While I’m not necessarily a “EDC cultist” who obsesses over the tiniest optimizations and the bleeding edge of pocket junk in an effort to “streamline” what and how I carry things day to day, there was definitely a certain amount of judicious thought that I put into the decision making process related to what I carry.
What, how and where you choose to carry different items directly impacts your ability to effectively conceal a weapon, something that I’m working on an article about on it’s own. This article wont necessarily touch on that subject matter, but will serve more as a reference and context for future work as well as a resource for those who are simply curious what someone like me carries.
The watch is a Japanese domestic variant of the GW-M5610. It receives atomic time and is solar rechargeable. I ended up throwing a set of bull bars on it for some extra protection, but it’s just fine without them as well. The one feature I do regret going for is the negative display. The automatic backlight is certainly helpful, but during nighttime, the display is unreadable without illumination. I was considering switching the polarization film to give the watch a positive display, but I’ve just never found sufficient motivation to do it.
When I was active duty, I used either the Marathon GPM or a Seiko SNK805. I have no real desire to manually wind my watch every day so I also have no real desire to go back to the GPM. Neat watch, it was free and it had tritium vials at each number and in the hands, but I’d rather have an automatic. The Seiko SNK805 served me well until it was stolen. Taking a patient’s pulse with a digital watch generally sucks; so I’ll probably pick up the black face variant of the Seiko, the SNK809, to replace the Casio at some point in the future.
A wallet is a wallet. Not really that much to say about it. It carries ID cards, cash and sits in a back pocket. I think I bought it at a gun range for $20. I’m usually never without earbuds, even if 3.5mm stereo jacks are, much to my dismay, increasingly absent from most new production cell phones.
POM Pepper spray is almost always chilling in a pocket or clipped to a waistband. It’s a great non-lethal self defense tool that has a large “oops” margin. It can be carried most anywhere except courthouses and jails, and has the benefit of being very excusable if you happen to suddenly find yourself somewhere were a firearm is prohibited. I stick to either Sabre Red or POM and avoid gel based sprays and foggers in favor of a stream based spray. If I’m going to carry a lethal force tool, I don’t see how it’d be responsible to not provide myself a non-lethal alternative.
My “daily carry” light is a relatively simple, single AAA Streamlight ProTac. It was cheap enough for not to cry when I inevitably loose it and small enough to regularly stuff into the side of a back pocket. There’s really not much to say about it. You can toggle between high and low output modes or a strobe mode that I never use. Some people like to carry full sized, 18650 powered, Modlite PLHv2 flashlights as a “defense” flashlight. I’m sure that a flashlight that powerful is certainly useful for those applications, but it’s far too large of a flashlight for me to reasonably carry and it’s far too bright to be reasonably useful for me. I particularly don’t “get” carrying the PLHv2 as a utility flashlight when you consider it has only two possible states, off or eye-searing lightsaber. A small penlight fits my use case perfectly while a larger, brighter flashlight would raise questions and screams that you’re possibly carrying a gun. My flashlight is a tool, Cell phones are restricted occupationally and this fits the small niche that most people use their camera flash for.
As far as knives go, I usually stick to either my Victorinox Tinker or the Kershaw Leek. I always find some reason to use a screwdriver to pry on something, open equipment or cut boxes with .I’ve had the Swiss army knife for well over a decade. It’s served me well so far and I haven’t ever found a reason to replace it. For for more business causal look I usually switch to the Leek. It’s a simple, metal body, assisted opening liner-lock that looks both inoffensive and innocuous. It’s a tool rather than a weapon and it works with a wide variety of wardrobe choices.
Up until recently I carried a Glock 43 with a +1 magazine extension. Already a great pistol, the addition of a Striker Control Device brings it a close-to-perfect AIWB carry gun that competes well with the Walther PPS M1. Late last year I made the jump to a Sig P365. As far as handguns go, it’s a purely functional option. Overall it conceals better than the 43 while having a higher capacity using factory flush-fit magazines. (The Glock 43 is 6+1 while the P365 is 10+1)
Weather, cover garments and overall situation permitting, I’ll sometimes switch to a compact doublestack. Presently, I’ve been wrangling with the 4″ Walther PDP Compact. The story of my issues with the handgun probably deserves it’s own post (forthcoming), but for the moment, it appears that they’ve been resolved. The PDP is Walther’s newest update of the P99/PPQ design and allows for out of the box support for slide mounted optics. The trigger is rather nice and it’s very comfortable in the hand. It’s nowhere near as concealable as the P365 and I don’t often carry it during the summer months or under closer fitting clothing. If Safariland ever gets around to releasing an ALS holster for it, it’ll probably take the place of my Roland-esque G19.
The PHLster Pro series holster and Ascent magazine pouch
My main, go-to, pocket knives are the Victorinox Tinker and the Kershaw Leek; but when I’m expecting heavier use, I usually opt for the Spyderco Delica. It’s a simple lightwieght lock-back with plastic scales. The Spyderco P’Kal and ShivWorks Clinch Pick are almost exclusively fighting implements rather than tools. The P’Kal can certainly be used as a traditional pocket knife, but the wave opener has a tendency to deploy the blade rather dramatically. I don’t find myself carrying the P’Kal often anymore.