The Butt Pad – One Thing We Can Learn From the Russian Army

The Russians have been getting their asses kicked across Ukraine. Trying to find anything worthwhile in their equipment, tactics, and personnel is tough to do. Tough, but not impossible. Ladies and gentlemen, let me introduce you to the butt pad. 

If you’ve followed the war, you’ve likely seen the butt pad. It’s that thing sticking to the butts of Russian soldiers right below their body armor. This is not butt armor. I promise Russian badonkadonks are not being protected by big square pads. Well, the pads do offer protection, but not from shrapnel, but from the cold. 

What Are Butt Pads For? 

Do you ever wonder how the Slav squat became the Slav squat? It looks uncomfortable, and why is it so closely associated with Eastern Europe? Because it’s cold there. The ground is cold, often frozen, and the Slav squat keeps their butts off the ground. The butt pad does the same thing. 

Placing your body against the cold ground will suck the heat out of your body. It doesn’t matter if you are sitting, kneeling, or in the prone. If you do it against the cold or wet ground, you will be miserable and more prone to hypothermia. Thus, the butt pad provides you with a layer of protection and isolation from the ground. 

We use Isomats for sleeping for a reason. It’s not because it is a pad that’s comfy. It’s because it keeps you warm and away from the ground and helps you retain body heat. Butt pads do the same thing, but do it as you move and groove through a battlefield…or a hunt…or a ruck…or whatever. 

How To Make Your Own Butt Pad 

I remember turkey hunting one year. I sat against a tree, my butt on the wet and cold ground. It was so cold. I was miserable, shivering, and completely distracted. I killed nothing that day and really wished I had a butt pad. 

You might be in the same situation and also might be in the mood for GAT Daily’s guns and crafts hour. Making one of these butt pads is fairly simple. You’ll need one of the old-school Isomat/sleeping pads. These are fairly cheap and available across the internet and military surplus stores. 

You can make your own!

One sleeping pad can create multiple butt pads. Measure out about 18 inches and then cut that portion off of the isomat. This will be the bones of your butt pad. These mats are not very water resistant, so you need to do a little waterproofing. 

Good duct tape works. Stick to a more camouflage color than silver. Wrap a layer around the sides and then top to bottom. The tape waterproofs it and also keeps it from fraying and falling apart. As you apply the first layer of tape, create a 550-cord sling. 

Or you can buy one

Wrap the end of the 550 cord up. Typically the butt pad would remain on or in your pack. However, if you are moving from spot to spot, it can be a hassle to place in and out of the pack. A good section of 550 cord makes it easier to move around with for short hauls. 

Busting Out 

The butt pad is perfect for sitting for extended periods of time, especially on cold, hard, wet, or snow-covered ground. It provides a layer of thermal insulation. You can use it when kneeling or even when in the prone. In an ambush, it acts as a way to isolate your upper body from the ground. 

It’s simple, cheap, lightweight, and very effective. Heck, even at night, it can be a pillow, although watch which side you use for your butt and which side you use for your head. 

Travis Pike
Travis Pike is a former Marine Machine gunner who served with 2nd Bn 2nd Marines for 5 years. He deployed in 2009 to Afghanistan and again in 2011 with the 22nd MEU(SOC) during a record setting 11 months at sea. He’s trained with the Romanian Army, the Spanish Marines, the Emirate Marines and the Afghan National Army. He serves as an NRA certified pistol instructor and teaches concealed carry classes.