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What military surplus gear would you recommend and what's just a waste of money?
I am an avid military surplus buyer, and have seen very few things that I would not recommend, but there are a few. I have never bought any foreign military surplus, so I can't tell you anything about it.

Not recommended..........

1. Boots (boots take more abuse than most other personal gear items)
I buy military boots, but new not surplus.

2. Old style GI mess kits. They work good, but are a bit large, and very heavy.

3. MOLLE packs. They are bulky, and very heavy for what they can carry. I can carry just as much in my ALICE, and it is much lighter.

4. Radios. (usually beyond repair.)

Those are the only things that I personally have had issues with. It all depends on the use of most items though. If you can see it and touch it, then you can tell what abuse its been through. (like boots) Be wary of purchasing any surplus items from the internet. A lot of people try to sell junk, and claim its in good shape. I personally buy a lot from Ebay, but only buy items that show pictures of the actual item for sale. Quite a few sellers use stock pictures, and what you receive looks awful compared to the pictures shown.
 

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Prophet
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surplus ammo cans are great for storing stuff like ammo.
jerry cans, BDUs, MRE, some stoves are pretty good.
 

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You don't say where you're located but if you're near a military base you may find a soldier etc... to purchase new stuff from clothing sales. It may cost you a 6 pack though.
 

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Funny that this subject came up, I was at a local surplus store recently and was amazed at some of the prices on some items, they have gone up quite a bit. I remember ammo cans could be bought for around $5 and now they're going for $15, some other things were seriously overpriced as well. The guy tried selling me a rubberized rainsuit saying it was better than the poncho....I politely shut him down :)

I agree, I never did like the mess kit or the shelter half (pup-tent) for that matter. I can think of maybe using the shelter half once and the never using the mess kit in 16 years.

I would suggest:

1. Poncho and poncho liner, great piece of gear.
2. ALICE packs are always great, seems the MOLLE stuff is still overpriced for civilians.
3. Canteen cups, larger, durable and much cheaper than a small backpacker's cup.
You can get some great deals on some other things as well, BDU's, Gore-tex and stuff, but do some research and you can save some cash. Some of these guys trying to sell the stuff have never USED it, so they cant tell you what crap it actually is.

Just my 2 cents :)
 

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most military stuff is good. all is built to be durable and take a lickin and keep on tickin

i wouldnt buy used boots but thats about it all else is good stuff well built and will last a very long time. alot of civilian camping gear maybe lighter but will come apart with little use. i got a mess kit that is dated 1942 and its been use ALOT, but it still works the same as it did the 1st day it was used. i dought you can find a civilian mess kit that will last 1/2 as long.,with as much abuse.

i have a molly and an alice pack and i will take my molly way before i would the alice. for the main reason i perfer to have all my stuff secured by all pockets ziped up. the alice pack its mainly straped down which is fine. i have never lost anything when useing it but i feel more secure knowing nothing will fall out as long as everything is ziped up. but either one is fine
 

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Misfit Toy
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I get good deals on eq. But I put a lot of time into finding it. I have a fully loaded alice pack sitting in storage at my mothers condo, 2300 miles from here.

So...I've been replacing everything but some smaller items I brought here with me. I like Belleville boots. They break almost immediately for me. I get them free from my safety shoe allowance from work (got my Blackhawk Warrior Wear black ops boots that way too). They're tough and wear well. I also have a lot of Blackhawk items, some tactical tailor.

I like the new tactical packs. New hydration alternatives. New sleeping systems. ECWCS cold weather gear. I've had to remake a Ghillie.

Some of the current production surplus far surpasses some of the old gear I used in the 80's-90's. If you put some time into searching the web and ebay...you can find good deals.
 

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I get good deals on eq. But I put a lot of time into finding it. I have a fully loaded alice pack sitting in storage at my mothers condo, 2300 miles from here.

So...I've been replacing everything but some smaller items I brought here with me. I like Belleville boots. They break almost immediately for me. I get them free from my safety shoe allowance from work (got my Blackhawk Warrior Wear black ops boots that way too). They're tough and wear well. I also have a lot of Blackhawk items, some tactical tailor.

I like the new tactical packs. New hydration alternatives. New sleeping systems. ECWCS cold weather gear. I've had to remake a Ghillie.

Some of the current production surplus far surpasses some of the old gear I used in the 80's-90's. If you put some time into searching the web and ebay...you can find good deals.

ive not really looked at the newer stuff what stuff surpasses the old?and how?
 

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All mess kits are not the same.

I have two Swedish army mess kits, made by Trangia, and they are great. one is aluminum and the other is stainless steel. The stainless steel mess kit is a little heavier but far more durable. It also cooks and cleans better than the aluminum kit.
 

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ALICE packs are a good choice, but I'd suggest upgrading the straps and waist belts with something from Tactical Tailor or Eagle Industries. My back aches just looking at the old standard issue frame. :D:

If you can believe this, my local surplus store is selling a NIB medium ALICE with frame for $125.00!!! Talk about a rip off. A NIB medium ALICE without a frame only costs $10-$20 if you shop around for it.
 

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We got some excellent deals on Belgian surplus sleeping bags- really good ones- real cheap- just washed them and put them in a good waterproof bag and good to go. Also, old "new stock" boots from Sweden or Switzerland or someplace- ugly as hell, but they are absolute tanks for boots.. Have gotten a lot of great stuff from other countries- some great US canteens, tarps, stuff like load straps, etc. Not had a problem with any of it. Its really tough stuff. The best part of all- its cheap price wise. Couldn't have gotten any of it without the lower price.
 

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The web gear is usually pretty good.

GI Mag pouches (AR 20 rd pouches are hard to come by and very handy)
Bianchi UM-84 holsters are the mack if you find them cheap
Web belt pads
Canteen/canteen covers/canteen cups
Alice packs (check em out good)
BDU's
GI Jungle boots
Isreali Desert Combat boots are really nice.
Mess kits
 

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Misfit Toy
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ive not really looked at the newer stuff what stuff surpasses the old?and how?
I find some of the improvements to ergonomics to be far more user friendly than some of my older gear. I am long through the torso so no matter how I adjusted the alice pack, it never really found the comfort zone with me.

The newer hydration systems with the MSR in-line filtration and drink tube w/bite valve is much more convenient than my reach-around canteens (even though I still employ them).

The Modular sleep system far surpasses the extreme or intermittent cold sleeping systems for carry options. Old LBE systems replaced with molle vest, improvised belts, molle battle belts (Uncle Mikes manufactures a nice one).

Some materials used are lighter, more durable. There are a lot of manufactures contracting to the military with lighter, high-tech equipment.

I've always been a gear-head, and love it when the military opts for the faster ***** cat.
 

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I find some of the improvements to ergonomics to be far more user friendly than some of my older gear. I am long through the torso so no matter how I adjusted the alice pack, it never really found the comfort zone with me.

The newer hydration systems with the MSR in-line filtration and drink tube w/bite valve is much more convenient than my reach-around canteens (even though I still employ them).

The Modular sleep system far surpasses the extreme or intermittent cold sleeping systems for carry options. Old LBE systems replaced with molle vest, improvised belts, molle battle belts (Uncle Mikes manufactures a nice one).

Some materials used are lighter, more durable. There are a lot of manufactures contracting to the military with lighter, high-tech equipment.

I've always been a gear-head, and love it when the military opts for the faster ***** cat.

ahh i see yea i think the molle backpack i got is ALOT more comfortable :thumb:

do you like the vest better than the LBE? i havent tried a vest but it seem like it would be harder to bend/twist, low crawl or even get down low with all that stuff hanging off those vests right in the chest area. dosent it put all that weight on your shoulders?
 

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Misfit Toy
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ahh i see yea i think the molle backpack i got is ALOT more comfortable :thumb:

do you like the vest better than the LBE? i havent tried a vest but it seem like it would be harder to bend/twist, low crawl or even get down low with all that stuff hanging off those vests right in the chest area. dosent it put all that weight on your shoulders?
You know what, I think I do. I need some time (if I can ever quit digging holes in the sand) to put it to test on a good trek. But I had given up on the Y harness and gone back to the H because I prefered the fit and equal weight distribution.

I picked up a Blackhawk crossdraw molle vest, brand new for $40 on ebay. I need to settle down, I had already bought a Harness type vest w/molle pannels on the back, but when I received it, thought the mag/frag pouches were a little much in front. My boy liked it, so I set it aside for him.

What I dig about the vest is that you can attatch pouches, or a small compatable pack (hydration or special ops day pack are good examples).
I have my new set up with the vest, day pack, modernized web belt w/pad, and the LRRP buttpack. The rig feels really good on. I haven't had a chance to fill the rifle mag pouches with actual mags (I have none here) but the pistol mag pouches hold snug. I didn't feel bad at all. I know what you mean about the clutter of pouches feeling uncomfortable or cumbersome...that's exactly why I didn't like the molle harness vest. But someone else may prefer it.

That's the beauty and perks concerning gear that these op's have now...they can pick & choose what they like.
I'll give or save my old H-harness rig for someone who may need it, or have a good trade.
 

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im looking for a fleece jacket liner, either od or dpm. the only place i can find them are in the uk. shipping would kill me. i think they made them like the quilted m-65 type also.
 

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when I got out there were a few things that I really wanted to keep

-poncho liner - a ton of uses
- black heavy fleece - so warm
- 3 day assault pack - perfect size so you don't bring too much
- camelbak - can always use these and it was free to me, don't get used camelbaks though, its just gross


these are my top picks, I was fortunate to get to keep these

somethings that might be worth looking for
 
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