What’s Your Primary Everyday Carry Tool?

everyday carry tool

Author’s EDC gear is the Mandatory 5: items that everyone should carry! Photo: author

When I get dressed to leave my house every morning, I carry five things, as long as they’re legal where I’m going. These are, of course, in addition to my watch, wallet and other such items. But you can bet that every time I slip on my jeans, I will place in the appropriate pocket or on my belt, my Glock 19, a spare Glock magazine, Cold Steel Voyager knife (5¼-inch blade), cell phone, and Streamlight ProTac 1L flashlight. In all the classes I teach, I preach that everyone should carry these Mandatory 5 items whenever and wherever they are legally allowed.

However, I travel a lot for work and pleasure and in some places, for legal reasons I am unable to carry all of my Mandatory 5 items. When I have to pare down my Mandatory 5 items, the tool I always can and do carry is my Streamlight PT 1L. This may come as a shock to those who know me as a hard-core Glock-totin’ kinda guy. But those who travel frequently understand the pain associated with putting your favorite friend in the safe because you know you’re going to see a TSA agent later that day!

My EDC is normally a Glock 19 with spare magazine and quite often a BUG (Back Up Gun), my Voyager knife and sometimes a spare knife, and my flashlight and – YES – often a spare flashlight. My flashlight has become the one tool in my defensive toolbox that I can legally carry anywhere and everywhere. I place the palm-sized flashlight into my pants pocket whenever I get dressed.

The Flashlight: Don’t Leave Home Without It

I know people who carry guns, spare magazines, and knives but have never given a thought to carrying a flashlight. Some may even have a light on their gun but nothing they can readily palm in case they need light without their firearm. Some law enforcement friends of mine would never step out of their patrol cars without some sort of flashlight in-hand, yet off-duty they don’t carry any light-producing device except their cell phone.

knife flashlight

Well-worn Cold Steel Voyager 5¼-inch folding knife and Streamlight PT 1L are part of author’s EDC. Photo: author

I can’t remember why I started carrying a flashlight, but I do remember when I decided I’d never be without one. And it had nothing to do with a dynamic critical incident. It was simply after taking care of some personal business in a coffee-shop restroom. I was straightening my clothes and preparing to reholster my firearm, which I had set next to me in order to do what I needed to do. And without warning, the power to the building went out. Suddenly I was in the dark, not quite fully dressed, with my firearm somewhere within arm’s reach. My initial shock was replaced by mild chagrin at my compromising situation, but I quickly remembered the flashlight in my pocket. Once I shed a little light on the subject, I was able to finish the task at hand, reholster safely, exit the area, and even provide a little light to the customers who were being asked to gather their belongings and leave the restaurant so the employees could lock up.

I carry my flashlight and use it more often than any other single tool in my EDC kit. I keep the flashlight in my hand anytime I’m walking through a dark area in a public place and especially when I’m walking through a dark parking lot at night going to or from my car. I use my light to illuminate any dark area that could possibly be a question mark to my safety.

Vehicle Inspections

The other things I frequently find on the receiving end of my 180-lumen beam of “sun” are the tires of my car when I approach it at night. There’s nothing more frustrating, or dangerous, in life than having to stop on the side of the road at night because of an errant screw or nail that someone dropped in a parking lot at the local hardware store. There’s also no better way to endear yourself to another person than to stop and help the hapless victim of a flat tire. But maybe the person who stopped to help was the one who placed the nail in order to get the unsuspecting person out of a busy parking lot – before they have a flat tire – so he can get close to his intended victim by pretending to be their savior on the side of a lonely road? This sort of thing can be avoided by a quick check of the tire area before backing from your parking space at night. A small flashlight in your palm can mean a lot less headache later.

I also frequently shine my flashlight into automobiles. This may seem inappropriate to some, but if it’s dark, a car is next to mine in the parking lot and I can’t identify whether someone is inside the vehicle or not, I feel it’s well within reason to ensure no one in that automobile is going to be a threat to me or my loved ones. Rarely do I, or most gun guys, put ourselves into a tight, enclosed space with almost no way out (the proverbial Fatal Funnel), except when we are standing between two cars. And quite often, we’ll allow a complete stranger to occupy that space with us and get well within our comfort zone. Just look around any grocery store parking lot during a busy shopping time and you’ll quite often see strangers sharing that very small, very narrow, very tactically non-compliant space in between their two cars.

I’m not saying you should be rude and not share the space in between your car and another’s. But it behooves you to somewhat control this environment and know whom you’re sharing this space with. At least if I’m aware a person is in the vehicle next to mine, this removes the element of surprise if that person exits their vehicle while I’m loading groceries into my car.

glock 9mm

Author’s preferred EDC firearm is venerable Glock pistol, chambered in 9mm. But it can’t be legally carried everywhere. Photo: author

Threat Deterrence

Another advantage of carrying a flashlight is the capability of “shedding light” on a situation. A few years ago, I was on a business trip to a non-gun-friendly state that sits on the far left side of the country. Unable to carry a firearm, I was legally equipped with only my knife and flashlight. While walking from a distant parking space to a restaurant across a dark parking lot one evening, I observed a disheveled young adult male pushing a bicycle and approaching me in the car-filled lot. As the man got closer, I noticed that his mannerisms were consistent with someone “scouting a target.” He appeared fidgety and was doing the felony-furtive look, his head turning, looking over each shoulder repeatedly. He appeared to be intently focused on me but was not attempting to gain eye contact. His eyes were scanning my clothing, jewelry, and mannerisms.

Not knowing if the man was a threat or simply a person needing directions, I made sure to examine my surroundings and watched as he approached, but continued to move toward the more populated restaurant. It became clear he was going to make an attempt to contact me. I had my flashlight in-hand as he moved closer and positioned the bicycle between us, somewhat blocking my forward path. He then proceeded to ask for money. Since he was pushing a relatively expensive bicycle, in a friendly manner I told him I didn’t carry any cash, then tried to move around the man and his bike. He made an obvious attempt to block my path and continued to now aggressively panhandle for cash. I felt his attempts were going beyond simple panhandling and his aggressive nature called for a response on my part in order to exit and control this situation. With two quick taps on its base, my flashlight went into strobe mode. I placed the obnoxiously pulsing 180-lumen light on the man’s chest and used the distraction to side-step his bicycle and get two steps past and slightly behind him. I then used the flashlight to illuminate the entire area between us.

The distraction had its desired effect. Momentarily dazed by the light, the strobe, and I believe the simple fact that his intended target had the capability to light up the entire surrounding area, the man jumped on his bicycle and rode off into the night. The entire situation was defused and over within seconds, with no harm, no threatening action taken, and no one hurt.

The benefits of a small, palm-sized light have manifested themselves many times over in my life. From simple power outages to items dropped under a car at night to potential threats averted. For most gun-guys, our go-to EDC is our favorite firearm. But when you can’t carry your favorite, do you have another way of averting danger? Do you have a plan for avoidance and non-lethal response? If not, consider adding a small flashlight to your EDC. You’ll be surprised how handy it’ll come in, day after day.

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93 Responses to “What’s Your Primary Everyday Carry Tool?”

  1. Catherine

    I have flashlights all over my house and in my car, but didn’t consider carrying one in my pocket. I will do so from now on. Thanks!

  2. Tony M
    Tony M

    I live in the “Socialist Republik of Kalifornia” and do not yet have a carry permit, so two of your five are out for me, but I suggest a sixth item for you. Along with my phone and knife, I carry a flashlight with a rechargeable Li-Ion battery inside, AND a spare battery in my pocket; a flashlight needs spare “ammo” also!

    I consider my reading glasses, watch, and paracord bracelet EDCs as well.

    • Daniel

      Tony M. I have lived in the S R of Kali also, I have felt your “pain.” I definite wear my watch and carry a spare Li-ion battery nearby. And my paracord bracelet, while not an EDC item, I have been trying to incorporate that into my “kit.” By big takeaway from your comment is the reading glasses! I’ve only had/needed mine for a few years and they have NOT been a part of my EDC but for some odd reason (very possibly age-LOL!!) I’m discovering I may have to make them a part of my “kit” very soon. Thanks for the comments.

  3. Dave George
    Dave George

    On a mission trip to Port Au Prince, Haiti in 1997 a local Pastor lit up a hotel hallway and loaned me a mini-mag light explaining it would prove a valuable tool, due to unreliable power supply, he was right. Your story has reminded me how we take for granted ideal situations in this country. I’m thinking a light would prove valuable, now that I’ve started to carry.

    • Daniel

      Dave George, I agree, having traveled extensively overseas we definitely take things for granted that in other countries are luxuries (i.e. lights that work 24hrs a day). I’m glad to hear you’ve started carrying also. As I’m sure you know, most self-defense situations take place in low-light times/areas and a flashlight can definitely help you out if that situation ever arises. Thank you for your comments.

  4. Allen

    I have been carrying a Gerber Tempo flashlight in my pants pocket every day for many years. Thanks to aging eyes combined with a house lit with “modern” non-incandescent light bulbs, I use it nearly every day just at home. I mainly got that one because it was the first AAA powered LED light that I found. Its no where near 180 lumens though, so may be time to look at an upgrade.

    • Daniel

      Allen, those little Gerber Tempo are great little lights, and the fact that they’re AAA powered is a plus. You’ll find if you go to something like a Streamlight PT1L that the batteries are more expensive but last surprisingly long. I use mine every, single day either at work or at home for one reason or another and I replace about one battery a month. And, since you can use the light in Bright/Dim/Strobe mode, you can regulate how much battery life you use at any given time. Good luck with the upgrade and thank you for the comments.

      • Bruce

        rechargeable Li ion? I went 2 years without a car and used rechargeable Lithium batteries for a 900 lumen flashlight that doubled as my headlight

  5. Stan

    great artical I have never look at the flashlight this way. I will have on by the end of this day. Thank You

    • Daniel

      Stan, you’re welcome. Let me know how you like the PT1L. In my research it was the best light for the price. Thank you for your comments.

  6. Mike Tharp
    Mike Tharp

    Thanks you for the “heads up”. I already have a small tactical flashlight which I will now be carrying with me daily. Just like the gun in a drawer, a flashlight in my vehicle is just as useless. It will be in my pocket from now on.

    • Daniel

      Mike, you’re welcome. There’s definitely nothing worse than the “gun left in the safe” when the bad guy comes calling, the “flashlight in the car” when the lights go out or the beer (or pepsi cans) left at the grocery store after a long week at work!! Those are definitely situations that put you in that “OH NO” moment in life that we would all like to avoid!! Thank you for your comment.

  7. Phil B
    Phil B

    I too carry a primary flashlight (NIghtcore SRT3) and a spare (Streamlight ProTac1L). Half our lives are spent in low light conditions. It only make sense to have at least one on hand for whenever you need to let the light shine.

    • TAC

      Phil B. I agree with you 100% I think that many people don’t even know how much they need, or would use a flashlight, everyday until they start carrying one.

      • Walter Santos
        Walter Santos

        Spot on……. been carrying a ASP torch for years now would not leave home without it.

  8. Bart

    When I worked the night shift, I would carry a mini flashlight that could be used as a skull puncher in an emergency.



    • Tim F
      Tim F

      Great article. I too always carry a compact hi lumen flashlight. It also has the benefit of a legal but aggressive bezel should the need arise. Great advice and pratictical for many uses. It (and it’s back up battery) were very helpful while caught on business in the inhospitable state of NJ during Super Storm Sandy.

  10. Tony

    I’ve carried a flashlight on my belt for years now. People are always amazed when I whip it out but are ALWAYS thankful I was thoughtful enough to keep one on me when they needed help. Plus it has been indispensable for myself on numerous occasions. Wouldn’t leave home without it!

  11. Richard Yood
    Richard Yood

    Well written article. I too carry a flashlight, but mine also has a serrated edge around the lens that could be used as a defensive weapon by striking an assailant in the face area. It’s made by NEBO

    • Mr.P, from Bedford Mass
      Mr.P, from Bedford Mass

      Richard, I absolutely LOVE my “NEBO EDGE 90 Lumens Tactical Flashlight (#5872)”. It’s a High-power 90 lumen LED Tactical Flashlight with Defensive Strobe, made of Anodized aircraft-grade aluminum,bit has a REMOVABLE Tactical edge, a Steel belt/pocket clip, a rear positioned ON/OFF button, is water & impact-resistant, and is powered by 1 AA battery that’s included. I bought my first 1 just before Christmas 2014 while visiting family in Florida @ a Police Supply store in FL. They were strategically located by the check out register & of course caught my eye, and as I was waiting to cash out, my daughter & myself kept looking at & fondling this palm sized (L=3.75″xW=0.75″& 0.179 lbs) Tac light with a strobe mode. Well with a price of around $13.00 before discount (LE/Military) we bought 1. A VERY HIGH VALUE=what you/ALL you get for the price! I bought 2 more before leaving.
      Once I got home I realized that I would be needing more of these flashlights. These were such high value Tactical Flashlights. I wasn’t sure how many of these flashlights came in a case but I figured that my best bet was to try and buy a case? To try and buy in bulk?
      So I did some work and I got the phone number for Nebo. I called and I spoke with a very courteous professional woman who ended up telling me that these lights came 24 to a case. The MSRP is $12.99 each, and that I could get them for $6.50 each. At that price I was very very happy! I had already come to realize that even at $12.99 each the value was undeniable. The only thing, for me to get that price ($6.50 each) I’d have to buy a case of 24 like any other distributor would.
      Almost 2 years later & the “NEBO” #5872 is still by far our Favorite TACTICAL FLASHLIGHT!
      If you or anyone knows of a better Tac light?, or better VALUE?, PLEASE LET US KNOW?

    • Daniel

      Richard, thank you for your comments. I may have to check out the NEBO lights and see what they’re all about. My flashlight also has the beveled edge, those edges do allow for a certain amount of “DNA collection” if used properly 🙂

  12. Steve Ford
    Steve Ford

    I get accused a lot of being an ancient Boy Scout, and yes as well as the flash I alway have a substantial knife.

  13. Blane S.
    Blane S.

    Really appreciate you’re writing this article Dan! Question… I’ve seen you take your knife out and noticed how easy and quickly you open and close it. I’ve googled “Cold Steel Voyager knife” but not able to find the exact knife you carry. Would you mind sharing the model of the knife in this article? Like most people commenting here, I’ve gained a new respect for having a good light on you at all times and adding that to my EDC as well ASAP. Thanks again for the article!

  14. Jay

    Interesting article. While I agree with a firearm for defense I totally disagree with the Cold Steel Voyager. It is an overpriced penknife that is no more useful for defense than the dirt cheap Opinel 12(4 3/4″ blade, 6 1/4″ folded). Even a supposed one hand opening knife is not immediately available during massive adrenalin dump where fine motor skills go out the window, and gross motor takes over. This is the reason why real tactical knives of two World Wars(and numerous conflicts to date), including some really small SOE knives, were fixed blade. Stay safe.

    • Daniel

      Jay, I’d be hard-pressed to believe my Voyager is a penknife by any stretch of the imagination. And while I agree that during critical situation your fine motor skills are severely limited, that’s why practice with a folding knife is critical. I teach a TCOLE Certified LEO Defensive Knife Skills Course and it’s a skillset that is practiced in the course. It’s difficult if not IMPOSSIBLE to adequately, safely and quite often legally carry a long-blade, fixed blade knife in an everyday environment. I’d be curious to know what fixed-blade you use for your EDC and how you carry that comfortably and legally? I know with my normal daily wear it’d be almost impossible. Thanks for your comments.

      • Jay

        Hi Daniel, thanks for your comments. I have carried a Kabar TDI knife pretty much since they appeared. First the original little 2 3/8″ blade 5 5/8″ overall, and now the hard to find Ankle(but not in the ridiculous ankle harness that came with it!) version, 3 1/2″ blade 7″ overall. Each of them only weighs 2 1/2oz. The first thing I put aside as useless were the Techlocks. I’m built like a bouncer(220 weightlifter at 5 9″). I carry the knife in right hand trouser pocket. I also have the Large TDI, which I have carried, but its extra 1/8″ of blade for double the weight are no advantage. Neither would an extra couple inches, and even more heft…….until we get into a different category(not covered by any oversized penknife or light fixed blade). All of them are much stronger, faster, and totally fumble-free vs than any “tactical” folder.

        Blade length is an interesting topic. Extra heft, length, and tip strength is useful for all the extra bushcraft/survival stuff a folder or lighter knife can hardly do at all: dig/pry/chop/hammer/baton/sned/use as a blunt instrument/draw knife/ etc. For that the minimum might be something like the Kabar Becker BK10 Crewman(full tang 5 1/2″ blade 11″ overall, 12oz). I don’t always carry something with a longer fixed blade, but I always have the TDI. For open carry in the woods of anything bigger than the BK9(9″ blade, almost 15″ overall, 17oz), we might as well carry a dirt cheap Tramontina or Ontario machete.

        We are not “duelling” like the movies. Or “defending”(ie waiting to see what the attacker does, and then reacting)like the nonsense taught in dojos. Or “intimidating”, like “that’s not a knife, THAT’S a knife”(Crocodile Dundee).

        Think more in terms of Iaijutsu with a short blade. No shiny tactical bling that the other guy can even see. A black blade is literally invisible in my hand, even in the day, since I always wear dark/dull/HEAT(hippy earth tones:)). Because I live in a pretty cool rural area, I have invisibly carried anything I damn well wanted when outside, IBW allows you to carry anything including full size Kabar 7” fighting knife. But we are not duelling. And we are not always carrying for bushcraft/survival. So whether or not I have anything else on me, I always have the TDI.

        You may have noticed that I like Kabar knives, have several…….and I do go on:)

        Stay safe, and keep the good stuff coming.

  15. gibsoncrg

    I have long kept a very small flashlight with me, and I’m so relieved that I’m not the only person to go through the restroom “lights out” experience! Something that would have been extremely disorienting and worrisome (there were NO backup light sources in this one!) was a non-issue. I just flipped the beam to “high,” set the light on its tail-end, and proceeded with barely an inconvenience. Since then, I’ve gifted several friends and family with the “gift of light” but you gave me some terrific food for thought on some additional uses. Many thanks!

    • Daniel

      gibsoncrg; I’m glad to know that I’M not the only one that’s been through that unpleasant experience!! LOL. I have also gifted several lights to many of my LEO friends, just to make sure they have a small, back-up light when/if they need it! Thanks for your comments.

  16. Ralph

    two guns, two knifes, and a flashlight for a “normal” day? Really, don’t you think this is a little excessive?

  17. Kenneth Lawson
    Kenneth Lawson

    I’ve been carrying a flashlight every day for at least a year. Rarely does a day go by that I don’t use it for something.
    I have 2 sets of rechargeable batteries and a swap ad needed.
    With fall and winter coming soon, having a light is essential, as we start getting dark earlier.
    Having a light at hand is good common sense.

  18. robes

    Just ordered a Streamlight PT 1L. I’ve been looking for a good reference on a capable flashlight. I carry a flashlight, but it doesn’t have the 180 lumens or the flash mode. Thanx also for the shedding light maneuver.

  19. Liz Estabrooke Quirky
    Liz Estabrooke Quirky

    I carry a cell phone, knife and 9 mm. Going on line now to get that light!! Thanks for the information and good videos too.

  20. Neil

    Every day I carry a Glock 19 or 17 holstered with 30 rounds minimum 1 mag in gun the other in pouch, a well made, open assist knife sharp, small flash light with good batteries. All this as a routine I check prior to leaving home. Vehicle carries extra ammo,batteries for flash light a carbine w/ammo med kit big enough to handle multiple issues, extra flash light w/batteries and at least 1 fixed blade knife w/ sheath Always Prepared

  21. Walter

    I to carry a flashlight and a pocket knife weather it’s my SOG trident that I had for years or just a folder in the opposite pocket

  22. Andrew

    What knife is shown in the first photo with the glock, flashlight, phone, and watch? It’s not the Cold Steel mentioned in the article.

  23. Jack Quebedeahx
    Jack Quebedeahx

    Excellent information and I concur with your preparedness doctrine. I carry the same items but a year or so ago I included a small TSA approved leatherman multitool and a Bic lighter (although I quit smoking 2 decades ago.) These items have greatly enhanced my EDC and I don’t mind the ribbing I get from carrying them. They’re always coming in handy. Keep up the good work!

  24. Travis

    Great article I have been carrying a flashlight for a while but mainly just for use in dark places at work. It has become so standard that if I dont have it it feels like I’m missing vitally important like shoes. I choose to go with the Streamlight pt2l just a touch bigger and a lot brighter. It has become part of everyday five along with buck knife ruger lcr and a bug. Great article.

  25. jd

    A flashlight is one of the most valuable and overlooked tool you can have. I ALWAYS have my Fenix PD25 in my pocket. I can’t carry my LC9 at work (company policy). I have my flashlight and a Tactical Pen on me at all times. I have a knife handy but the Tactical Pen doesn’t draw attention like a knife clipped to your pocket will. When not at work I have each of the 5 items you mentioned, but I carry 2 spare magazines for my LC9 since its a single stack magazine. Thanks for the great information you provide.

  26. Mark

    Does your flashlight need to have strobe capabilities? How do you suggest organizing your EDC items for each pocket?

    • Customer Service
      Customer Service

      Hi, Mark. The strobe capability wouldn’t be classified as a “must have” feature. If it is a feature that you want in a flashlight then I would recommend finding one that is easily accessible. Meaning that it doesn’t need or require some complex turning of the bezel or some other “code” to access.

  27. Gordon Gaines
    Gordon Gaines

    I have been carrying a light for years also. I carry a bigger light most of the time because a flashlight can be use as an impact weapon if needed. A small palm light is not big enough, I EDC the PT 1L also, but as a backup only. If I’m out at night I’m carrying a longer light that is around 6 inches long.

  28. Tim

    Had a similar sitution last week the guy got up in my face.had no cash he proceed to follow it was light out side.I believe that a light would have made things different even in the daylight thanks for the tip

  29. Jerry

    when your wifw says I cant see over here and you can instantly light it up, well the night just went a lot smoother. always carry a light.

  30. Jerry

    For the last 16 months I’ve carried a Nebo Redline 250 lumen / 125 lumen / 50 lumen with a strobe mode. Very painful to the eyes. But my primary weapon is a Colt 1903 in 32acp. It’s accurate and with Silvertips, equal to any 2″ .38, but with 9 shots instead of 5. For hot summer days when concealment is a problem I carry a KelTec P32 using the optional belt clip under a loose shirt. But I’m always re-evaluating as the marketplace has new offerings.

  31. John T. Mood
    John T. Mood

    My rescue knife. It never runs out of bullets, (5″ blade) it can reach both of the descending aortas, the jugulars, the windpipe, between the ribs, the aorta coming right out of the heart, or the heart itself and both carotid arteries, and it has a tempered glass breaker stud on one end beside the seat belt cutter. Second my 1911A1 and three extra magazines. (33 rounds total), Third a 5,000 lumen or better flashlight/Combination Stun Gun (230 megavolts), fourth, A viper baton, and fifth, a fully charged cellphone. I generally don’t use them in that order. Phone first, whatever is appropriate to the situation next. I am a police retiree, and I report and observe for the active on duty guys. I ain’t doing “Jack” unless or until I have the Cavalry in blue coming, and they know what they’re headed for. That flashlight can temporarily blind people in broad daylight AND immobilize them on the spot. I carry the gun, cocked and locked, 9 up, and three mags full of 8 under the LEOSA Law (HR-218).

  32. William

    Older article but informative nonetheless. Ironically I have a Streamlight ProTac 2L being delivered today, imagine my chagrin when I saw an email from PDN with a link to this article!

  33. Toby

    I always carry a flashlight on my belt. I agree with your entire article with two small differences. NEVER carry One spare magazine! I have two spare for my primary, and my BUG, plus the ones in the pistols. They are cheap insurance, weigh little, and I am worth it. The second in even smaller, I was refused entry to the local court house with my flashlight, because it has the strobe function, had to take it back to the car. I was glad you did not need to point your light at his eyes, with the increased intensity, these new lights can actually cause damage.

  34. rickcross

    If you seen the list of what I carry in my EDC (Maxpedition Jumbo Versapack), you’d be amazed.
    I also added two pouches to my EDC via PALS webbing. I’m a concealed carry instructor and also recommend what Daniel does as far as carry gear and I mention this in class.

    My Everyday Carry:
    1. One of two compact .45 caliber handguns…. Either a Glock 30 or an XD Mod.2
    2. One full size spare magazine for whichever primary gun I’m carrying. I carry extra loaded magazines in my vehicle too.
    3. Smith & Wesson 642 .38 Spl +P revolver as BUG (BackUp Gun) with two reloads in speed strips. Carried in a Galco Ankle Glove or Uncle Mikes inside the pocket felt holster… Extra ammo in vehicle.
    4. Canister of Pepper Gel from Sabre Red (I’m a certified instructor)…not every problem is a gun problem!
    5. Surefire 6P LED Strike Bezel Flashlight in a Surefire V-70 speed holster, seats up or down. Downward position is good for the Harries flashlight draw with your primary handgun.
    6. Quality, legal size knife with quick opening capabilities.
    7. Quality neck knife.
    8. Large size para-cord bracelet.

    All of my knives are kept sharp with a Ken Onion Work Space Knife Sharpener.
    Just recently I’ve been thinking about carrying another flashlight on my person… “One is none, Two is one, Three is probably better.”
    I do carry a couple of flashlights in my EDC and another couple in my vehicles (I have two trucks).

    One thing not mentioned in the article…. A very sturdy, stable platform to carry it all . . . A quality belt MADE to carry gun and gear…
    I have several including a double steer-hide leather belt that doesn’t look ‘tactical’.

    Excellent Article Daniel! . . . I’m a Personal Defense Network Member and have been following Rob since NRA/Valhalla.
    LOVE the Personal Defense Network!

  35. Craig

    can you email me the link for where to buy these items (esp the knife and flashlite)?

  36. Steven Rosenblum
    Steven Rosenblum

    I have Fenix P035 TAC flashlight. the 1000 lumens, plus the 5 modes, including strobe is a small wonder. Only 4″ long with a Crenelated striking face. an essential part of my EDC kit. I also carry at least 1 tactical folder by Kershaw or CRKT. I carry a SIG P238 or M&P 9mm Shield.

  37. Carl Rauschenberger
    Carl Rauschenberger

    Great article! I carry a Kimber K6S revolver as my primary weapon and a Kimber Micro Raptor .380 as a backup. One additional must carry item is a Leathermen tool with a firestarter. I’m a police officer with 53 years under my belt and am here to tell you that you had better be prepared! A month ago I went to my local bank, walked in on a robbery in progress. A helatious gun battle ensued I won! Bad guys didn’t. So you never know what can happen!
    Thanks again and stay safe.

  38. Mr. C
    Mr. C

    I agree, with most of the author’s comments, save for the extra magazine. My EDC is a subcompact Glock 27, with 1 up and 10 down, which I feel is MORE THAN SUFFICIENT to handle any emergency situation. Honestly, I’m not expecting a Viet Nam type situation on the streets of Las Vegas; any more than 11 rounds needed OR USED, to me personally, is UNPHATOMABLE.

  39. Marcus

    Another of my EDC items is a ASP baton, I carry it whenever I leave the house and for travel, it goes in my checked bag along with a Cold Steel fixed blade.

  40. Gary A LaCross
    Gary A LaCross

    Thanks for the good article. You convinced me to purchase a Streamlight PT 1L even though I have a good TerraLux 300 lumens. The Streamlight I’m sure will be much more handy and small for everyday carrying.

  41. Robert English
    Robert English

    Being a long time concealed carrier, surveyor working in remote areas, and a volunteer with Search & Rescue it never ceases to amaze me at how many people are completely oblivious about their surroundings. Depending on the situation, and area, I carry a bug (G42) and a G22 or G23, at least one spare mag for each, knife, and sometimes a light. I think you’ve got sound reasoning behind the light and I will be incorporating that into my daily carry routine. I always remind people to stay aware of their surroundings, even in rural, low population areas.

  42. Norge

    This is a very funny article.Especially, when the author talks about a backup gun. if you can not solve your problems with thirty rounds – a backup gun is no longer useful. Having a flashlight with you is a good idea. But where is it useful to you, if you live in the city? Most people use a cell phone. Only in nature, where there is no street lighting – the Flashlight is a great idea!

  43. Paul

    I carry a S&W shield 45 and S&W model 629 44magnum back up and a S&W swat knife with four inch blade and another fast opening knife both sharpened enough to do surgery , cell phone and small high powered flash light too . Hyper vigilance really helps me get out of situations before they get out of hand but my best tool even at 71 years is like police and outlaw bikers like I used to be is intimidation . Great tool .

  44. Joe

    I carry an Olight seeker2 1200 lumens with a strobe that will make the user dizzy if you look at it. Great info. Thanks

  45. Frank Stabler
    Frank Stabler

    I have carried a Mag Solitaire led light for quite a while. I find myself using it multiple times a day.

  46. ernest

    I always carry a knife with a clip, pepper spray, and a flashlight stun gun. Unfortunately, I can’t carry a gun in Commiefornia.

  47. Rex

    Good info. I always carry a flashlight and a pocket knife. They are in my pocket, just in case, but it’s amazing how much I use both of them. As one ages, our eyes are not as sharp, but the light of bright LED makes finding dropped items so much easier. The same can be said for really small print; a direct beam makes small print pop. And the knife… from cutting loose threads to removing a splinter or hang nail, to digging something out of your teeth, and knife comes in handy almost everyday.

  48. Shay Deckert
    Shay Deckert

    I carry S&W M&P 40c, S&W knife + Gerber curve, a Smith & Wesson M&P Delta Force CS RXP 310 Lumen Rechargeable Flashlight with 5 Modes, Waterproof Construction, which can clip to my hat if needed and for extra protection, Smith & Wesson 6.1in Aircraft Aluminum Refillable Tactical pen.

  49. Ron

    EDC S&W .40 caliber with two spare magazines, Leatherman, a couple of pocket knives, two LED flashlights. I was visiting a second-hand store one day when the power went out while I was doing my business in the little room down the hall. I heard the main door open and a black lady exclaimed to her cohort in the hallway, “Oh good. The light is on in here.” Since I had already reached into my pocket and lit up the room, I explained that this was the men’s room. She politely reminded me she had to go, and she wouldn’t tell anyone if I didn’t. That was my only experience sharing a restroom with a black lady. I was glad I could help.

  50. Jim Roache
    Jim Roache

    I have a CCW in California FOR BOTH A Glock 19 and the new 43-X both chambered in 9mm. The Model 19 is the most heavily sold personal defense pistol in the free world.

  51. Chick

    My preferred knife is an automatic knife, but I always have a knife. When I see people headed toward me, who are focused on me, I throw my arm up with palm out, and order them to stop right there and do not come closer. 99 out of a hundred will stop in fear and confusion.

  52. bobbyrondinelli

    I carry a Surefire Titian flashlight, a Surefire Tactical pen, and a Colonel Blades pocket knife, and a Surefire Sidekick on my key chain.

  53. Anthony Malinowski
    Anthony Malinowski

    As an FI I make the suggestion that each attendee get a light for them the car and the nightstand. When I travel one is left for my wife for easy access. Thanks for the information and stay safe!

  54. Terry

    I live in Honolulu & have a very difficult to obtain CCW, carry a G27 (rarely) since I’m legal but am in a very anti gun state & since I am a haole male & would probably be charged in almost any self defense incident especially involving an unarmed local. When I lived in LA I used to also carry an extendable baton ( (which is also illegal in Hawaii) a strong flashlight is a good option


    I carry a Glock G30SF with a spare mag. Sometimes I also carry my G23 with a spare mag. I have a Hoffman Richter folding knife, a S&W tactical pen, and a small keychain light. The small keychain light recently broke, so I have ordered a new Maglite LED keychain light. I live in the south, carry concealed, my Glock is with me 24/7/365.

  56. Yogi

    I also live in the “Peoples Democratic Republic of California”. However, I am one of the thousands of us that do have a CCW permit. My EDC: Glock 30, Kershaw folding knife and a small tactical flashlight. And I try to stay out of dark places.