NS Packing List with a twist of tech. Not sure what to bring to NS, this techie’s guide will help you get through these 2 years in hell easier…or rather less difficult

So you have received your pink enlistment letter, the one that you have been dreading for the past few months. It’s going to be 2 years of hell, where they claim that you will emerge stronger. But first, you need to survive BMT. This NS Packing List will cover all things tech that you will need to bring to survive.

3G soldier
Sorry, but you won’t look so cool

I’m sure, as kiasu Singaporeans, you would have asked your seniors on how the training is like, how the food tastes, and more importantly, what you need to bring. We’ll be going over the last point in detail.


The Most Powerful Weapon

With effect from September 2014, BMTC has allowed all smartphones with camera. However, no photos are to be taken in all SAF premises, and phones are subjected to spot checks (no explicit images please).

Contrary to popular belief, there is no longer any screen size limitation. That said, think of the consequences before you bring in a tablet and claim that you make calls with it.

For those who own a phone with a MicroSD slot, MicroSD cards are allowed provided they are installed in your phones and not removed.

Finally, I would recommend that you do not bring a phone that is too expensive, since they would likely be spoilt more easily or even stolen (in rare cases).

Portable Chargers

Xiaomi power bank
More Important Than Combat Ration

For safety reasons, most, if not all, companies prohibit the usage of wall chargers. Only portable power banks are allowed.

Considering that your first confinement period can last up to 3 weeks (2 weekends), we would definitely recommend that you obtain a charger that can charge your phone about 3-5 times.

Kiasu Singaporeans can bring more than one Powerbank. Bringing additional power may save the lives of your bunkmates and you’ll become the star of your company.

For a quick and cheap deal, head over to Xiaomi’s Lazada store and pick up a 20,000 mAh powerbank, for about S$40, and perhaps another for your friends.

Remember that when shopping online, you can use Shopback to get cashback on your purchase.

On a side note, USB cables are allowed for charging.

Mobile Plan

Singapore telcos
3G Soldiers, Why Not 4G?

We know. You will miss your girlfriend, your friends and your family. You will want to snapchat with them, whatsapp them, and call them. So you need a one-size-fit-all plan.

One option, if you bought your own phone, is to consider the SIM only plans from the local telcos. Coming in as low as $20 for 3GB of data + 2GB Singtel WiFi, or $30 for 5GB of pure data + 300 mins calls + 1000 SMS/MMS, these plans are more than sufficient for the occasional user.

NSFs also get additional 1GB data, unlimited SMS/MMS and free campus / camp calls, but that is if you sign up for a regular plan that I would forsee setting you back by at least $40 for the light user.

If you are a Starhub user, the Youth Perk gives you extra 2GB of data for the 4G 3 plan and 3GB of extra data for the 4G 4 plan which gives you a total of 4GB and 6GB of mobile data respectively.

Ah Boys to Men
Huh? Data Burst Already?

Finally, you can choose to go the Easy Mobile route, and by relying on WhatsApp for both calls and texts, you can end up saving a lot of “units” in exchange for data.

One more thing: Snapchat is not allowed, because no photos are to be taken in camp. Oops.


If you would like some private time to relax in army, why not pop a pair of earphones and listen to some music? We would recommend the portable earbuds as compared to a pair of audiophile headphones, for obvious reasons.

Sennheiser CX earphones

While a pair of Apple Airpods or the Samsung counterpart would work well enough, if you are an audiophile, you might consider the Sennheiser CX 300 II.


Casio watch for army
Your Best Bet

In case you are waiting for me to recommend a gold plated Apple Watch, no. A Casio F-91W is the one you should get, and it can be found for around S$20.

It’s got an always-on display, smart features like an alarm clock and a stopwatch, as well as an LED back light. It is also water resistant and dust proof.

Most importantly, if you ever manage to break it, it wouldn’t be as painful as breaking your Apple Watch.

Lifestyle devices

PlayStation Portable
Allowed, But Not Recommended

All other lifestyle devices (eg Amazon Kindle) are not allowed unless its screen size is less than 4.3 inches. Well, I guess PSP is fine. But do you really have the energy to continue playing after a tough training? I doubt so.

Here’s wishing you all the best in protecting the nation with your life.

ORD loh!

What did you think about our NS Packing List? Got anything else you might want to add? Let us know in the comments below!

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