Blackhawk Clothing, by Pat Cascio

If you are serious about surviving the End Of The World, or whatever SHFT scenario that may come you way, you might want to consider the Blackhawk Products clothing line.

Bearing Burdens of the Homeless

Please, bear with me for a few minutes, as I digress just a little bit. It will all make sense to you, I promise. Some years ago, when my family and I lived outside of Ontario, Oregon, we started a much needed street ministry to the homeless. At any given time, we could find 20-30 homeless people walking the streets, day and night. So, there was a need, and we wanted to help fill it. We sent out letters to every church in town, asking if they could support the new ministry we were about to start. We asked for clothing, blankets, sleeping bags, and small donations to purchase food.

Christian Community’s Response

We were not prepared for the onslaught we received from the “Christian” community there. I fielded phone calls and letters, telling me that there was no need for a homeless ministry in Ontario, Oregon. There were no homeless in the area? Huh? What? Anytime, day or night, if you drove around town you could find many homeless folks. I was more than a little annoyed at the response I was getting. One pastor actually called me up and asked me what my “qualifications” were to feed the homeless and hungry, and he wanted to know what my education and credentials were. Well, my “qualifications” came from the Bible to feed and clothe the homeless. As to my education, I asked him what his was. Then, I told him I held an earned Doctor of Divinity degree. That was the end of conversation with him.

One Small Church Blessed the Needy

One very small church in Ontario gave me free reign to their clothing closet, and we were so blessed to have winter coats, blankets, and sleeping bags to give to the needy. One woman in that church donated food; however, for the most part, we bought the lunch meats out of our own pockets. We (my wife, two daughters, and I) went out nightly in my SUV and fed the homeless cold cut sandwiches most of the time and hot coffee, and we witnessed to them as well. A well to-do family, right across the road from us, were all hyped up about this street ministry until I asked them to please come out with us one evening and meet the homeless, hug ‘em, and love them, get to know them. It never happened. They weren’t about to get close to a “smelly” and “dirty” homeless person!

Scavenging Clothes in End Times or Bad Times

This is a long way to introduce the topic or subject of this article, which is clothing in the End Times, or whatever brought us to the bad times. I’ve heard and read numerous times that people weren’t going to store clothing for the bad times, because it takes up too much room. They all said they would just scavenge clothing from dead bodies. Oh, really?

To the above people, I say that they need to get out there and say “hello” to the homeless in their towns, make sure you shake hands with them, and give ‘em a great big hug, a loving hug. And then come back and tell me that you are going to get clothing from them when they are dead or when anyone else is dead on the streets.

The Smell and Condition of Clothing Not Desirable

The smell, I believe, will readily change your mind. Until you actually get up close with some homeless folks and give ‘em a hug and tell ‘em that Jesus loves them, you can’t fully appreciate how bad they smell at times and how torn and ragged their clothing is. It’s not something you’d want to put on your body.

Military Surplus Clothing

I know that a lot of us stock up on military surplus clothing, and nothing comes close to being as well made than US Mil-Spec clothing. It is some tough stuff. Yeah, mil-spec clothing from other countries is pretty tough too but no where near as well made as our military clothing. And, don’t be fooled by descriptions of clothing to the likes of “close to military standards”. Whose military standards are those? Or how about “as good as military clothing…” just because it is camo in color. If it isn’t genuine US Mil-spec clothing, then it is not US Mil-Spec clothing. I have one major issue with storing and wearing any kind of military-type camo clothing, and that is that you may not want to be mistakenly ID’d as a military person once the SHTF. Give it some thought! So, act accordingly.

Civilian Clothing

This brings us to civilian clothing, and not just any kind of civilian clothing. Yeah, I’m aware that there are some really rough and tough clothing, like from Dickies, that a lot of construction workers wear. It is great clothing. However, this type of clothing may not give you all the features you want or even the comfort you demand.

My Usual Apparel Wear

I only wear cargo pants, period! I have one particular brand that I purchase the most. And, I wear t-shirts, just t-shirts, and hiking boots, waterproof hiking boots to be exact. I demand it. We get a lot of rain in the Pacific Northwest.

I carry a handgun every single day, and a backup to it as well. My main handgun rides on my right hip, on the belt. I can’t stand inside the waistband holsters, as I have never found one comfortable enough for all day wear. So, even though Oregon has an open carry law, I still carry concealed, legally. During the warm months of the year, I wear a Blackhawk Products tactical-type shirt, and this my covering garment to hide my handgun. I’ve been wearing these shirts from many years and had no complaints about them. They are tough.

Blackhawks Improved Tactical Clothing Line

Blackhawk Products recently came out with a new and improved line of clothing that is tactical in nature, not exactly military but tactical. You see the FBI guys wearing similar clothing all the time. It is their “uniform” when they are on the job at a shooting or similar event. It’s kinda strange that a plain clothes law enforcement agency would wear a “uniform” of sorts, but it’s not my call.

Tougher Than Former Blackhawk Clothing

The new clothing from Blackhawk is much tougher than the older clothing, and I’m still wearing some of the original clothing I received years ago for testing. I even purchased some more from Blackhawk. The subtle changes in the designs of the new Blackhawk clothing isn’t anything to shout about, but they are subtle enough that it is a new line of clothing. The important thing to note is that this new line of clothing is really a lot heavier and will last years and years, with a little bit of care. I also like that the new shirts are a little bit longer than the originals, which is great for covering my handgun. The shirt is never tucked into my cargo pants but worn over my t-shirt, and it hides my handgun nicely, thank you!

Rip-Stop Fabric and Teflon Shield

The Blackhawk Pursuit pants, which are a cargo-type of pants, are built with rip-stop fabric. The old versions were not. They also have a Teflon Shield that repels oil, water, and stains. It works. I have several German Shepherds, and they love jumping up on me with dirty or wet paws, of course. The Teflon Shield does a great job of repelling this. A simple wipe with a wet cloth and the pants are clean again. I also love the action waistband that flexes during movement, and it allows a little “growing” room when we put on a few extra pounds, too. Now that’s what I’m talking about! Yes! There are reinforced knee patches with an interior pocket for knee pads, too. And, of course, we have multiple pockets to carry all the EDC stuff you might want to stuff into them.

I rarely wear a long-sleeve shirt, not even with a suit, and I don’t know the last time I put a suit on. It’s been at least 15 years ago. Even then, I wore a short-sleeve shirt under the suit jacket. Well, I elected to have Blackhawk send me a short-sleeve version of their Pursuit shirt, and the material is also rip-stop fabric, just like the pants, and it has Teflon-Shield to repel dirt, oil, and other stuff you may run across during the course of a day. The gusseted underarms keep you moving easily and the back of the shirt has a vented yoke, so heat won’t build up inside the shirt. Of course, like the pants, there are multiple pockets, including two hidden pockets, providing room for just about anything you want to stuff into the shirt.

Tactical But Not Military

This clothing line from Blackhawk is sorta, kinda, in a little bit of a way “law enforcement” in nature, but they aren’t police uniforms, and they sure aren’t military in nature, and that’s a good thing. As I stated earlier, you may not want to be mistaken for someone in the military by wearing camo clothing. The above shirt and pants come in several different colors. I elected to have the dark green shirt and pants, and they don’t draw attention to me since I don’t usually wear the same color pants and shirts; I rotate through the various color of shirts I already have on-hand from Blackhawk. You might wear dark green pants with a tan shirt, or maybe tan pants with a blue shirt. You can mix and match as you please.

Quality at a Bargain

As regular readers will know, I’m a bargain hunter, but I’m also a person who demands quality. I don’t buy junk, because if I did, I’d have to buy it over and over again, and that’s no bargain. The Blackhawk Pursuit pants are $69.99-$79.99, and the Pursuit shirt is $59.99-$64.99. Quality doesn’t come cheap, but we are talking clothing that will give your years of wear before you have to replace them. So, in the end, they really are a bargain, if you ask me.

Be sure to check out the line of footwear Blackhawk carries, too. I have a mid-height pair of tan waterproof boots that I’ve owned for years, and they still look almost brand-new. Too bad Blackhawk discontinued this particular model. They are great.

So, check out the Blackhawk website for your next pair of pants or shirt. Betcha you find something that will catch your attention.


  1. Pat,
    I would not be surprised to learn That the Blackhawk pursuit pants are made in the same factory as 511 Taclite pants which are current issue to US Air Marshals for training at the facility where I work. Both are great pants and shirts some of mine are going on 5 years and still look new. They are expensive but they last. They even have a reinforced pocket for your Tactical folder!
    Combined with a good set of Danner Boots you are good to go.
    Unfortunately both pants are imported from Vietnam , would be better if they were US made, but they are well made.
    This is my standard work uniform with a Kifaru Pack for EDC.
    Your Reviews are great keep em coming , ever check out a PDX HEST/F Titanium folder? got one its my favorite EDC.

  2. I must recommend the LA police Gear pants –

    I have had a dozen pairs for 10 years now – I have replaced one zipper in one pair.

    The cut is roomier – for those of us who spent years running for PT, having huge thighs makes finding pants that are comfortable a challenge.

    The pockets (particularly the thigh/cargo pockets) are larger. This makes carrying a back-up gun inside of the holster in the thigh pocket feasible, whereas, I have not been able to do so with any other cargo pants.

    For $22 a pair I can get 3 pair for one 5.11 or Blackhawk. I just have not seen a significant difference in durability.

  3. I grew up in the PNW. Our shoes were always soaked no matter what we did. We wore a lot of wool, mostly dad’s hand me down pendletons, but occasionally a military wool sweater or some such. Unless we were going to church, we wore levi’s.

    I wear cargo pants in both cotton and synthetic since I spend most of my time at a desk these days. If I am working at home or out in the bushes, I wear shorts(the heavy cargo pocket kind) as often as possible in the summer, and costco jeans, cargo pants, or insulated bibs the rest of the year. I have about three times the clothing I need to have and could probably avoid the clothing store altogether for the next decade or more without an issue.

    Hugging people isn’t mandatory to be a good christian and have a strong ministry. A lot of people don’t like being touched at all, but still appreciate a handshake and an offer of food and fellowship.

  4. Worked with a homeless ministry going to a big city a few hours from home, you are correct on the smells from some. I had to laugh at the rich family that didn’t want to get close. One time a guy came to a feeding with a hand badly cut up and bleeding, he was drunk as skunk as well. Despite there being at least 2 or 3 nurses and medical “professionals” from our church with us, everyone looked at their feet when the guy and his buddy asked for help. I went to our car, got out a medical kit and sitting on a park bench with this dude intermittently vommiting, I cleaned and closed the cut on his hand.

    We ALWAYS brought tons of clothing over because unlike money or time, almost everyone was willing to donate their cast offs.

    The Blackhawk clothing is pretty well made- we have a couple dozen pairs of pants we got on clearance years ago that are nice enough to wear to church but durable enough for a day’s training at the range.

    1. As an EMT I find that most nurses (or others) from a hospital setting are Very uncomfortable outside the “sterile zone” an ER or medical office/center/etc provide. There is a reason we call it “ditch medicine.”

  5. This is a great article, and the clothes are outstanding.

    My only issue with it, is that this stuff screams ‘tacticool’ and ‘conceal carry’ because so many ‘operators’ and law enforcement/military wear them.

    I’m not a ‘Grey Man’ theory follower, but if that’s your thing, keep it in mind when shopping.

  6. Pat, I’m perhaps not as heartless as this may sound but here goes anyway.
    The West Coast is now overrun by the homeless due in no small part by people like you who support and encourage them. This leads inevitably to things like the current Hepatitis outbreak as well as a general lowering of the quality of life for everyone else.

    What long term good did your actions do?

    1. I wonder if Jesus would ask him that question?

      We are commanded to take care of the poor and homeless. It is an order, not a “suggestion”. And yes, I’m all bout self reliance and fully understand that many on the streets choose to be there or have places themselves there by their own actions and decisions. Doesn’t matter. What they do with there life is between God and them. He can judge them. In the meantime, he’s ORDERED us to do what we can to take care of them.

      1. I hear you and am torn….
        If the prodigal son was fed and clothed – would he have gone home? I do believe we should help the helpless, but I do not think we should enable lazy living off others – problem is how do you know one from the other.
        Yes I would rather err on the side of serving God – He will deal with the sinner…

        1. @john,
          The answer lies in Leviticus 19:9-10 – “And when ye reap the harvest of your land, thou shalt not wholly reap the corners of thy field, neither shalt thou gather the gleanings of thy harvest. And thou shalt not glean thy vineyard, neither shalt thou gather every grape of thy vineyard; thou shalt leave them for the poor and stranger: I am the Lord your God.”
          In other words, we should enable the poor and the stranger in need to help themselves. That way, they have to work and have “some skin in the game”.

          1. My (amazing) niece started an organization to feed the homeless. The volunteers go out and meet the homeless where they are without judgment. They believe people should be treated with compassion regardless of their home status or addiction status, etc.

            I have real trouble with the “without judgment” part because, like many, I feel that many of the homeless are on the street due to bad choices, laziness, etc. But, the more I think about her approach, the more I realize my niece may be right.

            She believes: “that when you actually go out and see and meet people living on the street, they’re not just a homeless person anymore, they’re a person. When you look at people as human beings, that’s when you see them as more than just a homeless person or a drug addict or all of the bad things society says they are.” She may have a point.

            When I think about my niece and me approaching St. Peter at the pearly gates, I know which one of us he’s going to let in no questions asked.

    2. Thank you, I didn’t want to be the first to say it. You are so correct. I went to Canada last year, the homeless, although nice enough on the street, number in the thousands in Vancouver. It is shocking to see the sex workers at 6:30AM out on the streets along with an unwashed mass of homeless. We have always had bums. Most though would work for a days meal. Not now.

    3. You wont know what the “long term” good is, until the “long term” occurs…so you have offered a fallacious argument.

      Also, if homeless people were truly “supported” (i.e., financially or otherwise), they probably wouldn’t be homeless, destitute, etc. another fallacious argument.

      The author is taking a much broader – even eternal – view, not one that is short sighted…

      Love the Lord, YOUR God, with all your heart soul mind and strength…AND love OTHERS more than you love yourself.

    4. This is exactly why mother theresa was a evil person,by making poverty acceptable and not something to despise(the condition not the person). Have accumulated extra clothing(clearance/end of season/store closing best deals). For outdoor wear look to those who work outside(winter-thermal overalls,summer-shorts/tee shirts or long for sun protection.

  7. I’ve been wearing the Blackhawk! Warrior Wear pants for years (the same pairs!) I had a problem with the bar tack stitching at the bottom of the fly ripping through the fabric. Blackhawk! offered to replace them. Only complaint is they were built like a cheap hotel – no ballroom! Maybe they have improved that?

  8. While I agree with teach a man to fish, people still need to know their people and deserve respect and compassion regardless of their situation. As far as pants… I love wild ass jeans. Made in the USA AND from US cotton. Get em on sale for less than 30.00 bucks at Bailey’s on line. Thanks to all who give back.

  9. I looked at the link for Blawkhawk clothes, but didn’t see anything for women (I thought in the past they made women’s clothes, but I could be mistaken). Looks like I will stick with Duluth Trading Co.

  10. Your experience may vary, but I’ve been underwhelmed by Blackhawk and Duluth Trading as far as what you get for the price. For the gray man look, and also because of the cost, the pants I get from Cabela’s (especially on sale) and the local farm/ranch supply are way cheaper and last way longer. I will say the Blackhawks did stay looking “sharp” for longer than the workwear.

  11. I do agree with the preceding comments about the tactical look not blending in. I guess it depends on your social circle. I personally prefer dockers or jeans. As far as the homeless go, I applaud you and your family for trying to help. We are inundated with homeless but no one seems to address the core problem- drug addiction. Heroin is a huge part of the homeless problem. Expanded and increased treatment facilities would help, I would think.

  12. I wore the older 5.11 pants for a while, but here in the humid southeast, the nylon feels like wearing a plastic bag all day. The same applies to those moisture wicking hydrophobic technical shirts. Unless the surrounding air is drier than that under the clothing, you are stuck in sauna mode. My solution is the Duluth Trading Company’s Firehose cargo pants. They are heavy coming out of the package, but you don’t feel the weight wearing them. I bought my first pair about 5 years ago and I haven’t worn them out yet. I don’t wear them every day, but I feel that I could and they would still hold up.

  13. Many homeless are mentally ill. The big country mental hospitals that once sheltered them were closed down, and “replaced” by underfunded community mental health centers. Try getting breakfast in one of those. Or a safe place to sleep.

    I interned in one of the last ones before they closed down, and while it wasn’t the Hilton, it was reasonably clean, warm, a lot safer than the streets, and nobody went hungry. And the grounds were gorgeous.

    Mentally ill people usually do make bad choices. And a disproportionaly high percentage of them were abused. That didn’t help either.

  14. The Templars, God’s Holy Christian Warriors, began with a small group of unemployed ex-Crusader veterans in the city of Jerusalem in 1119 making themselves useful, as helpers and protectors of the local Hospitallers who had dedicated themselves to caring for the cities’s homeless sick and wounded.

Comments are closed.