What Do You Carry?

April 11, 2018 By Dave Young (YoungBuckDave)

What do you carry? It's a simple question really. What do you carry on a regular basis during everyday life? This simple question is most often overlooked by many, and some do not even think about why they carry the things they do on a daily basis. For most people, it's just a reaction without giving any thought to the subject. However, for some people it is a pre-planned thought process with tools that have a specific use. These items may consist of things to protect themselves or others, simple medical equipment to aid in stabilizing someone until advanced care arrives, or items that assist them in their daily job. Some of the uses of these items are obvious while others are not. Some also serve a dual purpose. I'm going to break down some of the items I carry daily. Other items are just another option to have in various situations.

My Everyday Carry Items

The first item I am going to talk about is very obvious, and its intended use is straight forward. That item is a handgun. I carry one on almost a daily basis and it serves one function; that is to protect me and anyone else I may be with, along with others around me, if an event should arise that causes me to deploy it, like an active shooter situation. I just want to be VERY clear though. This is a last resort. I have been training in martial arts, boxing, jiu-jitsu, wrestling, Muay Thai, Shootfighting, and Kenpo Karate for 24 years and am confident that I can defend myself in most situations without having to use a firearm. The fact is, if you choose to carry and possibly deploy a firearm, you then must assume the personal responsibility of being accountable for each round discharged. To make that happen, you need to train regularly with the handgun you choose to carry on a daily basis. I personally have chosen the Heckler & Koch VP9LE which is chambered in 9MM and can hold 15rds in a magazine or 20rds in an extended magazine. I personally choose to load my magazines with 147gr Speer Gold Dots. Along with carrying my handgun, I frequently carry a spare magazine for the sole purpose of being prepared. We all know how "Murphy's Law" loves to show its ugly face in the worst of situations, so carrying a spare magazine, in my opinion, helps lower the chances of something going wrong whether it be a complete magazine failure or a spring breaking in my primary magazine.

Another item that I carry on a regular basis is a pocket knife, which has many uses. A good quality knife can be carried in someone's pocket and is easily accessible, if needed. A knife can most obviously help you cut rope, boxes, etc. but can also be used as a rescue tool. It can help cut a seat belt if someone needs to be extricated from a car accident so that first aid can be administered. It can also be used to get yourself out of your vehicle, if necessary. Finally, a knife can be used as self-defense in a worst-case situation.

Two other items I find myself carrying, that also serve multiple roles, are a flashlight and a pen. A flashlight can obviously help someone see if additional light is needed to fix something, or they need to signal for help, or to help navigate with greater visibility to travel from point A to point B. What most people don't realize is that a flashlight can also serve as a defensive tool. High lumen flashlights can be extremely disorienting if shone in someone's face when it's dark outside. This disorientation can provide you with crucial seconds to get yourself away from a possible attacker without having to apply lethal force. The second item, a pen, also serves multiple roles. The obvious one being that it provides you with a tool to write something down. Some pens can also be used as a rescue tool as well. A rescue tool? Yes, you read that right a rescue tool. Some pens feature a window punch on the tip that can be used to rescue someone or yourself from a car by shattering the window, so you can exit the vehicle when the door cannot be opened. A pen can also be used as a defensive tool. If thrust into certain areas of the body, a simple pen can stop and possibly neutralize an attacker at close range. Another great thing about both the flashlight and pen is that they can be legally carried on an airplane while still providing effective tools with which to protect yourself.

The last two items are tools that can also be easily carried, but let's talk about them one at a time. The first one is a tourniquet. I have started to carry this small item in the past few years ever since I graduated from EMT school. Applying a tourniquet during an accident can help stop excessive blood flow until more advanced care arrives. The last item takes up no physical room at all and may sound elementary, and that is to carry situational awareness with you everywhere. What I mean by situational awareness is to just be aware of your surroundings. The sad fact of the matter is, with the times we live in today, you can never be too prepared. It is wise to be aware of the people that are around you, their actions, and how they are carrying themselves. Be aware of all entrances and exits whenever you go into an establishment. Taking the time to realize these little things can greatly increase your chances of surviving a possibly dangerous situation, such as an active shooter or even a fire. I hope by reading this article it will help shed some light on some of the items you choose to carry on a daily basis.

I am a true believer in the endless capabilities of the Breachpen and, if I was a member of a tactical team, I would, without a doubt, be carrying at least three on my kit during all operations. Being a former firefighter and EMT I also see the endless possibilities for its rescue capabilities as well. Time is critical in the world of law enforcement, military operations, as well as first responders and EVERY SECOND COUNTS! The Breachpen was tested in the field by Brian Cole the CEO who was a former USAF PJ and resulted in being a crucial part of his kit for operations. I was convinced of the true game changing capabilities of this tool after my own firsthand experience in seeing how easily it can be used, its compact size, and its endless capabilities. Because of these reasons, we are proud that Breachpen had joined forces with GTI to become a part of our Asset Trading Program (ATP). Now agencies can trade in their surplus equipment or forfeited/seized assets in exchange for Breachpens or training provided by GTI.