Welcome back to another edition of Concealed Carry Corner. Last week we talked about the concept of carrying stock firearms versus carrying fully customized firearms. If you missed last week’s article, don’t hesitate to check it out with the link here. With the introduction of the internet and easier access to information about carrying, there’s been a rapid introduction of various concepts and styles of carrying from different instructors. Although this flood of information is great for the community, it can be really tough to decide what exactly you need to carry on your body and what you should carry in your vehicle or bag. Let’s take a closer look at what to carry every day.
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What Are Some Absolute Must-Carry Items?
One of the biggest issues I see with certain people who start carrying is the fact they start to carry more and more gear until it becomes cumbersome. Carrying a ton of stuff is the fastest way to burn yourself out and ultimately leave your gun at home which defeats the purpose in the first place. The toughest part is finding that balance between what you absolutely need versus what is an added extra you can put in your vehicle or bag every day. It’s never a bad thing to build out a tier system where you have extra gear and supplies close by, but not everything needs to be carried on you every day.
The number one thing when carrying concealed is to actually have a firearm on your person! It may seem like an obvious thing but I cannot tell you how many times I have met people with a concealed carry permit who left their guns at home. Instead of bringing their firearm, they have a couple knives, Leatherman multi-tool, and a flashlight on their body “just in case.” If you have backup secondary items with no handgun on your body, your priorities need to be reevaluated fairly quickly. You should always avoid a confrontation and avoidance should be your highest priority but if you get cornered and you’re forced to use deadly force, you’re going to need a firearm for sure.
Some Sort Of Light
One of the most used items on my body every day has to be my small SureFire G2X LED flashlight. I bought it off Amazon a few years ago and can’t tell you how many times it’s come in handy from dropping my keys at night to looking for Christmas decorations in a dark closet. With modern-day cell phones, you have a flashlight app on most as a bare minimum but it’s always good to have a separate handheld or weapon-mounted light.
Now the debate about handheld lights versus weapon-mounted lights is an entirely different subject I’ve written about a few times over the years. There are pros and cons to both but in general, it’s always good to have a way to see in really dark areas. The only thing about a weapon light we need to keep in mind is the fact you should never use it for general use. So many people fall into this trap of misusing their weapon light as a general-use flashlight flagging everything they point their light at since it’s attached to a loaded firearm.
Most individuals who work outside or do manual labor will have some sort of folding utility knife for everyday uses which in a last-ditch effort can be used to protect them if their firearm is disabled or impossible to draw. Some individuals like to carry a fixed blade knife for self-defense and a folding knife for everyday utilitarian uses. This certainly isn’t necessary but certain people believe it’s the proper way to carry a knife. There are no set rules when it comes to carrying concealed, but generally, it’s best to carry less and try to do more with what you have to keep things light and simple. It’s always good to practice the KiSS method (Keep It Simple Stupid) and just carry the bare minimum that you need for daily activities.
Optional Things / Carrying in a Bag
When people start carrying more and more over time, they start to struggle when it comes to deciding what’s necessary and what isn’t needed. The absolute best way is to try and have 3 things you absolutely need and work at removing the rest to either a bag or your vehicle. All the items on this second list are things I have tried to carry on my body but over time I just realized there’s no real need for them in my immediate everyday life.
If we are looking at the probability of using gear, you are much more likely to need medical supplies than need a firearm for self-defense. Whether it’s a medical emergency, a car crash, or a personal accident, there will always be a need for someone to medically assist before professionals arrive. There are a number of leg wraps and other products to carry medical equipment on your body every day. The problem with these is the fact it’s really tough to comfortably carry every day.
Adding weight to one leg can also affect your back over time which isn’t a permanent solution. I’ve carried all sorts of different methods for medical equipment from a leg strap to carrying in an IWB holder almost like a gun holster. All of them can be used if you absolutely need them, but it’s much easier to carry them in your daily bag or inside your vehicle. It’s a great addition to your overall kit but the amount of bulk medical supplies have, makes it very difficult to comfortably carry on a daily basis.
On paper, extra ammunition seems like a great idea but the truth is if you carry a flashlight or knife, having a spare magazine in your pocket along with everything else is just too much. The reality of having to draw your handgun for self-defense is extremely low, but having to fire so many times you need to reload is nearly zero chance. It’s never bad to have extra ammo but in the grand scheme of things, you’ll use a knife every day where you’ll almost never need the extra magazine for self-defense. Having it in your daily bag or vehicle is certainly a great idea without adding the extra bulk to your pants pocket.
There are plenty of people who enjoy carrying full-size pistols throughout the year. Whether its the during the cold winter months in an OWB holster or just a favorite pistol model you shoot better than others. I’ve met plenty of guys who carry a Glock 34 with a Surefire X300 and a Trijicon RMR. Now I’m all for people picking their own carry gun and everyone’s different but there are only a few times you carry this large of a handgun before you start to think twice.
It’s fun to do on occasion and you can role-play all you want at home like John Wick but realistically you’ll end up dropping it for something more manageable like a Glock 19 or Glock 48. If you’re really hell-bent on carrying such a large handgun, the more comfortable route is to carry it in something like a Vertx carry bag with a designated holster and quick release tab to access fast. I’m not a huge fan of off-body carry but with something that big or something like an AR pistol, it’s always better to carry it in a bag with some sort of quick access.
For most, it will just end up being a long process of trial and error before finding the exact setup that works for you. These are just a few things I went through and found work best for me. I’m a firm believer in sharing information in an effort of saving others time, money and energy. Some of you may disagree with my choices and that’s perfectly ok.
Let me know what your thoughts are down below. Is there something you disagree on or is there anything else you guys practice when it comes to your daily carry setup? If you have questions about carrying concealed or firearms in general, feel free to shoot me a message on Instagram @fridgeoperator. Stay safe out there and we will see you guys next week with another edition of Concealed Carry Corner.
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