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#36201 - 01/08/05 12:51 PM Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
DaveT Offline

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 208
Loc: NE Ohio
Hi all - I have a nephew whose Army Reserve unit has been activated and will ship out for Iraq at the end of the month. He's a tank mechanic, so he may well be living the (comparatively) plush life on a big base, but I've read of lots of specialists suddenly being told "surprise, you're now patrolling the streets." So, I have no idea of where he may be on the spectrum of lifestyle for soldiers in Iraq.

I've been reading ETS for several years now, so I've got the basics of the Altoids kit, etc...Also, I've been on CPF for a couple years, so I'm sending him a box of flashlights, too. I'm looking more for the specifically military end of stuff, and the Iraq-specific stuff.

I've in the past run across (and didn't save) various soldiers' "packing lists" and "lessons learned" threads at various Web sites that focus on Iraq. I guess I'm specifically looking for the grunt-level suggestions (don't need specific combat info), and suggested gear lists of stuff that's not issue, or that is much better than issue gear (I've never paid attention to stuff like the cooling helmet liners/neck wraps/underarmor vests - that kind of thing). Most specifically I'm looking for the non-issue and comfort, health items.

What I don't need are links to "battalion-level" lessons learned, powerpoint presentations on forces in the theater, urban combat tactics, etc. etc., however fascinating it may be. (I have all the Soldiers for the Truth (sftt.org) links I need.)

I need to get a pool of suggested gear he may not have heard of or thought of, so that he can look at it all and tick off what he wants or might like. Hopefully we can add some innovative or "out of the box" ideas that'll make his life better for the next 18 months. And if anyone here's been there, firsthand knowledge is all the better.

Thanks in advance folks

#36202 - 01/08/05 01:48 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
Nomad Offline

Registered: 05/04/02
Posts: 466
Loc: Just wandering around.
The one item we have given to several family members serving overseas is a phone card. But, we keep the code number and check the remaining value frequently. When it get down a bit we "re-charge" it. They have all mentioned that this is the one thing that they really enjoy as it keeps them in contact with us. Get several folks together and share the cost. Phone charges are high, but the value to the soldier and family is well worth it.
...........From Nomad.........Been "on the road" since '97

#36203 - 01/08/05 03:55 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
DaveT Offline

Registered: 08/15/03
Posts: 208
Loc: NE Ohio
Thanks - that's a good one.

#36204 - 01/08/05 05:27 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads

Yeah, the phone card's a GREAT idea, Here's one that may or may not be, depending on his circumstances, but if I were headed over, I KNOW I'd have mine with me, kind of expensive if he never uses it, but I'm sure he could barter it to someone who would. Check out hennessyhammocks.com and don't miss the picture sections; soldiers and Sgt Rock. If there's any possibility that he might find himself bivvying up away from his bunk, a Hennessy will be worth it's weight in gold.


#36205 - 01/09/05 12:51 AM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
Exploriment Offline

Registered: 12/14/04
Posts: 36
Loc: Ontario
I think you'll find a ton of information on this site:

Down Range Info

and this post in particular

Edited by Exploriment (01/09/05 12:55 AM)

#36206 - 01/09/05 03:05 AM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
raider502 Offline

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 44
A good knife is a plus to have but that is probably a given.
Camelback is awesome for over there but he probably will have one issued to him.
If he doesn't have a poncho liner (and some national guard guys I know didn't) I would suggest he get one. I would also suggest having a zipper sewn into it to make it into a sleeping bag. This was a major comfort/utlity item for me when I was there. It seemed like no matter how bad things got as long as I had my woobie (poncho liner) it was going to be ok.
A ditch medicine type book might be of intrest to him.
Its been awhile since I was there so I am having to think about it.
An Assault pack. Blackhawk, Eagle, Tactical tailor, Camelback brand. Get one he can strap stuff to the top, sides, and bottom of. When I was there I lived out of my assault pack. My ruck only served as a resupply point for clothes.
Good socks. No make that awesome socks.
A platypus bladder might come in useful to him to carry additional water. If he doesn't like two quarts.
I am going to have to think about this some more and if I have more ideas I will post them. Oh, if he is getting the MOLLE system the woobie will pack into the butt pack from the molle just right (this item is a don't leave home without it item).
Wish him luck for me.

#36207 - 01/09/05 04:03 AM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
GoatRider Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 832
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
What constitutes "awesome socks"?
- Benton

#36208 - 01/09/05 05:25 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads

Hi Dave

Some obvious points to bore you :-) Not in order:

1. Safe drinking water & food . . . Local/street food may not be 100% OK . . . .
2. Extreme comfort/luxury items, from vest/underwear/gloves to socks and everything else . . . The best you can afford.
3. Perhaps salt tablets as supplement or increase the salt intake when it gets warmer.
4. Spring/Summer . . . Heat exhaustion . . . It doesn't even have to be HOT to affect us (from loss of appetite and reduced energy to dizziness etc).
5. Vitamin C (500-1000 mgrams to fight cold germs when affected) - also B complex as normal diet supplement.
6. Eye/ear drops also shaded/clear sunglasses.
7. Any water disinfectant which can also be used to wash veg & fruit - Potasium Permangenate or similar (plus safe instructions for use).
8. Shoe insert for extra comfort.
9. A souvenir from back home.
10. The complete poems from someone like Henry Wadsworth Longfellow - easily found on internet.
11. Mark Twain’s 'Roughing It' - easily found on internet.
12. Books/articles/info about the ancient civilisations of Iraq! – easily found on internet.

I stop right here before Dave says enough!


#36209 - 01/09/05 05:54 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
30carbine Offline

Registered: 03/01/03
Posts: 15
Loc: Texas
One version of "Awesome socks" are the Thorlo over the calf militiary boot socks sold by Brigade, QM and CAV store; also don't forget to change watch battery before deployment--no spares available there. Also second idea of poncho liner--a thinsulate version which is jungle camo one side desert camo the other is available. I can agree that it is twice as warm as regular poncho liner and can compress smaller--the zipper kit is really useful; add it if possible. If he wears glasses include eyeglass cleaning cloths (plural; they get lost) like those available from optometrist. Space pen writes in all conditions and lasts a long time. These are things that have meant a lot to me in the field over the years. Good luck; lots of other good ideas on here.

#36210 - 01/09/05 06:19 PM Re: Iraq packing list suggestions/threads
X-ray Dave Offline

Registered: 11/11/03
Posts: 572
Loc: Nevada
Please go to the Forum at www.lightfighter.com There are many military people there that have been , are or are going back to Iraq/Afghanastan. They are very willing to help with what to bring and what not to bring. Set up a CARE package system before he deploys with a list of what to send every 6 weeks or so. Things like laundry soap, socks, underwear, chap stick, eye wash, batteries, razors, foot powder,etc. Reading material is also important. On the LF Forum he should be able to find out what really to expect.

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