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Exploding the "tacticool" myth or "How I learned to evade 'The Man'!"

Discussion in 'EDC Bags' started by oneeyesquare, Mar 23, 2012.

  1. oneeyesquare

    oneeyesquare Loaded Pockets

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    First, anecdotal. Purely my experience, but I thought I'd throw it out for discussion's sake.
    The premise: Tacticool bags make you stand out more to security.
    The equipment: Tan MaxP Lunada tarted up with Janus, mini-RPoly, MaxP Triad Admin Pouch and a TAD phone pouch. A plethora of zippers, pouches, PC pulls and throw in a Grimloc for good measure. This bag looks tacticool by any definition I've read.
    The stage: Our "big" stadium in Grand Rapids, Mi. Seats 10k or so. Did I mention standing in front of the doors with the looping security announcement felt Orwellian?
    The Venue: Disney on Ice. Ok, Ok! Hardly a security companies nightmare! A million little kids, mom's with giant purses, Grandparents being towed by eager little princess dress wearing girls....
    However....
    Security was checking EVERY bag. The sign said "Large", but they were poking into every one. I suspect mostly for "smuggled" food items, but I digress. So here I stand, my 5.5 and 4.5 yr old boys, my lovely wife who refuses to carry a purse (more on that in a second), Grandma and Grandpa (retired LEO) and 4 yr old cousin, amongst the sea of Disney fans, watching the young security guy wend his way towards my bad :censored:, Disney attending,bag/purse/satchel wearing goofball, soon to be "inspected". My poor Dad. "You don't have any...?" he quietly side speaks to me. I chuckled and replied "No hardware". Well, except two MT's which are well within legal, but who knows? "Weapons" written on the door wasn't defined in any manner. Those spinning, lighted doohickeys the parents with more money than sense were indulging the kiddos with could put your eye out!
    To the summation! Up arrives Mister Security. A kid in his early twenties. Swing off my bag, grab the zippers to main compartment, thinking to myself how annoying it will be if he wants to look in EVERY orifice. Let me add two details: a) upon arrival, Grandma hands my wife a plastic grocery bag with two Valentines presents for the boys, B) being a non purse girl she promptly hands it to me upon which I remove her previously stowed flowery embroidered wallet (yes, I carry her wallet, but she treats me like a king) compress the grocery bag into the bottom of the Lunada and place said feminine wallet on top. Mr. Security pauses, peeks in and with out hesitation says "OK". Easy peasy. no fuss, no muss.
    My point: I really think the whole apprehensiveness over our EDC bags exterior appearance is overblown. I walked in and out without another look from anybody official. Women haven't a clue. One or two men looked uneasily at me, but my guess is that they were more threatened by the "purse" aspect vs. the tacticool. I didn't bother to ask them.
    My other point: Had Mr Security been more curious or even hostile, I think the presence of my wife's wallet was an excellent "tactical" item to divert/redirect/refocus (take your pick) the encounter.

    So there you go, I went to a Disney show with a bag full of stuff I didn't use and survived to tell about it. Oh, and carry something "girly" in your "purse".

    /grins, trots off to research monoculars for viewing Disney from the nosebleed seats...
     
  2. P35

    P35 Loaded Pockets

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    I agree the whole that bag just "screams" gun, or wearing a vest tells "everyone" you have a pistol is a myth. If you go about looking like Rambo or a homeless person..........you "might" get a second look
     
  3. Mumbojumboo
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    Mumbojumboo EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    That is only one circumstance. Hardly, explodes anything.
     
    jimbogregs likes this.
  4. Akilae

    Akilae Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting you should mention this. A few days ago I'm minding my own business on the subway, when Rambo walks into the carriage. Well, not Stallone, but a guy who had the Rambo hair, wore an old M-65 with a hoodie hood attached, faded jeans, and jump boots, carrying a duffel bag. Could have played an extra in First Blood in a wide angle scene and nobody would have been the wiser. Oddly enough, nobody else on the carriage gave him so much as a glance.
     
  5. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Well, every situation is different and the environment plays a disproportionate role, IMO.

    If you have to ride mass transit everyday or have to pass through multipule checkpoints, all bags look suspicious. If you rarely, if ever, run into LEOs or security, then a tacticool bag shouldn't raise an eyebrow because you are not doing anything wrong (well, most of you anyway... JK). After ten plus years of GWOT, Tacticool/camo bags, while not ubiquitous, are nonetheless pretty common. Moreover, even assuming a super high speed, low drag bag, evil doers don't usually bring their wife, kids, in-laws, nieces and nephews to Disney on Ice, so unless you are behaving in a manner that is going to draw attention, I don't think the bag matters much. Especially where their biggest concern is you bringing in contraband food and drink.

    While I don't live in an urban environment, I am often out and about with "an earth tone colored satchel" quite often and no one in an authority position has ever said a word about it. In fact, the only people who ever say anything are other family guys who want to know where they can get one. Man, does my wife role her eyes when that happens. I keep telling her I'm not a dork.
     
  6. bigfoot

    bigfoot Loaded Pockets

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    I sort of tested this theory recently on a quick vacation trip. Imagine a Camebak HAWG in black, loaded up with all sort of EDC goodies (but no sharps). The bag sailed right through security and the X-ray machine, despite having things like an HDS Clicky and an Icom radio receiver stuffed in the pack. I thought for sure the TSA would want a closer look, but nope. And walking around the airport or my destination didn't get me a second glance. Of course, here I am surrounded by thousands of other travelers, each toting their own bag(s). I would totally agree that the environment plays a huge role.
     
    1911 Nut likes this.
  7. jma78

    jma78 Loaded Pockets

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    Because of my work, i am away from home a lot. For the last 10 years, i have used Israeli made Hagor bags as my deployment bags ( the BEST deployment bag there is, IMHO):

    [​IMG]

    Every single time when i have traveled abroad using that bag as my luggage, i have found these "inspected by the border security" stickers in it, after reaching my destination.. I wonder why:)

    Other than that, i do use tactical looking bags on a daily basis, even when in civvies and so far, never had any problem with "the man".. Actually, at least in Finland, nobody seems to care.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  8. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Great, just great, now I'm going to have to buy another bag. Jon should ban photos of cool stuff.
     
    Cobra 6 Actual likes this.
  9. Silver Trooper

    Silver Trooper Loaded Pockets

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  10. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Oh, wow, thanks Silverr (and jma too). That's awesome. Mrs. Cone is not going to see the necessity of this, but don't worry, I'll take the heat for you guys.:spank:
     
  11. stevecny

    stevecny Loaded Pockets

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    $45 shipping? Oh man, that's painful :'(
     
  12. Cryptic

    Cryptic Loaded Pockets

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    Professionals don't factor what kind of bag you're wearing into their analysis of the security posture. The environment that you are in determines if you will get a second glance more than anything.
     
  13. Monocrom

    Monocrom Loaded Pockets

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    Having worked security at a certain building in mid-town Manhattan, I can honestly say that mandatory bag checks are nothing but window-dressing to make the folks passing through think that security is taken seriously. That's all it is. Doesn't matter if your bag is "tacti-cool" or not.

    Any security officer who has been on the job longer than half an hour knows the drill . . . Folks open up their bags. You look inside the main compartment without a smile on your face. Tilt your head just a little while looking in (this gives the illusion that you are checking the sides of the main compartment and thus doing a thorough look inside). You then thank the guest, and wish them well.

    Repeat a mind-numbingly amount of times during the day.

    At no time were we told to single out any type of "tacti-cool," tactical, or military-style bags. It was just check every bag in a half-assed manner. Make it look good. Make it look like security is taken seriously. Main thing is though . . . keep the line moving! You could walk up to the counter using a severed human head as your EDC bag. You'd be asked to open the mouth, we'd look inside, then wish you a good day.
     
  14. xbanker
    • Administrator

    xbanker Geriatric Admin
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    Before you do anything rash (in light of the $45 shipping) ;D , have a look here (free shipping on couple of different Hagors).
     
  15. temujin

    temujin Uber Prepared

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    My EDC bag is the opposite of tacticool. Instead of people fearing me, women just avoid me, unless they need their computer fixed. (^_^)
     
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  16. jma78

    jma78 Loaded Pockets

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    Haha, may i also point out that they make those in three different sizes: Small, middle and large... So surely you´ll a couple of different sizes?:) Oh yeah, two different colors as well:)

    But all kidding aside; Like i said, i have been using those for 10 years now, and i have never had a bag fail on me although i have taken them all over the world and through some serious punishment.. They pretty much have the best "bang for the buck"-ratio that i know of. I recently purchased a black one to be used for travel purposes.. I figured that it might not arouse the airport security´s imagination as much as an OD bag.
     
  17. bigguy02

    bigguy02 Loaded Pockets

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    That made me laugh out loud
     
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  18. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    Good call X. Luckily, I haven't pulled the trigger on one yet as I debate the need verses the want in my head. Now I'm thinking I can use the $45 I will save on shipping to take Mrs. Cone out for dinner and maybe she will not notice another big green bag. Ya, that will totally work.
     
    Philbur likes this.
  19. MatBlack

    MatBlack Loaded Pockets

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    Exactly. A small sample size doesn't prove or disprove anything.
     
  20. malraux72

    malraux72 Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]

    Every single time when i have traveled abroad using that bag as my luggage, i have found these "inspected by the border security" stickers in it, after reaching my destination.. I wonder why:)

    .[/QUOTE]

    Perhaps Made in Israel might be the case.....