WILDERNESS TACTICAL ORIGINAL INSTRUCTOR BELT
Editor: RANDY JOHNSON – FIELD EDITOR
The Original Wilderness Instructor belt is a very comfortable, stiff belt, constructed of high quality nylon, with a metal buckle and Velcro at the end to keep the loose end secure.
The very original Wilderness Instructor belt was developed way back in 1983 and has been refined over the years with newer options and higher quality material. This belt is very strong and designed with a carbon steel V-ring buckle coated with non-glare black Roguard which is a tough, milspec finish that is highly corrosion-resistant and does not chip like inferior coatings. This belt was designed at first to clip into a secure system while instructing others during mountain rescue training. Although they can be used for emergency rappelling with the proper instruction and training Original Wilderness Instructor’s Belts are now used as everyday fashionable pant belts for either casual or outdoor use, as well as for concealed weapon carry.
This belt is strongly recommended for anyone involved in law enforcement, special warfare, military, professional work, or for those who love to hunt and spend time trekking out in the wilderness.
The Original Wilderness Instructor belt is a serious piece of rescue/safety equipment that you could bet your life on if needed. In lab testing this belt has withstood a minimum of 5,900 lbs of static stress without failing, to more than 8,000 lbs of static stress with no failure. That’s pretty amazing. Their proprietary resin treatment on the belt tab actually soaks into the core and bonds with it to provide uncompromised wear for years and years. You shouldn’t let yourself fall into the trap of being lured into purchasing belts that are copies of the Original Wilderness because they just don’t “stack up.” By purchasing the Original Wilderness belt you are guaranteed that you are getting the best product on the market and the company will stand behind their product.
Many people may not believe that a belt is an extremely important part of your equipment and gear list but believe me, it is! For someone who demands the best in equipment I have experimented with a lot of different belts over the years to meet my needs while hunting and exploring the rugged gorges, high alpine mountains and the convoluted desert terrain of Utah but haven’t found the “perfect” belt. I don’t want a belt that is going to bite into my back while wearing a heavy backpack nor something that is flimsy. I have been looking for something that is comfortable, extremely tough, durable and could be used for multiple purposes if needed. Well, after a lot of years out in the field I finally found exactly what I have been searching for in the Original Wilderness Instructor’s belt. I’ve been using my Wilderness belt for almost two months now and wouldn’t trade it. It’s one of my most valued pieces of equipment.
The Wilderness was one of the first companies to actually market an “Instructor” belt that they specifically designed with rescue and firearms training in mind. In many instances you will see products that are improved as more competitors enter the market with various designs evolving. However, after wearing this belt and putting it to use in the field under different circumstances I believe that the Wilderness crew hit it right on the nail the first time. In my personal opinion, “the Original Wildnerness Instructor belt” is the best darn belt out there for someone who is actively engaged in the outdoors and I’ve tried a lot of the competitor’s products!
I purchased the 1.5” width, “5 stitch” model because it fit the loops on all of my hunting pants plus jeans and retained the necessary stiffness and structure for the time I spend “out on the mountain” or socializing back in civilization. I found that this belt was perfect in providing support if I am carrying a full size concealed weapon all day long as I quite often do. The Wilderness folks also manufacture a “3 stitch” version which is less stiff and a heavier duty model with a plastic insert that I just didn’t feel would benefit me. Please note that the “3 stitch” and “5 stitch” refer to the additional rows of stitching that run the length of the belt. This additional stitching adds strength and stiffness to the belt.
The belts come in 4 colors, black, coyote, wilderness or classic. I went with coyote that matched my camo pants and backpacks perfectly but will definitely look at buying one of the other colors in the future for “greater variety.”
I’ve found myself in situations over the years where I needed to tie off with a rope to maneuver my way down through some dangerous ledges. Now, with my Original Wilderness Instructor’s belt I have a piece of equipment that I could snap a carabiner into the buckle for extra safety if needed although I don’t plan on rapelling off of sheer cliffs anytime in the future. I’ve also seen instances where I could have used the strength of this belt to secure my pack, tent, or other gear during some high velocity wind storms. This belt provides you with great flexibility for a variety of uses.
Another option that I am considering, that Wilderness made available to customers in recent years, is a titanium buckle since I’m always looking to reduce ounces on my marathon backpack trips. Believe me, the original powder coated, black steel buckle is extremely sturdy and has no problems, but the titanium is much lighter. The only issue I see with the titanium buckle is that you pay a price for that weight reduction. I found that the titanium version retails at $89.95 with the steel Original around $40. If money isn’t a factor I suggest that you purchase the titanium buckle. If it matters to you I’ve also been told that the titanium buckle will not set off the metal detector when you go through security at the airport!
What They Could Do Better
This belt is incredible and perfectly designed as it is. I have no recommendations for improvement.
WILDERNESS TACTICAL ORIGINAL INSTRUCTOR BELT Review