Ever since the dawn of civilization, men have been enamored with battles and wars. It is our natural inclination to power that magnetizes us to take part in this bloody business. Even those who try to repress it, both men and women alike, find themselves face-to-face with daily battles still—women engaged in the art of seduction; and children, some as young as toddlers, employing their action figures in magical battles where their imagination is the only limit.
Hence, it is no wonder that even the earliest ways of clothing and body art—the infant days of fashion, makeup, and tattoos—have been devoted to warrior garb; a time when men dress up to intimidate the enemies.
The Development of Combat Gear through the Ages
Warriors wanting to strike fear into the hearts and minds of their opponents using clothing and body art is how combat gear started. Fast-forward through time, we have witnessed all kinds of armors, helmets, and other combat gear evolved to what we have today.
In this eBook, we are going to talk about getting ready for battle, whatever that may mean for you—testing your wits in extreme sports, being in an airsoft or paintball battle with friends, or serving the country as a soldier. We are going to go through a full-body guide of combat gear to use along with some basic safety tips.
Both battle virgins and war veterans are invited! Are you prepared to go to war? Let’s go!
Chapter 1: The Head
To start our list of the essential combat gear for modern warriors, let us go ahead and discuss the most important part of the body that must be protected at all cost—the head. Though, we are not saying that the other parts of a warrior’s body are less important and that they should be given less protection compared to the head.
On the contrary, we strongly believe that every single part of our body should be fully protected. But we’ll talk all about that later on. For now, let us focus first on the head because we all know that in real-life combat, as well as in a competitive battle for sports, a hit on the head would most likely cause permanent injury and might render you unable to perform normal bodily functions again. Such is the importance of wearing a helmet.
As we all know, helmets are the most common combative head protection ever invented. It has been with us warriors for generations—from the ancient world up to the modern times. Our time.
As time progressed, so did the design, features, and uses of the helmet. Yes, you’ve read that right—uses! For instance, the helmets of the past were mostly used for intimidation, to inspire fear towards enemies, to lead them to assume that they would witness an appearance of an angry “War God” or “Demon,” depending on their culture. But today, helmets are mainly used for protection and efficiency.
There are two types of helmets: the half-helm, favored by those in the military for its provided mobility; and full-helmets, which are the ones used by SWAT members during riots as these provide full protection, even to their exposed face.
Helmets are made of different materials that are dictated by when and where it is going to be used. For instance, army-grade helmets are made of multiple layers of Kevlar to protect the user specifically from bullets, other types of projectiles, and shrapnel. These helmets also have an additional layer of padding, not only to make it more comfortable but also as extra protection for the wearer just in case of bleeding.
Finally, here are a few notable features of the modern-day helmet that you might want to consider when you’re out helmet-hunting:
- Ear caps and hearing protection (perfect for pilots and those who engage in extreme sports that will subject the ears to air pressure)Accommodation for communication devices, such as headphones and headsets.
- Additional eye protection and vision features, such as visors, night vision, and flashlight holders (perfect for your evening paintball battles!)
- Built-in video cameras
- Adjustable straps for a more snug fit
These are just a few things to take note of compared to the many features of modern helmets. In fact, there are so many other features that it is quite easy to lose focus on your goals, making shopping for combat gear feel a lot like being a kid in a candy store.
If you think having a helmet with a built-in visor is good enough, then you are gravely mistaken. In reality, this cannot outshine the protection offered by goggles.
Having good and unhindered eyesight is very important in every combat situation because not having clear visuals on the battlefield can put you in a very dire situation. This is the perfect reason why you need to invest in a pair of combat-grade goggles.
Using protective sunglasses and goggles was recognized as a tactical necessity in combat due to battles being held in extremely harsh environments like in the desert, snow, etc. These kinds of environments have proved to be visually challenging due to sometimes zero visibility caused by the elements, changes in temperature, dust, and debris obscuring the eyesight, and other similar tactical-related reasons.
However, with the help of combat-ready goggles, it will be a lot easier to navigate through these harsh terrains so that we can focus more on fighting without any problems.
Here are other impressive tactical goggles features that you should know:
- Ballistic-tested (for additional protection against shrapnel)
- Foaming or padding to prevent any airborne hazards from touching your eye
- Combat-ready goggles with UV protection
- And finally, special night vision goggles, perfect for your more stealthy engagements
Proper Head Protection during Combat
As what we have mentioned above, before you head on to purchase anything, please make sure of the things you will possibly be facing first.
Ask yourself these questions: will it be sunny, rainy or will there be snow? Are gas and air hazards to be expected? Will the battle be held in a cold or tropical climate?
Making sure of the specifications you need is the first step towards proper head protection. A helmet that is not ready for your specific or particular need might prove to be of no value when the time comes.
Another thing that you should make sure of is proper sizing. Both helmet and goggles should properly fit you. A helmet should not be too tight, but it shouldn’t be too loose either. It should snuggly fit your head and should not give you any weird headaches.
Your goggles’ rims should be tight around the eye area. Whatever element it is you will be subject to—water, dust, or gas—nothing should make it past your goggles and reach your eyes.
Remember, wearing loose goggles might mean losing your valuable vision, and all because of your wrong choice of eye protection. Size is everything.
Finally, and also in relation to sizing, try on your headgear along with your other equipment and see how everything will fit.
Battling to keep your helmet on over your communications device is not the kind of battle you want to be facing out in the field, after all. So don’t forget to keep that in mind as well.
Once you have decided which make and model of head protection you are going to buy, then you are now one step closer to being fully protected. Now, you can start looking for combat gear for the body.
Chapter 2: The Body
When we say body, we don’t really mean the entire entity including the head and limbs. The term body, in this chapter, will refer only to your chest and back area. Much like the head, it is also very vital for the modern-day warrior to protect the body.
While the body has non-fatal parts, it also has “off” points such as the heart, lungs, and digestive system, which can all literally turn the lights off of an individual when struck. We wouldn’t want that, would we?
Hence, in this chapter, we are going to talk about the different body protection you can get as well as other additional accessories. For this eBook, we are going to focus on two main protective gear for the body: the combat vest and the chest rig.
For many reasons, beginners in this field find it very intimidating to buy a combat vest for themselves. First of all, it comes in many names: army vest, military vest, assault vest, tactical vest, and the list goes on. A lot of people will argue that each of these vests are different from each other.
To complicate things further, we’ll give you an example. A tactical vest is said to be different from a military vest, yet there are the so-called military tactical vests. So, how does the two differ from the other exactly?
Well, just to simplify things, let us agree on this definition: Combat vests are vests created to assist the user in combat engagements. Hence, they have additional protective layers to ward off possible hazards such as bullets. Those that are made from materials that prioritize mobility and comfort, on the other hand, are called chest rigs.
Combat vests have notable features that set it apart from other types of body protective gear. Below are some of them:
• Combat vests have a lot of pockets and space for attachments that allow the user to pack on as much gear as needed. It includes gun holsters, bullet pouches, communication devices, and more.
• As stated above, combat vests are made of a special material that can withstand gunfire and blasts. It can either be equipped with a soft or hard armor variety, which depends on the wearer’s need. Because of this, it can offer different levels of protection.
• Some modern and high-end combat vests already come with tech support for portable devices such as conductive yarns that can charge gadgets via USB. Similar to our headgear advice, perform your research first before buying a combat vest.
Of course, not every modern warrior needs the protection against gunfire. Other times, they just need protection from the harsh environment and a good vest that can store all the needed equipment close to their body. If this sounds like you, then you most definitely need a chest rig.
Chest rigs have a lot of movable pouches, too, in which you can store whatever type of equipment you want. However, the material of which it is made of is quite different from a combat vest, in that it is much lighter, more well-ventilated, and just downright more comfortable to wear. This baby, after all, prioritizes comfort and mobility.
Finally, another significant thing that sets the chest rig apart is that it is way cheaper compared to a combat vest. But don’t underestimate the humble chest rig just yet. If assembled properly, with only this thing on, you may already prove to be a force to be reckoned with.
Aside from the “body coverings,” yet another thing you should consider putting your money in is the holster. Care to know why? The truth is, regardless of all the helpful inserts and pouches of your vests and rigs, nothing can replace a good holster when it comes to the proper carrying of firearms. After all, they are made just for this purpose.
Two helpful things to think about when buying a holster are:
- Is my weapon carefully concealed?
- Will it allow me to draw my weapon quickly and efficiently?
During weapons training, we were taught never to let anyone know we carry a weapon, especially your opponent. It should be properly concealed.
In fact, not unless you have a full combat gear on screaming “Hey, I’m a fully armed man!”, then nobody should know what you’re capable of. Lastly, a holster not only stores and conceals your gun, but it also keeps it close and within reach when needed.
Some holsters also come with extra pouches for magazines and other types of firearms and related equipment. But in case your gear won’t fit in there, you can always buy a pouch.
While most chest rigs and combat vests already come with pouches, these are not enough if you want all your gear to be attached to you during battle. Hence, you’re going to need extra pouches, too.
Don’t worry; most vests and rigs have more than enough space to carry a lot of pouches with ease. Just make sure that these pouches have secure belts to make sure that they are safely attached to your vest at all times. That last thing you want to find out is losing a pouch with all your basic survival gear inside.
And that’s it for the body! Of course, there are still other gear and equipment that you might want to consider getting as well, but these are the very basic of them—the essentials, so to speak.
Then again, the head and the body are not the only ones that need protection. You need to take care of your limbs, too. While you’re not directly at risk of losing your life if one of your limbs gets injured, losing one due to heavy injury would still hurt and could even render you incapable of doing normal bodily functions. Hence, we’re going to talk about basic combat gear to protect the limbs in the next chapter. Let’s go!
Chapter 3: The Limbs
Here is the last section of the body that we are going to feature in this short combat gear guide—the limbs.
First on the list is the trusty dusty tactical pants. These pants are pretty much chest rigs in pants form. However, if you think that tactical pants are just regular pants with a lot of pockets, then you are quite gravely mistaken.
Tactical pants are pants specifically made to make the wearer more mobile. Those with combat experience can attest that the placement of pockets on tactical pants are not just randomly sewn on them like with cargo pants, but are actually strategically placed to ensure that every weapon, ammunition, and other combat-ready gear are just within reach even while in action.
Elbow and Knee Pads
Just as their names suggest, elbow pads and knee pads are combat-ready articles of protection that protect both your knees and elbows during combat. These tactical pads are specially designed for absorbing pressure from different surfaces. Additionally, there are also instances when it prevents bullet-induced injury from fracturing the balls of your elbow and kneecaps, which may lead to serious problem in a modern warrior’s effectivity.
Aside from their protective aspect, knee pads and elbow pads also offer its wearer an added advantage during unarmed combat and edged weapon skirmishes. This is due to their inherent toughness, which allows both the knees and the elbows to be utilized as effective yet unlikely weapons. The only limit in using these pads in action is your imagination.
More than weapon and armor, the most important thing that will keep you safe in battle is mobility. If you get slowed down in some way, whether because of heavy gear or harsh terrain, then that might mean life or death for you as well.
So, an excellent and useful battle-ready footwear is imperative to one’s survival. The most crucial thing to remember in choosing the right combat footwear for you is to find something that is durable, comfortable, and lightweight. Your footwear should meet the requirements of the environment you are going to tread upon without making it uncomfortable to run, move, drop, and even climb.
Once you have found the perfect footwear, then that practically wraps up your complete basic combat gear. As what we have already mentioned above, you are free to add more stuff to your gear as you see fit. But here’s the question: what is the type of gear to wear when hunting? How about while playing airsoft? Or finally, what is an acceptable gear if you’re going to be in a real-life battle?
These are the questions that we will seek to answer in the following chapter.
Chapter 4: Which Tactical Gear to Use in Different Occasions
Now that you have selected the different tactical gear for your entire body, it is finally time to put them to good use. However, of all the various equipment we have mentioned, as well as those that you will see in both online and brick and mortar stores, it is rather easy to get swayed and confused as to which one to get.
Hence, we are going to put together a quick guide for you down below. We will divide this chapter into three general categories: for the outdoorsmen, for the player, and for the troop.
Whether just going on a quick hunting trip, or preparing to live off the wild for a few weeks, an outdoorsman should always be in his best gear. After all, one cannot predict the weather, animal encounters, and terrain risks in the wilderness. Thus, the best way to avoid unfortunate circumstances is preparation!
What does an outdoorsman need in terms of combat gear?
1. A chest rig. You won’t need to be in a bullet-proof vest unless you’re convinced that you’re hunting partner is out to kill you. A chest rig that is lightweight and well-ventilated is a comfortable choice when traversing the wild.
2. An element-resistant pack. Whatever type of backpack or bag you’re going to bring, make sure that it’s waterproof and resistant to the other elements it will encounter in your adventure.
3. Tactical pants. It is highly advised that you have as many storage areas close to your body as possible.
4. Weapons and equipment. This will all depend on you, but one can’t have too many knives or multi-tools tucked everywhere—in your bag, your pants, your rig.
5. Combat or hiking boots
For Friendly Battles of Airsoft or Paintball
If you haven’t played airsoft before, you won’t believe how realistic things can get in the field! Therefore, your protective gear must be realistic and dependable as well. Here is a short list of what you need:
1. Helmet. This is very important when it comes to airsoft and paintball. Even if they are basically just battle simulations, these things can still hurt and cause serious injuries if you get hit in an inconvenient spot, especially the head. There are two choices when it comes to helmets: the plastic version and the replica yet military-grade helmet. You might also want to check out full-helms that come with visors to protect your face as well.
2. Combat Vest. You don’t really need one that can withstand blasts, but a soft armor is helpful for minimizing the impact. Get one that allows breathability as you have a lot of running to do.
3. Elbow and Knee Pads. Speaking of running, you’ll also need elbow and knee pads for additional protection in case you slip or fall over.
4. Tactical Goggles. A lot of airsoft goggles are military-grade as well. They offer sun protection, dust protection, and simply better vision despite the elements in the battlefield.
5. Face Mask. And finally, unless you have a full-helmet on, you’d also want a face mask to cover your mouth.
Full-on Battle Tested!
Finally, here is the combat gear you’d need to get ready for battle. However, please be reminded that these gear were specially designed to comply with army regulations. Hence, they might not be available in regular stores.
1. Helmet. Most prefer to use half-helm for better vision. Visors, after all, can sometimes get in the way rather than help. When choosing a helmet for the battlefield, you would want to make sure that it accommodates your communication device securely.
2. Combat Vest. Any kind of battle asks for a quality combat vest that can effectively shield its wearer from blasts and shrapnel.
3. Tactical pants. When it comes to pants for real-life battles, you can never have too many pockets. So, always go for tactical pants.
4. Lightweight tactical boots. Make sure that the pair of tactical boots you purchase is both lightweight and durable. You might also want to guarantee that it’s specially made to support quick yet silent running.
We hope that you have learned a thing or two from our guide. Always keep the things you’ve learned from this guide in mind as they might save you from serious injury—or even death—in the future.
If you want more information about combat gear, vests, chest rigs, and other tactical equipment, then please visit our website for more details and updates. We always keep the website updated with the recent technological advancements in the tactical scene.
We wish you safety in all of your life’s battles. And whatever kind of battle you encounter, always remember these three words: Just keep standing.