Navy Boot Camp: Packing List

Preparing for Navy Boot Camp is a busy time and it can be unclear as to what Recruits should bring. In this piece, we will outline what you must bring, what you cannot bring and what you can bring to Navy Basic Training to make the packing process easier. To start with, all luggage must fit in a sports bag / small travel case.


Read more about preparations you should make before heading to Navy Boot Camp.

What must I bring to Navy Boot Camp?

The following list is all of the essentials you must bring to Navy Basic Training and the most important checklist.

The following is a list of items that you must bring to training and are allowed to keep during training;

  • Photo I.D./Drivers License
  • Social Security Card
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable)
  • Divorce Decree (if applicable)
  • Copies of Dependents Birth Certificates (if applicable)
  • Complete civilian and military immunization records
  • Direct Deposit System form with bank account and routing number information

What can I bring or should I bring to Navy Basic Training?

It is important to note that RTC Great Lakes is extremely tight on storage space and anything considered excess will be given to charity or sent home. If you choose to send items home, the cost of shipping will come from your paycheck.

Here are some suggestions of what to bring to RTC Great Lakes;

  • One pair of prescription glasses, reading glasses or contact lens kit if applicable
  • Money (maximum of $25) (optional)
  • Religious medallion (No larger than approximately 2”x1”)
  • Small Bible or other religious book
  • Check book and ATM card
  • Female Sanitary Items
  • Prescription birth control which will be taken and reissued
  • Female cosmetics. One of each is permitted: face powder, blush, lipstick, eye shadow and mascara (non-aerosol or glass). Make-up will be authorized for division photos and graduation weekend only.
  • Female Barrettes (must match hair color)
  • Personal hygiene Kit
  • Small address book
  • Wrist watch
  • Wedding ring
  • Writing material
  • Pocket dictionary
  • Small hairbrush and comb
  • Pre-paid phone cards
  • Prescriptions Drugs*

*Recruits may bring prescription drugs with identifying prescription labels. At a designated time, they must be sent to the dispensary for medical evaluation.

What should I not bring to Navy Boot Camp?

Some are more obvious than others but bringing these items to Boot Camp will be a waste of packing space as they will be confiscated immediately.

The following items are unauthorized to be possessed by recruits in training:

  • Large cans of shaving cream. (12oz. or larger)
  • All aerosol containers.
  • After shave/cologne.
  • Lighter fluid.
  • Disposable Lighters (the fluid cartridge of a “Zippo” lighter will be confiscated, the casing will be retained with)
  • Non- Navy magazines and books.
  • Playing cards, dice, gambling paraphernalia.
  • Large bulky stationery.
  • Large hair combs/afro pics, rakes or anything made of metal.
  • Anything in glass containers including mirrors.
  • Double edge razors, blades.
  • Cigarettes, cigars, pipes, tobacco, chewing tobacco.
  • Large deodorants (larger than 4oz).
  • Alcohol-based health & comfort items.
  • Food items.
  • All non-prescription drugs and medications that include but not limited to:
    • Phisoderm, Phisohex, etc.
    • Foot powders.
    • Rubbing alcohol.
    • Motion sickness medication.
    • Commercial sleeping aide.
    • Decongestants.
    • Acne medications.
    • Antihistamines.
    • Analgesics.
    • Eye wash (exception: saline solution for contacts).
    • Sex related materials (diaphragms, condoms, etc).
    • Vitamins

The below items will be shipped home with shipping paid for by the Recruit:

  • Portable electronics (Cell phones, pagers, PDAs, CD/cassette players, radios, MP3 players, hand held video games).
  • Civilian clothing.
  • Cameras.
  • Electric razors.
  • Large hair dryers.
  • Curling irons.
  • Other electrical items deemed unnecessary by the staff of RTC.

Prohibited Items.png

The following will be sent to Security to be disposed of;

  • Firearms.
  • Ammunition/fireworks.
  • Clubs, batons, etc.
  • Brass knuckles.
  • All straight razors, knives, ice picks, scissor.
  • Narcotics/illegal drugs or any paraphernalia.

Important things to consider

One set of clothing and a lightweight jacket will be maintained in a sealed bag until the recruit completes training. If there is anything not included in these lists which you are unsure on, you should ask your Recruiter.

It should also be noted that if it is banned from a Navy Recruits packing, it cannot be sent to them. While at Navy Basic Training, care packages are not welcomed and it is important that your recruit packs anything they consider essential. However, you may send your recruit letters while at RTC Great Lakes and it is highly recommended. Mail provides much needed support and motivation as they embark on their mission to become sailors. Send a letter your recruit today with the Sandboxx app.




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