Wearing a Tactical Backpack in Public: What You Need to Know


You are probably a fan of tactical or tech wear. If you carry a tactical backpack that you love in public, you may not think of it that way, but you are included in the fandom. Fortunately, there is nothing wrong with that. Moreover, it is on-trend right now, which is an advantage for you. However, you need to be very aware of how you present yourself because other people undoubtedly are. What makes you feel comfortable and prepared might make a shopkeeper feel afraid for their lives.

Sadly, it is not personal. There are plenty of reasons for someone to be jumpy around anyone who looks over-prepared, or part of an organized military effort.  I will help you see the other side of the issue. Regrettably, you need to extend your situational awareness to cover how people see you. You do not want to end up in real danger because of your practical choices.

Wearing a Tactical Backpack in Public

There are potential downsides of wearing a tactical backpack wrong in public. However, the advantages are well worth having. Unlike a standard bag, your tac pack handles a whole lot more.

Adding MOLLE pouches allows you to get organized effortlessly. Moreover, tactical backpacks exist for long term wear. Unlike a school bag, you can comfortably carry a tac pack for hours. Luckily, once you are used to having one on, you will find they are indispensable for EDC and emergencies.

Keep in mind that when it comes to carrying what you need, a tactical pack is critical. Even when you are just lugging some work gear, you need the right container. Since a tactical backpack exists to serve that purpose, there is no better all-purpose solution anywhere.

The Gelindo Military Tactical Backpack from Amazon is a superb option. With a thirty-five liter capacity and six color options, you can carry what you need and get the look you like. Naturally, the mole system allows you to attach plenty of pouches for additional equipment. Plus, this model is a hydration pouch compatible. Check the excellent reviews right here

History of the Tactical Backpack

People have carried survival gear slung across their backs for centuries. The term backpack was not in a dictionary until January first of nineteen ten. However, that did not stop people from carrying bags with two shoulder straps long before then.

The first recorded (widespread) frame packs came from Norway in the early eighteen hundreds. A simple wooden frame helped travelers carry their necessities long distances. Arguably this was the first (non-military) tactical backpack.

In the intervening centuries, we have certainly improved on the design. Adding things like padded comfort straps, lightweight internal frames, and waist straps for ease of carrying changed the tac pack forever. Today’s tactical backpacks have roots in our early human ancestors.

For soldiers and travelers everywhere, the advent of a mass-produced backpack made it easier to stay on the go. A suitcase with wheels or even a duffel bag simply cannot compare to your average grab-and-go tactical pack. Before packs, people used slings with hides between them to drag things cross country.

If they were lucky and born in later centuries, they might have a cart or a pack animal instead. However, transporting the things you need, to the place you are going is just more comfortable in a backpack. Fortunately, you can take more “stuff” with you if you have a great tactical backpack.

Plus, it is easier to find things with the addition of mole pouches. The ability to grab what you need fast can save your life. In survival situations, your tac pack is a must-have item.

First Impression of Tactical Backpack in Public

The way people see your tactical backpack in public changes their first impression significantly. While you may not care about what others think, you should. Unfortunately, looking like a threat makes you a target. In an SHTF scenario, the person who has all the survival gear is the one a savvy mugger may want to kill. That equipment is useful, and not just for you.

It takes less than a tenth of a second for people to get a first impression. Maintaining a friendly and non-threatening demeanor saves lives. People are more likely to help and trust you if they do not see you as a problem. Moreover, being the attention-grabbing thing around makes you a challenge to other survivors who want to compete.

If you plan to carry your tac pack in public, dress it down. Make sure you do not look like the guy who has everything and protect yourself. Although it is vital to carry self-defense anyway, when things go sideways, you have to hold on to your gear for it to do any good.

Where to Store a Tactical Backpack

If you have decided the best option is stowing that tactical backpack nearby, then you have options. You need it accessible in case of trouble. However, there are times and places where your tactical pack just can not go with you.

For example, if you work in an office, you probably should not carry your pack to meetings. Luckily, you can still toss it under your desk. Unless your job has a security clearance so you can not take a bag, put it by your feet. Additionally, a large drawer fits most packs.

For some, a locker at work is the only option for keeping their tactical backpack nearby. Alternately, if you must, then leaving your tac pack in the car is alright too. Make sure you do not leave your bag in the cab where thieves can see it. Sadly, a tac pack makes a high target.

I recommend the J.CARP Military Large Assault Pack for carrying whatever you need. You will appreciate the front and sideload compression system. The double stitching and heavy-duty zippers will help keep your essential survival supplies safe. Furthermore, the included hydration pouch will keep you moving even in hot weather. To get yours from Amazon, click here

Tactical Pack in Public Looks Like Stolen Valor

Beyond merely wearing a tactical backpack in public, some people choose to kit themselves out in military dress fully. If you are a soldier, that is not typically a problem. As the kids say, “You do you.” However, civilians who did not serve can undoubtedly take it too far.

Unfortunately, there is a big difference between tossing on some hunting camo and an olive drab pack and looking exactly like a soldier when you are not. There are plenty of advantages to looking like part of a military unit. You have backup nearby, or so it seems. Moreover, it means you are well trained to use the equipment you are carrying.

However, most non-military people probably never think of the issue of Stolen Valor unless charged with it. Realistically, it depends on how far you take the impersonation. Hence, if you benefit from the ruse, it is a problem.

When TEOTWAWKI happens, no laws will prevent you from looking how you want. So you could claim anything you can get away with. Still, I would not recommend trying it on actual soldiers. Moreover, I would avoid it anyhow out of respect.

What Is Stolen Valor?

For some of you, this is a new term, so I will explain. Stolen Valor is making a fraudulent claim about military service to receive a benefit. It is a misdemeanor and a punishable offense. At the minimum, you could be subject to a hefty fine.

According to Congress.gov the “Stolen Valor Act of 2013 – Amends the federal criminal code to rewrite provisions relating to fraudulent claims about military service to subject to a fine, imprisonment for not more than one year, or both an individual who, with intent to obtain money, property, or other tangible benefits, fraudulently holds himself or herself out to be a recipient of…” Then there is a long list of medals and badges.

The TLDR version is that you should avoid wearing anything that indicates you held rank in the military. Unless you legitimately did so, it is illegal, like impersonating a police officer. This does not mean that you are forbidden from wearing military surplus or replicas. However, it does mean you cannot falsely claim service. Especially if you get any benefit from giving the impression you served, then it is against the law.

Pick an excellent black Hannibal Tactical 36L Assault Pack from Amazon to avoid looking too much like a soldier. The water-resistant 600×600 density fabric will keep your gear dry and secure. The included upgraded D-rings and mole webbing dominator will hold your extra pouches tightly. Plus, the hundred percent satisfaction guarantee on this pack is backed up by genuinely excellent customer service. Find out more by clicking here

When Your Tactical Backpack Is Not Stolen Valor

Do all tactical backpacks make you look like you served? Unquestionably not. When you dress in jeans and a t-shirt, or a suit, then you don’t look like a soldier. Even your tactical pack will not change that.

Likewise, getting kitted out for airsoft games with friends is fine. Make sure your faux-uniform and pack have no ranks or awards on them. Dressing up is acceptable. However, taking credit that is not yours is a problem.

Similarly, if you are in a movie or even a comedy spoof, then you are probably alright. However, during everyday dress, you should never try to give the impression of a rank you do not possess. Otherwise, you could end up behind bars for up to a year.

Your tactical backpack does not help you in jail. Furthermore, being there could cut your survival chances. Choosing military and tactical gear because it helps you survive is only useful when it works. Hence, be careful about how you present when you go out in a tac pack.

Final Thoughts

There is no question that you should carry a tactical backpack in public. However, be extremely aware of how you present yourself with it. The trend for wearing tech and military gear will help, but looking too much like a soldier can be a problem, even for soldiers.

Consider grabbing a brightly colored rain cover and tossing it over your tac pack. It does not matter what it looks like if no one can see your bag. Sometimes all it takes is a little obfuscation to change the impression people get.

Make sure you pick a high-quality tactical backpack for your survival gear. The right stitching and zippers can be the difference between having what you need on hand and dying of exposure because your pocket fell open when you were distracted.