50L Cadet Bergen

The needs of cadets are quite different to those of regular forces, and the budgets to equip them are miniscule. Most cadet forces rely on donations of cast off kit from the regulars, purchases made through grants and some direct purchases with their limited budgets. One areas that can cause problems is load carrying equipment for weekend expeditions. Whilst surplus CS95 webbing is easy enough to source, the bergens to actually carry sleeping bags, waterproofs, rations etc. present more problems. The British Army bergen is a popular piece of kit that doesn’t get surplused very often and examples that do tend to be completely worn out. Added to that, cadets have a habit of overfilling bergens and they don’t always treat them very well so there is a high degree of wastage. The solution is to buy a cheap bergen from a commercial supplier that can be loaned out to cadets, is slightly smaller than the issue examples and if it does get damaged won’t cost a lot of money to replace. There are a number of Chinese firms that offer these budget bergens to Cadet forces and we are looking at an example of one of these packs today, made in MTP fabric (or a close approximation of it):

A label inside gives the bergen’s designation and capacity, together with a faux NSN number:

The bergen has a large central section, with a nylon weatherproof neck secured with a drawstring:

Two large pockets are permanently sewn onto either side of the bergen:

Please note that for some reason every buckle and fastener on this bergen has been cut off! A large zipped pocket is fitted to the top flap of the pack:

There are also a number of loops fitted here and on the base to allow utility straps to be passed through and used to secure extra equipment such as roll mats and sleeping bags:

The reverse of the bergen has a pair of shoulder straps to allow it to be carried on the back and a large green panel where the owner’s name can be written in marker pen:

The quality of this bergen is pretty low, certainly far inferior to the ones used by the British Army, however it will also be a lot cheaper and if it is only used for weekend camping adventures rather than the rigours of operations it would be reasonably adequate. I believe that this pattern of bergen was offered by Ammo and Co for £37, over £100 cheaper than the official British Army bergen and they were purchased by some cadet forces as unit stores and by individual cadets as their own personal bergen. The official description is:

The Cadet 50 Litre Bergen is the latest piece of equipment designed by cadets, for cadets – approved by HQ Support Command (Cadet Branch). The MK2 50l Cadet Bergen has been designed primarily for the cadets but could be used for any outdoor trekking, on camping or for security/tactical use. It was recognised for some time that the Bergens available to cadets within their own resources were not always the ideal piece of kit due to their size or design. Consisting of a 30 Litre main compartment and two fully attached 10 Litre side pouches, all have draw cords and MTP storm flaps. The Bergan is made from water resistant 600D Cordura. Made from water resistant 600D Cordura MTP compatible camouflage. Two fixed 10 litre side pockets with draw cord and storm flaps 30 Litre compartment fitted with draw cord and storm flaps High density closed cell foam padded back Air mesh padded shoulder straps for comfort and ventilation Elasticated hood with two zipped pockets Strategically placed Molle webbing High quality buckles with ladder locks Rear identification patch Extensive bar tacking at recognised stress points. The Bergen is compatible with MK4 Cadet Training Vest Specifically designed to be used as a multi-purpose daypack worn over an outer upper garment such as a shirt or jacket. The rucksack can be used to carry a multitude of utility items for any exercise or camp.

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