The Wilderness Belt by Tactical Products LLC: A Forgotten Classic

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In the early 2000s I needed a nylon belt to wear on the range as a firearms instructor. I didn’t want a heavy duty belt or Sam Browne belt to lug around all day, but it had to be stiff enough to hold an OWB holster and mag pouches during repeated draws and demonstrations. Several seasoned agents pointed me toward The Wilderness brand from Tactical Products LLC and the original Instructor belts. Unlike most nylon belts, they were as stiff and heavy duty as the double thick leather belts, they could be worn visible or concealed and, unlike leather, they did not discolor or get soft and flimsy with time.

Shortly afterward, 9/11 happened ,and I ended up in Afghanistan as part of a small team from the Department of Justice. I wore a tan Wilderness belt to hold my sidearm and magazines every day. It is still hanging in my closet 20 years later, and still getting use. After Afghanistan, I transferred to an international training unit and got the Wilderness Frequent Flyer belt because it was all plastic. Call me lazy, but I didn’t want to take it off when I went through the airports. Even this belt is significantly stiffer than most other brands of instructor belts today.

I recently got back in the gym and lost a little weight, so needed a smaller belt. I had forgotten about the Wilderness belts and simply went looking for one. I found that belts with Cobra buckles didn’t let me lace my holster and mag pouch easily. Other brands, almost all of which are copies of the Wilderness Belt, were too flimsy. Almost by mistake, I found Wilderness was still making the same great belts.

They have tons of options including width (1.5- or 1.75-inch), stiffness (three-stitch, five-stitch or polymer-lined), color, Velcro on the inside or outside and standard or custom lengths. My preference is the polymer-lined belt because it is even stiffer (but far thinner) than the best, heavy-duty leather belts you can buy. Don’t get the “Easy-Fit” if you will be lacing on a holster. The tongue is too long and it reaches clear back to your hip.

This company never advertises, and you never see them mentioned, but they are the absolute crème de la crème for concealed carry belts. The only time you will need to purchase another one is when your waist size changes.

As it turns out, they make a lot of other products like adjustable slings, the Ching Sling (if you don’t know it, you haven’t studied your Jeff Cooper), range bags, mag pouches and a super heavy-duty bag called Adventure Ready Kit (ARK) to store your jumper cables, tow strap, tire chains, flares and all your other emergency vehicle gear for when SHTF. Their stuff isn’t the cheapest, but if they build everything as tough as their belts you will wear out before it does.

Check them out at thewilderness.com or call 800-775-5650.

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