Outfit your life with a tactical shoulder bag and go hands free.
I resisted for way too long. Maybe it was because I lived through the unfortunate fanny pack fad of the early ‘90s and the “Seinfeld” man bag/murse debate. But I’m a believer now.
A shoulder bag enables me to carry a variety of useful items without bulking up my pockets. Who’s got time for bulky pockets?
Here are some of my favorite uses for a tactical shoulder bag:
1. Small Game Duffel
A little walk through the woods in the fall ends with five bushy-tailed squirrels hitting the ground. First, toss a few dry leaves in your bag to absorb any dripping blood and add your recent kill. Your hands are free to shoulder your gun and hike without worries.
2. Kid Stuff Storage
I would rather not accessorize with any of the diaper bags we own. My tactical shoulder bag? That’s cool. Diapers, goldfish crackers, a half-eaten banana, dry pants…I’m a dad ready for anything!
3. Miscellaneous Storage
Let’s face it, there’s no better feeling than hearing someone say “I wish I had a knife/pen/pliers,” and being able to hand them exactly what they need.
If you want to avoid the Batman utility belt look, a tactical bag is your answer. I usually stow a pen, lighter, multi-tool, phone, USB stick, sunglasses, energy bars, and earbuds in my bag. Tailor your bag to your lifestyle.
4. Concealed Carry
Sometimes it’s too hot to wear another layer to conceal a sidearm. As long as you can manage the closures quickly enough to get your weapon out, it’s a decent alternative to holstering it on your body. It’s certainly better than leaving it at home.
5. Extra Layers
During the colder seasons, having a fleece hat and light jacket can make all the difference if the weather changes or you take a wrong turn on a trail. Toss in a pair of gloves and rain jacket if you have room.
6. Fly Fishing Bag
Don’t feel like wearing your full fly fishing vest? Grab a box of streamers, a few nymphs, some tippet, and whatever else you’ll need and head out to the stream. Sling the bag around to the small of your back to keep it from tangling your line or impeding your cast.
7. National Security
Finally, if you’re still not convinced a tactical shoulder bag is for you, just think about all the times Jack Bauer saved the U.S. with one slung over his shoulder. Do you really want the terrorists to win? If it’s up to snuff for Bauer, it’s good enough for me.
You may be reluctant to carry a tactical shoulder bag, but buy one, save the receipt and try carrying it for a week. See how much utility it offers. I think you’ll find living your life hands free and ready for anything is pretty sweet.
All photos via Tim Kjellesvik