Here’s why you shouldn’t go hiking without tactical gear

Hiking is a long, often vigorous walk, usually on trails in a natural environment and mountains. A lot of outdoor enthusiasts are passionate about hiking and plan short hikes during weekends. If you are a beginner, you may want to start with day hikes where you return to the starting point by the end of the day. You can gradually move to multi-day hike which is also easy and helps you know your ability and aptitude for hiking. You can also club it with camping in the wilderness at night. Some knowledge of map-reading and first-aid comes handy in hiking.

So, what is tactical gear? Tactical means clever or skillful in planning or manoeuvering to accomplish a purpose. Tactical gear refers to a wide variety of products created primarily for military and law enforcement personnel, which due to its durability and robustness, has also become popular among hunters, outdoor enthusiasts, and common citizens. It is used to protect oneself from danger in the outdoors and prepare for emergency situations.

Now, one would not want to go hiking in flip flops or hunting in denims. It is obviously important to be wearing and carrying the right gear with you, so as to be prepared for the outdoor activity and unforeseen situations.

From body armor to optical equipment to footwear, a lot comes under tactical gear, which is why a lot of people want to get tactical gear for their common use too. Tactical gear has found some popularity and increased use in hiking over the years. Here is some of the tactical gear that you can use in hiking :

  • Jacket

Tactical jackets were initially intended for military personnel with features like weatherproofing, multiple pockets and pouches, and durable fabric and stitching. With an increase in their applicability, they were later designed to be more stylish and affordable so that even civilians could use them.

These jackets are popular among hikers for their functionality, as these protect them against harsh weather conditions, give them ample storage, and are made of rugged fabric which makes them durable and long lasting.

Jackets come with a lot of features and you need to choose one wisely. You need to do some research on the type of material you are comfortable in, should be sure of the fit that you want, and the storage capacity i.e. pockets and zips that you would like it to have.

The material should be able to protect you from all types of weather and offer you comfort at the same time. Some jackets come with extra protection or some work with armor or ballistic vests.  Loading too much stuff in the pockets can reduce mobility and you would not want that on a hike. Some jackets have a cool feature like a zip or hole for you to plug your earphones through it and be able to listen to music while on the go.

  • Boots

Irrespective of what you are doing outdoors, your footwear is an important aspect to take care of. You, of course, would not want to go hiking in casual shoes or shoes with poor grip, as only the right footwear can keep you safe in all types of weather conditions and protect you from falls.

You might want to consider wearing footwear that are light, comfortable and protect your feet from injuries. A lot of hikers use tactical boots for hikes. These boots are robust and durable. Tactical boots differ greatly in weight, ankle support, breathability and material, and you should be really careful with what you choose, especially if you are planning a long hike.

  • Backpack

A backpack is a very important possession as it allows you to carry your essentials. Tactical backpacks are made of durable material so as to withstand rigorous abrasion during hikes in the wilderness. They also have more compartments and pockets which makes it easy for you to organise your hiking gear and other essentials meticulously. They are usually heavier than other backpacks but are more robust and long lasting.

Make sure you do not stuff your backpack with items that you will not be needing on the hike as these not only add weight to your bag but you also have to take care of those extra items in your bag. One of the first things, don’t forget to choose the right backpack for your hike.

  • Watch

It is important to have a wrist companion on the hike and many hikers like to wear a tactical watch. Watches which are tough, water-resistant, and have a good battery life are apt for hikes. These are a reliable timepiece as they can withstand harsh weather conditions.

Watches may come with advanced and sophisticated features like LED light, multiple time zones, shock proof, scratch-proof and anti-reflective coated lens. Some watches have a GPS feature which improves its functionality and may come with added features. One should do a thorough research before buying a watch and also know the purpose and use of the watch.

  • Sunglasses

No one wants to compromise with the safety of our eyes and you never know what is in store for you, especially on a hike. Sunglasses are a good means of protecting your eyes from excessive ultraviolet radiation, especially if you spend a lot of time outside. Tactical sunglasses have grown popular among civilians. These provide ballistic protection i.e. protection against small projectiles and fragments which is why hikers find them useful on hikes. They use these to protect their eyes from the sun, fragments, and even bushes or branches from the trees. You might consider investing in a pair of sunglass cable strap to keep them secure while wearing them.

It is interesting that what started out as a means to protect military and law enforcement personnel, has found common use too. Tactical gear owes its growing popularity to its durability, convenience, sturdiness and light weight. Tactical gear has been a blessing to hikers and helps them to be better prepared for the hike.

So before you plan a hike or head outdoors, make sure you are armed with the right gear and are well prepared for the hike.