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Classes such as Captains and Guardians start only being able to use Medium Armor but eventually graduate into using Heavy Armor. Luckily, the Crafting System in LOTRO allows you to make your own armor for these classes from start to finish. In the beginning of your career, take the Explorer specialization. Once you have leveled up enough to use Heavy Armor, you can switch to Armourer. The two vocations share Prospecting and Tailoring, so you'll be able to keep your points in those skills, while trading Forestry for Metalsmith. Be sure to store up some Boiled Leather before you make the switch!
You can bind inventory items to hotkeys as well as skills. This includes tools like your mining tool and forester's axe! Do this and you can switch tools without even opening the inventory screen, allowing for faster gathering of node resources.