Good gear pays dividends. Too much gear taxes the brain.
Gear is great. I distinctly remember boxes of goodies arriving and being divvied up in the team space among enthusiastically open hands. As a recently retired service member and newly minted full time taxpayer… I look back on those days with a mixture of wistful reminiscence and fiscal horror. Financial responsibility aside- we can attain too much of a good thing.
First of all, gear does not replace training. I refer to this common error as a “bolt-on skill set”. I meet folks on a regular basis that supplant good, hard training for some new gadget that they crowd onto their already over-laden rifle, then expect the additional lumens (ahem) to make them faster, better, or more lethal.
Gear doesn't just get you in trouble when you try to use it to replace training, though. Too much of it can be a problem... even for skilled fighters. To avoid this, we try to evaluate everything- techniques, tactics, AND GEAR- through the lens of Hick's Law. Hick's Law basically tells us that the more options we have, the slower we'll be at making a decision and taking action. Having items that are available but unnecessary can cause deadly delays in our cognitive process under stress.
So, here are a few tips:
- Buy all the gear you want but don’t let it get in the way of good, consistent, and accurate training.
- Limit the gear that you carry for 'the fight' to what you absolutely need. Minimalism will come in handy when you're thinking through a straw
- Train with things before you carry them. Get rid of things that don't work or aren't needed for your 'mission'.