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Posted: 2/7/2006 12:01:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 12:06:24 AM EDT by OlBoy]
A good friend of mine is being deployed on July 1. I want to get him something to take with him. I can spend about $150 or so, maybe more if its really worth or I could get some friends to pitch in. This is his first trip so I'd like for those of you who have been deployed in the last several years to give me some ideas for stuff that he won't need until he needs it. Stuff you took that no one else had but you were glad that you'd brought it. Or something that you wish you'd had. I believe he told me he was his team's leader and had a M16/4? with an ACOG. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.


Edited to add that I meant to put that he had already picked up a new knife and that I got him a multi-toll upon graduation.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:04:56 AM EDT
A good knife and or a multi-tool
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 12:09:35 AM EDT
Set of twelve magpulls, and a set of hellstorm gloves from Blackhawk.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 1:25:09 AM EDT
Underarmor
protible DVD player
Good socks
good safety glasses ESS Oakley
small hard candys
digital camera
multi tool ( good one )
deck of cards
better boots ( ask him first )
small led flashlight (Inova)
batteries for any fear that will not be issued

Just a few hints

And WISH HIM WELL for us too

Invisiblesoul
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:04:42 AM EDT
A digital camera w/ some back up memory cards,
and good eyewear are what I recommend also.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:37:15 AM EDT
reliable magazines ...perhaps the new H&K mags or DSA mags - what I've read the most reliable.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:51:21 AM EDT
Believe it or not; one of the most invaluable items I had in the IDF was a small tube of Vaseline with Qtips. Before you all start thinking what I know you are thinking, hear me out. The middle east is drier than dry. The inside of your nose quickly dries up and starts cracking and bleeding and generally very uncomfortable. A small bit of Vaseline on a Qtip swabbing the inside of your nose is a life-saver. I don't know if this is simply an IDF trick, or what. Because I asked some of my buddies in the US military about it and they had never heard of it. My brother-in-law is currently in the USMC and is stationed in Iraq. I told him about this trick as I was suggesting things he should take and he agreed to try it. He said the rest of his platoon made fun of him at first, but by the end of the first week; everyone was doing it!

Some other good items are synthetic socks (cotton will trap moisture and rot your feet before disintegrating), girly mags, multitools are awesome (leatherman wave), aviator gloves (the expensive hellstorms and hatch are nice for domestic CT teams, but the desert will chew them up in a month= money wasted). GOOD MAGAZINES!!! (cannot stress this enough; I only wish the magpul self-leveling followers were available when I was in)!

DVD's are good for down time. Maybe chip in with some other people and get him a laptop computer... Another good thing is to get your blood type and serial number tatooed on your body. The concussion of nearby explosions can rip tags off you without you even knowing they are gone. Also, look into getting him some Peltor COMTAC I or II's (another item I wish I had when I was in). They are pricey, but work wonders when trying to have a conversation amidst gunfire. Scarves or shemaghs are great for keeping dust and debris from going down your shirt when deploying from helos.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:06:12 AM EDT
Wiley-X glasses
SOG Multitool
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:28:32 AM EDT
For what its worth, when one of my guys left for Iraq I got him ESS ICE protective eyeware, a surefire 6p, extra batteries for the light and a Gerber multi-tool. I have not heard from him for a while, but I hope he gets good use of it and makes it back OK.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:32:46 AM EDT
How about one of those solar powered battery chargers. I have seen them in the Aerostitch catalog, Radio Shack might have them. The next best thing to having batteries is being able to re-charge them.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 5:45:16 AM EDT
a good flashlight with batteries and maybe a mount to attach it to the rifle
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 6:53:22 AM EDT
my cousin and friends liked "baby butt wipes" the kind in the travel cases. good for butt wiping or washing face or self. its the little things we take for granted
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 7:54:30 AM EDT
Depending where he is going and if he has a lap top, send him movies and music. Find out what he likes to read in specific and send him that. The bigger bases have a lot of the needs stuff at the PX and so do some of the FOBs. Once he gets here, he will know some of what he wants.

CitizenSoldier
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:01:11 AM EDT
you might need to ask him what he will be doing but a good flashligh is always well worth it, I raq is dark at night. That and a travel tool kit or multi tool. You don't know how many times I wish I had a good screwdriver/wrench/hammer etc.

I started a thread that might help www.ar15.com/forums/topic.html?b=1&f=132&t=310984
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:04:17 AM EDT

Originally Posted By clasky:
Believe it or not; one of the most invaluable items I had in the IDF was a small tube of Vaseline with Qtips. Before you all start thinking what I know you are thinking, hear me out. The middle east is drier than dry. The inside of your nose quickly dries up and starts cracking and bleeding and generally very uncomfortable



Uncomfortable is a mild term... Christ I had forgotten how much that sucked. A good leatherman(multitool), good mags, a portable DVD player/cheap lightweight laptop. Good eye pro is great, but we were issued a combonation of Wileys and ESS, same goes for the weapon lights...find out what he's issued and what he needs, and go from there.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:08:46 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 8:11:02 AM EDT by quijanos]
A good digital camera that preferably takes common batteries (maybe AA's)

and plenty of Zip Loc baggies.


If he is going to be in the 'field'......baby wipes.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:30:34 AM EDT
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:30:58 AM EDT
One of the things I ended up buying was a mini-mag. High speed flashlights are great, but if your just rummaging through your pack for something, or trying to find boot in the middle of the night for a piss call, the Surefire-types throw more light than you need and that tends to disturb others. A small reading light is a bonus.
Also, my son gave me this very cheap tool kit for fathers day (#1 DAD) that I ended up throwing in my bag (more to make him feel good than with any expectation of ever using it) and Ill be damned if it didn't come in handy a few times. A Leatherman with the optional tool accessories is a good idea.
Paint brushes. el-cheapo brushes from the dollar store, 1 1/2 in wide kind. Great for cleaning gear, weapons, NVG's, etc. Get him a bag of 10-12, so his buddies wont keep asking to borrow his.
Fishing line. I took a spool of 50lb test. With it we hung poncho's etc. to give each man a little privacy, used it to repair gear (stronger than sewing thread) and a simple clothes line. Also works great for practical jokes.
550 cord. You can never have too much 550 cord.
Baby Wipes, always a plus!
Chap Stick
Avon makes a sunscreen/bug repellant. That stuff rocks, and I being a red head I needed something good. Never got sunburned or had a problem with insects.
Micro Leatherman. Nice, light, & handy. Good scissors.
Mag-Pulls.

If your gonna do girly mags, do what my buddies wife did, glue the covers from other acceptable mags over the top. She got old magazines from her doc's office. Outside its Readers Digest, inside, pure T&A......Great for morale.

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:41:48 AM EDT
Thanks for all of the great ideas so far. I knew asking guys who had already come and gone would be more helpful than me trying to guess. I didn't realize that he was allowed to bring extra mags. Shows what I know. Would the D&H teflon coated mags hold up ok? Those H&K mags are nice but I can't get him very many at $50/pop.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:53:07 AM EDT
My buddy went over for ODS and OIF - the first time I sent him candy and food and crap like that.

This time I sent him a $150 +/- set of computer speakers. he set them up next to his bunk and he could play his Ipod through them. He was thrilled with them - finally called me and asked if he could leave them for the next swingin' dick moving in. - I told him sure thing - so i hope they are getting some use and enjoyment out of the things.

Just an idea - he told me the gear he was issued was acceptable - he really wanted something for his barracks.

Actually how about an ipod or something like that? maybe you and his buds coulds go in on one and load the sum bitch up with an ass load of mooosic.....

thank him and wish him luck for us...

SC
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:58:17 AM EDT
He's got an Ipod with about 4K songs on it but speakers are another good idea that I hadn't thought of. I also just saw the line about covering up the nudie mags with regular covers....awesome.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:00:22 AM EDT
good deal - yeah my man really liked the speakers instead of the headphones because he could hear any incoming - he said the headphones made him nervous as hell - I can imagine....
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:07:31 AM EDT

Originally Posted By OlBoy:
Thanks for all of the great ideas so far. I knew asking guys who had already come and gone would be more helpful than me trying to guess. I didn't realize that he was allowed to bring extra mags. Shows what I know. Would the D&H teflon coated mags hold up ok? Those H&K mags are nice but I can't get him very many at $50/pop.




The D&H mags would work great. They are standard GI mags. Just send him $50 worth of Magpul Enhanced Self-Leveling Followers. They drop in easily and will give him 99% of the HK reliability.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:14:16 AM EDT
I thought the new green follwers were anti-tilt? Will regular magpuls work our do I need to spend the extra and get the ranger plates. I would rather get him regular magpulls and spend the extra money on something else if I can. Will he have room in his pack for all of this stuff? I don't want to give him stuff and he not be able to take it due to lack of room.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:18:21 AM EDT
Great ideas guys. I have to second Stickman about the Thorlo Combat Boot socks. I have some, and they're infinitely better than the issue wool socks. They are more padded, they are sewn to fit the contours of a REAL foot, and they don't shrink/loose their shape like the issue socks do. Not cheap, but for when you spend that much time on your feet, it's a big plus.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:31:59 AM EDT
Popular things:
- mp3 players
- DVD players -- the little ones with an LCD screen
- good socks
- under armor t-shirts
- leatherman
- Saafariland 6004 holsters
- molle mag pouches (eagle & tactical tailor are popular)
- phantom light
- phone cards. They're not always available at the exchange

He'll need a small first aid kit for all the boo-boos you get. Tweezers, Band-aids, neosporin, etc. Basic aspiring & cold meds are helpful, even in summer. You just don't think of this stuff when you're packing out.

We're getting issued pretty good gear issued now. Wiley X glasses, aviator gloves, Surefire flashlights, ACOGs, etc. We've got magazines by the boatload; if you keep 'em clean they work. Bootleg DVDs are readily available, and very popular.

Electronics get mucked up with dirt; so expensive electronics might not be a good idea.

Hope this helps.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:37:00 AM EDT
-Fox River Blister Guard boot socks are very good in my opinion as well, they have teflon in the heel and toe and when coupled with the Liners they are VERY comfortable, especially on humps and running in boots. theyre 6.99 for a pair of boot socks, 6.99 for liners at Brigade Qtrmasters.
-foot powder
-Marine GREEN under armour

Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:44:11 AM EDT
My little brother is a MP in the ARMY. I am sending one of these with him, and getting one for myself. Check this site out, these things look awsome.

www.hideawayknife.com/main.php.



Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:49:50 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 9:51:09 AM EDT by heavytank2]

Originally Posted By OlBoy:
I thought the new green follwers were anti-tilt? Will regular magpuls work our do I need to spend the extra and get the ranger plates. I would rather get him regular magpulls and spend the extra money on something else if I can. Will he have room in his pack for all of this stuff? I don't want to give him stuff and he not be able to take it due to lack of room.



Regular magpull followers are EXCELLENT. They are not kidding when they say anti-tilt. I can shove the follower all the way to the floor-plate and it won't tilt the whole way down. I definately recommend them for peace of mind.

And the green followers are only work in one direction...


I plan on putting these in all my mags.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:43:43 AM EDT
Is a LULA a good idea? Its small and I love mine. Will he need one of these when he gets over there?
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:01:15 PM EDT
first off I haven't been to Iraq or Ass-stan, so those that have done the nasty can better tell you than I.
I might recommend an LED headlamp; I've found mine to be one of the best little items I have bought. I've found that I go get it more than I do the mini mag-lite. I like the Princeton Tec Aurora. Worn on the head you have both hands free, you don't have to worry about the put it in your mouth hold to see what you're doing (and then jam a tooth); when laying in the rack the headlamp head tilts so you can easily read, and it's relatively watertight and relatively small, uses 3 AAA batteries and lasts a long time. Some packages offer a little pinch light with it also (cut a small piece of black tubing and slip over the pinch light LED ([a little superglue] to protect it and control the light). It goes in the hunting pack and camp bag.

Semper Fi to your friend and to ALL that have served.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 2:11:28 PM EDT
I'm gonna go with a 24 pack and a stripper and a good gar.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 3:29:33 PM EDT

Originally Posted By RUSSIANCATKILLA:
I'm gonna go with a 24 pack and a stripper and a good gar.



We're already planning a huge weekend before he leaves, so that is taken care of.

So far my list looks like this:
12 Magpuls - $30
12 Magpul Followers - $25
3 pr. Thorlo Combat Socks - $40
1 Princeton Tec Aurora Headlamp and LED Flashlight - $30

$125 totalplus I am looking for a small set of speakers for his iPod.

Thanks for all of the help
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:17:46 PM EDT
What unit is he with? If he is leaving in July, he might be going with me.
Dont waste money on the magpulls or followers. He can buy those for cheap
at any px overthere. In fact don't spend any money on any military or weapon gear.
He can pick that stuff up on base here or there. Speaker system for the Ipod is the best
gift you can give him right now. Walmart has a good headlamp for $10 thats better than the
petzl. I know it's hard to understand if you haven't been there but he really doesn't need anything.
He will have access to more crap than he needs. It's the pleasure stuff that will make him happy.
When he isnt working, he will be sitting around listening to music or masterbating. So try to buy
him stuff to makes those two activities better.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 4:18:30 PM EDT
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 8:45:21 PM EDT

Originally Posted By practical_man:
Popular things:

- phantom light

Hope this helps.



The Phantom is the bigest piece of crap ever. A mini-mag with an NVIS filter is WAY better.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:09:29 PM EDT
the new Gerber LMF. this thing is THE SHIZZLE. socks, and snivle gear he can get in country. but a knife like that means something.

http://www.botac.com/gerberlmfii.html

im not saying buy it from botach but they had the best pictures i found quickly
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 9:33:27 PM EDT
Everybody's got some pretty good ideas so far.

Something that hasn't been mentioned yet is a 110V inverter for the HMMWVs. Not sure what he'll be doing over there, but we spent a LOT of downtime sitting in the trucks in secure areas. Some of our teams got good use out of inverters for running or charging cameras, stereos, razors, personal GPS, etc. You just have to wire it in to one of the 12V batteries.

And since I mentioned it, a good cordless razor is nice as well.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 12:51:46 AM EDT
+1 for the tomahawk. they are scared of knives/tomahawks. guns are commonplace.
also coolmax boxer briefs, a good pair of suspenders, and make sure you send care packages and magazines (gun mags, chopper mags, fms, whatever hes into).
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:26:59 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/8/2006 8:27:25 AM EDT by Unicorn]
I'll got the opposite way here and suggest two things to avoid. Toiletries and playing cards. Those are plentiful at the exchanges, and they are things that people seem to love to send. I have no idea how many decks of cards we had floating around, and now many tubes of toothpaste and cheap toothbrushes I had.
One thing that did make a nice difference for me was decent toilet paper. Charmin or something. Issued is the John Wayne stuff, rough, tough and don't take shit from no one. The females probably appreciate it even more.
Link Posted: 2/9/2006 4:20:06 AM EDT
Ask him what his unit was issued for RFI. Try to look at what you think they left out and buy that. I personally would like under armor T's.
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 1:32:26 PM EDT
Totally forgot. A couple shaving brushes, the kind for putting on the lather from the soap in the olden days. Fantastic for the constant dusting off of weapons and goggles. He could get them for like $3 at the local BX/PX, but he'll probably not even think about it.
Don't buy any movies yet. He might have access to the local Haji mart. We were getting 4 movies on a disk for $10 each.
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