Minimum North Vietnamese Army Kit
The purpose of this guide is to help you purchase equipment to pass the 10ft rule standards held by Broken Arrow Event’s staff at Operation Junction City or similar events. Please notice that this is based on a kit that meets the MINIMUM requirements to attend. We prefer and advise to buy original or high quality reproductions if your budget allows to do so. With creativity, the NVA kit can be completed fairly cheap.
After World War II, the communist Viet Minh and later the People’s Army of Vietnam of the North based their helmet design on the French pith helmet of the former colonial power and adopted it as their own. Pith helmets were issued to NVA soldiers so it’s just as common as a boonie.
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NVA Boonie Hat:
The style of the NVA boonie differs from other types and styles of boonie hats, especially the American styles of the era. They were built using panels that you’d see on a beach ball sewn into each other from the brim to the top. They come in all types of colors, tan, green and even some camo patterns. Moores and Combat Sports Supply have variants of this hat for $25.
Moores Militaria: CLICK HERE
Combat Sports Supply: CLICK HERE
Conical Rice Hat:
Known as rice hats, farmers hats or coolie hat, these are worn by the populace in Asian countries to protect from the harsh sun. The Viet Cong and NVA as much as movies want you to believe, did not go marching into battle wearing them. If you show up wearing a conical hat, ready to fight, your cadre will ask you to remove them. They will have a use throughout the operation though.
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The cheapest and easiest options for an NVA soldier would be dickies work shirts and pants, in tan. They can be found on amazon for decent prices. With a little dirt they look pretty good.
Dickies Work Pants on Amazon: CLICK HERE
Dickies Work Shirt on Amazon: CLICK HERE
An honorable mention is this site called Vietnam Surplus. They sell a full Green NVA kit for about $38.99. We never ordered from them but the outfit looks pretty good. In fact they have a lot of nice items for an impression. CLICK HERE
We don’t expect you to wear sandals. Though there are some hard core participants that have worn them, we understand wanting to keep your toenails. One option for NVA footwear are USGI jungle boots. A little history lesson reveals that the US did indeed drop these into the jungles for them to be picked up for the NVA and VC. This was intended to mask the tracks of LRRP teams operating in the area. Most economic options are post war boots since they haven’t changed much and aren’t too expensive, around $50 on eBay or surplus sites. The best answer for saving money though are Rothco’s or Fox’s repro. They do have a bad reputation about being flimsy and uncomfortable. They do the job and most people we know that do use them haven’t had a problem with them. They will run you about $30-$40.
eBay Search: CLICK HERE
Repros on Amazon: CLICK HERE
PLA or Paladium Boots:
The standard issue boot for the NVA were similar to Paladium boots. They are sort of look like Converse sneakers. You can also get the new and now trendy Paladium boots for about $40. On eBay for about $25 is a pair of Chinese PLA 65 boots. They are fantastic, comfortable and quiet.
Type 65 PLA Boots on eBay: CLICK HERE
Paladium Boots on eBay: CLICK HERE
Load Bearing Equipment:
A chicom chest rig costs anywhere from $15-$25. Make sure it is the 3-cell type not the type 81 four cell though. These were designed to carry AK47 banana shaped magazines. Depending on your rifle, an SKS rig could be more appropriate. Those are even cheaper than chicom rigs usually.
3-Cell Chicom Chest Rig on eBay: CLICK HERE
SKS Chest Rig on eBay: CLICK HERE
There aren’t many choices when it comes to PAVN rucksacks. You could go with the NVA rucksack for anywhere from $20-$50. Or you can make something homemade. You could get creative and make something out of a basket or a canvas sack.
eBay Search for NVA Rucks: CLICK HERE
The PAVN forces had a wide range of weapons to choose from. From the AK47 to the Mosin Nagant to American WW2 weapons. Listed is the CYMA AK47 but there are more expensive options like Tommy Guns, MP40s or PPSHs. Browning BARs are a good choice as well. Again, this guide is for the cheapest possible kit and currently the CYMA AK47s are the best rifle for the price. Also as a streamlined unit, you’d most likely have an AKM or AK47.
AK47 or AKM:
One of the most produced weapons in the world. There are a few variants that would be found in 1960s Vietnam. CYMA AK47s are great shooters and can be found relatively inexpensively.
The basic AK47 mags that are all black and not the newer orange/brown type are the ones you need.
Airsoft GI Magazine Pack: CLICK HERE
Basic NVA Kit Pricing
- NVA Boonie Hat: $25
- Tan NVA Uniform (Dickies): $35
- PLA Type 65 Boots: $25
- Chicom: $20
- NVA Rucksack: $30*
- AK47 Rifle: $100^
- 5 Magazines: $40
- Total: $230-$300
- *homemade is free
- ^on sale for $69