10 Essential NS Travel Accessories
By Tim Wee
January 27, 2014
Undergoing several incarnations over the years, our trusty National Service (NS) equipment have been through thick and thin with our servicemen since its inception in 1967. How many among us have fond memories of using staple items such as the familiar green field pack and skeletal battle order (SBO) as our trusty pillow during our gruelling field camps? Or using them as ideal hiding spots for our illegal snacks during those one too many route marches?
Green all the way...
Photo sourced from sg.news.yahoo.com
But come ORD time, we are only happy to abandon all our reliable NS related green gear. Without any further thought, we banish it to the back of our storeroom and mind where it will never see the light of day. That is until the call of reservist ring out once more, and we have to go crawling back to frantically search for these green relics from our past.
Do you remember these items from your NSF life?
Photo sourced from thingsididmyself.blogspot.sg
But, did you know that our NS gear can actually have a place in our civilian life? Sure, you have seen people around all decked out in the army singlets and shorts. And who haven’t spotted that black, white and red pair of standard issue New Balance running shoes?
Familiar local sightings; Army physical training attire and shoes!
Photos sourced from mindef.gov.sg and sgforums.com
With everyone bitten by the wanderlust bug, travelling is fast becoming a trend that is here to stay. And, this is where your sturdy NS gear will help save greatly. More durable than Samsonite, they can save you a bundle while backpacking which means more disposable cash for your trip! With the Chinese New Year just days away, it will definitely be less of a hassle to pack for your holiday trip if you fall back on your trusted NS gear.
So, what specific NS items should you fish out of storage? We walk you through the 10 items that will have your back while on your travels!
10 Essential NS Travel Accessories
Ali Baba bag/ Field Pack
Sturdy and strong; The Field Pack and Ali Baba Bag
Photos sourced from forums.sgclub.com and noelboyd.com
First off, let’s get choose which bag for your travels. If you intend to go light, then opt for the green field pack. With enough space for five fully filled zip-lock bags, it is more than enough space for a backpacking adventure. If the field pack can survive the great outdoors during field camp, it can survive anything.
However if it’s a full fledge shopping vacation, then go with the vast Ali Baba bag. Complete with mobile wheels, this black duffel bag is essential the Doraemon pouch of luggage bag! If a NSF can fit an entire week’s worth of stuff into that bag for book-ins, it can hold any souvenirs you can get your hands on.
Singlet & Shorts
Photo sourced from mindef.gov.sg
There is a reason why people love army singlets and shorts. Not only is the material extremely breathable, we are sure that we are all proud of the units we served in! Ideal as sleep ware, one set is enough to tide you over for a week. A word of caution, this might not work on a winter vacation! You have been warned.
New Balance Shoes
Probably one of the most comfortable pair of sports shoes ever, your New Balance should be firmly on your feet from start to finish. With walking a prominent part of any holiday, it is crucial to have your feet cradle comfortably whether be it on the plane or the cobbled stone path of Lisbon!
Gore-Tex Boots & Garters
These boots were made for walking and more...
Photo sourced from nicholaschan.sg
Heading for an adventure holiday? Planning to trek through the Amazonian rainforest or scale the peaks of Nepal? Then, you are going to need some serious protection from the harsh elements. Especially for your feet! Not only are the heavy duty Gore-Tex boots water-resistant, they are incredibly light to boot (pun intended). Thus, saving you precious strength for the other obstacles ahead!
Gore-Tex Jacket/Jungle Scarf
Combat the cold with Gore-Tex!
Photos sourced from ebay.com
Heading to cooler climates on your travel? Expecting lashings of rain? Then, the Gore-Tex jacket deserved a spot in your travel bag. The durable coat will protect you from the cold and rain while keeping you as dry as a bone. What’s more, you can match it with complimenting jungle scarf for that ‘European’ look.
Swiss Army Knife
All the blades you need under one roof!
Photo sourced from multipurposetoolssg.blogspot.sg
How many times have you struggled to find a pair of scissors or knife during your vacation? Whether be it cutting open a defective ketchup packet or fending off robbers (kidding), this versatile tool is a must bring item for any seasoned traveller.
Skeletal Battle Order (SBO)
Your wearable water bottle; The SBO
Photo sourced from militaryphotos.net
Too lazy to lug a water bottle around? Do you think that the man-pouch is a travesty to men’s fashion? Then, we got the ideal solution for you. Take on your walking vacation with your camo print SBO on you. The inbuilt water reservoir makes it almost effortless for you to have a sip of water. Plus the multiple compartments allow you store all your travel documents and cash! Besides, no one will mess with a dude in green!
Looking good... Even beyond our shores
Photo sourced from hockgiftshop.com
Got the sun in your eye? Then, get some shelter while looking stylish with a pair of Oakley-esque army sunglasses. Be prepared for flashes of flirtation as you make your way through any city.
Look smart with a beret
Photo sourced from varusteleka.com
Adopt a Parisian fashion sense and don your beret as you make your way up the Eiffel Tower! Look in the vogue and toss that boring cap, you might turn a few heads as you sit people-watching in the cafes around Paris. Plus, it protects your scalp from the blistering sun! In addition, don't forget to remove your crest if you are using it as a civilian.
Combat Ear Plugs
Gain a peace of mind with your ear plugs!
Photo sourced from ebay.co.uk
Plane rides are never fun. Confined in a narrow space, the misery is even worst when it is a trans-continental flight. Adding to the mayhem, you do not want to have the wailing cries of nearby infants ringing in your ears as you try to snooze through the flight. This is when you will be glad that you packed those combat ear plugs that will shut out all surrounding noise. This priceless peace of mind can be the difference between cranky and happy.
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