Priorities.

So Tam’s post about how flashlights (and other lights too) are really, really handy for keeping out of legal trouble got me thinking…

If you told me to prioritize all the gear I have on me day in, day out, from most-important to least important, it would look like this.

Phone
Because the modern smartphone can do so many things and because communication is so vital, that’s my #1 thing to carry every day.

A Bright Flashlight
Look, there is just no excuse not to have at least 100 lumens on you at any given moment. There’s just not, not when a Streamlight Microstream or Coast HP1 are so cheap, and Li-Ion batteries can be used to goose up their output even more.

Knife
A folding knife is just too useful not to carry. Are they the most effective self-defensive blade out there? Sorta. There’s other options, though, that we’ll get to later.

OC Spray
Need something that’s in-between harsh language and lethal force? Well, here it is! The number of times that a blast of spicy treats is the solution to your problems far, FAR outweighs the number of times that 124gr hollow points solve the problem.

Tourniquet / Trauma kit
I’ve seen exactly one gunshot victim in my life, but I’ve been the 1st person on the scene of at least a half-dozen horrendous car wrecks. Carry a tourniquet, because the life you save may be your own.

Pistol
Carrying a gun to make you “feel safe” is like carrying a guitar to make you feel like a musician. If you carry, know how to use your gun, and know when you can and can’t use it to defend a life.

Centerline Knife
ECQC and this knife defence class both taught me that deploying a folding knife in a close quarters tussle will be theoretical at best. I carry an SOG Mini Instinct on my belt, but I’m looking around for alternatives.

Spare Ammo
John Corriea says that after watching 10,000 gunfights, he’s never seen a civilian have to reload. Pretty much the only reason I carry a spare mag is because my Shield holds 9+1; when I carry my PO7, I really don’t need more than the 16+1 rounds it brings to the fight.

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  1. Couldn’t agree more on carrying a centerline fixed blade – folders are fine for chores, but bad for fighting. I’d give the ShivWorks Clinch Pick a try if you haven’t already.

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