by Brian Zig April 24, 2020 3 min read

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What Does Being Tactical Mean?

Being prepared for any situation is not something that happens overnight. It is the commitment to a craft, a willingness to always be ready, that creates a tactical person. A common first thought when the word tactical gets used is the root word tactic which means a carefully planned strategy. Tactical is more about a strategic problem solving process than anything else. 

How do you go about finding a solution to complex problems?

Dictionary.com defines tactical as “a plan of action designed as an expedient toward gaining a desired end.” Setting goalsforming a plan of action and taking the proper steps everyday to make them a reality might be easier said then done. The struggle is in aiming at an end goal beyond the immediate action. Each day we should be taking steps to solidify and build upon achieving our goals.

Effective problem solving starts with defining the problem, then having a clear understanding of the goal or solution. Showing clever planning by implementing solutions is the best approach to fine tuning these traits. Problem solving is a learned skill that takes years of practice. Here are a few tactical tips we have learned over the years.

(ALWAYS) BE PREPARED

Living in a tactical mindset is not living in fear but rather living prepared. Our lives are a constant state of unknowns. Not being prepared for the unexpected flat out sucks but taking a tactical plan of action will provide confidence that you are ready for the unanticipated. 

Examples of this would be having tire chains in your car for getting caught in a blizzard, bringing a self defense tool with you every time you leave the house, like our trek knifeor having a medical kit in your pack for a multi-day hike. Even locking up your bicycle when it is at risk of being stolen is an example of being tactical. 

 

 

Obviously not many people look forward to adhering traction chains to a tire in a blizzard or stitching up a wound miles away from civilization but it could happen! Accepting that fact and being ready for it defines having a tactical thought process.

Always being prepared requires the mind to wander to worse-case-scenario thoughts. Not to dwell on the idea of something bad happening but understanding certain circumstances are inevitable. And if we take tactical steps to prepare for them they are mitigable.

CREATE SOLUTIONS NOT PROBLEMS

Find a set system for problem solving that works for you, every persons can be different. The focus is that you are your own problem solver for surviving hard times.

When I think of everything going from bad to worse, the Wilderness First Responder education comes to mind. Backcountry hikers and skiers alike understand the importance of a self reliant approach to recreation. 

The first thing to do in any wilderness rescue situation is to not panic. Panic intensifies the situation in a negative way, especially if you are the one aiding in the rescue. 

Analyze the situation, locate the tools to help solve the problem and then act upon the desired end. Acknowledge that the problem is not getting worse. If you are not in an emergency situation always take the time to run through each scenario. 

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TAKE CALCULATED RISKS 

Accidents happen unexpectedly and without notification. A minimalist lifestyle means bringing only what you need while still being prepared for any situation. Taking a tactical approach to risk management in remote locations is a must. I also encourage setting a plan of action set to an appropriate time table. Then acting on each decision as if the outcome is solely your responsibility. 

Do you know what steps to take if someone fractures a leg three miles in on a hike?

Learn to work with the select tools that you have in order to enhance your problem solving skills. If you know how to make outdoor gear last foreveryou know the design is everything when shopping for tactical gear

Having a back up plan provides a confidence that is not to be taken for granted. As a backcountry splitboarder, I always carry several spare ski-straps with me. They are rarely used for their purpose but prove to be helpful in other situations. For example, bracing a broken leg in place in a rescue situation.

Being tactical is being prepared for the unexpected, allowing your mind to wander into “what if” scenarios & owning the confidence to make the right decision when time is of the essence. 

If you have any questions or concerns feel free to reach me at brian.z@trayvax.com.

Happy Trails!

Cheers,

Brian Zig - Trayvax Content Creator
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