If you're reading this post, you likely carry a handgun for self-defense, and I have a question for you.
What do you carry daily in addition to your everyday carry (EDC) concealed carry handgun?
On a recent episode of the Concealed Carry Podcast, Riley asked me a series of questions in a rapid-fire session. One question asked was:
Rank the following in order of priority for EDC
- Spare Magazine
- Pepper Spray
- Fixed Blade Knife
The way I thought of the question is that in addition to my gun (and appropriate belt, of course), if I could only carry one additional item, what would it be.
Have you ever thought about this question? I had only a brief moment to respond and explain my answer. But I thought it couldn't hurt to expand just a bit on my reasoning for how I ranked the 4 items.
First, Pepper Spray:
I had some trouble choosing which item to rank as number one. It is close, but I'm going with pepper spray as my first choice.
Pepper spray isn't the solution for every incident requiring a less-lethal option. However, pepper spray gives us AN option when the gun isn't the appropriate tool for the job.
I get the downsides. Pepper spray isn't immediately incapacitating, it must be deployed in relative proximity to the threat, and there is potential for cross-contamination. And not everyone is affected the same way when exposed to the substance.
All these don't really outweigh the benefits.
Pepper spray can buy us a moment to create distance and increase our options from there. And although many people can continue to fight through its effects, it may deter an assault from those just looking for the easiest victim. Additionally, even if only partially effective, pepper spray can diminish an attack's effectiveness or even duration.
Additionally, pepper spray isn't bulky or heavy, and you don't need a holster or special equipment to bring it with you daily. So this option from Sabre is an excellent daily-carry option.
A Tourniquet was the item I struggled with, nearly choosing for the number one spot. However, ultimately I listed it as number 2 in the list of 4.
Given the options I had, I felt most would likely use pepper spray before a tourniquet. However, had the item been an IFAK, I might very well flip one and two on my list.
Tourniquets are vitally important when you need them. I believe we have moved out of the days of legend when applying a tourniquet would surely lead to an amputated limb.
Instead, first responders and trauma surgeons are seeing first-hand the benefits of the life-saving effects of using a tourniquet. And these applications are not overseas in military combat, but rather everyday citizens who are stepping up at the right time, with the right gear and the knowledge to apply the device.
There are many different styles to choose from, but tourniquets like the SOF-T are compact and easy to use. In addition, a multi-use item like the SWAT T is compact and deployable in several situations.
Third, a Fixed Blade Knife:
I chose a fixed blade knife for number three. I reason that a fixed blade is a good self-defense tool in some instances where deadly force is necessary, but the gun isn't accessible or the best tool for the situation.
The fixed bladed knife requires that you receive formal training on how to deploy it correctly. Sure, you may be able to pick up any old knife and slash your way out of a deadly force situation.
However, bringing a deadly-force instrument into a fight without a basic understanding of when and how to use it could lead to the bad guy turning it against the owner.
In a pinch, you can use a fixed blade knife for purposes other than self-defense. While a folding knife would be more suitable, a fixed blade knife opens up options in survival situations, not just self-defense.
The fact that I chose spare magazine last may come as a surprise to some. I will caveat this rank by saying that a low-capacity, everyday carry (EDC) gun may cause me to bump this up to spot 3.
I carry a gun with a 15-round capacity, 7 rounds more than what I consider the minimum number of rounds I would carry for my EDC. However, it doesn't mean I don't think 15 rounds is all that anyone ever needs. Therefore, at times take a spare 15 round magazine. Part of my decision on when I grab an extra magazine has more to do with my role than if a specific location is “more or less dangerous.”
When serving on a security team, my role is slightly different from simply being a citizen defender. Not that I assume the role of a police officer, by any means. However, retreat may present itself as an option for an individual self-defense incident. But, being tasked with providing security and filling the gap until law enforcement arrives, I may not have this option.
For this reason, I choose to grab a spare. But, this extra mag is in addition to and not at the expense of other gear. When I carry a spare mag, I use this universal carrier from Pitbull Tactical. It is concealable and provides good retention.
Well, there you have it. The way I ranked those four items for what I would carry in addition to your EDC gun.
What do you guys think? What would you change, and what is your reasoning?
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