Deployment: Packing

The sudden change I outlined yesterday in what the Army wants to do with me is good and bad for many reasons. One of the good ones is that I will now have plenty of time to pack up my shit, which oddly is a fairly complex process given that I have to assume I’ll live out of a duffel bag for an entire year.

This is not to say that I won’t at least have a locker, but one must assume and plan for the worst. The Army tends to be quite egalitarian in situations where people may be shooting at you, so my near-twenty years and rank makes me really special – just like everyone else. I’ll have to assume I’ll be sharing a broom closet with fifteen of my closest field grade buddies.

The trick to packing is knowing what you need on-hand always, and what you’ll need somewhat later. Generally, the “always” list includes the obvious: socks, shirts, uniforms, underwear, toilet kit, some warm shit (because the foothills of the Himalayas, at 5000+ feet in winter, is cold), a spare book (duh), towel and similar shit. Believe it or not, this short list takes up much of the duffel bag. Naturally, this laptop (so I can Rant!) and a terabyte of every movie I think I can possibly want to watch and “borrow” from the interweb will come with me as well. Those don’t go in a duffel, though. Bad idea.

The “later” list is key and requires some foresight. Last time, I fucked this up completely. On this trip, I know what I’m up against. So the “later” stuff gets mailed as soon as I have somewhere to mail it, and the high-priority items are additional razor blades, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant. I know this is high-priority because last time the PX ran out of those items – completely ran out – on a regular basis. They had plenty of MP3 players and flat-screen TV’s available, but couldn’t figure out how to keep soap stocked.

Follow-on packages can have other stuff of lesser importance. Perhaps this time I’ll take some non-issue sweats or gloves (because Army gloves are just never warm). Maybe even some more books, though they tend to have lending libraries everywhere, so I won’t go crazy from lack of reading material.

One final aspect to packing out your shit is that you have to keep in mind the notion that if you bring it with you, you’re going to have to carry it home – generally. My running shoes are near run-over now, so they’ll stay in Kuwait on my way through coming home. Some lucky Kuwaiti kid with huge boats will be overjoyed with my used, reeking shoes. Also, I have to keep in mind that I’ll be issued four more entire duffles worth of crap that I’ll be obligated to turn in, and I can take a total of four, so somehow I’ll have to magic five duffels into four. I accomplished that last time though.

I’m wondering, though, how to get a barbeque grill over there…

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29 Responses to “Deployment: Packing”

  1. when do you leave? are you really going for a year? That BLOWS!

  2. whiteladyinthehood Says:

    So, are you going to let us know where we can send care packages to? I was gonna get you a Salma Hayek poster…you can hang her in your locker…

  3. BBQ? What about the turkey fryer?

  4. Jonathan Says:

    Any chance of making one over there? Maybe a 55 gallon drum, a later package could include a grate if you can’t find a field expedient replacement. I used to have a Coleman stove I brought in my HMMWV that I used for heat at times. There was some army issue fuel that worked if I ran out of Coleman fuel that would work as lighter fluid and there’s always an FM or two that’s fun to burn…

  5. John Erickson Says:

    Dude, you’re a tanker, and you need a barbecue? You use a Bradley engine for the baking-type stuff, and the exhaust from the Abrams engine for the flame-broiling stuff. And if neither is sufficient, you just call your friendly neighborhood Warthog and have a couple rounds of napalm dropped on your position. Flash-fried! 😀
    I’m sure I don’t have to caution you about displaying the rank, right? Unless you can take a few pair of oak leaves and stick ’em on the little putz next to you who’s been pissing you off for a week! 😉

    • Dude, there are no Bradleys or Abrams’ over there.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Well, there’s always the Hummer’s engine for baking. And I’m sure there’s always an eager flyboy, American or otherwise, willing to napalm your backside.
        Or just find a British unit nearby. With their quality-control issues with vehicles, there’s BOUND to be an open fire somewhere nearby! 😀

  6. Hmm, you are so high maintainance.
    All I would need is a few bottles of whiskey, a vibrator, a book, and a picture of chris Meloni…

    • The whiskey and book I could use.

      • John Erickson Says:

        Vibrators make good foot massagers. Or so I’m told. I’m clueless on Chris Meloni, unless you can use it for barter purposes.
        Me, I can pack whatever I need, and I need little. All I ask from the outside is ammunition and plenty of it! 😀
        Sure you don’t want to take me along with you? Betcha I could have us at war with Iran in 48 hours. Let me bring my Enfield and Blackjack to pack my gear, and I’ll betcha we could have them taken care of in 96 hours! 😉

  7. Instead of a duffel, why not just saw the legs off a barbecue and pack your stuff in there?

  8. I’ll be happy to contribute care packages if you send an address (when you have one of course). And I’d say just leave anything you don’t use (or need back home) for those still stuck there when you leave. 😉

  9. So what kind of books do you like to read over there?

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