Tuesday, February 5, 2013

The Gear: Kevlar Clipboard

In case you haven't noticed I tend to prefer gear with a bit of military flair. One of my favorite pieces of kit is a good clipboard. When I worked in the Middle East, I got a regular clipboard and used packaging tape to decorate it with motivational images, as well as maps of the facility, country, and region where I was working. That clipboard basically became my brain, I took it to meetings with me - I basically took it everywhere with me - and used it to take notes, or to doodle, or to plan one thing or another, or to write letters back home.

While I was still in the Middle East, I discovered on ThinkGeek.com that you could give them money, and they would actually send you a Kevlar clipboard. For those of you who are unaware, Kevlar is the material they use to make body armor, ballistic helmets, and a variety of other materials - apparently including clipboards. Compared to a regular clipboard, a Kevlar clipboard is heavier and bulkier; you can't really tape pictures or maps or anything to it; and it's sort of itchy and splintery on the side. Basically, it's inferior to a regular clipboard in every way except for overall sturdiness, and the fact that if you have one, you can then brag about having a Kevlar clipboard.

I carry my Kevlar clipboard in my 5.11 Rush MOAB 10, pretty much at all times. I don't use it nearly as much as I used my clipboard in the Middle East, but I've been glad to have it a few different times since I got here to Aberdeen. Depending on the weather during the Summer, I may get more chances to use it if there are some days when it's nice enough outside to do some outdoor paperwork. It also has the virtue of adding weight to an otherwise light pack - you know what they say: "More weight."

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