This article is related to last week’s article, though not necessarily a follow-on.
I consider my EDC to be a relatively minimalist setup, compared to most people who carry a gun. My personal philosophy is “as much as possible, with as little as possible”, and I try to apply that to everything in my life, but my EDC especially. What I carry everyday has changed a little here and there over the years, but it has remained pretty consistent for a while. I only see a few things changing about it in the future, which I’ll get into later. Now, let’s dive in.
*pic from the Googles.
I carry a Galaxy S7 in a Lifeproof case. After running an S5 Active (and an iPhone in a Lifeproof before that) I’ve come to regard my phone as a durable, waterproof, drop proof device that doesn’t need to be babied. I’m afraid that going back to a normal phone would be very expensive. I should have just got a Galaxy S7 Active, but they stopped making them by the time I needed a new phone and didn’t need the performance (and price) increase that an S8 Active brought with it. I’m not an Apple fan because… well, I don’t really have a good reason. I guess a little part of me just likes to be different.
This is the gun I carry everyday. It is a full sized M&P in 9mm, it holds 17+1. It has an Inforce APL gen1 attached to it [Update: light has been changed]. This is the gun I compete with, I EDC, I put on my nightstand, this is my only servicable and it does everything I need a pistol to do. It is bone-stock because I can’t justify the cost of a new trigger from Apex, though they look amazing (If somebody knows somebody, I’d gladly do a review 😉). I have a green fiber optic front sight that I need to get installed. No real reason I haven’t done it other than I don’t want to go without my pistol long enough for a gunsmith to install it and I’m not comfortable installing it myself.
My Gun’s Holster:
This is the holster I use[Edit: I have replaced this holster]. I carry in the appendix position because it allows me to draw faster and control the area around my gun better. This holster was purchased in early 2015 and has been carried every day since then. I won’t name the maker because I no longer wish to promote their business due to their personal actions and beliefs, not necessarily the product itself. That being said, I’m also looking to replace this product due to some design choices I want to move away from. I’m looking for something with a clip on either side instead of one in the middle. I’m also planning on changing out my pistol light, which means I’ll need a new way to carry it.
I carry a Led Lenser P2BM. Led Lenser is the flashlight division of Leatherman. It’s output is rated at a seemingly-abysmal 16 lumens. With so many lights on the market that are priced right alongside this with 5 to 10 times the output, why do I still carry this one? Because this one works. This is a light that I use to navigate my house at night w/o waking up the wife or the baby. I use this to shine into dark places for a little extra light so I can read a label at work. I honestly use this more than any other item (besides my phone, obviously) that I carry, and I actually block a lot of the light it puts out with my hand more often than not. I don’t use this light to blind or disadvantage another person, that’s not what it’s used for. If I need to use my light in an offensive manner, well that’s what my weapon light is for. I’ve looked at other options from Streamlight, Coast, Olight, etc, that put out more lumens and are of a similar size, but this one is plenty bright for everything I use it for and it hasn’t died yet. This light has run like a champ since May 2016, 2 full years of every day carry as of writing. When this one dies I’ll probably upgrade, but who knows how long that will be?
I carry the Skeletool CX in my pocket right next to my Led Lenser P2BM. This is honestly the best multitool for my personal philosophy of “as much as possible, with as little as possible”. This tool has pliers, a knife, a carabiner/bottle opener, and a screwdriver with Phillips and flat head bits. That’s it. Not 3 blades and a nail file, no scissors, no fire starter, no flash drive. It’s just a few commonly used tools. And you know what? I love it. It’s not bulky, it’s still very useful, and it’s long enough to not flip out of my pocket. I used to carry the smaller version of this tool, the one that was only a knife and pliers, but it was too short for as wide as it was, and ended up flipping the inside of my pocket out. The addition of a screwdriver & carabiner made this tool much more useful. I honestly don’t know how this could be better. Maybe a flash drive wouldn’t be that bad…
The specific make & model of this wallet is completely unimportant. What matters is that it is a minimalist-style wallet. It does not hold a bunch of cards, it is not a tri-fold, it does not carry a check book. It carries a small amount of cash (when I have some), it carries about 4 cards, it carries an ID card, and a small internal pocket. I like that it forces me to carry only the essentials, and very little fluff. No George Costanza going on here.
*pictured: not me
I’ve carried tri-fold wallets and I’ve carried wallets made to carry check books. I don’t like them. They worked fine for me at the time, but they don’t fit my philosophy anymore. The smaller wallets allow me to carry them in my front pocket and away from pickpockets. I don’t think pickpockets even exist anymore, but if I come across one I won’t know it (because I’ll still have my wallet).
I wear a Timex Weekender that I’ve owned for legitimately 7 years or so. I’ve replaced the straps 2 or 3 times already and it needs a new pair. I thought it was finally dying a couple months ago, but it just needed a new battery. This watch has a 12/24 hour display, a date window, and a chronometer on the bezel (that I’ve never used once). A lot of utility in a small package. Oh, and it’s also nearly indestructible. I’ve banged it on steel door frames probably hundreds of times. I’m not really what a person would label ‘graceful’ and this watch has kept up with me every step of the way. This watch might be the best $20 I’ve ever spent.
Why do I even wear a watch at all when I’ve got a phone? Using a smartphone to tell time means you are using a glorified pocket-watch with a digital display. The wrist watch was made to be more convenient and useful than a pocket-watch, and it still is. A quick turn of the wrist and a glance is 100x faster than digging my phone out and unlocking the screen, just to lock it back again and bury it back down in my pocket. Double the difficulty if I’m sitting down which, since I work behind a desk, is a lot. You know, using your phone to tell time is actually pretty dumb.
WHAT I DON’T CARRY:
-A defensive knife. I have no training in using one. I have no idea where I’d get that kind of instruction and knife fighting is something that terrifies me in general. I’ve always got a gun on me, I don’t see a lot of instances where I’d need a knife but not my gun. Yes, I understand that a semiauto pistol isn’t a great option in an entangled fight.
I also have listened to Varg Freeborn’s story about how he used a knife in a self defense scenario and served a lengthy prison sentence because he used a knife. When the guy who you stabbed admits to having been drinking whiskey all day, intended to kill you, tracked you to a house, cornered you in the back of said house, and was in the process of stuffing you into the back of a car, admits it in court, and you still get sentenced for attacking him? Yeah, I’ll leave defensive knives to people who want to open that can of worms. F that noise.
-A spare magazine. Now, this may seem like an obvious thing to try to carry. I mean, the mag is the heart of the gun! If anything goes wrong, swapping a mag and racking the slide will basically fix it, right? Why would I not carry a spare? Because I don’t think I need to. John from Active Self Protection on YouTube and Facebook has seen literally 10,000+ self defense encounters in the last couple years. How many times has he seen a civilian reload a gun in a fight? Right around zero, and most people he sees aren’t carrying a duty sized gun with 15+1. Cops should carry spares, no doubt, but my mission is different than theirs. I have carried one before, and if I ever carry anything with significantly less ammo than the dozen-and-a-half rounds in my current gun, I’ll keep a spare mag on me. But until then, the spare will probably stay at home.
THINGS I NEED TO IMPROVE:
-My keys. I really need to get a Key-Bar or something similar. I kind of hate my keys being as bulky as they are, but I can’t seem to get rid of anything unnecessary.
-Medical. Considering that I am so much more likely to use a tourniquet to save a life than a gun, not carrying on is a serious oversight, one that I plan to remedy shortly.
-My pistol light. It’s not that my pistol light doesn’t work, it’s that other lights have come out in the last 4 or 5 years that give me more capability is a similar or smaller form factor (“as much as possible, with as little as possible”). Not sure if I’ll get a Streamlight TLR-1 HL or an Olight PL-series, or something else. Need to look into it more. The Olight’s prices are very tempting, though I am cautious of spending too little on something.
-Pistol Red Dot. It’s not a ‘maybe’, but a ‘when’. So, when will I get a red dot mounted on my pistol? I have no idea. It’s a costly proposition with a high up front cost. I need to find a way to overcome this seemingly insurmountable obstacle, because the benefits of a dot on a pistol is too great to ignore.
-My Holster. Once I do either of the two proceeding things, my current holster will be functionally useless. It is in kind of the same state as my pistol light. It still does the job that it did when I got it, and does it just as well, but the technology has passed it by and left its design in the dust. The industry has moved on, and I need to join them. I played around with the idea of just building a kydex press myself and making my own stuff, but having a newborn quickly ended that line of thought. Maybe when I don’t have any kids under 2 or 3 years old I can look into that again. Maybe.