Re: Why the lack of personal protection?
In Sondra Marshak and Myrna Colbreath's 1983 novel Triangle
, the authors incorporated a plot wherein Kirk and a landing party beamed down to a jungle planet wearing some kind of gear that gave them the itchies if a hostile being/animal tried to sneak up on them. In essence, it gave the landing party eyes in the backs of their heads. I thought it was a great idea, far better than seeing Enterprise crew wear some silly armor or try to scan with a tricorder while brandishing a phaser. Of course, this kind of technology would be difficult to illustrate in live-action drama like a TV series or a movie, but if someone showed some imagination and came up with some innovative way to illustrate this kind of defense tech in operation, it could prove very useful for these kinds of stories and would cleverly compliment the Federation defense philosophy. A shame TNG never explored this.
"The way that you wander is the way that you choose. / The day that you tarry is the day that you lose. / Sunshine or thunder, a man will always wonder / Where the fair wind blows ..."
-- Lyrics, Jeremiah Johnson's theme.