Body armor can protect you against a multitude of threats preppers will face, and is well-known for its versatility. Vests are increasingly accessible, and their size and weight are being reduced all the time. This means that protection can be worn comfortably in a variety of situations for extended periods. However, it can be difficult to know exactly how a vest can help you. It is all very well to explain the different levels of protection and the sizes of bullets, but what does this all actually mean? What exactly can a bullet proof vest protect you against?
The first and most obvious threat a bullet proof vest can protect you against. Of course, bullets come in a variety of shapes and sizes, and vests are available at different levels to correspond to this. This is something that all Preppers need to consider, as firearms are so easily accessible and so deadly. However, after civilization has broken down, firearms will become less and less of a threat as ammunition gets scarcer and the parts begin to deteriorate. While it is important for the short-term to be protected against guns, there are other weapons that you should consider for the long-term.
Anything with a sharp or spiked edge is potentially deadly, but specific weapons like knives and needles are important to consider. These weapons are already very easy to access, and in an environment where a weapon is needed and guns are no longer a viable option, edged blades will become more and more popular. Bullet proof vests cannot protect you against these weapons; while the materials used are very strong, they will be cut by an edged blade, potentially injuring you. Similarly, spiked weapons can pass through the minute gaps between the fibers. Therefore, it is worth considering a stab and/or spike proof vest, which often comes with ballistic protection as standard.
Crossbows and Bows & Arrows
As an extension of spiked weapons, crossbows and bows & arrows are an exciting weapon that many may try to get their hands on. These have been made more popular thanks to post-apocalyptic media, but are far harder to use than many realize. Nevertheless, it is important to consider a spike proof vest if only for these weapons, which can otherwise cause a great deal of damage.
It may sound ridiculous, but these can certainly be used to great effect; consider David and Goliath! In all seriousness however, any projectiles can cause damage, and in a post-societal landscape any injury could prove to be a deadly one, even if it only slows you down and makes you less effective at defending yourself. Fortunately, a bullet proof vest is capable of stopping large amounts of blunt force, keeping you safe against the vast majority of impacts. This means that whether you’re hit by a rock or a car, a bullet proof vest can save your life.
The most dangerous threat of all, as anyone will tell you. Attacks from people, even without weapons, can cause you great injury and even death. As resources and weapons dwindle, attacks may not decrease, and desperate survivors may attack you with the only thing they have left- their bare hands. Traditional body armor would not serve you well in this situation, as its bulk and weight would make you slow and vulnerable. However, modern bullet proof vests can absorb the energy from impacts, and are light, thin, and flexible enough to keep you on your feet and fighting back.
It is hard to know exactly what threats you will be facing, and therefore what you need your body armor to protect you against. Some of the above examples may seem ridiculous or far-fetched, but explaining them serves two purposes; firstly, it shows the versatility of body armor and just how useful it is to a Prepper. Secondly, it outlines just how many dangers there are out there, even before you factor in the end of the world. Being prepared against a wide range of threats is a little easier with body armor, and is something all Preppers should consider.
by Chris Taylor