Going To A Surplus Store? This Is The Military Gear Every Civilian Needs

Finding a military surplus store in your neighborhood is exciting because you now have a source for goods that are meant to be used—and used and used and used. These are not cheap knock-offs, but actual surplus military gear that would be given to a soldier, sailor, marine, or air force recruit, depending on the services that the store gets its goods from. It's easy to go wild in one of these stores, so if you're on a budget and need to restrict what you buy to only those things that are worth getting there specifically, here's what you should look for.

Tool Accessories, Canisters, Flashlights, and More

Military gear has to be very tough. You may pay more for a surplus military flashlight than you would for a regular one at a big box store, but that military flashlight will last a very long time. Military gear is also meant to be compact and completely usable, so you'll find pockets and patches that you can add to tool belts as well as a host of empty canisters that you can repurpose. If you need anything that you won't have to replace for a long time, this is the store to go to to find it.


Whether you call them backpacks, rucksacks, or another term, the military surplus packs are excellent for repurposing for hiking supplies or even a go-bag (the bag you keep packed in case you have to evacuate quickly in an emergency). The prices for these are often comparable to higher-end school backpacks at big box stores, but they'll last so much longer than what you'd carry around a high school. A wealth of pockets and expandable cavities gives you plenty of room to store whatever you need.


Again, these goods are made to protect military members in relatively harsh conditions, so grab those hats and jackets while you can. Rain gear is also handy, and boots can be a good buy, but be prepared to break them in before they're comfortable. If you buy boots there, you may want to look for socks because those military-issue socks (for use in the field, not dress socks) will protect your skin from the edges of the boots.

You can have a fun time looking at everything in a military surplus store. Make your list and then make a couple of trips just to look and compare. Then you can go back and get the items that you know you'll really use.