Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Spetznaz String Vest.


            Today I’m going to post another exert from the book Aquarium, again detailing Spetsnaz apparel as described in the book.

“As for the rest of a Spetsnaz soldier's clothing, his underwear is made of thin linen. It should be new but already used a little and laundered at least once. Over the thin underwear he wears a vest made of a thick string, so that there is always a layer of air about a centimetre deep between the underwear and the outer garments. This was cleverly thought out. If it's very  hot and you are running with sweat and your whole body is burning, the string vest is your salvation. Your clothes do not cling to your body and there is excellent ventilation. When it's cold the air pocket protects the body like a feather duvet, and moreover, weighs nothing. The string vest has yet another purpose. If a mosquito get its nose through your clothes it reaches empty space and not the body. Only in very difficult circumstances does a Spetsnaz soldier allow himself to be driven out into the open. He spends his time in forests and marshes. He may lie for hours in a burning hot marsh or in fierce stinging nettles with clouds of mosquitoes buzzing around him. Only the string vest can save him then. Over it he wears trousers and a tunic of green cotton material. All seams are treble-stitched. The tunic and trousers are soft but hard-wearing. At the elbows, knees and shoulders the material is trebled for greater strength”.

I have experimented with using a string vest as outdoor wear. The time that comes to mind is during a concert in a park on a very hot day. I wore the vest under a relatively heavyweight tee-shirt and had no problems with clothing sticking to my skin, despite the humidity. As the sun went down and the air got chilly I remained comfortable, so it is an idea worth trying out.