So your gun isn’t tactical. Your LBE isn’t tactical. Your plan, and your actions are tactical. So don’t worry if you cannot afford the latest tacti-cool gear. Plan to use what you have, and to use it effectively and sensibly.
This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have good gear if you can afford it, or that ‘tactical’ gear isn’t useful. Having a light on your gun is useful. A good optic is useful. But don’t worry if someone comes out with something better; something you already have that works will not suddenly stop just because there’s a newer version. It’s far more important to be proficient with what you have than to have ‘the best’ or ‘the newest.’
This applies to training as much as it does to gear. People keep coming up with new ways to do things- not because the old way didn’t work, mind you. Sometimes I think it’s mostly because they cannot keep selling you what you already know. When shooting a pistol I use a modified Weaver stance. ‘But everyone uses Isosceles now!’ OK, maybe they do. ‘But everyone uses the thumbs-forward grip now!’ Nice for them. But- and this is important- I’m still hitting the target, I’m still putting fast follow-up shots pretty much where I want them. OK, it’s not the latest fad but I don’t care. It works for me, it’s what I’ve done for decades and it’s what I will probably do under stress until I have been retraining for years. If it works don’t fix it. Spend you time and money somewhere else that will provide a greater benefit.
Don’t get me wrong, training is essential. There are some great courses out there, and some excellent instructors. Having a resumé of these classes insures that you get to sit at the table with the cool kids. It doesn’t necessarily mean anything else though; instructors are not giving classes for free or out of the goodness of their hearts. They are doing it to make money, and there is nothing wrong with that. A good teacher may be doing it for the money, but they aren’t happy unless they are providing a good value for their pay. On the other hand I’ve had friends attend classes that were half-instruction and half infomercial for more advanced (and expensive) classes. And of course the instructor’s gear, which is naturally the best of the best, is available in the gift shop for an only slightly inflated price.
Training is essential- classes are not. If you cannot afford good classes that doesn’t mean you cannot train. Do some research, watch some videos and emulate them in your practice. It’s not the best solution but it will get the job done. The point, whether we are talking about training, weapons or gear, is not to have the best-of-the-best, it’s to have the best that you can manage and more importantly to have a plan.
Have a plan. Practice the skills you need to execute that plan. Have another plan for when that one inevitably goes sideways. Make sure the plan takes into account a realistic assessment of your abilities and resources, and has work-arounds for any deficiencies. No matter what situation you find yourself in I guarantee this will work better than patches that tell the world you are a badass.