The Gear Doesn’t Matter Without The Skills

Most of us are a member of one of the gear cults. Some worship at the GORUCK Alter, while others bathe in the TAD or PDW waters. Yes, gear is important and we all have our own preferences but stop obsessing over it.

There is not a single piece of gear in existence that will ever save you by itself.

You may be carrying your beloved Glock 19, but have you been practicing with it under duress? That slick ITS Fatboy first aid kit is always in your bag, but do you know how to treat a puncture wound or triage a mass casualty event?

Our wallets can always buy the new gear we lust over, but the trend seems to be that fewer people are willing to open their wallets to improve their minds, bodies, and souls on how best to use that gear.

This isn’t an anti-gear post. I lust after the latest releases as much as the next person and am on an endless quest to find the best options for me. But, I also spend as much time searching out classes and mentors that can help me better the use of anything I chose to buy and carry.

Each of you should have a tourniquet on you at all times. You should think about putting one in each of your cars and give your kids ones to carry in their school backpacks. Then, you need to make sure everyone knows how to use them.

Take a few hours on a weekend morning and make sure everyone knows how to use them. If you’ve never felt what it is like to have a tourniquet put on you, fix that immediately. Once everyone knows the basics, run drills from time to time to make sure that if the need arises everyone can perform.

Sure, you may go to the range and pop a bunch of holes in your targets. Next time though, do 20 jumping jacks or pushups and then immediately see how well you shoot. Get your heart rate up to simulate how you might perform in a real-life situation that requires you to draw your weapon.

Stationary paper targets and a calm heartbeat will never be the situation you face in life, so why is that the only thing you do at the range? If you are going to carry a weapon, be sure you train for the situations that motivate you to do so. Most ranges offer classes to improve your skills and if yours doesn’t, a quick search online will turn up plenty of options.

Finally, do you truly believe that those overpriced “tactical” pants, shirts or breathable hoodies are going to make a difference to you in a time of need?

If you were to go through my closet you’d find these, but day-to-day they are not always part of my wardrobe. Unless we are talking about my kevlar vest, none of these are going to give me more protection than my favorite pair of jeans or an ancient and well-worn college sweatshirt.

Investing in high-quality garments is never a bad idea, but too many of you continue to think that dressing tactical makes you tactical and that couldn’t be further from the truth. The best operators are the ones that blend in rather than standing out.

Do your research, spend wisely and then make sure that you are also spending your time and money on improving your mind as much as your gear pile.

No matter where you live, there are classes happening within driving distance. You should take the time and commit to finding the ones that will benefit you the most. Never stop learning.