Mindset: In my life, not many things have been certain when it comes to personal security and safety. In my travels, and the different careers I’ve had throughout my life so far, I have consistently found myself in places that help is minutes away, sometimes more, and in some extreme cases, there is no help to call when you have only seconds to react to life challenging emergency. Being prepared in life, for any challenge, is the best way to go about dealing with whatever you may be faced with. I know that I alone am responsible for my personal safety and security. Because I know that fact, I have a few tools with me wherever I go every day and I make it a habit to practice using those tools.
Firearm: Staccato XC, I carry this tool because it is the one I am the most proficient with. It’s a full-size semi-auto pistol that holds a good amount of ammunition, offers excellent accuracy and ballistics. It is equipped with a Trijicon SRO red dot optic for quicker acquisition/engagement and it also has a Surefire X300 weapon light in case I find myself in a lower or no light situation when I need to use it, PID is a must in any lighting situation. I carry it in a Safariland ALS style holster with 3 mag pouches and 2 spare magazines (1 empty pouch to store the magazine from the pistol if essential). I carry all these items because they are life-saving equipment. Should I find myself faced with a threat and I am forced to use deadly force to defend myself, I know ill have the tools I need and work best with to most efficiently and safely change the behavior of and stop said threat. Remember, you NEVER get to pick the place and time when you will be forced to defend yourself, or loved ones, or your friends.
Get training with it, don’t slack here! The skills you need for a deadly force encounter are perishable skills, it’s best to keep them honed. So come see us at RAFA where we have many different classes for building defensive skillsets.
Tools: I also carry some additional equipment with me every day, for various purposes or tasks throughout the day. A tactical-style pen to write with. I like to have one with a glass breaker in the event i need it (car accident, child/pet locked in a hot car in the summer, etc.) It can also be used as a bolt override tool on an AR-style rifle and can even be used in the event of a threat to defend myself with.
I’ll take a multi-tool with me every day too. The Leatherman Fuse is the main one I bring with me. I’ve had it for many years, its smaller so it doesn’t take up much space and I use it about every single day for many different tasks or purposes at RAFA or in my daily travels. Having that little guy with me is so handy. Like an American Express Card, never leave home without one. I have larger ones as well, my Leatherman MUT goes with me anywhere I go with my AR-type rifles, or anywhere I think ill be doing heavy training with firearms. It is also very handy to have in the field if you find yourself needing to do unscheduled maintenance on anything like an AR, AK, or most pistols. It has a very good amount of tools and is designed specifically to work on most guns, so I ensure it’s with me when teaching our classes.
I also carry a knife with me every day. I like my Benchmade Infidel the best. It fits my hands the most appropriately. In addition to whatever I may need to cut throughout my day (letters, tape on boxes, hose, string, paracord, food, etc.) it is an excellent defensive/life-saving tool should I be forced to defend myself with deadly force and I find myself without my Staccato.
In addition to the knife, I will take a smaller penlight-style flashlight with me each day. I like the double-A battery ones, or smaller 123A battery ones, something like the Surefire G30, Titant Plus/Titan, or Surefire Stiletto. You never really know when you’re going to find yourself in a low, or no, light situation and need some extra light. Having a separate light from one that is attached to my pistol is important. In most cases, it is not going to be safe, or appropriate, to be pointing my pistol and its weapon light to see better in the dark. Having a spare light never hurts and they don’t take up much space at all, plus they can even be used to create a photonic barrier that may stun or disorient a threat and allow you to escape an impending self-defense situation before you are forced to defend yourself.
Lastly, for my tools, I like to take an extra bandana cloth with me. Extra cloth is a handy tool for holding hot items without gloves, wiping away sweat, or using it as a sweat band. You can tie it around things to hold them together or to mark/better identify them. You can even use them as a face mask in a few different cases, extra sunny, windy, and dusty environments especially.
Med Gear: Because the world we live in seems to be more unpredictable and less safe by the day, it’s ALWAYS a good idea to have some emergency medical gear with you at all times. I’m not talking about bandaids, burn gel, and aspirin. I’m talking about bleeding control items. Tourniquets, hemostatic gauze, pressure bandages, chest seals at a minimum. The Dark Angel Trauma kit, or NAR Eagle Ifak are excellent kits and what I personally carry. Add an extra TQ or two and you’re set up pretty well.
Keep one with you, one in your vehicle, and one at home. These items are some of the most valued in a medical emergency that almost anyone could encounter throughout the day (car accident, on the job accident, medical emergencies) where massive bleeding could result and are likely going to be needed in a self-defense encounter, either by the person that forced you to defend yourself, perhaps by you if you get injured as well, and maybe even innocent bystanders. Being able to render aid and potentially save a life simply by having that equipment is a responsible and powerful thing, especially if it’s your own life you save! However, with great power comes great responsibility, so be sure to seek out training (like what we offer here at RAFA) on how to use that medical equipment and PRACTICE with it. It doesn’t do any good to take one class and try putting a tourniquet on one time.
To round out everything I take with me each day, I always ensure I have a cell phone on me. Not for social media and playing games however, just being able to make an emergency call and get help coming right now, without having to spend precious time going to get said phone, is an important thing! Since you never know where you will be when an emergency (medical or life-threatening) befalls you, be prepared.
Throw all the above on your waist, or in cargo pants/shorts, or a briefcase, even a small backpack or messenger style bag and you’ll be very well set up to handle almost anything life wants to throw at you every day.
P.S. Don’t forget your wallet and keys!
Stay Safe, keep your head on a swivel!