No Gucci kit for recruits…. You’re usually required to use Army-issue equipment and clothing during basic recruit training. This experience makes most soldiers aware of its shortcomings, which has spawned a large industry of equipment manufacturers selling equipment of the standard the Army should provide, and equipment that it doesn’t provide (but should).
The famous military philosopher once said: “Any fool can be uncomfortable.” The right equipment, plus the knowledge to use it properly, can make military life much easier and more enjoyable. Food is particularly important: everyone carries curry powder, but the more jacked-up bring small containers of the individual spices plus olive oil…
There is satisfaction in being “well jacked-up”. In my Special Forces unit we competed to be the most jacked-up. I had a tiny aluminium espresso coffee-making device which was a tricky to use but made a lovely smell at times when this didn’t matter. However the slightly self-conscious Para sergeant I once observed cracking previously unbroken eggs into his frying bacon one morning after a night jump, took the top prize…
GSI Mini Espresso Device Review
Around £35 from outdoors stores
A mini espresso maker brews one double shot (2.5 fl. oz.) in 90 seconds. Light, made of aluminum.
Well worth the sighs from others as you produce good coffee on exercise, although because it gets very hot, gloves must be worn to handle it, and care taken to avoid melting plastic mugs. Only use on a flat, firm surface. Scalding coffee will spit from the spout. Test at home before using in the field. The aluminium needs to be blackened off to avoid a slightly metallic taste when first used.