Tactical Gear Hacker!

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Tactical Gear Hacker

GI’s (general infantrymen) have been modifying their gear as long as they have been bitching about their Officers. I am not an expert in every gear hacking enterprise. So I invite every reader to post about their favorite gear mods.

Tactical Gear Hacker Skills

Imagination: Guess what. Everything is open to being hacked. All your gear can be modified. I won’t be able to cover everything here.

Sewing: The military taught me sewing… no they didn’t have a class on it. It is just something you pick up. For me it is useful as a medic and a gear hacker. Ask someone how to sew. Being able to repair and modify your gear makes sewing an essential skill. For tactical Nylon I would pick up a tent repair kit and some sailing needles if nothing else. Sewing may not seem all that manly but Tactical Tailors was started by a Sniper who modified and reinforced GI gear in his barracks room.

Painting: Spray painting your gear is essential to good camouflage. So get some flat earth tone colors that manage your environment. Most major brands of spray paint have special camo paint available.

Knot Tying: You should know how to tie at least a square knot, clove hitch, prusik, figure 8 from memory. If you have a smart phone there is a cool app that Columbia makes called “What Knot to do in the Outdoors” down load it.

Dying: Clothing dye is cheap at Wal-Mart. If you are an Army vet like me and you have a shit ton of UCP AKA ACU pattern gear you might need to dye that shit. Most tactical nylon are selling their ACU pattern shit at a discount because it sucks so bad.

Re purposing: This is using something for a task other than it’s intended purpose. Example. Your Standard GI canteen pouch… can carry grenades and 500 ml IV bags. Which is good because most grenade pouches can expose the pins… Not something you want to find out that the tree you just walked pass snagged from your gear.

Re-purposing saves money big time. If you master nothing else master re purposing. SKED litters… cost a metric shit ton. Deer sleds that do the same thing… 40 bucks at most sporting goods stores. Dear are typically man-sized animals. The one I got is the smaller one and it fits someone up to 6′ tall.and that is good enough for government work.

3D Printing: I can’t fake the funk I know dick about 3D printing. I know how to make 3D CAD files and that is about it. But it looks cool.

Rotatory Tool: If you want to modify gear… OWN A FREAKING DREMEL or similar product.

Welding: I also know dick about welding: Less of a dick than I know about 3D printing.

Soldering: Okay, so if you want to modify electronics or anything with wires you have to learn to solder. It is easy to get started. You can learn from the internet I am sure if you don’t already know. Go to Radio Shack to get the supplies.

Tactical Gear Resources:

Make: and Craft: magazines: There are makers who can build a $40 dollar night vision device… yeah cool huh. Check their site out or on the news stands. http://makezine.com/

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About David Black

Trained and Certified: National Registry EMT, Wilderness EMT, US Army 68W, Tactical Combat Causality Care (TCCC), Basic Life Support for Healthcare Workers, Advanced Cardiac Life Support, Pediatric Advanced Life Support, US Coast Guard Medical Person In-Charge, Pre-Hospital Trauma Life Support. International Trauma Life Support. HAM Radio Technician. Trained and Certified to Instruct: Combat Life Saver Instructor and Community Emergency Response Team Trainer. CPR, AED, First Aid.

6 thoughts on “Tactical Gear Hacker!

  1. Thanks for listing the makezine site,also,I to am big into reuse/retooling items.That said,no new projects till ones started either finished or set aside until new ideas/tools come up!That said,it can’t hurt to just “look” at some new ideas/projects/gadgets.

  2. As far as 3D printing is concerned yeah that here is an idea. The knife mods I did. If you can make a 3D printed sheeth that has a ferro rod holder, Compass, sharpener, LED flash light ect. That would be boss.

    Kydex hosters are big. There are plenty of youtube videos.

    If you can make tactical accessories for surplus rifles like the SKS, M1, Mosin, Mausers that would be a good market to break into.

  3. I am starting a 3d printing business and may (depending on pre-SHTF rules and regulations which will be deemed null when SHTF) print and sell Hi-cap mags etc, anything that doesnt require an FFL to produce and sell. http://kellerrobotics.com, currently still in start up phase but plan to go live January 1st if everything continues on track. I also know how to solder, sew, improvise, re-purpose and have a wonderful imagination…..not to mention the pyro side of me 😉 This site is amazing, and NetSec and encryption go a long way pre-SHTF. I have repurposed 90% of the materials for many of my robotics and electronics. and as far as the “night vision” you mentioned, I would not call it true “night vision” so speak. Its not amplifying existing light, it is simply producing its own light in a wavelength invisible to the human eye (and many, if not all animals eyes). It isnt optimal however post-SHTF, its better than nothing and I feel it is an asset and totally worth any and all money. I skimmed the vehicle armoring article and plan to read it in full in the future. Also any ideas for prepping type items to be 3d printed? Trying to spread the opportunities of my business to as many places as possible to prevent having “slow” points of business where I make less money than needed to pay bills etc, although if multiple markets are thriving at any given time, that will give me extra income to spend on developing prepper items. I am currently planning a night vision system that uses IR and a custom 3d printed case that may or may not end up being sold in my online store. Planning for it to be water proof, or at least water resistant at absolute minimum. Any ideas can be left as comments on my site, although comments arent posted until admin approval, IE me.

  4. Here are some of my Hacks: I did to modify my TA 50 was I took my LBE vest and my camelbak. Using the replacement buckles and MALICE clips I made an H-Harness out of the lumbar portion of the vest. So that water and my E&E kit stayed on me and if I need to bail the rest it was easy to throw on and take off.

    So I grew up in the era of the Rambo Knife. The all in one survival system. So I made my own Rambo Knife. It’s called The Dave Black knife. I started with a Gerber LMF http://www.gerberknives.co/product/Gerber/Knives/22-01626/LMF-II-Infantry-Green-S-E-with-Sheath.

    Which I used gutted Paracord to wrap the handle. I took a ferrocerium rod and zip tied it to the sheath. I put a piece of shock cord through the lanyard loop on the rod and made a loop to keep in in place. Then I Gorilla Glued a Brunton compass on the sheath and reinforced it with zip ties. I then took a GI first aid/compass pouch. I took a MALICE Clip and attached it with home made ranger bands. I filled it with a length of chain saw chain ($6), Gorilla Tape around a gift card, I also have a sling shot sling and a small stream light LED flashlight.

    I have actually used everything while hiking minus the sling shot.

    Which is a good point. If you build it yourself. You have to be your own lab. You have to test it yourself.

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