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“You know you are a prep­per if it takes five min­utes to load your pock­ets each time you leave the house.”

The sub­ject of gear seems to be of great inter­est to the prep­per com­mu­ni­ty so I will address my gear-relat­ed items from time-to-time. I have come to think that gear can­not solve all prob­lems, just give you more options. Before I describe the con­tents of my pock­ets, let me empha­size that they are my pock­ets not yours. Each item is spe­cif­ic to my risk assess­ment and dai­ly activ­i­ties. I guar­an­tee that your sit­u­a­tion is dif­fer­ent such that you will need to tai­lor your pock­ets to your life.

1) Wal­let with iden­ti­fi­ca­tion, $200 cash, cred­it card, deb­it card, med­ical deb­it card, medical/car insur­ance infor­ma­tion, and emer­gency con­tact cards, gro­cery store and pet store cards.

2) Key chain with Tac­ti­cal LED flash­light, small LED flash­light, whis­tle, plas­tic self-defense tool, mace, and keys.

3) Ger­ber 3.5” Knife

4) Wave Mul­ti-tool

5) Cell Phone with inte­grat­ed GPS and traf­fic mon­i­tor­ing

6) Altoid Tin and lighter with:.….……

7) Note cards, Blue Pen, Black pen

8) Sun­glass­es that are also safe­ty glass­es

Iden­ti­fi­ca­tion: A cur­rent dri­vers licence is required by law. My back­up is the pass­port I car­ry in my tac­ti­cal bag.

Cash: Cash talks even when the pow­er goes out or the cred­it card machines go down. I have been in sit­u­a­tions where both have hap­pened. Plus, if you want to main­tain oper­a­tional secu­ri­ty, cash is less trace­able than cred­it cards.

Cred­it card: I use them because we get 5% cash back. I always have the mon­ey in my bank account to cov­er any trans­ac­tion along with fraud alerts and auto­mat­ic bank drafts.

Deb­it card: If I need to get extra cash, I can.

Med­ical deb­it card: I pay for pre­scrip­tions and doc­tors vis­its via this card. This saves mon­ey because this is pre-tax dol­lars.

Med­ical and car insur­ance infor­ma­tion: Proof of car insur­ance is required and hav­ing your med­ical insur­ance infor­ma­tion is help­ful in emer­gency sit­u­a­tions.

Emer­gency con­tact card: If my cell phone is lost or stolen, I have con­tact infor­ma­tion of close fam­i­ly mem­bers and doc­tors on me at all times. If I am inca­pac­i­tat­ed, this infor­ma­tion is right on top of my wal­let.

Gro­cery store card: Every week, I save mon­ey on gro­cery store spe­cials and gas dis­counts via the loy­al­ty card sys­tem. I buy in bulk when things are on sale and less when they are not. Of course, they can track my pur­chas­es, but who cares if they know about my pin­to bean pur­chas­ing pat­tern?

Pet store card: Same as above. I reg­u­lar­ly by pet food and can get dis­counts by pre­sent­ing them with a piece of plas­tic. If I don’t car­ry it with me, I will for­get it and not get the dis­count.

Sin­gle LED light: This is always on my chain. Orig­i­nal­ly, this was intend­ed to find the key slot on my car or house in the dark, but has expand­ed to oth­er sit­u­a­tions where light is need­ed.

Six LED tac­ti­cal light: If I don’t have room in my pock­ets, this is left behind. I made this addi­tion recent­ly due to a poten­tial­ly bad expe­ri­ence. I was vis­it­ing a ware­house that had motion acti­vat­ed lights. My host entered the side room and the lights did not come on imme­di­ate­ly. It was pitch black and the door start­ed to close behind me. My mind raced to “what if the door clos­es, locks and the lights don’t come on?” I did not allow the door to close behind me (of course), but I rea­soned that my sin­gle LED light would be inad­e­quate should the worst hap­pened and I need­ed to pull out my knife or mul­ti­tool to exit a bad sit­u­a­tion. That event was total­ly unan­tic­i­pat­ed and I am sure the worse case sce­nario of being trapped in a dark room would not have hap­pened. Regard­less, my job is to antic­i­pate and sur­vive. Besides, since I have start­ed to car­ry it, there have been many times when I need­ed it and used it.

Whis­tle: This is anoth­er sur­vival tool to attract atten­tion. It is too big to fit in my Altoid tin, so it is on my key chain.

Self-Defence Tool: If it comes to hand-to-hand com­bat, it is yet anoth­er tool.

Ger­ber knife: Self-explana­to­ry. I have used it end­less­ly.

Wave-Mul­ti­tool: I upgrad­ed from a Ske­la­tool to get more items. I most­ly use the pli­ers, but nev­er know what sit­u­a­tion will require a mini-saw or oth­er tool.

Cell Phone with GPS and traf­fic: I have a Black­Ber­ry which is the ulti­mate sur­vival tool. In addi­tion to instant phone, text or email com­mu­ni­ca­tion, the GPS is invalu­able for nav­i­ga­tion. Of course, the cell net­work may be down and GPS dis­abled so back­ups are need­ed. How­ev­er, for dai­ly use, this is the best tool avail­able.

Altoid Tin in a Ziplock bag: This has many items that I will describe lat­er.

Note cards and pens: At my age, I must write down things or they are for­got­ten. I may have a brain­storm and can­not imme­di­ate­ly act upon a very good busi­ness or prep­ping idea. I have note cards for this pur­pose. Plus, if I need­ed to write some­one a sur­vival note (where I was, where I am going, what is my con­di­tion, how I can be reached) I have the nec­es­sary tool.  Last­ly, the pens can be anoth­er defen­sive weapon.

You may be think­ing three (or more) things right now:

1) That is a hell of a lot of stuff to car­ry around in your pock­ets.
2) There is so much unac­count­ed for.
3) What, no con­cealed gun?

First, yes, that is a lot of stuff. I wear jeans most days to work and it all fits in my pock­ets. The wal­let, 6 LED flash­light, and mace are in my left pock­et. The key-ring stuff is con­nect­ed to a D‑ring which is attached to a belt loop. That way, I am not fish­ing in my pock­et for mace when I need to use it (nev­er have). The knife, mul­ti­tool, Altoid tin and lighter are in my right pock­et. The note pad and pens are in my shirt pock­et. If I don’t have a shirt pock­et, then the note pad is in a back pock­et and the pens stuck in my front right pock­et.  Peo­ple includ­ing my wife may note that I car­ry a lot of stuff in my pock­ets, but who cares what they think? I have what I need to sur­vive many sit­u­a­tions and they don’t.

Sec­ond, there is a lot of sur­vival tools unac­count­ed for. I agree, that is why I have a tac­ti­cal bag and get home bag in my car with oth­er essen­tial items so that I can last 72 hours unaid­ed. My tac­ti­cal bag goes with me most every­where, but I leave it in the car dur­ing work hours. I real­ize this is a gap in my preps, but have not come up with a suf­fi­cient solu­tion with­out putting a cache in my desk. It may come to that, but I have anoth­er idea I am pon­der­ing.

Last­ly, I do not have a con­cealed-car­ry licence yet. Even if I did, I can­not car­ry on my company’s prop­er­ty or even have a gun in the com­pa­ny park­ing lot. Thus, it would not do me much good to have a CDL. How­ev­er, you will note that I am armed in mul­ti­ple ways: mace, knife, mul­ti­tool, self-defence tool, flash­light, pens, whis­tle, and just plain aware­ness and brains. I will have a CDL in the near future, but won’t have the legal author­i­ty to car­ry five days a week to/from work. Oth­er­wise, I am suf­fi­cient­ly armed at all times to face most threats. If I could car­ry a firearm 24/7 I would, but I can­not so I do the best I can with the sit­u­a­tion.

One final note: I some­times don’t have suf­fi­cient pock­et space to car­ry every­thing I want. I may have to leave my 6 LED flash­light behind as well as my mul­ti­tool and Altoid can and iPod.  I put them in my back pack, in my car or just leave them at home. How­ev­er, at a min­i­mum I have my wal­let, phone, knife, mace, 1 LED light, whis­tle, one pen and keys on me at all times.  The oth­er items are close and avail­able.

Now that you see what I car­ry in my pock­ets, what do you car­ry in yours?

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