09 May 2019

Every Day Carry Suggestions

 
EVERY DAY CARRY (EDC) ITEMS
from SouthwestShootingAuthority.com


Like all other suggestion lists, EDC suggestions abound and are wide and varied. The only thing I will suggest to you is that you think long and hard about what you have on you, physically on you or very near you that will help you survive the first hours of a disaster or prevail in the event of a personal attack. I don't mean what you may have in a closet in the other room or downstairs in the car. I mean ON you, right now. I will bend slightly and allow a purse or briefcase that is within arm's reach at all times. Disasters frequently come with little or no warning. They may come from an unexpected direction. You may not be able to get to that closet or down to the car. What I ask people in my classes is what do you have on you at any given moment during the day, if you were to literally have to jump through the window or dash out the nearest doorway in the event of a disaster, that will help get you to a place of safety? Sadly, all too often, the answer is virtually nothing. Below, I will tell you what I carry on me every waking moment of my, 365 days a year. No exceptions.

My EDC, counting my boots and clothing, weighs 13 pounds. Here's the list in no particular order...
  • At least one good quality knife is imperative and non-negotiable. I carry 3; a folding, 3-bladed utility knife that I probably use 100 times a day, a Leatherman SuperTool 300 that saves me countless trips to the toolbox in my truck and a small, 3-bladed penknife that is surgically sharp. The penknife has two smaller blades that work well for opening low security locks like cabinets, toolboxes, etc. I have no desire to open any if these things for illegal purposes but during a disaster, it could be a useful skill for finding needed supplies and materials like 1st aid supplies, bedding, food or other potentially lifesaving items.
  • Chapstick – good for mild burns and protecting minor wounds, helping to start fires, quieting noisy metal-to-metal squeaks in your gear, lubricating threads and it even soothes chapped elbows, knuckles and lips!
  • A P-38 can opener on my keyring. Good for prying off lids, etc; use as a screwdriver and opening cans.
  • A small, good quality, one cell flashlight and extra battery. The reason I say one cell is because batteries die at the most inopportune times and it is more convenient to carry only one spare and it takes less time to change it in an emergency. I also carry a little key fob flashlight. It is about the size of a quarter and has a red led light. I carry it for those few times that I may need a subdued, low intensity light.
  • Earplugs - How many times have you been inadvertently placed in a situation where there was uncomfortable noise like maybe from machines, heavy equipment, music or shooting?
  • Small disposable lighter. This one really needs no explanation. 
  •  A small punch. I carry a Glock punch. Lots of utilitarian uses not only involving firearms but for small, incidental tasks, not necessarily disaster-related.
  • A watch. This may sound silly as many people, like myself, are never without their watch. Others say that they can simply look at their phone if they want to see what time it is and that's ok for normal, day-to-day use. However, during a disaster, it is more likely that you will lose track of your phone than something that is strapped to your wrist. Why is the ability to tell time so important? Determining pulse rate, accurately reporting events and sightings, meeting up with family members, etc.
  • Smart phone - barring an EMP, the smart phone can have many uses in an emergency even if the phone system is down or you are out of the service area. Camera, compass and maps to name a few.
  • Pen - take notes and leave messages.
  •  A quart-size Ziplock bag to protect phone and wallet in case of heavy rain or a water crossing.
  • Finish up with a good quality small to medium sized handgun and extra magazine for self-defense.
  • Training!
  • Training!!
  • Training!!!
How do I carry all this stuff comfortably? Partly because I wear 511 Tactical shirts or equivalent every day of my life. These shirts have large cargo pockets secreted behind the conventional breast pockets where I carry some of the smaller items. Everything else goes in pants pockets or on my belt. It has never been uncomfortable for me. In fact, the comfort that I get from knowing that I have done everything that I can  reasonably do to be as prepared as possible negates any inconvenience that any of this may cause. 

Your mileage may vary but that's what I do...ALWAYS!



In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (Desertscout)

Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona

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08 May 2019

PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 72-HR. KIT (updated)

 
PURPOSE AND CONTENTS OF THE PERSONAL 72-HR. KIT
from Southwest Shooting Authority


In turbulent times, we may be forced to leave our homes temporarily for a few days. Depending on circumstances, we may have to leave immediately at any time during the day or night and having the bare essentials at hand and ready to go at a moment’s notice may mean the difference between life or death to you and your loved ones. 

We see all manner of lists out there that are suggested as necessary for a 72 hour kit. Many of these are unrealistically elaborate, expensive and heavy. Please bear in mind that a 72 hr. kit should be something that you can carry comfortably if you have to evacuate on foot and should contain only a minimal amount of items. All a healthy adult needs to SURVIVE comfortably for 72 hours is a change of clothes, a handful of Granola bars and a couple gallons of water. Anything beyond this should be considered carefully. Understanding that the possibility may exist for a longer stay than planned, here are a few suggestions for your kit. Keeping it minimal may even allow you to carry enough supplies for 96 hours or more instead of 72.

Two of the most important things to consider first, are water and a comfortable means of carrying your supplies. A durable, comfortable backpack is certainly the best choice for our personal kit and some families may want to include a medium sized duffle-bag for a certain amount of family items or things for the young or old that they cannot carry for themselves. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay at or near your home, you should have plenty of water put away. If you have to leave on foot, you should make plans to carry at least enough for one day in your pack as 2-3 gallons of water would be too heavy for most people to carry along with the rest of their gear. Another option is to carry a water purification system or tablets to purify irrigation or rain water. Camelbak and HydraStorm make some outstanding packs of various sizes with built-in water bladders. There are military/law enforcement models and recreational models. The military versions are extremely well built and heavy duty but more expensive than the recreational models. An adult should be able to put everything needed in a pack with a cargo capacity of around 1800 to 2100 cubic inches. Children should have packs of from 750 to 1200 cubic inches depending on age and build. Naturally, the adults will have to carry a certain amount of the children’s gear but the children should be able to carry quite a bit of their own gear. It is essential that families plan training outings of increasingly longer hikes at least monthly with increasingly heavier packs to be certain that all members are properly prepared.

The following is a list of suggested items that should be included in your personal kit.

Enough food to keep you reasonably comfortable, but not necessarily full, for 3 days. The average adult should be able to easily get by on 2 MRE’s a day for 3 days. The more hardy and children may get by on one. The MRE’s should be stripped of non-essential weight by removing anything that you won’t eat or can’t use. Home-made meals can be a simple as Spam, jerky, dried fruit, crackers and Granola bars or something similar as long as it provides enough carbohydrates and protein to provide the energy to do whatever physical
tasks are required for your situation. Add some chocolate and hard candy.

One change of clothing with 2-3 pairs of socks and a change of underwear. Long johns, jacket, coat, knit cap or ball cap, depending on season. Add a couple of large plastic garbage bags to keep your equipment dry and to store clothing and other items in.

1-2 space blankets and a couple of disposable ponchos should be adequate for shelter and sleeping in moderate weather for most people but others may want to include a light-weight sleeping bag or a couple of blankets. Of course, additional provisions will have to be added for the very young, elderly and infirm.

Small first aid kit - Various sizes of Band-aids, surgical gloves, topical ointment, pain reliever (Motrin, Advil, etc.), hydrocortisone cream, eye wash, gauze and tape, sterile compresses, elastic bandage, Super Glue gel, suture kit, tweezers, antiseptic wipes, betadine or iodine and burn cream. Chapstick or small tube of Vaseline (numerous uses). Additional items can be added for individual needs such as diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, etc. but keep it reasonable.

A pair of goggles and a couple of N95 masks.

Personal hygiene items (chapstick, sunscreen, toothbrush and paste, comb, hand towel, wash cloth, bar soap, shampoo, feminine hygiene items, etc.)

Toilet paper and a few paper towels in a zip-lock bag.

A small notebook and a pencil.

Wrap-around sunglasses.

Small sewing kit to include various sizes of safety pins.

Waterproof matches and disposable lighter.

Good quality flashlight and extra batteries. Also, a couple of large candles may be helpful. Preferably beeswax candles.

GPS or compass.

Optics (compact binoculars or monocular)

25' of 5/16" or 3/8" nylon rope or mule tape and at least 25' of strong twine for securing additional items to your pack, building shelters, aiding in climbing walls or lowering your gear down an embankment, etc.

A well-made multi-tool such as Leatherman or Gerber.

Heavy duty non-folding knife and sharpening stone.

A pair of light work gloves

A pair of inexpensive FRS/GMRS or handheld ham radios and possibly a hand-held scanner

Handgun and/or short barreled shotgun and ammunition for personal defense.

The above list of supplies will be more than enough to keep a person alive, comfortable and healthy for 3 to 5 days. Those that have trained and practiced for such an emergency may survive much longer by supplementing their food supply by hunting or scavenging and obtaining water through other sources. This list will likely be modified for some individuals in a more hostile or tactical environment.

The event or series of events that cause us to have to rely on our emergency kits could very well be a situation that may last much more than 3 days. Our 72 hour kit is primarily designed to provide us with enough supplies to sustain us for the time that it takes for emergency services to get organized. THIS WILL BE AN EMERGENCY, NOT A VACATION! Public utilities and transportation may be shut down or interrupted. Be prepared to make do without phone service,  water, sewer and electricity. Stores, gas stations, schools and your job will likely be shut-down. Emergency services may be interrupted and hospitals full. It may also be prudent to seek training in first aid, land navigation, firearms use, edible plant recognition and ways to obtain water.

Long-term survival preparations are much different than what is listed above. Please don’t confuse the two and have a bunch of stuff that you can neither carry or use in 3 days as mobility may be essential.


In Liberty, Cope Reynolds (#Desertscout1)

Southwest Shooting Authority of Arizona
If you'd like to help support our efforts, you can do so by donating to The Shooting Bench by clicking the "DONATE" button below!
Listen to Cope live on The Shooting Bench Mon and Wed, 8 to 9pm Pacific/11pm to midnite Eastern and Friday, 8 to 10PM Pacific.
 "The Shooting Bench" Podcast: The Shooting Bench    

Colts and Kimbers are what you show your friends. 
GLOCKS are what you show your enemies!