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As we go about our daily lives some of us “tactically enabled” individuals realize that we are living in an uncertain world that is ripe for danger and violence. Just take a look at all the possible scenarios we may at some time encounter. Things like social unrest or rioting, crime, weather-related emergencies and other problems are increasingly happening around us. This makes it even more important to always be prepared.

Like many other tactically aware citizens, I realize that I am responsible for my own safety when out and about, and I prefer to always be legally armed in the event of a criminal attack. I also routinely carry an array of items that may make a huge difference when an emergency occurs. I call these items my “concealed carry ensemble.” It consists of all the practical and pertinent things that I believe I might need on a daily basis.

Many people carry a “bug-out” or “bail-out” bag of some sort when they leave their homes loaded to the hilt with all kinds of gear contained therein. While some consider this approach to be excessive, I think it may just be a small inconvenience in the end. I do think, however, that having such a bag loaded with survival items is a great idea—if carried in a vehicle, not on one’s person—in case of an emergency.

Compact Defense

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Folding knives like those from Spyderco are another great option because they’re easy to carry concealed and can get into action quickly in an emergency.

What items are important to carry at all times? Let’s start with the obvious: a firearm. I believe in the adage “two is one and one is none.” Call it redundant if you must, but remember that Murphy (and his law) is alive and well.

In addition to your firearm or firearms, you need to carry extra ammo via magazines or speed strips if you carry a wheelgun. There are so many good carry guns available, which can make selection difficult for some. My advice is to go with a reputable firearm. It should feel good in the hand, and it should not be too large or too heavy because that could cause you to leave it at home.

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The next important tool you should be carrying every day is a quality folding knife. A good knife has a multitude of uses throughout your day, including opening boxes or mail, cutting rope and cordage as well as serving as a last-ditch self-defense tool.

Knives are necessary as everyday tools. There are so many quality knives on the market to choose from, however, it sometimes becomes a difficult task, as size and weight will almost always be an issue in your everyday carry.

Spot The Threat

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A flashlight is absolutely critical, as you never know when you’ll get stuck in a dark environment.

The flashlight is an important tool that should not be overlooked. It can be used to identify a threat in a darkened environment. It’s been said that when you have a light you “own the night.” These are truly words of wisdom. Your light can also be useful in a poorly lit parking lot as well as any indoor area with inadequate lighting.

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The possibilities for this piece of gear are endless. Flashlight technology has come such a long way in the last few years. It is now possible to have a pocket-sized flashlight with the capability to temporarily blind an adversary. So you see, not only can you use the light to find your way in a darkened environment, but it can also be a tactical tool to give you an edge in a close encounter.

Tactical flashlights come in many brands, sizes and battery configurations. Some of these lights take AA batteries, which are readily available and inexpensive, but the more powerful ones work on the CR123 lithium battery. These batteries, although more expensive than alkaline, have a longer shelf life and work better in cold environments. If purchased in quantity, the cost is not as much of an issue. Your threshold for a tactical flashlight should be at least 125 lumens. Some compact flashlights have several hundred lumens of light and still still fit in the hand and pocket. Do some research and I’m sure you will find the perfect solution.

Close-Quarters Security

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Oleoresin capsicum (OC) spray or “pepper spray” is another essential for everyday carry. It is an extreme irritant that, once deployed, will buy you some time to get away from the threat.

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However, be aware that deploying OC in a windy scenario may result in self-contamination. OC comes in different sizes, delivery systems and strengths known as SHUs (Scoville heat units). Aim for a product with at least 2 million SHUs. Also be aware that OC spray may not have the desired effect when used on an individual under the influence of drugs, alcohol or other chemical substances. Some can still fight through it! Another option is the Kimber PepperBlaster II, a gun-shaped delivery device that even features sights, making it easy to hit your threat in the eyes without having to worry about any blowback coming your way.

What’s on your key ring? People tend to carry many different things along with their keys. Some additional items that can come in handy are emergency whistles, miniature pens, fire steels, pry bars and tweezers. The possibilities are seemingly endless, limited only by one’s imagination. Kubatons and other control instruments are also part of some key rings. Everyone has their particular likes and dislikes. If you tend to fly frequently, however, you might want to check with the TSA on what is allowed on flights.

Writing instruments are another popular carry item and may range from ordinary ballpoint pens to full-blown tactical pens that can double as a striking weapon or control tool. Your personal EDC is dependent upon your mode of dress. Casual dress is obviously more EDC friendly than a suit and tie. Of course, with a little imagination, you will be able to conceal quite a bit of necessary gadgets. Comfort is always important so choose wisely.

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Ideally, you will carry something from each of the categories mentioned here everyday. Always remember that awareness and avoidance are incredibly important in today’s world. Preparedness is equally important. With the right mindset and some appropriate tools, you will have a much better chance of survival. As always, stay alert and be safe.

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