What’s in Your Pockets?
I thought I would use the catch phrase from the old Capital One commercials but this article really should be called: “What do you carry every day?” since I don’t think you should have all your emergency kit in your wallet which you could lose or have to give up if being robbed or mugged. The purpose of your everyday carry is to deal with emergencies and get to your car or spot where you have additional gear / security.
Basics that we can assume everyone carries nowadays: wallet or purse with cash, credit cards and IDs, keys and their cell phone / smart phone. In most cases, these are all you need to get through the day (go to work and get home). But as we saw in Tim’s Prepper Quick Tips – Travel Security – Loss Prevention Plan (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y4s1lRtB-p8&feature=youtu.be) you shouldn’t put all your valuables in one place. You should also consider getting RFID sleeves and/or a case that prevents someone from scanning your credit or debit cards without your knowledge. Several are shown below.
Things you can put in your wallet:
A credit card tool or a credit card knife. Just remember that while these are better than nothing, they are a compromise of function for a smaller form. These can also fit nicely in a breast pocket of your jacket or shirt. Check out the Ready Man Wilderness Survival Card and their Fisherman’s Survival Card – both are credit card sized and would easily fit in your wallet.
Condoms – there is absolutely no way my wife will ever believe me but…. You can use condoms as a bladder for water in an emergency but if and when it comes down to this – you might have to take a sock to cover the condom and protect it from accidental breakage.
Other back pocket item(s):
Put a handcuff key in your back pocket, not in your wallet. You might also place a mylar emergency blanket in your non-wallet back pocket.
A card holder that shields RFID – place at least one debit and / or credit card inside this device so you have a back up if you have to surrender your wallet or it gets lifted. Place some cash here also (don’t have all your cash in your wallet).
A lighter just in case you have to start a fire, slip a lighter into your front pocket. I have included an electric lighter that is a best seller on Amazon below (a Bic lighter or a Zippo may not work well if it is too cold or wet). You can also pick up 50 disposable lighters for about $15 on Amazon, sprinkle them around the house and in the car and in everyone’s backpack. That way there is a lighter nearby regardless of where you are.
Another front pocket item (concealed) or on your belt:
A Tool or a Weapon: A sturdy lock blade pocket knife fits easily in your front pocket, they usually have a clip so they can be placed at the top of your pocket and are ready to grab quickly if you need to. Or you can affix them to your belt in a sleeve / holster. I have used a S&W SWAT for years but right now I have a Hoffman Richter HR-15 which has an assisted opener. It also has a glass breaker at the butt end and in general is a sturdier knife. But it is a little bigger and heavier so there is a trade off.
You might want to consider an expandable baton like an Asp. Light weight and concealable on your hip (belt) under a jacket – they are provide you with “reach” in a fight that can give you an advantage. But don’t forget to practice deploying and using the baton, practice makes perfect. Get used to the fell of striking something with the baton and develop your combination strikes. Amazon doesn't carry the batons although they have the hip scabbards.
If you are uncomfortable carrying a knife or there are some restrictions about bringing a knife into an area, consider a tactical pen. I have included several below, these are inconspicuous and you are never without a weapon. Additionally, they double as a glass breaker if you need to escape through a window (I hope you have gloves or can protect your hands in this instance). In most cases, they will not be screened in security. Also look natural in a breast pocket. I have all three but prefer the S+W
On your key chain:
As an alternative, fire sticks or a magnesium bar can be affixed to your key chain. The magnesium bar is a little bulkier (you shave flecks of magnesium off as tinder and then strike the bar with a piece of metal to get a spark and ignite the magnesium). A fire stick is more compact only has the striker bar and something to strike it with (assumes you will find your own tinder).
Key chain Item: You could also get a mini multitool, some are small enough to fit on your key chain or you could place a full size one in your back pack, computer bag, briefcase or purse (or in the glove compartment). I like the Swiss Army Class SD pocket knife which easily fits on your key chain. Remember these small tools are really for small jobs.
the Gerber Dime is an Amazon Choice Comes in almost any color for those who with a prepping fashion sense
Another item that fits nicely on the key chain is a thumb sized LED micro light. They are always handy when you have to move from a building to your car or from your car to a building or your home.
This five pack is an Amazon Choice
The last key chain item you should consider is a compact fishing kit: you can put a paracord grenade which includes several tools and fishing gear and comes wrapped in paracord so you have fishing line or line for snares included. Fits on a key chain or you can attach the larger ones to your back pack (hmmm, this key chain is getting bulky).
A couple of these are larger and may not fit easily on your key chain, but you can affix them to your backpack.
So far we have concentrated on relatively small and slim items that can go in pockets or on your belt. Our hands are still free…. Next article we will address additional items you may choose to carry everyday.
So what do you have in your every day carry?
- Wallet: money, credit cards, ID, maybe some credit card sized tools or survival kits, condoms or foldable bladder or sealable plastic bag
- Escape -the hand cuff key
- Shelter – a mylar blanket
- Cell phone
- RFID proof card holder: spare debit or credit cards, some spare cash, some other credit cards sized tools or survival kits
- A Lighter
- Lock blade knife (if not on the hip)
- A small concealed pistol and spare mag(s) in opposing pocket
- Alternate location of a lock blade knife or a collapsible baton or a multitool
- Alternate location for concealed weapon and spare mags
- Keys or Remote Fob
- Fire stick
- Micro light
- Paracord grenade
- Small Swiss Army knife or micro multitool
- Canteen or thermos or water bottle
- Emergency Bivvy Bag
- Trauma and First Aid kit
Mix and match with what you are comfortable with and what your circumstances allow.
De Oppresso Liber