As a recovering 12-stepper when it comes to gear, I am extremely particular and demanding as to what I want from a product. I expect functionality, practicality and durability. Of course, much of that depends on the products application in whatever task and environment you are operating within.
For me, as a frequent traveler and noting that my typical task and environment is low profile protective, investigative or consulting services, I needed a pack that would facilitate short term travel assignments, maximizing functionality of the one pack as to limit the amount of bags required. I have been through several, and I still use many of them, however I have been finding myself routinely relying on this one pack the most – The North Face ‘Recon’ backpack in TNF Black.
It has enough space for all of my essential personal gear plus a change of clothes, is of quality build at an affordable price and is even comfortable to wear. As a plus, it is even ‘tac-black’ and says ‘recon’ on it so we can check the box on rule #1.
Rule #1: Look cool.
Rule #2: Know what you’re doing.
Rule #3: If you don’t know what you’re doing, refer to Rule #1.
Shown below is my typical/general packing list, which is modified depending on the task/environment.
The outside of the pack has a large exterior pouch (hat) and two sides, which I usually keep a water bottle in one and a med kit in the other. The top exterior small fleece lined zipper pouch is quickly accessible, so there I keep my double USB car/wall charger with cable, along with my dash mount which allows me to dash mount my phone in any vehicle.
Inside the pouch is a large main compartment which secludes and pads a laptop and I typically have a professional folder, a travel size hygiene kit, and a change of clothes. In the main inner compartment is pens/pencils, Rite-in-the-Rain notebook, tire pressure gauge, SwissTech Bodygard, business cards, professional documents/licenses, computer accessories, charging accessories including a PowerAll, personal sustainment (powerbars, etc.) and anything else I need to take with me on the trip. Note: the IPAK (Individual Protective Agent’s Kit)
Lastly, don’t forget what you need to keep on you at all times as well; adapt the list below to your task environement.
PERSONAL GEAR – SMART PHONE W/ GPS, INTERNET & CAMERA, RITE-IN-THE-RAIN NOTE-TAKING GEAR, SMITH OPTICS POLARIZED Z87+ GLASSES, FLASHLIGHT, MULTI-TOOL, INSTANT GROUP COMM W/ MOLDED EAR PIECES, IPAK, CASH
Here is another recommendation for personal gear from Art Dorst, a 20+ security practitioner and EMT in New Jersey.
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