After surfing the websites of several basic training locations for info, and reading through several BCT journals and blogs, I have come up with a tentative packing list.

Much of this will be in plastic baggies for easy sorting and inspection during "shakedown". I should be able to fit all in a small backpack.

8 pr. "Granny" white underwear
6 white sports bras (no logo)
1 white 'regular' bra
6 pr. white athletic socks (no logo, stripes, etc.)
black flip-flops (shower shoes)
eyeglass case (to stow away civilian glasses)
eyeglass strap (any suggestions for style?)
2 combination padlocks (or keyed? I'm getting conflicting advice on this one...)
toothbrush w/clear plastic case
dental floss
soap w/clear plastic case
hairbrush
1 oz. "travel size" combo shampoo/conditioner
feminine hygiene products (in other words, guys - pads!)
small nail clippers
a few precut pieces of moleskin for blisters
unscented deodorant
a supply of stamped envelopes (will have my hubby mail more of these to me later in his letters)
2 small Rite-in-the-Rain notebooks (plan on taping a few personal photos in here, as well as addresses... will use for notetaking and letter/journal writing) - may also have hubby send me more of these when I run low
black ink pens
a few Chapsticks/unscented lip balms
prepaid calling card(s)


From what I have read, I will probably not bring extra civilian clothes (maybe just extra underwear/socks). Will go wearing jeans, plain shirt, jacket, sneakers, and plain military-style black wristwatch.

There is some stuff I would like, but am putting off until the visit to the PX (maybe hand sanitizer, small packs of tissues, etc.)

Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks...
Original Post
I was hoping the baggies would prevent a huge mess on the floor. Last time I went through shakedown, there was a big pile of jumbled stuff at my feet all mixed together. It also made it more difficult for me to locate things as they went through the list...

Another question: do you take your initial PT test in reception after they make you buy sneakers at the shopette/PX? If so, I was thinking of wearing older sneakers there so I could just throw them in the trash after buying new sneakers. I remember how much stuff we were issued and had to buy, and I'm trying to pare down what I bring to the bare minimum to save weight.
The initial PT test is not at reception anymore, it is at the actual BCT unit.

This may not apply, but if you're taking your backpack on a plane to, wait until the PX to get nail clippers as those aren't allowed on planes anymore. You don't want them to dig thru all your stuff just to get to a little pair of nail clippers!
Get the keyed locks. I advise ones that have 2 keys and you CANNOT take the key out after you open it. It saved the terror of having to ask the drill sergeant to give you your spare key when you lock yourself out - especiallywhen you have 10 minutes between PT and breakfast.
Thanks for the info - I'll go with the keyed locks. I'll also leave the nail clippers at home.

I'm trying to bring as little as possible. Last time somehow I ended up with a big bag bringing everything on the packing list, and most of it got locked up until the end anyway.

Honestly I'm still a little confused about the initial PT test. Will we have to purchase sneakers at the shoppette there before taking the test? Honestly if that was the case, I wasn't going to bother wearing my expensive running shoes if I won't use them. If I will have to wear the sneakers we're forced to buy for the PT test, then I'll just wear some cheapie pair from home that I can toss in the garbage later - no need to carry around the extra weight if it's not necessary!
I was wondering if females were allowed to wear tampons. I have seen alot of lists with pads on them but none with tampons. Im going to the middle of the summer and the thought of wearing something that feels like a diaper in 100 degree heat does not appeal to me at all.
Maybe it's allowed, maybe not. Your drill sergeants will tell you what is and is not allowed when you get there. Anything not allowed will be put in your personal bag and stored for the duration of training.

That being said, you will probably find that you won't have time to shave your legs religiously. And meinsla is right, nobody will know or care whether or not you shaved your legs either way.
From recent accounts ( one of my pals just finished BCT)

There is not one shaved leg in the entire area.
There was not one person who said a thing.
and absolutely not one person who had time to careBig Grin My Female pal stated " I kept wondering if it would get long enough to braid it, but I dont think 8 weeks is enough. I kinda felt like a guy after about the 6th week. I made me feel tougherBig Grin"


needless to say she has a great sense of humorBig Grin
quote:

[LIST]8 pr. "Granny" white underwear
6 white sports bras (no logo)
1 white 'regular' bra


I have two gray sports bras, would it be best if I have plain white ones? I do believe that they have a small 'Champion' logo on the back or front of them; would that be fine? I spent a nice amount on them and don't want to have them locked away and have to buy different ones.
As far as the regular bras, do they have to be a neutral color as well or can they be ones that I already have now?
Also, the panties I bought are brief 'hipsters', not bikini cut; do they really -have- to be the 'granny pantie' style? It's just really uncomfortable to have skivvies up to my natural waist.

I'm well aware that we get our shopping lists when we get to BCT, but I'd like to get my undergarments beforehand. There's nothing like that special pair of fresh new skivvies that you put your own special thought into.....
Ridiculous, I know. But if it helps me keep my 'sanity', then it's worth it.
I will say, whether or not you have your own stuff (at least when I went through basic, granted that was a few years ago), you will most likely be required to purchase ALL items on your list during reception. This is to ensure you have everything. Everyone starts with all the same stuff. If you don't have it halfway through basic, it's your fault then, not the fault of the reception drill sergeant.
quote:
Originally posted by SSG Prophet:
I will say, whether or not you have your own stuff (at least when I went through basic, granted that was a few years ago), you will most likely be required to purchase ALL items on your list during reception. This is to ensure you have everything. Everyone starts with all the same stuff. If you don't have it halfway through basic, it's your fault then, not the fault of the reception drill sergeant.


Thanks! I definitely am not going over board with my purchases before BCT. There are a few items I'd like to put some thought into, just for comfort though. Like skivvies, bras, socks, shower shoes and sneakers. I've been told to purchase some good running shoes before BCT, because the ones that you can purchase at the PX at basic are really expensive.

Would anyone happen to know if my gray sports bras are a bad idea or not though? Should they be white or nude colored instead? Thanks again!
Well, it's probably going to depend on your DS. Some don't really care (at least about the logo on the bra or the color or your regular bra) but to be on the safe side, just get one white underwire bra. You only need it for your Class A's. As far as the logo on your bra, I don't think there is any bras (besides the cheap Walmart) that don't have a logo. I would just find one with the smallest logo you can. Personally, it doesn't matter for me which kind I get as long as it fits the right way around. But of course, bigger women have to have very supportive ones which are more expensive.
As far as the running shoes, if you want to try, you can wear the ones you have to MEPS but the DS will most likely (99%) make you do the proper footware test and buy the right ones for your feet in the PX. They are not super expensive, generally the same price in the civilian world. I have to get Asics because I'm an 'over-pronator' and I pay $80 for mine. For the most part, they DO know what they are doing when it comes to that so trust that you are getting the right ones for all the running you will be doing. Don't worry about what they look like or if you "always wear such and such brand". Trust the test.

Bottom line:
White calf length socks
White underwear (granny style-or the normal kind should be fine. As long as they aren't thongs)
White sports bras
Cheap black flip flops (you can even wait until you get there...they sell them for literally about $1 at the px)
A sharpie to label ALL of your stuff. Yes, even your underwear. Despite the nastiness of stealing someones skivvies, it DOES happen. It happened to my battle buddy and hers were dirty at the time. Blech.
Good luck! Any more questions, feel free to ask. :-)
my only advice is to pack light... you will have to lug all of your stuff around for a while, so why add more to it. I brought me, a change of clothes and a personal hygene kit, and I was happy that it was all that I brought, because we all had to buy everything anyway. Plus, the army made us wear their nice brown underwear...Wink pack light..
quote:
Originally posted by PrivateJackson:
What if you got a foot test before you go to meps and bought the right running shoes from lets say Nike. They are the right kind for my foot.. can I keep them?


You can keep them, you just might not be able to wear them.

The Drill SGTs don't have time to lookup (or look AT) every type of shoe. So to save time they just make everyone buy an 'approved' pair.

Don't worry, you'll lock up your "personal clothing" during Basic Training and be able to use them at AIT and in the "real" Army. Smiler

---------------------------------------
Make sure you pack light though- I had ONLY a light jacket, jeans, shirt, and tennis shoes going to Basic.

They give you so much Army Gear though I had to ditch the shoes on the way to AIT. (I guess I could have tied them to my bags, but I was lazy..)
quote:
Originally posted by 11BIN3ID:
Plus, the army made us wear their nice brown underwear...Wink pack light..


I know I sound like a sniveling little girl. But are you serious that we can't wear our own underwear? Confused Eeker That's all I'm really only worried about. I know the ridiculousness of it and I know that the skivvies they issue us will be clean. I just want my own undies.
Most BCT's require white "granny" style panties as display items in your wall locker. Any other type of undies will be stored in your personal drawer. DS's can and most likely will inspect personal drawers as well during wall locker inspections and if you have over the top panties you will be ridiculed. It makes for funny stories to tell but it's really not necessary to have sexy underwear in basic. Bring something you will be comfortable doing a lot of physical activity in.
Speaking as a DS you will only wear the granny panties! I go through all my females mail even because they think they are smart enough to get clothes in the mail that they are not able to wear. .

Enjoy your time in Basic Training, where are you going to basic at?
quote:
Originally posted by k9nermp:
Speaking as a DS you will only wear the granny panties! I go through all my females mail even because they think they are smart enough to get clothes in the mail that they are not able to wear. .

Enjoy your time in Basic Training, where are you going to basic at?


Nice. I've supplied myself with one new pack of white skivvies. I'll buy more when I'm there and the list of mandatory items is handed to me by my DS.

I signed my contract and chose the MOS 31B, so I'm OSUT at Ft. Leonard Wood shipping April 7.

I'm trying to find scentless soap, will Ivory plain be fine? Any recommendations? I'm not worried about shampoo, because I figure if we have 2 minutes to eat, we have close to the same time to shower. Also, I got child's toothpaste knowing I won't be tasting anything, well, tasty for a while. Will I be ridiculed for that? Anything about Goldbond medicated powder? I was told moleskin could save my feet, should I wait until I'm there before I get it or should I pick some up now?

Thanks for all the awesome help and answers!
Thanks 11BIN Smiler!
I'm just really nervous about everything and eager to get to this, packing a few things and getting myself 'squared' makes this whole process a little easier. I'm sure some can relate to me!

I appreciate all the amazing answers and look forward to asking more questions.

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