Concealed Carry & Home Defense

CCW Weekend: How Much EDC Gear Do You Actually Need?

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By Sam Hoober, Alien Gear Holsters

As most of us know either from scouting or from hearing the phrase being repeated – it’s good to be prepared – though at a certain point, just how many events is one supposed to be prepared for?

If you ask many of today’s CCW gurus, a good number of them advise to carry what seems like a lot of gear. First you have your carry gun and concealed carry holster. Then you should be carrying one or two (or more) spare magazines in case you need to reload in a shootout. Then you also need a backup gun or two.

There are also some people who believe in wrapping your backup magazine in a whole other gun. Some folks will carry a Glock 26 or two (one on both ankles!) as a backup to their Glock 19 that they carry as a primary carry gun, and a spare magazine or two.

You’ll definitely need a good gun belt. Preferably a tactical belt, that’s rated for use as a rappelling and cargo harness because you’re going to need that someday despite working in an office. That’s on the ground floor. In the suburbs. With that coffee stand right down the street that makes your latte just right.

Then you have the ancillary gear. You’ll need a tactical folding knife and a flashlight at minimum. A multi-tool is also a good idea to carry. Then you’ll also need one or two tourniquets, if not a miniature first aid/trauma kit. Oh, and don’t forget your wallet and cellphone while you’re at it.

Exactly how much gear does one need to leave the house? Has something changed so that just putting a gun in a holster, checking concealment and so on is not enough? Maybe a spare magazine or moon clip, at most, is all you’d really need along with your carry gun and other items you carry on a day to day basis.

Then again, the typical items that would seem to be completely superfluous are all – without doubt – useful. A backup gun is a good idea on the basis that a primary carry gun could malfunction or otherwise be rendered inoperable. There has been some suggestion that a backup gun could be used to arm another person in the case of a mass shooter or something along those lines, though the prudence of doing so is a matter of some debate.

Police, after all, often carry a backup gun along with their duty weapon; it makes a certain amount of sense for a civilian carrier to do the same for the same reasons. There’s no question that a pocket knife is handy. So is a flashlight, or a multitool or anything like that; no doubt about it.

A first aid/trauma kit and a tourniquet or two make sense on paper, but in real life…the odds are against you ever having to draw your pistol in defense of yourself or anyone else, let alone shooting anyone. Furthermore, most defensive gun uses occur in residential or retail areas, so emergency responders – who have more training than the average Joe or Jane – are never too far away.

This, of course, presumes that you’re going to be able to apply a tourniquet to anyone; the shock and adrenaline dump of a life or death scenario can easily render you almost incapable of doing something like applying a tourniquet. Then again, you might be able to.

In short, it’s generally good to have useful items on hand in case they are needed. That’s inarguable. But how much gear do you really need to be carrying on a daily basis?

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Sam Hoober is Contributing Editor for, a subsidiary of Hayden, ID, based Tedder Industries, where he writes about gun accessories, gun safety, open and concealed carry tips. Click here to visit