Is military gear better than civilian?

Being ex-mil I’m biased in as much as green has always worked for me and pretty much sums up my feelings. Even after all this time (30 years since I surrendered my ID card) and despite the huge advances in technology and modern materials, I prefer something that has been  proven “grunt proof”.

Prefer but am no longer 100% loyal to that thought.
The question remains, is mil gear better or worse than civilian?
Yes and no I suppose the answer is.
Sure I buy NATO numbers, but I also buy work wear and the odds and sods of “stuff” I need which a good surplus place stocks as standard. I suppose there is a familiar feel between the two with work wear having no frills or the fancy labels and cost of the modern “must haves”.

I’m returning to the “ex-spurts” thought processes agenda here.
Their recommendations of the best is occasionally correct and based on sound judgment. Although I do raise my eyebrows when I see:-

clickhereWhat advice would you give to a “starter” prepper though?
Go mil, high-tech, or a sprinkling of both when it comes down to equipping themselves with the basics?

It’s a difficult thing to advise if you are at all honest about things.
My philosophy is based on value for money in the end and why pay for some expensive gizmo’s with a fancy name when basic does the job as well and at half (or even less) price?

One thing is certain though, I dislike technology. Well not exactly technology, more electronics than technology.

Technology is a good thing. Wow, I’ve said it.
Only as long as it doesn’t mean you totally rely on it.
For example, I’ve got some of the best ceramic filters for straining out “soupy water” into potable water you can buy. Why? Because clean water is a health issue, an important issue. There again I’ve also got a billy can for boiling that same instantly drinkable water as I still believe that boiling is the safe way of doing things. New technology, old thinking.

Clothing. Modern work wear and especially their footwear is great.
Choose carefully and you’ll get the benefit of technology in modern materials with the knowledge that what you buy is pretty damn robust.

As regards footwear, I always wear working boots.
OK the debate about wearing steel toe caps in winter can cause a few differences in opinion yet trying to survive with a nail puncture through the sole of your boot or a crushed foot is a powerful argument for me wearing “steels”.

As for other PPE? (Personal Protection Equipment).
I suppose I’ve shifted my opinion a bit about what’s on offer in mil stores. Such as a full face respirator NATO style is going to work yet the modern commercial ones are more comfy, a better fit, and can be “tuned” to deal with different environments by simply changing filters. Modern thinking against the mil’s “one size, one design fits all occasions”.

As for sealants, adhesives, and the all too important duct (gaffer) tape? I like new, fast acting, and chemical resistant materials. Yet I’ll still sew things up with a needle and thread making repairs temporarily waterproof with candle wax or resin from a fir-tree in the field. New and old, modern technology and old thinking.

Finally my pet hate, electronics.
Got a GPS? I have.
It’s called a map and a magnetic compass. At night it’s augmented by using the stars. Only my two don’t need batteries. Drop them and they will bounce, wet them and they are usually recoverable.

Radio is now in my humble opinion essential for your personal safety in a grid down scenario.
Only have you noticed how much people rely on it and rave about it??
Also what they buy, cost and performance wise.
High tech rules in the main. Toyz for boyz mainly and rich boyz at that.
Only that stuff isn’t field repairable and even a good workshop with a good (rare as hens teeth IMO) radio engineer might struggle.

I know I do in so much as spares and the extensive use of processing chips largely prevents repair.

My handheld CB and marine VHF cost me change out of £100 the pair. They both run on 12 volts worth of (common as chips) AA batteries and both chosen because you can jack in external power.

Hardly sophisticated and with no encryption, or Sel-Call fitted.
Yet I see all manner of top-notch commercial gear touted as the best thing you can buy.

Er, drop it and it will break.
Wire it up wrong and it will fry,
Hit it with an EMP and it may never work again.
Just like mine.
Only difference between yours and mine?
A few hundred more and a fancy label.

I could go on but to what end.
I’m a luddite with low tech green inclinations when it comes to survival and basic gear.

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5 Responses to Is military gear better than civilian?

  1. Brittius says:

    Reblogged this on Brittius.

  2. I’ve found gear that is of quality construction, made to last and relatively simple is the best kind of gear of all.

    • And for me it usually comes in olive green or NATO DPM.

      Currently I get a good laugh when I see British forces wearing desert cam in the rain on the streets. For some reason I find that REALLY funny.

      Still with all the defense cuts, I suppose they are lucky to have any sort of uniform and by the different styles of boots, I reckon a lot of the lads and lasses are buying their own as issue probably doesn’t fit.

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