“Tactical” is more than a buzzword. It encompasses a whole new attitude one can nurture in response to an uncertain world. A tactical minded person is someone who is certain of their own thinking, even when nothing else is certain. And that thinking can directly lead to decisive action.
Before you can act, you had better be prepared. And that means carrying the right gear. Tactical gear, of course. But what does that mean?
We’re talking about tools and equipment that will function efficiently on demand. Fast thinking and fast action won’t do much good if your gear fails you. Tactical gear works with you and aids you in accomplishing what you set out to do.
If you’re new to the tactical mindset, you may be confused by all the marketing you see. Everyone’s throwing out “tactical” as a buzzword and muddying the waters for everybody. We’re here to help you clear your mind and focus on the essentials, starting with the top 5 tactical gear to get as a beginner.
1. Tactical Backpack
Anyone who’s tactical minded will want to have essential gear at hand at all times. That means you need to have a bag to carry your equipment, preferably a backpack. And why a backpack, you may ask? The reason is, of course, a tactical one.
A backpack frees your arms for action, whether that means shooting, signaling, deflecting or gripping onto something. You can do all that without needing to drop your bag. That’s crucial in situations where you need to quickly get from one point to another.
And since it’s securely strapped on your back and close to your body, a backpack won’t get in the way, won’t hinder your movement and won’t be grabbed as easily as other kinds of bags.
Having a good bag is so important that we’ve written a guide to finding the right tactical backpack for you. You may be surprised to learn that tactical bags come in many different styles and structural designs. Some backpacks have a lot of pockets to keep your stuff well-organized and accessible. Others make use of a PALS or a MOLLE system that supports customizable compartments and pouches.
Tactical backpacks vary in terms of functionality as well. Some are more suitable for intense outdoor activity, while others are best used as Everyday Carry bags. Our favorite happens to be the 14er Tactical Backpack, which offers a great balance of style, functionality, modularity and toughness. We think it’s definitely worth a look—and it’s a damned cool bag, man!
2. Tactical Boots
Proper footwear is at the cornerstone of tactical readiness. This lifestyle doesn’t center around fashion or sports. It’s all about being prepared for action anytime, anywhere. Being a lean, mean action machine!
Sneakers are great for running, playing and looking cool. Well, you don’t need to look cool when you are cool. You need footwear that you can depend on in a clinch. Footwear that offers the utmost functionality and durability you demand.
Tactical boots are designed with your specific lifestyle in mind. They’re rugged, breathable, waterproof and supportive. Their padded insoles will absorb shock, letting you run and jump without harm. Their undersoles offer superior grip that helps you keep your footing in many types of terrain.
If you need stealthy footwear for hunting or airsoft gaming, no worries—some tactical boots have got you covered for that! While not providing absolute silence, stealthy boots will help you step around more softly, at least compared to regular boots.
3. Tactical Clothes
Now that you’ve got the right backpack and proper boots, you’ll want to find yourself a fine set of tactical clothing. Let’s get one thing straight. This is not about looking the part. You’re not a cosplayer, after all (though if you are, these tips can still be very useful). Tactical clothing is primarily concerned with practicality.
We’re mainly talking here about tactical pants, shirts and key accessories such as belts, gloves and eyewear. If you’re a beginner to airsoft, you’ll first want to gear up in tactical shirts and pants.
Look for a shirt that’s made of sturdy and weatherproof material. It should be able to withstand the friction from wearing body armor over it. Tactical shirts are often available long-sleeved and short-sleeved. Ideally, you’ll want a long-sleeved shirt, as it offers arm protection in case you need to crawl or stay prone.
Tactical pants should definitely be tough and durable. They are expected to be waterproof, flexible and easy to move around in. You might want to get pants that have protective reinforcement around the knees or seat—you’ll be thankful for that in intense situations!
Some tactical pants have specialized pockets or pouches. These can include pockets designed for knife carry and pockets for holding magazines.
If you participate in a lot of airsoft competitions, you’ll definitely want to get yourself good protective gear. Eye protection, ear protection, possibly even face and mouth protection.
4. Tactical IFAK Pouch
IFAK stands for Individual First Aid Kit. Why do you need a tactical IFAK pouch? We’ve got an article that explains exactly why an IFAK is so necessary! But in short: you’ll want an IFAK handy in case of a life-threatening emergency. An IFAK has got all of the items needed to treat you in a first aid situation—possibly saving your life.
A good IFAK bag needs to be compact while holding all of the essential trauma gear you need to carry. Think about what items should be part of your IFAK pouch inventory. Tourniquets, dressings, bandages, Nitrile gloves, etc.
The pouch should be easy to identify (usually because it sports a Red Cross type of symbol). It should be attachable and detachable to your backpack. That can be a big help to rapid deployment.
The pouch needs to securely protect its contents. You’ll want it to be dust and water resistant. The straps and fasteners should be of high quality. You don’t want them breaking on you!
If you take a look at the 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch, you’ll find it satisfies all of these requirements. Compact, light, accessible, durable and designed for rapid deployment. Whether you’re a trained first responder, military pro, outdoorsman or boy scout, you’ll appreciate its high quality and first-class utility.
Read the reviews of the 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch to see what others have said about it: “Solid, small IFAK pouch.” “Great product.... roomier than I expected!” “Made well, sturdy and will fit well in my tactical bag.”
5. Tactical Range Bag
Going to the shooting range regularly? Better have a dedicated range bag! That just makes sense. You need a proper bag that’s specially designed to safely hold the guns and ammo you’re gonna bring to the range. You don’t want to get sloppy when you’re carrying that stuff. Be tactical minded, always.
The ideal range bag is tough, secure and customizable. You’ll want a range bag that can be adapted to your personal preferences and needs. You’ll want your guns and ammo to be protected from the elements, so that means a water resistant exterior. And of course, you’ll want durable straps, zippers, clasps and securing points. Nothing more frustrating than a nice bag whose zippers get stuck and fasteners break.
Let us introduce the stalwart 14er Tactical Range Bag. It’s got all the right specifications. You can use it to carry your guns and ammo, and pack in other stuff you want to bring. There’s a document sleeve in case you want to store important files and papers. On the sides of the 14er Tactical Range Bag are MOLLE straps for mounting extra pouches as needed. Now that’s a range bag that’s tactical to the core!
Have you purchased all the essentials? Good tactical clothes, quality tactical boots? And of course, the all-important backpacks and pouches. We do highly recommend gearing up with your 14er Tactical Backpack along with 14er Tactical IFAK Pouch and 14er Tactical Range Bag. They’re just so great together!
As you become more comfortable with tactical gear, you’ll want to grow your collection. A tactical flashlight is a popular choice. Other recommended items include a tactical knife, tactical gloves and a tactical belt.
At some point, you’ll want to consider getting plate carriers and body armor. These are not things you’re likely to need very often. But it’s a good idea to be prepared, and if you’re going to have them, you should get accustomed to moving around in them.
Have fun embracing your new tactical mindset! And remember, you’re only as good as the gear you’re carrying. Better get something top notch!