What Should I Bring To

Coast Guard Boot Camp?

What Should

I Bring

To

Coast Guard

Boot Camp?

Coast Guard Basic Training Packing List

Coast Guard

Basic Training

Packing List

First, Let’s Break Down The Categories

A frequently asked question when individuals first begin researching getting into the Coast Guard, is “what should I bring to Coast Guard Boot Camp?”.


Before we dive into the specifics, it would be helpful to first identify the categories of what to bring and not bring to Coast Guard Basic Training.


These are:


  • Allowed items that are also recommended
  • Allowed items that aren’t recommended but you can bring them if you’d like
  • Items that will be issued to you while there
  • Allowed items, but you will be forced to put them into storage until you leave Cape May
  • Strictly forbidden items that are not only not allowed, but will probably get you into trouble if you bring them

Allowed + Recommended

  • 6 – 10 White v-neck t-shirts (men highly recommended, women optional)
  • 6 Pairs of Black dress socks (non-blistery type)
  • 6 – 10 Pairs of White Underwear
  • 6 White or Off-White Sports Bras (women only)
  • 1 Pair of Natural Skin Color Pantyhose (women only)
  • 1 White or Off-White Half slip (women only)
  • Hair barrettes / bobby pins (women only and as many as you need)

Allowed + Optional

You are allowed to bring with you a small sealable plastic bag and it can contain any of the following authorized items shown below:


  • Shaving Kit
  • Cartridge Type Razor or Electric Razor
  • Aftershave Cream
  • Talcum Powder
  • Toothbrush
  • Manicure Kit
  • Lip Balm
  • Hand or Body Lotion
  • Wedding Band
  • Stopwatch
  • A Religious Medallion (such as a cross, star of David, star and crescent, etc) with a long enough chain that it can’t be visible while wearing a v-neck t-shirt
  • A Religious Book (Quran, Torah, Bible, etc)
  • Stationary, Envelopes, Stamps
  • Penlight Flashlight
  • Wallet
  • Black Eyeglass Strap
  • Black Pens + Pencils
  • All-White Athletic Socks
  • An Iron (to keep your ODUs nice and crisp)
  • Spray Starch (to help with the above)
  • White Long Underwear (during the months of October through April)
  • Sunscreen
  • Photos of Friends + Family

In addition to the above, the items below are allowed for women only:

  • Gold or Silver Barrettes / Bobby Pins (or same as hair color)
  • Cloth Covered Elastic Bands (same as hair color)
  • Feminine Hygiene Items
  • Makeup (minimal amount)
  • Hair Dryer
  • Birth Control Pills (if already using – to maintain cycle)
  • 1/4 Inch Gold, Silver or Pearl Earrings

Issued To You

These items will be issued to you, and the cost of them will be deducted from your paycheck. Don’t worry though, you’re going to get a paycheck for simply attending Coast Guard Boot Camp so it’s going to come out of that paycheck, not your future checks once you’re actually out in the fleet.


  • 1 Water Bottle
  • 10 Plastic Hangers
  • 2 Wooden Hangers
  • 1 Pr shower shoes
  • 1 Dozen Pens
  • 1 1/2″ Stencil
  • 1 1″ Stencil
  • 1 Highlighter
  • 1 Black Marker
  • 1 White Marker
  • 1 Ruler
  • 1 Nail Clipper
  • 1 Pack of Razors
  • 1 Shampoo
  • 1 Antibacterial Soap
  • 1 Coast Guard Manual
  • 3 Handkerchiefs
  • 4 Pairs of Socks
  • 1 Blister Kit
  • 1 Pack of Band-Aids
  • 1 Shower Kit
  • 1 Lip Balm
  • 1 Pack of Cotton Swabs
  • 2 Ditty bags
  • 1 Washcloth
  • 2 Things of Masking Tape
  • 1 Backpack
  • 1 Penlight
  • 2 Bars of Soap
  • 1 Deodorant
  • 1 Soap Dish
  • 1 Toothpaste
  • 2 Laundry Bags
  • 2 Laundry Pins
  • 1 Dental Kit
  • 1 Sewing Kit
  • 2 Locks (always keep your lock on zero)
  • 1 Metal Polish
  • 1 Pack of Cotton Balls
  • 1 Shoe Cushion
  • 1 Shoeshine Kit
  • 1 Notebook


  • Men Only:
  • 2 Supporters
  • 1 Shaving Cream


  • Women Only
  • 1 Safety Pin
  • Hairpins

Allowed + Stowed Away

If you bring any of the items below, they will not be confiscated permanently, but they will be confiscated temporarily. You’ll have to put them in your civilian bag and that bag will be put in storage until it’s time for you to leave TRACEN Cape May.


  • Additional Civilian Clothing
  • Crew Neck T-Shirts
  • White socks w/ Brand Name Logos or Stripes
  • Excess Jewelry
  • MP3 Players
  • Cameras
  • Board Games / Cards / Dice
  • Video Games
  • Electronic Address Books
  • Extra Checks
  • Any Items Stored In A Glass Container
  • Vitamins / Pre-Workout / Nutritional Supplements
  • Nonprescription Sunglasses
  • Calculators
  • Small Travel Irons
  • Hair Curlers
  • Barrettes That Don’t Match Your Hair Color
  • Excessive Makeup / Cosmetics
  • Over The Counter Medication (if you need it, then you need a prescription with it)
  • Condoms
  • Keys
  • Picture Frames
  • Hair Clippers

Strictly Forbidden

The items below will not only be confiscated but they will also probably not be returned to you. They will also put you high up on the Company Commanders’ “special attention” list. Don’t show up with any of the following:


  • Weapons
  • Cigarettes, Cigars, Vape, Chewing Tobacco (or any other tobacco products)
  • Food Or Beverages (sorry, you can’t bring your own snacks)
  • Alcoholic Beverages
  • Marijuana Products
  • Any Kind Of Intoxicating Substances
  • Magazines
  • Any Kind of Porn Content

Final Thoughts On

What Should I Bring To

Coast Guard Boot Camp?

Although there is already a disclaimer written underneath this and every other Coast Guard Boot Camp frequently asked question page, I thought it would be good to add one more reminder that your recruiter is going to have the most up to date information on exactly what items you can bring to Coast Guard Basic Training, what items you should bring, and what items you should not bring.


I’m happy you stumbled upon this page and you are doing your best to get ready for USCG Boot Camp, but remember that it’s possible that this page (and other pages on the internet) may contain some outdated information. What you see above is probably mostly accurate or even possibly totally accurate, but I still stress to always ask a recruiter because they are going to give you the most up-to-date information as any changes come down the pipeline. Use this as a starting point to give yourself an overview.


For female USCG recruits, I also recommend checking out this PDF document put out by the USCG in 2018. It has some additional info on what to bring, what not to bring, and other considerations for female USCG recruits.


Lastly, don’t forget to bring a few hundred dollars in cash ($200-300) so you can use it to buy items you’ll need when you’re there.

Coast Guard Basic Training Orange Banner Image

Please note that although I’ve done my best to provide the most accurate answer possible to this question, I cannot fully guarantee its accuracy because at any given moment, some aspect of Coast Guard Boot Camp or the Coast Guard in general could change. For this reason, please remember that the most up-to-date, accurate information will come from a Coast Guard recruiter and / or other official USCG personnel. Always listen to what they have to say over what you find on any website, including this one.

Learn More

Show Up With The Knowledge

Of A Week 08 Recruit

Show Up

With The Knowledge

Of A Week 08 Recruit

Survive Coast Guard Boot Camp (C) 2013 – 2023

Survive Coast Guard Boot Camp (C) 2013 – 2022