dave, i know the feeling got the callouses, I always seemed to get teh er..."honor"(too heavy for teh buddies) of carrying the team machine gun .Then when i eventually knew what i was doing, and understood everything else that was going on, a few thousand foot mile patrol ops and 2 years later, i got the (look up that western australian oxford english dictionary i mentioned above )back breaking korean war reject "mike fox" frequency dial radio set.chuckel .
Once with a Cdn Forces 25 set (Korean War vintage)straped to my back, I went through the ice on snowshoes. It is hard to swim with one of those on your back. I can fully understand your feelings about carrying kit.
Having shared that experience training in Arctic Norway, I have to say it didn't put me off ice cubes in drinks. It just put me off falling into freezing water while carrying my own weight in military kit.