Concealed Carry Gear: 5 Essentials


When you make the commitment to concealed carry a defensive handgun, support gear is an important consideration.

You cannot simply load the handgun and stick it in your belt, although some do. You are carrying a handgun in order to be prepared for an emergency.

This means back-up gear. If the hammer is your only tool, every problem looks like a nail, and self-defense scenarios are unlimited.

Some of the tools you may choose to deploy may be used in conjunction with the handgun.

These include spare ammunition and gun-mounted combat lights. Other tools you may need include a standalone flashlight and a folding knife.

Let’s look at my top five things you should always carry.

1. Spare Ammunition

If you carry a revolver, then you should carry a reload in a carrier, or in a speedloader in a carrier.

If you deploy a self-loading pistol, a spare magazine must be carried as well. Don’t drop the magazine in a pocket.

Lint, change or bric-a-brac may invade the magazine and cause a jam.

Most defense shootings are solved within two to three rounds, but all are not, and after the fight, we will wish to reload.

There are so many take-over gangs and multiple offenders during assaults, we just may not get the job done with the ammo in the gun.

Shooting accurately is recommended, but so is carrying spare ammunition. The VersaCarry carrier is light and thin.

Galco offers both single and double carriers and an inside-the-waistband version as well.

spare handgun magazines in magazine carriers for concealed carry
The Galco inside-the-waistband magazine carrier is on the left, the VersaCarry single magazine carrier on the right.

2. Folding Knife

If you carry a handgun, you should also carry a knife. Gun grab attempts are fairly common.

As a rule, these gun grabs originate from the rear or side.

The knife should be carried so that it may be deployed quickly. The knife should feature a strong lock that passes a rap on the table test.

You do not want to use a knife that will collapse under pressure.

Practice quickly deploying the knife and running a defensive slash across the gungrabber’s arm. Some knives are useful as blunt strikers as well.

Don’t confuse the effectiveness of a folder with a true combat knife.

They don’t have the reach or penetration of a true dagger, but they will get a lot done if used correctly.

Take a look at Bear and Sons for effective, but affordable, edged weapons. Here is an article with other options.

folding pocket knife on grey background
A credible defense against an assailant may be mounted with the Bear and Sons folder.

3. Illumination

I am not as sold on a gun-mounted combat light as some.

They have more utility in institutional use than in personal defense, although for home defense, they have merit.

I like to carry a separate light like the Surefire Stiletto. Easily carried and with real illumination despite its small size, the Stiletto is quite a tool.

If you need to take a quick peek in the back seat of the van to be certain a carjacker isn’t waiting for you or illuminate a dark corner of the parking lot, you may do so without drawing a pistol.

three different flashlights on white background
Illumination is important! The Surefire Stiletto, left, is the author’s favored EDC light. 

4. A Less-Lethal Option

A blunt striking force multiplier is a great idea. All problems do not demand lethal force. For many of us, pepper gas is a solution.

For those with training, a blunt striker such as a Kubotan is a good choice.

In some cases, a knife may be used a blunt striker if the mass if sufficient.

self-defense pen for concealed carry
Non-lethal choices are important. The gun should never be the only choice.

5. Cell Phone

Rather hilariously, my wife left her cell phone at home and could not call my grandson during a lunch run for the young fellow.

She managed to set off an alarm on the gate at his workplace. Not having communication can become more serious.

Set 911 on speed dial and practice quickly calling in. Rapid communication can be a lifesaver.

woman dialing cell phone on city street
Having a cell phone on you is important in case an emergency should arise.

Conclusion: Essential EDC Gear

Carefully consider the load you carry on the belt.

Depending on the weather and the covering garment, a shoulder holster may help spread weight about.

A spare magazine carrier may be light and flat and balance the spare gun load well.

The holster must angle the handgun into the draw and allow quick access. Other gear should be accessible as well.

The knife may be drawn quickly under stress. The cell phone not so much, but you should have 911 on speed dial.

When you concealed carry, think ahead and be prepared.                              

What concealed carry items do you carry every day? Let us know in the comments section below!

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