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Survival / November 13, 2015

The Best Concealed Carry for Your Next Adventure

Written by: Jeff Houston

You may have heard the term ‘everyday carry,’ commonly abbreviated EDC. Let’s talk about why this matters to you, and what you may want to incorporate into your EDC. You’ve no doubt found yourself in day-to-day situations where you need something; a pen, a knife, a flashlight… you get the point. EDC items are things you carry with you everyday in an effort to be more prepared.

The most important everyday carry item: a ‘combat mindset.’ With the right mindset and situational awareness you may just be able to avoid situations that otherwise may have been deadly to you or a loved one. Avoidance and de-escalation should be on the forefront of your mind. It’s your mind that must function first if you do find yourself in a threatening situation. Have a good and trained mindset from the moment you leave your house, and you will no doubt be bettering your odds of survival. Keep your eye on future blogs for an entire piece on situational awareness and the combat mindset.

You’ll see quite a few things in the photo of my EDC items. No, I don’t carry everything in the picture with me all day everyday. What you see here is a representation of what some of my daily carry items may be. What I carry on me depends on what I’m wearing and where I’m going. While I encourage people to be consistent in what they carry, it’s just not always practical. For example, strapping on my Glock 19 when I’m wearing a pair of gym shorts and walking my dog around suburbia doesn’t work that well, but the smaller and lighter Glock 43 in the Galco holster works great. You must know and be able to realize your limitations with the gun you decide to carry. A small single-stack 9mm or .380 isn’t going to be as useful to me in some situations as a compact or full-size pistol that is easier to shoot, more accurate, and carries more rounds.

Everyday Carry Items:

  • Glock 19
  • Glock 43
  • Hornady Critical Duty
  • Magpul iPhone case/iPhone
  • Suunto Observer
  • Benchmade Presidio Tanto
  • Coast TX399
  • Benchmade Adamas Fixed CBK
  • Garret Industries Kydex/leather holster
  • Incog IWB Kydex holster
  • Galco Stow-n-Go IWB holster
  • Ares Gear Aegis
  • RE Factor Tactical Operator Band
  • Coast TX3 light
  • Car key
  • Le Mans Z-Clip Carbon Fiber

: My Glock 43 has always functioned very well for me and I know it’s capabilities and limitations in my hands. Another pistol carrying option that is a step up from a sub-compact is a compact size pistol, usually having a 3”-4” barrel.  Having a double-stack magazine is going to give you much better capacity for ammunition (I go from 6+1 in the G43 to 15+1 in the G19).  There are many great manufacturers out there, I’ve shot Glocks for over ten years and have trusted them as my sidearm in both civilian and military environments.  The ammunition I carry most of the time is either Hornady Critical Defense or Hornady Critical Duty.

Holster: The holster you choose to carry your firearm is very important. Get a holster that is made for your gun, protects the trigger completely, and retains/releases effectively. Find one or two setups that work for you and stick with them for the sake of consistency. I have the luxury of working around guns on a daily basis and get practice in with the different holsters I have. The Galco Stow-n-Go is a very comfortable and affordable IWB (inside the waistband) holster that is super quick to get on and off or move around your waistline as needed. Garret Industries makes a lot of great holsters; I use a model that is Kydex on the outside with leather on the inside – it’s great once the leather breaks into your pistol, and protects the finish of the gun well. For my Glock 19, I also have an Incog IWB, which is a great Kydex holster.

Knife: Inevitably, there are times and places we aren’t legally allowed to have a firearm on us.  A knife is great tool that may also be our best weapon when we don’t have our pistol. Be aware of your local laws that regulate legal style and length. There are a ton of great knife makers out there:. Coast makes a great knife and I don’t have to worry about it breaking the bank replacing it if I lose it. Benchmade is one of many great manufactures of blades, and is a common favorite; he Benchmade dagger is a really great carry item I like to have when I can’t carry a firearm (check local laws for legality). It sits very nicely in the normal appendix carry position and is easy to get to quickly. I encourage everyone that carries a knife to take the proper training on how to use it defensively.

Light: I cannot emphasize enough how important a flashlight is as part of your EDC. For starters, you just never know when you may need a light for something – and it’s not always easy or practical to use the light app from your phone.  Even more important is that you may need to use the light defensively, either in conjunction with a handgun, or as a weapon itself.  Many defensive shootings happen in low, or no-light environments. You may not be able to adequately identify a threat, or what is around your target, without a quickly accessible flashlight. I like carrying the Coast TX3. It has a scalloped bezel, pocket clip, and ability to cycle through strobe/high/low outputs. The scalloped bezel allow the light to be used as a striking weapon as well. I have yet to find a place where I can’t have my flashlight with me.  Other great lights are available with many great features and different lumens to suit your needs.

There are other things I like to carry that I’ll briefly mention as well.  Defense pen: There are lots of good defense pens out there, a great item that doubles as a pen and a defense tool used for striking. I like to carry the ProMag Archangel. Bracelet/Wrist Band: RE Factor Tactical makes a variety of bands to suit different needs, all great quality and could save you in a survival situation. Phone Case: As much as I like the iPhone naked, I’ve learned that it’s better to have the case to help protect against the dreaded pavement collision. The Magpul case seems to protect the phone well, and is still slim enough to not feel bulky. Money: I like carrying a money-clip instead of a wallet; I carry the Le Mans by Z-Clip. Be careful not to be flashing Benjamin’s to eyes looking for a robbery victim. Keys: I like to keep my car keys separate from other keys. If I’m car-jacked or someone takes my car key at gunpoint while I’m about to get in the car, at least they aren’t getting my house keys as well. Watch: I’ve had my Suunto Observer for many years and it’s literally been to war with me. It’s a great watch with just about all the features most people would need. Belt: Don’t underestimate your belt. Not just for the fact that you want your pants to stay up, but you need a good support system for your firearm. Get a good belt that has strong sidewalls, which means you’re probably getting a belt specifically made to support a gun. Kilo 727, AresGear, Galco, Blade Tech, and 5.11 all make great belts, and you can find them in both tactical and everyday designs.

Now that you’ve got the primer on EDC, get out there and try some things out for yourself.  Customize your EDC gear and continually refine it as needed. We never know what we will encounter as we go about our day-to-day business – whether it’s city, country, or mountains – but you’ll be happy when you have the right piece of gear with you when it counts the most.

about the author

Jeff Houston

Jeffrey Houston served as a Green Beret with United States Army Special Forces. As a Green Beret and a civilian, Jeff has spent a lot of time behind a gun and in the woods.

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