I go to Africa on occasion and I am constantly amazed at the women that carry those loads. I have a picture of a one woman carrying a child on her hip with a 50 or 60 lb propane bottle on her head, effortlessly. Amazing!
Anyway, I had to laugh at the "U.S. Army guideline". 15%. that would mean that a soldier 175lb solder would carry...what a 26 lb pack? that does not even meet our "competition" standard for testing of a 35lb rucksack!
I estimated that my basic load of gear of as an infantrymen well exceeded over 100lbs..dry. I weigh about 225lbs and I have wieghed on the scales, my carrying load of what we call "full battle rattle" and I was well over 350 lbs total!
Anyway, maybe my issue is that I have experienced the same things and this is only semantics! I have done some pretty extreme things in my time!
I do prefer sipping a beer and playing dominoes while the women folk work...that is appealing! I see this in Africa as well.
Anyway, I am a little confused...it seems you and I agree? right?