Military Surplus: The Best Kept Secret When Shopping For College
Along with the paperwork, emotions, and goodbyes associated with moving away to school, one of the things that gives incoming freshmen the most anxiety is getting all your shopping done for things like furniture and storage options. Instead of elbowing your way to the last decent-sized plastic trash can or struggling to find a good looking winter coat that doesn’t break the bank, try skipping the lines at the big box stores in favor of a less traditional destination: the military surplus store.
Five Star Storage
Way too many incoming freshmen fall into the neutral luggage and storage camp, filling their rooms with white plastic bins and black baggage. In order to stand out from the crowd while nailing the functional storage game, try the army/navy surplus store. One of the most stocked places at any military surplus store is the storage section, with pieces like duffel bags, trunks, and even ammo boxes for magazines and books. For something personal, there’s always a great selection of key chains or carabiners available at these stores, too.
Warm Clothes and Blankets
In terms of clothes, if vintage military is your look, then going authentic with clothes straight from the army surplus will earn you some serious points in the style category. Even if you’re not a big fan of old-school military clothes, you can’t deny that the army and navy know what they’re doing when designing cold weather gear. Pea coats and parkas are classics, and an old-school watch cap looks good on anyone. Another thing that’s great to find at these stores is big, thick wool blankets for when the mercury drops, especially if you go to a Northern school or anywhere that gets chilly at night.
The world of dorm snacks is filled with ramen and cheap candy for many incoming freshmen. Bucking this trend not only makes it look like you thought of everything, but also means you’ll be better fed. A classic is the MRE (Meal, Ready-to-Eat) which is great when you’re on-the-go or in a hurry, since it’s a full meal once you pour some water in the pouch. Energy bars are also common at military surplus stores, and you know they’ll be the real deal, not some candy bar in disguise from the supermarket or vending machine. Also keep an eye out for a good water bottle, which any college student will tell you is a necessity when you’re running in between classes and dying of thirst.