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Archive for the category “Planning”

EDC as a Lifestyle

I was reviewing my blog, and as it turns out, in the years I’ve been writing this, I’ve never done a post on my everyday carry. This seems strange to me, since most of it hasn’t changed in a long time.

To start with, I’ve carried a pocket knife for as long as I can remember. Starting in about the 7th grade, I carried a Boy Scout version Swiss Army knife, up until about the time I graduated from high school. Yes, in those days we could carry a knife with no comment from anyone at school. I even had a teacher borrow mine once or twice.

I changed knives in college, and then went back to the Swiss Army knife you see above, in 1992.

I added the Leatherman tool a few years ago after I received it as a gift. I particularly like it because it’s got tools I can use, like pliers and a file. But the thing I like best is that it doesn’t have a blade, so the TSA lets me take it on an airplane, and so when I travel without checking bags, I’ve got something, at least.

In the same vein, I’ve carried a flashlight for my whole career. As a chemical engineer, there are many times every day when I needed to be able to see something in a shadow or in the dark, and I started carrying an explosion proof flashlight. I still do, only this one is 200 lumens, and uses AA batteries. I keep about 6 rechargeable batteries in rotation, and when the last charged set of 2 go in, the other 4 go in the charger overnight. When I travel, I always carry a spare set of batteries, and I keep a set of 4 in the Get Home Bag.

Next is my wallet. All I carry in there is my various ID – driver’s license, Weapons Carry License, insurance cards, and the like – and my credit cards, and a few business cards. I haven’t carried cash in my wallet since I was in college, and when I do I carry it in a different pocket than the wallet. This has to do with avoiding pickpockets.

In fact, I always carry these things in certain pockets, for a reason. Here’s where:

Right front: cell phone, knives, car keys, cash, and a pen.

Left front: wallet, flashlight.

Left rear: a handkerchief.

Note I don’t carry my wallet in a back pocket, so I can avoid pickpockets. I also carry my wallet on the left side, so if I’m asked by a policeman for my ID, I’m not reaching on the same as my pistol.

I also carry my flashlight in my left pocket, so I can draw it and go to a Harries or other flashlight hold.

On a similar note, in my car I keep my insurance card and registration in a folder on the back of the driver’s side sun visor, since I can’t promise that I haven’t just been to the post office, which would mean my pistol is in the glove box. Again, no sense drawing attention to anything I don’t have to.

Now we get to the most recent addition – a pistol. In the summer I carry Liberty, my G19, IWB at 3 o’clock.

In the winter I mostly carry Bruce, my G17, on my belt OWB at 3 o’clock, with an open shirt or jacket or fleece vest over it.

Year round I carry a G17 magazine with a plus-2 extender on my left side at 3 o’clock.

So there you have it. Nothing that isn’t part of my life, for quite a while.

Having said that . . .

I will likely add a medical pack in the near future, now that Linoge has shown how to put it all in a cell phone case. Stay tuned.

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P-Mags – Questions for my Readers 

I recently got to spend some time with an experienced Army sergeant, who has spent his share of time in harm’s way. When we were visiting, he noticed my P-Mag supply, and asked if they were all I used.

Naturally I was concerned that a professional would question this, in much the same way if my doctor were over, and questioned my brand of first aid products; they must have a good reason.

As it turns out, he did. He told me that, in fact, he had used them quite a bit, exclusively in fact, for quite a while. He liked a lot of things about them – grip and texture, weight, durability – but he eventually stopped, due to one reason. After a long time carrying them, they started misfeeding, and the followers got hung. He found out they had gotten full of sand, and that was causing the problems. So, since he could, he just switched over to the Army issued metal mags, and had no problems thereafter.

So, that got me thinking: should I get rid of mine and switch?

But before I tell about that I thought I would ask you, O Reader: what is your experience with P-Mags? Please share, and I will continue next week.

Be Prepared, Part 12 – Keeping the Get Home Bag Up to Date

Be Prepared, Part 2 - Getting Home

 

This past Sunday was beautiful here in Kennesaw, and I took the opportunity to clean out and check our Get Home Bag. In this case, I took heed of some family changes in the last couple of years that have changed the needs of the bag somewhat.

First, my wife normally is the one away from home, although certainly on a family trip we would all be involved. In any case, we both went through it and agreed on what to include.

Second, we took into account last year’s snow storm, and what my wife might want to use from the bag.

Here is what we have in the bag, with the changes indicated in bold:

  • Granola bars (we are going to find some energy bars or fruit bars as well)
  • Water
  • Change of clothes (2 shirts, sweat pants, and 2 pairs of socks )
  • Work gloves
  • Ball cap and sock cap and woman’s ear covers
  • Poncho
  • Shoelaces
  • Bandana and shemagh 
  • Rubber jar opener (to make a makeshift sink drain plug if needed)
  • Cell phone battery charger
  • AA Batteries
  • LED flashlight
  • Light sticks
  • Ammo
  • Lighter
  • Candles
  • Purel
  • Germicidal wipes
  • Bedroll and fleece blanket
  • A towel
  • Space blanket
  • Hand Warmers
  • Entrenching tool
  • Multitool
  • Trash bags
  • Map
  • Compass
  • Whistle
  • Pen & paper
  • Rope
  • Drugs – Aspirin, Immodium, Sudafed, Antacids

In addition, I have a first aid kit and fire extinguisher that would be added.

Of course, we did the usual maintenance – fluffing the blankets and towels, and replacing the granola bars.

Now we are all set for the winter to come!

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Epilogue:

See other GHB posts from Linoge and Erin.  Good stuff.

 

Why You Need to Have Rules of Engagement

In June of this year, two nutjobs walked into a pizza restaurant in Las Vegas, and shot the place up, and killed two police officers, Alyn Beck and Igor Soldo. (I will not use the names or likenesses of the killers, as you know.)

They then proceeded to Wal-Mart, and opened fire there as well. There, Joseph Wilcox, a licensed concealed firearms carrier, decided to intervene, and was killed.

Caleb Giddings posted an editorial on GunNuts shortly afterward about lessons we can learn from this shooting. In it, he points out that, while Wilcox is to be commended for making the tough decision to get involved, he had no moral duty to do so.

Later, Miguel at Gun Free Zone offered his view on incident:

The question remains: what would you do if you see an active shooting situation and you are not in immediate danger? Do you run to safety or do you engage? You decide, I can’t tell you what to do.  I can only tell you what I will do: I will engage if I can.

Miguel likens an active shooter incident to a First Responder incident, where we should offer medical attention to anyone who is injured.

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Then, last week, armed robbers tried to hold up a bar in Texas at closing time, and 2 of them were shot dead by what everyone is calling a hero.

I can’t use this man’s name, as no one knows for sure who this hero was, because he left the scene. Why? Because, unlike in Georgia, carrying a gun in a bar in Texas, licensed or not, is a felony. And he, understandably, did not want to go to jail.

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These incidents highlight something we all need to give serious thought to: everyone who owns a gun, whether they carry or not, needs to have Rules of Engagement – a set of guidelines of what you would do when confronted by various situations. The scenarios need to range from home invasion to active shooters to civil unrest.

To me it isn’t enough to just vaguely think about these things. We ought to actually list them out, and write out what our response would be. Knowing and following these rules then becomes part of your training, so that you know what you are going to do, just like whether you will perform a tactical reload or not, or whether you will reholster or not.

I did this, several years ago, and I have shared this with my family. That way, if they happen to be with me when such an incident occurs, they will know how I am going to act, and they will know how to act themselves, in a way that doesn’t get them hurt.

For instance, everyone in my family knows that when we go out to dinner, I get a seat facing the door. If we are in a booth, I get to sit on the end. These should be obvious, but we discussed them nevertheless. Yes, they can become a humorous item at times, but they still get followed.

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This leads me to the real topic of this post, which is that my Rules of Engagement differ from Caleb’s and Miguel’s, because unless I or my family or those I am tasked to protect are threatened, I won’t engage. I am not here to be a hero, and if you are not my family or in my care, I am not here for you.

On the other hand, I am willing to do whatever it takes to protect my family. When it was illegal to carry in restaurants or bars in Georgia, that meant I was willing to go to jail to save them, if I had to.

I still am, because their lives are worth more to me that freedom. And, if by my actions I can show how silly some law is, and it gets changed, all the better. I hope lawmakers in Texas will see that the laws prohibiting carry in bars did nothing to dissuade the robbers, so they need to be changed.

I can list a myriad of reasons for my rules, but the best one, sadly, is the reason Joseph Wilcox died in Wal-Mart – Uncertainty. He engaged a target, not knowing there was another, and that target killed him.

I am going to limit my uncertainty. I am willing to allow it in order to defend myself or my family, but beyond that, no.

That, of course, is something you will need to decide for yourself.

 

 

 

 

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