Everyday carry

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everyday carry strategy

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.

Low Cost Way To Defend Yourself Against Lowlife Criminal Scum!

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.

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This article first appeared at Off The Grid News: Everyday Carry: Why Your Strategy May Be Wrong


paracord bracelet

By Pat B

In prepping, we tend to put a lot of thought into big picture planning. We gather food supplies, medical supplies, fuel and water. We carefully rat hole these items at our chosen refuge, and continue storing, maintaining and rotating our stockpiles. We even consider the event that we may have to leave this refuge at some point, and assemble bug-out bags (BOBs) and off-premises caches for this contingency.

Many of us plan on the possibility that we may not be home when the balloon goes up, and we either keep our BOB in the car or assemble get-home kits for the stated purpose. But crises are a fickle lot, and the odds that they will be cooperative in their timing and have us handy to our gear when they take place are not particularly in our favor. Add this to the fact that there are a wide range of smaller catastrophes that can take place at any time and it becomes clear that keeping some amount of survival and emergency gear on our person at all times is not the worst idea we could have.

Unless you are in a position to carry your BOB on your back at all times, you should give some thought as to what you load your pockets or purse with each morning before you leave the house. Every Day Carry (EDC) items should be calculated to give you a survival edge and help meet basic needs if you are cut off from everything except what you have on your person at any given moment.

The backbone of my EDC gear is what I have come to think of as my “Caveman Kit”. This is a small selection of gear that can accomplish the three basic skills that have been helping humans to survive for untold millennia. These skills are cutting, tying and burning. With these skills covered, you can start a fire for warmth, you can cook, and you can make water safe to drink. You can improvise shelter, catch fish and small game, fix a broken shoe lace or pack strap, or create weapons to defend yourself. With these skills, and a well-stocked cranial survival kit (chock full of knowledge), you can improve your odds in almost any circumstance.

1. Burning. Where burning is concerned, most experts will agree that it is a good idea to have at least two means of starting a fire with you at all times. I always keep a disposable butane lighter with me; these are a very inexpensive piece of equipment, and serve well until conditions get too wet or windy. As a backup, I keep either a blast match or other ferrocerium fire steel. These fire starters will throw HOT sparks in any conditions, and coupled with good tinder will get your fire going in no time. It is a good idea to have a couple cubes of wet fire, a trioxane fuel tab, or even a small bag of dryer lint with you to serve as tinder. If you opt for matches, make sure they are waterproof and strike anywhere; hurricane matches are as good as it gets. Practice making fire; it isn’t always as easy as you think, and fire steels in particular require practice. Fire building techniques are a must in the cranial tool box.

The pack for anybody who wants to be fully prepared for an unexpected emergency

2. Tying. For tying, you should keep a length of cordage with you. Paracord bracelets are a very convenient way to have 6-10 feet of 550 paracord with you at all times. I wear mine 24/7, even when I step into my pleated slacks and button down shirt to venture into the community college where I teach part-time. These bracelets go with just about any attire without looking conspicuously out of place, and paracord is truly the duct tape of string. I have used paracord to replace a broken boot lace, to fix a duffle bag strap that broke while I was rushing through an airport, and to fix the handle on a plastic pumpkin that broke on a trick-or-treat mission with my kids. In more extreme times, paracord can be used to make a tent out of a tarp, to catch a fish, or to lash together just about anything that needs lashing. Your ingenuity is the only limit with this stuff, and a good set of knots should be stored away in your knowledge base.

3. Cutting. I don’t even know where to start with cutting. To say that there are a million and one uses for a good blade is probably an understatement. I won’t even go into them because if you can’t think of at least a hundred in 30 seconds or less you should probably give up prepping! I tend to carry a pocket knife, and lean towards trappers or stockmen. These styles have been around a long time for a reason, they are terribly versatile. In addition to my pocket knife, I like to keep a larger fixed blade or folder on my belt. Even in professional attire, I don’t think that a three inch lock blade in a plain sheath is too out of place. When I am dressed more casually a medium sized, full tang (I am not a fan of hollow handled “survival knives”; I find them to be too weak) bush craft style knife seldom draws comment. Lately, I have become fond of karambits, as they are strong, functional and an incredibly effective cutting and slashing weapon. Aside from the utilitarian functions, never underestimate the defensive capabilities of your knife. When circumstances prevent me from carrying my handgun, you can bet I have a decent blade with me. Devote time to learning and practicing defensive blade work, and file these skills away in your cranial tool kit.

These items form the basics of a very effective survival kit, and rank even higher than a certain credit card on the “don’t leave home without it” scale. From here, you can add gear to suit your tastes, needs and pocket size. I feel that a Leatherman tool is a good addition, and keep one on my belt at all times. The trusty old P38 can opener is right at home on your key ring, and a handcuff key can live there too (just saying…). If you are permitted, a concealed handgun is also a very good idea. The pocket that doesn’t hold your wallet can hold a space blanket and/or an emergency poncho; these two items can be used to create effective shelter and body heat maintenance when combined with your paracord. A small flashlight fits easily in a pocket and could be invaluable if you are caught out after dark.

In addition to your gear you should always dress for your season and climate, even if you are planning on spending most of your time indoors. Always wear the sturdiest and most comfortable shoes that your dress code permits; your Italian loafers may look great but you wouldn’t want to walk 15 miles in them. You probably won’t be able to carry it at all times but keep a water bottle or two (at least one with a filter) close by, in your car or desk, along with a few thousand calories worth of rations (protein bars, jerky, trail mix, things of that nature).

Preparedness is a full-time occupation. With a little forethought you can load your pockets with the basics, without loading them down. Most importantly, never forget that your most important survival tool rides under your hat. Make sure it is full at all times. – Off The Grid News

By Jarhead Survivor

First of all we need to talk about the difference between a survival kit and a bug-out bag.

There are so many definitions and expectations today that the meaning has become blurred.  Here’s how I define a survival kit:  a minimal amount of gear that you carry with you in order to survive various undesirable and unexpected situations you might find yourself in.

For example:  you’re out on a day hike in a piece of forest you don’t know, but the trail is well marked.  Coming back down the mountain you suddenly see a split in the trail that wasn’t visible to you on the way in and you make a wrong turn and find yourself deep in the woods with the sun going down.  If you’re smart you have a small backpack with a few well thought out pieces of survival gear in it.  You might be  uncomfortable, but you will survive the night.

Categories of Survival Kits

EDC – During the day some people have Every Day Carry (EDC) kits, which might consist of a pocket knife, small flashlight, mini fire steel, and a few other small items you can carry in your pocket.

Altoid Tin Kit – Then there are the Altoid tin survival kits, which can contain a small amount of gear that you might keep in a coat pocket.  This would contain some absolute essentials like a small lighter or firesteel, fire starting material, a flat signal mirror and small whistle, and a small flashlight.  I’ll talk more about this in another post.

Hiking Pack – For hiking you might have a minimal kit that includes a compass, lighter, knife, poncho, and a few other small items in a pack.   I’ll cover this in more detail in just a bit.

*Special Note:  In addition to the gear you must have knowledge on how to use these items in order to survive any situation you might find yourself in.

Bug-Out Bag – A bug-out bag is a bag that you can live out of for a certain predetermined amount of time – usually 72 hours – and has everything you need for that time.  Food, water, shelter, clothing, it’s all in the bag and ready to go.  While this is a survival kit of sorts it’s not really what I’m talking about in this post.


First, I wanted to create the lightest Get Home Bag (GHB)/Hiking kit I could make with resources I had available in my house or could easily be purchased at a store, yet still be able to operate in a hostile environment if pushed into it.  It’s important to keep in mind that my GHB is something that I use quite often, thus it doubles as a my hiking pack/survival kit.

In the past I’ve carried a lot of gear in it that usually weighs in around 25 to 30 lbs.  Heavier objects include my wool blanket, military grade poncho, Solo Stove and other stuff.

A few weeks ago I hiked up a local mountain with Mrs. Jarhead.  While I consider myself to be in good shape for my age I was still puffing pretty good by the time we got to the top.  I pulled out my canteen and drank some water and we started back down again.  And that’s all I used!

This got me thinking about how crazy it is to always tote this amount of gear around.  It’s good exercise, but not real practical for doing a short day hike in the hills where I’ve been hiking for 30 years.  When I sat down to evaluate exactly what it was I always used when I go for one of my short day hikes, it came out to this short list:

  • Knife
  • Fire steel/lighter (I like using the fire steel to keep my fire starting skills sharp)
  • Canteen and cup

Then I made another list of gear I use sometimes:

  • Poncho
  • Stove
  • Cordage
  • Multi-tool
  • Map and compass
  • Flashlight

Things I almost never used included:

  • Binos
  • Wool blanket
  • Multiple MREs
  • Other misc. gear

And that was about it.  So I started looking around the ‘Net and found quite a few sites dealing with survival kits.  My research ultimately took me to Dave Canterbury’s site where he talks about the 10 C’s of survival.

What I like about this list is that it’s basically a list of categories and he leaves it up to you to decide how to fill that category.  That means you can use gear that you like and are comfortable with instead of being told to buy something you might not know how to use or don’t like.

Check out his site for the detailed explanation of his survival gear.  Right now I’m going to present his list and show you what I came up with and how much it weighed at the end.  Again, this is coming straight from Dave Canterbury’s excellent web site.

(1) Cutting Tool:

(2) Combustion:

(3) Cover:

(4) Container:

(5) Cordage:

(6) Candle:

(7) Cotton:

(8) Compass:

(9) Cargo Tape:

(10) Canvas Needle:

First, you need a pack.  Since I still have some of the MARPAT assault packs kicking around (you can still buy one here) I used one of those.  (The linked page talks about the packs, but provides links to the store if you want one.)

Here’s the gear I added to my pack to cover each category in the above list.

For a cutting tool I added my Ka-Bar Becker BK2 survival knife.  It’s heavy, which is good for chopping and it’s sharp, and it’s super duty tough.  Maybe not the best choice for creating a light-weight kit, but I wanted something reliable and this was it.

For combustion I threw in a lighter and my firesteel.  I like redundancy.

I’ve been struggling with the cover.  At first I added just an emergency blanket, then I gave in and threw in my lightweight poncho as well.  I’m still mulling this over though.  I’ve also got a contractor bag in there to take up any slack.

For a container I used the water bottle and cup combination you can order off Dave’s site.  It’s consists of a canteen cover, steel water bottle, steel cup, and a small stove ring that you can put in a fire.  (In case you’re wondering I’m not getting any kickback from Dave’s site.  It’s a product I bought and use and I like it a lot.)

Cordage was obviously paracord.

Candle – I used a small flashlight and an actual candle for this category.  The candle is one of those eight hour candles and the flashlight is a small, but powerful handheld.  I’ll probably change this over to a headlamp in the near future.

For a compass I used the small racing compass I got awhile back.  This is an excellent compass that I like quite a bit.


Cargo tape – I bought a roll of camo duct tape for my pack.  I’ve only used it in the field a few times, but I can see how it would have a lot of utility.  I’ll probably take the cargo tape off the cardboard roll to make it a little smaller.

Canvas Needle – for this I had to buy a small kit of needles.  They weigh next to nothing so I threw the whole kit into my pack.

Since this kit is also used for hiking and fooling around out in the woods I also added a titanium spork and a few other small pieces of gear plus some light food items. 1018131827a

 Pack Weight

Total weight of the pack is under 15 lbs and that’s with a full water bottle.  Using the above model I was able to cut my pack weight in half and man, does it feel good!

Another upside is that it leaves a lot of room in the pack and if I decide to throw in a hat and gloves, or whatever, there’s no issue of trying to move stuff around or pack it tighter to get everything in.

1018131828b I still have a “Go” bag set up like my heavier kit, but my hiking/survival kit is now much lighter.  None of the gear in it (except maybe the spork) would be considered ultra-light, but that wasn’t the p0int of this exercise.  I was able to take equipment already on-hand and turn it into a light-weight hiking bag/survival kit.

Now I need to give it a real test and take it out in the woods for an overnighter.  It’s getting cold up here in Maine now – down to 32 F. the other night – so a big part of keeping warm will be using wilderness experience to make a good shelter, get a proper fire going, and use the tools in this kit to maximum advantage.  Surviving shouldn’t be a problem, but can I stay comfortable while doing it?

That remains to be seen.

It’s my opinion that a survival kit should be tested before you really need it to see if everything really works.  If you decide to set something like this up make sure you take it out in the woods and try it out.

Now tell me about your light-weight bug-out bag or survival kit!

Questions?  Comments?

Sound off below!

-Jarhead Survivor – SHTF Blog

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

By Todd Walker

My bud over at For Tomorrow We... shared with me his article on building an office emergency kit. It reminded me that I should update my kit – and plan. Tip ‘o the hat, my friend!

If you’re fortunate enough have a job in today’s shrinking economy, it’s likely that you spend over a third of your life commuting to and from work. Whether your ‘office’ is a construction site, hospital, toll booth, boardroom, or classroom like mine, you must leave the house to get there.

Having a few preparedness tools stacks the deck in favor of you getting home.

And it all starts…

Before Stepping Over Your Doorsill

I give Dirt Road Girl a hard time about how long it takes her to get ready when we’re leaving the house. She returns the good-natured ribbing *hands on those beautiful hips and eyes rolling* as I start my ritual of loading my pockets and belt with stuff I carry everyday.

I just smile and say, “Ya never know!”

Pockets Full of Preps

The stuff you carry on your person is known in the prepper community as EDC (Everyday Carry). If you work in a victim zone (Weapons Free Zone) as I do, you’ll have to get creative with preparedness and self-defense items.

Ask a prepper if he has a knife on him. You’re likely to hear what my daddy’s says…

“I’ve got my pants on, don’t I!”

But wait! There’s more room for other useful stuff besides a knife.

Wallet (some conventional and unconventional items)
  • Money (stash some so the spouse and kids don’t find it)
  • Duct tape – wrap 3 feet around an expired store card
  • I.D. to prove your residency when local law enforcement have blocked off your neighborhood after a natural disaster
  • Survival Wallet
  • Emergency contact numbers on a card. If your smart phone is lost, stolen, or dead, it’s no longer real smart. I personally don’t have my adult children’s phone numbers memorized. That’s why an old-fashioned paper card is important.
  • Pre-paid phone card. They work if you find a pay phone at a truck stop.
  • Condom. Of the extra-large, un-lubricated variety. Settle down, now! Condoms have more than one use. Creek Stewart shows 11 redundantly resilient ways a condom could save your life – with pictures and videos!
  • Sidearm – This item, along with a spare magazine, is on my person everywhere I go. The only exceptions are places my government permission slip won’t allow me to exercise my natural rights – like my victim zone classroom!
  • Flashlight – I carry a Streamlight ProTac 2L clipped inside my pocket.
  • Reading glasses – LightSpecs go where I go. I use the two LED lights on these glasses far more than any other flashlights I own. DRG can tell you about my flashlight fetish.
  • Cell phone – smart phones are pocket-size, survival super-computers.
  • Swiss Army Knife – tool of my trade as the resident handyman at school
  • Tooth picks – it’s a personal thing.
  • Chap stick
  • Lighter
  • Metal mechanical pencil – for school.

Okay, stop stuffing your pockets! You’re beginning to look like the Michelin Man.

Here’s a place for the rest of your stuff…

Your Man Purse

Guys ~ time to swallow your pride and invest in a good man purse. One peek into the bottomless pit the ladies call a purse will convince you of its utility.

Manly men and only a few metro-sexuals correctly refer to their Man Purse as Get Home Bags (GHB). A book bag, shoulder bag, brief case, or duffel bag will serve the purpose. Keep in mind that a well stocked GHB isn’t built to get you through a sudden zombie apocalypse or end of the world scenario. GHB’s are simply a stopgap measure to get you home safely.

Your family is depending on you – prepare accordingly.

Here’s a look at my GHB ‘man purse’:

Maxpedition Jumbo™ E.D.C. Versipack® – (I have no affiliation with this company).

Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

My Maxpedition Man Purse

I’ve owned this pack for a few years and absolutely love its utility! Your ‘office’ environment will determine the type of GHB you carry and it’s contents. If you wear suits and ties to the office, the Maxpedition line of bags will stick out like a man wearing a speedo to a lady-preachers convention. Choose a GHB that blends in naturally.

What should you pack in your Man Purse – GHB?

Personalize your bag to meet your needs (meds, contact numbers, etc.). Outside those personalized items, I recommend these items for every Man Purse – GHB:

Essential Steps to Take Before Crossing Your Doorsill

Your packing list

  • Container: I carry a stainless steel water bottle full of agua. The metal container also allows you to kill nasties in drinking water via boiling method.
  • Fire: A couple of ways to make fire – lighter, storm matches, ferro rod, and tinder. Fire is even useful in an urban jungle. My fire kit is in a self-contained Altoids tin.
  • Self-defense Weapons: If legal at your ‘office’, pack heat. There are many compact handguns on the market to choose from. Less lethal pepper spray should also be included.
  • Flashlight: Ever change a flat tire with a mini Maglite between your teeth? Not fun! Invest in a good headlamp for hands-free operation. Don’t forget extra batteries. I wrap 3 AAA batteries in yellow electrical tape with the packing date written on the tape. This does two things – 1.) keeps them in one unit and 2.) reveals their freshness date.
  • Cordage: 50 feet of 550 paracord.
  • Knife: A fixed blade knife and a multitool.
  • Calories: Energy bars, pemmican, jerky, nuts, trail mix, and sardines. Be sure to rotate/eat any nuts in your GHB periodically to prevent spoilage. If your GHB is exposed to extreme heat inside your vehicle, spoilage can be a major concern. My bag goes inside my classroom and house.
  • Cover: Lightweight poncho, tarp or contractor garbage bags. I also pack an emergency space blanket. A tarp is in my vehicle emergency kit.
  • Compass and Map: Navigational instruments that don’t depend on electronics. Detours happen in disasters. A map of your city and state (states if you’re a traveling salesman) is an essential tool. Practice and be familiar with several routes home before a crisis. Reminder: Keep your fuel tank at least half full.
  • Pencil and Paper: A small note pad for taking notes, leaving messages, and playing tic-tac-toe with your imaginary friend in the passenger seat stranded in a winter storm. Seriously, it’s great to have these items!
  • Paper Money: Cache some cash of different denominations in different places in your Man Purse – GHB. I can roll about 5 bills and stuff them into a metal pill container.
  • Band-Aids: I pack Moleskin, a few Band-Aids, moist wipes, Advil packets, hand sanitizer, and a partial roll of flexible equine bandage wrap. I also pack duct tape and a 100% cotton bandana. These last two items are enough to get you home!
  • Dust Mask: A N95 mask allows you to breathe without inhaling harmful dust particles. They’re cheap, lightweight, and can be MacGyvered for other uses. Remember the scenes from 911 of people running through the streets of NY enveloped by dust and disaster debris.
  • Bandana: Speaking of MacGyvered items, pack a 100% cotton bandana in your GHB.  Makes a cool doo rag too!
  • Whistle: A simple signaling device to alert rescuers – if you want to be found.
  • Bug Spray: A small pen-style container fits easily in my kit.

Note to the ladies: Jane over at Mom With a Prep reviewed her GHB, or Day Bag, just for you. Just so you know, she’s not your typical soccer mom. So don’t call it a purse to her face!

A good Man Purse – GHB doesn’t take into account your vehicle or office kit. You’ve prepared your car and office emergency supplies, right? If not, I’m planning a future post on building these additional kits.

Whether you love your job or not, the fact is that you spend a lot of time away from your safe place called home. The important people in your life are counting on you to get home in one piece. Your Man Purse – GHB fills the gap when you step over your doorsill.

Do you carry a GHB? Add your valuable comments, suggestions, or subtractions from my list of contents. – Survival Sherpa

Keep doing the stuff!


P.S. ~ As always, if anything from this site adds value to your life, please pass it on. You can also connect with us on TwitterPinterest, and our new Facebook pageThanks for sharing the stuff!

Why You Should Carry and Know How to Use a Tactical Flashlight

By P. Henry

If you have ever heard the term EDC or Every Day Carry and know what that means, there is almost without fail mention of a flashlight. Flashlights are one of those items that can be used for far more than you might expect and are sorely missed if you don’t have one at the right time. I started carrying a flashlight daily over 3 years ago and was surprised at how often I found myself using this simple but important device.

Most of us grew up with some concept of a flashlight. The flashlight in my home growing up was stored in a central location, the kitchen cabinet. There was the single light in my house for a lot of years that was the go-to device anytime the power went out, a fuse blew or the pilot light on the stove needed to be lit again.  That single flashlight was all we really had until I got a little older and rechargeable flashlights started coming out. In my teens I had my own flashlight for camping trips and playing in the woods behind my house. With my flashlight I thought I was so cool.

The flashlights of my childhood had the single screw in incandescent bulb and were usually powered by a couple of D-cell batteries. If your flashlight was really fancy you had a replacement bulb in the bottom cap under the spring. They weren’t bright at all in comparison to the models today, but in the dark we thought they were awesome. Then sometime around the early 80’s the Maglite started appearing. This was a revolution in flashlight design and capabilities and everyone wanted their own. The Maglite was very bright and cast a long beam, but it was so heavy though (you needed 4 D-cells) that it could also be used as a weapon or to hold up your car, that they weren’t really practical for more than sitting in that kitchen cabinet or being stored behind the seat in the truck.

Now, flashlights have experienced a renaissance period of sorts since the advent of LED. Flashlights now are smaller, brighter, controlled with microprocessors and use a lot less energy. These new models are compact enough to easily be carried every day (hence EDC) and offer a lot of advantages for the prepper.

What is a tactical flashlight?

A tactical flashlight has a different purpose of use than your normal kitchen cabinet model. Tactical flashlights are designed with different materials, usually aerospace grade aluminum. They are designed for high impact stress because they are usually mounted to a weapon like a shotgun or M4/AR15 platform and most are waterproof to varying degrees. Tactical flashlights have textured grips and anti-roll profiles and are usually small enough to easily fit in a pocket. If you are looking for a light for your home defense weapon of choice you will most likely be using a tactical light.

There are quite a few manufacturers of tactical flashlights now and the prices vary wildly. Later in this article we will give you a few recommendations on models.

Why should you carry a flashlight?

  • Self Defense – Flashlights can easily assist you in a self-defense situation. For starters, most modern tactical flashlights are very bright. By bright I mean it hurts your brain to look at them – bright. If someone is threatening you, just flash the light in their eyes and blind them temporarily while you make your get away or maneuver into position. Also, a lot of tactical flashlights have bezel edges. These are supposed to assist you in breaking a window, but I wouldn’t try that with my flashlight. What they would be good at though is cracking a skull. If you blind an attacker and then smash him on the head with your flashlight that will definitely get their attention and will break the skin at a minimum.
  • Identify threats – It’s a light. If you are ever walking in the dark and need to shine a light on a dark or murky area, your trusty flashlight is perfect for that. Lights can easily light up dark corners even in the back seat before you approach your car so you know what is around. With the brightness of modern tactical flashlights you can do this from a pretty good distance too.
  • Help in emergency situations – In an emergency, the power can go out. Having your flashlight on you will mean that you instantly have light. I have been sitting in the house before and the power went out. I just reached down to my side and grabbed my flashlight and Voila! Remember the shooting in the movie theater in Aurora? If someone would have been able to blind the shooter with a flashlight, they might have saved a life or bought a couple of seconds’ time to use to get out of the theater.
  • When you lose the remote – Seriously, you will be amazed at the number of times you will reach for your flashlight that you never thought of. Even my family now instinctively says “Dad, let me see your flashlight” when they need to find something. That and looking down throats to make sure someone does not have a raging case of strep throat. Flashlight tag… millions of potential uses.

What should you look for in a good flashlight?

This is the million dollar question isn’t it and there will be just as many opinions. I will stick with just a few of the basics but I would love to hear from you in the comments if you have other ideas. First you want a light as bright as possible. Why do I say that? Because the difference in a 90 lumens light and a 200 lumens light is incredible. With a higher lumens, you will suffer some battery life of course, but having a brighter light will allow you to see more, throw a further beam and in the case of attackers, blind them more effectively.

Most of the flashlights I see on the market have a rear button for on/off and this works great for me. You can hold your flashlight with a tight grip, similar to an ice pick and press the beam off and on. As well as easy on and off, you want a flashlight with different brightness settings. Normally you will have low which gives you the least amount of power, but the longest life. High gives you the brightest light and least amount of burn time. Additionally, they will usually have strobe mode. This is designed to disorient an attacker and if used correctly could conceal your movement if you are running while shining the strobe in their eyes. I guess this could be used in a survival scenario too when you are trying to signal someone. For me, the strobe is the least useful feature but I don’t want to get rid of it. Also the different settings are accessed usually by pressing the on/off button multiple times. Press it once for low, again for high and a third time for strobe. This means that every time you want to use it you are pressing that button 3 times and that seems clunky to me. The flashlight I carry is supposed to come on with a half press but this hasn’t worked for me.

Lastly, the main difference outside of quality in a tactical flashlight is the battery. There are several different types out there that require odd battery configurations. While they may last longer, I prefer to use good old Double AA batteries for my flashlight. These are ubiquitous and you can find them anywhere. If the grid goes down, you will be hard pressed to find 123A 3 Volt Lithium Batteries or some other odd style. Stick to batteries that you can find at the gas station down the street for the most flexibility or buy a ton of those special batteries now.

How to hold a flashlight when you are using a gun

Having a flashlight on you while you are going into a dark place, or clearing your home from an intruder will give you a tremendous advantage. How do you hold both of these tools together? There are a few methods listed below.

Chapman Technique

Chapman Technique

The Chapman Technique

The Chapman is named for the first IPSC world champion, Ray Chapman. Chapman wanted a flashlight-handgun technique that would work with the flashlights of the day that would be superior to the old FBI method (not the one listed below). The Chapman technique holds the flashlight like a sword and rests the holding hand next to your weapon. This method was designed with the old style flashlights like the Maglite that have a switch on the top or upper shaft of the flashlight. This method does not work well with the newer tactical flashlights that have the button on the tail cap.

Ayoob Technique

Ayoob Technique

Ayoob Technique

This technique is very similar to the Chapman Technique in that it was designed for side mounted switch flashlights. The drawbacks to this technique are the same in that this method does not work well with the newer tactical flashlights that have the button on the tail cap.

Harries Technique

Harries Technique

Harries Technique

This technique is named after Michael Harries, a pioneer of modern practical combat shooting. The most popular of the hands-together techniques, the Harries Flashlight Technique was developed in the early ’70s for use with large-bodied “police flashlights.” This method doesn’t rely on the hand you are holding your flashlight on to contact the weapon and is used as a steadying force for some people.

Rogers/Surefire Hold



The Rogers technique, which was later refined by Surefire coincidentally enough for use with the company’s grip-ring-equipped CombatLights, allows for rapid flashlight deployment when it’s being carried in Surefire’s CombatLight holster. The Surefire model has a molded grip that fits nicely between your fingers. This hands-together method closely approximates a normal, two-handed firing grip, but is restricted to only small, push button-equipped flashlights and won’t work well on the big old Maglite.

Neck Index

Neck Index

Neck Index

This technique takes the flashlight away from your weapon hand completely. The position of the light is near your cheek so that the light shines where your eyes are looking. This also puts the light in a position to use as a defensive weapon and can be used with older style flashlights almost as well as the newer style. One main criticism of this technique as well as the others is that a bad guy is going to shoot at where they see the light. If the light is right in front of you or like the Neck index method, near your head, guess where those rounds are going to be headed?

FBI Technique

FBI Technique

FBI technique

This method seems to make the most sense to me if you are in a situation where you fear that someone will be shooting back at you. By holding the light up and away from your body, you make the chance that you will be shot lower. The bad guy, if they are aiming for the light shouldn’t be hitting anything major. They might hit your hand, but you hand should be away from vital organs. You can also modify the position of the light, raising and lowering the light, moving closer and further away from your body to confuse the other guy.

Where to carry your flashlight?

The hardest part of any type of EDC gear is making sure that you carry it every day. If you are going to be carrying a concealed weapon, a flashlight will augment that system so deciding where to carry your light is important. If you can’t get into a rhythm with your system that you will be comfortable with you will start to leave it home. This won’t help you very much when your tools that you depend on are miles away. My Fenix came with a carrying case that held up really well for a couple of years. Eventually, those bevels that I was describing as being so good for smashing skulls, well they also cut through canvas eventually. If I could find a leather case in the right size for my light that would be perfect. I am sure they make them but I just haven’t looked hard enough. That is another reason why I am evaluating a replacement light.

For me, the best place to carry a flashlight during a normal day is on the hip next to my Leatherman. It keeps it ready when I need it but doesn’t crowd my pockets. For a right-handed person, your flashlight should be on the left side of your body. This way if you need to use it as described above you won’t have to fiddle with your gun hand. For days when I am dressed up or am traveling, my flashlight goes in my laptop bag or checked luggage so I don’t risk having to forfeit it to TSA. Women have their purses, or in a lot of cases, key chains for easier access. The bottom line is you should keep it somewhere that you have it when you need it and can get to it quickly.

Suggested Flashlights

Like I said, there are a ton of flashlight manufacturers out there and just as many sellers of flashlights. Before purchasing a tactical flashlight, I would shop around because you can spend a fortune for a good light. The three most popular I believe are Surefire, Fenix and Streamlight with Surefire being the most expensive. There are also a ton of sites that do flashlight reviews. Nutnfancy’s YouTube channel has an entire playlist devoted to flashlight reviews and he does a more than thorough job on each and every one. I highly recommend his site if you are shopping for flashlights, weapons, camping or tactical gear.

So what tactical flashlights would I personally recommend? I have personally owned Fenix flashlights and overall I was very satisfied with the performance. Just recently the Fenix light I had (LD10) stopped working and I don’t feel like I got a full life out of what I bought. I could send it back for repair, but it simply isn’t worth the hassle to me for the price I paid ($55 3 years ago). I have ordered some cheaper flashlights to try them out and by cheaper, I mean dirt cheap. I will write that review up when I have evaluated them.

Surefire has an excellent reputation along with a hefty price tag. I know of guys who were given Surefire weapon lights as presents before they were deployed to Iraq and I have one myself that was a gift. I haven’t been able to really test it in harsh conditions but I am sure it would be fine. I can’t justify the price though unless you are a soldier getting deployed and will depend on this daily in harsh environments.

I have also had Streamlight flashlights as well as cheap Cree flashlights that I got from Costco (3 for $21) and they all work fine. I would again, just suggest you shop around and buy within your price range. I am sure you will find plenty of options that are affordable and will give you a decent light for the price.

I hope that gives you some helpful information as you make your choice on purchasing your own tactical flashlight for your EDC or home use.

Flashlight Resources

Candle Power Forums

Nutnfancy’s Flashlight Reviews

Selfbuilt Flashlight Reviews

Tactical & Professional Flashlights

How to Make Sure Your Vehicle is as Prepared as You Are

ByAaron M

The average American spends up to 12 years in their car, and that means that you are probably going to be spending oh… around a sixth of your life in your automobile in various stages of transportation, idling, and using colorful language to describe your frustrations to your fellow drivers.

While I can’t help with making the daily grind pleasant, in this article we’re going to explore some things you can do to make sure that the events that happen in and around our cars are less stressful – and that’s a good thing, because less stress = longer lives = more time spent in cars.

With that in mind, let’s think back to Understanding Emergencies and Everyday Carry. We can apply these same templates to our vehicles, to make the most unpleasant moments on the road a little more manageable.


The vehicle has unique problems that are particularly challenging. That’s okay, though, because these challenges still fall into our previously established categories of emergency “types.” In doing this, we can maintain some consistency, while only modifying our metric of how protracted the event is.  So, in evaluating how we’ll address our needs, we’ll first define our most likely emergencies by their types.

Type 1: High Intensity – Short Duration

There’s probably no better example of this kind of emergency than a car wreck. These happen in the blink of an eye and produce an overwhelming amount of pandemonium – and then they’re over. Car accidents take on a variety of levels of severity, but we can easily say that if you’re in a car accident, the accident doesn’t “last” for hours (even if the impacts do).

However, even though the quintessential Type 1 Emergency is the auto-accident, there are others:

– Carjacking
– Car fires
– Submergence
– Environmental emergencies (earthquakes, floods etc.)

All deserve to be considered when we pack our cars with gear and our heads with the skills to mitigate these emergencies.  Keep in mind that these lists are going to be extremely short, as our everyday carry (EDC) structure will take care of quite a few of these problems.


– Medical kit (discussed later)
– Water (potable)
– Flares
– Defensive tools
– Fire extinguisher (such an overlooked necessity)


First Aid
– Defensive driving
– Good situational awareness
– Vehicle defensive skills

There are a few occurrences that will show you the ‘weak points’ in your defensive driving curriculum. Your ability to manipulate things like your seatbelt or clutch are likely to suffer, so it’s important to make sure you have a mental outline of what you’re going to do, and practice it.

For example, I don’t wear my seatbelt if I’m going under 20 miles per hour. If something happens, I want to be able to exit quickly and not fuss with it. While I don’t advocate this, it’s a part of my baseline from when I worked patrol. Establish one for yourself as well, based on your vehicle and your comfort level with the above situations. No matter what happens, there are a few basic things you’re going to want to do:

  1. Stop the vehicle from moving (if you can)
  2. Safely put the vehicle in neutral, and utilize the parking break. Note: This allows you to keep the vehicle running, in case you need to move again quickly, and minimizes the chances that the vehicle won’t start again if you’ve been in a collision.
  3. Safely exit the vehicle
  4. Move to a safer location (off the road, etc.)

So, for me, my order of operations is as follows:

  1. Move out of the area of whatever put you in danger (i.e., get the heck out of Dodge)
  2. Put the vehicle in Neutral and engage the parking brake
  3. a) Release your seatbelt slowly, cautiously, and without an excess of movement (this is a relatively small activity that can turn into a fine-motor-skill nightmare if you don’t practice it – especially if you’re hanging upside down, or some road-raged freak is trying to punch you through the window – both of which have happened to me)
    b) Remove your seatbelt deliberately and without any ‘sudden’ movements. This generally will cause the belt to “lock” and resist your movements. Don’t get trapped by being in a hurry!
  4. Do a mental sweep of the vehicle and the surroundings. Grab any equipment that you must have.
  5. Exit the vehicle after a second quick spot-check in the mirrors.
  6. Move away from any hazards, and place yourself behind something solid (jersey barriers, telephone poles, etc.)

This way, regardless of the emergency, I can get in and out quickly, am aware of the potential hazards before I get out, and I have anything I’m going to need to treat injuries or move on foot (second-line equipment) – which opens us up to address our second type of problem:

Type 2: Moderate Intensity – Moderate Duration

Before we start, it’s important to keep in mind that “intensity” is relative. There’s really not much about a flat tire that’s intense, and it’s usually resolved in a matter of hours. This seems really “ho-hum” because it’s common in our lives. You get used to being shot at or bombed, too, if it happens enough. So when we look at these problems, the key point is that these situations (like our “original” Type 2 Emergencies) expose us and increase our likelihood of finding ourselves in a situational Type 1 Emergency (such as being struck by another motorist while changing a tire. Ouch.)

So, what are our Type 2 Vehicle Emergencies?

Things like:

Flat tires, overheating engines/coolant issues, fender-benders, dead battery, empty fuel tanks, and the like. These are mundane and inconvenient, and that combination makes them uninteresting. It’s also where the majority of our planning and equipment takes place. In everyday life, the Type 2 Emergency challenges our resourcefulness and our ability to adapt and provide for ourselves. In and around our vehicles, it simply asks of us, “What have you done to prevent or mitigate this?”

So, what should we carry for these emergencies?

  • Water
  • Coolant
  • Motor oil (2 qts)
  • Jumper cables
  • Food (I throw a couple MRE’s in the back)
  • Emergency blanket (Mylar, poncho liner, sleeping bag – whatever you like)
  • Flashlight (headlamp type – it’s ridiculously inconvenient to try to hold a light and work)
  • Spark plug (appropriate to your vehicle)
  • Vehicle tool Set
    – Screwdriver
    – Ratchet set with appropriate attachments for your plugs
    – Crescent wrench
    – Multimeter
  • Fuses
  • Tire iron and jack
  • Gas can

This is going to depend on your level of skill and comfort with working around common automotive problems, but being able to take care of some of these ‘easy fix’ issues will go a long way in getting you out of the Type 2 hold-up and on your way to bigger and better things.


Be able to change your tire, test your battery, and if necessary, knock corrosion off it. Be ready to tighten wires. Know how to check your spark plugs and change them if necessary. Be able to check your oil, and know how to check your engine for blown seals.  Your goal with this type of emergency is “Get myself home” – if you are stuck, you’re not going to dry out, starve, or freeze.

By the nature of the “Understanding Emergencies” structure, there is no framework for a “vehicle-specific” Type 3 Emergency. At that point, it’s simply a Type 3 Emergency. But, there are things you can do to prepare during the intermittent 12-year stretch of life that you’re going to be spending on the road, just in case you’re away from home and something significant happens.

Type 3: Low Intensity – Long Duration

The third line equipment is generally your backpack and contains the type of equipment you’ll probably not use unless you’re displaced; a benefit of this line of equipment is that it’s easy to pack and keep in your car, and it’s portable in case you have to move away from your vehicle.

However, keeping a kit in your car also allows you to quickly move in case of an emergency such as a flood, fire, riots, or earthquakes – all of which could potentially be Type 3 Emergencies. However, there’s always the risk of car prowlers and theft. For this reason, I isolate my vehicle third-line kit into two categories:

  1. My backpack
  2. A bin

The backpack contains equipment to cook, collect, and purify water, build shelter, and stay warm. These are core proficiencies that will keep you alive; the notion is that with these supplies, I can scavenge for food and collect what I need from the environment. With that in mind, the bin is a mobile supply point. This is where I keep two categories of supplies:

  1. Consumables (water, food, and fuel)
  2. Environmental supplies (such as clothing, blankets, etc.)

Between these two additional resources, you can use your vehicle third-line kit to tailor your mobile third-line to your specific needs, if you find yourself in an emergency.

Vehicle Third-Line Contents:

  • Food – (MRE x3)
  • Water – 1 gallon; 1 quart canteen w/cup
  • Cyalume chem lights x2
  • Medical kit
  • 25 yards of paracord
  • Long underwear (2x shirt, 2x pants)
  • Socks x3 pairs
  • Sleeping bag
  • Poncho liner

Part II: Everyday Carry and Your Vehicle

The first consideration for EDC and your vehicle is a proverbial double-edged sword. Our vehicles can carry more than we can, but we can maneuver in places our vehicles cannot. For this reason, when I think about my vehicle equipment, I break it into a couple categories:

  1. Vehicle-specific equipment: This is the stuff that is carried to keep the vehicle moving for as long as possible over as much terrain as possible. This includes your spare parts, tools, some coolant, water, and the like.
  2. Augmented equipment: The equipment we can use immediately that will be no great loss if we have to leave it behind.

The vehicle is a solid place to keep your third-line equipment. This is the “get home” equipment that you could live off for several days without any scavenging or energy-intensive labor.  Of all your equipment, the third-line setup is the easiest to exaggerat, and make unappealing to carry. It’s also the most dependent on your level of skill and savvy with packing energy-dense foods, lightweight equipment, and water.

For this reason, please (x3) get some training. I don’t care if it’s from a Boy Scout – learn how to start a fire, collect and purify your water, and build a decent shelter. If you can do that, everything you carry will just help to assist.

Also, adjust according to your location. If you’re in Alaska, you should probably not try to survive with just a Mylar bag and extra set of socks. We can go over individual kits for your vehicle here, or if you want to tailor a specific set of equipment to your circumstances, here.

Part III: Sustenance

Keeping yourself fed, especially by the time you realize there’s an emergency, is going to start becoming more and more tricky as the demand for food articles increases. In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, for example, looting cleared the shelves of anything potable and palatable in short order. If you didn’t steal, you were left with what you stocked on your own.

While it’s nice to have some things stuffed in the pantry, having some in your car is a good bet as well. There are a lot of different lines of logic on this, but my thought here is that you need food articles that conform to some very specific standards:

  1. Calorie dense
  2. Lightweight
  3. Long shelf life

For this reason, I like canned tuna, Clif bars, Military MRE’s/Mountain House meals, and trail mixes. Water is a bit trickier, as not all plastics are food-grade, and in thermal extremes, you begin to get leaching where the container actually starts depositing chemicals into your Dihydrogen Monoxide.

This applies to both aluminum and plastic containers, and this is speculative on my part, but I don’t trust BPA-free containers either. For this reason, I restock my water out of my home each day, and carry my water containers to and from.

In addition to this practice, I keep a Katadyne filter in my vehicle kit. This way, if there is an emergency, I can ditch the contents of my typical carry bag (books, etc.) and grab the necessities. With that said, I still keep all the 1st, 2nd and 3rd necessity items in my bags at all times – so I have a bare minimum of equipment even if I’m walking around campus, grabbing lunch, or hiking.

Layering your equipment in this way will supply you with a fast, reproducible, and modular way to organize and use your kit.


It is highly recommended that after reading this article you evaluate your current vehicle preparedness supplies and everyday carry items based on your skills and possible needs.  And regularly check on the condition and quality of your preps stored in your car, as they are subjected to considerably harsher conditions in Summer and Winter while enclosed in your vehicle compared to sitting on a shelf in your garage or home.

Learn new skills that will help you evaluate and mitigate situations and emergencies related to vehicles and prep the items needed to match your skills and possible emergencies.  All the gear in the world stuffed in a trunk will not help you if you don’t know how to use it. – The Prepper Journal

Read the original article:

Share your experiences and recommendations (what’s in your trunk?) for VEDC, and be safe on the roads

Preparedness Resources

Prepping 101 – EDC

 What is EDC? Well in case you mistakenly go out to Google “EDC ideas” for some inspiration; EDC does not in Prepper lingo stand for Electric Daisy Carnival. What is this world coming to?

No, my friends. EDC is one the top 10 great Prepper Acronyms and it stands for Every Day Carry. If you don’t already know, we Preppers LOVE acronyms. EDC is essentially the items you carry with you at all times, or as often to all times as possible. It’s the quintessential Prepper gear that you have handy without any backpack or BOB (another of my favorites which we will be discussing later) Bug Out Bag .

One of the misconceptions about EDC gear is that it needs to be a large set or capable of doing more than most people would need in any normal scenario. Now, I know that when we are talking about SHTF (The S**T hitting the fan) we aren’t necessarily thinking about normal everyday occurrences. We want to be prepared for something, anything out of the norm, right?

I bring this up because your EDC is less about the actual gear you are carrying around and more about how diligent you are with carrying it in the first place. The best gear in the world does you absolutely zero good if it is at home on your nightstand, packed away in your backpack or worse, stored in the attic somewhere. For you to realize any value from your EDC gear you have to Carry it Every Day. Get the point? OK, moving on.

Why should this matter to you? EDC gear consists of simple items that individually or combined can make a world of difference if you are ever faced with a situation that the average bear isn’t ready for, but as with everything, your own personal situations vary from a lot of other people. If your job is in an office somewhere you probably won’t need to take an axe, lifeboat and bear spray to work with you. I am sure someone out there can prove me wrong, but until then let’s go with the assumption that most people during their day-to-day activities are near civilization either working or commuting near their town. That is the scenario we will go with.

What should your EDC be made up of? Great question and again this varies. Let me first talk to the average Joe out there and split the normal EDC into Good, Better and Best with Good being what you should have on you really at all times no exceptions. You don’t win any prizes for simply having a Good EDC, you just don’t have to hang your head in shame.


  • Folding Knife – I recommend something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (usually less than $30) like the Spyderco Tenacious G-10. The blade is wicked sharp out of the box, won’t freak too many people out at 3 3/8 inches but a good knife has millions and I do mean millions of uses. Think back to our earliest ancestors. They might not have had all of the fancy gadgets like we did, but one of the first things they got their hands on was a good knife. Even if all you use it for is to open your boxes from Amazon you will use it and if you really need it you will be glad it’s on you.

A really excellent EDC knife for the money.

Spyderco Tenacious G-10. A really excellent EDC knife for the money.

  • Phone – This may sound silly now because Hey? Who doesn’t have their cell phone with them every single second of the day? Actually, I wish most of us (including me) didn’t have their cell phones. I am tired of watching a bunch of teenagers sit around a table staring at their phones and not talking, but that’s for another time. You need a phone to communicate so make sure you have yours with you. Don’t leave it in the car when you go into the mall. Something else to add to this would be a written list of important numbers. Who else besides me relies too heavily on speed dial and Google?
  • Spare Cash – Another rarity in this day and age, and even I have to force myself to remember to bring some cash with me. If I am going out-of-town, one of the first things I try to do is get out $50 or $100. It probably won’t by me a plane ticket home, but it could get me out of a jam.
  • Watch – You need to know the time and if you’re really tricky like Bear Grylls, you can tell the direction of North with it. Of course, you could be lazy and just by a watch like the Casio Pathfinder watch that has a compass built in.


  • Handkerchief – What? Do you mean like one of those hillbillies? Or an old man with his pocket square that he offers to the first lady he sees crying? Yes, exactly. It can be whatever color you want but a handkerchief is like a knife and it can be used for a thousand things. You can use it for a dust mask, sling, tourniquet, sweat band or you could just blow your nose with it. They are light and don’t take up any room. In fact, I bet you have one pocket that you never put anything in. The back left pocket, right? Stick a hanky in there and off you go
  • Multi-Tool – You can carry a multi-tool or something like a Swiss Army knife. I recommend the Leatherman Charge. It’s tough and not to beat a dead horse but it has a million uses. Could you leave the folder at home and only bring the multi-tool? Sure, but I like options.

Leatherman Charge

Leatherman Charge – Great for just about anything you need to cut, twist or wrench open.

  • Flashlight – Flashlights probably start getting into geeky territory here, but believe me; you will find that they are useful. From coming home late when the carport light is out to power outages or dark parking lots or broken down vehicles a good flashlight comes in handy. I carry the Fenix LD10 but there are newer models. It is simply amazing how much light this little thing puts out.

Fenix LD10

Fenix LD10 – Super bright flashlight and only needs 1 AA Battery.

  • Para cord – Some guys (and ladies) wear Paracord bracelets which are fine but might not be the most practical in every situation. If I am going camping or hiking or hunting then definitely I wear the Paracord bracelet. This has about 8-10 feet of Para cord woven into a nice carrying profile on your wrist. This can save you when you need to tie up a tarp or replace a shoelace or in an extreme case, lash your knife to a spear and fight off the zombie horde. If you aren’t ready to rock the Paracord bracelet in the office you can easily buy or make a key fob, or just stick 10 feet or so in your briefcase or purse and keep on trucking.


  • Firearm – Yes I recommend that every adult legally and responsibly carry a firearm. I will save the argument for and the types and situations for another post.
  • Spare magazine – See above.
  • Flash Drive with information – If you are really worried about TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) then a flash drive with electronic copies of your favorite document makes sense. I personally don’t. Spare phone batteries fall into this category also if your phone accepts them. Mine doesn’t so I try to be mindful to keep as full a charge as possible.
  • Something to make Fire – You can learn how to rub two sticks together or get really proficient with a flint and striker but a good old cheap bic works great just about every time.

Women – What about women? I think every woman should carry all of the same items. You have an advantage in that you normally carry a purse and frequently take this with you wherever you go. You may adjust things like the knife if that folder is too big. How about a nice key chain Leatherman like the juice? Even that is better than nothing. Everything else should be fine.

Leatherman Juice

Leatherman Juice – At only 3.2 inches this could be a simple addition to a key chain.

I think you will agree that this is a good start. Is it the most comprehensive list ever assembled and will it cover every conceivable option? No, but again, we are taking baby steps here. If you have nothing more than these items above you will have a vastly better chance of making it through anything that life throws at you than your friends who don’t have anything. I look forward to your comments on what youcarry. ThePrepperJournal

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