With all the recent uncertainty, many people have turned their minds to what they’d need if the worst happens. These people can sound a little paranoid sometimes, but if a disaster occurs, they’ll be the ones who are prepared to weather the storm.
Even if you don’t feel like everything is going bottoms up, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to have a few essentials on hand, ready to go just in case.
When preparing for some kind of disaster scenario, think about the things that will disappear first – clean water, food, and electricity.
If everyone else is looking for these things too, having a few essential tactical items will help you stay on top of the situation, giving you that much less to worry about.
6 Essential Tactical Gears You Must Have
#1. A Sturdy Backpack (Filled with the Right Supplies, Of Course)
You’ll want to pick a backpack that’s big enough to hold the essentials, but small enough for you to carry for quite some time.
Fill it with things like non-perishable foods (dehydrated is better than canned), water and water filters, a gun/rifle, rifle scope and some ammunition, a knife, string or rope, a compact blanket, and matches.
By the time you’ve filled the backpack it could be fairly heavy, so make sure that as little weight as possible is due to the backpack itself.
There are plenty of tactical backpacks that are made from lightweight materials like tactical nylon; this kind of backpack will also help you stay more comfortable if you end up carrying it all day.
When you’re shopping around for the right backpack, pay attention to the pockets. Not only can these add a ton of storage space, but they’re great for organizing your stuff.
Instead of setting the whole backpack down and opening it up every time you need to grab your knife or flashlight, you can just reach around and whip it right out.
#2. Devices for Navigation and Communication
One of the hardest things to cope with during a natural disaster is the inability to communicate with the outside world. Cell towers and power lines get taken out by floodwaters or gale-force winds, and just like that, you’re cut off from everything.
Not only are your cell phone and computer useless, but you’re stuck in a disaster area with no idea of the scope of the disaster, or how to get out.
Well, that’s only if you didn’t think ahead and get a satellite phone. A device like this will allow you to get in touch with the people who are worried about you.
You can not only let them know what the situation is, but also find out the severity of the disaster and other crucial information.
A basic satellite phone will cost a couple of hundred dollars, but there are also more expensive options that have navigation capabilities. If you think you might end up making a trek out of the area, either this or a reliable compass would be a big plus.
#3. A Tactical Belt
This is pretty much the same idea as having extra pockets on your backpack, but the extended version. It also helps distribute the weight of what you’re carrying, taking a bit of the load from the shoulders.
This is a great place to put extra ammunition, a flashlight, sunglasses, a multitool, and any other compact items that won’t fit in your backpack.
The best tactical belts will be made from nylon that’s “tactical-grade”, material that’s made just for these situations. It’s very lightweight but can last through just about anything without falling apart.
#4. Reliable Shoes
Aside from staying fed, hydrated, and warm, keeping your feet in good condition might be one of the most important physical aspects of surviving a disaster.
It’s quite possible that the roads will be either blocked or washed away during a disaster situation, so your feet become the primary mode of transport.
With this in mind, get some shoes that can take anything. Sturdy treads with a good grip are important, and ankle support is a great feature too.
Some people prefer combat boots, but for others, these can be too heavy; just make sure that the shoes you choose can withstand heavy wear-and-tear while protecting your feet from anything you’ll have to walk through.
#5. A Tactical Flashlight
A tactical flashlight is one of the most essential items for your pack. You could save yourself a decent amount of weight in your pack just by picking a small and powerful light.
There are plenty of options in the $35 – $50 range; features to look out for are the brightness (obviously), battery duration, rechargeable batteries, and a small size/weight. Since this is all about preparation, go ahead and get some extra batteries as well.
#6. Power Bank
When the power goes out, the usefulness of your battery-powered devices is limited to the life of the battery itself – once that’s gone, you’re out of luck without another power source.
That’s when a power bank comes in handy. Having replacement batteries won’t be an option for every device, so some backup power could make all the difference, especially if the disaster situation lasts for a while.
As you look for a power bank, keep in mind that you might have to carry it along with all your other equipment. There will always be a trade-off between size and charging capabilities, so pick your power bank based on which devices you’re most likely to recharge.
For most people, the priority would probably be their satellite phone and whatever device they’re using to navigate; for these items, the options start with a power bank holding 2-3 full charges weighing about a pound, and go up from there.
With a little planning ahead, you can make sure that you’ve got all the essentials ready to go if an emergency arises.
The idea is to have the basics, but a little more than that won’t hurt either – pack a few things that’ll make the difficult times easier, like something to listen to music on, or a sturdy pair of gloves.
The idea isn’t just to survive a hard situation but to come out on the other side still going strong.