Over the last month or two we have looked at a number of different items of cold weather clothing used by the South African Defence Force and I have been using one photograph in particular to illustrate some of these items. This fascinating image was taken in the 1980s and depicts a group of SADF infantry on a winter patrol in Ovamboland and wearing a variety of cold weather clothes:
It should therefore come as no surprise that I have used this image as inspiration for my own recreation, using my recently acquired items of kit. We tend to think of South Africa as being perpetually warm and sunny, but temperatures in winter could drop rapidly and warm clothing was required.
Our infantryman wears the standard SADF trousers and boots, but over this is worn a thick parka known as a ‘warm’ and a long scrim scarf. The webbing is the old 1970 pattern equipment, with a rolled up ground sheet attached under the rear kidney pouches. The large pack has a smaller pack attached to its flap to increase carrying capacity and he carries the R5 rifle. On his head he wears the steel Staaldak used before the introduction of kevlar helmets in the mid 1980s.
- SADF ‘warm’ parka
- Scrim Scarf
- Large pack with small pack attached
- 1970 Pattern webbing
- Staaldak helmet
- R5 rifle