improved Celox type products (not quickclot) are worth looking into:

You can find Celox in bunches of places, even on Amazon:

Be careful of comparable brands.

Another is an Asherman Chest Seal. Asherman was a Navy Seal. Lots of places (EMT supply stores or military stores—probably the best bet) carry them. They run $10-$20. For example here:

The dead guy in picture 4 is why you might carry one. Here's quick and dirty on how to deal with that wound (expedient or using an Asherman Chest Seal):

The Bottom Line:

If I was going somewhere where I was seriously worried about getting shot/etc. I would try to find a way to carry an Israeli trauma bandage (maybe 2, depending on space available), 2-3 packs of Celox and (maybe) a chest patch (or at least some easily accessible duct tape). Ideally, they should be easily accessible, like in a pocket/thigh rig/ammo pouch or something, but not obvious, so people who did not learn from the grasshopper and the ant do not expect you to share. You are a soldier, not a medic. I'm not suggesting never providing direct pressure or soothing words in the absence of hostile threat. But, this is enough for you maybe treat one serious wound. If you treat someone else and then you get hit, and there is no help around, you will not be able to help yourself.

If you want to fix other peoples wounds, become a medic. If not, substantiate Darwin.


  1. IDF'er11:12 AM

    Good Info.

  2. Anonymous7:37 PM

    Your answer is matchless... :)


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