Despite the reference, I’m not suggesting that anyone become a hired gun. Thought I’d discuss what our EDC kit (every day carry). The military calls it first line gear and it’s what is carried on your body. Second line gear is vests, extra pouches, perhaps a small bag. Third line gear is your large pack and sleeping bag/cooking gear.
If you carry a small bag with you all the time, such as a computer or book bag, that’s first line gear because you carry it all the time. Most of us don’t, so it’s limited to our pockets and whatever we can hang on our belt. Many people carry as little as possible, after all, it’s a hassle to keep up with everything.
So why carry much of anything? Since you’re reading this site, I assume that you regularly carry a gun because you understand that while we hope for the best, we need to plan for events somewhat worse than that. The reality is that we’re far more likely to need a medical kit, a knife, or a flashlight, than a gun. That’s not to discourage you from carrying a gun, just stating the odds.
My own first line gear starts with a gun and a spare magazine or two. Lots of people just carry a gun, and a small one at that. They cite the stories about how many people don’t even need to shoot to discourage attackers and statistics do seem to support that. But remember, we’re not preparing for the best possible outcome.
I also carry a knife, which gets used multiple times per day. A small folder with a pocket clip is incredibly useful and people are constantly asking to borrow mine. Cost shouldn’t be a factor in not carrying, as you don’t need that $200 Delta Seal Ranger endorsed model. Stabbing someone is a last resort anyway, do you really want their blood all over you? Blood carries lots of disease! Something in the $30-40 range usually works very well. I’ve used CRKT knives for a long time.
A small flashlight is almost as useful as a knife. This was a real shocker to me when I first started carrying one. Now, I hate going without it. It must be small in order to stay with you. If it’s bulky, it will be left behind. Thankfully, there’s a plethora of options in the “small and cheap” category. Just like the knife, you don’t need a top dollar flashlight. Although I can’t prove it, I believe that it helps to deselect you as a victim because it demonstrates that you are above average. Being able to see clearly when it’s dark helps spot anything suspicious and may help you identify an attacker, which they don’t want.
What I don’t carry yet, but have started working on, is an IFAK. It’s a simple med’ kit. You can buy them already made, but I haven’t done that since I have everything. It’s just going to require repackaging and buying a bag that is both small and comfortable enough to carry daily.
That’s all that I carry on a regular basis. How about you? If you have any thoughts on a good, small bag, I’d love to hear them.