What Can You Bring to Marine Boot Camp?

Recruits with Alpha Company, 1st Recruit Training Battalion, are getting evaluated during a final drill evaluation at Marine Corps Recruit Depot San Diego, Dec. 22. During evaluations, drillmasters score the platoons based on their uniforms, bearing, movements, as well as the drill instructor’s cadence and sword control. Photo by Lance Cpl. Jesula Jeanlouis

Many future recruits ask us what you can bring to Marine Boot Camp. The answer is that the Marine Corps will issue you everything you need, including underwear and running shoes (which will now be referred to as “go-fasters”).

What You Should Bring to Marine Corps Boot Camp

  • Your recruiter information and enlistment packet.
  • Photo ID like a driver’s license, passport, etc.
  • Social Security Card
  • Proof you’ve completed college, if applicable.
  • A copy of your high school diploma.
  • A couple family photos.
  • Addresses of people you want to write (on a piece of paper, no notebooks).
  • Prescription medication.
  • Stamps.
  • $20 cash so you can buy food or drinks at the airport.
  • A small Bible, Koran, or other religious book.

Everything else will be taken away from you, including: hygiene gear like razor blades and soap, cell phones, tablets, your wallet, books, pens, paper, even your socks and underwear. All your civilian gear will be documented and you’ll be given a storage receipt to claim it when you are done with recruit training.

Remember, you’re here to become a United States Marine and that means giving up everything from your civilian life until you earn the title.

Here are some other questions we’ve received over the years:

Can You Bring a Cell Phone to Marine Corps Boot Camp?

No, you can not bring your cell phone through Recruit Training. If you bring a cell phone, it will be stored with your other civilian items until you graduate as a United States Marine.

It is true that other services might allow recruits to call home on their cell phones occasionally. But the Marine Corps runs things differently. Marine Corps boot camp is considered the toughest basic training of all the United States Armed Forces.

Will I Be Able to Bring my Own Insoles Because I’m Flat Footed?

No, you won’t be able to bring insoles unless you have orthotics prescribed to you by a doctor. In that case, there’s a chance that you won’t be accepted for Marine Corps Recruit Training. Marine recruits spend a lot of time running, hiking, and carrying heavy loads for miles. In the Crucible, for instance, recruits travel more than 45 miles with combat gear over the course of 54 hours.

You should check with a recruiter about any medical issues before deciding the Corps won’t take you, however. You may be eligible for a waiver.

Can You Dip in USMC Basic Training?

We thought this goes without saying, but no, you cannot chew tobacco or “dip” while training as a United States Marine Recruit. There is a zero tolerance policy for alcohol and tobacco products while in boot camp.

Consider it a chance to give up your tobacco habit.

Will I Be Able to Bring Feminine Products With me to Boot Camp?

You should bring as much as you need for the trip. When you get to Marine Boot Camp, you’ll be able to buy all the basic hygiene gear that you need at the base Post Exchange, or PX. You can buy deodorant, toothpaste, razor blades, sunscreen, and more at the PX.

My Lips Dry up Frequently, Can I Bring Chapstick or Aquaphor?

No, you won’t be able to bring chapstick to Marine Boot Camp. Once you begin training, you’ll be able to buy some at the PX. Dry lips might be the least of your concern, when you begin running and hiking in boots many recruits develop large blisters. You’ll also be learning drill, Marine Corps knowledge, first aid, basic combat skills, martial arts, and be working hard to stay hydrated and eat enough during your short meal times.

Marine Boot Camp Preparation Guide
The complete guide to preparing for Marine Boot Camp.

We’ve written an eBook on how to prepare for boot camp. It has in-depth knowledge on what to expect from your drill instructors, how to prepare mentally and physically, as well as workout plans, running workouts, and nutrition to help you succeed. It’s available for $9.99 on Amazon.

Be A Team Player

You can bring whatever you want, but you’ll only be able to keep the items listed above. Furthermore, the more you bring, the longer it will take to process all the recruits through receiving, as every item has to be catalogued, given a receipt, and then stored for the next three months.
The more recruits bring, the longer this processing takes. As you will now be a part of a unit, and slowing down the entire unit, you may be singled out by your Drill Instructors for increased scrutiny. Showing up with just the above items and ready to train shows the Marines that you did your research and are ready to go.

Looking for more information on Marine Boot Camp? We wrote an article explaining the entire recruit training schedule. We’ve outlined every single training week, from swim week to rifle qualification, even in-depth insider knowledge on the Crucible.


  1. You will likely be able to keep your wallet but it will ave to be stored in a valuables bag in your footlocker, I had mine in bootc amp though that was a long time ago. Yeah no cellphones though.

  2. If I already have some standard issue gear from the marines (boots, rucksack, etc.) that I bought online, will I be able to keep it?

    • You’ll be able to keep it, but not during recruit training. Every item you own will be locked away and everything you need will be issued. This includes boots, socks, underwear, shaving cream — literally everything is going to be USMC issue. I’d advise to not even take it to recruit training. I had my driver’s license and $50 on me for food at the airport. That’s it!


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