Had to trash the last post as being too rambling.
I was looking around on THR and saw a post about Desert Tan. The original poster was commenting on the proliferation of EBRs that are now multi-colored and patterned. Hey, whatever works. When I have the time, I plan on painting my AR upper tan and the handguard. Make it stand out against the sea of EBRs that are out there.
Anyway, the thread got off topic a bit and started meandering towards camo clothing and what not. It reminded me of the years past when I went through the troubling Mossy Oak/RealTree camo phase. I'm not proud of myself by any means. I think it is kinda funny how my life has revolved around camo.
Way back in my younger years, when I first started hunting on my own, I thought I would be the cool kid on the lease and get my own army fatigues. Not just any army fatigues, but tiger stripe! I saved my money and had the opportunity to buy them from the famed Col. Bubbie's surplus store in Galveston. Nowhere else in Houston carried these particular BDUs. I had it all, too, boonie hat, shirt, pants and a pair of used jungle boots. Only cost me one Benji.
I wore the hell out of those cammies. I actually had to buy another pair of pants which I still have to this day. Granted, they are covered in paint and serve duty as grungy work clothes. I wasn't swayed by the hunter crowd at that point, but I was more happy just tromping through the woods with dad and having fun as a young kid.
I carried this BDU phase through high school and wore them still in college when I had the opportunity to hunt on break. After graduation, I found work in Bass Pro Shop and the world for me changed dramatically. I was sucked right in and started drinking the Kool-Aid. You name it, I had to have it. Hanging around some of the part time hunting guides/full-time liars made an impression on me and a dent in my wallet. Johnny Morris must have had guys like me in mind when he founded the store. I went from BDU wearing fun seeker to Mr. Ubercoolgottahaveitall Fudd Hunter in a very short time. My camo of choice was Real Tree Hardwoods. It didn't really blend into the South Texas scrub brush and mesquite at all, but it stood out from the other hunters in my group. They were all buying their Advantage camo at Wally World and dressing alike. I had to be the non-conformist of the bunch.
When I say I had to have it all, I really mean it. I would have dyed my underwear Hardwoods if I could have. My hats, shoes, belts, and even my backpack were Hardwood pattern. I was a walking talking Bass Pro Shop with ears. Thankfully, I found another job and shed myself of the Bass Pro image I created.
Work schedule didn't allow for much hunting over the next couple of years. When dad and I finally found more time to go, I went back to my roots. This was only a couple of years ago, and I was just entering the world of tactical shooting. I guess you can see where my influences come from now. Hell, I have to say that the modern hunting industry is just an offshoot of military design and production. Most hunters in the late 40's and early 50's were using some form of military gear, be it a rifle, jacket, boots, or even pants. Shit, even the ski industry had influence from some army alpine skiers.
Nowadays, I am happy going back to the army surplus store to get what I need for the deer lease. OD green and Desert Tan BDUs are stuffed into my go box awaiting the next trip to camp. It is much simpler to go this route than pay attention to what the Zumbos and Johnny Morris's tell us we have to wear and use in the field. It is much cleaner living this way and fiscally more sound. Of course, I am on the prowl for quality bargains on top notch gear. I like my Maxpedition pack, Bates boots, 5.11 pants and shirts and UnderArmour base layers. I also use Oakleys for eye protection, too.
Swede gets pissed at all the catalogs I have lying around the house. Blackhawk, Diamondback Tactical, U.S. Calvary, Ranger Joe's and Cheaper Than Dirt to name a few. I think it is starting to go back to my head again. In fact, I am pretty sure it is. But, I temper it with the knowledge that I have several different uses for this stuff now. I enjoy my range time, am participating in the area IDPA competitions and about to start 3-gun matches as soon as I finish school. All the stuff I have now in inventory can be used elsewhere without problem. That's not to say any of the gear I used to have (read that as: any product I bought from BPS in the past) couldn't work in a pinch. Well, it could, but I don't believe it could hold up to the rigors of constant use in competition, tactical classes, hunting and possible SHTF scenario. The stuff these companies put out today is top notch. A bit pricey, but top notch.
I can even go further to say that the clothing I wear can and is used for street clothes. I know part of that THR thread migrated to people wearing cammies and the such in public. Hell, I know Abercrombie & Fitch and Hollister make those fashionable camo pants and tops. I have this doctor client who likes to wear the TIGHT camo pants with a scrub top. She really fills out the top....oops...getting off track again. There's nothing wrong with that at all. Whatever floats your boat. Me, I like the 5.11 pants my wife got me for my birthday this year. I wear them all the time with my Bates desert boots or a pair of Merrill shoes. T-shirt, golf shirt or button down, it's all good. I look respectable and Swede doesn't seem to mind.
Now, I don't go around making a habit to wear BDUs all day long. If you see me out wearing camo pants, it means one of three things a)No clean clothes to wear, b)doing some yard work, c)out hunting or at the range. I like to look as professional and nice as possible unless I am just too lazy to do anything about it. Lazy for me is jeans and a Tee. These days, I don't consider wearing a suit and tie as massive dress up. It's part of my job, and I like the way I look. When I'm out and about in what Swede calls my "Tommy Tactical" clothes, I make it a point to look as nice and respectable as possible.
To each his own. This is what I prefer. I also prefer to let my inner tactical geek shine from time to time, too. Every once in a while I like to throw on the ACUs or my German BGS fatigues when down at the lease. I also have a set of MARPAT green and the new MultiCam pattern. Yes, I guess I am getting a bit carried away with this again. It's fun, and sometimes you just have to let your inner tactical child come out and play.
There, I hope that wasn't too rambling and unsensical.
Made to Feel Welcome
2 days ago