I'm a creature of habit. I struggle following a different route into the city each time, I've definitely got a favorite pair of jeans, and when it comes to my every day carry, I think I've been putting the same handful of items in my pockets every time I leave the house. But how does my every day carry stack up against the professionals? It seems like every man and his dog are survival experts these days, and some of the things they're recommending seem to be a little less than practical. Here's how I kit myself out each day, perhaps you can let me know if I've missed anything, or there's anything that's a must-have on your every day carry list.
A good firearm
It's a sad truth, but there are bad people in the world. Bad people who will cause you real harm if you happen to stumble across them or grab their attention. I've never been one to trust the good nature of other people as I've had too many bad experiences in the past, so I always carry a gun. It's the only real way to give yourself an edge, but you can't just buy the gun and hope for the best. Invest in professional classes and learn how to shoot straight and accurately no matter what the situation, and you'll be far better prepared than any would-be mugger can handle.
A good knife
Much like your gun, a knife is a great tool for self defense as it's almost as intimidating. But again, you need to know how to wield it, so take a class in Filipino Martial Arts and learn how to really use a knife in a fight. But I'm not just focused on self defense. In a SHTF environment a good knife can be used for anything from jimmying open a door, to cutting down some branches to form a shelter. Pick a model that's strong enough to hold up against your abuse, but not so large it's unsafe to use.
A cigarette lighter
Never, ever go anywhere without a lighter. Even just a cheap one from the gas station. I've been caught out in a couple of situations where it's taken more than a few hours to get a fire going by hand. It is not fun. With a lighter, I would have had a fire roaring in about 5 minutes. It just makes it so much easier to get a fire going, and when they're like a dollar each there's no excuse not to have a lighter on you. And in the car. And in your office desk. In fact, buy like 10 and spread them around (just make sure to keep them out of reach of any kids). Because on that one day when you need a flame quickly, you'll thank me.
A good flashlight
Of course I've always got the light on my smartphone, but I prefer having a flashlight handy so I'm not wasting the battery of my tiny computer just to see where I'm walking at night. We've got a great model in the shop
that doubles as an extendable baton, giving you an added layer of protection when you may need it most. I prefer the white light models as I like the sharp brightness, but pick the one you prefer to use and keep it on you so you'll always stay safe.
One of the handiest things you can learn to use is your smartphone. There's an app for almost anything, and in an emergency you can use it to connect to the internet, send an SMS or make a call, or tap into the GPS features for location and geo-tracking. I've downloaded so many guides on mine the space is almost full (again), but it just amazes me the amount of knowledge we've got at our fingertips. When I was a kid this kind of technology was just unheard of. Make use of it, and ensure you've got a good base of the fundamentals of survival that you can learn from when you may need it most.
Cash is indeed king, and I've been caught out a couple of times when I was travelling abroad and things just didn't work. We've got it pretty lucky here in the United States, but if the grid ever were to fail, most people are in for a rude shock. Your credit card will stop working. It'll be too late to withdraw cash. The general public is going to be screwed. But not me. I've always got a hidden stash of a couple of hundred dollars on me, so if I find myself in a bind, I can just grab this cash to get me out. Perhaps it's a cab ride to a safer location, or backup should I get pick-pocketed (or mugged) and lose my wallet. Never, ever leave home without a little spare cash.
A backup of my contacts
Once the grid goes down it won't be long before electronics start to fail, if the EMP that went off hasn't destroyed them already. One of the easiest preps you can do today is to make a list of all your important contact numbers, laminate it and keep it in your wallet. That way, you'll never have to remember the number, and you'll be able to call and check in at home from any phone.
Now I used to carry a leatherman with me at all times, but after a couple of years I found that it wasn't really practical. For the space it took up the amount of times it came in handy were few and far between. Now I simply tuck the rescuecard into my wallet
, it's thin enough to carry everywhere without causing a whole lot of fuss, and has 16 different uses. Bargain. So there you have it. The items you'll find either in my pockets or on my person 99 percent of the time. What have I missed, or is there anything else you would recommend?