What were the things that we couldn’t have lived without?
Besides your issue weapon.
The small but oh so important can opener: the P-38. The cook stove, usually the empty cracker can from your C-rations. Of course, the canteen cup. In service since WWII. I wonder if they still issue these? Then, of course, a “church key”, essential to opening the beers and sodas we would get.
Everyone I believe had some kind of heavy duty knife, frequently a Ka Bar or an M-16 bayonet. Too many uses to list, but also employed to open the beers if a church key couldn’t be found.
Needed “beaucoup” canteens, I carried a 5 quart canteen and 3 one quarts. Didn’t have a GI type towel, so this will have to do. Frequently soaked with water and worn around the neck. This wasn’t universal and neither was the bush hat, but I couldn’t have done it without one, especially in the rain.