Everyday Carry Gear (EDC) for Survival

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Survive The Coming Collapse Newsletter, sponsored by the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course. 

I hope you had a great 4th of July.  We had a day of shooting guns, shooting off fireworks, grilling steaks, sitting around a campfire making smores and listening to John Wayne.

One of our family traditions on the 4th of July is to listen to SSgt Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Beret” and John Wayne’s album, titled, “America.  Why I Love Her.”  I’ve done it since I was a kid we did it again this year.  It’s a little sad to listen to in light of what is happening to our country, but it still makes me proud of America.

America, Why I Love Her


I get emails fairly often asking me what survival gear people should carry on a daily basis. I can’t tell you what will work best for you, but I will tell you what I carry everyday.  These are things that I carry on me–not in a pack or bag of any kind.  My particular mix changes throughout the year and some items come into and go out of favor, depending on whether or not I’ve used them recently.

As a gear-junkie-minimalist, my tendency is to carry any and every cool toy that I have access to, but I end up carrying as little as possible.  I try not to have bulging pockets or have other “tells” that scream out that I’m carrying lots of goodies.

So, here’s what I carry every day on my person and why:

1. A Glock 27 with a spare full size mag. I carry them in a Smart Carry Holster on my right hip with the butt of the gun above my belt.

I use the Smart Carry Holster for several reasons, but one of the most boring/practical ones is that it allows me to sit on a public toilet if I need to.  It doesn’t have any retention, but that has only been a problem for me one time in over 1000 days of wearing it.  When I find a better holster, I’ll switch.

2.  My daily carry knife is the SOG Pentagon Elite I. 

Technically, it has a 4-inch bead blasted partially serrated spear point VG-10 stainless steel blade.  What’s that mean?  It takes and keeps an edge very well, doesn’t need to be oiled, and it’s a great size for a lot of everyday tasks, as well as self-defense, if necessary.

The “spear point” feature that I mentioned means that the last 1/8-1/4 inch of the top of the blade has an edge, which could make it a dagger in some jurisdictions.  I didn’t care much for the “spear point” feature.  Let me rephrase that—I LOVE the spear point, but I don’t care to break the law because of 1/8th of an inch of steel, so I ground it flat and my problem was solved.

The SOG Pentagon Elite I has an opening system called Arc-Lock that is an ambidextrous nub on both sides of the knife that opens the blade a few degrees—enough so that you can flip the blade the rest of the way open.  This “nub” also serves as the blade lock release, so you can disengage the lock and close the blade with a flip of your wrist as well.  The nub is perfectly designed so that it’s small enough to stay out of the way, but big enough that I can easily open and close the blade one handed with gloves on.

One of the other features of the SOG Pentagon Elite I is that it sits in the pocket tip up.  This means that when you’re carrying it in the back of your front pocket, the back of the pocket will keep it from opening.  Since the blade is almost as long as the glass-reinforced nylon handle, even if the knife rotates in your pocket when your scrambling or rolling around, the blade will still stay closed against the pocket.

Tip up in the pocket also means that when you grab it, the orientation is correct for use and you don’t need to flip it around before using it.

The Pentagon Elite I IS relatively pricy.  It’s just over $100 on Amazon and I probably would not have bought it unless someone told me just how incredible the knife is.

3. A Ka-Bar LDK (last ditch knife) around my neck. This is basically a very thick razor with a small, skeletonized handle that goes in a small kydex sheath on my chest, under my shirt. After getting tired of seeing people’s scared faces when I pulled out my folder, I began using this knife for most utility purposes in public a couple of years ago.

4. A Surefire Backup flashlight. This is a TINY pocket sized flashlight that puts out 80-120 lumens and works for both utility and improvised light tactical applications.

5. A “Porsche” stainless steel pen. I LOVE all of the new tactical pens that are out, but my biggest problem with them is that they either look tactical or have a weapons company name/logo on them. My Porsche pen doesn’t scream, “WEAPON!” I have to admit that it does make me look a little snobby to be carrying a $100 pen with “Porsche” written on it, but the upside is that I have never had a problem with it when going through security checks.

One of the most practical reasons why I carry a pen is because I never have to use a “leashed” pen at a grocery store/gas station. Frankly, leashed pens disgust me. I freely admit that this is probably more of an emotional stance than a logical one, but I always assume that they have never been cleaned and have all of the bacteria in the world on them. As long as I’m carrying my own pen, I don’t have to use the leashed ones.

6. Pepper Spray. I used to think that pepper spray was a joke until I went through pepper spray training. Now I carry it with me every day. I realize that it won’t always work on drugged, drunk, or deranged people, but it still has several applications. Carrying a gun is great, but there are several situations where pepper spray is a better tool. A few examples:

A. If you don’t think you could shoot a person with a gun, pepper spray is an alternative.

B. If you encounter a vicious neighbor dog, spraying it could cause a LOT fewer problems than shooting/cutting/striking it. In addition to the legal issues surrounding discharging your firearm, killing your neighbor’s dog will likely cause a lot of strife. Simply using pepper spray could allow you to stop an attack and diffuse the situation without having to tell anyone what you’ve done.

C. If you have a lethal threat, pull your firearm, and the person drops their weapon but doesn’t leave or obey your commands, what do you do? They might be waiting for you to screw up or get close enough so they can attack you, but you can’t shoot them unless they’re posing a threat…pepper spray is a possible solution that could allow you a non-lethal response to buy you submission until the authorities arrive.

D. If you are fleeing a bad guy, you can use pepper spray with limited effectiveness as an area-denial tool. Spray it over your shoulder, on a doorknob, or in a doorway that the bad guy has to go through and it could buy you a few extra seconds.

7. A TINY lock pick set.

And that’s it for most of the year.  In the fall and winter, I carry a fire starter of some sort and a couple of Vaseline soaked cotton balls in a tiny ziplock, but that’s overkill unless you spend as much time in the woods as I do.

When I’m going somewhere where I can’t carry my sidearm but can carry a Taser, I carry a Taser.

I usually wear boots with paracord laces and a 5.11 Tactical belt, but I don’t load myself down very much. Could I carry more? OF COURSE! I carry more/different gear when I’m doing security/medical work. I keep all sorts of medical, survival, and tactical gear in our vehicles. And, I keep food bars and a multi-tool in my computer bag, but I keep the gear on my body to a minimum and always keep my eyes open for improvised medical items and tools that I could use if I needed to.

That last sentence is a key one. The more you train your mind to recognize improvised medical, tactical, and survival tools, the less you actually have to carry with you, which makes your wardrobe choices easier, your load lighter, and allows you to blend in easier. Again, knowledge, skills, and a mind used to improvising will allow you to adapt and overcome many more situations than “stuff” alone.

There are literally dozens of items that many people feel are “must haves” for everyday carry like multi-tools, lighters, zip ties, duct tape, & more. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I choose not to carry those items unless it looks likely that I’ll need to use them.


Unfortunately, not everyplace in the US likes people to be able to defend themselves. I’ll agree with that stance when they issue free 24/7 bodyguards, but until then, I think it’s a pretty stupid stance.  When I go to DC or California, I don’t carry my sidearm, I carry a shorter knife, and I make sure that my OC has the proper labeling on it.

What are your thoughts on my daily gear? What do you carry on a daily basis? Why? Let me know by commenting below.


About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.


  1. If you want to improve your knowlpedge just ksep visiting this
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  2. DallasLady says:

    Thank God for folks who are helping us try to prepare, like you all! I’m in my 70’s, and my neighborhood is turning bad, as they are in too many major cities and across the country. Don’t be fooled into thinking small towns and country living are safe — my mom’s home was burglarized in a small town in West Texas while she was hospitalized. In those small towns everybody knows everybody’s business, too, so the bad eggs can plan for when you’re on vacation or out of pocket. I have a 6-shot pistol grip Mosseberg shotgun in a strategic place, bat under my bed, hammer under my couch, and pepper spray. They won’t get to me without a fight — I grew up in the country, and have learned old age is not for sissies or wimps.

  3. add zip ties large enough to hold wrists n ankles n wood stem matches to push into air stem on tires to prevent escape of perpetrator or stop a chase on u-keep these n ur car

  4. Hairy Sitch says:

    By far my most useful tool is my smartphone. With apps it is extremely versatile.
    Can blast text anything and texting is more robust in a disaster (having been at Ground zero during 9/11). I get pushed emergency evacuation and weather alerts. Police/fire scanner, redundant flashlight that even lets me communicate in morse code even tho I don’t know it, contains GPS and maps/directions/pathtracker, has a instructions to reach my family in case I’m incapacitated, memory holds copies of docs such as identification, camera/video recorder, can take/save/send notes, holds address book, contains survival books on everything (first aid, edible plants, etc.), internet provides access to the sum of all human knowledge. Iphone is pretty solid and it’s edge can even be used as an improvised weapon or projectile I can hold in my hand non-threateningly to get a split second to grab another tool. It’s a motion detector, compass, weather forecaster, surveillance device, voice recorder, etc….

    It’s an incredible multi-function tool. I’m interested if you or the board have other uses (besides the obvious but critical “call 911” or call your wife). Maybe you could write an article on it?

    • FYI, it also makes a great DRONE target…

    • Desert Fox says:

      Sure hope you don’t get impacted by an EMP, lose it or somehow gets disabled. If you’re putting all your eggs into an iphone, you’re dreaming. You didn’t mention that you were learning all those multi-functions.

  5. Frontline says:

    You provided pretty good information. My EDC includes my Xdm 40 or 9mm. A sure fire 600 lumens pocket flashlight and my cutting tool. I have a baton that is accessible. I’m curious as to why you have cotton balls soaked in Vaseline.

  6. carry a throwaway wallet stuffed with green paper. when you are held up throw the wallet past the criminal as far as you can and yell there’s the cash and run away. the perp now has 2 options chase you or run after the wallet. which option you think he will choose?

  7. Steve Rhinehart says:

    This will disust a lot of folks but the granola bars are not good becouse you would get hungry and eat them before you need them. A better alternitive is dry dog food. Healthy, nutrisious but not tasty, and you will not want to snack on it till it is truly needed.

    • Knowing what they make dog food from, um, no. You enjoy your Purina. I think I would eat bugs first.

      • actually pet food has tighter regulations that people food. think about it a minute, people usally feed their pet the same brand of food each day, if the pet gets sick from it you know the company to address or sue. most of the time people do not know where they ate that made them sick, most of the time there is not even an investigation. people are more intense about their pet than themselves.

      • Some of the Holistic dog foods that are on the market today allow our dogs to eat better than we do! Great proteins, grains, lots of vitamins and minerals, no corn, no soy, no artificial preservatives and nothing from China! Take a look next time you’re in a premium pet store and you’ll be surprised.

    • Hey Steve,

      Before you plan on eating dog food, you might want to read my article on that very topic 🙂 survivethecomingcollapse.com/1031/lasers_pump_shotguns_eating_dog_food/

  8. Excellent choices.

  9. Gunner777 says:

    A magnesium fire starter could come in handy if things really hit the fan.

  10. Ladies might try keeping a can of hairspray in their purse. When it gets in someone’s eyes its impossible to open them. cheap too!

  11. i carry my nine all the time for protection and a boot nife thats all i need im a ex army man

  12. wow,glad i stumbled on this page…. several things i havent thought of here! maglight w xtra batt’s,12’hand saw,swiss bayonet,roll nylon cord,sardines,granola bars,water bottles,snake bite kit,magnesiam fire,compass,Tx map,XD9 tactical,or 1911,or ruger sr9c,boxes of spare ammo…… thats jump n run backpack i keep in truck…..also truck gun is stock norinco sks paratrooper,(most exellant hard hitting,ultra reliable,inexpensive,cheap ammo,easy to shoot,maintain,not too terroristic type gun to have in truck) will kill any game in N.America,and shoot thru an engine block too,if needed!! i will b upgrading me pack n truck w some items i havent thought of THANKS,VERY INFORMATIVE AND HELPFULL site, please keep up the good work GOD bless America and true Americans PS hope to find some preppers of like mind in my area houston,san antone

  13. Hey David, is there a particular lock pick set that you recommend? When i click the link in the newsletter, the amazon page is not found or no longer exists. Any advise here would be great!



    • Russell says:

      you can check out Bud K and Kennesaw cutlery, they carry a multitude of lock pick sets and other nice trinkets. If that does not help go to paladin press .com. The info your looking for is not far out of reach, just google it.

    • James Stafford says:

      Check your local and State laws concerning owning lockpick sets. Many places make owning a lockpick set illegal unless you are a registered locksmith.

  14. I wear Tru-Spec 24-7 tactical pants everyday. They are the only kind of pants I wear. I like them because they have very deep pockets, velcro closures and a very nice knife pocket on each leg. I carry a Victorinox one-hand Treker www.swissarmy.com/us/product/Swiss-Army-Knives/Category/Outdoor/One-Hand-Trekker-NS/54875 , in one of those pockets. I also have a Victorinox Spirit multi-tool in a leather pouch on my belt. In my right-hand pocket, I have a Kershaw Crown 3160, with a pocket-clip, that I picked up at Walmart for about $10.00. The position of the clip on this knife allows it to sit very low in the pocket, so it is not easily seen by the casual observer. A very small LED pen light is in my shirt pocket and I have a much more powerful LED light in my laptop case. I carry a coleman gas lighter and Leatherman mini-tool in my pants pocket as well. Several zip ties are in my laptop case.

    In my vehicle, I have a small pack with sufficient equipment to get me home should I have to set out on foot. Included in this pack I have water purification tablets, emergency blanket, zip-ties, road flare, Gerber LMF knife , first-aid kit, canteen, fire-starting stuff, compass, small hand-crank/solar emergency radio, gloves, a couple of MRE’s, Gerber folding shovel, flashlight and a vinyl tarp. And a pair of good quality hiking boots.

  15. Hi David,

    Couple of comments on your daily carry gear. I haven’t tried this yet but I am told that Wasp Spray is very effective and will actually reach out almost 20′. Just about at the safe distance. This product to all intents is very innocuous.

    Your comment that spray is good for those who can’t shoot someone is potentially dangerous. In my opinion and most of those who train for real is that if you can’t shoot someone you shouldn’t carry a gun. This is a mental and soul searching process followed by as close to real exercises as you can get to ensure you can.

    Other than those 2 points your article is good.



  16. I’m a stay at home dad and carry my Beretta PX4 Storm Sub 9, tac flashlight, CRKT knife and a small first aid kit all in a Maxpedition Fatboy pack. Doubles as a “diaper bag” for the little one and when asked about it, that is always the explanation. I tell people that I can’t bring myself to carry a “girlie” diaper bag and this is the best one I could find. I carry to the museum, park, kids play places, zoo, everywhere I go with my son. My outlook is that my little guy has been given to me by God to raise and protect and I will be damned if I let something happen to my charge. So to give yet another answer to Martin about walking around “armed to the teeth” I add protecting the rights of my son to grow up unharmed by the actual deranged people, the criminals.

  17. Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

    I’m 28, licensed to carry since I’m 21.
    I’ve always carried items on my person daily without realizing it was an “EDC” until I choose to further my knowledge in survival of both woodsmanship and urban areas. Currently on my person: (all day, everyday, even at home)
    Pepper spray
    Whistel…yes a whistle, good for getting attention, etc.
    Smith and Wesson SD40 + spare mag
    Leatherman Wave
    160 lumen flashlight
    Smith and Wesson Magnesium Folding knife
    eye drops (contacts)
    And… I just acquired a Maxpedition “FATTY” pocket organizer which has:
    Pen light
    Small Notebood
    bic lighter
    small pocket style magnifying glass
    small prybar
    back up folding knife
    pocket sharpener
    spare batteries (2 AA’s and 3 AAA)
    small retractable mirror
    small combo phillips/flat/allen screw driver (lowes… colbalt brand)
    and a “Sports AFIELD” pen brush/lens cleaner.

    Also, just got a Maxpedition Tactical Attache bag which I have an assorment of items which I carry as far as my vehicle, bedside, or office situation.
    Defensive items in the bag are:
    Bull dog .44 spl
    3 oz. can of pepper spray
    ASP 21″ expandable baton
    small med kit (I have 5 kids…. need I say more)
    map of my state
    and a few other items I found that come in handy sometimes.
    Although, I suggest checking office regulations when loading an “office” bad with defensive tools.

  18. I didn’t see one person list zip ties. In my “laptop” bag. I keep heavy duty wiring scissors, assorted zip ties, a multi-tool, razor knife, and mini mag light. That’s just to do day to day wiring work! lol. Throw in some provisions, and your choice of handgun with some mace and you’re rockin. ALWAYS have zip ties.

  19. JIM One item I almost always wear is a good quality web belt. If needed it can be used as a tourniquet, handcuff, of just to keep your s#it in one bundle.

  20. Martin Fano says:

    I read these comments and just shake my head….what have we become? I refuse to walk around armed to the teeth…most people who have guns have no idea how to safely use them anyway..most end up killing each other than deranged criminals. I tell you one thing, American society is sick!..and has lost its way…we have no values anymore..and no I am not a religious nutter who believes a non existant diety is going to save my butt and the world. I am so glad I am 55 yrs old and have more of my life behinds me than in front of me…I would not be 25 again for all the money in the world.

    • Hey Martin,

      Everyone’s entitled to their opinions, but one of the big answers to your questions requires you to define “we.” and what timeframe you use when using the word “become”.

      As to “we,” I don’t think you and I are covered by the word “we” in this case. The “we” that I identify with is the founding fathers of the US who risked everything and everyONE they loved by taking a shot at self-government (which requires self-discipline, self-reliance and self-defense). The “we” I identify with is the portion of the population around the globe who feels that individuals need to take responsibility for their own safety rather than putting their heads in the sand and abdicating that responsibility to a nanny-state.

      As to the “become” timeframe…I agree that it is sad to see what we’ve become. Modern preppers, like those who you’ll find on this site, are MUCH more like the founding fathers than all of the sad people who choose not to recognize that they have a responsibility to store up for bad times and continually take actions that will cause criminals to avoid them.

      If you consider this post to be walking around “armed to the teeth” then we’re on COMPLETELY different planes. Of course, that comes from someone who has carried concealed carbines for security details and who feels naked when I’ve only got my little 9 shot .40. That gross mischaracterization aside, what possible statistics can you point to that would support your statement saying that most people with guns end up killing each other???? Are you referring to career CRIMINALS? Because they are the exact people who we carry firearms to protect ourselves from.

      In any case, God bless you and I sincerely hope you find some peace in your life.

      • Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:


        I’m not sure what kind of secuirty details you worked, and given the publicity of this website I would not expect you to disclose such things, but I would however like to say thank you for doing your job.


      • samnjoeysgrama says:

        Dear Martin, I am a 64 year old divorced grandmother living in Kansas. As I write this, sitting alone in my house at 10:30 pm, the local sheriff is 1 mile away on Interstate 70 with his deputies and tracking dogs hunting an armed fugitive in the woods. Stay unarmed if you like. I have lived in the country most of my life and I shoot better than most men. Remember, in some rural counties, an emergency call gets the sheriff out of bed and he may have to drive 30 minutes to get to your house. If I hear breaking glass tonight and the alarm goes off, I will be thankful for my Dan Wesson 1911.
        I wonder what you would do.

    • Wow, Martin! First, on behalf of the guy that may eventually attack you: Thanks for not being “armed to the teeth”. You will be easy pickings and he probably won’t even break a sweat taking your belongings and “non existant diety” forbid, your life.
      American society in not sick. Certain individuals in America are sick. Those of us that walk around “armed to the teeth” are mostly peace-loving, quiet individuals, that you would never know were armed.
      I feel bad that you are glad that more of your life is behind you. Although I am in better shape at 47 than I was at 25, I wouldn’t mind having my “youth” back. Your post makes you sound like a miserable person. I hope you are not. There is still a LOT to be thankful for in America. The ability to protect yourself is one of the best things about America. Hope one of us is there to protect you, if you ever need it.
      “non existant diety” bless you.

      • No Amren. I disagreein the hope that “one of us is there to protect you”. This man has chosen to be self reliant & I would not put my self in judicial and civil jeopardy to protect him. Martin is the perfect example who would take the stand & not say ‘thank you’ for saving him. I do wish him no harm but also wish he is never a juror sitting in on a self-defense trial where an innocent civilian defended themselves.

    • Tom-Hazleton,Pa says:

      I’m 28 and your 55 years should have taught you something. There is nothing wrong with being prepared. American society is sick, what god has anything to do with the matter I have no idea, however, I believe in the norse gods, protect whats yours and your family till death do you honor. I’ll make this very, very short. This country was founded, built, protected, and still protected to this day by guns, guts, and god. If that concept is hard for you to believe, then look at our fine AMERICAN troops dieing in some third world country, as they have done before.

    • Martin, I understand your feelings. Please promise me that if and when problems start you will curl up in the corner and get the Hell out of our way. In any given scenerio you can only be one of three groups. That would be the Good Guys, the Bad Guys, and the crap that we trip on. As for me, I carry 2 wallets, 1 money clip, a Tailwinds knife, a Swiss Army knife, a flashlight, and 12 feet of paracord, I pack all of this is a ScottEvest with a kubaton. You can not see the outline of anything as my vest hides all very well. I have a bad knee so I always have my cane with,

    • There’s a name that describes folks like yourself.


    • Dear Martin…

      Actually I suspect their “holding back” on their “Kits”.

      Martin I mean no disrespect.

      It’s a Sheepdog thing you wouldn’t understand.


  21. MITCH M. says:


  22. I love reading all the information. I personally carry a Glock 26 with two extra mags or my .32 Beretta Tom Cat with extra mags. I also carry a Spyderco knife, a Streamlight pen light, lighter, hat pin and my car is packed with a bag full of emergency gear (food, water, first aid, change of clothes and shoes, etc.). I started emergency preparedness in 2010 and my workout room two days ago became totally lined with shelving for all our food and gear. With a few other firearms strategically placed around the home, we feel much better about our survival. Get to the gun shows…buy government ammo cans to store your radios in…learn, learn, learn. Thanks for helping me do that.

  23. aileen Milton says:

    Just got my CWP …a senior women . enjoy your information… any courses geared for us more mature chicks?

    • Hi Aileen, I went to a 4 day defensive handgun course at ‘Front Sight’ (Nevada) this spring. I was the only single woman, and the whole trip was beyond my comfort zone! Still, they scooped us all up at the gate, and led a mixed up lot of folks, through a very intensive amount of info. The learning curve was steep, yet I never felt overwhelmed. You will be on your feet a lot, and will end up firing about 500 rounds in the 4 days. They have a 2 day course also. The instructors were AWESOME! I’m 57.

  24. Hi David,
    The State of Fl is having our First Tea Party Convention Nov 4-6 in Daytona, FL. visit www.ttpnc.com Would love for you all to have a vendor booth at the convention.
    Have tired to reach you through regular emails… maybe this comment will help.

  25. I enjoyed your article. I have a small swiss army knife and a small flashlight. I also keep a lighter and a bottle of hand sanitizer with me. I know these are as high tech as others have. They are practicle for my use.

  26. BenjyP says:

    I have always been an avid prepper. I love your blog/newsletter, David. Having no CC permit, I have trained in and studied various martial arts, weapons, and self defense curricula. Once I turn 21, I plan to get my permit and purchase a handgun. (I am debating over the Colt 1911 and the Sig Sauer. I like both.) For EDC gear, I always have my SOG Flash II, BIC lighter, Swiss Scout, bandanna, stainless steel black gel pen, cell phone, keys (w/ P38, whistle, S-biner, folding scissors, 8-GB flash drive, and pocket screwdriver), LED mini Maglite, and my wallet (w/ ID, cash, cards, bandaids, duct tape, needle/thread, phone book, alcohol prep pads, and a few 3×5 cards) on my person. I also carry a emergency pack with me wherever I go that contains the following: Advanced medical kit (bandaging & blood stopping supplies, various medications, full trauma/splinting kit, small surgical kit, etc.), 2 space blankets, 5″ fixed blade utility knife, zip ties, compass, knife sharpener, folding saw, 6-in-1 screwdriver, needle nose pliers, 6″ crescent wrench, heavy duty scissors, hand warmers, Sharpie, 20′ each of gray and orange duct tape, 32 ounces of water, 2 Cliff bars, and 100′ of 550 paracord. I also lace my boots with 3′ each of 550 paracord and keep a 2″ folding knife in my boot. Various other E-prep items are stuffed in my pack/coat pockets at any given time.
    I believe that preparation of the mind and body are just as important, IF NOT MORE IMPORTANT, as having the “right” gear. “You DO what you TRAIN!” Proper training is VITAL in any emergency situation. Every prepper should have a regular exercise/fitness training program and study/practice essential survival skills (self defense, first aid, orienteering/navigation, scavenging, water/food procurement, fire building, shelter building, knot-tying, etc.).

    • Celticwaryor says:

      Benjy, if more young people had their poop-in-a-group like you do, this country would be in a lot better shape. You are the upcoming future leaders of this country, and hopefully we will be able to pass on to you a better country than we have at present.

  27. Adam Freeman says:

    David, I just clicked on the link to check out the CRKT knife. It takes you to Amazon.com, and at the bottom it says “Customers who purchased this item also purchased:” and it lists 4 of the other exact items on this list. It just made me smile. Keep up the good work! What you have to say needs to be said and people are obviously listening.

  28. With no CC Permit, I carry a matched right and left hand Spyderco knife in each pant pocket, for ease of access with either hand. Spydercos are one-hand-opening knives, so if engaged in a tussle, either hand can access a knife. Additionally, I carry a surefire E1eLED, cellphone and lip balm in the left front pant pocket. They all stack next to eachother to rest vertically in the pocket, which prevents them from printing relatively well. I keep a magnifying glass and a plastic comb in the left back pocket. The glass can start a fire during daylight, but mostly gets used to read small print at antique shows. One wallet, but may rethink that in light of former blog, and carry a secondary. Shiney credit cards double as a signal mirror. Leatherman (best multitool in my humble opinion) in each automobile in the family, and good common sense to make sure each is in good working order with jumper cables, tow rope, folding shovel, good tires and brakes (best insurance money can buy!). Need to add duct tape, para-cord, tool kit tothe zippered bag the jumper cables are in. Don’t forget benign weapon within handy reach of driver’s seat. Benign weapon might include oversized bamboo chopsticks with a sharpened point heat tempered on the end for fending off unfriendly critters. Won’t appear like a weapon, but useful for defense. Be safe out there…

  29. Prone2Wander says:

    For my EDC on my person, I carry a CRKT P.E.C.K.and EDGIE a Kershaw 1920 tool knife and a pair of EMT shears plus a surefire flashlight in my pockets along with my wallets, yes wallets. My Chiropractor convinced me that 2 smaller packages were better than sitting on one brick, and not having all my goodies in one place, if I were to have to let go of something, all would not be lost. Most days I carry a Glock 30 .45 ACP in a High Noon tuckable IWB holster along with 2 spare magazines, or a SigSauer P250 in .357 SIG also with 2 spare mags in a Cross Breed Super Tuck. I have a Maxpedition Kodiak Gearslinger that I use as a book and computer bag with trauma supplies and some extra doses of my daily meds, a 1l nalgene and a AMK Pocket Survival Pak. I rarely wear shorts, so if I feel like I need a little something extra I bring my Keltec PF-9 in an ankle holster with a spare mag.

  30. A. Gabriel says:

    Thanks for the great blog; I am realizing how unprepared I am!

  31. Here in Australia, you can’t carry anything that is deemed a weapon, no knives, Guns are banned, not allowed Cross Bows, not allowed to defend, was attacked two yrs ago at home, big thug, didn’t know I had done Karate, but at 56 I was out of touch, he got me for a while, concussion etc, then I got him in the groin, then pressure points on the neck and two well aimed blows to the nose, heres the thing, Cops were ticked with me for wanting him charged, I was treated like I was the Crim, never rely on Cops, rely on “YOU” to get out of a bad situation, we can’t carry Baseball Bats, Jimmy Bars in our vehicles, let alone knives. When the proverbial hits the fan, many Aussies are in strife. My Bible goes with me everywhere,

    • Warren,
      Can you keep a ball and glove in your car with the baseball bat? How can a cop keep you from playing baseball? I’m always either on my way to the park to play ball, or coming home from playing ball, as far as the cops are concerned. How can they say I’m not? Have they outlawed baseball? What about a Cricket bat? What about tow chain? It sounds like you may need to be a little more imaginative. A bicycle lock on the end of a cable makes a great mace. Lol! Just locking up my bike, officer! Left it in the car.
      Although, I do know that Australia has gone the way of the UK in that they don’t believe you have a RIGHT to defend yourself.
      Good luck!

      • Soylent Green says:

        Yep, that’s what I do. I CAN carry a firearm where I live, but I also bought a used baseball bat and softball behind my pickup seat in case anybody wants to play either softball or headball.

    • No offense intended here but…..what a lame country. Not allowed to defend yourself? I think if they tried to arrest me for that, I’d just add on assault on the officer to the list of charges.

      What lunacy.

  32. I’m a 65 yr old native Californian that moved to GA 6 yrs. ago to be near grandkids. I do appreciate all the info. each of you have shared. A few items I have, but will be looking to add more. My truck and home are ready, hadn’t thought about carrying on my person every day though. Certianly will now. Thanks

  33. Ole Sarge says:

    I once sprayed an aggressive dog with pepper spray, really made him mad and even more aggressive.

    • Hey Sarge,

      That brings up a great point…pepper spray is a natural product that breaks down over time. That breakdown speeds up if the pepper spray is exposed to extreme temperatures, like what you’d find in a car. To keep this from happening in the future, make sure that you use a pepper spray that has the highest OC levels allowed in your area and that you replace it periodically.

  34. I typically carry a full size 1911 Custom II in a concealment holster on my hip. I also have a shoulder holster, but can’t wear that concealed too often given the climate in Arizona. I also carry a Kershaw 1660 clipped to my rear left pocket and a 1667 on my right. I am seriously considering a LDK to wear under my shirt, but have not gotten one yet. I also carry a Kobun tanto on my boot. Typically have anywhere from 13 feet to 50 feet of 550 cord in bracelets and shoelaces. Tactical gloves. Leather belt, and a Parker pen that is identical to my kubotons that I can easily pass through security checkpoints with. I also have two homemade slag weapons made out of clothesline that I keep in my carry on when I travel. I fly often and have never been asked about them, even when flying through the Peoples Republic of NY. People sometimes say I look like a janitor because I carry ALL of my keys with me (including handcuff keys). Ironically, I once had my keys “held” at a courthouse screening point, but was able to get in with some of the more lethal equipment. I carry this stuff every day and none if it prints at all… except my keys.

  35. for every day survival gear i have narrowed it down to two bags worth of gear here is the list
    1 combat commander pistol from the korean war, 3 pistol magazines loaded with 9mm ammo 1 100 round box of 9mm jhp ammo, 1 ar-10 armlite rifle, 2 30 round magazines with 120 rounds of .308 jhp ammo, 1 tactical flashlight with spare battieries, 4 chemical light sticks, 1 first aid kit, 1 tactical folding knife, 1 fixed blade knife, 2 bottles of water, 1 box of matches, 1 box of plastic ties, 1 roll of duct tape, 1 multi tool plus 1 swiss army knife and one pair of working gloves all in a GET OUT OF DODGE BAG from cheaper thandirt item number BAG-222 in desert brown and thats a GOOD BAG TO HAVE IN EMERGENCIES

  36. NowInWyoming says:

    Ladies, please keep in mind that if your gun is in your purse it will take longer to draw it than if it is in a holster. I am female, 46 yoa, former military, and former LE. I’ve been shot twice and stabbed once. I have defended myself on a few occasions and I am still here, the “bad guys” are not. No, I’m not some bruiser either. I’m 5’8″ and weigh 125lbs. The stabbing happened because my gun was in my purse, I walked around a dark corner to get to my parked car (assigned parking otherwise I would have never parked in the alley) and was jumped. The guy came out from behind a trash bin and grabbed me, knocking me to the ground. I’ve always kept a stainless steel ballpoint pen on the outside of my purse, I pulled it and stabbed the a*sho@# in the eye. He fell back, I pulled my Glock 27 and laid him out. In the days previous two other women had been raped in similar attacks, I wasn’t taking any chances that he was getting up to come back after me. I couldn’t have ran, he slice my right calf open like a fillet. Now I carry my Glock in a holster w/ a spare mag, (sometimes a shoulder holster sometimes on my hip, depends on my attire) a KelTec .32 in an ankle holster, and my Taurus Judge in my “purse” which is either a fanny pack or my maxpedition bag. I also carry a zaplight (flashlight/stun gun) in the outside pocket of the maxpedition next to my trusty stainless steel pen and the KA-BAR LDK around my neck. In my bag I have a small first aid kit (w/ 3 days of pres. meds.), eye drops, nail clippers, chapstick, wallet, hand sanitizer, Glide dental floss (this stuff is tough enough for catching small fish), a small sewing kit w/ two fish hooks added to it, a magnesium firestarter, a leatherman tool, a plastic pen that could be used as a straw/trache if needed, a space blanket, a granola bar and a protien bar, a collapsible cup and a steri pen for water purification and tic tacs. In my pockets I carry a small lighter, a small lockpick set, my keys which has a P38 and a handcuff key on the ring, a bandana, and a 550 cord “bracelet” on my wrist. I always have extra water and MREs in my vehicle along with a gortex jacket, bivy, sleeping bag, and more gear, too much to mention. My point is not so much about the “too much gear” I carry but that if you carry a weapon and can’t get to it quick enough, you might be the one that is laid out, not the bad guy. I learned it the hard way. Stupid on my part, won’t happen again.

    • john henry says:

      i guess I live in a safe littlr town. We do not have rapes,murders or muggings here. WhenI went to the city I put my 357 in a part of the baby stroller where I could pull it out abd shoot. I stopped caring a gun but have not went to a city for several years. I do not plan on leaving the country. good luck and god bless. oh I have a shot gun behind the truck seat but that is there if I see a turkey or some other game. Not that I road hunt that would be illegal.

    • also in wyoming says:

      You sound like someone I would like to know and for sure, to have on my side!!

  37. On my body, I carry a Glock 19 or 23 depending on my mood. three extra magazines. I use a Crossbreed IWB or Thompson Gun Leather OWB depending on my dress. I also carry a book of matches, lip balm, Surefire “backup”, a 8 LED light (not bright but useful in movie theaters, checking under a desk…) Folding Stihl pocket knife with 2.5″ blade.

  38. Being a Scout leader for 11 years, I’ve been teaching being prepared for years. A good pocket knife, small first-aid kit, mimi-mag flashlight, and a fire starter are a must.

    I try to carry my Glock 19 as often as possible but my Bernadelli .380 packs in almost any clothing choice.

    Out of habbit, My vehicle is packed for a week-end campout (short the cooler with food), a tent, space blanket, regular blanket, and two liters of water and snacks to last a couple of days.

  39. Capt Cook says:

    David, you didn’t mention one of the handiest & most basic of things to carry.
    A Bandanna or handkerchief. It has a thousand uses & is easily carried or worn.
    Mine has come in very handy to stop bleeding wounds(job related mostly), as a dust mask, for a tennis elbow brace, as a cover, as a small bag, wet it for smoke inhalation prevention and the list goes on & on.
    I also carry a mini multi-tool on my keychain, so even if I don’t have my SOG multi-tool with me I still have a few of the basics to work with.
    And in my philosophy, even if you don’t smoke, you should always carry a lighter or matches with you. Fire is one of the basic necessities for survival.

    • That bandanna can be used as a splint on a sprained ankle as shown in the boy scout handbook all tenderfoots must learn this before advancing in rank. Bandanna can be used as distress flag also.

  40. Christian Gains says:

    Good tac-out. My lifestyle and business has allowed me to expand my “Go Bag” a bit…and, to enable me to be BOTH “light tac’ed” AND “FULL TAC”….So, my “Light” is a Leatherman, (use it several times, daily), a “folder”, (midrange S&W Titanium — ‘tactical’), another VERY SPECIAL little guy that a friend gave me — LOTS of potential value — a small “Tawara” stick, and a few other “tools”. BUT! Since I literally live in my van, (due to my work), it is my “FULL TAC Go Bag”. but that’s just me, and my special circumstances.

  41. What does your wife carry in her purse. I prefer not to carry any guns or knives in my purse. I live in So Cal so being prepared is a good idea.

    I carry my small wallent, chapstick, pick comb, keys, pack of kleenex, hand sanitizer, eye drops, nailcllipers with the small swissknife (multiblade scissors toothpick) attatched and my older phone in a small purse.

  42. Doc Savage says:

    Different people carry different things. The best part of the whole idea is that everyone should carry something. By the way, screw CA. I take my .38 Spl snubbie–with a CCW from another state–because I’m not going to stretch my frail body across their dumbass altar of political correctness. Give me a hard time, amigos, and I’m taking it to the press.

  43. A Colt Defender in a Galco paddle holster on my right hip, two extra magazines, handcuffs and my badge. (A full size 1911 on duty with four extra mags.)
    A Cold Steel Vaquero Grande in my right front pocket. A Lumaforce LF1 300 lumens flashlight in a left side pocket. A stainless Walther PPK .380 on my left ankle. One extra .380 magazine in a left side pocket. I cannot emphasize enough that you should always carry a backup gun. I got involved in a shooting in 1991 with three armed robbers. Thankfully I deployed the shotgun that night. One round fired, minor injuries and all three were taken into custody. Because I used the shotgun, my primary duty weapon was not checked that night. I found out a week later at the range that the firing pin was broken and it would not have fired if I needed it. Mechanical devices made by man can and do fail. Always have a backup, plan ahead and train.

  44. Very interesting. I am 58 and have never carried any of those weapon type items, except a flashlight app on my iphone. I live in Australia in Brisbane. My question to all of you is – Have any of you ever had to use your tools to defend yourself and what happened? Pardon my ignorance, but what is a Glock 27 that most of you seem to have?

    What I carry actually, if I think of a tool, is my Bible in any bag I have with me. I trust in God, and whenever I may have a sense of fear I pray for protection (not saying what you all do is not good, just have never thought of doing so, or up to now needed to).

    Is Australia more safe?

    • Capt Cook says:

      Ruth, the Glock 27 is a semi-automatic pistol.
      It is admirable that you carry your bible & put your faith in God. It would be prudent for you to be prepared though for those mundane situations that may arise.
      A simple knife to cut that seat belt off when you or someone else is stuck in a car wreck. A lighter to start a fire if you are stuck somewhere on a cold night or for light in the dark.
      Let me ask this question of you. Would God want you to sit idol and watch a child be beaten to death or would he want you to have the means to stop that child from being brutally killed? If you say he would want you to stand by and do nothing, then I want nothing to do with Your God! I believe that My God would want me to have the means to stop that attack and save that child.
      Do you think God would want You to be beaten and not defend yourself?
      The Sixth Commandment says Thou Shall Not “Murder”. It is not murder to protect yourself or another from a deadly attack.

      Mankind has not survived throughout the ages by not being prepared. We have survived by being ready for those situations that seem to happen most often & also being prepared for the worst.


    • There is a song here in the USA, that was popular in WWII.
      The name of the song was,”PRAISE THE LORD AND PASS THE AMMUNITION’…

    • Christians get raped, robbed, murdered and assaulted every day.

      Trust in God is one’s personal choice. But it is not an adequate substitute for preparedness and self-defense.

  45. @Steve thanks for the suggestion of the Zebra f-701, I’ll definitely check that one out.

    Since I live in the great state of Kalifornication, I can’t exercise my CCW right. So no gun, but if the national carry law passes I’ll probably retrieve my Glock 27 from the safe in Flagstaff and carry it.

    Knives: starting on the bottom and moving up to increasing severity; a razor knife with two additional tools, a nail file, and a cap lifter/screwdriver; a Swiss army, saber point main blade, leather awl, cap lifter/large screwdriver, can opener/small screwdriver; CRKT M16 -03Z; Cold Steel Gunsite tanto. LED flashlight with scalloped bezel and buttcap, cell phone, money, credit cards.

    Although my brief case is not actually EDC it is usually nearby. What’s in it. Gerber multitool, several small first aid kits, Aleve, nail clippers, anti acids, instant coffee, GPS, sewing kit, small crock sticks, matches, lighter, pen, pencil, tissues, and a bottle of Tea tree oil.

    About the CRKT, that little flipper nub really makes it easy to open and yesterday at the knife show I saw a custom maker had put one on one of his knives.

    About the flashlight, the scalloped bezel and butt cap have two good points. If you stand the light on it face, as many do, you can readily see if you left it turned on. For close in combat, the scallops can be use to deter an attack. Use the scallops against the back of hand, wrist bone, breast bone, anywhere on the spine, anywhere on the face.


    • Hi Jim,
      I do live in the republic of Kalifornia and I do have a CCW. There are many good websites on how to get your CCW here. There are some counties where you are not, no way no how, going to get a CCW (Sacramento and San Francisco). Your best bet is to talk to your local sheriff department and find out what their requirements are. I live in a county that is almost “shall issue” as the Sheriff feels its a right for his citizens to have one. This is based that they go through the required training and paperwork.

  46. Eddie Vidrine says:

    For writing, check out the Fisher Space Pens at Smokey Mountain Knife Works. Although they have the $ 25.00 metal tube pens, you can get the plastic versions in several colors for around $ 7.00. They have a pressurized cartridge, will write upside down, and in zero G’s. That’s why they call ’em Space Pens. They been there ! BTW, SMKW has a huge offering of tactical, survival, and hunting knives. Probably the two that David mentioned.


  48. I carry some of the same things. These are the things I carry just in my pockets and person.

    PF9 with laser sights and a spare mag in custom leather.
    Skeletool, which has a combo blade, pliers, screw driver and bottle opener.
    Streamlight, Stylus Pro. Its a 1 watt LED that cand funtion tactically and is the same size as a Kubaton, I have carried it on airplanes.
    Wallet with stuff. Including about 5 pieces of duct tape that are affixed to the back of a store card.
    550 cord woven bracelet.
    My watch has all kinds of functions.
    Finally my cell phone, which bieng a smart phone has tons of functions as well.
    A bandana in my pocket in place of a hankerchief.

    None of this is bulky or prints. It mostly gets used every day except of course the firearm. I find that I rarely feel underprepared, but since I quit smoking I miss having the firemaking ability.


  49. In a ‘average day’ fanny pouch, I recommend the following:
    1 ) A whistle (actually that’s around my neck) for under rubble, lost, wild animals, +
    2 ) A Multifunction Tool
    3 ) 1st Aid Kit (and the knowledge to use it) customized for my needs (and wife’s)
    4 ) Full Water Bottle
    5 ) Weather Gear (poncho and space blanket)
    6 ) Mask (at least a medical grade) or Dust, Chemical, Bio & Smoke Combo Mask
    7 ) Goggles (swimmers, military, etc)
    * usually I’ve got a couple of energy bars, and fire sources.

  50. A more affordable option for the pen – Zebra F-701 stainless steel body pen with knurled grip.
    Gets through airport security, easy to hold to. Costs under $6 at Staples or on Amazon.

  51. I almost always carry a very easy open belt clip knife, a Neck Knife & a Mini Mag Flashlight. Most times when clothing allows I also have my LadySmith in my pocket holster

  52. S. Tinaglia says:

    Interesting email but some of us travel on planes so most of this is impossible – well except for the pen

    TG Sam

    • Actually, I travel a good bit as well. I probably don’t qualify as a road warrior, but I do get “elite” status with 2 airlines each year.

      All of that to say, I carry my sidearm, pepper spray, and knives on almost every trip. I know that firearms DO get stolen, but in over 100 flights carrying my sidearm, multiple knives, and multiple pepper sprays, I’ve never had any stolen.

      Again, it’s a matter of improvising, adapting, and overcoming. TSA lays out what you can and can’t do, as well as how to transport firearms, ammo, knives, and pepper spray. Amazingly enough, they’ve never given me any attitude. Sometimes the airline ticket agents get snarly, but the TSA people usually just want to look at my gear because they’re gun nuts and end up wanting to get into conversations about the guns they own or want to buy.

      I’m not saying that ALL TSA agents are as nice as the last 100+ that I’ve had dealings with concerning my firearms, but they’re not all as bad as the horror stories you may have heard either.

      • why do people wear neck knifes?? im a lil behind on this subject.lol

      • Not ALL bad?! Due Diligence:
        It’s NOT the QUANTITY it’s the QUALITY!!
        More than 50% have criminal records & more than 30% of these are for sex-related offenses!!!
        by their own admissions, just by searching: TSA criminal records

        THANKS! CY6

  53. Stumpy Pope says:

    Good stuff!
    My only question is …. if someone has a weapon, is a lethal threat and you have to pull your firearm, why is he still alive? If you are in a situation that is so dangerous that the only alternative is to pull out your firearm, then the next sound you hear should be a very loud BANG! (preferably coming from your weapon, not
    the other person’s weapon)

    • GREAT question, Stumpy.

      Here are a few reasons why you might find yourself in a lethal force encounter and not fire your weapon:

      1. In many states, you have to verbally challenge/warn your attacker before you fire. If you come upon someone beating a friend of yours with a baseball bat, you *might* need to challenge them before shooting. They might comply.

      2. There is a delay between when you identify a violent attack and when you’re able to fire your weapon. During that time, something may happen that makes it such that you may cause more trouble (legal/moral) for yourself by firing than not firing.

      3. If you are facing two attackers, have to shoot one to stop the threat, and the other one complies, you will probably cause yourself more trouble by shooting the second one than by not shooting.

      4. If I heard an intruder in my house, I would have my firearm out before knowing whether or not the intruder meant to enter an occupied house or not. As an example, if the first thing they do when I light them up with my flashlight is to pee their pants and start shaking, I’m not going to shoot them.

      • So true, Mr. Morris. My husband and I were awakened one night to the dogs barking and my 13 year old son hollering. We both ran upstairs, my husband with Glock in hand, to find my son holding off a stranger with his bowie knife at our front door. My husband was able to “convince” him to exit quickly. While we were waiting the 40 minutes it took for SO to arrive, we discovered that the dumb kid almost lost his life because he was sooo drunk he thought he had driven 3 miles to his house instead of the 3 doors down that he actually drove. He just happened to walk to a door that had accidentally been left unlocked (that NEVER happens!), and the unfortunate set of circumstances almost cost him his life. I am pesonally glad it didn’t.

      • Vincent Vollero says:


        I recently took a “low light” pistol course, and we went over some different methods of lighting. To your point #4, what technique do you use? Do you go with FBi, modified FBI, Ayoob? Do you have a light on your home defense weapon? And I’d like to know the reasoning for whichever methods you are using.


  54. Nice collection of ideas here, especially for women. I carry quite a few ‘odds and ends’ that fit into my work backpack but the lock pick set escaped me. As I’m not a chatter by nature, instead of a cell phone I invested in a SAT phone for emergencies, haven’t had to use it – but you never know.

    I don’t find my Glock bulky but I’ve been wearing it a while now and feel naked without it. Unless you wear tight skirts, blouses or slacks most weapons can be concealed on a woman’s body, at least the women I know. One is a former LEO, and she carries hers in a shoulder holster.

    Glad to see more women at least responding here and thinking about their safety.

  55. All great stuff. I also carry a p-38 (can opener) around my neck… just habit. I also have a leather belted tool kit like electricians use… there is a Glock 27 stuffed into it, covered with a “rag”. I only use that method when working in bad areas. People with smart phones can download GPS and compass programs onto their phone. They work pretty well.

    Thanks for all the info you provide

  56. Most of the responders here sound younger and somewhat athletic.

    Any suggestions for an 80 year old man that CRS, has atrial fibulation, hi blood pressure, steel bars in his neck, hearing aids that also eliminate a cell phone, no longer has airborne knees and ankles, cant run or get too physical?

    Please dont just tell me to stay home; I already do a lot of that and cant afford a bodyguard.

    • Can’t beat a little hand held Taser if legal in your situation.

      • thanks for the idea Gary.

        I would be little concerned about legallity as I dont need a document or someone else to tell me if I have a right to defend my God given right to life. I have 2 cc permits. One from the sherriff and one in my constitution.

        Best to you

    • Pete, In the past I found a company called Cane Masters, that sells medical looking canes that are very strong (oak or hickory) and have slightly triangular
      instead of round shafts. They make great defense weapons, especially if you learn to use them properly. Also, who is going to take that “weapon” away from an older man like your self? You can even take them on planes sometimes. Cane Masters also sell videos on using the canes as weapons. I hope this is helpful.

    • ‘God made men and Sam Colt made them equal.’ Even if you cannot run I defy anyone who would attack you to outrun a nice slow chunk of lead at 800+ fps. The inability to outrun an attacker rather limits your ability to beat a hasty retreat.

    • John Bowie says:

      OK, all this is great, depending on when/where you are. I am 64, retired Army paratrooper, with some disabilities including those “airborne” knees aluded to above. But, I don’t run from trouble, either! I live in the SW US and have my CCW & a Sig P220 all the time. I do not even like to think about going into an unfriendly “libreral” state or Lousiana. However, last fall I took a car trip back east with my wife to visit her sister. We covered 17 states & D.C., not all of which are “friendly”. Yes I had my Sig, for it is better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6, and I was not going to let anything happen to my wife. I also took my little safe to keep it in during inconvenient times. While in Boston, the Pops were giving a concert in the park, and we went. I was separated from my wife and S-I-L for about an hour, waiting for the concert time to arrive. We had taken some snakes which included cheese, crackers, fruit & a small paring knife. To make a long story a little shorter, I had two “Jackels” circling me while I was “guarding two womens purses & my bag of snakes. I also had one “bad assed” walking stick I had made from a white oak brance some 25 years ago. Anyway, I stood off those two somalian pirate “Jackals” with the stick and the paring knife. I was damned disappointed, I’ll tell you! My point is, I was in a very “liberal” city that I did not dare carry my Sig in, nor a knife of any size. Just remember, just cause you have a CCW, that does not cover you for knives, bazooka’s, or flame throwers. And, it sure as hell don’t cover you in the Obamanation of Massachusettes. But who is going to stop a crippled up old man with fruit, cheeze, crackers and a paring knife? Use your heads, it is the best weapon you will ever have, next to the Bible!

    • Hello Pete,
      I have an 84 y.o. dad and 89 y.o. dad-in-law. Both are ex-military but now frail. They BOTH get a small tube of pepper spray/tear gas mix every Christmas from me. It works VERY well and they’re NOT afraid to use it.
      My dad got mugged (attempt) in his own garage in Cicero when he was under his car working on it by a couple of 20 something minorities looking to exploit a weak retired man.. Little did they know he had the tube with him under there. They approached him, he saw their legs, grabbed the tube, they pulled on his legs and as he came out from under the car he sprayed them. Well, he got them both in the “face with the mace” and he got up from the crouch, shoved them enough to get them out of the garage, closed the big door, went inside and called the cops. They took off running, STAGGERING all the way, according to a neighbor who saw the tail end of the scuffle. The cops didn’t get them but I’ll just BET those punks will think twice before trying to assault a retired man again.
      He now has a .32 Beretta I gave him that he “keeps in his house” for overnight protection, et al.

    • Pete:

      Look into ‘Sportsmansguide.com‘ web site and select the “ZAP Cane” (a 1 million volt stun gun in a usable cane), If you’re not ‘lighting up’ some punks world, it also has a nice built-in flashlight. I’m a retired police ofcr and have a nation wide permit (HR 218). but I still use the ‘cane’ to keep em busy until I decide if they are worth the ammo or not..

  57. Retired Grammaw says:

    When I am out and about., town, or going anywhere of my place.
    I am 63 and I carry a,
    Buddy Knife around neck,
    Punch 2 pepper spray,
    38 Special in belt/or waist clip holster.
    Comfortable above ankle hiking boots,
    Thick hiking socks
    wear jeans,
    gortex 3/4 coat with hood always in the car,
    Bank Card, Drivers Lisence, CC permit, Bi-Mart card
    money , only what I will spend on that trip in front jean pocket
    stay alert

  58. D. JAMES SMITH says:

    RE: Article: “EDC for Survival,” 2nd-to-Last Paragraph: “….& I make sure that I have the proper labeling for my OC…..” What is meant by “OC”?…Great article…Thank you.

  59. Bill Meinhardt says:

    What, No Flashlight ?

  60. I carry a Leatherman Wave, out of sheath unless wearing jeans where it is appropriate to wear a leather belt with sheath. If in a crowded place like a popular sporting events I also carry a thin piece of blue Sham Wow cut to about 8″x8″ to fully cover my face in the event of fire, bio or chem situations. It folds nice, fits in my back pocket and can be used with or without water to filter the air you breathe. I also carry some sort of mini high intensity LED flashlight on my keychain. These items vary depending on the situation.

  61. My EDC before taking your excellent course was a cell phone and a spyderco or cold steel folder. Now its a maxpedition M1 pack on my left hip which contains the following: wallet, Fenix LD10 flashlight (awesome, thx Nutnfancy), a Punch M3 OC pepper spray (shomertec.com), a gerber multitool, a flint & steel, small 1st aid kit, gloves, & CPR barrier shield, 2 spare AA’s, a p-38 can opener, a 30ft of paracord, emergency fishing kit, survival blanket & glock 23 mag with 180gr. federal hydrashocks. I carry either a glock 23 with a crimson trace laser or a glock 27 depending on clothes and the spare 23 mag works in either . Unfortunately the overstuffed M1 pack can draw attention. If if had 1/2 the stuff it would be less noticeable but it’s a comfort level thing. I wear a blackhawk phoenix backpack completely loaded everywhere I travel and to/from work. I have a well stocked blackhawk S.O.F. rucksack in the trunk that has room to dump my smaller pack contents into if need be. Insulated boots, wool socks, north face mummy bag and extra coat round out the load. I’ve got enough food, shelter and anything else I need for 2 for a week if I have to walk out from my car somewhere. Excessive, indeed but that’s my nature.

  62. I carry a small purse and do not want to carry a weapon. What would you suggest I carry in it? I have a small wallet, keys on a lanyard, and other women things.

    Thank you for all the information that you give us.

  63. In my purse: 3″ folding knife, pepper/teargas/marking spray, meds for 4 days, 1st aid kit found at the dollar store and modified by me. That particular kind of spray is illegal here in Ca but I’d rather be alive, at least I can go to work and pay my fine! There are many wonderful people here in California but unfortunatly the ones that are intelligent, decent human beings with common sense are leaving every day. I’ts called white flight. As soon as my Mother is gone we are flying too.

  64. Here in Canada only the bad guys and the police have weapons…especially hand guns..we can have air riffles, shot guns (but only for hunting) that must be registered of course and you can only buy ammo if you show reg., so we have air riffles, air pistols, many bows/arrows and sling shot…lol…sounds rather pathetic next to you in America…If a country never allows you to have weapons they don’t have to try to find ways to take them from you later on I guess.

  65. BenUSMC says:

    I have a carry license and tote a loaded safety on Taurus 9mm pro in a belt holster. The rest of
    the gear that is always with me or within easy reach are:

    cell phone
    key ring for everything i need to lock/unlock(house, truck, shed etc)
    multi tool (leatherman)
    easy open folding knife w/4′ blade.
    cigarette lighter
    wallet with cash/cards etc. carry in front pocket only.
    list of emergency contacts w/phone nrs & email adds.
    spare house/car key in wallet

  66. Red Wings, Gerber clip knife, lighter, and a “Zebra” pen. It’s stainless, plain, and light. And a extra 20.00, (not in my wallet). I have a Stoger 9mm that I rarely carry unless somewhere that I’ll be alone. And looks like pepper spray will soon be added. Less leathal force, and a good deterrent. Thanks for that tip..

  67. Doc Jim says:

    Another great topic, David!

    I carry:

    – Cell phone – communication is a critical survival tool!
    – Card with important numbers (covered in clear box sealing tape for water resistance)
    – slim (non folding) wallet with Credit card & cash
    – small folding utility knife – Gerber 22-41493 EVO Jr.
    – small bic lighter
    – small multitool, – Leatherman 831192 Squirt PS4
    – Flashlight – ITP-A3-EOS-UPGRADE (80 lumens from a AAA battery!)

    For self defense, a black belt in Yoshinkan Aikido, study of Chinese Shuai-chiao kung fu & intense study of Tim Larkin’s Target Focus Training is what I rely on, as my brain is my ultimate weapon.

    • Soylent Green says:

      I guess you’ve never seen the Indiana Jones movie ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’, huh? If you had, you would have seen the part where Indiana drops the ‘expert’ swordsman with one shot. All the Kung fu Panda training in the world is useless against a man with a gun.

  68. Rick Struchko says:

    I carry 4 items nearly all the time; A web tactical belt (unless I’m wearing a suit), a small 2″ S&W pocket knife sharpened razor shart, a larger S&W clipon knife with 2 blades, a lighter even though I don’t smoke and a pen light LED flashlight I bought from WalMart for $4. The single AAA battery will light for 38 hours. I use these items everyday on normal stuff. The concealed stuff is just that….concealed.

  69. Hum. Clearly you’re not 110 lbs and don’t wear heels to work every day. 🙂

  70. David H says:

    I was told by a Forest Ranger that pepper spray production is not regulated and can have a wide range of effectiveness. He indicated that some “pepper sprays” were nothing more than H2O. His recommendation is bear spray which is regulated.

  71. The second ammendment will not go away. The conservatives in this country will rise up. The TEA party will look small and tame compared to the outrage you would see if they tried to outlaw our guns. History is repleat with examples of what happened to the people when only the government could have firearms. Look at the people in Iran right now. They can only throw rocks. That won’t happen here.

    • i disagree david. look at the current laws. 2a says right to carry ARMS not sporting guns/shotguns/handguns. they have already put limitations on what a law abiding civilian can own/carry. and as long as the federal gov continues to use inter state commerce control to regulate firearms without the sheep of this nation finally standing up and saying enough by verbal/physical acts. The wolf pack of politics will continue to slowly but surely reduce the peoples rights in the name of security/terrorism. an elected gov ( be it 3000 miles away or not) can trample a civilians rights just as fast as the monachy that we broke from over 200 yrs ago. nor do i believe that a civilian should be required to aquire a FFL to own a automatic firearm. or a firearm deemed ” illegal” by state and federal gov. the constitution claims we have in-alienable rights given to us by GOD. not the fed/state gov. and yet a person convicted of a felony of any kind reguardless of violence/ or dishonorable discharge from the military still looses these GOD given in-alienable rights. Can anyone tell me why? this once free nation is well on its way to a gov similar to england/ britian. and the european idea of firearms control. god help us if the un small arms treaty is ratified by congress. the only way i personally will be giving up my 2a rights is when hey come and pull my firearms from my cold dead hand.

  72. Jeff G. says:

    I’ve been carrying concealed since 73′ and have settled on carrying a .380 usually, but the environment I work in (I’m a P.I.) ultimately decides the “weapon of the day”. As to traveling by air, along with a sturdy metal pen with a dual “use”, I also carry a small plastic bottle of Visene. Of course, the Visene has been squirted out and re-filled with Formaldehyde. The useful range is for CQ only, maybe 3′ max, but it will stop ANYBODY in their tracks. The downside (?) is that Formaldehyde is a carcinogen, but if I’m at the point where I’m forced to use it, that’s my opponents problem.

  73. My EDC is, A glock 30SF in a leather IWB Fobus holster. Two spare mags. A kubatan on my keychain. A Cold Steel American Lawman, and a Red Line flashlite. (220 lumens)

  74. As a woman,,I’d like to add that I carry a loud decibel body alam,,hoping if I can hit it that it may work better than me yelling “Rape”!!! Attracting attention if you need help can sometimes be better than a weapon …JMO

  75. Martin Duitz says:

    Dave, sorry but I thought a full name was required. If you don’t mind, please publish only my first name. Thanks Martin Duitz

  76. Hi David.
    I love your site and wisdom. This is particularly interesting to me and very informative. I have a suit and tie job so the minimalist approach is imperative for me.
    In my wallet I have for years carried 3 bandaids, why three? Because two wasn’t enough. I don’t know. I also carry two needles of different sizes stuck in the leather. They have worked well for slivers and other sundry things. I also keep a 2″ piece of plumber’s water proof emery cloth and a 2 1/2″ chunk of hack saw blade that cut from a new blade. I have used the emery a few times, never the blade. I also keep a fairly large paper clip slipped inside my wallet-possibilities are endless; just google it. I only carry one credit card and little ID so my wallet is quite thin in spite of the above.
    I carry a full size ACU camouflage handkerchief in my weak back pocket. I rarely use it as such in the name of opsec. Again, imagine the possibilities; even self defense.
    Basic, no frills, bullet proof cell phone.
    On my wrist i wear an analog watch with a suunto compass and l.e.d. clipped flashlight secured to it.
    For my neck I carry a Cold Steel Super Edge, with another l.e.d. light and magnesium fire starter, tiny compass, etc. I have carried this for over ten years with great results.
    For the last two years, ( I was late getting on board with this) I have worn a paracord black survival bracelet on my opposite wrist.
    Both of the above items are bad for opsec but I wear long sleeves and tie every day.
    I carry a cheap folder with black clip for opsec. Usually a S & W cheapo from BIg 5.
    Due to my occupation, I am strictly forbidden from packing heat. Argh.
    On my key chain, I carry a peanut lighter, kubatan, microtool, l.e.d. light, pico pen, tweezers, and more. I would elaborate if I had space.
    In my office satchel, I carry a Leatherman,Surefire, granola bars, map, compass, balaclava, tactical gloves, aluminum water bottles, well, you haven’t got time.
    thanks again,

  77. Martin Duitz says:

    Dave, excellent article. My choice of firearms will always be a 45 ACP. I am a retired police detective from a large police dept. and have carried a weapon for more than 39 years. My choice of holster is the horizontal shoulder holster w/ double mag pouch. The reason is simple. No matter what the weather, it’s always convient and concealed. In the Summer, I wear a light jean vest which keeps the 45 perfectly concealed. And since I live in a rural area, it doesn’t scream weapon. It’s one of the fastest to access, especially when sitting in a vehicle. I’ve got several 1911’s including a commander and an all alloy Springfield (a joy to carry and shoot). I just got a S&W M&P compact. First striker type I’ve owned. Jury still out on this pistol. Easy to carry, but a horrible trigger, breaking at about 8 lbs! The best of them all is still my Sig 220. Al stainless and heavy, but a true work horse. As far as the knife, I carry a Cold Steel Grand Vaquero. Fits in my pocket just like any other pocket clip knife, but has a super strong 6″ blade good for whatever I need it for. Just my choices, Keep up the good work. Look forward to all of your newsletters.

  78. George Wyckoff says:

    Oh, and paracord

  79. George Wyckoff says:

    One of the things that I carry is a leatherman. The one I have is not very big or bulky yet it affords me a few tools in one convenient package. Pliers for many uses as you can imagine and one if it hasn’t been thought of is to pull valve stems on tires to let the air out so you have a stable vehicle in the case of vehicle rescue. This is not what you wouold do in every scenario but has certainly been an asset on ocassion for me. Not to mention saw, screw drivers for routine light duty, and more.
    A lighter or other means of starting a fire in case of emergency.
    Back up stash money-$20.-$50. With a small partially fake roll of bills to throw down in certain circumstances.

  80. Bill Haney says:

    One thing that I add to this list is a small package of Celox – for clotting blood.

  81. Reddog245 says:

    Thanks for the food for thought. I agree with your assessment of the CRKT M16 knife, especially with the looks it gets, so I only carry it when going to the “Big City.’ For EDC at home and work, I carry a Kershaw Leek with the long pointy blade. It looks a lot smaller because of the needle like point, but has the same length blade as the M16. My pen choice is the Zebra F-701, an all SS pen that is as strong as any I’ve found, and with the fine point ink cartridge is very sharp. Plus, at ~$5.00, not as big a loss as a Porsche. I keep my office stocked with the Zebra F-402, very similar but with a rubber grip, making it a little more common looking, and they are 2 for ~$7.00, almost disposable, and both easily go through the TSA nonsense. I add a small handcuff key in the wallet, cheap cell phone (so as not to tempt me to fight for it, like I might for my wife’s IPhone) and a Sig P230. I also have stuff stashed around my common haunts that would be helpful in particular location specific situations that might come up. (A get home bag in the back of my file cabinet, a road specific bag in the car, helpful items disguised and hidden in the ceilings of the bathrooms in the places I frequent, etc. These carry location specific things, a bigger fixed blade knife and more ammo in mags.) These are regularly checked for discovery and tampering, but have been designed to blend in and have not been molested yet.

  82. Um.. now what will everyone be carrying? Read Below.


    Will Government Be Scanning Through Your Clothes in the Streets?

    Taking invasive scanners out to the people
    Yes, the government actually wants to see through your clothes…in the street
    We don’t even want to imagine what could be next
    Gary Gibson, Baltimore, Maryland…

    Andy Greenberg recently broke the news. The Transportation Security Administration is trying to get a peek at your naked body absolutely anywhere and anytime. From Mr. Greenberg’s article in Forbes:

    Newly uncovered documents show that as early as 2006, the Department of Homeland Security has been planning pilot programs to deploy mobile scanning units that can be set up at public events and in train stations, along with mobile x-ray vans capable of scanning pedestrians on city streets.”

    The emphasis was mine. Here’s the rest of Greenberg’s article.

    The non-profit Electronic Privacy Information Center (EPIC) on Wednesday published documents it obtained from the Department of Homeland Security showing that from 2006 to 2008 the agency planned a study of new anti-terrorism technologies that EPIC believes raise serious privacy concerns. The projects range from what the DHS describes as “a walk through x-ray screening system that could be deployed at entrances to special events or other points of interest” to “covert inspection of moving subjects” employing the same backscatter imaging technology currently used in American airports.

    The 173-page collection of contracts and reports, acquired through a Freedom of Information Act request, includes contracts with Siemens Corporations, Northeastern University, and Rapiscan Systems. The study was expected to cost more than $3.5 million.

    One project allocated to Northeastern University and Siemens would mount backscatter x-ray scanners and video cameras on roving vans, along with other cameras on buildings and utility poles, to monitor groups of pedestrians, assess what they carried, and even track their eye movements. In another program, the researchers were asked to develop a system of long range x-ray scanning to determine what metal objects an individual might have on his or her body at distances up to thirty feet.

    “This would allow them to take these technologies out of the airport and into other contexts like public streets, special events and ground transit,” says Ginger McCall, an attorney with EPIC. “It’s a clear violation of the fourth amendment that’s very invasive, not necessarily effective, and poses all the same radiation risks as the airport scans.”

    It’s not clear to what degree the technologies outlined in the DHS documents have been implemented. Multiple contacts at the DHS public affairs office didn’t respond to a request for comment Wednesday afternoon.

    The article was later updated…

    Update: A TSA official responds in a statement that the “TSA has not tested the advanced imaging technology that is currently used at airports in mass transit environments and does not have plans to do so.”

    A privacy assessment included in the documents for one aspect of the plans that focused on train security suggests that images wouldn’t be tied to any personally identifiable information such as a subject’s name. Any images shared outside the project or used for training purposes would have faces blurred, and employees using the system would be trained to avoid privacy violations, the document says. If the scanners were to adopt privacy enhancements deployed in new versions of the airport full body scanners currently being tested by the TSA, they would also use nondescript outlines of people rather than defined images, only showing items of interest on the subject’s body.

    But EPIC’s McCall says that those safeguards are irrelevant: If scanners are deployed in public settings, it doesn’t matter if they show full naked images or merely the objects in a user’s pockets. “When you’re out walking on the street, it’s not acceptable for an officer to come up and search your bag without probable cause or consent,” she says. “This is the digital equivalent.”

    In August of last year, Joe Reiss, the vice president of marketing of security contractor American Sciences & Engineering told me in an interview that the company had sold more than 500 of its backscatter x-ray vans to governments around the world, including some deployed in the U.S. Those vans are capable of scanning people, the inside of cars and even the internals of some buildings while rolling down public streets. The company claims that its systems’ “primary purpose is to image vehicles and their contents,” and that “the system cannot be used to identify an individual, or the race, sex or age of the person.” But Reiss admitted that the van scans do penetrate clothing, and EPIC president Marc Rotenberg called them “one of the most intrusive technologies conceivable.”

    On top of exposing research into possible expansion of the scanner program, EPIC has also filed a lawsuit against the DHS that fights the use of the scanners in airports. The group is arguing its case in a D.C. appellate court next week, though some expect the scanners to be ruled constitutional.

    The lingering worry around the Whiskey Bar is that there will be very little uproar about this, that it will be grumbled about by some and eagerly embraced by others.

    Any intrusion in the name of safety, after all.

    But maybe the public has had enough. Maybe the majority of folks are as sick of these intrusions based on trumped-up fears as they are of bailouts and overpaid government employees.

    Maybe the justifications for omnipresent, invasive monitoring are losing their purchasing power.

    Robert Higgs explores the idea below.

    Whiskey & Gunpowder
    By Robert Higgs
    March 4, 2011
    Excerpted from Neither Liberty Nor Safety


    Looks like no one trusts anyone and everyone is an outlaw. Scanning or no scanning, I’ll be ready no matter what they think up to do next. I’m protecting my rights no matter what. In the name of kindness and goodwill, I believe we’ll all wake up to the fact that civility, freedom and respect for one another go a long way.


  83. AzBigDog says:

    Nicely said and put together. I am a former Tactical Chemical Munitions Instructor and it’s good to see someone put out The Use of Force Continuum realistically. Most people don’t even think about the ramifications and aftermath of what happens when you pull the trigger; you will be arrested, justified or not, and you will stand trial wither you were justified or not. Having “less-lethal’ force should be incorporated right along with “lethal” force along with PPCT’s of some sort. Krav is pretty brutal, as you know, since it teaches one to “not quit” until the assailant is incapacitated; which I love and agree with. But I believe people should also learn about Court Room Survival if they carry “lethal force”. Just food for thought.
    Thanks for your time, concern and wanting to share your knowledge with everyone.

  84. How often do you use the lock pick? What are its various uses? Do you carry a wallet?

    My EDC may not have much apocalyptic survival application but comes in handy for daily survival.

    Front left pocket:
    Victronox 2.5 inch folder knife w/scissors, file, tweezer and tooth pick. Chapstick. small bic lighter. Recently added the Gerber mini-suspension-p multi tool. Not sure if it will see enough use to stay in the line up.

    Front right pocket:
    Android type cell phone

    Left hip pocket:
    Some real money:). Debit visa. Bandaides.

    Because I have kids the band aides get called upon often.

    I carry all these items even in a buisiness suit. No problem.

    In the field a larger knife is important. However, I once forgot to bring a larger knife and had to field dress a deer with my 2.5 inch blade. It is amazing how much can be accomplished with a small blade when it is very sharp.

    In my 46 years I have been confronted by many dangerous people but never needed leathal force to defend myself. So, even though I have handguns, I don’t carry them on me. But in the case of home invasion I am prepared to use my guns.

    I enjoy your articles and practicle advice. Keep up the good work.

  85. I carry a Tommy Gun Pack from Kicking A Packs.com. It is the most comfortable belt pack I’ve found, and has a Quick Release System for drawing a pistol that is quick, and safe. They come in various colors so as not to scream “GUN!” I also carry a spare mag. for the .45 Sig P245 Compact I carry everyday, a small flash light, Kershaw Tanto knife, c-phone, wallet, with a Brunton Life Card that has great survival info, as well as personal medical info, such as allergy alerts, blood type,etc. This works well in the warmer months, but still can be effective, and comfortable with proper dress in winter in most parts of the country. Love the feed back from your customers, Dave. Proud to be associated with you folks.

  86. Jim (nick name) says:

    I generally carry a few more things.
    1. Gun most often carried is a Ruger LCP and 6 extra magazines small gun lots of bullets. Second choice is both the Ruger and a Taurus 709 and 6 extra magazines 3 in a bag off body. I used to carry a 1911 for eleven years in a shoulder holster and two extra 8 round mags on the off side my favorite gun but I am having trouble concealing it as I get older and softer. For office and site visits I carry a minimum of .25 Baby Browning in a really cool pocket holster made for me by Jerry Ahern and two spare mags in a pocket holder also made by him.
    2. Knife I carry is a Spyderco police model why, because I have had it for a long time it is in fact an original prototype. It is fast to open a very aggressive serrated blade and flat so it is easy to carry.I also carry a leatherman wave on my belt unless I am carrying the 709 in which case the leatherman pouch becomes a covert magazine holder
    3. I carry two Spitfire pepper spray holders in special pockets one for each side.
    All of the gear is because of personal past experience trying to learn from my mistakes. I have had seven mugging attempts in six different cities, five when I was unarmed. I have learned never to go unarmed.

  87. 1st, GREAT articles here, many thanks.
    2nd I usually carry a Glock 17 or S&W .40 and a S&W snubbie 38. Also, a Benchmade or CRKT folder, 2 flashlights, (one is a Surefire copy, the other an LED flood), 8oz Fox pepper spray and a S&W tactical pen, which, by the way, has made it through security twice now. Oh and ALWAYS my Swiss army knife. In case I get attacked by a wine bottle 😉

  88. If the tools are not on you, then you don”t have any. Here is the bare minimum I carry on me, and they are easy to wear just about anywhere:


    The various defense weapons are open for debate – big surprise here! – but this collection is very useful and much more effective than having nothing. And nothing is what you have, if your survival gear is too bulky, inconvenient to carry, and heavy and gets left in the car!


  89. Mr. David,

    I’m surprised you don’t carry a backup gun and subscribe to the “one is none” belief.

    I too would like to know how you carry so much without showing bulk. I carry a wallet, cell phone, small sig flashlight, mini-griptilian, Sig 239 and a keltec p3-at. Unless I’m working around the house wearing 5.11 tactical pants, it is uncomfortable and it bulks. What worries me most, however, is that I have no choice but to carry my knife and pocket holster in the same pocket and I’d rather have the gun only so that my draw isn’t affected.

  90. Matthew says:

    1. Leather Baseball Hat
    2. Sunglasses
    3. Multi-Tool
    4. Matches or Lighter
    5. Analog Watch
    6. Leather or Nylon Bel
    7. Cell Phone with Camera Flash
    8. Kuru Hiking/Walking Footwear.
    9. Dr. Scholls gel cushion sole.

    The Sog/multi-tool can easily cut through chain length fence.
    The analog watch can also be used as a compass.
    The Camera Flash can be used as a bright flashlight.
    The multi-tool & cell phone have many uses.
    Kuru footwear are very lightweight, warm, waterproof & extremely comfortable.
    Also two layers of socks (no cotton).
    The more skills I know the better & the stronger my faith is the better.

    Thanks for the newsletter David.

    • Hi Matthew.
      I appreciate your comment. I have to admit that I take a little solace in reading it. I too have always insisted on nothing but analog watches for the compass reason and at 50 years old I am not going to change. My favorite is my Luminox Navy Seals type. However, it was only about 5 years ago that I had a blinding flash of the obvious that I could always take the time from a digital watch or cell phone and draw an analog face on a piece of paper, hold the hour hand to the sun and still know the direction of south. Catch my drift?? I really hope not to offend you; simply bring another option to the table. Like I said, I have had the above watch for well over ten years and have several others–all analog. i am simply not going to change but you might elect to. Keep the faith my brother.

  91. All great minds run in the same gutter! We carry almost the same things, but I’m more of a minimalist (after carrying all that police gear at work I want to be freed from it off duty).

    1. In light, summer clothing: Glock 27, spare mag (15 rd/Model 23 size).
    2. In medium, spring/fall clothing: Glock 23 and spare mag.
    3. In heavy winter clothing: Glock 23, spare mag, S&W Model 640-1 five shot revolver in .357 magnum (2 in. barrel, hammerless, stainless steel). The Glock stays on my hip in holster. The .357 goes in my winter coat strong side pocket where I can keep my hand on it and draw instantly (Glock would take 2.0 – 2.5 sec to draw and fire: too slow). If necessary the revolver can be fired through my pocket at close range.
    4. Handcuffs and cuff key.
    5. Badge, police ID card, around my neck on a chain (not wallet).
    6. Cheap ($35) folding knife, 3-3/4″ blade.
    7. Heavy belt designed for concealed carry.
    8. Small Surefire flashlight.
    9. Cell phone with 9-1-1 on speed dial.

    You have excellent reasons for carrying pepper spray. I’m tempted to start, but can’t get over the desire to dump as much as gear as possible after work. Looking back over 11 years of concealed carry as a civilian and now 11 more years as an off-duty cop, I don’t see 1 instance in which I would’ve used the OC spray if I had had some on me. I’ve only used it 6 times as a cop (plus 6 Taserings and a large, unknown # of baton strikes). I agree with your reasons though.

    Eat your heart out: Federal law grants me nationwide concealed carry regardless of local and state restrictions. I love going armed to places like the People’s Republic of New Jersey, New York and Massachusetts. Hopefully, someday there will be a Federal concealed carry permit available to law abiding citizens!

    • Thank you for your service!

    • The US Constitution REQUIRES states to give “full faith and credit” to the acts of all the other states so a concealed carry permit from one SHOULD be good in all the others. But hell, as long as the feds ignore the Constitution on a regular basis the states and locals may as well, too. Note that the government, as servant to the people denies rights to the masters that they reserve unto themselves. This is done knowingly or why would they have an Army command (Northcom) dedicated to subjugating the masters they are sworn to protect and serve.

      And the bleating sheeple continue to “elect” their own enslavers in hope they’ll continue their free bread and circuses.

      • amen matt i agree. a federal pack of wolves overseeing (restricting the constitional rights of) a flock of sheep. thats as simple as it gets. welcome to the gov take over of what was once a free country. death to a democracy but then again thats classified.acording to the feds.

    • This is in reply to Tom regarding his assertion that due to the fact that he is a duly appointed law enforcement officer in his home state that he is permitted to carry nationally, especially in NJ, MA, and others. So as to avoid you getting into undo trouble while traveling to these rights-less states, especially NJ, Chicago, and NYC, I have to caution you to contact these states directly as I have a totally conflicting report for you. I own an international executive protection firm staffed by US Navy SEAL’s, CIA and OGA’s and a few law enforcement officers, one of which is our Law Enforcement Liaison and I can tell you, whomever told you at your agency that your badge in your state permits you to carry in the states I named without an issue is simply incorrect. As an example, when we have operations in the above named states, we must contact the law enforcement agencies in those jurisdictions and simply qualifying for HR218 is not enough. You must be in your requal period, after 365 days of holding the permit, and you must meet ALL of the criteria set forth in the bill. Here is the rub, you must also meet ALL of the requirements of the state you are in at the time or, you CAN be detained as a result. This can result in arrest and even though the cavalier might retort, “Let em arrest me! I will take it to the Supreme Court!” In NJ, where we operate with some level of frequency, we still contact NJ, the GOV’s office, and the AG’s office. Trust me on this, this is a very shaky law and states still reserve the right to establish their own requirements, whether 2A compliant or not. The gun grabbers do not care about the law and will cost you a lot more than just money if they stop you or you are involved in a shooting in those states. Make no mistake, I am a HUGE proponent of National Right to Carry, however, you MUST be extremely careful and proactive in traveling to NJ, Chicago, and NYC… Even if we are protecting a foreign head of state in one of these areas, we still assure we liaison with local and state law enforcement before we go. We usually endeavor to obtain a letter, on letterhead from the GOV, the AG, and the Head of the State Police in that area.

  92. About the only differences in what we carry daily is that I carry a KelTec 32 in a pocket holster – (extremely reliable – and small/light) with a spare 10rd mag, a small Fenix multifunction light – uses a AAA battery and is not much bigger than aa AA battery, and a Leatherman tool in addition to a CKRT m16 and a small Spyderco folder that doubles as a money clip. Occasionaly I will carry a small lighter or a flint/steel combo if I know am going to be out of civilization for a little bit. If I am not wearing boots – a rare occasion – I carry about 15 feet of a cordage similar to 550 cord, but smaller in diameter.
    Yeah – sometimes I carry larger heavier firearms (usually a Sig 220 or 229) in a Galco concealable holster, and a larger knife, but in over 30 yearsof carry in the US, I have only needed a firearm once. A small .380 worked just fine at 5 feet. (2 assailents).
    When things go dirt brown, I may want to be carrying an entirely different setup – but using common sense and discretion, I can get buy until I can get to where those things are available.
    As always – your most effective weapon or survival tool is your brain!

  93. Thanks Dave;
    I carry most of the same as you except for a pair of needle nose Pliers, small, The use of these is unliminted. I also carry a zippo Lighter and keep some Ronsonol lighter handy, for who knows what. I also have a Smith and Wesson Pistol screwdriver on my key chain. Love all you are doing for us.
    God bless you.

  94. All your gear is outstanding, in adition I will keep two heavy duty folding box cutters
    in each of my car/truck doors. In addition to pepper spray, in my vehicles, I keep at least one can of Wasp (insect) spray. Most have a 20-25 foot range and will keep a fairly small pattern to easly hit a target at a longer distance. A facial hit
    will stop them in their tracks.

    • Sandra M. says:

      Ok I’ll bite what’s up with the wasp spray? Is it chemically simular to pepper spray?
      Also will the “damage” to the attacker be permenant?
      God knows in our lawsuit happy world and especially with the criminal seemingly having more rights than the victim I would hesitate on the wasp spray until someone can assure me it’s not a perminant damage issue.

  95. Larry Conklin says:

    Unfortunately, I work in one of the large”box-stores” and the rules are “no weapons-of any kind, on company property, even in your own locked vehicle.” I live in an “open cary” state, so I continue to keep my “Basic-load” in my vehicle. It’s out of sight, and I figure that the only way they’ll find out is if I have to use something, against an attacker in the parking lot, some dark night. At any rate, It’s better to be judged by twelve, than carried by 6. They make us carry a “safety” box cutter, that the blade only extends 1/4″ and has the point rounded off, so as to be totally worthless. I still carry my leatherman, on my belt, and haven’t had any trouble about it yet.

    • Larry: I don’t know where you live but there is a bill currently pending in the Texas legislature prohibiting any employer from preventing employees from having guns in their cars, even in a company owned parking lot. The theory is that to do so makes them commute unarmed which violates their 2A right to “bear” arms. It appears to be poised for passage but is getting push-back from Big Oil and assorted employer lobbies.

    • Doc Jim says:

      Wow, Larry. Unless you have no other options, I would quit a place like that. In my world, being under contract with someone who has that kind of idiotic approach to stopping violence would not be tolerated.

      As someone well trained in martial arts & anatomy, my brain and hands have lethal capacity. Whether they know it or not, the brain is everyone’s best weapon. Everything else is just a tool (I could kill with a screwdriver or hammer just as easily as with a knife, pipe or bat).

      Do they want you to leave your brain at home too, then? Absurd.

      • DanielSnedden says:

        I live in Ohio and as soon as the CCW law was passed every public building put up signs NO FIREARMS alowed. Ohio also has an open carry law but it is impossible to exercise it. If the police in any jurisdiction sees you they will have you face down on the ground assuming they do not shoot you first. To suggest finding another job is ludicrous. He is lucky to have a job and so am I. The best part of CCW is that the information is public so if someone wants to know who has a CCW they can easily find out. As far as I am concerned CCW is the same as gun registration, You still cannot carry a firearm concealed in public unless you are planning to just stand out on the sidewalk. No buildings, no parks, no stores allow firearms. There is no advantage for the average person.

  96. That “smart carry holster” doesn’t look to be too smart. How does it keep from falling out in a fight or when running? I use a pouch with a cover and easy release lock from Tactical Products, LLC, “The Wilderness” series out of Phonix, AZ. I carry a .380 auto by “KelTec.”

    I don’t get the Porsche Pen at all.

    Also, why would anyone carry an open razor blade defense tool around his neck on a bare chest? Wow! Don’t make a mistake with that.

    • I run 3-4 miles every day with the smart carry containing my Springfield XD45 full size and a spare 13-rd mag. Never any issues after running daily for 2 years with it. I wash it about once a quarter & it’s great. HIGHLY recommended. I also am a businessman and wear it underneath my suit trousers and have never gotten a second look. Outside of work, I wear a Crossbredd Super Tuck also-phenomenal holster.

  97. In addition to what you carry, I always have a first aid kit, with a container of quick clot, and I also always carry at least a liter of water.

    And the last thing I’d say is, for those that have never done it before……aget the book, “The visual guide to lock picking”. Makes it MUCH faster to learn how. And practice, practice, practice!!! Get used to all the locks on your house!!

  98. Instead of pepper spray, I recommend wasp spray. It’s much cheaper, it doesn’t require a permit like some jurisdictions demand, it has a much longer reach, you don’t have to worry about blowback. Another option is to carry the cheapest aluminum ballbat you can buy. Tape the sales receipt around it to make it look like you just bought it. Beats a guy with a knife every time.

    • Mike: Computer generated sales receipts are stamped with the date and time. You may have to create your own for window dressing.

  99. Really like your articles – thanks for having me on your list.

    On a daily basis no matter what I’m wearing (i.e.- long pants or shorts, winter or summer) I carry a MOD Pointman, a Surefire E1, a small Bic lighter, cell phone, wallet and keys. These stay on me at all times.

    I can augment this equipment with a compact gunshot wounds pack, compass, monocular, and/or other items that don’t take up much space. These all depend on if I’m carrying a pack or wearing cold/inclement weather gear.

    Carry pieces are another issue, depend on what I am wearing and where I am located in regard to carry laws.


  100. Great article – I’m just curious HOW do you carry these items? Some of them (like the Glock) you discussed carrying in a holster but how do you carry the pen, lock pick set, pepper spray and flashlight? I usually have to wear a suit to my appointments so wondering is that something you would advise I just put into a computer/laptop bag?

  101. Dave in Calif says:

    I carry a swiss army multi-tool, and another single blade in my pocket and a small first aid kit on my belt. Outside of work, I am going to acquire a K-Bar, that’s about it here on the left coast, the land of fruits, flakes and nuts.


  102. gene macdonald says:

    You carry approximately the same equipment I do (Compact 45, ti folder, pocket clip small knife, surefire defender), with the exception of the pepper spray. My experience with spray is you generally get as much on yourself as on the intended target unless you are at a fairly long range – far enough to exit rather that engage. If my wife is with me & we can’t disengage, she carries a small pistol and pepper spray. The wind can be your enemy when you employ pepper spray & I’d rather disengage than dance.

  103. Reno Robb says:

    Do you know of a web-site that lists by state, the laws regarding carrying Pepper spray, knife blade lenghts, and pick lock tools??
    Thanks, Robbo in Reno

  104. Patricia says:

    PS again,

    As far as your sidearms, do you have recommendations for women who do NOT wear holsters (well, I don’t, I wear dresses) and have smaller hands (maybe)?

    • Patricia, David and anyone interested. I carry a Colt Defender year round. It is a sub-compact version of the Commander, which David mentioned. I like it because, like Patricia, I have small hands and it fits me well. Additionally, it is much easier to conceal than a 1911 or other large frame pistol. Downside, it is very light and recoil control is a challenge. Life is full of trade-offs

      • i have a varity of weapons, but for the smaller hands and frame, i strongly suggest that you look into the smith and wesson airweight .38 snub nosed revolver. it is small, and very effective at close ranges 45 yards or closer and recoil is not great. i added one to my personal collection and have not regretted it.

    • Patricia,
      A couple suggestions for you. As for holsters and things you can hide a bit better, be that weapon or taser, etc. Dillion Precision and Cheaper than Dirt have lines with items such as a day planner that will hide one, or a fanny pack, etc. Another cheap alternative for anyone that carries is stop at a local tool dealer that sells to large companies. Many times, they will have carrying cases for D.C. Electric tools, such as a DeWalt or Milwaukee Elec. bags that the companies simply do not need the carrying cases and will sometimes give them to you or sell it to you for 5 bucks, etc. Since they are “new” I recommend distressing it just a bit to blend in better. A thief is less likely to break a window out of your car if a stained old electric tool bag is lying on the floor than a new one. Simply not worth the risk. My current one is less than 3 months old, so the zipper works great, but looks like it has been through a war zone as I tossed a little diesel fuel (less than 1/2 ounce) and dirt on it, cut the stitching in places, then ran it through the washing machine a couple times. Make sure you run an extra cycle if you have anything that will stain other clothes. It will conceal in plain sight and more importantly within reach. Even if you are legal to carry, most officers would not even think to ask about it. Especially if you toss another wrench or two beside it large enough for a club, or your duct tape and quick ties. Even a large adjustable (preferred Crescent, Craftsman or any cheapy) or pipe wrench that you can pick up at a discount store with a leather bootlace from Wally World can prove to equal a small woman’s hands and a descent sized attacker. Cut the shoe lace short enough that you can keep your hand in the loop through the end of it if they start perspiring (not unusual in a combative situation) and LARGE enough you can slip out if the attacker gets a grip on your plumbing tool:) Again, if you are stopped, likely the officer if he even notices will only assume you are single woman and handy…Maybe you will even get out of the ticket and asked out:):) Best of luck to you!

      • Martin Duitz says:

        Sorry, it’s been a few years, but I still am not ready to think law enforcement would care a lick if you carry a legal ccw. Please believe me…If you are a legal ccw and get stopped for any reason…advise the officer you are ccw and have a permit. It would save alot of problems. The last thing a cop wants is to see a weapon without being advised about it.

        • Martin,
          Couldn’t agree more, but there are also policemen that once they know you are legal with a CCW, will turn your car into an unassembled erector set. I have never had an issue, but know a lawyer of all things that some 1st or 2nd year trooper decided to disect his car after mentioning it. 55 minutes later he received a warning for 33 in a 25. Every scenerio is unique. And in any event, having it concealed from the thugs is the main objective which the bags work great for. I have the utmost respect for all police, uniformed and U.C. It is a thankless job that should pay more for the risk.

        • Hipockets says:

          Last time we were stopped,and they ran the old boys license,they knew
          immeadiately he was CC,and asked if he was carrying’ It’s listed on your
          License info when run through by police where we live’ Of coarse,they
          took the gun,but had to give it back short while later. Gestopo world

      • Bill, Patricia: Delete the duct tape (and any long ties). I wouldn’t advise anyone to carry these, unless extremely well hidden. This is what criminals carry, and they could use it effectively on you! A policeman would raise his eyebrows on seeing these!

    • Another option is a purse. Just a few company’s listed below. My wife, mother-in-law, and mother carry this way.



  105. Patricia says:

    Okay, I’ll bite. What is a “tactical pen”? I just followed the link and the Porsche looks like a normal, slim pen. I can use my imagination, but I want to hear more from you.
    Thanks, Patricia

    PS: How far does a normal purse-size canister of pepper spray shoot – ie: how close do you have to be to your attacker?

    • Hi Patricia,
      A tactical pen is a pen that can be used as a weapon. Usually made of metal, they can be used to attack soft targets, such as eyes, neck, etc. Sometimes considered a weapon of last resort, it can help in instances where you have nothing else available. (I would suggest not brandishing it for an attacker to see if possible, and try to conceal it as you strike

      Someday these too may be confiscated at security checks, but for now they’re not.

      Search on the web for ‘tactical pens’ and check them out.

      I also agree with David Morris that many of these tactical pens look ‘menacing’, and I doubt you’d get through security checks (like airport TSA) with such a pen. But an innocuous pen should be fine.

      Good luck!

      • My son has a Cold Steel Sharkie. We went through a security checkpoint and my son was refused entry. The guard’s stance was though my son’s sharkie looked like a sharpie, it was way to heavy.

        Just wanted to post this anecdote as fyi.

        • Phlogiston says:

          Sharpie actually has a stainless steel cased marker. It’s very sturdy, doesn’t scream “tactical” (everybody has heard of “Sharpie Markers”) and above all, CHEAP, so you don’t need to worry out being out a bundle of cash if it’s lost, stolen, confiscated by TSA, etc.

      • as you say, the gear depends on the person. i am a police officer and off duty i carry either the glock 21, s&w 357 mag or the s&w .38 snub, one lock blade, one automatic blade a paracord bracelet and a para cord watch band. in my truck i put together a 72 hr kit. the IMPORTANT thing i would like to stress is in a survival situation, it does not matter who makes the tool. ANY TOOL IS A GOOD TOOL!

        • I carry a Fischer “Space Pen”. Not only is it tough enough to be worthwhile in a tactical defense situation, but it will write literraly anywhere, on almost anything. Truth is, any straight stick pen can be used tactically–i. e. the “bic” style pen used in the Jason Bourne movie.

          Out here in the flatlands of western KS, many survival situations can require shelter and heat. I am never without at least two ways to easily make fire (in addition to the practiced skill at friction fire-starting.) I carry an electronic ignition lighter and keep waterproof matches in my vehicles.

          Another thing that I am never without is my analog (dial-face) wrist watch. I have a Seiko self-winder and a Pulsar photocell, so no batteries to ever fail. A dial-face watch serves as an excellent expedient compass, as well as a way to know when to take my meds.

    • A Tactical Pen is a writing implement as well as a close-quarter self-defense tool that you can bring virtually anywhere and have with you at all times. It is used like a Kubotan for striking soft tissue targets, bony areas, nerve targets or joint manipulation techniques. Tactical or Self Defense pens are an essential piece of EDC gear for anyone who needs a tool that they can depend on for self defense or personal protection.

      Pepper spray comes in several canister sizes which are measured in ounces/grams and is manufactured in different formulations and strengths. Check your states laws regarding possession, use, size and formulations. The most commonly carried sizes are Key ring, MK6 or MK3 for personal protection. These units have an effective range of 7-12 feet. I teach my students to use pepper spray in the 3 ranges of normal combat or attack (kicking, punching and grappling ranges). Pepper spray is normally deployed at distances from just outside the users arm length (approximately 30 inches) to approximately 10 feet but can be used at grappling ranges using a “Contact Shot” or from the ground. Also other issues may affect distance such as wind, method of delivery (stream, cone, fog or foam), deployment technique, user skill and level of training.

  106. If Obama is voted in for another Term, nobody will have to worry about defending themselves. The Second amendment as we know it will be gone, via his socialist Supreme Court Judges. The government will then provide all the safety and security you need, just like the Kremlin did in the 60’s.

    • Rory you are so right. We can only pray that Ron Paul will run against that socialist puppet Obama.

    • Scott C says:

      If he does ban firearms, then I will be a criminal. I will not give up a God given right to self defense, and I will not abandon the second amendment. The Bill of Rights was written to protect us. If we let them win, even if they illegally circumvent it, then we have no right to be Americans. I will stand firm on this one.

    • its a wonder politicians from obama down have not been convicted of oath of office violatins ( ron paul exempt).after all its a 1yr and a day conviction and considered a felony.

    • To all the Americans. I’m not much into politics and not American but I think you are judging Obama wrong. And, because voting for a US-president is very far reaching (worldwide) I want to share the following information which hopefully a few will read and think about it:


      • I read some of that article, but could not get through the whole thing since I disagreed with almost every sentence as I skimmed through it. The bullet points towards the end such as “closing of Guatanamo” which has not yet happened, etc etc foreign relations…blah blah are just utter non-sense.

        With all due respect, Obama is a VERY smart man and obviously good at political games in order to gain the presidency. But, he is without a doubt the weakest and worst president in the history of our great country. The only thing I give him credit for is “waking” the country up, people like me who used to not give a rats #@$ about anything politics couldn’t be more political now (republican). This should big time at the latest polls. in Nov. He apologizes and bows to other countries for us all the time like he is ashamed to call himself American, he is obviously way over his head as far as economics goes, he inteferes too much on anything race related (being the first black is a great achievement and since its a first, he should distant himself from ANYTHING race related instead of making it headline news and offering his “opinion”). Shoving healthcare down our throats, more and bigger government, never keeps his promises, etc etc etc etc etc etc

  107. Love your articles and very pertinent. Love that we used to be able to create .pdf of these but this last change on your website you can no longer create pdf.


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