Military Surplus Every Outdoor Enthusiast Should Own

Those who aren’t in the know about military surplus don’t even realize that they’re missing out. Military surplus isn’t just for the tactical or prepper crowds. Military surplus offers affordable options for anyone who likes to get outside. The quality of surplus gear is often on par with dedicated outdoor brands. If you don’t want to pay top dollar, and you don’t mind subdued colors, military surplus is the way to go. Here are five military surplus items that every outdoor enthusiast should own.

Ammo cans

Ammo cans are virtually indestructible (which is what you’d expect from a box designed to store ammunition). They’re great for storing and organizing your outdoor gear at home, in the adventure rig, or at basecamp.

Ammo cans have a gasket that provides a waterproof and dustproof seal to keep your gear well protected.

Mess kits

Army mess kits won’t replace your ultralight cookset or titanium chopsticks on the trail. They’re too big and they’re too heavy for your ultralight backpacking set up.

However, military mess kits are perfect for car camping, and make for a good emergency backup to keep in the car.


Tarps are incredibly useful, and the big, burly military canvas tarps are built to last. You’d be surprised at just how useful tarps can be. They can be used to make a shelter and protect gear, as a ground cover or windscreen, and more.

BDU Pants

BDUs are rugged, durable pants. Rip-stop fabric helps ensure that they hold up through heavy use and they’re reinforced in high wear areas. BDU pants are not as technical as your favorite pair of hiking pants, but they’re affordable and well made.

They’re a great, durable option for carrying out base camp chores.


Go and get a bivy. Do it right now. A military issue GORE-TEX® bivy is the perfect solo shelter setup. They’re lightweight and compact, and perfect as a main shelter or emergency shelter. Bivies offer weatherproof protection when things get hairy.

Stop by Uncle Sam’s Safari Outfitters and browse our selection of military surplus gear in Northwest Arkansas!

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