The shinai is a practice sword made of four bamboo slats and is required by kendoka. It is used for both drill practice and fencing itself. Shinai must be properly maintained in order to keep them good working order and prevent injury or accident.
Bokuto are used for suburi, kihon bokuto waza, and kata practice. The tachi is the "longsword" and the kodachi is the "short-sword". While both will eventually be required only the tachi is needed at first.
There is a specific method of wearing your uniform in kendo. While there will be subtle differences between dojos, the general method is the same from one to the next.
As with wearing your uniform, there is a general method used to fold the uniform. Folding the uniform properly is necessary to keeping it in good condition.
Bogu is the armor worn while sparring. It consists of four parts: the men (helmet), kote (gloves), the do (body armor), and the tare (waist protector).