I am very conscientious about being prepared, having the right tools for every situation and knowing that nothing can catch me off-guard. So, I always take my tactical gear with me when camping in the woods or going about my outdoor activities to ensure that I am always prepared for multiple worst-case scenarios. But what are the most important tactical to own for improving your chances of survival and defense? I decided to do a little digging.
What tactical gear should I have? The best tactical gear is a small collection of multi-functional tools that help you in surviving and thriving through challenging and unplanned scenarios outdoors, at home, anywhere.
Must-have tactical gear should be multi-functional and easy to pack and transport. But here’s the catch – when picking the right tactical tools, the line gets blurry as to which is best for self-defense, training, hunting, camping, etc. This is most often the case, and this article identifies those tactical tools that are best suited for every purpose.
We will explore what is the best combo of portable survival gear and tools.
Top Tactical Tools to Own
If you are going hard-core tactical then you need the optimal combo of outdoors tools and items that complete each other in terms of functionality without becoming redundant. The aim is to reduce weight overhead, travel light and fast – so we don’t pack too many unnecessary items.
Excellent preparation begets success; hence, most people want to own a survivalist’s carrying pack. But why is a tactical backpack necessary? Well, a tactical backpack is one of the most comfortable, durable, and sturdy bags you will ever see, and it makes a lot of sense to buy one.
These bags are designed for difficult situations, even war, and they are highly functional. You can use them to efficiently secure and store your stuff for a long time. There are different kinds of tactical backpacks depending on the type of activity: hunting, travel, and range backpacks.
As a hunter, you already know that escalating difficult terrain and tracking your catch is never a child’s play. You need to be prepared with the best equipment, so you don’t strain your feet or back after an unfruitful hunt. Hunting backpacks include features such as a hidden gun holster, water bottle pockets, and even rifle & crossbow holders, and ammo packs. This pack will enhance your survival, speed, and endurance.
A travel backpack is ideal for habitual hikers, nature lovers, and all those who enjoy long-distance walking through the wilderness. It boasts of functional features such as roomy compartments, adjustable, padded shoulder straps, and breathable back-support.
If you play paintball or practice at the gun range, you’ll love the convenient range backpacks which have various compartments for shells, guns, and stuff like helmet and goggles.
I can assure you that no matter what you’re doing or where you are traveling, you are going to need a flashlight. You need a tactical flashlight that has several useful features: long battery life, and efficient energy consumption.
The torch will be very bright, lightweight, and compact – easy to carry and wield single-handedly. Most of these products have a rechargeable battery, a hip-holster, and a charger.
Versatile survival boots are another must-have gear-set that shouldn’t be missing from your toolbox. Whatever you do, be it hunting, camping, walking, gardening, you’ll surely enjoy the benefits of wearing a pair of tactical boots.
These are comfortable and provide great ankle support. Additionally, they are light, durable, and nice on the joints while running. Quite silent, as well!
Especially important for traveling through rough terrain and hiking because they keep your ankles stiff, reducing the risk of sprain and injury, which can be life-threatening if you are alone in the wilderness. I have seen even products with a waterproof lining to improve comfort.
This is an essential tactical item to which I can attest to. My knives are a cherished possession, and they have helped me in numerous situations, in the smallest ways you can hardly imagine: opening beer bottles and tuna cans, hijacking a damaged lock, etc.
Folding knives are ideal for handling various challenging situations that require a finer touch. These types of knives are compact, lightweight, and can easily fit into your back pocket.
Plus, the robust blade of tactical folding knives will enable you to cut through some of the toughest materials you encounter in your daily activities. They have a sharp edge, and their folding mechanism is fail-safe, so you won’t hurt your fingers when using the blade.
Pocked jackets, face shields, bulletproof vests, and protective eyewear are tactical clothing items that shield your body in harsh, hot or cold, wet or dry environments. Pick your gear according to local weather conditions – your tactical clothing selection greatly depends on the mission.
I hate to pretend I am a hardened soldier skirmishing enemy territory, but this is a great analogy to explain the basic concept: When dealing with dangerous situations in which you willingly place yourself to test your limits, act wisely and prepare for the worst.
Rather than strapping any old vest, get an amazing utility belt that you can easily carry around for your day-to-day activities without drawing much attention. The essence of tactical clothing is not only to protect you from threats such as knife attacks and gunshots but to make life easier as well.
Survival & outdoor clothing is meant for safety, albeit not necessarily from dangerous individuals – rather from nature.
What are the Advantages of Using Tactical Gear?
Tactical gear is not just for the military, law enforcement, or EMTs – it is also ideal for survivalists, hunters, and regular everyday citizens. Those who use tactical gear whether, for their profession, hobbies or daily activities can tell you how it has significantly improved their lives.
This type of gear is great for personal development and it teaches you to be tougher. First, you are required to learn a thing or two about hostile environment awareness: hostage situations, kidnappings, violent protest conflicts, and street escalation, etc. These topics often come up in my talks with “tactical nerds” and it is helpful to understand each situation individually to stay out of harm’s way!
Secondly, you learn about how to survive in the wilderness, how to use your gear, and there is quite a lot about improvisation and creativity.
Thirdly, most tactical survival courses have a useful and practical section on providing first aid to individuals in need.
With proper tactical gear, you can adequately prepare yourself to protect your family while enjoying the outdoors or hunting. Ensure your success in tough situations! Pick an item from the list above, and you will see how much it improves your game and makes everything more convenient, safer, and easier.
What Should I Consider When Purchasing Tactical Gear?
Now that you understand why you need this gear, you should consider several factors while purchasing such items. I am a hard-headed buyer, so I take my time to carefully study any product of interest before making an investment.
Price and Quality
You can get excellent tactical gear, and at a budget-friendly price. When you research, ensure that the product you want to purchase is of top-quality materials: durable, robust, practical, and comfortable.
So, your goal should be to find top-quality products at affordable prices.
For instance, when investing in tactical boots, you want to make sure that they increase your comfort when walking, hiking or working in rugged environments. They should have an outsole that can grip the ground irrespective of conditions.
Choosing tactical tools and clothing is primarily about understanding weight and thickness. Weight is a critical factor as it can hinder movement speed and wear you down. Traveling through the wilderness is hard enough, so don’t make it more difficult by adding 20 extra pounds of useless weight.
The idea is to purchase lightweight items, multi-functional tools, high-insulative clothing, and a comfy backpack… Anything to make your trip easier and your movement lighter.
What Do You Put in a Tactical Backpack?
Packing your backpack appropriately depends on your mission and destination. It is crucial to pack everything you need but don’t overwhelm yourself: start with a proper backpack, with wide and soft shoulder-straps to reduce the pressure exerted on your back and neck.
Carrying a heavy load that way for an entire day will put enormous strain on your neck and shoulder muscles. So why go through all that trouble? The wilderness is a ruthless adversary, so don’t make it harder than it must be!
The specific mission demands should determine your backpack content. Most top-quality packs have amazing features like zippered outer pockets, roomy storage area, water-repellent coating, internal hydration compartment, reinforced grab-and-go handles, external compression straps, interior mesh pockets, and a MOLLE webbing platform.
After investing in a high-quality backpack, you might be wondering what to fill it with? Here is a list of the basic things you need to stash inside:
- First aid kit.
- Personal hygiene items.
- Food, especially high-protein snacks & energy boosters.
- Water-filled container.
- Tools (survival knife, compass, map, radio, machete, rope).
In case you are planning on taking a long hike which involves spending a night in the open, then I would include these essentials on my priority list:
- Thicker clothing.
- Defense items: peppers spray, taser, etc.
- Communication equipment (cell phone, radio, GPS).
- Flashlight and batteries.
- Shelter wrap (insulative sheath and rope).
- Fire-starting kit.
What Should I Carry Every Day?
Every-day-carry (EDC) are small, portable, but highly functional tools or items that can provide a quick solution to most day-to-day problems (that can occur out of the blue).
I consider these items lifesavers! Having the right tools at hand can relieve you of many unexpected and dangerous situations: running out of gas in the middle of nowhere, saving a life from drowning, surviving a kidnapping scenario, a mugging, etc.
EDC doesn’t necessarily imply only tools such as a pocket-knife or pepper spray. Anything of real-world use can easily fit into this category: a list of emergency phone numbers in case your phone is stolen, a GPS tracker if you get lost or kidnapped.
Wow, we went through quite a few topics. But there many questions beginners might have about tactical tools and preparedness. Let’s see if we can shed some light on the most asked questions:
Are there tactical weapons? In truth, there is no such thing as a “tactical weapon” because every weapon is tactical. However, there are better weapon choices for different situations and jobs. The essence of tactical weapons is to aid your survival and safety, to protect yourself and find quick solutions to unexpected situations. When you add any weapon to your tactical gear, it becomes a tactical weapon. Some of the best weapons include handguns, shotguns, semi-auto rifles, brass knuckles, pepper spray, pocket knives, etc. But I would consider all of these viable options for outdoors, or as EDC.
Just to make things clear: In military slang, “tactical weapon” commonly refers to ballistic missiles and nukes.
What are the best tactical clothing options for my gear? Tactical clothing is built for tough jobs and to withstand extreme measures. This kind of clothing is designed with comfort and utility in mind so that you can wear them for long durations of time. These clothing options include:
Wear-resistant pants, sturdy boots with great ankle support, concealment shirts, insulating & water-proof jackets, thick gloves, protective headwear, multi-functional belts, and tactical eyewear.
The impressive part about tactical gear is that most of the items will aid you in your day-to-day activities. Have fun, be prepared and stay safe!
I discovered that there is no better feeling than being ready and prepared for unforeseen scenarios. It gives you a sense of self-confidence that is hard to fake otherwise. If you had the options between being a harmless sheep and a dangerous wolf, which one would you choose? Ask yourself which one are you now? Choose to be strong!
Many thanks to the artists who were kind enough to freely share their work:
- Photo “Streamlight ProTac HL Flashlight ” by Tony Webster.