Items for Every Army Basic Training Packing List

There may be plenty of necessities to gather before you head off, but instead of scrambling like a chicken with its head cut off, peruse a nifty Army basic training package list like this one.

You're in the Army, now! Chances are you're unsure of what to pack before heading off to basic training, and that's not a bad thing. Not every recruit will be as prepared as the next one, and even fewer are mentally ready for the hardships awaiting them. Even after you have checked and rechecked your various necessity lists, undergoing a strict look at your packed belongings is key to maintaining the correct packing list when headed to boot camp. It's nothing to fear, basic training is a great way to learn about yourself both in a mental and physical connotation, so you have nothing to worry about. 

First thing of note is to remember you'll undergo a mini-medical examination right before you leave, so it's smart to be prepared for everything up front. While they may say to bring only one change of clothes, it's best to just bring two in case your spare get wet or tampered with in any capacity (it's always better to be safer than safe, rather than ill-prepared). Past that, just remember to give it all you got. You're not collecting your entire life into an Army basic training packing list unless you truly meant to give this all you've got, so do the same when getting organized before your leave...

What NOT to Bring

Personally, I feel the best way to start off a packing list is by going over the non-essentials first, mainly because it's the easiest thing to do: not bring something. First and foremost, any type of tobacco product is a no-no; from cigarettes to dip, tobacco is simply an unwanted vice when it comes to the Army basic training packing list.

Beyond that, lighters, phonographic materials, unprescribed medications, jewelry, food, alcoholic products, knives, and newspapers are most of the objects the Army does not want to see among your belongings (and I don't want to see the poor soul who gets caught with them). 

Comfortable Running Shoes

Comfortable, non-high heel footwear is ideal and comes recommended by Army recruiters when packing for basic training. The best thing you can do is grab some shoes similar to the above FREE SOLDIER ones, which are "quick drying" and lightweight (both the most perfect and ideal items for your Army basic training packing list). 

You don't need to get all crazy with it by adding in your lucky basketball shoes from high school. Just grab either a new pair or use some beat up, old running shoes; it makes little difference. You'll also want to think about grabbing flip flops or some sort of shower shoes; they aren't mandatory, but one hundred percent recommended. 

Shampoo & Conditioner

In my opinion, one of the best boredom hacks to get you through deployment is tremendous showering. I may sound like a crazy person, but seriously if you're not showering like a crazy person before you ship out than you're doing it wrong (cuz let me warn you, you won't be showering as nicely anytime soon after). 

For that reason, and since the Army makes it mandatory, bringing along both shampoo and conditioner is key in maintaining optimal hygiene before basic training kicks your butt into gear. You'll also want to bring along both a comb and brush, because you'll need them, trust me. 

Non-Aerosol Shaving Cream

One thing the Army simply does not like is aerosol cans, so don't go buying spray can shaving creams or you won't be shaving at all throughout your stay. This shaving cream by Barbosal is perfect, because it's non-aerosol and is therapeutic, which is a great way of reducing stress and worry amid grueling boot camp activity. 

Also of note: don't bring anything that isn't travel size, because according to the Army basic training packing list they want only travel sized bathroom products and not those that are bulky and unnecessarily space-wasteful. 

Disposable Razors

No electrical shavers are allowed in Army basic training. That means you'll have to utilize disposable types, like the BIC examples shown above. It may not be the best choice, especially if you're the kind of dude wearing a fresh beard, but the Army doesn't want service members looking scraggly and unkept. 

When it comes to the bathroom hygiene necessities, the Army allows for safe options in their Army basic training packing list. Don't bring any expensive or super valuable razors either, because you're sure to either lose them or break them in the process. It's best to just buy the safest disposable kinds before leaving for boot camp.

Non-Aerosol Deodorant

Simply put, antiperspirant is a must while undergoing the hardships of basic training. Fortunately, Degree makes some of the best deodorant for active sports wear that keeps armpits smelling fresh and clean even in wartime conditions. 

In addition to it being non-aerosol, it also must be travel sized as well. This is an important facet when divvying up your most essential necessities for the Army basic training packing list. 

Sports Bras

Sports bras will be a must if you're a female just jumping into basic training. The Army mandates that you bring a variety of civilian clothes, but don't overpack. All you'll really need is two of each: slacks or jeans, shirt or blouse, and coat or jacket, depending on your season. 

If you're a female gearing up for boot camp and don't know what to expect, know that our Army basic training packing list must include all of the above, or it'll mean the end of your Army career (not to be blunt). They're very stringent upon their rules over there, so don't get carried away with personal necessities, and just pack what you'll need and not what you want

Combination Padlocks

It's not mandatory, nor is it even really recommended, but bringing along one or two padlocks is a good way to ensure your personal documents and financial items are kept safe, both from prying eyes and from damage. 

This "What to Bring List" under the Army breaks it down pretty well, but just know that you'll also have to fit all of your items into an Army Future Soldier Bag before being deployed. Basic training doesn't have to be a hassle or worry you sick if you've got combination locks for all your necessities. 


One of the best ways of how to make it through basic training as a female is packing perfectly, i.e. bringing the most correct necessities for hygiene and wear. It might be a sore or uncomfortable subject for some, but it's one of the most mandatory of items on your Army basic training packing list: female hygienic supplies. 

Remember, remaining sanitary when undergoing basic training is among the best ways you'll remain sane. Sounds crazy, but seriously, don't overlook a mundane item you know you'll need in the long run, and even if you end up overpacking them, you're sure to find someone who's forgotten hers. So, start the cycle of brotherhood and comradeship off the right way and share your things if need be. 

Important Documents

There are a vast quantity of important documents you'll need before shipping off for boot camp. For starters, you'll need a valid drivers license (or picture ID), proof of your marriage and any other marriage documents, plus certified birth certificates of you and your children. When it comes to your Army basic training packing list, this is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of necessary important documents you'll need. 

On top of all those personal files, you'll also want to bring along banking account information, which we'll get to below, as well as your social security card and meds. This is one of the most important concepts that first time recruits tend to overlook; your medical documentation and required medications must be properly listed and documented with your Army recruiter. 

Financial Necessities

Don't bring any more than $50 in cash, as per the Army's requirement. Why, I'm not so sure, but I'm assuming it's to stave off stealing and to limit the need for money in the first place. You're allowed to bring Travelers Checks or money orders, in addition to any ATM cards and/or a checkbook. And, don't forget your direct deposit form, either because you'll need that. 

Personally, though, I would keep these items safeguarded and relatively close to your person if you bring them, which then brings me to my next point: their necessity is very limited, so don't pack them unless you're absolutely sure you'll need them (which I doubt you will, but it's all up to how you personally see your basic training packing list). 

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Items for Every Army Basic Training Packing List
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