In this article, we’ll discuss the items you absolutely need, the items I recommend, and other considerations for your everyday carry setup.
Step 1: Gun & Permit
So step 1 is to get a gun, and because in most states you need a permit to carry a firearm you will also need a permit. The permitting process in each state varies widely — with some allowing you to carry without a permit and others requiring a lengthy process that includes mandatory training and fingerprinting.
Figure out the process, get the permit, and start carrying the gun.
Step 2: Figure Out Your Everyday Concealed Carry Gear
I’m going to take the items I honestly carry every single day as a base template. Yours may vary wildly depending on your needs but I feel mine covers my basics.
My everyday concealed carry gear always includes the following:
Concealed carry permit
Concealed carry handgun
One primary magazine
One secondary magazine
Inside the waistband holster
My everyday concealed carry setup is pretty straight forward. My usual everyday carry handgun is a SIG P320C. That’s a semi-automatic striker-fired pistol that in my lovely state of MA can only have a 10 round Magazine of 9mm ammo.
Because my magazines can only have 10 rounds, I carry a backup magazine. Honestly even if it could carry a standard capacity Magazine of 15 rounds I would still want to have a secondary mag. If you carry a revolver, you may want to hold onto a speed loader with at least one cylinder’s worth of ammunition.
Q: Why carry a spare magazine?
A: Even though it is unlikely that you will find yourself in a situation that will require you to use you firearm, if you do find yourself in that situation you are much better off having an extra magazine and not needing it then needing it and not having it. It is the same reason why you have a fire extinguisher, purchase home owners insurance, and in fact the reason why you even carry a firearm in the first place.
And the last essential item I carry with me is an inside the waistband holster. I use a Aliengear Holster IWB. It clips on inside the waistband, is relatively comfortable, and maintains great retention over the pistol.
Q: What the heck is retention?
A: Retention refers to the snugness of a handgun within its holster. The more snug a holster is, the less a pistol can move around when you do daily activities like jumping, sprinting, or squatting.
So to recap on essential items:
Concealed carry handgun
If that is all you carry, you have covered the basics, and will find that that is good enough for most of the situations you many encounter. But many others including myself like to have a little extra.
Essential Extras: Why We Take The Extra Step
For me, a knife and an emergency flashlight are essential. They may not be essential for you.
Do I recommend always carrying a utility knife and a flashlight? Absolutely.
Does every concealed carrier have one of each? Probably.
Do they carry them everyday? I imagine quite a few do.
You know your day better than anyone else. For me, I’ve never needed my flashlight and knife for fighting but I have needed them quite a few times working around the barn or just doing daily activities. I carry these items with me because I have a need for them.
These items — an emergency flashlight and a knife — are things that may not necessarily help me in a fight but will certainly help me deal with everything else. More importantly, each can compliment and assist me in a defensive gun use situation if I so choose. They’re options.
The knife I have is great for opening boxes, occasionally tightening a loose screw, stripping wires, and any other number of various tasks. If I’m stuck fighting in close quarters and can’t safely draw my gun — it’s there.
That’s the point of essential extras. These are tools you can find use of in your daily routine and can also compliment and help you in a real struggle for your life.
Many concealed carriers and gun owners have differing opinions as to what constitutes “essential extras”. Some would argue everything up to and including a first aid kit and body armor. Others take a bit more practical approach and just answer the question, “what do I need in an absolute emergency?”
Readiness and preparation are keys to success for everyday concealed carry. The gun, by itself, is just one tool in your arsenal in solving problems great and small. The real determination of success will come from what tools you have available and how you are able to adapt and overcome.
For me personally I have those items as part of my EDC, and then I have another seperate bag that I keep in my car or take with me that includes other items that I might need like a baton, a large knife, some emergency supplies, and because I am an EMT a "First in Bag". These items I don't need everyday, but might want them close one day if I ever needed them so I leave those locked up in my car for relatively easy access.
Each person will need to decide what they need and what they would like to carry.