Saturday, October 8, 2011

Survival Gear - The Survival Vest - Part One

The clothes you wear can often make a difference in your ability to survive. It is often the first line of defense for your body from the elements of nature. Most survivalists know that the proper clothing can make a big difference. It can also allow you to carry extra items in a simple and easy manner. These extra items may also be critical to your survival. One such item of clothing is the survival vest.

Vests vary in their type and use and there are certain conditions that need to be satisfied if you are considering making a survival vest. You will want it to have certain basic qualities in order for it to perform the necessary functions that will help you to survive. Many vests if utilized properly can serve additional needs as well. While many vests are quite specialized (i.e., tactical vests), there are many vests that can be used to serve in a multi-functional capacity.

In most situations, a full-out tactical vest is not very stealthy and may be impractical if you wish to be less conspicuous to others who may be around. Choosing a survival vest that will draw less attention but that will still serve your needs will make a lot more sense from a practical standpoint. It should also function well in several basic areas in order to avoid problems that could complicate a survival situation. Here are some of the qualities you should look for when choosing a vest for survival.

Basic Qualities for a Survival Vest

1. Zippers - Every good survival vest will need heavy duty zippers that won’t fail at a critical time. Some vests will need to have zipper pulls added to increase their ease of use.

2. Pockets - It should also include two types of pockets. The first type of pockets is those with zippers. This will enable you to secure critical gear items in a safe and secure manner. The second type of pocket your vest should have is ones with Velcro closures. This type will allow easy access to your other gear items.

3. Reversible - Having a vest that is reversible is also another good quality. You may even opt for one that has a removable lining. In either case, it will make your survival vest more functional. The main advantage of a reversible vest is that you will often have additional pockets on the inside of your vest as well as the outside. If the colors are right, it may even help you blend in with your surroundings.

4. Compatible with the Climate - It should also be able to function well in different climates. It may even be necessary to have survival vests that are designed specifically for your climate ranges, especially if you suffer extreme climate changes either in summer or winter. It may also be water-proof to a certain extent and this will give you an additional measure of protection.

5. Colors - The color(s) of your survival vest should allow you to blend in whether you are in an urban situation or a wilderness setting. Extremely bright colors may bring unwanted attention or make you stand out in a crowd.

6. Comfortable - A survival vest should also be comfortable and allow good freedom of movement. It should fit easily over existing clothing without restricting your normal range of movement.

My survival vest that is pictured here has a drab olive-colored fleece inner lining which is reversible and has heavy duty zippers on three pockets and Velcro closures on the other five pockets. The outside of the vest is a medium black color. The vest has five pockets (3 large and 2 small) on the outside and three pockets (2 large and 1 small) on the inside. This is a sufficient number of pockets to carry my needed gear items. There are three zipper pockets and two pockets with Velcro closures on the outside and three inner pockets with Velcro closures. There are no compartments or pockets on the backside as this may be a hindrance if carrying a backpack.

 It also has an adjustable drawstring on the waistband which allows it to be secured more tightly during cooler weather and is also a source of emergency cordage if needed. The inner fleece lining is sufficient for most of the cooler temperatures in the fall and winter in my area and is the primary time that it is used. This allows me to carry my survival gear discreetly and without drawing additional attention to myself. A different lightweight vest is sometimes used in the summer during warmer temperatures.

Got survival vest?



vlad said...

While you save for a really nice vest, you can make do. Turn the bottom of an old shirt up to the fourth or fifth button. Sew seams at the front opening, and at each vertical side seam. A seam at the middle of the back is optional. You may wish to install X suspenders.

Anonymous said...

Don't rule out game vests - the blood proof bag in back can carry quite a load when packed correctly. They are already 'sorta' reinforced for carrying items in it.

Our problem down here is carrying water efficiently. Have seen some carrying systems using straps around back of neck and 1/2 gallon containers on either side. Sounds like a yoke to me, lol, but have not been able to think of a way to carry 2 or more gallons on person AND your other items.


Anonymous said...

now that is a survival vest

riverwalker said...

To: vlad

Great tip for making your own.

Thanks vlad.


riverwalker said...

To: anonymous 12:48

Game and fishing vests work but are kind of conspicuous unless you're on a fishing or hunting trip. I was wanting something that would fit the "everyday" kind of thing and wouldn't be so obvious.

Carrying water can always be a problem. Using a portable water filter could help solve that problem.

Thanks anon.


riverwalker said...

To; anonymous 4:27

They are good vests but at around $200 for their Expedition model(37 pockets) can put them out of most people's price range.

This was only $2 at a resale shop and holds enough for all but an extreme survival situation...

Thanks anon.


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