> TEOTWAWKI Blog: The Devil's Advocate: No Armor?



The Devil's Advocate: No Armor?

The Devil's Advocate series seeks to explore ideas that run against the mainstream, accepted wisdom. We're not necessarily recommending a particular course of action, but instead exploring alternatives.

Body armor has become a hugely important tool in increasing the modern soldier's survivability. It's saved countless lives. If you're expecting a high likelihood of getting shot in the chest, there's no better idea than donning a set of good rifle plates.

Of course, body armor undeniably weighs a lot - 15 pounds of additional weight is a decent average. It also restricts movement to some degree and is fairly uncomfortable to wear. At the end of the day, those add up to reduced speed and reduced endurance, especially if you're not in excellent physical shape to begin with.

The weight may also mean tradeoffs between other critical gear--if 60 pounds is the most you can realistically operate with, that 15 pounds of armor probably means less food, water or other survival gear. What if it's 45 pounds? Or 30?

I know of at least a few occasions where Tier 1 SF guys, facing a long hike over difficult terrain have ditched their armor in favor of the lighter load, speed, mobility and added stamina that choice afforded them. And these guys were facing certain combat at the end of their journey, versus a citizen survivor who would be avoiding trouble whenever possible.

What do you think - is the body armor tradeoff always worth it? How do you run your gear - plate carrier or no plate carrier? When would you leave your rifle plates behind - if ever?