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Military Surplus Stores



Military surplus stores seem to have gone the way of the Dodo. When I was a teenager much of my wardrobe was military surplus – field jacket, fatigue cap, ever my “dress” winter coat was a button-festooned Navy Peacoat.

I was at a sprawling military surplus store yesterday, buying heavy duty netting poles for a friend’s hammock stand.


It was heaven on earth outfitting and project needs. They had 100mph tape, paracord in multiple thicknesses in everything from 50 lengths to full spools, milspec tent and tarp stakes and more bizarre European military stuff than I ever imagined existed, from Italian field kitchens to wool shirts and pants from all over.

It’s hard to not buy stuff I don’t need when surrounded by such an array. I don’t have a need for a Pelican Case, but they had US milspec Pelican boxes in perfect condition in several sizes. I couldn’t pass up a 10x6x4 ID Pelican box (AN/PAQ-4C LIGHT, Aiming, Infrared, followed by a whole buncha numbers) for $19.95.

That’s an $80 case. I’ll find something to put in it.

Coleman’s is on the east side of the Susquehanna, about 30 miles north of Harrisburg in the middle of farm fields nowhere.

Another good brick & mortar military surplus store is Saigon Sam’s (3 locations near Jacksonville NC around the sprawl of Camp Lejeune)


Got a favorite brick & mortar military surplus store? I like stopping by paddleshops to break up road trips, and might add military surplus stores to the potential intermediate destinations.
Jul 31, 2011
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Aberdeen, MD
Coleman's has a good rep with the bushcrafting community as well. i'm fortunate to be located near a military base, so we still have a couple surplus places, but they're not as big or as nice as Coleman's.
Jun 12, 2012
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Appleton, Maine
There's a Military Surplus Store on Main Street in Saratoga Springs, NY. I picked up heavy foreign wool pants for both my sons when they needed to be outfitted for their first season of deer hunting, I saved a ton, the pants weighed a ton, but they kept them warm.
I picked a bunch of those MK2 Lantern Bags for them also, great for fishing or hunting.