What is “Tactical”?


What is “Tactical”?

If there is one word out there thrown around more in the prepping, survivalist, and even now hunting realms, it is the term tactical. Well, what is tactical anyway? Is the word even being used as a proper descriptor or is it more likely an over played marketing term designed primarily just to sell stuff? As a friend once said, “Add some camouflage to anything and a hunter will buy it, including toilet paper.”

If we wanted to get tactically technical, we would check the dictionary for the true meaning of the word and likely be disappointed. The term tactical means “Of or pertaining to tactics. Characterized by adroitness (skillful and adept under pressing conditions) in maneuvering.” Furthermore, tactics as a verb is a technique or science of securing the objectives designated by strategy.

In plain language then “tactical” is something you do, not something that is. If you choose to use an artificial lure for fishing or live bait such as a minnow, then that is a tactical approach to fishing. Neither the lure itself nor the bait is tactical.

Similarly, the use of an AR-15 to hunt or provide personal security on a ranch, warehouse, or at a bug out location is a tactical strategy. The rifle itself is not tactical, but how you use it could be. Is that splitting hairs? Maybe.

But in the marketing schemes for prepping, survival, SHTFs, or even hunting, the supplies and materials, guns, ammo and other gear we might buy are not tactical per se. It is how they are employed or deployed that defines them as tactical. The marketing term “tactical” simply applied to a product does not make it so any more than wearing the best camouflage pattern in the world makes you a better hunter.

If you know how to use a fighting knife for self-defense, then its use could be tactical. The knife itself is not. It is how it is used, or put into action to defend one’s self that could be defined as tactical. I mean after all the knife could be a common kitchen butcher knife, and not some knife labeled with a military sounding name or even given some sort of a self-defense moniker. Those are simply sales gimmicks to get you to buy something.

This is often a common theme presented for the sale of prepper gear, goods, and supplies. So beware as always. Buy carefully for the honest utility and function of an item, not just because of its marketing label. To shop prudently and carefully is after all, a tactical approach.

Avatar Author ID 67 - 1875701367

Award winning outdoor writer/photographer since 1978. Over 3000 articles and columns published nationally. Field & Stream Hero of Conservation in 2007. Fields of writing includes hunting most game in American, Canada, and Europe, fishing fresh and saltwater, destination travel, product reviews, industry consulting, and conservation issues. Currently VP at largest community college in Mississippi in economic development and workforce training with 40 years of experience in Higher Education. BS-MS in wildlife sciences from MO. University, and then a PhD in Industrial Psychology. Married with two children and Molly the Schnoodle.

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