Load Bearing

Extended humping with a load is one of the most physically demanding tasks for a SEAL. As a SEAL, you must carry loads into rivers, jungles, deserts, and mountains as well as arctic areas and be prepared to engage in various styles of fighting and methods of infiltration. In the planning phase of these missions, Navy SEAL platoon leaders are frequently faced with decisions as to what type and how much equipment and ammunition to carry on a mission: common (minimum) and critical (mission specific) equipment need to be chosen wisely.

The development of multiple weapon systems and state of the art surveillance equipment has increased the firepower and protection of the individual warrior. However, the same equipment that is designed to provide a technological advantage in battle may also provide a load-bearing challenge.

Much remains to be learned about carrying heavy loads for both short and long distances. Moreover, weather, terrain, water discipline, acclimation status and other factors that impact load requirements must all be considered.

Both excessive fatigue and muscle strain during long humps can usually be explained by inadequate training for the unique physical demands of this task.

To assist you in maintaining readiness for tasks that involve carrying heavy loads, the following information is presented:

♦ Physiological and environmental factors

♦ Optimizing load-bearing

♦ Physical training for load-bearing

♦ Common medical conditions

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