Do you know what you need to bring to basic training? Before you read the official packing list on the goarmy.com site, you need to know what items you should buy, before wasting your money on things that could be tossed into the trash by your drill sergeant.
Also, you don’t need to take everything on the packing list. You can buy most of these items at the Post Exchange Store (PX) when you arrive at BCT (Basic Combat Training) Reception Battalion. Given below are some useful tips on what to bring to basic training.
Your wardrobe should be of minimal concern, so don’t worry about trying to pack 3 different outfits for every day you’re going to be gone. I highly recommend you wear the clothes on your back because they will issue you new uniforms as soon as you arrive to reception.
Here are the things you need for basic training:
What to Bring
- A cell phone/charger. Bring your cell phone because that 30 minute talk time means the world. It’s your life line to the outside world because you won’t be able to use it for several weeks until BRM (Basic Rifle Marksmanship) is over. In basic training, your drill sergeants may not allow you to use it at certain times until you earn that privilege.
- 2 combo locks (no key locks). You will want to secure your wall locker from thieves who will try to steal your wallet, postal stamps and etc.
- Eyeglasses (if prescribed, no faddish/stylish eyewear). When you get to the reception battalion, they will issue you BCG’s or Birth Control Glasses.
- Eye glass band (glasses wearers only)
- Calling cards. You don’t have to buy them unless you are going to leave your cell phone at home. They provide free prepaid cards in the dining facility or DFAC as it more commonly called but you do have to activate it over a phone booth with a debit card to use the minutes.
- GI Gooseneck Flashlight. You will have field training exercise in the dark and also will use it to do fire guard watch. (Buy at PX)
- Batteries. You will need size “C” kind because you don’t want a dead flashlight.
- Wrist watch. You will want to tell time for everything and it makes life much easier for you to keep track of schedule. (Buy at PX)
- A copy of your birth certificate
- Your marriage license
- Your social security card
- Your orders
- Your direct deposit form SF-1199
- A picture ID such as your DL drivers license, State ID or your Future Soldier ID card
- You’re ATM Card, Debit Card or a checkbook.
Personal Hygiene (Buy at PX)
- Shampoo and conditioner (1 oz.)
- Soap and soap case (1 bar of soap or 1 oz. liquid soap)
- Antiperspirants/deodorant (non-aerosol only)
- Toothbrush and toothpaste
- Disposable shaving razor (non-electric). I would not pack it for TSA and airport reasons. It’s best to buy it at the PX Store when you arrive at basic training.
- Shaving cream (non-aerosol)
- Hair accessories. Comb, brush, hair accessories (black or matching hair color).
- Foot powder/baby powder
- Dental floss
- 3+ liter camouflage hydration packs (buy at PX)
- Wash cloth
- Lots of Q-tips
- Men’s supporter (athletic/biker shorts) or spandex
Stationery Supplies (Buy at PX)
- Postal stamps, envelopes and postcards.
- Writing pads or stationery material
- Gallon and snack size zip-lock bags. Put everything in a zip-lock bag because at basic training they will throw your stuff out on the floor. It will prevent your liquid items from splashing on the floor.
- Sharpie marker. Name all your stuff because it will get stolen from desperate battles who need it and your stuff can get mixed up when the drill sergeants flip your bags upside down. Sharpies don’t come off and markers don’t lie.