overhead view of tactical essentials displayed on wood

Tactical Essentials You’ll Find at a Gun Show

Your local Midwest Arms Collector gun show is the best place to find the tactical essentials you need to ensure you’re ready to tackle any emergency or survival situation. Tactical supplies are consistently some of the most popular gun show products because these useful, everyday items often aren’t found in your average department store, or your local brick-and-mortar shops just don’t carry a wide enough range of gear to provide just what you are looking for. At a gun show, you’ll find vendors of all types who have traveled for hours to bring you their top products, many of whom specialize in the tactical essentials your bugout bag or bolt hole has been missing.

Tactical: (adj) Characterized by Skillful Tactics or Adroit Maneuvering or Procedure

Tactical may be one of the most misused words out there when it comes to your Second Amendment rights. While it is often used when talking about military maneuvers or by the media and politicians to scare the uninformed about firearms, what the word really means could best be summed up as useful. A tactical tool may have an obvious, straightforward purpose, but its utility gives it flexibility that goes beyond that simple categorization. While some of the tactical essentials we’ll look at do have a strong affiliation with military service, their usefulness easily extends to civilians who want to make sure they’re prepared for whatever happens.

Must-Have Tactical Essentials

We’re going to run down some of the most popular tactical supplies you’ll find at your local gun show, but not all products will be right for you. As you read through our suggestions, consider how they’ll help you in your day-to-day life, prepare for emergencies like natural disasters, or be ready for situations that there’s no way to plan for. Gun shows are the perfect place to find the tools you need for self-reliance, and that’s exactly what the best tactical supplies are designed to help you with.

Tactical Knives

a display of pocket knives on a brown table

For generations, a good pocket knife has been an everyday carry item for men and women alike, and for generations prior, fixed blades of all sizes were carried for their utility by tradesmen, laborers, and homemakers who required a sharp, strong blade for their daily tasks. Tactical knives feature durable steel alloys that hold an edge, grips that make handling the knife easier, and designs that make them easy to carry, deploy, and use. Whether you’re looking for your next EDC or the perfect hunting and camping blade for your outdoor sports kit, you can find it at the gun show. 

Bugout or SHTF Bags

While you’re looking for the tactical essentials you need, don’t forget that you’ll need a good way to carry them. Much more than just your average rucksack or ammo bag, a good bugout bag will hold the most important tactical supplies you’ll need in an emergency or survival situation. The philosophy behind building your bag should be that if you only have time to grab a single item–such as during an evacuation due to a chemical spill, fire danger, or flooding–you can grab your bugout bag and be ready to survive until either you’re safe or can reach safety. For families, you may need multiple bags sized appropriately for the members of your household.

Tactical Flashlight

Your cell phone flashlight may not cut it in an emergency, and you may need to conserve that battery power for emergency communications. Flashlights come in a variety of shapes and sizes with additional features that can help add even more utility to your tactical essentials. Ultra-bright lights can be used for signaling, while smaller flashlights may be designed to attach to an under-the-barrel rail on your carbine or handgun. Some flashlights are adjustable between a spotlight setting that projects farther and a flood setting for immediate-area illumination. Some can even start fires and cook breakfast. Whatever your needs, a flashlight is a great addition to your tactical supplies. 

Holsters, Harnesses, and Loadout Gear

Along with your bugout bag, utility gear can help you better carry your tactical essentials while keeping the most important tools close at hand. Holsters have long been some of the most sought-after gun show products because you can find leather to fit almost any gun, but you can also find holsters for your flashlight, sheathes for your knives, and pouches sized to fit just about any small utility item. Look for gear that gives you the sizes you need to hold your tactical accessories while dispersing the weight across your body for easier carrying.

Emergency Shovel

emergency camp shovel and storage pouch

Referred to as an entrenching tool in the military or a camp shovel through some outdoors outfitters, small folding shoves are an often overlooked tactical essential. They’re food for digging fire pits and latrines, help you forage for food, or can be used to dig, hack, or saw through vegetation. They can dig out a stuck vehicle, redirect a stream, and serve as a lever to move larger rocks and trees. These versatile tactical supplies may not be as sexy as a new knife, but they can be just as useful in the field. 

Tactical Hatchet or Tomahawk

Along with a knife and shovel, a hatchet rounds out the most common bladed tools found in tactical and emergency kits. While you can absolutely prepare firewood with them, they also excel for food preparation, skinning game, or as impromptu hammers when you need to pound in a peg or tent stake. Many will come with a sheathe or scabbard that works with tactical harnesses and belts to make carrying easier, and some are weighted to be used as a thrown or swung weapon for self-defense or hunting.

Emergency Food and Water Storage

A safe, shelf-stable food and water supply can mean the difference between life and death in an emergency. They can also be bulky, heavy, and hard to transport, so keep your kit in line with both your needs and capabilities. One gallon of water per person per day is recommended for emergency kits, while around 2000 calories should be available to keep up energy levels and awareness. For small 72-hour kits with just the tactical essentials, consider canteens and nutrient-rich bars that can keep you fueled while you find safety and other resources. For your home emergency kit, look for larger tactical supplies that help you keep more water in a potable condition long term and emergency food kits that provide a week’s worth of food or more. 

EDC Gun 

Firearms can be an important tactical tool for your everyday life or during an emergency. Owning, carrying, and honing your skills can help put food on the table, give you an audible signaling device in the wilderness, or save your life. At your local gun show, you’ll find the largest selection of guns around from vendors who are ready to make a deal with you on new and used firearms. You can even find the accessories and training you need to make sure you’re ready to use your firearm safely and responsibly in a variety of tactical situations.

Your Local Gun Show is Coming Soon

Find your next local gun and knife show on our gun show calendar, and get ready to find the tactical supplies you need to be prepared for dynamic real-world situations. There’s not a bigger selection of tactical essentials under one roof anywhere. Sign up for our gun show newsletter to get news and information sent to your inbox. Make your plans to visit your local MAC Shows event today.

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