Tactical?

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Silverclaws2

Nomad
Dec 30, 2019
286
152
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Devon
Honestly I see so many things being sold in the civilian market with the word ' Tactical ' affixed to the descriptions, to ask what does Tactical mean in a civilian context?

Is it just a sales buzz word like the word ' Professional ' and ' Pro ' was some years ago or is there some real benefits to be obtained from something listed as Tactical ?
 

Wildgoose

Full Member
May 15, 2012
505
192
Middlesex
I don’t think there’s an actual definition, but to me it means the item is military(sf) or police style so may have lots of pouches, Molle, grab straps etc.

In the internet age, where hundreds of items are competing for the top 5 hits words such as “tactical, bushcraft or vintage” just act as a genre to assist with a search
 

demographic

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 15, 2005
4,442
453
-------------
If you can imagine a 17 year old boy buying gear you can bet most of it was advertised on Ebay with the word Tactical in the description.
With a bit of luck he'll have grown out of that phase by the time he's 20 and if he's still buying it when hes 40 we most likely have a failure to launch situation and he still lives with his mum.

Maybe.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
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Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
"Tactical" certainly has a definition. "relating to tactics; done in order to get a particular result". The military has tactics to achieve particular goals. They use gear and weapons to do this, and those things can be said to be designed and used for tactical reasons, they are as they are to assist with the tactics.
...Then the marketing departments got hold of it, and the word "tactical" alone became more used in relation to military gear than it is with any other activity that one might employ tactics for.

While it is easy to roll eyes at all the junk that is sold with the help of the word "tactical", there is a lot of other junk sold in all sorts of fields, as Silverclaws says. Just because a word gets used by marketing, does not mean that that is all the word is. The meaning came first, and is still there.

What does "tactical" mean in a civilian context? If one changed the question to" What do marketing departments mean when they use the word in relation to products?" then I think Wildgoose has it nailed perfectly. As with "professional" tools, whether the stuff really is good enough for professionals, or military or police, is another matter.

If you can imagine a 17 year old boy buying gear you can bet most of it was advertised on Ebay with the word Tactical in the description.
With a bit of luck he'll have grown out of that phase by the time he's 20 and if he's still buying it when hes 40 we most likely have a failure to launch situation and he still lives with his mum.

Maybe.
As opposed to the wool, canvas and leather hatted folk? Or the people that like tweed, or the folk who enjoy visiting the outdoors in the same trainers, football shirt and hoody they wear all the rest of the time? Should we stereotype based on wardrobe and hobby...given where we are all posting, should we cast stones? :lmao: .

Painted black
Once...but for the last 20 years it can also be shades of tan, brown, grey, and green ;)


Airsoft is a bigger market than "bushcraft", it is full of military style and "tactical" gear, and there are a lot of people of all ages that take part. I do not, and it isn't something I am interested in, but its a market that keeps companies like Helikon afloat, and many others who lots of people here appreciate being able to buy odds and ends from.
 

Jared

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Sep 8, 2005
2,759
237
48
Wales
It's mainly a marketing buzzword, like aircraft grade aluminium, or military grade encryption. Former is still could be any number of aluminium alloys, and the latter is nonsense as either encryption works or it doesn't.

There is some limited contexts where it may (should) mean something. Flashlights are one, can't think of any others.
A tactical flashlight I would expect to have a momentary tail switch, but it's probably not a guarantee.
 

MrEd

Full Member
Feb 18, 2010
1,904
793
Surrey/Sussex
www.thetimechamber.co.uk
Honestly I see so many things being sold in the civilian market with the word ' Tactical ' affixed to the descriptions, to ask what does Tactical mean in a civilian context?

Is it just a sales buzz word like the word ' Professional ' and ' Pro ' was some years ago or is there some real benefits to be obtained from something listed as Tactical ?
It seems (to me) that it’s a ‘style’ - black, functional, over-engineered and often made of high end materials (titanium, 1000d cordura etc)

I guess there is a market for it or they wouldn’t do it!

‘larperators’ use it a lot at airsoft etc.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
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Oct 6, 2003
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Bedfordshire
ATTENTION!!!!

Should anyone want to hit fast forward on this discussion, it can all be read here.



Nowt new under the sun.
 

Mr Wolf

Full Member
Jun 30, 2013
669
164
Nottinghamshire
ATTENTION!!!!

Should anyone want to hit fast forward on this discussion, it can all be read here.



Nowt new under the sun.
I know but if we didn’t discuss things already covered there wouldn’t be many new threads since 2006 lol
 

TeeDee

Full Member
Nov 6, 2008
7,663
1,633
47
Exeter
Where does an interest in tactical tracking fall? :D

I'd say ( strongly argue ) tactical tracking makes the distinct difference between animal tracking and man tracking - animals don't tend to include counter tracking measures or leave false trails.

Don't think the course is going to involve us pepper potting down a trail whilst providing over watch with rubber guns but I maybe wrong.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
I know but if we didn’t discuss things already covered there wouldn’t be many new threads since 2006 lol
Well, maybe it would be more beneficial if we tried taking a positive approach, like, are there any "tactical" brands than are better for outdoor purposes and not just marketing for 40 year old Walts? Or whether there are features of any of the gear that have real use for bushcraft? You know, writing something with information in it, rather than re-chewing something that a meal was already made of. I am pretty sure that it the frustration with marketing language has been discussed in several other threads.

Threads like this are sort of social chat, but they don't really increase anyone's knowledge or enrich the forum as an information resource.
 

C_Claycomb

Mod
Mod
Oct 6, 2003
6,617
1,563
Bedfordshire
I will try to start that ball rolling.

I love my Helikon Urban Tactical Pants. I have a couple pairs in rip stop cotton/poly, and a pair in non-ripstop polycotton. Also have two pairs of their Outdoor Tactical Pants, the same pocket layout but in a stretch nylon.
Why do I like them? Well I like the number and lay out of pockets. Tactical trousers tend to be less baggy than the battle dress full camo types with more organizational type pockets. I like the cut too, after using Craghopper Kiwis for years. I would love the Helikon even more if they used the same fabric as the Kiwis, but nothing is perfect.

I have a couple of Helikon jackets and have more mixed feeling about them. I cannot stand the stupid velcro patches that are on the upper arms, nor do I like the upper arm pockets all that much. Their new Blizzard jacket, while it retains some annoying militeristic DNA, is pretty good for an outdoor jacket. Not bulky enough for going over a lot of layers, but that means it isn't like a tent in milder weather.

I am very fond of my Kifaru bags, even if they do weigh a ton even when empty. I have one of their original Zulu models, which is totally a military bag. Smothered in MOLLE webbing. For my use it could do with a lot less of that, but I could never bring myself to take a knife and skin it. No padding at all, so nothing to hold water and stay soggy. Lots of modularity, can and have lashed all sorts to it.
 
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Erbswurst

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Mar 5, 2018
3,052
1,194
Berlin
Officers use to think strategic,
lower ranks think tactical.

Obviously the stuff is meant for less intelligent people.

Real military equipment, constructed or just ordered by military head quarters, is sold as cheap military surplus or also in new conditions or even brand new with NATO stock number. It looks different and is made in different qualities.
That's for the more intelligent guys.
 

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