Space on a submarine is a premium, with its small size and compact quarters. In addition, the classified nature of a majority of the vessel puts significant restrictions on what can be brought on board.
What you Should Bring
- Toiletries – Enough for the deployment, Good rule of thumb 1 ½ times the length of the deployment.
- 10-14 Sets of Underwear
- 14-21 Pairs of Socks
- 6 Blue t-shirts
- 6 pairs of coveralls – this is the standard uniform of the day while underway
- PT gear
- 2 pairs of shower shoes
- 2-3 towels
- Uniforms as required by command. (dress whites etc)
- Personal electronics and chargers (more on this in what you can’t bring)
- Laptop computers, MP3 players, headphones (noise-canceling recommended)
- Camera for taking pictures on liberty/port stops. You may not take pictures in the submarine itself without approval, violation of this is a bad thing, do not do it.
- Portable hard drives, you will not have internet access so whatever movies, music, ebooks, etc will be on that hard drive
- Charging equipment for electronics.
- Laundry bag
- 2 pairs of civilian clothing
- Sneakers – can be worn with coveralls as “quiet shoes”
Remember, you have limited space to fit everything.
What you Should NOT Bring
Cell phones are not allowed onboard submarines. Do not bring one. Also, nothing that cannot be stowed either under your rack, which has limited space or if you have access to a locker. Also E-readers or anything with an always-on internet connection, Photos are not allowed due to security concerns. The Navy has an E-reader that is given to submarine crews and preloaded with books. Your laptop/tablet can also download e-books but an internet connection will not be available.
Additional Items to Consider
- Cash, bring cash because some places for leave will not take credit cards
- snacks/drink mixes
- Flashlight (look for red light options)
Berthings are very compact, only the Captain and XO have their own staterooms. The CO and XO share a head and the XO has an additional bunk for a passenger. The next roomiest goes to officers who are three to a stateroom. Enlisted personnel may be required to “hot bunk” Which is sharing a bunk and not getting your own bunk. Privacy is at a premium on a submarine, you will not have much privacy.