Utility (not tactical) apron – my approach

Utility (not tactical) apron – my approach

Disclaimer! Any Soviet, Communist and related symbols shown in my blog are ONLY for tribute to my native country and NOT for support any current leftist or socialist movement. Thanks for reading and undestanding this.

I’ve seen many “tactical”, grilling and work aprons. As usual, I was not satisfied with any one from them so decided to make own concept.

The problem was – I personally do not need any pesky aprons! The prototype is for another person, partially gift, partially testing. Luckily his preferences are known by me.

What’s the difference?

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Smock modification – cinch cord/drawstring ends

To keep clothing clean-looking and free from catching with the bush, I modified it in order to hide cord ends on the bottom. I’ve seen similiar solutions on backpacking softshell and commercial-made smock, but for sure this mod can be easily done by every owner with two hands and enough dexterity to not put the spoon in the ear.

I took two pieces of ahem leather with alredy installed grommets – from an old piece of clothing, already garbage.

cinch cord smock modification

And I’ve made holes in the smock’s pockets from an inner side, put pieces with grommets on the holes and sewed them together by hand – rough but tough.

cinch cord smock modification

Here is view from inside a pocket:

cinch cord smock modification

Satisfied with it so far. Though, it will be better with two-layered leather with grommet – one layer into pocket, second on the inner side of smock.

Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock: concept overview and first modification – hood/visor

Smock is essentially a “soft shell” of previous days, key element of an old-school layering system. Just windproof, not warm. Rainproof a little, very temporarily and depending of the condition of waterproof treatment. Sometimes smocka are made fully waterproof, but it is an aberration from original concept.

It serves as protection from harsh environment – thorns, gravel, and so.

It serves as camouflage layer and frequently has a loops for camo attchments.

Under the smock are worn:
– base layers (next-to-skin and warm underclothes)
– mid-insulation layer (fleece and even softshell anorak “PCS Lightweight Thermal Smock”)
– lightweight rainproof gear (as “stealth suit”)
– heavyweight rainproof gear (sometimes)

Over the smock are worn:
– heavyweight rainproof gear
– heavy insulation layer

Smock is not only a clothing item, it also features a load-bearing capability. Not full battle-rattle, but a number of belongings:

  • writing instruments
  • first aid kit
  • pocket knife
  • ear plugs
  • flashlight
  • survival kit, whistle, firestarter, compass, signaling panel
  • hygiene items
  • a length of cord
  • gloves, tube scarf, beanie hat, bandanna
  • snacks, rations

Depending on pockets’ size and placement, compact load-bearing chest rig could be worn over smock keeping pockets usable (or at least some of them), photos below.

smock load bearing chest rig

For year I had used a smock-like clothing items, various windproof jackets. Because here in (not Soviet already) Russia we have two winters, white and green. For the green winter windproofs are a must-have layers.

Recently I’ve got a common British “Smock, Combat, Windproof, Woodland DP” 50% polyester, 50% cotton. In used condition, to keep the price low, just to try it. Why lie, I like it. But some pieces need to be modified.

Look at the huge hood:

british smock hood mod modification

Then the front piece with inner wire is folded, it looks like that:

british smock hood mod modification

Work in progress:

british smock hood mod modification

Final look:

british smock hood mod modification

Recommended reading (read comments too):

Parka transforming into sleeping bag – Connectable Tail Clothing-Sleeping System, CTCSS

Some means to join parka and sleeping bag in one already exists and is known as “elefant leg”. But this solution suffer from tightness, as volume of resulting sleeping bag is the same as parka’s. More volume needed, and it is possible with frontal insert, look at the sketch.

parka transformer sleeping bag connectable tail clothing-sleeping system CTCSS

Frontal zipper on parka embed the frontal flap on the “tail” from left and right sides (look A and B). And additional bottom zipper on parka connects with its vis-a-vis around the tail (look C). There is a little detail not shown on sketch, a kind of face cover on top of the flap.

What is the idea?
To join two things in one.

What is the difference?
More inner space.

What is the advantage?
Less overall weight of two things.

What are the disadvantages?
Redundant weight of standalone parka.
Moisture trapped in parka.

Spare everyday warmwear fleece vest

Spare everyday warmwear fleece vest

Weather… weather always changes. From summer to winter, and even from morning to evening. To feel comfortable, individual need to adjust his clothing. Layering is the key. So in urban environment individual leaves home at the morning, with warm lacket on, and later.. what? need to hide woobie into the bag, pack, or trunk. To make it easier, it would be wise to make warm layer light and compact. And even cut the sleeves. Meet vest.

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