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Does Your Survival Vest Have All the Essential Qualities?

Survival Vest

Surviving a disaster or emergency situation isn’t all about what goes into your survival bag. Your ability to survive may depend on the survival clothing you wear. Protection from nature and the environment is your first, and possibly most important, line of defense. This is true whether you’re in an urban or wilderness survival situation. Any survivalist knows that the right clothing can make a huge difference. One such item is the survival vest, which is different than a survival jacket. A quality vest allows you to carry additional items that could be vital to your survival.

The survival vest you own should have a few essential qualities that may help you survive. In most situations, a tactical survival vest is impractical and not the ideal choice. You’ll want to buy a vest that is less conspicuous and that will attract less attention. Plus, it should be practical, meaning it should perform certain functions that can help you survive in an emergency situation. When shopping for a survival vest or bug out vest, here are a few essential qualities that it should have.

Essential Survival Vest Qualities

1. Versatile for Climate Changes

It may be bitterly cold during the winter and extremely hot in the summer. For this reason, your vest should have the ability to function well in any climate: cold, hot, wet, or dry. To protect yourself from the environment, you’ll want to avoid survival vests that are not waterproof. An emergency blanket can keep you warm at night, but a good vest can help keep your warm while you’re on the move.

2. Reversible Vests

Reversible vests are not absolutely essential, but they are great to have. The biggest advantage to having a vest that’s reversible is the extra pockets it will give you. Having pockets on both the inside and outside will allow you to carry more emergency items.

3. Lots of Pockets

There are two efficient types of pockets, zippered and Velcro. Having the ability to close pockets can keep vital survival items from falling out. And keeping your emergency items safe and secure is important. If your pockets have zippers, they should be strong, heavy duty zippers that won’t fail you. A good alternative to zippers are Velcro closures. They can also keep your survival items secure while allowing easy access to the contents of the pockets. However, pockets on the back of the vest are not ideal and may make a survival backpack uncomfortable.

4. Color of the Vest

Having the ability to blend in with your surroundings may be important. Bright colored survival vests will cause you to stand out, bringing unwanted attention. Whether you’re using the vest as wilderness or urban survival gear, being able to blend in can be important. Some survivalists may do anything to stay alive, so avoiding their attention is always a good thing.

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Survive Emergencies with a Vest

5. Survival Vests should be Comfortable

This may not seem essential, but if you’re on the move, a comfortable vest is important. It should fit comfortably over the top of other clothing. It should also allow you to move easily without restricting your normal range of motion. Having a draw string on the waistband will allow you keep the vest secure, and may also increase comfort.

My favorite survival vest is the 5.11 Tactical Taclite Pro Vest. The 5.11 has 17 pockets and is cut long to conceal sidearms. It’s made from lightweight Taclite fabric and accommodates AR mags, maps, sunglasses, cell phones, water bottles, snacks, and binoculars. It’s also compatible with 5.11’s Back-Up Belt System.

You may be tempted to forego buying a survival vest, and instead get pants with multiple pockets. However, stuffing your pants with emergency items can become extremely uncomfortable. Owning two survival vests is also a good idea, especially in areas where the winter and summer temperatures vary considerably. A lightweight vest can be used during warmer temperatures. And a vest with an inner fleece lining can keep you warmer during the colder months. A quality vest should be on your list of survival essentials.

And what if you should somehow get separated from your survival backpack or bug out bag? If the unthinkable happens, which it often does, you’ll still have the survival supplies in your vest. But what if you’re never faced with an emergency situation? You can still use it for hunting, fishing, hiking, and camping. Having a survival vest packed and ready to go is always a good idea.

Matt Walker

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