By Travis P
If you follow a lot of survival and self-defense articles, you are bound to see at least one or two on individual everyday carry. The same goes for those who watch the gun guys on YouTube. I’m not sure if people are actually fascinated by someone else’s everyday carry or people just like to see everyone’s perspective. Maybe we Internet self-proclaimed gun and self-defense experts just like showing off what we carry.
I do tend to have opinions and waste too much money on different gizmos, gadgets and holsters until I find one that works just right for me. I have two different everyday carries, one at work and one for the rest of the time. The reason I have two is simply because my manner of dress at work is much different than my manner of dress off work.
At work I’m confined to a shirt and tie, as well as slacks and occasionally against my will a suit jacket. Even though I dress like I work in an office, I rarely see any kind of office and spend lots and lots of time on the road, often transporting large sums of money or expensive merchandise. This is why I still carry a full EDC everywhere I go, at work or not.
At home I can dress anyway I like, but try not to dress around my carry gun because I feel it kind of gives it away. Anyone trying to wear an overshirt in the middle of August in Florida is not only going to hate life, but they are going to look out of place. So I don’t dress around my gun, but I still carry everyday and I find a way to carry enough gun.
Work Everyday Carry
As I mentioned before, at work I have to tailor my EDCs to work in a confined manner. I also try to avoid having large bulges that can either be major tells or anything that could turn into an awkward question. Carrying with a shirt and tie is possible, and there numerous inside-the-waistband holsters that are tuckable out there.
Personally this doesn’t work for me because of the amount of time I’m on the road. I want something that is both comfortable and easy to draw from. A tuckable inside-the-waistband holster is neither of these once I’m in a vehicle. In the passenger seat of my company vehicle is a Blackhawk Sportster range bag. I keep the tools I need for my job like pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, gloves, and small stuff like that. In the main pouch, a Sig P226 sits in a Kydex holster. This is my car gun, it’s instantly accessible and big enough to fight with. This bag basically has a bigger version of everything I carry on my body.
The Sig P226 stays in the car, though. On my body I’ve taken to carrying an H&K USP Compact in a belly band by DeSantis. The gun is stretching the max size the band is designed for but still fits well. The band has multiple different pockets for different items but I prefer just to use it to carry the gun and an extra magazine.
The band is comfortable enough for all day wear, even on bare skin. I usually do keep a shirt between my skin and the band. I feel this makes the band even more comfortable and is another layer to absorb sweat.
Flashlights, Pocket Knives, Etc.
For my on-body flashlight I’ve been very happy with my Smith and Wesson Penlight. This is a single LED light that is made of a strong aluminum. The tip features a glass breaker that could definitely make a potent point if you to jam it into somebody. The pen feels very well made and has suffered plenty of abuse in the last six months of being carried. The little pen light has a clip like any normal pen and clips on my pocket and rides there all day. In my bag I keep a Sidewinder flashlight; it’s the one I was issued in the Marines and I love it.
Carrying a pocket knife can be a tedious adventure. I would love to carry one like I carry my penlight and just clip it to my pocket and let it ride all day. Pocket knives can actually make people quite uncomfortable, though, and openly displaying own could be taken as unprofessional.
I carry a Gerber Diesel, which is a huge multi-tool in my bag. It’s very strong and chock full of tools. It could nearly replace most of the other tools I carry in my bag. Gerber is a brand I’ve trusted for a long time and always had one on me while I was overseas.
Of course, I have the normal things like everyone else. I carry a cell phone, and I keep a car charger and spare wall charger in my bag. I carry a lighter, not because I smoke anymore, but a flame is always handy. I also keep some form of local maps printed out in case my GPS fails. I also keep a change of socks in the bag, odd I know, but until you’ve accidentally stepped in a puddle and had to work 12 hours with wet feet you may not understand.
Off Work EDC
Ah the comfort of jeans and a T-shirt. There is really nothing better than a beat up old Led Zeppelin shirt you’ve had since high school that your wife hates with a passion. Combine that with a pair of well-worn Levi’s and you might as well be in pajamas. My off-work wardrobe is built on comfort and so is my holster.
I carry a Nate Squared Tactical holster. I carry the original model and it’s so extremely comfortable. I love Nate Squared. I love the fact they are an American-made holster and just so comfortable. I carry either my USP Compact or my P250 Compact; the Original model actually works for both. I usually prefer the P250 because it’s a little bigger and I carry a 17 round magazine in it, which is five more than my USP Compact. My loose-fitting clothes make the weapon easier to conceal than my work clothes.
I carry a Benchmade folding knife, clipped to my pocket. I like the 525 Mini Presidio by Benchmade. Benchmade knives are extremely durable and capable knives. They are very robust, but also lightweight. This model’s blade comes just under three inches, which means in my locality it’s not considered a weapon, but a tool. I hate the bulk of carrying a multi tool like the Diesel and rarely have a need for one when I’m not working, so I stick to the lightweight knife.
For a flashlight I keep with the same pen-light I use for work carry. I find the little Smith and Wesson quite likable and easy to carry. I don’t have much need for something bulkier or even brighter like a Surefire.
So this is my EDC, nothing extremely expensive or high speed, but everything is functional and durable. Reliability and durability are two of the biggest considerations I put to my EDC. I also prefer lightweight and small items, instead of filling my pockets with a duty belt.
What’s your EDC? Do you have one established? Let us know in the comments section below.
This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: Everyday Carry: Why Your Strategy May Be Wrong