The following is a guest submission from the folks at TYR Tactical, a supplier of high quality, lightweight tactical equipment.
How to Take Care of Your Tactical Gear
Getting the most value for your money is more important than ever, and extending the life of your tactical gear is much more important than replacing the gear and buying new stuff all over again. After all, the majority of tactical gear is costly and, as a result, should be cared for as well as possible. But how do you take care of your tactical gear? Do you know how to care for your armor and your boots? Have your knives lost their shininess and become inadvertently dull because you failed to take the time to care for them?
If so, here are a handful of pro-active tips that can assist you in helping to maintain the integrity of your tactical gear.
Body Armor - Ensure that your armor stays clean and dry when not in use, and store it out of direct sunlight. It is highly advisable that you store it lying flat, not bunched up or curled over; therefore, make sure that it is flat if you are storing it in your trunk or on the backseat of your car. Try to keep it separate from other items in your trunk so that nothing slides around or hits it. In addition, try to make sure that nothing is left resting on top of it.
When cleaning your body armor, there are a few key things to take into consideration.
- Do not machine wash or use chemical products, such as bleaches or fabric softeners.
- Take out the different removable panels from the carrier (special threat plates, trauma inserts and armor panels), and carefully wipe them down with a damp sponge and a combination of mild laundry detergent and tepid water.
- Wipe off excess liquid and then also spot-wash the carrier and allow it to air dry on a flat surface before replacing the panels.
Furthermore, do not dry your carrier in a clothes dryer or in direct sunlight, and never leave it immersed in standing water for long periods of time. Always check that each panel is put back with the “strike face” side facing opposite your body.
Boots - When it comes to tactical boot care, getting your boots wet on a consistent basis will probably cause the most damage over time. Therefore, when your boots get wet, it is wise to take out the insoles and let them air dry naturally as soon as possible, preferably somewhere flat. Most washing machines will get banged up inside if you attempt to wash heavy boots so, if you do not have access to an industrial washing machine, it is best to hand wash them yourself.
Remove the shoelaces, wipe away any loose dirt from the sides and soles of each boot with a damp sponge, and then clean the nylon inserts with a small brush. After this is done, smear on some all-purpose leather cleaner bit by bit and wipe using circle strokes. After they are dry, you can buff the leather sections with polish. When the sparkle has returned to your boots, replace the shoelaces and insoles. With care and cleaning, your boots can look as new as the day you first received them!
Knives - In due course, any knife will become dull and blunt, especially when used on a day-to-day basis. Cleaning keeps a knife’s performance at its optimum level. In some situations, a dull blade is actually more dangerous than a sharp one, and rust and corrosion will occur if you fail to spend time carrying out proper maintenance. This means that keeping your knife spotless and well-oiled is the best defense against oxidation. If you need your knife sharpened, a professional staff member at a cutlery store can assist you.
To clean your knife, rinse the blade under the tap, making sure that the water removes any loose dirt or crusty residue. Once clean, dry thoroughly and then apply a small amount of oil to the blade – making sure that it does not come into contact with the handle – before polishing to a meticulous shine using a damp towel. You can use gun oil, machine oil, or 3-in-1 oil for this task.
Whether it’s your knives, your boots or your body armor, you must always set some time aside to care for your tactical equipment, so it can continue to function at the high levels of performance you have come to expect over the years. This will guarantee durability, longevity and, most important of all, dependability.
TYR Tactical specializes in ballistic vests, plate carriers, and military backpacks and bags. Our varied inventory also includes adjustable tactical molle pouches, sniper and reconnaissance harnesses, low visibility products, protective equipment, and much more. If you would like more information, please visit us online at www.tyrtactical.com or call 1-888-602-7667.