Body armor can provide you with protection against a surprising number of threats. Most Preppers will not consider body armor, despite it being an incredibly accessible piece of equipment that can save your life in a range of scenarios. The main benefit of a bullet resistant vest is its resistance to bullets, unsurprisingly, but it can also protect against a number of things that could otherwise cause you a fatal injury.
As any good Prepper knows, a weapon of any kind can be fatal in the right hands, and many can be fatal even in the wrong hands. If the worst happens and you find yourself in the midst of chaos as the SHTF, you may be facing people who want to take your supplies for their own. Your preparation may set you in good stead for survival, but it will also attract raiders and scavengers. You must be able to keep yourself safe against their weapons, and a bullet, stab, or spike proof vest can protect you against a number of improvised weapons.
Sticks and Stones
Even one single solitary rock can kill you- just look at David and Goliath. Even without divine intervention, stones, rocks, and fists can cause a great deal of damage, and require little to no skill to wield. Of course it may take several blows to do so, and the range and power will vary a great deal, but they can still kill you. You may not see them coming either, particularly when dealing with the rigors of the wasteland. Body armor can help you here, as the protective materials used in the vest are capable of absorbing and dispersing the energy of an attack, significantly reducing damage.
Swords and Shields
Perhaps not shields, but swords and other similar weapons have proven for millennia to be exceptionally deadly weapons. Swords, axes, pikes, and maces may all need some degree of skill to wield, but can still cause you a great deal of damage, and their reliability and relative ease of use may make them prized weapons among scavengers and raiders. A bullet proof vest cannot protect you against these weapons, but there are options available; both stab and spike proof vests use Kevlar and additional materials like chainmail and/or plastic laminate to stop edged and spiked weapons, keeping you on your feet and able to fight back.
Bows and Arrows
Much like swords and such, bows and crossbows have proved to be deadly weapons that you may find yourself facing. Even improvised paper crossbows have been used to deadly effect, and while these weapons will require some skill, even an errant shot can spell your doom. Furthermore, you may never see these weapons coming, and you may not be able to avoid an attack. Just like the previous category, a bullet proof vest cannot protect you, though the Kevlar in protective clothing will mitigate some of the damage. Nevertheless, you will need a spike proof vest.
Teeth and Claws
With all the focus on those looking to steal your supplies and attack you after TEOTWAWKI, another deadly enemy is often overlooked. The primal force of the animal kingdom has spelled the doom of many, from the birth of mankind so many thousands of years ago to the modern day. Indeed, after an apocalyptic event you may find yourself facing bolder and more dangerous animals than before. In a far more fantastical scenario, you may even find yourself facing the teeth and claws of your reanimated friends and family. Returning to reality, body armor can protect you against teeth and claws, providing a tough surface to stop penetration, and an Aramid fabric to help absorb the impact.
Before going any further, it should be noted that there is no guarantee of protection against an explosion, particularly above a certain level. Of course, the same can be said of any threat, and body armor is never a guarantee of protection, and should never be a substitute for proper awareness and preparation. Nevertheless, the damage of a reasonable explosion can be mitigated with body armor; the chainmail and/or plastic in a stab/spike proof vest can help deflect fragmentation and debris common to IEDs and grenades, whereas the Kevlar in the vest will absorb the energy of the explosion and impact, potentially saving your life.
This is by no means an exhaustive list, and there are many threats that you may come across after the SHTF. Your research and preparation has to reflect the threats you are likely to face, and only then can you decide on your personal protective equipment. Nevertheless, body armor should be considered as an accessible and effective option in protection against a wide range of threats (howtosurviveit.com).
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