http://bouhammer.com/nucleus/AfghanBlog.php?itemid=335 List of gear for A-stan There are many people reading this blog that are getting ready to come over here in the near-future or have loved ones over here. I have put together a list of good to have equipment. The following list is from my experiences and from friends in Iraq that pertained to here also. Some of these won’t be needed until you get in country, so you may want to set them off to side for mama to pack up for you and send to you once you get settled. 1. Any extra Class VIII you can bring from HS is good to have. 2. Wolfhook single point slings 3. Desert Tan Spray paint 4. Space blanket(s) 5. 100 mph tape, 550 cord, TP, other expendables you think would come in handy 6. Drop Leg Holster (blackhawk or SERPA) and Uncle Mike’s Holster for wearing around every day (drop leg will wear a hole in ACUs over time). I also have one for my IBA so I can have my 9mm handy when in the gun hatch going through towns. 7. Weapons lube that DOESN'T ATTRACT SAND. (MILTECH or Remington Dry Lube) 8. Two copies of addresses, phone numbers, account numbers, etc. 9. 2 pairs of GOOD boot insoles 10. A Good Tactical Flashlight (SureFire, even though you will get issued one with M4) 11. Red/White light headlamp 12. Spare pair of running shoes 13. MP3 PLAYER W/ x-tra pair of spare headphones 14. Enough batteries to last you 30 days 15. Chapstick 16. Lotion 17. 30 SPF or higher Sunblock 18. Bar soap- for some reason its in short supply....almost always 19. Small compact rolls of TP. A lot of places make travel size, half the time you get to a port-a-potty the jackA$s before you ganked the TP 20. Baby wipes- 30 days worth. Expect that the power and water will either go out, or the water will be contaminated at least once a month. 21. Gold Bond Foot and Body Powder 22. Small clip on LED light-clip it to your IBA....it will come in handy....quite often. 23. Drink mix for 16/20 oz bottles of water 24. Weightlifting supplies 25. Small photo album with pics from home. 26. Hand sanitizer (small bottles to put in ankle pockets) 27. More books/magazines than you think you will need. 28. DVDs, for you and to loan out for swapping purposes 29. Tactical gloves- military gloves are sort of clumsy ( I love the $9.95 whitewater brand gloves from the clothing sales). Also standard flight nomex are good. 30. Lens anti fog agent. Shaving cream works in a pinch, but you have to apply it every other day or so. 31. Good pair of shower shoes/sandals. I recommend the black adidas....lasted me all year. 32. Small pillow (air inflatable) 33. Cheap digital camera (at least 2.1 mp) 34. Boot knife 35. Gerber multi tool 36. Fabreeze-sometimes the laundry is few and far between. 37. Armor Fresh 38. Extra boot laces 39. Stainless steel coffee cup with screw on lid. 40. Soccer shorts/normal t shirt to sleep in, hang out in your room in 41. Sweatshirts for winter times hanging around 42. A couple of poncho liners for privacy, nasty mattress cover, etc. 43. A set of twin sheets with pillow case 44. Good regular-size pillow 45. One or two good civilian bath towels 46. Buy a good set (>$200) of winter desert boots. All they will give you is a regular summer set and a set of goretex lined for waterproof needs. Desert is a cold place at these altitudes in the winter time. 47. Bring a laptop. Also may want a PSP or some other handheld gaming device. 48. Get an external USB hard-drive (>60gb). You will need this to back up data to, and to store movies and MP3s that you will fall in on from previous teams. 49. Get a Skype account and download the software from skype.com. This is how I talk to home 95% of the time. If you call computer to computer it is totally free. You can also skype out from your computer to a regular phone for $0.021 a minute. There is nothing cheaper than that. 50. Decent headset with mic for computer (skype). 51. Webcam for video calls back home. 52. Bring a min. of 18ea. M4 mags per person. 9 that are loaded and 9 that rest. Plan to do M4 mag changeover once per month. 53. Bring 8ea 9mm mags, for same reason above. Change these over every two weeks. 54. Order a LULA mag loader/unloader. It will be the best $14 piece of plastic you every bought. I have 12 mags loaded at all times and when I do change over it will do it in a fraction of the time and save your hands, and save the ammo. 55. Try to get your state or purchase yourself one 12v DC to 110 AC inverter per man for your trucks. There are crucial on mission to charge personal items, cell phone, ICOMs, and especially ANA radios (they only have re-chargeable batteries). 56. Dump the IBA tac vest you get issued. Get a Tactical Tailor MAV chest rig (does not matter if you get 1 or 2 piece one as you want to keep the front open for laying in the prone. You don’t want mags pushing into your chest making it hard to breathe) . I wish I would have bought mine at the start. It makes a HUGE difference on the back and shoulders when carrying a loaded rig. 57. Get comfortable pair of desert boots. I wear only the Converse 8” assault boots (non-zipper ones). Oakley, Bates and several others are similar in style and comfort. 58. Bring some good snivel gear for the winter time. Extra poly-pro winter hat, gloves, neck gators, etc. 59. Lock de-icer for the winter time 60. Disposable hand and feet warmers 61. Canned-air, lots of it for electronics weapons, etc. 62. Lens wipes for optics 63. Screen wipes for computers There are probably many other things that could go on this list, but a lot of that is personal preference. The purpose of this list is to provide some insight into things that could make anyone’s tour easier.