A selection of jackets for Outdoor activities

Being prepared is a matter of choice.
In the very same manner, the selection of the right gear determines our success in facing hazards as well as when the moment of bugging outcomes.

In fact, setting up our gear entails to assess risks related to the following factors:

  • our physical conditions and personal features
  • our adaptability
  • our comfort in movements
  • the different environments we cross (from urban to the Outdoors)
  • the temperature range
  • our gear itself (backpacks, tactical belt and so on).

In this article we will cover the criteria beyond a successful selection of jackets that could be combined together to create the perfect condition for you to bug out with.

Jackets for Outdoor activities: The criteria behind the selection

No one likes to be caught up with the wrong gear in the wrong moment.
For this reason, you should avoid to rush into the Outdoor store next to you and pick up the very first jacket you may have remotely heard about or read somewhere.

Don’t make your incompetence a prelude to a certain disaster.
Take some time to get informed on what you may need to purchase.
Keep in mind that all-season jacket are just non existent. You definitely need to combine different layers together.

Some Facebook groups related to Prepping and Survival may offer you the proper terrain where to start investigating on the best brands and models you need to get familiar with.

I personally saw this topic covered several times.
Despite individual physical differences and preferences, some brands are actually the most recommended by preppers and survivalists.
Asking an expert doesn’t make you stupid, at all, especially if you cannot trust on long time Outdoor experience or if you stepped into this world quite recently.

As you will notice, people look for garments which present the following features:

  • being resistant
  • being durable
  • being water resistant
  • being comfortable
  • having good and reliable sewings
  • having external and internal pockets
  • being foldable
  • not being too much flashy
  • being value for money
jackets for Outdoor activities

Bear in your mind that being pricy doesn’t always necessarily means being good.
So be careful while judging any jacket just because it is the most expensive on the market.
Climbing clothing, for example, are certainly very good for mountaineers, but they are extremely flashy to make things easier to Rescue Teams.

And if your purpose is to relate in your backwoods and not on Himalaya, well, they don’t actually fit your needings in terms of performance.

Tactical clothing: pros and cons

Tactical brands offer a wide range of products that greatly supply for an emergency situation.

ResistantStiffness (perhaps sometimes)
Natural Basic Colors (tan, OD green, jungle, sand for the Great Outdoors and black, grey for Urban context) or camouflageOver your own size (especially if you are extremely slender). *
Water-resistantPricy (especially some brands)
Tough sewings
Presence of roomy external and internal pockets
Good Breathability System
* Over your own size (especially if you are extremely slender). Nonetheless, some brands have a more stretched range of models. I am talking about Polish Helikon-Tex and Slovenian UF Pro, for example.

Military surplus: pros and cons

Military surplus surely provides a good compromise if you look for second-hand but still good garments.

DurableThe possible presence of damages or defects
Possibly already threaten with specific products to ensure water resistancePresence of name on the internal tag
Camouflage colors
Good sewings
Presence of roomy external and internal pockets

Try before buy

Placing orders on Amazon is quick and comfy, but it could be misleading in case of selecting garments that could save your life.

The best option you have is to try every single jacket you want to purchase unless you already own it.
There is nothing like touching the fabric, feeling the consistency, and evaluating it by yourself even before seeing how it fits you.

When you are in the dressing room, don’t forget to simulate a list of movements you may be requested to do while bugging out, like:

  • stretching arms
  • grabbing
  • clinging
  • moving your shoulders
  • bending
  • crawling
  • and so on.

This is just to mention the most obvious ones.
Far from being a stupid thing, it will help you to valuable if you are really comfortable with the jacket.

This should be done with Softshells, Waterproof Jackets, quilted jackets, Anorak.

Test and review

Once purchased, don’t forget to go out in the field with different weather conditions and test your jackets.
If needed, overstress them too.

Building a natural shelter, as well as collecting wood, starting a fire, climbing and crossing river beds could provide you the chance to see if your Jackets pass successfully the test.

The worst thing to do, in fact, is to put them somewhere among your Bug Out Gear without giving them a try.
Testing means to know.
By that, you will be able to reckon how much you can rely on your garments.


Taking care of Jackets

Having a sewing kit inside your b-o-b is mandatory. You never know. It goes without saying that you need to master at least the essentials of sewing. It doesn’t need for you to a haute couture taylor for sure!

If you regularly use your bug-out Jackets, don’t ignore the importance of taking care of them use specific products like Nikwax, which will help you to maintain the water resistance capability.

Take care of them, and they will take care of you.
An old English saying, but ever valuable!

My personal selection

I do own several jackets, all foldable into retention bags.
I don’t have personally a separate selection of garments ut inside my b-o-b.
In case of needing, I just grab them.

Waterproof Jackets

Original British Army Field Jacket - Combat DPM Military Jacket Shirt - 95 Lightweight Jacket for Men NEW

Original British Army Field Jacket: Your Next Outdoor Adventure Starts Here

Recognizable for its rugged masculine design, instantly respected internationally, high-quality design integrity woven into every stitch, the British army field jacket remains a timeless army surplus essential.

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02/17/2024 12:39 pm GMT

Windproof Jackets

Helikon Trooper Soft Shell Jacket Mud Brown size S

Lightweight Trooper soft shell jacket provides insulation, protection against wind and light rain. When folded the jacket takes a very small amount of space. The hood can be easily adjusted without removing hands from the pockets through two drawstrings located in both chest pockets.

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02/17/2024 12:23 pm GMT

Mid Temperature Jackets

Helikon-Tex Men's Wolfhound Hoodie Jacket Shadow Gray Size XL (EU) / L (US)

Made from lightweight and durable 100% WindPack Nylon shell with additional Climashield® Apex insulation, the Helikon-Tex Wolfhound Hoodie Jacket features hard-wearing YKK main zipper with glove-friendly zip pull, chin guard and warm stand up collar and multiple zipped pockets.

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02/17/2024 12:23 pm GMT

Severe Temperature Jackets


Helikon-Tex Gunfighter Jacket - Shark Skin - Black (XS)

GUNFIGHTER JACKET of Helikon-tex company. Lightweight soft shell JACKET, made of Shark Skin - 3-layer, elastic material, which provides insulation, protection against wind and moisture, and retains a high level of breathability at the same time. On the outside, JACKET is coated with Teflon DuPont which protects against dirt and water. From the inside it is lined with soft fleece and mesh. The hood can be easily adjusted without removing hands from the pockets through two drawstrings located in both chest pockets.

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02/17/2024 01:13 pm GMT


As you can see, there’s no a multipurpose jacket.
My garments of choice surely stay stick to the criteria we covered before.
They successfully passed all the tests they underwent, both in urban both Outdoor contexts.

Sometimes I combined several together. Last October I was running a course in the Netherlands, with heavy wind and constant rain. I wore British Military Surplus Anorak tan under the Helikon-tex Wolfhound Hoodie tan and they worked greatly together.

Knowing yourself, your needings and your activities will help you to find out which jackets really work best. In a bug-out situation, you don’t need additional obstacles, but allies.

cropped kyt lyn walken.jpg

Kyt Lyn Walken is the official European representative and instructor for Hull's Tracking School (Virginia, USA), and is a certified Conservation Ranger for C.R.O.W. (Conservation Rangers Operations Worldwide). She has been an outdoors and tracking enthisast since childhood. She is contributor as a writer for several magazines in U.S. and U.K.Kyt is author of the manuals "The importance of being a Tracker", "The Urban Tracker, "Tracking Compendium" (this one with Andy Martin), "Jungle Trackers: S.A.S. In Malesia and Borneo".

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