Tiger McKee

Shootrite Firearms Academy

Wild Things Tactical

The tactical clothing of today traces its roots back to outdoor sports, especially “alpine” style mountaineering, an aggressive method of attacking a climbing objective carrying only the bare essentials, operating without any additional support or bases.

If you need it, you hump it. This sport requires lightweight clothing that provides protection against harsh terrain, water, wind and cold while allowing climbers to perform complicated physical tasks. As this gear became more mainstream the hunting and tactical communities recognized its advantages.

Today these high-tech materials and designs from the extreme sports have been successfully adapted for everything from suburban bicycling to the most rigorous forms of combative and tactical training.

A perfect example of the evolution from sport to tactical is Wild Things, a company started in 1981 by two climbers focused on making rugged lightweight climbing gear. Wild Things Tactical (WTT) is a line of gear specifically for combative applications. For example WTT’s Hard Shell Jacket, the SO 1.0, is designed to be worn over body armor and helmets, yet still create a slim profile.

All zippers are waterproof, including the pockets. There are two open-air mesh pockets inside, along with vent zippers on the sides. The hood is fully adjustable and has a laminated brim, a feature I consider essential. I usually wear a beanie cap in the cold. A hood without a brim will constantly slide forward and cover up my eyes.

The Hard Shell pants are made to the same specs as the coat, and cut to be close fitting. A slim profile allows you to move more naturally without snagging and catching on objects in your environment. A gusseted crotch makes kneeling and squatting easy. They also have suspender loops, a mandatory feature on my outer pants.

The waist of my outer shell must be loose enough that I can get to the gear on my belt underneath the pants or the pockets of my regular pants. With the outer pair this loose I need galluses to keep them from dropping down to my ankles. The pants have zippers up to the knees so getting the pants off and on over boots is easy.

WTT produces jackets and pants in a variety of different styles and weights. Their SO 1.0 Soft Shell jacket is constructed from a “four-way stretch nylon/spandex blended fabric” with a “hydrophobic polyester fleece” lining. Each sleeve has a shoulder and forearm pocket, and the sides have pit zips.

The stow-away hood can also be worn over a helmet and is cut to provide the wearer with as wide a field of view as possible. This jacket stands alone, or you can layer it under the Hard Shell for protection from anything shy of artic like conditions.

There’s no tellin’ the weather when trouble comes knockin.’ Don’t let the climate and terrain become a threat or a negative aspect to deal with when faced with dangerous situations. Protecting ourselves from the climate and environment is an easy option, and can provide an immense advantage over a less-equipped adversary.

October 13, 2011 - Posted by | Gear

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