Carry Often, Carry More Than A Gun

Published February 12, 2013 by
Filed under Carry, CCW, Equipment, Self Defense

So you’ve decided to carry a gun on a regular basis. Good. Deciding to take care of your personal safety yourself is one of the most important decisions you can make, because you are, and always will be, your own first responder. Carrying a pistol with you, concealed or not, creates options in defense of your life that you just cannot have without having a firearm on you.

But a gun is not enough. In fact, a pistol is just the end of the journey, because chances are you’re not going to need it, thank God.

So what should you have with you besides your gun?

  1. A Flashlight. We spend half our lives in the dark, a flashlight isn’t just a good idea, it’s an aboslute necessity. In the past, I relied on the flashlight app on my iPhone, but after some testing, I found the flashlight app just isn’t anywhere near as powerful as even the smallest dedicated flashlight. After filting around with a few different lights, I’ve settled on a Streamlight Microstream, and I absolutely love it. Why?
    • It’s small, which means you’ll carry it with you more often
    • It’s BRIGHT for it’s size, brighter than a AA Maglite, and bright enough to light up a doorway from across the street.
    • It’s cheap, so you won’t be heartbroken if you misplace it
    • It’s rugged. Mine has survived two trips through the washing machine and the dryer (don’t ask why) with no issues whatsoever
    • It takes one AAA battery, which means you can find spare batteries for it everywhere, and if you want the longer-lived (and more expensive) lithium batteries, they’re also available.
  2. A Knife. Quick! Open up that clamshell plastic packaging without a sharp object, I dare you! Oh, what’s that you say, you can’t quite lever out the jammed paper in the photocopier? And now you’ve ripped the “easy open tab” off your microwavable entree, and you’re faced with the prospect of an unintentional day-long fast or a jaunt outside of the office for lukewarm, lackluster fast food. Knives make too much sense not to have one on you, and I understand they’re a pretty decent self-defense tool as well (sarcasm). As I work in an office and I don’t want to carry something that screams “TACTICAL!”, I usually have a CRKT Pazoda unobtrusively clipped to my pants pocket. It’s small, lightweight, sharp and doesn’t stick up over the pocket much at all. 
  3. Extra Ammo. Make a quick list of everything that can go wrong with a modern semi-automatic pistol. No, go ahead, I’ll wait.
    Done? Good.
    Now, how many of the items on your list are related to the pistol’s magazine? And you don’t carry a spare magazine on you because….?
    I use a Blackhawk! Single Mag Pouch when I carry my CZ P07, and it works like a charm. I’m not planning on shooting 32 rounds of 9mm in a defensive situation, but I figure if something goes wrong with my gun and I have to reload, I can.
  4. A Smartphone. We can have the “I just want my phone to be a phone and make phone calls” discussion some other time, but the fact is a smartphone allows you to have a Red Cross First Aid Guide and an Emergency Radio Scanner and a GPS and a weather alert radio and a whole bunch of other useful information at your fingertips. Plus, we now know that when an emergency happens and the cell phone towers are overloaded with traffic, text messages can go out when phone calls can’t (pdf link). A smartphone also has a camera to document what happened for the police and/or insurance companies, and you can always play Angry Birds on it while you wait for the other first responders to respond…

What other items should a well-prepared person have on them besides their gun?

Comments

22 responses so far ↓

  • 1 How to carry concealed | Team Gun Blogger // Feb 20, 2013 at 9:16 AM

    […] How will you call the cops if don’t have your phone? How will know if what you’re facing is a mugger or grandma on a dark night if you don’t have flashlight? There’s four things you need to carry with you besides your gun and holster and I’ve listed them over here.  […]

  • 2 IndividualAudienceMember // Mar 5, 2013 at 9:32 AM

    Nice article. Nice blog too. I think you about covered it.
    It’s not exactly something you carry, but I always wear a sturdy belt, to hold up my pants with all the extra weight or for what else I’m not sure.

    You have inspired me to carry All the time. The inside the house bit seems slightly silly, however; I see the point.

    The only thing I didn’t agree with, dialing 911, do a search: Never Dial 911. YMMV I suppose?

    P.S.
    The Walmart rite of passage, I didn’t know others did that. It’s kind of funny, but I didn’t think it was funny at the time, it was a lot like the first time I kissed a girl or drove a car. Now it’s no-big-deal.

  • 3 Exurbankevin // Apr 8, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    And re: Carrying in the home, yeah, it does sound silly at first, but what safer place is there in the home to have a loaded pistol around than on your hip or in your pocket? I have two small boys in the home, and I know that unless we’re wrasslin’ on the floor (at which point the CCW gun goes into a GunVault), my carry gun is safe because I’m carrying it.

  • 4 ExKev (@ExurbanKevin) // Mar 16, 2013 at 7:15 PM

    Dial 911, IAM, but do it knowing that whatever you say to the operator is admissible in court. I have a friend whose significant other earned a felony conviction for a defensive display of a firearm because he showed his gun, determined there was no threat, and drove off.

    The other guy called the cops, saying he had “waved his gun around and was threatening him”, and it was up to my friends to disprove that. They couldn’t, they went to court, they lost. Under the terms of his plea deal, conviction is now off of his record, but there were three years he could so much as LOOK at a firearm because he was a felon at the time.

    First one to call the cops gets to set the narrative for everything else that follows. Make sure that person is you.

  • 5 How To Carry Concealed | Cold Reality News Report // Mar 16, 2013 at 10:43 PM

    […] How will you call the cops if don’t have your phone? How will know if what you’re facing is a mugger or grandma on a dark night if you don’t have flashlight? There’s four things you need to carry with you besides your gun and holster and I’ve listed them over here. […]

  • 6 D.wilson // Apr 6, 2013 at 12:08 PM

    In addition to the items you listed for everyday carry, i carry a key chain pepper spray and a fox 40 whistle.

  • 7 Backup Plan // Apr 23, 2013 at 11:04 AM

    […] now, as part of the four things you should carry every day besides your carry gun, I have a Boker AK74 on me. The Boker is 3 1/2 of those 5 items (it’s a tip up, and is a tad […]

  • 8 Product Review: Elite Survival Systems Pocket Magazine Pouch - Misfires And Light Strikes // Jun 6, 2013 at 6:54 AM

    […] takes care of storing the gun, but seeings how I usually carry a spare mag with me (along with a bunch of other things), I needed someplace to store spare ammo that was just as concealed as my […]

  • 9 So you’ve got your concealed carry permit. Now what? // Jun 17, 2013 at 1:46 PM

    […] of your surroundings and what’s around you, doubly so if you are carrying. And make sure you have more than just a gun with you to deal with the other emergencies in […]

  • 10 Stay safe this Halloween - Misfires And Light Strikes // Oct 31, 2013 at 10:14 AM

    […] isn’t an option for me: If I have pants on, I have a flashlight with me. It’s one of the four things you should carry with you if you’re carrying concealed, and it’s something EVERYONE should have nearby, because we spend half of our lives in the […]

  • 11 Carry often, carry consistently. // Jan 9, 2014 at 1:33 PM

    […] .380, a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my ammo […]

  • 12 Where’s Your Carry Gun? | Michigan Standard // Jan 11, 2014 at 12:03 AM

    […] a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my […]

  • 13 Where’s Your Carry Gun? | Sharing Liberty // Jan 11, 2014 at 5:26 PM

    […] .380, a Kel-Tec P3AT in a pocket holster in my pants on my strong hand side. My extra magazine (and you DO carry spare ammo, don’t you?) is either in a mag pouch on my waist or in a nifty little pocket pouch that keeps my ammo […]

  • 14 When in doubt, improvise. - Misfires And Light Strikes // Jan 23, 2014 at 3:54 PM

    […] said it before and I’ll say it again: If you carry a gun, carry a phone (and some other stuff, too). This one comes via regular contributor Ed: Kudos to this man for improvising a solution on the […]

  • 15 Creating a go bag that works for you // Feb 24, 2014 at 8:24 AM

    […] I am a big believer in the utility of the modern smartphone. In a large disaster scenario, text messages can go through when most other forms of communication are down or overloaded, and there are apps out there for first aid, emergency services frequency scanning and other survival needs. And hey, you can always play Angry Birds on it while you wait for help to arrive…  […]

  • 16 One More Day In The Life - Smart Suburban Survival // Sep 2, 2014 at 3:04 AM

    […] chose not to carry spare ammo in the bag, because a) I have a spare mag with me at all times and b) the point of this stuff isn’t to facilitate a day-long firefight, it’s to help […]

  • 17 Why Carry More Than Just Your Gun? - Misfires And Light Strikes // Nov 20, 2014 at 7:05 AM

    […] carry your gun. And carry other stuff, too. The life you save may not be your […]

  • 18 Lessons from Chattanooga - Misfires And Light Strikes // Jul 20, 2015 at 5:28 AM

    […] deal with a day’s worth of what life might throw at me. If that’s too much for you, carry the four things you should have besides your gun and some means of mitigating the effects of a gunshot wound to yourself or others, and know how to […]

  • 19 Casual carry - Misfires And Light Strikes // Oct 15, 2015 at 3:57 AM

    […] knife (or at least a sharp object) on the multi-tool and a flashlight app on my phone. There are four things I recommend you should carry besides your gun, and this gear has that covered (sorta). If I were to change anything, I’d add in a real […]

  • 20 Creating a go bag that works for you // Feb 20, 2017 at 7:07 AM

    […] I am a big believer in the utility of the modern smartphone. In a large disaster scenario, text messages can go through when most other forms of communication are down or overloaded, and there are apps out there for first aid, emergency services frequency scanning and other survival needs. And hey, you can always play Angry Birds on it while you wait for help to arrive… […]

  • 21 A Good Knife. - Misfires And Light Strikes // Mar 16, 2017 at 5:18 AM

    […] be honest, I will never understand people who leave the house without a knife, phone and a flashlight. Unless you work in a non-permissive environment like behind TSA lines or in a school, it only […]

  • 22 Security Theater. - Misfires And Light Strikes // May 18, 2017 at 4:46 AM

    […] environment, I can carry a gun along with a cell phone, spare mag, flashlight and a knife, the four things I recommend for concealed carry EVERY day, and also had a tourniquet nearby as well in case it was […]

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