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Army Surplus and Outdoor Pursuits

Army, Navy, Air Force Surplus. New and Used Clothing. Military items. Camping and outdoor pursuits. Adventure and Training.

Updated: 2014-10-06T19:06:45.571-07:00


Military Clothing


In the early days of warfare the clothing was bright and used to unify the soldiers creating a smart and tight team feel to the military. Then as war became more tactical and less barbaric it became obvioius that to be successful camouflage was needed. In the mid 1800’s the British Army dyed their red coats a khaki color to be less visible when fighting in India. A step was made away from the bright peacock like uniform and a move towards stealth was created.

It was in the beginning of the 20th century that Britain and the United States converted to a khaki military wear.

It was the first two world wars which had a huge impact on the military and the funding in military equipment and clothing. Military camouflage material was being made in large volumes on the back of this investment and was mainly being used for shelter cover but soon became popular throughoutt he whole military clothing spectrum in World War Two. Some of the main patterns used in camouflage included swamp,blotchy, striped,spotted, barred Palm, Pea patterns and also Mimetic Cloth.

Both the US and the British made good use of camouflage clothing using them as their uniforms as standard. They were similar, although the British had their own research unit of which the famed magician Jasper Maskelyne work in. The clothing was used for all environments. Each environment requires a different pattern and also depending on the weather sometimes an alternative cloth. The US military have a very large array of camoflauge attire and changed their uniforms between every conflict since the Revolutionary War until World War One.

Vietnam and jungle warfare

Vietnam enforced a great change in the pattern and design of the Amercan uniforms as a result of the environment. This was the first time the tiger stripe pattern that was used for the infamous Green Berets. Being such a successful camoflauge it lead to the whole army taking it on as their standard uniform.

It was in 1980 when velcro was introduced to the military uniform. It did not last too long however as it was feared that the ripping noise using it would reveal the locations of troops when on operations.

During the Vietnam War, many soldiers, Marines and airmen wore flak armor vests to protect from shrapnel. They would not protect from bullets, were uncomfortable, heavy and bulky which made the troops hot. Most of them would either use them to sit on or wear them without shirts when in helicopters.

Military clothing in the desert

The ACU uniform in America was produced in response to the Gulf War. This uniform was aimed at being more comfortable and also allowing for more armor. Pockets were moved from the chest area and placed on the arms to allow for body armor. This was because homemade close range explosions were anticipated. This is a great example of the military being responsive to environemnts that own unique threats.

Hiking and back packing foot wear guide


Selecting Hiking Boots

You will find some people hiking in any shoes when they are not sure what they are doing, but it is important to wear the correct foot wear when treking over any abnormal terrane. Hiking boots secure your foot into place a lot more so there is less friction and not as much rubbing. Also being water proof you are better equipt through snow and streams. Waterproof boots without a separate tongue are great as they protect your foot up to the top of the laces. Look out for breathable boots as if they are waterproof but not beathable then it will feel like you are wearing trash bags on your feet. Hiking boots come in both high and low tops. If you are climbing over rocks where your feet are twisting you will need more support so go for the high tops, otherwise you are prone to spraining an ankle.

When trying on your boots try wearing two socks as you may need to wear these in extra cold climates. When tying your laces make then really tight but not so you are cutting of the circulation and always use the metal braces.If you are able to, try to walk down a steep surface forwards, making sure that your toes are not crammed into the end.

Take an old pair of running shoes with you as when you get to the base camp you are going to want to give your feet a break from the hardcore hiking boots. Running shoes can come in handy when you are running out of day light and need to get back to your camp. You can also do quite well in them if you are forced to hike in them.


Socks are really important as with the wrong pair leading to severe blisters can stop you from walking altogether. The regularly used hiking socks used to be made of wool , but as wool does not dry very quickly synthetic wool has been developed. They are very warm, dry fast and prevent blisters. As your foot health is so important when hiking it is a good idea to take many pairs, perhaps one for each day. Never opt for a cheap pair as the better the quality the less likely it is you are going to create sores and blisters.
For a range of decent hiking and back packing boots you can visit

The essentials for Hiking


When you are intending to go hiking it is essential to know something about surviving in the wild. Just a bit of knowledge and a few items can mean avoiding an stressful ordeal in the woods or not even coming back. This quick guide is aimed at giving you the basic techniques and survival tips to help keep you safe when hiking in the wilderness.

Items needed when packing a hiking survival kit

Tinder: this is not the most important item within your kit but I would recommend it as timber, kept dry in a air sealed pack, will always gaurantee you a fast start to making a fire. If you do not pack this you can always use scrunged up bark.

Headlamp or flash light.

Compass: a crucial part of survival as without it you could end up going round in circles. Sense of direction is essential for finding your orientering your way out of a lost scenario.

Whistle: This is one of the most important items in your kit. Three loud blasts of a whistle is the call for help. Make sure you cover your ears when using as you can easily damange them.

Lighting material: A lighter is good but remember if the flint on it is wet it is useless. Matches is the best option inside a waterproof container with a stricker (cut one out from a match box)

String: Very basic but really usefull for tying things down and making a nooses, you never know when you may need it. Take at least 2 meters.

Medical kit: Either a small or large kit. A small kit would be in a plastic air sealed bag and consist of the following items; paracetamol; eye wash; small and large plasters; antiseptic fluid. The larger kits you can buy are good for their instructions which can help you treat wounds you have no previous knowledge of.

Making a camp fire.

Fire is the most important element when surviving in an environment.

You must always use dry wood for creating a fire, the best way to test for this apart from feeling it is to bend the wood. If the wood snaps then its good, else find some other.

Place two handfulls of dry small twigs over one handful of scrunched up dry bark, or timber if you have some. Then place several meduim twigs over the top. Always start off with small pieces of wood as large logs will just sufficate the fire and it’s important for the fire to breath.

Light what you have already laid down then add the larger pieces of wood as the fire gets going. A great alternative to using matches is a fire starter. Once you have lit the fire continue to add further larger pieces of dry wood in a criss cross formation to allow for room under the sticks to draw in air which will help fuel the fire. If you do not have any lighting equipment please read our other articles on making fire from no man made materials.

For great value, durable outdoor wear Army Surplus online store is hard to beat


Army surplus stores have a long history in the UK, first becoming popular after the second world war when there was a huge surplus of military items which offered civilians value for money and durable clothing.
The popularity of the stores continues today and Army Surplus has moved with the times, selling its wide range of genuine army surplus online.
Based in Saltash, Cornwall, the company sells military surplus from boots and clothing to tools and knives, as well as camping and adventure sports equipment.

All their items are genuine Navy, RAF and Army items sourced from a single MOD contractor of military surplus items.

Ex military clothing and footwear are extremely tough and durable, ideal for outdoor activity, camping, hiking and for keeping out the elements.
Shop from the comfort of your own home by browsing their web site at

There is a wide range of great value clothing, which includes tough, durable army boots, trousers, jackets, shirts, jumpers, many in camouflage style and a range of accessories including belts, braces and scarves.
Clothing is graded so that customers know they are receiving the best quality items.
You can also browse an excellent range of practical gifts and gadgets such as tools, Maglites, torches, binoculars and compasses.
The website accepts all major credit cards and most orders are delivered within three to five working days.

For those seeking particular items, Army Surplus is only too happy to help and will attempt to source it on their customer’s behalf.

They can be contacted on 0844 251 0359 or by filling in a form on the website.