Head gear in anon military SHTF situation

Discussion in 'General Survival Discussion' started by BlueZ, Mar 12, 2013.

  1. BlueZ

    BlueZ Well-Known Member

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    Some thoughts on head gear in a non military SHTF situation:

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    An urban or sub-urban SHTF enviroment is going to be very dangerous even if there is no active conflict.

    Unsafe buildings. falling rocks, rebar sticking out of the sides of smashed buildings..

    So what should we wear?

    Some recommend the current military Kevlar Helmet and it certainly has some abilities and advantages:

    - can protect from many common handgun calibers
    - gives significant trauma protection as well.

    But I want to suggest something different.

    Many might say: "Why something different? the military wears them and SWAT too so they must be good right?"

    Well its a little more complicated than that.
    When we buy gear for ourselves we are acting as our own aquisitions agency. So we should attempt to perform a requirements analysis and a benefits and tradeoff check as well.

    Let me explain:

    - The Kevlar Helmet (like all Helmets in modern militaries) and worn and designed to protect the wearer from mortar and artillery shrapnel.
    - But in order to accomplish that it adds weight and limits your field of vision. In the military thats on OK trade off sincwe we expect a lot of shrapnel

    - But in a SHTF situation shrapnel is not a reasonably common threat enought o accept the extra burden of weight and the opportunity cost on lessned field of vision

    - Some say, correctly that the current Gen Helmet protects against common handgun bullets.
    Thats true but.. there are only 2 major situations reasonably conceivable in SHTF when someone shoots you in the head :
    If its long range then its not a handgun but a rifle and the helmet wont protect you.
    If its short range then he can hit you anywhere he wants or not just the head and few shooters attempt a head shot even at common handgun ranges...

    So once we actually examine it ,the ability to protect against handgun bullets has little practical value.

    - Some might say, "What about SWAT Team? they wear those in an urban terrain, doesn't that nullify your previous arguments?"

    Again it's not as simple as that.

    -Their requirements set is distinct from a civilian walking around town in a SHTF situtation.
    Most typical SWAT operations involve forced entry direct action of one kind or another.
    Here you wear your gear for only a shorert period of time during the actual entry and the likelihood of a firefight is very high.
    So the weight penalty is not significant an issue enough to overcome these considerations.
    -Even the limited field of view, while still an issue is likely less problematic because they will have a pretty good idea in which building maybe even which room the bad guys are. So while the tradeoffs witht he kevlar still exists are are not as signifcant as a civilian aliing down the streets in SHTF, who is not neccessarily going to be in a firefight 80% of his "operation".

    -And let's not forget the "shock and awe" component of SWAT operations, intimidating the perp into surrendering is also desibable and the Kevlra is good for intimidation as well.

    - Also the cost for a Kevlar adds up if you are trying to equip an entire family.


    "So what should be use for head gear? We know we need somehting right???"

    Yes we need something.

    Rebars sticking out from broken walls.
    Bricks falling on our heads.
    When you dive for cover hitting thick branches.

    Injury dangers abound.

    So we need to protect our head from injury with a light and inexpensive setup that does not neccessarily have to protect from handgun bullets but must leave our field of vision largely intact and wear as little as possible.

    A inexpensive headgear that will lessen all those dangers is a quality bicycle helmet.
    Paint it flat black so its not hi-viz.

    Affordable for the entire fanily, a properly fitted one doesnt limit your field of vision at all, and they are superlight and wearable for days on end, with barely feeling them.

    ..:)

    (Now that I think about it.. kinda reminds me of that super light and smaller helmet that Delta force wears in urban terrain.)
     
  2. cnsper

    cnsper Well-Known Member

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    Sounds good but I would lean more towards a 3/4 or 1/2 DOT approved motorcycle helmet because of the impact resistance it gives you. More than a bicycle helmet and that falling brick can do some damage.
     

  3. BlueZ

    BlueZ Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking about motorcycle helmets as well.
    They are used by left extremists in during violent demonstartions in Europe and of course are great for trauma protection.

    But I am concered about the effect they have on my crucial field of vision and ability to aim my firearm quickly and properly
    ...and that is too large a tradeoff in that area for the extra protection for me.
    :)
     
  4. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Why a bicycle helmet instead of a hard-hat? Enter a construction site (which has more falling debris then you'll get bicycling) with a bike helmet and OSHA may have an issue.
     
  5. swjohnsey

    swjohnsey ExCommunicated

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  6. biobacon

    biobacon Track Layer

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    Yeah tell me about it. The restaurant I work at has issued us all hard hats during our remodel because of OSHA, yep that's right, I get to train people to work a grill in a hard hat. So out of spite and a desire to honor a great film I wrote in big black letters on my yellow helmet "BORN TO GRILL" true story. The owner hasn't seen it yet so we will see if I get in trouble or not LOL.
     
  7. Outpost

    Outpost North East hillbilly

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    The half-helmets don't restrict field of view at all. They're basically beanie-caps. The don't cover the ears and they come about midway between hairline and brow, with no visor.

    The only other viable alternative that i can think of is a standard construction type hard-hat. They don't have the same kind of hardness of a motorcycle helmet, but when properly adjusted, they have a LOT of space between the inside of the hard-hat, and the outside of the brain-bucket, thus providing a large cushioning zone should something come falling from the skies. Paint it, and put a chin-strap on it.
     
  8. HamiltonFelix

    HamiltonFelix Part Time Good Guy

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    I as at a safety conference a few years ago, and there was a class on "emergency preparedness." It turned out to be mostly "earthquake preparedness," but that was OK. The three things the instructor said you should have at your bed were: Flashlight, boots, HARDHAT. Yeah, seems obvious when you think about it, but people don't realize what they will face in their own houses if suddenly awakened by a severe earthquake.

    Yeah, we preppers are likely to have a house gun and a good light handy (3D Maglites clipped to the wall at each side of the bed for us, because they are a lot easier to find than our various small tactical lights). But that helmet thing makes a lot of sense. As does a set of shoes more substantial than fuzzy slippers. If that house has gone though a big shaker, you'll be wading through one dangerous mess.

    I do have motorcycle helmets, and I'll agree they are tough. But because I'm skilled blue collar, I face no shortage of hardhats. Powerhouse are full of hardhats. This is a good reminder: I should check the boys and see what they did with their hardhats.
     
  9. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    Since many of us already have them, don't forget your chainsaw helmet as an option.

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  10. BlueZ

    BlueZ Well-Known Member

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    Some great options being thorwn out there!

    Me personally i dont enjoy hard hats since they always seem to fit a little high and seem spelized in preventing top down trauma.
    They leave the sides completely open.

    With a bicycle helmet I have never had problems having them fit me close and tight and neve rwiggle.

    I cannot imagine an outting on hard hat.. but a lot of this will be personal preference of course. for someone who is very used to a constrction type hard hat it might be agood choice ( after he paints the yellow away)

    The chainsaw helmet looks real interesting even though wonder about field of view a little.

    Again personal prefernce i will choose somehting i will actually wear w/o feeling limited in anyway.
    bicycle helmet are so light and have such great field of vision while offering nice chne straps that this will be my choice.

    But prefernces will differ.:)
     
  11. swjohnsey

    swjohnsey ExCommunicated

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    In the woods your senses will keep you alive. A helmet blocks some of that which is why Rangers don't wear helmets in the field.

    On a side note, in tornadoes and hurricanes many of the deaths are from head injuries. Told the wife to put one of my motorcycle helmets in case of toranado.
     
  12. Grape Ape

    Grape Ape Fat old dude

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    If you wear a hard hat long enough you won't even notice it. They have numerous styles and different types of suspension. The price is low enough that you can buy one and wear it a bit to see if it does the trick for you. I have found that 99% of the stuff you worry about dealing with in a SHTF issue will be negated by a hard hat. Hard hats are above your eye level and allow you to see all around you so anything you may hit from the side will be easily seen and avoided. You will be protected from objects sticking down and objects falling to a point. Big stuff will still mess you up. One thing with a hard hat is they are designed to keep objects from puncturing your head. They are designed to redirect the energy of the blow to one side or the other so you will still end up getting hit in the shoulders or back as the object goes down.But a sore shoulder or a scraped spot on your back is much better than the head injury.

    Other types of hats like a bike helmet are designed to crush and keep your head from getting hurt in an impact but they will not stop a pointed object from entering your head. Also we all know Murphy's law. If it can happen it will and entering a place with rebar sticking down will most assuredly cause you to get stabbed in the head with rebar through one of the vent holes in the bike helmet. A motorcycle helmet while nice is much heavier than a hard hat and will end up being uncomfortable after a short while.

    A hard hat is the way to go.
     
  13. BlueZ

    BlueZ Well-Known Member

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    Thats a great point. I havent seen them in forver though but I think they be great .
     
  14. Outpost

    Outpost North East hillbilly

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    The funny part is, they aren't worth a crap for head protection when you're on a motorcycle (I wore a full-face helmet), BUT trust me, when you're crawling around under a freakin' double-wide with only 18 inches of clearance, they're a God-Send!

    (bong..... DAMMIT!..... bong..... DAMMIT!)

    (ouch.... :scratch)
     
  15. Fn/Form

    Fn/Form Function over Form

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    IMO, hard hats would really suck in this role. Better choice would be rockclimber/skater/spelunker/snowboarder helmets. Cheaper and lighter than mil stuff if you don't "need" ballistic protection.

    I've worn or wear hard hats and helmets, complete with bulletproof visor (9mm at least). The helmets weren't exactly lightweight, and the visor was stupid-funny heavy. Lt. used to get pissed off when I said I'd never wear it. They still made us don them once every few months for "practice". That's not practice you moron.

    Best helmet summary I can offer is below.
    http://bulletproofme.com/Body_Armor_Accessories_Helmets.shtml

    ETA direct link to photos:
    http://bulletproofme.com/PHOTO%20pages/Helmets-Combat.htm

    They call the low profile a Gunfighter helmet. Ops Core calls it a FAST helmet. Might help if you're looking for one used. Integration with ear pro is always a plus.
     
  16. ZoomZoom

    ZoomZoom Rookie Prepper

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    I just picked up a couple of those for the kids. Wired for sound as well. Bern Watts helmets. They come with varying levels of insulation so they're great in the winter.

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    Speaking of sound, I have our (mine and the kids) off-road helmets wired to radios so we can also talk/listen to each other. Very handy to let them know of conditions, routes and general talking. We use the Motocomm headsets wired into Motorola radios.
     
  17. eddy_dvyvan

    eddy_dvyvan Well-Known Member

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    :congrat::laugh: Although if we are thinking of the same movie the bloke also had the piece sign/symboll on him as well

    So you need to add PETA or Meat is murder or something like that.


    Another good thing about a hardhat ect is that you can use it for extra storage for nick nacks. Just spray it a colour other than bright yellow or orange........or BLUE:laugh:
     
  18. biobacon

    biobacon Track Layer

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    Yeah I thought of that too as Im waiting for my wifes aunt to bring me a weight watchers sticker so that I can make a statement about the duality of eating. Glad you caught that. Like I said im just hoping I can get away with it. So far so good.
     
  19. HamiltonFelix

    HamiltonFelix Part Time Good Guy

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    I think we're going in different directions here, talking about different roles. I believe the original post referred to a NON military SHTF situation, a natural disaster of some sort.

    If we're worried about debris falling on us, or bumping our heads on nasty things, the construction hardhat is the way to go.

    My "chainsaw helmet" is just a hardhat with flip-down face shield (screen instead of plastic, so it stops chainsaw chips but cannot fog up) and a pair of flip-down earmuffs (saws are noisy).

    If we're trying to be bulletproof, then the military helmet makes sense. But we were talking NON military.

    If you travel by motorcycle, then that's your headgear of choice. I prefer a modular full face, but carry a "beanie" or "half helmet" with me. They are crappy helmets, but handy when offroad on a hot day and meet the bare minimum for legality (paired with sunglasses for eye protection), should I pick up a passenger.

    If it's getting through earthquake/tornado/hurricane/flood damaged areas, then the hardhat is fine and the color doesn't matter because I'm not hiding. If I'm hiding, I won't wear a hardhat - maybe my digital camo boonie hat.
     
  20. Indiana_Jones

    Indiana_Jones Newbie

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    Excellent choice! We have 9 people in our MAG (mutual assistance group) and we decided last year that the Bern Watts helmets are our preferred head protection. We also purchased the cold weather liners. One of the ladies in our group did a wonderful job of hand painting a cammo finish on all of them. The price is right and the quality is top notch. The headsets really do come in handy and our radios were a perfect match. I highly recommend these.