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Self Defense

Every Day Carry 2021 Edition

A pocket dump containing Uncle Zo's everyday carry items - which is composed of a cutting tool, a fast flame, a flashlight, a few medical items, and defensive tools.

I frequently get asked about things that I carry on my person every day. The things in question vary in frequency but they include everything from defensive tools to medical items. Given it’s been some time since I last wrote a post describing what I put in my everyday carry kit, I figured it was time to do a pocket dump and list things out.

So what’s in my pockets?

The first item is a Zero Tolerance 0350 folding knife, which I’ve previously reviewed here. This is a knife that I’ve carried consistently for the better part of a decade. Given a street price of $140 (plus or minus $20), it’s not inexpensive, but it’s not outrageous either. Frankly, I think it’s a fair price given how durable it has been and the quality of materials. The only minor complaint I have is the blade shape can be a little challenging to sharpen for folks who don’t have a lot of experience sharpening knives. The large belly followed by an ever so slight recurve requires a bit of attention while sharpening to end up with a consistent edge throughout the length of the blade. Even with that slight complaint, I would definitely purchase this knife again with zero hesitation.

Next up is a good ole’ bic lighter. Nothing fancy about it, but it gets modest use whenever I need to light a fire. Given that matches and lighters seem to be less and less commonly carried by folks, this little guy has been responsible for lighting plenty of birthday cake candles. Every time I pull it out when folks are frantically searching for something to light birthday candles with I get a “I didn’t know you smoke” comment. To which, I answer with “I don’t”. That’s commonly followed with a “then why do you carry a lighter?” The answer is self-evident as the birthday singing begins. Regardless, it’s never a bad idea to have quick access to an open flame.

The next item is a Streamlight ProTac 2L flashlight, which I’ve also previously reviewed here. Rarely does a day go by that this flashlight, which I’ve carried for several years now, doesn’t get used. So much so that family members frequently ask to use it for various tasks including, but not limited to, looking for the ball one of the family dogs just rolled under the couch. There are plenty of other offerings from Streamlight that vary in size, brightness, and energy source. While I have tried a few of those offerings, I continue to carry this one as it’s proven dependable and it’s size is just right.

In terms of medical items, I keep a Solatac Pocket Trauma Kit (PTK), which I’ve previously reviewed here, in my pocket regularly. I’ll argue all day long that this is arguably the best pocket trauma kit for the money in the market today. While it’s a very comprehensive kit, I often pair it with a North American Rescue Combat Application Tourniquet (CAT). All the Stop the Bleed bases are covered between the PTK (which includes a SWAT-T tourniquet that doubles as a pressure dressing) and the CAT.

In terms of self defense, I carry a canister of POM pepper spray as a less lethal option. In the event I find myself in a situation where I must use lethal force, I carry a H&K VP9 (most recently reviewed here) outfitted with a Trijicon RMR (previously reviewed here) in an Incog Eclipse holster (also reviewed here) along with two spare magazines one of which is carried in a Concealment Solutions Venom mag carrier. The pistol and the extra magazine in the carrier is situated on a Concealment Solutions Python Gun Belt which has lasted me for over half a decade.

That’s the gist of it. I get this might seem like a lot to some folks. Heck, a handful of family and friends can’t seem to wrap their head around why I keep all of this on my person pretty much at all times. I chalk it up to the old adage of “it’s better to have and not need, than need and not have”.

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