You just received your concealed carry permit. That’s great, but you are not done yet. Just owning a gun and a concealed carry permit are not enough in today’s increasingly violent society. No self-defense scenario is the perfect brightly-lit alley where you can see your aggressor from a long distance away and have the chance to run away. It will more likely be in a dimly-lit place with more than one perpetrator and no good escape route. When the cards are on the table, you will want to have as much gear that will help you win the fight as possible. Continue reading this guide to some items you should strongly consider purchasing.
Holsters are one of the most important features of concealed carry. Apart from your gun and concealed carry permit, a quality gun holster is the most important item. Holsters keep your gun on you, protect them from accidental discharge, and conceal the weapon. There are many options available, from inside the waistband (IWB), to ankle holsters. Deciding what style of holster you want to purchase is a completely personal preference, though the most popular is IWB. There are many styles and levels of quality of holsters, and whichever one you choose is certainly going to serve you well. Remember, if you buy nothing else, buy a holster!
Spare Magazine(s) w/ Holder
There has never been someone who had to use their concealed carry weapon in a self-defense scenario and said that they wish they were carrying less ammunition. Spare magazines are absolutely essential in the age of microguns, where many single-stack pistols hold less than 10 rounds. You never know what kind of situation you will be exposed to, and it is absolutely better to be safe than sorry. Depending on the number of spare magazines you carry, you can find a magazine holder that suits your needs perfectly. Most magazine holders clip onto your belt or pants, so no extra effort is required to carry more ammunition.
Quality Gun Belt
A belt is a belt to most people. However, to concealed carry owners, a belt is like the glue that keeps everything together. Your belt will be holding your gun, spare magazines, and whatever other gear you have on it. You want a belt that is built tough and sturdy, so it will support your weapon and gear without fail every day. Not only do belts keep your gun and ammo secure, but it also provides comfort, as sagging belts can cause your carry rig to dig into your back, or even worse, cause your holster or gun to fall off.
This is often one of the most forgotten pieces of everyday carry gear. Flashlights are so important, not only for every day tasks you may need them for, but for emergency situations. The scary thing about self-defense scenarios is that one never knows when they will happen. It could be dark outside with very little lights, and you may not be able to see well. A bright flashlight will not only illuminate your threat, but more often than not, it will scare the would-be criminal away. In a pinch, you can even use a bright strobe feature to severely incapacitate someone without even needing to draw your gun. Most importantly, any object needs to be properly identified as a threat before drawing your gun. A flashlight gives you all of these benefits and weighs such a miniscule amount that you will forget you even have it, until you need it.
Everyone understands the versatility of a pocket knife. Whether it is an everyday task that needs done or a last-ditch self-defense weapon, your knife will be by your side. The best thing about knives is that they come in all styles and designs, allowing the user to determine exactly which knife suits their intended uses. Choose between fixed and folding blades, blade styles, and fit and finish, and you will be good to go. Hopefully this becomes something you carry every time you leave the house once you realize how useful a knife is.
Pocket First Aid Kit
These are excellent additions to anyone’s everyday carry gear. You never know when you will need a tourniquet, gauze, or bandages, so it is important to have access to a small first aid kit. Make sure you at least have bandages, gauze, and a tourniquet in the kit, as these are absolutely vital. If you can find one with QuikClot, that’s even better, as it stops bleeding fast. Whether there is an active shooter scenario or a car accident, you will always be able to potentially save someone’s life. Always be prepared to help your family, friends, coworkers, and anyone else if they are in need by carrying a small first aid kit.
CCW Optimized Clothing
From shorts and long khaki pants, to baggy shirts and sweatshirts, clothing can be an essential buy. Many clothing manufacturers, particularly 5.11 Tactical, make clothing that is designed to give you a tactical edge over your adversaries. These are often loose fitting or stretchy materials so that you can carry while still remaining comfortable. Look at tactical clothing and see what parts of your wardrobe are lacking in this department.
It is always smart to have more than one way to defend yourself in any scenario. It is particularly important when carrying a gun, because even though guns are reliable 99% of the time, there is always a small chance you will experience a jam in the worst situation possible. A great backup weapon is one you feel comfortable using. Many people are comfortable with carrying and using pepper spray, as it is less than lethal and does not hold as much responsibility as a gun. Pepper spray is excellent for everyone to carry at all times, as there are certain scenarios where you might not be able to shoot your gun for fear of hitting innocent bystanders. It is important to at least strongly consider buying some pepper spray because of the benefits far outweighing the cost.