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Old 11-16-2009, 06:05 PM   #1
Stacy Sells
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Deployment Packing

I've been out of the deploying game for a while now and a lot of things have changed since my last deployment. Last time I went you needed to bring CD's and DVD's, seems kind of dated now. What do I need to take with me to keep my sanity? For those that have just returned or are currently deployed, what is the one thing you didn't take that you wish you did? What was your most cherished personal item while you were there? I think my location has private internet connections, so I'm definately taking my laptop, but what else? No idea is a bad idea. Christmas is coming too, and the family are already asking for lists, so I figure I can throw some deployment items in there. As a side note, I am taking my sandbags to supplement the gym!
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:21 PM   #2
Lee Sybert
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Re: Deployment Packing

I have only been deployed to Iraq. It sucked in 2005, but now it's a freaking Disney vacation. I always liked to go light, so I would say just a laptop and rip some movies and music onto it. Some of the bases have multiple movie theaters, pools, and restaurants now. Seems like at this point if there is anything you want you can buy it over there.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:36 PM   #3
Eric Doolittle
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Re: Deployment Packing

Get a 500 GB portable hard drive, and rip all your music and movies onto it. It'll save a ton of space. An iPod is nice to have, too. Nowadays you can get pretty much anything from Amazon, unless you're way out in the middle of nowhere. I'd also suggest some UnderArmor stuff to wear under PT gear. I'm not sure what service you are, but I prefer tights under shorts to wearing the incredibly noisy Air Force PT pants. YMMV.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:33 PM   #4
Michael Henry
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Re: Deployment Packing

I know they sell toiletry items at the PX and stuff, but they never had the stuff I used. I bought extra of all of my toiletry items and split them up. Had extra stuff in the MILVANs, some in the express one and some in the one that we wouldn't see for a couple months. That allowed me to pack light and still know I'd have stuff in relatively predictable times. And I had a list for my family so they could send me stuff.

And have some cash on hand so you can buy TVs and stuff from people you're replacing.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:49 PM   #5
Robert D Taylor Jr
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Re: Deployment Packing

[quote=Stacy Sells;697004]I've been out of the deploying game for a while now and a lot of things have changed since my last deployment. Last time I went you needed to bring CD's and DVD's, seems kind of dated now. What do I need to take with me to keep my sanity? For those that have just returned or are currently deployed, what is the one thing you didn't take that you wish you did? What was your most cherished personal item while you were there? I think my location has private internet connections, so I'm definately taking my laptop, but what else? No idea is a bad idea. Christmas is coming too, and the family are already asking for lists, so I figure I can throw some deployment items in there. As a side note, I am taking my sandbags to supplement the gym![/QUOTE

Fitness wise Art of Strength mkes these fillable KBs that I think are cool for deployment. Iwould have been miserable without my book kitbag, but you may be able to avoid that if there's an exchange. I like spacebags to make my packing better. (All of my advice is 5+ years old though.
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Old 11-16-2009, 10:04 PM   #6
Emily Maisannes
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Re: Deployment Packing

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert D Taylor Jr View Post
Fitness wise Art of Strength mkes these fillable KBs that I think are cool for deployment.
You get me all excited and then...

The bells only get heavy enough for anything at all (even presses) if you fill them with lead shot. Oh, the bane of the frequent traveler--hotel gyms!
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:17 AM   #7
Jeff Stanek
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Re: Deployment Packing

Pack less than you think you'll need, because you'll acquire a bunch of crap to take home while you're there.

For me, my guitar and laptop is the only entertainment I brought. More free time to spend at the gym
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:23 AM   #8
Everett Steinbarger
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Re: Deployment Packing

Books

Those were my mainstays years ago.

If I had it all to do over again, I'd learn a foreign language, musical instrument, or bring a kettlebell.

Oh, and Snickers........they satisfy.
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Old 11-17-2009, 05:53 AM   #9
Casey Raiford
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Re: Deployment Packing

Stacy if you like to read I recommend looking into a Kindle from Amazon. They'll hold around 1500 books, can download via USB, have deeply discounted book prices and the battery will last about two weeks on a charge. Not a bad deal at all for the money.
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Old 11-17-2009, 01:49 PM   #10
Riley Durant
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Re: Deployment Packing

I just got back from Iraq at the end of October and will echo most of the comments here. Most places up there had internet in the rooms, but it's somewhat spotty and very slow. It's also fairly expensive but it is good enough that Skype will work (which was a big deal for my son). You can play online games, but don't be surprised if you get dropped out quite a bit. Downloading songs can take awhile (sometimes upwards of 15 minutes per song). Best bet is to preload all you want before you leave.

I'll second Casey's recommendation of a Kindle (or Barnes and Noble's new Nook if you prefer). The e-readers were a pretty common sight and much more user friendly than the bulky books. You also don't have to rely on the randomness of the books in the MWR.

I'd say Eric has the right idea with the external hard drive, but I'd go bigger if you can and rip everything you can get your hands on. My guys hooked me up with a 400GB drive before I left and I watched a pretty good chunk of what was on it. If you do run out of stuff, the Haji DVD shops are still up and running and DVD are still only $4-$5 each.

Depending on where you are going, you might be surprised by the gyms. The main gym in Baghdad is pretty CF friendly...kettlebells, ropes, medicine balls, bumper plates, and a lifting platform. The gyms elsewhere were not as friendly (although there is a nice CF gym by the airfield at Speicher).

And as Lee stated, you can get just about everything in Iraq now. The PXs were selling large (42"+) flat screen TVs. Personal hygiene items are hit and miss. There will always be soap, deodorant, and toothpaste, but they may not be the brand you like.

Good luck, stay safe.
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