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10 Essential Personal Equipment Items for Army Soldiers

10 Essential Personal Equipment Items for Army Soldiers

When you’re an Army Soldier you need to be prepared for long distance journeys (known as rucking), exercising, deployment, missions, and any kind of trip and terrain. It can be a lot on anyone’s physical and mental well-being, which is why it is essential that every soldier is well-prepared.

In a previous blog we took a high-level look at the gear and equipment issued to every Army Soldier. In this blog, we’re creating an in-depth look at the 10 pieces of personal equipment that every Army Soldier gets issued. So, whether you’re trying to learn more about the mental and physical toughness that it takes to be a soldier or are looking to add to your gear line up for cardio workouts or personal collections, we have you covered. Keep reading to find out more…

Do Soldiers Pay for Their Equipment?

Before getting into the nitty gritty details as to why a soldier has in their personal equipment and gear, it’s important to answer the age-old question of “do soldiers pay for their own equipment?” The simple answer is yes… and no. Let us explain.

Enlisted soldiers will receive all of their needed gear for free. This is inclusive of their rucking sack, weapons, uniform, and other essential equipment like water canteens. However, the Army and the government have been known to influence or encourage their soldiers to top up their gear and equipment with their own personal money.

Two military soldiers looking at a computer screen in their camouflage gear

Soldiers may want to buy additional weapons, uniforms, canteens, or ammunition to help top up their equipment and gear to make them more prepared for their mission or deployment at hand. Again, soldiers must be prepared for just about anything and to go just about anywhere, so if the person at hand feels as though they would be better equipped with a certain weapon or equipment, it is up to them to spend their own money and purchase that piece.

No soldier wants to be ill prepared, but no soldier also wants to carry more then their traditional fighting load which can reach up to 69 lbs. So, while personal equipment is encouraged, and while soldiers do top up their gear to ensure they feel confident in completing their mission, they also are in the right mindset to not add additional equipment that will run them down.

Now, when it comes to the purchasing price of the equipment it is important to mention that many of these items do not come cheap. However, when your life is at stake or when a mission is at hand, you don’t necessarily “cheap” items. This is why many soldiers will splurge and focus on purchasing high quality pieces of equipment that will increase their skill sets, rather than an abundance of personal item.

Taking Equipment into the Field

When it comes to the mission at hand, every soldier and their fighting style, capabilities and level of confidence will range. So, when we discuss and go over the top 10 items that soldiers can “bring into the field” for their mission or during deployment, we are talking about the top 10 “universal” personal items that most soldiers will rely on and need.

Overview of all the rucking gear that military soldiers use

Typically, other than their most essential equipment, soldiers are allowed to bring gear into the field that makes their job easier to do and increases their skill to get it done. While we’re looking at soldiers as a whole, it’s also important to note that the different trade and branch will have different requirements for equipment, i.e., infantry, medics, and artillery will all have different various gear and equipment. Now, let’s dive into the 10 personal items that Army Soldiers will purchase.

The Top 10 Pieces of Equipment for Army Soldiers

1. Gloves

This piece of equipment actually doesn’t pertain to a particular branch of the military, as it applies to them all. After all, your hands, next to your feet, are your biggest asset when in the field or during your mission. Not only are you using them to shoot, help out others, climb, and grab other pieces of gear that you need, but you’re also using them to defend yourself most importantly.

Military soldier cleaning out his gun and equipment

Gloves help to keep your hands protected, safe and secure so that you can easily and successfully do what you need to do to complete your mission. Plus, when in the Army, your exposed to many different environments, so this helps to keep your hands warm. Unfortunately, issued gloves are not of the best quality, which is why many soldiers opt in to pay for better options.

 2. Boots/Footwear

If gloves are important, then you know that footwear is essential as well. Yes, you do get issued standard boots and footwear, however like every other piece of footwear, they get worn down quite easily. With the amount of walking, moving, exercising and terrain that Army soldiers are exposed to, it is essential that every soldier have shoes that are not only comfortable and protect their feet and ankles, but also are well equipped to handle the amount of use that will be put on them.

Military boots beside a camouflage helmet

In addition, every soldier is different, so while issued boots are great, some may find them to be uncomfortable. This is why many soldiers splurge on finding the best option that works for them, so that they can keep their feet protected and stay comfortable during their missions.

3. Boxer Briefs

As a soldier, your hygiene routine may not be as normal or regulated as you’d like, especially when on a mission. Knowing this, it is important to have essentials that can withstand every extreme climate, especially for a number of days if you’re not able to change them.

High quality military boxer briefs for soldiers

Soldiers will pay the additional cost to opt in for briefs that are moisture wicking, helping to keep them dry and prevent any chafing or uncomfortable rashes from occurring. When you’re on a mission, the last thing you want to be worried about is your body, a rash, or any level of discomfort that can prevent you from doing your job properly.

 4. Military Grade Watch

This may seem like a no brainer; however, many soldiers forget to find a particular grade of watch that can work and withstand the military world and your exercise and mission environments. Leave your nice or standard watches at home, you’ll need to purchase and bring something that’s durable during your time in the field.

Military grade black and white watch

5. Gerber Multi Tool

This item is essential for day-to-day tasks, exercises, rucks, and deployments as it comes in handy for a variety of needs. Rather than cheeping out or using a standardized option, spring for something a little more durable and higher end. This tool will be used each and every day so you will definitely be getting your money’s worth. In addition, it can help get you out of some pretty serious or hazardous situations, so it’s worth having something you can rely on, on hand.

 6. Notebook cover, Pens, Pencils, and a Notebook

When preparing for the field and when in the military (no matter your branch) you are always taking notes. You’ll need the necessary pens, pencils, and notebooks to stay on top of everything, however you’ll also need a notebook cover. This will help keep all your writing tools safe in one place, and it will also help to protect your notebook for the elements such as rain, wind, or extreme sun.

 7. Small Stove

Normal stoves can be quite large to lug around and often quite useless, especially if you are not planning on cooking for the entire team. Instead of adding unnecessary weight to your ruck, spring for a smaller stove. This will not only help to cook your meals while in the field, but it can also be used to help keep you warm when out in colder climates.

A personal stove will reduce your fighting or ruck load weight, as well as give you more room to pack other items.

8. Camouflage Paint

The camouflage paint that is issued to you in the Army is probably one of the worst items provided. It’s goopy, sticking, and often gets everywhere, causing more of a mess than doing good for the mission. Leave this item behind and instead spring for a really good paint stick or a Cam Stick Paint Pad. This will prevent the paint from leaking over your personal items and will save you a great deal of time and frustration.

Up close image of a white soldier wearing green, black, and brown camouflage

9. Headlamp

This is another item that is crucial to have while out in the field. Not only does it help you to see where you are going but can also help provide support and assistance for other soldiers if they are hurt or troubled. Poor quality headlamps will not serve you well here, however you don’t need to spend over $100 to find a good headlamp here. Though it is recommended that you have two just in case one fails. And don’t forget your batteries if necessary!

Two military soldiers in their gear with orange headlights guiding them through a forest

10. First Aid Kit

Last but not least, we have a first aid kit. While medics are also out in the field, it is important to have your own first aid kit to help with smaller issues such as bumps, scrapes and cuts that can easily be mended to. Plus, by purchasing your own first aid it you’re able to personalize it but adding special items or more of the things in which you know you’ll need.

A first aid kit will help to keep you safe and comfortable, so it’s important to ensure you have all the right items that will keep you going.

For more information on the gear that Army Soldiers are provided and use during their missions and rucking sessions, be sure to check out our blog post here. And, if you’re interested in topping up your gear and equipment with some of the item’s list in this post, be sure to check out our online shop featuring top of the line equipment and gear.

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