What Personal Items Do Soldiers Carry

Soldiers walking together in full military gear: what personal items do soldiers carry.
Photo Credit: The U.S Army

Here are some personal Items soldiers carry:

1.Personal Gear Upgrades
2.Non-Essential Gear
3.Small Personal Memorabilia

Soldiers have to carry a lot depending on their march load. While we covered it extensively on our recent post talking about what does a soldier carry in his backapack going into battle, here’s a little excerpt of how much MANDATORY weight soldiers have to carry.

In the fighting load, where the soldier needs to carry everything he or she needs to defeat the enemy, they can expect to carry up to 68.9 lbs. Here are some things a soldier will be carrying in the fighting load:

  • Weapons + weapon components
  • Magazine
  • Uniform
  • Field load carrier (FLC)

Check out the full list on our army ruck march standards post.

Should things escalate, the soldier may find him or her self in the Approach March Load. This is where direct contact with the enemy is made. This requires the soldier to carry the fighting load plus more items. At this point, the soldier can find him or her self carrying up to 96.8 lbs. Here are some things they’ll be carrying:

Check out the full list on our army ruck march standards post.

With that said, the reason you’re here is to learn more about the personal items soldiers…

While none of us have been to the military and do not have a personal experience with the military, we’ve done the research and have been through the forums to learn more. Here’s what we found.

1- Personal Gear Upgrades

Soldier walking on brown grass field
Photo by Specna Arms on Unsplash

From what we’ve found, some soldier like to upgrade their combat gear or rucking gear. Some soldiers don’t find the following military issued gear right for them and may choose to upgrade them:

One thing to remember is that if you’re upgrading your equipment, you need to make sure they’re approved by your unit commander. Furthemore, the gear you’re planning to upgrade must be approved by the military and ar670-1 approved (source).

Every unit and unit commander is different and therefore ya soldiers ability to bring their own gear is dependent on their circumstances.

Learn more about AR670-1 regulations.

2- Non-Essential Gear

Some non-essential gear that some soldiers may find essential may be allowed to pack. Remember, this also varies from unit to unit and with your unit commander. These non-essential gear include things like:

  • Penknives
  • Spoon/knife/fork combo

3- Small Personal Memorabilia

These are small things like pictures or lucky charms. Most soldiers take a thing or two to remember their loved ones. Being a soldier is tough as it is, might as well take a small thing or two to keep you mentally elevated and motivated.

For example, here’s a piece written by army.mil talking about what some soldiers carry with them.


Soldiers sitting down and holding MREs
Photo Credit: James McCauley

With all that said, the military will be giving a soldier everything he or she needs to get the job done. So soldiers dont need to worry about packing necessary gear.

Furthermore, as mentioned at the start of this article, the rucksack a soldier carries is packed with a lot of things. This means that a soldiers ability to upgrade their personal gear may be limited due to the amount of weight carried and the available space in their rucksack.

Its hard giving a recommendation here as we have honestly not been in a soldiers shoes. With that said, we’d imagine that if a soldier feels that the military issued shirt or boots are intolerable, its good to know that there’s still an option.

Check out our rucking on a budget post for some recommendations on rucking gear that you find beneficial for your rucks and are easy on the wallet.

Adam Sheriff

Adam is an experienced rucker and has been in the game for the past 5 years. He competed in a local ruck challenge and was hooked ever since. He has been actively helping people get into rucking and has set up local ruck events to help spread the word and encourage more people to get in on the action. When he’s not out rucking or setting up ruck events in town, he manages RuckForMiles.com.

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