By: Friedrich Seiltgen

Some places in America are descending deeper into anarchy. With Democrats calling for defunding the police and support for Marxist organizations growing, citizens must take responsibility for their safety. Police officers are retiring in droves, and for the remaining officers, liberal mayors and city councils are restricting their departments’ use of force policies. Citizens must be prepared to defend themselves, and having the right equipment is critical! Many are carrying EDC kits (Everyday Carry) as well as Get Home Bags.

The Everyday Carry movement has grown exponentially over recent years. For many, it is a lifestyle. People are starting to carry self-defense items on their person, and their EDC is getting bigger and bigger to the point that cargo shorts with their many pockets are the normal attire for a lot of folks. The type of EDC a person carries depends on many factors, such as their situation, environment, and occupation. I’m here to give Gunpowder readers some basic suggestions about what to carry.

Depending on your situation, your everyday carry may be only what you have in your pockets. Some will expand their EDC with an extra satchel, backpack, or briefcase; it all depends on your situation and what you think you may need.

Before you go shopping for a bunch of cool gear, think about situational awareness. Most people are not conscious of their surroundings. Are you? Be brutally honest and think about what you do when you’re out of the house. Many people will walk right into danger because they are simply not paying attention. Walking around looking down at the ground or at your cellphone is not the way to go through life. You need to scan the area for possible problems to let others know you are aware of what’s going on!

Items to Carry Every Day

Many people carry different stages of kits, having one on their person and another bag in the car with some more items.

Firearm – Depending on whether you live in a free state or not, firearms carry may be illegal. If you can carry, do so! Make sure you are well trained, well equipped, have some liability insurance, and know the statutes pertaining to concealed carry and use of force.

IFAK – The Individual First Aid Kit is a must have, and it should include a tourniquet. Place it in your vehicle where you can reach it. I have seen some attached to the back side of the driver’s seat headrest. During IFAK training, we conducted scenarios where we were made to get our IFAK out and place a tourniquet on a simulated wound – like on someone who had been shot in the leg. Some officers were unable to retrieve their IFAK from its storage spot. Make sure you can get to it!

Knife – Everyone needs access to a sharp, quality knife. Depending on where you live, you may need to carry a folding knife minus the flipper tab. There is usually a law regarding maximum length, type, etc. Many jurisdictions don’t allow the carry of the “butterfly” style knife. Know the laws in your jurisdiction! If you carry a knife presently, you know how useful they are.

Flashlight –Small flashlights with lots of power are great to have. Ending up in the middle of nowhere without a light source is dangerous. Flashlights can also be used as a self defense weapon, allowing you to temporarily blind an attacker, or use the flashlight as an impact weapon.

Pen & Paper – There are “Tactical Pens” out there that look like railroad spikes, but you can always carry a normal pen that is well-built and can also be used for self-defense.

Wallet – Use of an RFID (Radio frequency identification) wallet/pouch is almost mandatory these days. Keep thieves out of your accounts, and use RFID card sleeves at a minimum.

International EDC

I have traveled throughout Europe, and there are some strange laws over there. Firearm possession is extremely strict, and concealed carry isn’t happening, legally anyway. When it comes to knives, my nephew Marco gave me the lowdown on knife carrying. Virtually any length fixed blade is legal to carry. But my Cold Steel Tanto with a flipper tab is illegal!

Some passengers place a large carabiner on their carry-on baggage to be used as impromptu brass knuckles in the event of serious violence on an aircraft.

While traveling, some people carry pepper spray. This is also a good idea, as it may give you time to retreat from an attacker.

Unfortunately, the TSA can make your time in the screening check point a miserable one. The screening checkpoint manager has the authority to prevent you from taking items on board the aircraft as they have been given final authority as to what’s “legal” and what isn’t. I have seen passengers bring hard copies of the TSA regulations into the checkpoint with them, only to be told the item cannot be taken onboard, as the screening manager has a catch-all provision allowing them to forbid any item which they feel may be dangerous.

Get Home Bag Items

A Get Home Bag, as its name implies, is equipped with things to help you get home when bad things happen. Here’s what I’d suggest putting in your bag:

Water & Purification – If you must abandon a vehicle and make the final leg of your journey by foot, water is essential.

Firestarter – Depending on your environment, the ability to start a fire may save your life.

Multi-Tool – These tools can also be a lifesaver! They come in many sizes for many uses. Some have a general use, while others are specific to certain professions. You need to decide what is most important.

Maps – It’s always a good idea to have maps with you, know your area, and make sure you have a pre-planned route to get home using back roads.

Money – Carry some federal reserve notes as well as some 90% silver.

The problem with Get Home Bags is, as we said, you might be making the final leg of your journey on foot. If your bag is too heavy, you’ve got problems! This is also one of the many reasons people need to be responsible for their health. If you’re not in decent shape physically, your escape will be short-lived.

Now comes the fine print: Make sure everything you carry complies with the law! I am not an attorney, and I can’t stress enough that people need to know the laws in their jurisdiction.

Now that you have some basic ideas, start shopping! I know money is short, but time is running short also! he best time to start assembling your kit was years ago; the second-best time is now! Always think about ways to assemble your supplies. Think about bartering, getting a part-time job, having a garage sale, and getting rid of stuff you don’t need. Use this money for things you can use to defend yourself and your loved ones!

Please keep your comments and suggestions coming, and as always, “Let’s be careful out there.”

Friedrich Seiltgen is a retired Master Police Officer with 20 years of service with the Orlando Police Department. He conducts training in Lone Wolf Terrorism, Firearms, First Aid, Active Shooter Response, and Law Enforcement Vehicle Operations in Florida. His writing has appeared in The Counter Terrorist Magazine, Homeland Security Today and The Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International. Contact him at [email protected].