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Sticking out like sore thumbs


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#21 Packetknife

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:52 AM

In "regular" daily life it's going to varry by location and the mood of a potential adversary - some will go for those that are sticking out as maybe bad-a**es, or people carrying, or those that look weak. I think planning on that alone in regular daily life would be folly. Wear what makes you actually the best prepared w/o looking like a head-case. Other than that, I think it's over-thinking it.Where I do think it matters is if SHTF Katrina style and you're in large swaths of people moving through National Guard areas or otherwise and they're looking to collect weapons. Or if your SHTF and their are snipers on distant rooftops.. some people I know have a tendency to have camo and heavily tactical wear as their default bug-out wear. And I think THAT is a mistake - to want to stand out in the initial stages of any SHTF situation. -Pk

#22 Psybain

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Posted 27 April 2012 - 06:30 PM

About the most overtly "tactical" things I wear on a regular basis are my ITS shirts and my camelbak backpack. Even then, my backpack is just black so it looks like a civilian bag for the most part, and I'm sure most the people that see my ITS shirts just scratch their heads and thing to themselves, "What the hell is a crew leader?" Most the time I'm wearing tan/off-white cargo shorts and a polo shirt with flip flops with a baseball hat of some kind. I like to blend into the woodwork as much as possible.

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#23 Swise

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Posted 03 May 2012 - 11:47 AM

nickb512 said:

"...need to cool it with their love of trying to look like they just stepped out of a chopper from some super secret op some where." Now when Iused to get off the bird, after a super secret op, you'd find me in flip flops and shorts, usually banging back a cold one or ten somewhere. (Used to love Annabelles at Ft. Bragg, they had "superbeers" but I digress) My point is that when you spend any time at all using said tactical goodies you are not likely to wear em when you don't have to.  Having said that, I judge threat level more on how a person behaves and carries themselves  than on what they wear. Besides that maybe the whack job shooting folks at the local Costco will run out of ammo before he notices me if John "Whale Belly" Rambo over there in his Ghille Suit draws fire.  When I see guys like that I just give em a nod and laugh to myself. Just my .02


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#24 langston302

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 03:13 PM

I have fought and fought with people who end up looking like big tactical targets. Clothing and gear are huge indicators.  Its so easy to go overboard with what your wear.  I argue with the guys at work, I argue with my non LEO friends and I argue with myself.I make the choice to look like a polar opposite of a LEO when I am not working.  You would never know just looking at me.  I have all the needed items on board but I really would rather disappear in a crowd.I do not want to be a target.  I make a game of picking out who is carrying and who isnt.  I am pretty damn good about picking out cops ( most have an attitude about them, looking around checking area so on and so forth ) And the concealed carry folks....they are easy.....and from my experience....clueless.  They wear all the gear and show all the right clues.......  Thats whats really scary.
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#25 Psybain

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Posted 26 June 2012 - 04:16 PM

Swise said:

nickb512 said:

Besides that maybe the whack job shooting folks at the local Costco will run out of ammo before he notices me if John "Whale Belly" Rambo over there in his Ghille Suit draws fire.

Man that was funny. Thanks for the laugh.

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#26 Swise

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Posted 27 June 2012 - 11:25 AM

Anytime brother
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#27 Kurt Schneider

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Posted 15 October 2012 - 04:02 PM

I live in Texas; what are pants? :cool:

Seriously, yes, it's possible to overdo it. I wear pretty generic cargo shorts and untucked shirts, with running shoes and an occasional jacket. Pants are only worn for nice occasions and the rare temperature drop.

At the range, or hunting, it's a different story, but I learned long ago not to carry a big pack because you'll just fill it up. And who wants to carry all that crap you might someday possibly need, when instead you can be carrying the essentials?
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#28 PsychoFish

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 05:35 AM

I am pretty damn good about picking out cops ( most have an attitude about them, looking around checking area so on and so forth ) And the concealed carry folks....they are easy.....and from my experience....clueless. They wear all the gear and show all the right clues....... Thats whats really scary.



Thats actually funny you say that, I play the same game of eyeing people to see if they are carrying. And just the other day I swung by a new cigar shop in my 10-7 uniform (shorts, t-shirt, and flipflops) while I was paying the guy says "You're a cop arn't you." I guess he could read my face and followed up with, "you guys are always overly polite, and carry yourselves different." And here I thought he was one of my past customers!
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#29 Stubs

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Posted 17 October 2012 - 08:15 PM

I dont know if it really Flags you. I wear 5.11 or similar Tac pants "EVERYDAY". Now most of the time they are Navy Blue and im wearing a Station Shirt with them but otherwise its Khaki or Coyote.

I would say to the Trained eye maybe but an everyday Sheeple wont have a clue.

#30 Psybain

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:49 AM

I'd say for about 2/3 of the year I normally wear a t-shirt, an un-buttoned short sleeve shirt, oakleys, a baseball hat and flip flops.The other 1/3 it's jeans, a t-shirt, flip-flops or boots, and either a jacket, long sleeve button up shirt, or a hoodie with my hat and oakleys.

I'd like to think I do a fairly good job of staying the gray man.

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#31 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:25 AM

I toured the White House South Lawn last year. A buddy of mine is Secret Service but that wasn't really how we got in, as they have relatively "open" tours. But while walking around, he saw a few coworkers of his that were plain clothes and just taking the tour over and over. To be honest, I spotted the one guy (the other was a girl) before he said anything.

It was suspicious to see a guy in his mid to late 20's taking the White House tour and looking completely uninterested. No camera in hand, not reading the the little signs that were put up (with historic pictures, etc.). Not even pretending to read the little brochure they gave us. Just walking around and looking kind of creepy.

While his clothing didn't give him away, it was his attitude in his environment. Keep that in mind next time. Mirror those around you (within reason).

#32 Psybain

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Posted 18 October 2012 - 08:43 AM

That's a good point, Mike. Attitude can get you singled out faster than anything you're wearing. I do my best not to look overly alert while in public.

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#33 Arcturus08

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Posted 19 October 2012 - 08:01 AM

I agree somewhat.... Sticking out is never a good Idea. Most of the time I wear Cargo shorts/pants from Old Navy or Target (I'm Poor!), but sometime my Truspec 24/7 pants make an appearance. My gun and gear are always concealed. However every now and then I choose to be a 2nd amendment activist and open carry. Example would be the Starbucks appreciation day. People need to get use to seeing guns and maybe they will stop voting for people who try to take them away! :-)

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#34 michael star

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Posted 22 October 2012 - 12:18 PM

I have fought and fought with people who end up looking like big tactical targets. Clothing and gear are huge indicators. Its so easy to go overboard with what your wear. I argue with the guys at work, I argue with my non LEO friends and I argue with myself.I make the choice to look like a polar opposite of a LEO when I am not working. You would never know just looking at me. I have all the needed items on board but I really would rather disappear in a crowd.I do not want to be a target. I make a game of picking out who is carrying and who isnt. I am pretty damn good about picking out cops ( most have an attitude about them, looking around checking area so on and so forth ) And the concealed carry folks....they are easy.....and from my experience....clueless. They wear all the gear and show all the right clues....... Thats whats really scary.


Same here. Why make yourself a target?

#35 langston302

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Posted 29 October 2012 - 08:40 AM

I want to be the guy you dont see.
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#36 Mother73

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 01:53 AM

Thinking this is a "guy" issue. Seems rare you see women stand out like that. Now, despite the hair (which is "almost" never that red) it is much easier to blend in, or be completely overlooked as a woman. So, the real question becomes, who are you trying to impress in your over the top tac gear?

#37 mikejulietpapa

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

Thinking this is a "guy" issue. Seems rare you see women stand out like that...


Hrm... very good point actually. Guys, we might need to take some cues from the ladies. Really something to think about, thanks Mother! (sounds weird saying that but that's your username, haha)
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#38 Mother73

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Posted 08 November 2012 - 11:17 PM

Hrm... very good point actually. Guys, we might need to take some cues from the ladies. Really something to think about, thanks Mother! (sounds weird saying that but that's your username, haha)

Have spent 6 years wrangling strippers. Have 6 kids. Husband was private security, so we have our group of boys. Then spent a whole lot of time online waging planetary wars against the koreans in Starcraft. I am Mother to everyone.

#39 Rene Moreno

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 09:42 AM

Saying that just because a guy wears tactical brand clothing instantly identifies him as a target because he obviously is packing heat and ought not to be messed with is a fallacy. Â It is the same as saying that just because a fella is wearing a Tapout shirt identifies him as an MMA expert, or that a pair of Wrangler jeans makes you a bull rider. Â Â I do agree that if you can't fit everything you need to get you through the day in a shirt and pair of jeans, you have way too much stuff. Â


I see what you are saying and agree. the idea is that if it looks like a duck and walks like a duck, then it must be a duck. You and I know that not every one that dresses that way might be carring a gun, or even in the tactical community. Someone else might not be thinking that though. That is why it is best to avoid, when possible, to dress in a way that brings attention on yourself.
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#40 sgcaper

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 01:24 PM

I've been following this thread since it started and figured I'd add my two cents.

There are pluses and minuses to both arguments. I believe it all depends on several factors;

Where you live. In NYC cargos and Molle backpacks/shoulder bags, and boonie hats are just as common as suits and briefcases. No one gives a second look.
Your size/look. I'm 6'6" and 240 pounds athletic build with tattoos, piercings, and depending on the day faux hawk or side slicked hair. I stand out no matter what I'm wearing be it Levis and a polo (my everyday wear) or my 5.11 tac pants and a polo.
What you carry and what's your purpose. When I did private money transport my customers didn't want the attention of an armored car and armed guards. So I'd drive up in my Blazer in jeans a t-shirt, light coat or sweatshirt, and back pack put the money in the pack and off to the bank. If you're an armed guard most municipalities require your firearm be visible. I'm guessing such is the case with the campus guard mentioned previously. In NYC you MUST have your weapon out if you are uniformed security.
Lastly, what are you afraid of? I'm prepared to defend myself against a robber should the need arise but it's not my biggest concern. I worry about blackouts and civil unrest. In fact having served and taken martial arts if my fiancee was with me, I'm giving up my stuff. Why? Cause I can replace it. I can't replace her.

So really I ask in earnest, what is it that worries you that if you wear tac pants you're going to get taken out? Who or what makes you feel that what you wear makes you a target? Who's the hunter? I really am asking honestly. I don't worry about what might happen cause of what I'm wearing I prepare to take care of myself, my family, my loved ones, and really anyone else I can.

I learned long ago life isn't a movie. If the SHTF or TEOTWAWKI happened, it wouldn't matter what I was wearing. In either of those situations we're talking total break down of society. Thus no one cares what I wear they just want what they need and they are just as likely to come after me if I'm wearing my old BDUs or a pair of jeans and a t-shirt. In the mind of a desperate man if I'm wearing BDUs I have lots of "stuff" he needs/wants and he'll take a chance cause he's desperate. In jeans and t-shirt I'm an easy target with "stuff" he needs/wants. Either way the desperate man will come after me.

That said I think the "tacticool" phenom is good for those of us who are preppers, Vets, etc. The fact that there is a rise in things like airsoft leagues, paintball, prepper groups, heck prepper tv shows, survivalist shows that we are fast approaching where tac pants and the rest are becoming more accepted and being normalized. Bear Grylls and Les Stroud have made it cool and normal to carry a firestarter, pock knife, and first aid kit. "Save the Earth" types have made it cool to carry water bottles. Even the Walking Dead has opened peoples eyes to EDC and prepping. I think if anything we should thank those who wear "tacticool" stuff cause it takes eyes off of us, the ones who would have once stood out.

I'll end by saying I both sides make valid points. I stand closer to the side of wearing what's comfortable not what's "tacticool". But I do not fault those that do. Who am I to judge and cast aspersions at people? If a guy wants to wear cargos so be it. Whether he's prepared or not is neither here nor there.




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