“Amateurs study tactics; generals study logistics.” -- Military aphorism.
From The Nature of Light Infantry:
The central theme of the logistical philosophy of light infantry is simple: light infantry forces recognize the importance of logistics, but they refuse to be tied - either physically or mentally - to lines of communication. For light infantry, logistical planning influences, but it does not control, operational planning. Light infantrymen figure that in a pinch, they can always improvise; if necessary, they can do without.
To support themselves, light infantry forces often make maximum use of local resources. They employ the local population for certain kinds of labor, they eat the foods that nature (or natives) provide, they use natural materials for camouflage and protection, and they use the enemy's food, weapons, and ammunition against him. As masters of the environment, light infantrymen know how to exploit nature for their own sustainment.
Light infantry also improvises to simplify or solve its logistical requirements. It is always looking for lighter and better equipment or for natural substitutes. The use of elephants by the Chindits as pack animals and to clear landing zones is an example. The manner in which the 82d Airborne Division used civilian vehicles for transport in Grenada is a more modern example.
When light infantrymen transport items on their persons, specific loads are not prescribed. Individual loads vary widely based on the factors of METT-T. The Chindits had to carry about seventy pounds per man in Burma, but the SAS in Borneo insisted that their rucksacks weigh no more than fifty pounds. In the 1982 Falkland Islands War, the situation demanded that soldiers carry an average of more than 100 pounds per man. Within a given theater, for a specific campaign, however, loads can be standardized. Several principles govern the establishment of such a standard soldier's load.
Light infantrymen must be trained to carry only what is essential; NCOs and junior officers must ruthlessly restrict what soldiers put in their rucksacks. Experience will help train the men, but leaders must constantly check and correct the loads. Also, every effort must be made to lighten the soldier's load through technology and ingenuity (such as lighter rations, weapons and ammunition, and radios). Leaders at high levels must make a point of responding to the ideas of their subordinates on this matter. In addition, when local situations change, SOPs need to change. Above all, light infantrymen must not be so loaded down that they are continuously exhausted, inattentive, and unready.
Collapsible water containers.
The American constitutional militia light infantry unit is almost always too small to have an organized logistical tail to support them so they must see to their own preparations. Principal among these are pre-sited sustainment caches of food, water, medical supplies and ammo. In arid AOs such as the southwest desert where hydration is critical and water sources are at best seasonal, some units use these for water storage:
The five gallon collapsible container is available from a variety of sources, and they come in all shapes and, importantly, levels of the quality of their manufacture, so be careful about which type you choose. I've known some folks to pick up collapsible containers that are used in chow halls and cafeterias, such as the milk bladders with a spout that go in milk dispensers. These are generally stouter and made of better material than the cheap Chinese stuff you get at Cheaper Than Dirt. They clean them out and re-use them for cached water storage. The advantage of the collapsible container is that once empty they can be easily retrieved for cleaning and refilling, much more so than a bulky rigid container.
Remember, if you are burying them, be sure and do so below the frost line in your AO.
Kids as logistics multipliers.
Had a discussion some years ago with a former Contra who, at the ripe age of ten, was employed along with his young friends by his village mayor to scour the trash of the local Sandinista barracks and to police up scenes of old firefights for reusable material. The Viet Cong also used this force multiplier to scavenge abandoned American positions, for the GIs were notorious for leaving all manner of militarily useful stuff laying around when they pulled out of a temporary fire base.