Field Guide For Beginners: The Essential Extras. 9

This guide is intended for those that are about to join the military of their choice. If you are currently an active or former service member, feel free to sound off with any suggestions in the comments.

Below are some of the best things you can take to the field, whether going  downrange or for a simple training session, the following items will make your time that much more enjoyable. Keep in mind some items may be forbidden by your respective military, especially if you are still in basic training. These items are not absolutely necessary, and you can live without them, but having them will make your time more enjoyable. Special-Ops.org takes no responsibility for punishment or damages incurred by following any of the tips in this guide.

1) Jerky.

Jerked meet is amazing. It tastes great, and because its preserved, it can last quite a while even after the package has been opened, its fairly light weight and often very easy to compact, so it’s a breeze to stuff into an empty pouch or within the crevices of a  backpack. Furthermore it is high in protein and salt and low in carbohydrates, which makes for a great mix of essentials ingredients you need while training in the field.

2) Head lamp.

Flashlights are important, but often require the use of a hand to hold them while digging through your pack to find a change of underwear, or better yet beef jerky. A head lamp will stay in place on your head and allow you to utilize both hands. Its important to get a headlamp that will give you red light , and if possible blue light, as these are much harder to spot from long distances and will still allow you to see whats directly in front of you. Furthermore red light won’t bother those sleeping around you as its not as intense as white light.

3) Multi-Tool knife.

While your army might provide a bayonet or Ka-Bar, it’s still important to have a personal utility knife that will provide essential items such as pliers and a screw driver, as you will inevitably need to use these things at some point or another during your service. Especially useful when adjusting the sights on your gun.

4) Pain-Killers

Make sure you are not allergic to any of the drugs mentioned within before taking them. Do not bring your dads prescription Percocet or Vicodin to boot camp – no. However, simple over-the-counter pills like Advil, Tylenol or Ibuprofen (names may vary by country) are usually A-OK in most armies, and bringing a few of these with you to the field will help quell a headache or other pain in a pinch. Medics don’t always have these with them and even when they do, you might still have to wait several hours to receive one. Please respect your countries and armies individual rules with regards to the usage of pain killers. Bonus Point: Liquid-Gels are fast acting, but they tend to melt when kept in very hot conditions, so they are not the best option while training in hot weather.  Pro tip: Always keep a few of the above recommended pills in your pocket, tied in a small plastic bag,  when going on long marches, as you might roll your ankle and be forced to continue marching.

5) Rolling Tobacco.

Smoking is bad, but if you must smoke in the field, bring roll-your-own tobacco. Roll your own tobacco is extremely easy and lightweight to take to the field. It also tends not to smell as strong as regular tobacco. A typical 30g pouch of tobacco is rated to provide 100 cigarettes. To get the same number you would need 5 packs of smokes which would take up valuable room in your bag, and are easier to crush, especially as soldiers are prone to tossing packs on the floor and lay on them to get some rest.

6) USB Battery Charger.

On the rare chance you are allowed to bring a phone or iPod to the field with you, for personal use during free time, a portable charger will be your best friend. These chargers are small, light weight, and often hold enough power to provide anywhere from 1 – 5 full recharges (based on mAh size – a 2500 mAh charger will often be enough to provide at least one full recharge) and as an added bonus they are often quite cheap.

7) Baby Wipes.

These are extremely important towards maintaining good hygiene while in the field. Baby wipes offer a simple, comfortable way to clean yourself off after doing your business in the field. They are also great for cleaning ones feet.