Category Archives: Preparedness

Selecting The Best Tactical Vest

What To Look For When Selecting The Best Tactical Vest?

Summary

Tactical gear should be focused on maintaining a balance between protection, mobility, and comfort. Tactical gear, like a tactical vest, is usually used in perilous circumstances by the police and/or military personnel to protect them and keep equipment at the ready at all times.

In addition to their functionality and organization, the usability of a tactical vest is also very important. There are a few necessary elements to consider by buyers when looking to purchase the right tactical vest.

Tactical Vest

Introduction

Self-protection is an inevitable need for police, military, and preparedness minded personnel. As such, you need to consider a few important things when buying a tactical vest, whether it is for protection, organizing gear, or both. Have a look…

Elements to Consider for an Efficient Tactical Vest

Almost all tactical gear, including the tactical vest, should be evaluated for the three basic functions of usability, mobility, and protection. When looking at these functions in a tactical vest, start by trying to understand the key essentials listed below and how these elements come together to serve as an efficient tactical vest. This understanding will simplify your buying process.

Molle or Not to Molle?

The first question that arises when it comes to buying your tactical vest is whether to MOLLE or not to MOLLE?

The pre-configured tactical vest has a lower initial cost and is typically lightweight. MOLLE vests are primarily known for their versatility and easy customization. Choosing a pre-configured vest is suitable if you are required, or choose, to carry a single weapon like and AR or AK rifle and your pistol. If your requirements dictate that you need to carry multiple weapon systems, or a more exotic weapon system, a MOLLE vest with interchangeable pouches will be the best option.

In addition to being capable of being configured for specific weapon systems, another advantage of the MOLLE tactical vest is the ability to customize your vest for additional capabilities such as communications equipment, a first aid kit, etc.

Sizing

Although some tactical vests come in one size only, most are available in multiple sizes or are adjustable in order to fit easily and allow maximum flexibility. For the tactical vest that is sized, you can get various sizes including small (chest size 34-35), medium (38-40), large (42-44), etc. An important consideration when selecting the size of your tactical vest is to keep in mind what you will be wearing your vest over. If you need additional room for clothing and/or equipment under your tactical vest, ensure that you keep this in mind when selecting your size.

Durability

When buying the right tactical vest, one should consider the environment and location where they are required to wear their vest. For those who need it frequently to crawl around, a durable vest is the best fit. Frequent usage requires a vest which is able to endure all the elements, along with the extreme wear and tear by the wearer. Whether you plan on frequent use of your tactical vest or not, choosing a vest that is durable will serve you best in the long run.

Duration of Use

Another important consideration is how long the wearer will wear their vest. Short duration or wearing the vest for only a few hours will decide how much load-bearing gear you can carry with you for  the entire day. This short wear test can tell you plenty about your vest and if it is truly the best match for your needs. If you can’t wear your vest for a few hours, you definitely won’t be able to wear it over the course of several days.

Long periods of use also may reinforce the practicality of a MOLLE tactical vest which allows the user to customize the configuration to facilitate even weight and maximum comfort.

Role on the Field

Often, most of tactical vest owners are required to act at least partially as a rifleman when out in the field, meaning they will be carrying a rifle as their primary and a pistol as their secondary weapon. In such cases, lightweight vests will help to provide the enhanced usability and mobility required for these duties. The flexibility of a MOLLE vest will also enhance an individuals ability to serve in multiple capacities.

Type of Gear on the Vest

It is important for buyers to consider the type of gear they will be carrying on their tactical vest. A hydration carrier will be an essential addition when outside for longer periods of time or in hot weather. Utility pouches also provide a way for important items to be kept close at hand. If using a weapon system, magazine pouches are vital for keeping additional ammunition at the ready.

While searching for the right tactical vest, don’t forget that what works for others might not necessarily work for you. Try different systems out to see for yourself what is the best fit for your needs. Good luck.

About the Author:  This article was a guest submission from 911Gear.ca, a premium dealer of tactical equipment in Ontario, Canada. Located online, 911Gear.ca offers shipping to both Canada and the United States. Don’t miss out on their extensive selection of tactical equipment for law enforcement, military, EMS, security professionals, corrections officers, and preppers.

Survival Sunday – 6/21/2015

In this weeks edition of Survival Sunday: Happy Father’s Day!, Gun Violence, Always Be Armed, Adapt or Die, Post-Collapse Barter, Draft Dodging and four more.

Survival Sunday

First things first, Happy Father’s Day to all of my fellow dad’s out there. I would especially wish my own dad a happy  who has helped me become the dad that I am today by sharing with me what to do (and sometimes what not to do) to succeed at fatherhood. To make it even more special, I get to spend some time with my Dad today which is something that I have not done on Father’s Day in a few years. Just to make it even better, we had authentic Texas BBQ for lunch. It was good. I should have taken a picture of it but by the time I thought of it, my plate was empty! Did I mention it was good?

As far as how my week was…I spent a few days getting some work done and a few days traveling this last week. Neither option I am really fond of but I dislike traveling so much that I might actually choose to work if I was given a choice. With the rest of my time I hung out with family, did some swimming, and that’s pretty much what I can remember.

There was a great tragedy this week when a single man excuse for a human being shot up a church in South Carolina. What happened is absolutely tragic and I despise the fact that there are people who are using the event to push their agenda (insert talking head on TV here). While tragic, this is another case where the gun is not the cause of the problem, just a tool which was used in the commission of a crime. If guns were illegal (of course they would all disappear because that it what has happened with meth and heroin, right?) they would just be replaced with something else.

When we look at history, there are some common things that can be discovered about events that have been classified massacres:

  1. Many of them have been committed by governments against citizens.
  2. Several have been for political or religious reasons.
  3. In the U.S., “gun free zones” seem to be the only real locations that are selected for massacres.

If that is not enough, even in countries that have enacted strict gun control laws, criminals often use other tools to kill large numbers of people. Even if guns are legal, there are plenty of examples where massacres happen regardless:

  • An attack in a Chinese train station on March 2, 2014 by ten men with knives that killed 29 and injured 130 more.
  • The bombing attack on the Boston Marathon by a pair of radicalized brothers that killed three people and injured more than 260 others using two bombs in pressure cookers.
  • A massacre in Houla, Syria where 108 people were killed with knives on May 25, 2012.
  • The April 30, 2009 attack on the Dutch Royal Family in Apeldoorn, Netherlands where Karst Tates drove his car into a parade, killing seven people and himself.
  • An attack on the Gulbarg Society in Ahmedabad, India where an estimated 69 people were burnt to death in their homes.

These are only a few of the documented attacks over the last decade and a half and NONE of them used guns.

The most deadly school attack in the history of the United States was the Bath School Massacre in 1927 using explosives. To  put this into perspective, this was a point in time where almost anyone could order a Thompson Sub-Machine gun through the mail.

Let us not forget that on September 11, 2001; several terrorists with box cutters took over airplanes with hundreds of people on them and committed the worst terrorist attack on American soil in our history.

It’s possible that guns alone are not the problem.

Here are the highlights of what I found this week:

A Green Beret’s Guide To Planning Your Personal Posture: “First Things First: Always Be Armed” – One of the most important areas of preparedness is what you have with you at all times. I couldn’t agree more with J.J. when he says to always be armed…unless you live in a God forsaken place where protecting yourself is illegal.

Adapt or Die: Why You Need More Skills & Less Stuff – I will not argue with the information contained here at all. Graywolf hits the nail on the head. While there is a place for “stuff,” we all need the skills more.

Bartering In A Post-Collapse Society – A unique look at the practice of bartering, retired Green Beret JJ talks barter from a different angle; including how to forecast, hustle, and conceal.

Draft Dodging 101: How To Preserve Your Freedom In A Time Of Crisis – I don’t advocate running from military service. In fact I don’t have much respect for those that don’t at least support our men and women in uniform. My time in the Army wasn’t easy and it hurt my family but I did it because it was the right thing to do and I gave my word that I would.

With all that said, I don’t know how I would feel about my children being forced into service for no reason other than money, resources, or a vendetta. This information could prove useful in the future if things keep going the way they have been. It could at least be a survival strategy.

Defeating Drones: How To Build A Thermal Evasion Suit – This is an interesting article (with video) about one potential way to evade detection by a drone.

Military Movements On The Northern Border – For those interested in Jade Helm, its associated military movements, and accompanying conspiracy theories, here is a piece about some major military action going on in Montana. There is also an update about military movements.

This last article is not necessarily preparedness related but I appreciated it and found it to ring quite true.

The Last Rebels: 25 Things We Did As Kids That Would Get Someone Arrested Today – Read it and see if it isn’t true!

That’s it for me this week. I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Flood Preparation: 5 Essential Tools to Survive

Flood Preparation:                                                                                           5 Essential Tools to Survive

Whether you have lived for some time in an area prone to flooding or you are new to flood preparation, there is always something new to learn about how to stay safe in a flood. In fact, the city of Houston, Texas, has a longstanding history of flooding, and yet several people died and thousands of homes and cars were flooded in the recent Memorial Day weekend floods.

Flood Preparation

Knowing Your Actual Risk
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), flash flooding is the leading cause of weather related mortalities in the United States today. More than 200 deaths annually can be directly linked to flooding, both flash floods and flood waters that build more slowly (such as flooding that comes from an over-full bayou or river, or flooding that overflows a levee or dam such as what occurred in New Orleans). Also, depending on where you live, an estimated 50 to 75 percent of those deaths are related to people staying in vehicles during flood conditions.

Tool #1: Do not enter areas of high water.
In Houston, Mayor Annise Parker posted emergency messages on the highways that stated, “If you see high water, turn around – don’t drown.” This means do not try to drive through, walk through, swim through, boat through, or otherwise enter high water areas. (Tom adds: Even if you don’t drown, there is a good chance you could be washed away and valuable resources will be used and lives endangered in an attempt to rescue you because of your actions.)

Tool #2: Keep emergency supplies on hand in a waterproof bag.
The type of things you may need in a flood situation include candles, matches, antiseptic, bottled water, a first aid kit, gloves, face masks, mosquito spray and netting, tape, safety pins, benadryl, basic toiletries, I.D.s and a source of cash, and a list of emergency numbers.

Tool #3: Plan for emergency food supplies.
In the event it takes rescue teams some time to reach you, you will absolutely need to have clean water and emergency food rations on hand. Freeze dried foods, energy bars, and other emergency rations can play a key part in waiting out the worst of a flood. Be aware that a flood may only last a few minutes or hours, but it can still claim everything you own, so you will need to have emergency food and water to survive!

Tool #4: Have an emergency plan in place for kids and the elderly….and everyone.
Whether you live with or apart from your loved ones, it is very wise to put some kind of plan in place to keep in touch during flood situations, and especially to know who is taking charge of the safety of kids and elderly relatives.

Decide where each of you will go, and where and when you will meet up, in advance, then do your best to review the plan at least once annually to be sure your plans are still up to date and take into account everyone in your family who may need extra assistance.

Tip #5: Do your best to secure your home and belongings as quickly as possible… and get OUT of your vehicle right away!
If you make it a habit to watch the weather reports and receive emergency weather alerts as soon as they break, you will have more time to prepare your home, move your car or boat, secure your belongings in a high, dry place, and move yourself and your loved ones to safety before the flood waters hit. Sometimes – as with the estimated 19 people who died in the recent flooding across Texas and Oklahoma – having even a few minutes of advance warning can make all the difference! Finally, knowing when to walk away from your vehicle can be key to surviving a flood.

When you make a regular habit of monitoring weather alerts and you follow these five tips to pre-plan for facing flood conditions in your area, your payoff may be saving your life and the lives of your loved ones.

This article was a guest contribution from Lee Flynn. Lee is a freelance writer and an expert in emergency food preparedness and food storage.

photo credit: the mill via photopin (license)

Survival Sunday – 6/14/2015

In this weeks edition of Survival Sunday: Living Off The Land, The Minimalist Tool Bag, Metalworking Tools For Preppers, Dropping Off The Grid, Are You Prepared Enough? and 7 More…

Survival Sunday

I hope that everyone has had a great week. My week has been pretty good. I have been on vacation for the whole week which was really nice. We did spend a good time of it moving and getting everything settled in our new house. It is nice to have a little more space and that’s not a bad thing for a prepper. There is not really much else to report from my end. I have just been enjoying my time with my family while I don’t have to work all day.

Here are the highlights of what I found this week:

Tools And Tips For Living Off The Land – Not everyone can make a go of living off the land. This article highlights the challenges associated with living off the land and has some great pointers on what it takes to be a modern hunter-gatherer.

The Minimalist Tool Bag – When it comes to completing a task, I have always believed that you have to have the right tool for the job. There are plenty of times where I have tried to do a job with a tool that I knew was not the right selection and while this can be done, it is often times significantly more difficult. This is a good piece about putting together a basic tool kit as a prepper, or anyone for that matter.

Automotive & Metalworking Hand Tools Every Prepper Should Have – Once you have your basic tools together, look at obtaining tools for special purposes like automotive and metalworking specialities as mentioned in this article.

Dropping Off The Grid: Advice From Experienced Homesteaders – I don’t think that this is really a roadmap to actually drop off the grid, more like reducing the need to rely on others. There are seven actionable steps in this article to make this happen.

Are You Prepared Enough? – From one of my favorite resources, The Prepper Journal, this is about how to approach preparing for difficult times and what the reality is of actually being prepared for “the event” or whatever it is that you make the effort for.

Where To Find Food & Water After The SHTF – This is great info for everyone but it especially applies to the urban crowd. It is great to have a good supply of food and water on hand but it is good to also know where to find more, whether it is out of necessity or a strategic move.

How To Create A Safe Room In Your House Or Apartment – I think a safe room is on the dream list of most preppers. Probably right before the underground bunker on my list. This is well thought out information about putting a safe room together.

If Your BS Detector Isn’t Shrieking, It’s Broken – Are we all being conned?

Home Defense On A Budget: 20 Inexpensive Tips – Not the end all, be all of home defense guides but there are some great ways to harden a structure against unwanted visitors.

5 Survival Tips From The USMC Survival Course – While this is predominantly geared toward wilderness survival, these ideas could certainly be employed in an urban or suburban environment.

Create An Office Emergency Kit – Of the many survival kits that a well prepared person should have, an office survival kit is a must. This is especially true if you work a good distance from home, in an urban environment, or in a high-risk area.

K-10 Survival Dog Collar Review – There are a ton of paracord bracelets that are marketed to preppers these days. This is the first survival dog collar that I have seen though. I am not sure of the durability or the practicality of these collars but it seems like a novel idea. I am not sure whether or not there is great advantage to having a dog collar that contains fishing materials or a straw, but for the prepper who loves dogs or has everything else it might be a great thing to have.

That’s it for me this week. It ended up being quite a few great pieces that I found…it must be the extra time from being on vacation. I hope that you all have had a great week and keep getting ready for tough times. If you found something that you would like to share with the group or have any questions, don’t hesitate to email me at tom@thepreparedninja.com.

Come back next week for another edition of Survival Sunday.

If you appreciate the content here on The Prepared Ninja, I would love it if you left a comment or shared a post with your friends or loved ones! We are all in this together after all, right? With that being said, it does cost me money every month to keep The Prepared Ninja up and running. If the site does help you and you would like to help support it, you can provide monetary support to help keep things going via PayPal here. Thank you!

Thrower Supply Tomahawk Review

Tomahawk Review

When it comes to being prepared for the unexpected; there are things that are vital, things that are nice to have, and sometimes an item could be considered a little bit of both. I have always thought that tomahawks were cool but I could never decide whether having one was practical or not.

After thinking about it, I decided that a tomahawk is versatile enough that it would be a great tool to add to my inventory. So…when I was approached about taking a look at the Best Competition Throwing Tomahawk by Throwers Supply from Hatchets And Axes*, I couldn’t say no. While you can get the tomahawk directly from the Hatchets and Axes website, I chose the Amazon route to take advantage of the free Amazon Prime shipping.

Tomahawk Review

My full tomahawk review will follow, but I first thought I would look at a few reasons why a prepper would even want a tomahawk.

Why would a prepper want a tomahawk?

Aside from the fact that I think they are cool, there are plenty of preparedness applications for a tomahawk. It can be used as a/for:

  • Weapon – Defensive or for hunting.
  • Chopping/Cutting Tool
  • Hammer
  • Breaching – Getting past doors and windows.
  • Probably a whole lot more but this is what I came up with off the top of my head.

Of course there is always the argument of why a tomahawk instead of a hatchet? There are four reasons that I find the tomahawk to be a better option than a hatchet:

  1. A tomahawk can be more comfortably tucked into a belt for carry on your person.
  2. The handle of a tomahawk can be easily replaced, even if you had to make your own.
  3. The balance and feel of the tomahawk is better than the average hatchet.
  4. A tomahawk is typically lighter for carry purposes and can be broken down into two pieces if the need were to arise.

Preppers are not the only ones who may have an interest in a tomahawk review. Tomahawks have quite the reputation among the elite forces of the U.S. military as well. As reported by Business Insider, the operators of the U.S. Navy’s SEAL Team 6 have been known to use tomahawks for a variety of uses including, “getting into doors, manipulating small locks, hand-to-hand combat and other things.” The same article mentions that former SEAL Team 6 member Dom Raso states that he has seen hatchet kills, further reinforcing the usefulness of a tomahawk as a weapon.

My initial impressions of the Thrower’s Supply Tomahawk was that it was a well balanced hawk that was comfortable to hold and had a good edge on it. It came right out of the box and went together easily. I liked the fact that it shipped with a light coating of protective oil so that the tomahawk was in great shape from the get go. Hatchets and Axes also stands behind their products with a 100% guarantee behind their products, giving anyone who wants to buy this tomahawk a sense of comfort in their purchase decision.

There are quite a few features this tomahawk has that make it a good choice:

  • Hand Forged, Oil Tempered High Carbon Steel Head
  • Heat Treated, 4″ Blade Edge
  • Smooth Sanded and Wax Coated Handle
  • Weighs only 1.5 LBS
  • Rust Protective Coating
  • 100% Guarantee Against Defects

While there are many great attributes of this tomahawk, I did find one small damaged area when putting the tomahawk together. The thing that I noticed when I was unpacking the box was that the handle was a bit torn up (see the picture below).

Tomahawk Review

That was a little disappointing but at the same time, it is a $40 tomahawk and not something that I had commissioned to be built by a master tomahawk builder who takes months on end to finish one piece. In fact, for the cost, I would say that the quality of the product and craftsmanship exceeded what I was expecting. If I was actually concerned about the handle, I could replace it for a few dollars. What I will likely do is just sand it a little and be done with it.

Overall, I hope that this provided a little insight into what I believe could be a great addition to a prepper’s tool kit. A tomahawk is not only simple, functional, and one of history’s great tools; it does what every preparedness item should do…perform multiple functions with one item. The bottom line is that I would not hesitate to make this purchase again.

I hope you enjoyed the tomahawk review! If you have any suggestions or insight, please share in the comments below.

*Disclosure: I was provided the Throwers Supply tomahawk from Hatchets and Axes free of charge. I was not paid for my opinion or to publish a certain perspective, I simply wrote how I feel about this product.

#CompetitionHawk