The Essential Tactical Gear: Don’t Forget the Basics

We military and police officers love our tactical gear—I know I’ve spent a small fortune on police gear over the years.  What we’re allowed to carry on duty, of course, comes down to departmental policy, but that doesn’t stop us from buying the latest and greatest, high-tech and new-tech tactical wear. Still, none of the cool new gadgets, weapons, or accessories matter much if we don’t have the basics. So for the newbies just starting out, or for the civilians who want to prepare for all possible emergency situations, here are a few of the essential elements you cannot do without if you’re going to begin stockpiling tactical gear.

Tactical Jacket

Tactical Gear
Image: Master Sgt. Kevin Gruenwald, Wikipedia Commons

Perhaps I’m stating the obvious, but there’s no point in hoarding a bag full of tactical gear if you’ve got no way to tactically carry it. Tactical means—or at least ought to mean—strategic and ready to be utilized; so if you’ve got a bag of gear through which you need to go searching for the flashlight or the handcuffs, that gear is no longer very tactical. Make sure your gear is ready to go and strategically placed by donning a robust, well-made tactical jacket that can house all the gear you think you’ll need to deploy quickly. That means weapons, of course, along with cuffs or restraints, ammunition packs, first aid kits, emergency water, tactical knives, and flashlights. The gear that you don’t need to reach so quickly, you can leave in the bag for now.

Tactical Belt

Once again, the same rule applies: there’s little point in buying tactical gear unless it can be tactically placed on your body for ready use. Whether it’s your private tactical belt or your standard duty belt, be sure to have a sturdy, well-made belt with all the essential pouches. Aside from your gun holster, some essentials that should go on your tactical belt include: a compartment for handcuffs or other restraints, a place for a tactical flashlight, an ammunitions case, and in most security or law enforcement capacities, a place for pepper spray, a Taser, a baton, and a radio. 

Tactical Packs

Police and military are usually required to have their go-bags at the ready, and both civilian and law enforcement should also have a bugout bag. Either way, this essential element to any tactical stockpile will require a hefty tactical pack, with multiple compartments for a variety of uses. Make sure it’s well made by a brand you trust, so the pack won’t start falling apart when you load it full of heavy gear, or so that small things like the zippers won’t bust or stop working properly after a week (I’ve had this happen when I’ve tried to go cheap with tactical packs). Tactical packs are imperative for carrying all tactical or survival elements you won’t need immediately, or for storing the backups or replacement gear for the elements stored in your tactical jacket or belt. Most military and police will know what they need in their go-bags, as per their agency’s direction; and for a complete list of suggested components of a bug out bag, see my article on that subject. 

Handcuffs

All security and law enforcement officers carry handcuffs—typically two pairs—and often other types of restraints, such as zip ties. Restraints come in handy in almost any situation, and civilians should have a way of restraining a perpetrator should they need to defend against a home invasion or an aggressive individual on the street. Once the fight is done—and hopefully a fight won’t be necessary—you’ll need a way to control the individually without having to harm them, if possible. That’s why handcuffs or restraints are an absolutely essential part of any tactical gear. 

Weapons

As security, law enforcement, or military personnel, which weapons you are allowed to carry on duty will of course depend on your agency’s policies. For civilians, the weapons you store or carry depend on the legalities of your state, your intended use, and your capabilities. I’ve said it many times: don’t carry or attempt to use weapons with which you are not well-trained. Assuming for a moment that you are trained on the weapons you carry, your tactical gear should include only what you may need for the intended use. For example, if you’re preparing for home defense or building a bug out bag for societal breakdown, no need for pepper spray or Tasers—just carry lethal weapons, as you’ll only need to use them in the defense of life. If the gear is for self-defense purposes, then Tasers and pepper spray are certainly recommended.

Whatever tactical gear you buy, make sure you at least have the basics to get the job done. You’ll need a weapon to initiate defense, a way to restrain and control after defense, and ways to properly carry your gear. You can find everything you need at The Home Security Superstore. Good luck and stay safe!

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