When it comes to EDC, everyone has an option and they tailor their EDC according to their needs. There are so many options that it makes it difficult to pick the right gear for you. At this point, after many years of responsible carry, I can recommend my defensive loadout for your EDC.
If you are building your EDC with defensive purposes in mind, my recommendations might work for you. However, depending on the task at hand, you may need to swap gear for a more specific purpose. Even your firearms training dictates what type of handgun should you carry. All this combined with concealed capabilities should make you think twice before assembling your EDC.
For example, for backcountry travel, I prefer a concealed-carry chest rig. Even more, the farther I travel from home, the larger my pistol choice. I go with something that allows me to carry a full-sized pistol, as well as two magazines in the main compartment. Also, I make sure there’s plenty of room in the accessory pocket for my usual EDC items (wallet, flashlight, multi-tool and so on).
Another thing you should consider is that you need to be realistic about your EDC and how much you carry. Too much gear will interfere with normal movement and attire, and you will attract attention on yourself. You will not be able to walk normally and you will change your body’s position trying to maintain concealment.
The most important thing I can recommend is picking a good holster, one that’s right for your body type. After all, a good holster for you should easily work with your movement and body. The wrong choice will make your movement seem unnatural and you will focus too much on what you are carrying. This will get in the way of being observant of your surroundings.
Recommended Defensive items for your EDC
1. Handgun of your choice
I’m not going to provide examples for reliable, concealable firearms that could fit easily on your holster and on your body. The idea here is to keep a firearm on you or in reach because a handgun represents a solid option in self-protection. When people ask me about recommendation, I always say that the gun you have on you is better than the gun you leave home. So, make sure you carry a gun you can shot with in the right holster.
Related reading: 10 Reliable Pocket Pistols For Your EDC
2. Spare magazine(s)
I always carry a spare magazine and you should do the same for your EDC. Think of it like this, a magazine that malfunctions will leave you with a single-shot pistol. Even more, I’ve tested a lot of handguns and I can tell you that reliable and reputable handguns can drop a mag unintentionally. I’ve seen a lot of people hitting the release button accidentally when training and this is a reality that can happen to all of us. A spare magazine or two should always be carried as a reliable backup solution to feed your gun. You should consider this after calculating if the weight is not too much to carry.
Also, novice gun users will often panic in a real life-threatening scenario and they will not hit the target at first. Some of them can spend an entire magazine without actually hitting the target. Others go with the “spray and pray” method and I can tell you that a single magazine will not be enough in those cases.
Although you can train your vision to see when the night covers everything, is not possible to see in total darkness. This is why I carry a quality flashlight and I love my Streamlight ProTac 2L-X tactical flashlight. All the people who carry a pistol without a weapon light or a handled flashlight assume the target will always be visible. They fail to realize that the fight they may get into can happen in a closed environment or at night.
How will you squeeze the trigger in total darkness if you can’t tell what is past your sights? Think about carrying a tactical flashlight with you since these items can be quite small and lightweight.
4. A reliable blade
Some people prefer a foldable pocket knife while others go with a fixed blade. Once again, the choice you make for your EDC should fit your needs and training. I for one prefer a fixed blade since I’m aware that an extra step required from concealment carry to read for action can cost me. In certain scenarios, especially in close-combat situations, a knife can be deployed faster than a firearm. If you need to figure out how to unfold your knife when someone is grabbing you, there’s a chance you might not be able to use it in the end.
Also, nowadays there’s an increase in combat training and execution focusing on the multi-weapon approach. This means that soldiers are learning to use their pistol and knife at the same time or subsequently to eliminate the threat.
Suggested article: Eight Tips To Consider When Buying A Knife
You have to understand that your handgun is not indestructible and that firearms are mechanical tools in the end. They are held together by screws and pins and they need cleaning and maintenance. A quality multi-tool can keep all your firearms up and running. Besides that, it has multiple survival uses and it will help you get out of trouble.
If you are looking for a quality multi-tool, I recommend the Leatherman MUT. It’s a bit expensive, but you won’t find anything better on the market. The Leatherman MUT is the first multi-tool that functions as both a tactical and practical tool for military, LE, or civilian shooters.
A tourniquet will save your life in a gun-fight scenario. It weighs a few ounces and it can be applied in seconds. And seconds is what you have before bleeding out. Think about how crazy life is today and how accidents can happen at any given time. I keep a reliable tourniquet in my EDC and one in my go home bag. Tourniquets are pretty cheap and if you carry or work with tools that can puncture and lacerate, you should consider getting one. You may not need it today or tomorrow, but you cannot predict what the future may bring. Be smart about it!
7. Mobile phone
We all have a mobile phone, but most times it runs out of juice due to various apps that constantly drain it. If you get into a gunfight, the police will eventually show up and you need to make sure you were the one making the call. You should provide all the info to them and let them know you used your firearms for self-defense. If you do not do this, chances are you will be identified as “the shooter” when they show up. There’s no point in telling you how things can turn out if you didn’t describe your appearance and location. Another thing you should mention is that you still have the firearm.
Once the police get there, you should ask to go to the hospital for a proper evaluation. You may be in shock and you may be wounded without even realizing. Make sure the one call you make is to your lawyer or a contact that should get in touch with your lawyer and your family.
All the above will not be possible if your phone is not charged. I recommend looking for a power bank that can easily fit in your EDC. There are various models that are lightweight and compact (credit card sized).
A final word
All the above items are a must for my self-defense EDC. You may find you need to change some of the items or add some extra items to the list. I encourage you to do so since every EDC is tailored for the person who carries it. Your EDC should be made for the scenarios you are facing daily and it should contain only items that are mandatory for you.
Think about its weight and about the environment in which you are carrying it. Some locations are a gun-free zone while others (in the wilderness) may require a bigger caliber.
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1 thought on “Recommendations For An Optimal Defensive Load Out For Your EDC”
I agree with the author, and I carry much more in my Cherokee.
Carrying a handgun is akin to dressing for the occasion.
Dependent on the perceived threat level at my destinations’ location, determines what I carry.
I have been CCW for 65 years, have had to use one twice none LEO status,(retired PO).
Today, nearing 80 years of age, I try to limit the weight on me.
I only use a flip phone, no fancy I-Phone, being a dinosaur that is all I need.
One thing I do do is carry a backup piece 90% of the time, when leaving for the big city, 100%.
There are some ex-cons that would like to get even with me.
Backup consist of a laser sighted S&W 642 with one HKS speed loader in pocket.
Great for late fall and winter in coat pocket, can be fired right through it if needed.
Primary handguns for cool-cold weather carry are full size autos, hammer fired (old school).
Total spare magazines carried is dependent on destination and route, do carry spares for all models in console.
I carry a Gerber folder as a utility knife, not for fighting not at my age.