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There is one pistol that is now so popular, so widely used, so plentiful that its very name has become a euphemism for “handgun”. That pistol is, naturally, the Glock. Love it or loathe it this polymer framed titan codified what shooters all around the world came to expect from a polymer framed pistol.

While not the first, and definitely not the last of the breed, the compact 9mm Glock 19, through a combination of stupidly dependable performance, ideal size and very clever marketing set trends that other manufacturers would scramble for years to meet and beat.

Easy to use, easy to shoot, incredibly durable and extremely reliable, with an impressive payload of 15 rounds in an easy to conceal package, the Glock 19 is in many ways the iconic compact 9mm; often imitated, rarely surpassed.

But Glock was not infallible. For too long they sat on their laurels and shunned innovation under the guise of “Perfection” while an aftermarket swarming with vendors provided every conceivable performance upgrade that civilian and professional users were clamoring for.

All the while competitors for Glock’s crown were hungry, and slavering to come up with a polymer gun that represented the new paradigm in striker-fired design.

In this article, we will take a historical look at the Generation 4 Glock 19, which is noteworthy since it was this group of product improvements that set the stage for the excellent Gen 5 and MOS Glock variants.

The Glock 19

The Glock 19, like all Glocks, is a polymer framed striker-fired semi-automatic pistol. The compact 19 is slightly shorter in both height and length than its progenitor, the fullsize Glock 17, and carried two less rounds in its magazine for a total of 15, or 16 with a loaded chamber and full magazine.

The 19 is significantly larger than its smaller cousin, the subcompact Glock 26. The trigger is the same somewhat mushy but consistent stock Glock trigger that we all know, and all 3 passive safety systems are retained in the 19.

The Glock 19 otherwise is identical in operation to the larger 17, with all parts, controls and locking system being identical save for the shorter slide, barrel and recoil spring assembly. While not truly an “in-between” size compared to the 17 and 26, the 19 is noticeably easier to carry and conceal compared to the fractionally larger 17.

Well, fractions count when carrying concealed, and the Glock 19 is one of the most popular Glocks, indeed one of the most popular compact pistols, ever: with an ideal combination of shootability, handling, capacity and size, the Glock 19 is as close to a true do-everything pistol that has yet been designed.

Popular with police forces, militaries, civilians and sportsmen, the Glock 19 is a ubiquitous and excellent polymer 9mm.

Genesis of the Generation 4

After more than a decade of commercial and law enforcement market domination, real threats to Glock’s market majority began to surface in the form of the Smith & Wesson M&P series pistols and around the middle of the 2000s.

The M&P featured ambidextrous controls, adjustable grip sizes, steel sights and forward slide serrations out of the box. More than a few professional users thought the stock trigger of the M&P series was superior. Clearly, this was not an also-ran gun that Glock could simply ignore before they went back to swimming in their Olympic swimming pool full of gold bars.

In 2010, facing mounting pressure from the M&P, outcry from law enforcement who wanted more adaptability for issued guns, and a frothing desire to keep on making absolute fortunes, Glock finally decided to roll out the first truly significant upgrades to the longtime standard 3rd Generation guns produced since 1998 (not counting the ill-fated RTF2 guns that came out in ’09).

The Gen. 4 guns would not be the mind-bending, watermark obliterating guns that the Glock 17 originally was way back when it was introduced. Instead, the Gen.4 guns would be refinements, broadly speaking: new, more aggressive grip textures; reversible magazine release; interchangeable backstraps; a captive dual recoil spring assembly; and some internal geometry changes to slide, trigger and barrel.

All in all, the changes were welcome, but underwhelming in light of many competitors’ offerings.

Differences between the Gen. 4 and Gen. 3 Glocks

As said, the Gen. 4 Glocks were models of refinement, not barrier-busting innovation. These very same changes would have stolen much of other makers’ thunder had Glock introduced them a few years prior.

The first and most noticeable change is the grip, both texture and size. The overall size of the grip was reduced, molded now with small, pyramidal checkering to afford more traction on the frame.

This reduced size was accompanied by two installable backstraps, held in place by the trigger housing pin. The medium closely mimicked the size of the Gen. 3 legacy frame, and the large increased the length of pull by nearly two tenths of an inch.

Lefties too had something to celebrate: the magazine release on the Gen. 4 Model 19 and others was oversized for sure actuation and now user reversible with only rudimentary tools.

Herein lays one of the rubs: while Gen. 4 mags are reverse compatible with older Glocks, and older mags will work in the Gen. 4’s, if the magazine release has been reversed for left-handed use then only Gen. 4 magazines may be used. Sigh…

The updated recoil spring assembly was of the most interest to serious students of the gun, as this type was seen for years in the subcompact Glock pistol lines.

Changing the compact and fullsize pistols to this arrangement carried the promise from Glock that shooters would enjoy less felt recoil and the RSA would have a longer service life under the same firing schedule compared to the legacy single captive spring design.

Now for the other quirks: to accommodate the redesign of the frame and insertion of the new recoil spring assembly, other internal components were slightly modified, specifically the slide, barrel shelf and trigger components.

This means that some legacy OEM components from the Gen. 3 guns either will not fit the Gen. 4 guns or will need to be modified to fit. It further means that the trillions of aftermarket Gen. 3 mods will all need to be fitted on a trial and experimental basis. There is a strong case for the institution build by the long reign of the Gen. 3 Glocks.

The Generation 4 Glocks were a significant improvement on paper over the Generation 3 legacy guns, but one must be aware of the costs as discussed above. They will not be an issue for everyone, and by now many aftermarket manufacturers have no doubt catered to the unique differences of the Gen. 4 guns.

Is There Any Reason to Choose a Gen. 4 Glock over another Generation?

That depends. If you are a “stock shooter” the Gen. 4 Glock is a straight across upgrade of the Gen. 3’s, but itself is now, on paper, inferior to the Gen. 5s.

Should one come across a smoking deal on one, I would not hesitate to purchase it. This appraisal changes somewhat if you are, like so many Glock owners, a shooter who sees the stock gun as a starting point, a canvas for improvement and nothing more.

The Gen. 3 Glock is still today the undisputed champ when it comes to sheer amount of potential upgrades and aftermarket parts available for it. If you are of the mind to super-tune or completely modify your Glock down to the last pin and spring, you may be best served sticking with your legacy pistols instead of going to the brand new Gen. 5 or the Gen. 4.

Ultimately, much is interchangeable between the Gen. 3, 4 and 5 pistols, but some parts are not. Glock has been cautious to warn users against assembling “mutt” pistols with OEM components taken from multiple generations even if they fit and pass function checks. In such cases, the pistol may function, but tolerance stacking is a real condition and reliability may be adversely affected.

Before embarking on such an experiment, especially for a defensive gun, consult a gunsmith or customizer who is extremely fluent with all generations of the Glock pistol and even then proceed cautiously.

Conclusion and Bottom Line

The Glock 19 Gen.4 was not an earth-shattering upgrade when released, and advancements in pistol design since, including Glock’s own Gen. 5 guns, has borne that out. The Gen. 4 did, though, make a bunch of smart and long overdue upgrades that paved the way for the excellent Gen. 5, and those upgrades were long overdue if one cared to watch the march of Glock’s competitors and the most commonly selected mods installed by owners.

Today, the Gen. 4 19 is still a good gun, in all the ways that Glocks are good guns, but as a legacy design its significance is little more than a waypoint that brought us to where we are now. That isn’t a bad thing, there is just not much reason to seek one out over a Gen. 5, or one of the zillions of Gen. 3 pistols on the market.

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by Megan

Survival and prepping is one of those topics that have been around for a long time. And because there have been survivalists and preppers around for so long, there are a ton of stories that have been passed down through families.

You remember, that story about your old Uncle Hal, who got lost on the mountain and wandered all alone for weeks, eating nothing but bugs. These family stories get passed down from one generation to the next and just like a that childhood game of telephone, they get a little mixed up and sometimes exaggerated along the way.

Below are the survival myths and lies you need to stop believing if you truly hope to live through being stranded in the wilderness.

Myth: Boiling Water Makes it Safe to Drink

Most people have heard that you should always boil water before drinking it in a survival situation. It’s true that boiling water is one of the best ways to kill bacteria and parasites that could be living in the water. But did you know that just boiling water doesn’t make it safe to drink?

That’s because it doesn’t remove large particles or heavy metals, that could be in it, and could make you sick. It’s always best to filter your water first, even if it’s clear, to remove any large particles of contaminant and then boil it to kill parasites and bacteria.

Myth: Moss Only Grows on North Side of Trees

According to Assistant Professor of Forest Biology at University of Idaho’s College of Natural Resources, the idea that moss growing on the north side of trees “makes a lot of sense.”

This survival myth is based on the fact that a lot of mosses prefer the damp, shady coolness found on the side of the tree that gets the least amount of sunlight. But this survival tip depends largely on where you live and on what else might be providing shade for trees.

In fact, for those who live in the southern hemisphere, moss would actually prefer to grow on the southern side of trees as that would be the cool, damp side. Bottom line is rely on a good quality compass and not the moss to get your bearings.

Myth: Alcoholic Drinks Will Warm You Up

In truth, alcohol actually dilates the blood vessels which makes you think you are warmer but alcohol lowers core body temperature. This can actually increase your risk of hypothermia because you will feel warmer than you actually are which means you may not seek shelter and warmth as quickly as you should.

Myth: Drink Your Own Pee to Stay Hydrated

This is one of those survival myths and lies you need to stop believing that can really cause you harm. Urine is full of bacteria and other contaminants from the body, so drinking it is definitely not high on the list of smart things to do.

Also, if you find yourself stranded in a desperate situation which has you considering drinking your own pee, chances are you are dehydrated already, and your pee won’t have anything of value that your body can use.

Myth: Follow Flying Birds to Find Water

While it’s true that many birds, especially grain eating birds, need fresh water, following flying birds to find water is not a reliable way to navigate. Hawks and other flesh-eating birds are hydrated from eating their prey and can often go for long periods without fresh water.

So you could follow a hawk several days out of your way and he still won’t lead you to water. It would also be very difficult to determine whether a bird was flying to water or whether they were returning from getting water.

If you aren’t intimately familiar with the flying patterns of birds in the wild, it would be very easy to be misled. If you are desperate for water, you can’t risk following a bird without knowing for sure where they are headed. Stick to other more reliable methods for finding water.

Myth: Opening Windows During a Hurricane or Tornado Can Save Your Home

This is truly a case of when you know better, you do better. For decades it was thought that an open window during a hurricane or tornado could somehow lessen the damage caused by gale force winds.

It was thought that air pressure difference between outside your home and inside your home could cause a roof to be blown off. But this thought was based on what would happen if a building were airtight. No home is airtight.

Keep windows closed during high wind storms to protect yourself from flying debris in the air. In fact, in a hurricane, it’s recommended that windows all the way around the outside of your home be covered with wooden or metal shutters.

Myth: Punch a Shark in the Nose if Attacked

This sounds like it makes sense, right? I know if I were punched in the nose, I’d tend to retreat rather than keep attacking. But in truth, punching a swimming shark in the nose, hard enough for it to register with the shark, while you yourself are treading water or being gripped by a shark, is going to be very difficult.

The recommendation now is to target the much more sensitive parts of the shark, their gills and their eyes. You’ll need less force to cause the shark pain and it’s more likely that it will let go of you to either get a better grip or back off entirely.

Myth: Finding Food is a Priority If Stranded

When you’re stranded in a survival situation, it would make sense that finding food should be a priority. But in truth, your first priority should be water and your second priority should be shelter.

Food actually falls way down the list of priorities, because a typical healthy adult can survive up to 3 weeks or more with very little or no food. Of course, you’ll want to find food sooner than that but it’s not your main priority in the first hours or days that you are stranded. Focus on finding water and shelter, make sure you’re prepared to signal help if they come into view or earshot, and then worry about food.

Myth: If Animals Eat It, We Can Too

This is definitely one of those survival myths and lies you need to stop believing. There are several different species including birds and squirrels, that eat foods that are poisonous to humans.

Stick to foods you know are safe for humans and hone your plant identification skills so that you can forage for food with confidence and without relying on what the animals are eating to survive.

Myth: You Can Drink from a Cactus to Stay Hydrated

Of the five different varieties of cacti, only the fishhook barrel cactus has water that you can filter out and drink safely. Drinking the liquid from any other cacti will cause illness, including vomiting.

If you are already dehydrated or on the verge of dehydration, vomiting can actually make dehydration worse. Do yourself a favor and make sure you carry fresh water in your BOB or GHB and a water filter as part of your EDC.

Myth: Rub Frostbitten Skin to Warm It with Friction

We’ve all seen it done. Someone gets rescued after being stranded out in the extreme cold and their rescuer rubs their hands, arms, and legs vigorously to warm them up. Seems like the quickest way to get someone warm. In reality, if you rub the cold skin of someone who is a victim of frostbite, you will actually do more damage than good.

Frostbite means ice crystals have started to form on the skin and rubbing them will not only be painful, but it will do more damage to the skin. Warm victims of frostbite gradually using blankets, hot water bottles placed in the victim’s armpits, or using your own body heat if necessary.

Myth Suck Venom from a Snakebite

Here’s one of the survival myths and lies you need to stop believing if you haven’t already. If you or someone you are with has been bitten by a poisonous snake, cutting the wound and trying to suck the poison out is no longer the recommended method of treatment.

In fact, this can actually introduce infection to the victim’s wound and potentially get venom in your mouth. Instead, act quickly to get the victim to professional medical help. If possible, keep the bitten area lower than the victim’s heart to slow movement of poison through the blood.

Myth: It’s Safe to Build a Fire in a Cave

Movies are famous for perpetuating this survival myth you should stop believing too. How many times have you seen the hero and his gal of course, duck into a cave to start a fire and spend the night?

In reality, this isn’t a good idea at all because rock expands when heated so building a fire inside a cave is asking for trouble. As the rock gets hot, it will expand, potentially cracking and caving in onto your head.

Myth: Emergency Blankets Don’t Really Work

Many people have come to believe that emergency blankets don’t really work. You may call them space blankets or Mylar blankets but in truth they are all made of reflective material and seem to be rather thin. It’s no wonder people find it hard to believe these blankets can be effective in keeping you warm.

In truth it’s the reflective material that makes these blankets work better than any old blanket. When wrapped around a human body, the reflective surface traps body heat and reflects that energy back which serves to warm up the space. The trick is making sure the emergency blanket you buy is a quality blanket and that when you wrap it around yourself, you create an enclosed space.

Myth: Eating Snow Can Prevent Dehydration

If you find yourself trapped in extremely cold weather without fresh drinking water, eating snow seems like a no-brainer, right? After all, snow is just water in its frozen form. In truth, snow is more air than water and you’d have to eat quite a lot of snow in order to quench your thirst.

The other issue with eating snow is that while you’re trying to eat enough to quench your thirst, the snow is lowering your core body temperature and putting you at risk for hypothermia. Your best bet with snow is to melt it first, by adding a little bit of snow at a time to a pot over the fire and drink it once it has melted.

Myth: An Underpass is Good Shelter in a Tornado

Believe it or not, professional disaster agencies used to recommend underpasses as good tornado shelters if you were stranded near a tornado while driving.

We now know that wind speed and air pressure are increased due to the overpass design. You are more likely to get hit with flying debris as it is sucked in or get sucked out yourself and smashed against the nearest structure or tree.

Did we miss one of the survival myths that you’ve become aware of? Let us know in the comments below. And don’t forget to pin this on your favorite Pinterst board for later!

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by Tim Makay

Owning a gun is a right, but any right worth having carries with it responsibility. Gun ownership is a great example. In the U.S., our natural right to keep and bear arms is further codified by our constitution, but we would be poor exemplars of that right if we did not take the time and put in effort to keep our guns from unauthorized or unsafe hands.

This is simple for the most part when we have the gun on us and under our immediate control. It is more complicated when we do not. When storing your gun, or other guns that you are not using, you will need practical solutions that will keep them safe and sound

The obvious choice is a gun safe, but that is not the only option. Luckily the smart gun owner has access to a variety of devices and techniques to ensure or increase the physical security of their firearms. In this article, we’ll be taking a look at a variety of security containers, locks, hiding places and clever hiding places to make sure you keep your guns out of the wrong hands.

Security Essentials

What does “secure” mean? I don’t mean the definition, I mean the status of our guns in the context of our discussion. Depending on who you are, what you do and what your home, work and family situation is, your “secure” pronouncement may look different than mine.

If you have family in the home, you will doubtless be concerned with keeping the gun out of the hands children. We have all heard the terrible tales of what happens when an untrained and unsupervised child finds a loaded gun.

Some people may have to deal with innocent but nosy and histrionics-prone relatives. Some people simply entertain plenty of guests and so having a gun in a position to be easily stumbled upon is a bad move. Keeping your guns secure is of obvious benefit in the case of a burglary or home invasion.

Depending on your situation and concerns, you may want the gun ensconced in a hardened container, big or small, disabled with a locking device or by some other means, or properly hidden to preclude it being found by all by a diligent and thorough search of the house while ideally remaining reasonably accessible to you.

None of these solutions is explicitly right or wrong. The most commonly recommend proscription, a large gun safe, is a good one, but you would do well to remember that even this beastly containers are not unbreachable or defeatable.

No security system is, not even the mightiest vault or most impenetrable fortress. All security systems do is buy time against deliberate attempts and force. With enough time and enough force, any secure container or location can be defeated.

Hopefully it will cost the thief or attacker so much time that they give up for fear of discovery or intervention by a defender. That’s where you come in. If hidden well enough, we hope our would-be interloper or thief will never even know the gun is there, or if they do, they will give up in frustration long before they zero in on the hiding place.

At the end of the day, with few exceptions, most of us do not linger at home day in and day out where will incidentally (or purposefully) be ready to respond to any would-be thief or nosy relations. Keeping that in mind, you must assess how much and what kind of security you need versus your desired level of accessibility.

Accessibility and Security

Balancing speed and security is never as easy as we would like it, and often more complex than we might imagine. There is no baseline for this, and deciding on the right balance between the two is up to the individual. Needless to say, you must take great care when determining a storage solution for a gun that will be loaded, as the stakes, if it is discovered, are far higher.

If the gun is going to be placed in storage without any kind of defensive purpose then speed of access is less important than if the opposite was the case. If that is so, you must ensure that you can access the gun as quickly as you can under less-than-ideal conditions, say for instance like 3AM after being wakened from a sound sleep by a crash in the house. What is easy when bright eyed and bushy tailed may be far more error-prone then…

Concerning speed of access, faster is always the preference but sometimes the price of speed may be one that is too steep to bear depending on your circumstances.

Take the classic example of a gun kept on the nightstand; very, very fast, but not secure. Stepping up security in the same scenario would be a compact quick-open safe, perhaps one with an electronic lock for “fast” access.

Sure, those units are secure in the context of someone accessing the gun in a short time frame, and can be fast, but they are far from error-free; a fumbled entry on the keypad when the pressure is mounting will cost time you do not have in an emergency.

The same class of safe with a simple mechanical lock or dial would offer more reliability than an electronic lock, but is even slower. Remember what I said about this being less than easy? You are starting to get it by now no doubt.

I am not saying all this to frustrate you, only to make you aware of the very real tradeoffs present in any security system. Sometimes all you can do is pick a solution that means you’ll sacrifice the least important factor to you.

Remember: there is no one perfect security solution! You must weigh all of the variables against your desires, concerns and requirements. Somewhere in the equation lies your answer.

Secure Storage Options

Next we’ll take a look at various methods you can employ to secure your guns. As a reminder, do not expect that all of these various methods will appeal or even work for you depending on your circumstances.

Nevertheless, learn from the following so you can make an informed and wise choice.

The following is not listed in any order whatsoever. As I mentioned earlier, all have their own advantages and disadvantages.

Gun Safes, Strongboxes, Vaults

The go-to solution for many gun owners and with good reason. No matter what size, placing a gun under “lock and key” will always afford good security against unauthorized access unless the combo or key is compromised.

Depending on the size of your collection, you can get safes in a wide range of sizes and construction, anywhere from tiny, single pistol strongboxes to enormous safes weighing nearly 1,000 pounds. Locking systems could be anything from traditional dial to an electronic biometric fingerprint scanning lock.

As a rule, the larger the safe the more logistical concerns you’ll be dealing with on delivery, emplacing and moving of it. A smaller safe is much less fuss to haul home and put in place, but no matter what size you buy you must bolt them to a firmpoint in the wall or floor to properly secure them.

Larger safes than you might think have been carted off by a team of burglars using hand trucks or good old fashioned muscle, to be later broken into at their leisure in a location of their choosing. It goes without saying smaller strongbox is usually easy to break free and tote away entirely, but these units are designed more for the prevention of unauthorized access than asset protection.

Take care when settling on a locking system: traditional mechanical locks of all kinds, be they dials on large safes or Simplex buttons are highly reliable and nearly maintenance free, but not swift or easy to open under stress.

Any electronic lock may well be simpler and faster to open, but if batteries run out you are out of luck until they are replaced or you fetch the backup key if it is so equipped. Biometric locks offer the ultimate in speed and convenience, but are not reliable enough in my estimation for keeping a defensive firearm ready to use.

Locking Devices

In this category, trigger locks and cable locks are the most common, but also included are devices like locking racks and wall mounts. Depending on the precise configuration, these may or may not even allow a semblance of speed for a defensive gun, or may not even permit the gun to be loaded at all by design.

A trigger lock fits over the trigger guard area of a firearm to prevent the trigger from being reached or pulled. Some units are designed to fit a particular firearm, but most are universal-ish.

While the trigger locks themselves are compact and often very rugged, they can be picked, and care must be taken to ensure that they cannot be pulled themselves to activate the trigger!

Cable locks are another convenient option to temporarily disable a gun, and are designed to thread through the barrel or action of a gun and close on a padlock to prevent it from being loaded or the action going into battery, thus preventing it from being used. These work well at their purpose, but all are vulnerable to being cut off easily with bolt cutters or other tools.

Locking racks can afford a decent blend of security and speed of access, but invariably must be mounted to a wall or other fixture. Depending on their design, they may allow a gun to be kept out of the way and still easy to access. Some will have integral locking systems while others require the use of a separate lock.

Concealment Fixtures, False Furnishings and More

Sort of blending the attributes of a secure container and a hiding place, the new and popular category of décor is intended to offer the best of both worlds: household fixtures and furniture than invisibly blends into the rest of the house but have specialty compartments built in to hide the guns in plain sight. Anything from shelves, lamps, sconces, tables, mirrors, picture frames and more may be found on the market today.

These units may or may not feature locking systems, and are built to varying levels of toughness. Some units are essentially disguised metal strongboxes while others are merely wood or particle board with a specialty compartment and hidden closure for access. Investigate the construction and features of any prospective unit thoroughly before purchase to make sure you like what it offers.

Success with these units hinges on placing them believably in your home and still maintaining easy access: do they match your décor, or standout, and can you actually get to your gun in a time of need? You must consider your habits and how you move through your home as well; a gun hidden in a special shelf that resides in the home office you never, ever use may not be ideal.

The biggest shortcoming with these devices is that they are typically for keeping one or two guns at the ready and reasonably easy to access. They are not ideal for collections (unless you stud your entire house with these things). If discovered or suspected by a thief, most will be broken open easily, so that is one more thing to consider.

Even with these drawbacks, solutions in this class afford some real benefits for a savvy homeowner or apartment dweller.

Sneaky Hiding Spots

A proper hiding place can be a great way to keep your guns out of others grubby mitts, be they family, guests or crooks, but you must be really, really committed to utilizing good, out of the way hiding spots, not the top of the fridge, in a shoebox or under your socks. You won’t fool anyone, least of all a thief.

The real challenge with hiding places is choosing a spot that will be overlooked or skipped in a search while still affording you easy access. This is if you want to keep the guns handy of course. If you are worried more about secure storage and less about frequent use or readiness, then you can utilize more obscure or concealed methods.

Another quirk of hiding places is that hiding a gun from a thief and hiding a gun from a visitor or family member in the house can sometimes be mutually exclusive. Most serious thieves know all the usual suspects for hiding valuables, including guns, and will check them if given time and opportunity.

Busting a thief by using one of the example places below will usually put the gun “in harm’s way” of being found by a relative or guest in some occasions. Read on and you’ll see what I am talking about.

Some ideas for hiding places:

  • Stuffed under the clothes in your laundry hamper.
  • Hidden in a vent, access box or similar fixture.
  • Hung from a hook or wire beneath high in a floor-level cabinet, basin or vanity.
  • Concealed in a false wall or other compartment.
  • Hidden in a stack of towels in the bathroom closet.
  • Hidden in a box or similar container that is at home in your pantry.
  • Beneath carefully blended false flooring.

See what I meant when I said a spot that may flummox a burglar may put others on a path to finding the gun? Yeah, you can assume the gun will be found in the bathroom towels or laundry eventually by someone, even if a thief would not give that location the time of day.

Ethical Considerations

The choice to keep a securely stored or hidden gun loaded is up to you. Please keep in mind, no matter what any local or state laws have to say about storage of firearms or negligence regarding a gun falling into unauthorized or criminal hands, you have a moral responsibility to do everything you reasonably can to prevent that from happening.

Some things unfortunately cannot be avoided no matter what you did; no matter how well hidden or how strong the safe. That should never be an excuse though for haphazard or careless storage. Any storage decision you make must be well thought through. You must plan and execute as if someone is actively searching, right now, for your guns. One day, they might be.

Conclusion

No matter where you live or what your living arrangements look like, secure storage of guns is achievable, even on a zero-dollar budget if you are creative.

A safe, locking system or clever hiding spot is all you need to keep your guns from fomenting tragedy in the wrong hands. One of the above techniques or devices will instead keep them where they belong; in your hands.

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by Megan

If you’ve come across salt on the checklist of things to stockpile for a SHTF or survival situation, you might wonder what all the fuss is about. If you’re like me, you may not even use much salt on your food at all.

When I first started prepping, I didn’t even put salt on my stockpile shopping list because I figured it was merely for flavoring food and I could eat bland food if it came down to it. But it didn’t take long for me to realize just how many survival uses for salt there are and how valuable it can truly be when SHTF.

Survival Uses for Salt 1. Cleaning Fish

In a survival situation, you may find yourself catching fish for dinner. If you soak the fish in salt solution, it loosens the scales so that cleaning the fish is easier and quicker.

2. Sanitize Your Sponges

In an extended survival or SHTF situation, one of the critical tasks will be to keep bacteria and other germs at bay. If you have brought along sponges for cleaning up messes, you can boil them in salt water to sanitize them. Salt kills bacteria and eliminates odor.

Thoroughly air dry sponges after boiling. Sanitizing sponges means they will last longer and you have less to dispose of.

3. Help Milk Keep Longer

Did you know that if you add a bit of salt to refrigerated milk, it will keep it from spoiling a few days longer? This is a good trick if you find yourself having to bug in during a SHTF situation.

4. Keep Flames Low

If flames in your firepit are getting too high and might attract attention to your location, throw salt on the fire. The salt will keep the flames low without dousing the coals.

5. Remove Rust from Tools

A paste of salt and lemon juice and a dry cloth can be used to scrub rust from your tools and keep them working like new. Once rust spots are gone, thoroughly dry tools before storing to prevent rust from returning.

6. Make Removing Chicken Feathers Easier

If you’ve ever plucked a chicken, you know those pesky pin feathers can be troublesome and time consuming to remove. One trick to make this task go a little easier is to rub the entire chicken with salt. It will make the pin feathers easier to remove.

7. Cleaning Odors and Other Messes

In a survival situation, your hands are bound to get dirty, maybe even smelly from cleaning fish and gutting fresh caught game. You can use salt to clean your hands of greasy or sticky substances from your hands as well as from dishes and cutting boards. If you have a piece of lemon it helps the salt to work better and removes odors.

8. Drying & Tanning Hides

Salt is an important part of the process for drying and tanning hides. It helps prevent bacteria growth and helps the drying process. It’s typical for a hide to go through several saltings before being finished.

In an extended survival situation dried and tanned hides can be used for a variety of purposes including clothing, footwear, hats or mittens, blankets or rugs, and bartering for other needed items.

9. Prevent Mold on Cheese

Soaking cheese in salt solution and covering it tightly with plastic wrap will help to slow the growth of mold and extend the shelf life of the cheese. If you don’t have plastic wrap, soak a towel in salt water and wrap it tightly around the cheese.

10. Brush Your Teeth

You can add salt to a baking soda paste and use the mixture to clean your teeth if you don’t have toothpaste or if you run out.

11. Replace Electrolytes

While it’s true that you can’t drink sea water, salt does contain minerals that are a vital part of staying healthy. This is why many hospitals use saline solution to “give you fluids” when you are in the hospital.

If you find yourself in a survival situation, adding a pinch of sea salt to your drinking water can actually help provide a few of the electrolytes your body needs to stay hydrated. For someone who is already dehydrated, refer to your first aid manual for more aggressive treatment.

12. Decrease Cooking Time

Add salt to water to raise the temperature faster. Food will cook quicker and you can get on your way a few minutes sooner. Although salt can increase the temperature of water, it does not actually make water boil faster.

13. As Part of a Healthy Diet

Salt in the diet and the iodide that often comes with table salt is necessary for a healthy diet. Getting enough salt is critical for thyroid function and to prevent Hyponatremia, a dangerous condition that occurs when the sodium level in your blood becomes too low.

Hyponatremia can occur if you drink too much water too quickly, throwing off the balance of sodium to water in your body. Hyponatremia can be caused by certain medications, and by medical issues such as diarrhea, renal disease, heart failure, and liver disease. Symptoms of hyponatremia include nausea, headaches, and seizures.

14. Clean Cast Iron

Mix a paste of salt and a bit of water and use this to scrub your cast iron pans after a meal. It is better for the cast iron than water (which causes cast iron to rust) and will keep your pans polished and ready to cook the next meal.

15. Scrub Pots and Pans

In a survival situation, you need to clean the pots and pans you are using quickly and thoroughly and you don’t want to use a lot of precious water. You can use a paste of salt and water to scrub pots and pans and then rinse them with just a bit of water at the end.

16. Remove Dirt and Grime from Foraged Lettuce and Greens

Freshly foraged lettuce and greens are great in a survival situation but it can sometimes be a pain to wash all the dirt off of them so you can eat them.

Add a couple teaspoons of salt to a bowl of water and then soak your foraged greens in the salt water. Swish them around a bit before pulling them out and you shouldn’t get any dirt with your greens.

17. Keep Ice Off Your Vehicle Windshield for a Quick Getaway

If you’re on a bug out trip or survival situation in your vehicle, you’ll want to keep it ready to go in a moment’s notice. The last thing you want is to have to scrape ice from the windshield before you can get on the road if the situation is dire.

Keep a cloth bag full of salt in your car and simply rub it across your windshield in the evening after you stop. Your windows will be free of frost in the morning and you can get on the road quickly.

18. Help toothbrushes last longer

Before you pack those toothbrushes in your bug out bag for your next survival trip, soak them in salt water and then let them air dry thoroughly. The salt water extends the life of the bristles so your toothbrush will last as long as your trip.

19. Exfoliate Skin and Lips

If you find yourself in an extended survival situation, your skin may get uncomfortably dry and itchy from exposure to the elements. Even though you can’t take a hot shower in a survival situation, you can soak a bit in a nearby creek or pond if the weather is mild enough.

Then use a handful of sea salt while you are still a little damp from your swim and rub over your skin to help slough off dead skin and improve your circulation. You can also use a bit a salt on a toothbrush and rub it gently over your lips to remove dead skin from them being chapped.

20. Help Homemade Soap Harden

In an extended survival situation you may find yourself needing to make your own soap. Adding salt during the process will help to harden the soap so it can be cut into bars and transported easier than in liquid form.

21. Nasal Rinse

It’s best to use sea salt but table salt will work also. Dissolve the salt in water along with a small pinch of baking soda. Use this solution to rinse nasal passages and clean them as well as lubricate them if they are dry.

You can use a clean medicine syringe, a nasal syringe like is used for infants or if you brought a neti pot, you can use that to pour the salt solution into your nose and out the other side.

22. Preserve Fish and Meat

Bacteria need moisture or they die. Salt pulls moisture out using osmotic pressure. It dehydrates fish and meat turning it into an environment where bacteria cannot survive.

Use a solution that is minimally 20% salt in order to eliminate the need for refrigeration. Salt is also used to help in the curing process for fish and meat that is being smoked or dried.

23. Insect Bite Pain Relief

A paste of salt and water can help temporarily relieve the pain of an insect bite. If you believe the stinger might still be in your skin, add a good amount of baking soda to the paste and cover the affected area of skin. The baking soda paste will draw out the stinger, the salt will help relieve pain.

24. Get Rid of Poison Ivy Around Camp

If you find the perfect place to camp for a day or two but discover areas where poison ivy has begun to take over, mix a gallon of soapy water and add in a couple pounds of salt. Mix well and spray or pour on stems and leaves to kill the poison ivy.

25. Make Clothespins More Durable

One of the little known survival uses for salt is to make clothespins more durable. Clothespins exposed to the weather elements can become brittle and break easily.

Since you may not be able to run out and buy more in a SHTF situation, you can make your clothespins more durable by boiling them in salt water. You can also add salt to rinse water when washing clothes to prevent them from freezing to your clothesline in colder weather.

26. Oral Wound Treatment

Gargle with a mixture of salt and warm water to treat oral wounds in a survival situation. Warm salt water can help with canker sores, a mouth wound, and even relieve the pain of a sore throat. The salt also helps to slow bacteria growth so the wound can heal.

27. Flushing Wounds

Another of the survival uses for salt that can be overlooked is to use salt for flushing wounds. Because salt kills bacteria, it can not only clean a wound but also help prevent infection from setting in. To create a saline solution for wound irrigation, dissolve about 10 grams of salt for each 1 liter of water.

28. Natural Bug Repellent

Ants can sure be a pain if you have to cook and eat outdoors. But ants don’t like salt and they typically will avoid crossing a line of salt. Sprinkle a perimeter of salt around your eating area or food storage area in a survival situation to keep ants at bay.

29. DIY Mouthwash

If you are lucky enough to have both salt and baking soda with you in a survival situation, you can mix 1 teaspoon of each with ½ cup warm water. Mix thoroughly and gargle with the solution to clean your breath naturally.

30. Seasoning Food

We’re all familiar with using salt to season food. But in a SHTF situation, you can add a pinch in coffee to remove bitterness. When you catch that wild game for dinner, you can soak it in a salt solution to get rid of the gamey taste that some members of your family might not be used to yet.

31. First aid treatment for skin irritations

If you have a pimple, a blister, rash, or even an ingrown hair, you can use salt water solution to rinse or soak the area to relieve pain and prevent infection.

For pimples or ingrown hairs that need to be drained, fill a small jar or shot glass with salt and hot water and cup it over the area for up to 10 minutes. Repeat several times a day until drainage occurs or healing starts to show. Be careful not to dry the skin.

32. Keep Blood Stains from Setting

Keep blood stains from setting in and ruining your clothes if you cut yourself during a survival situation. Soak the shirt or clothing item in cold saltwater which will keep the blood from setting. Wash normally once you can get back home.

33. Keep Shoes from Smelling

In a survival situation it’s very likely that your shoes and even your socks will get wet if you have to walk through a downpour or if you slip and step into a puddle. Sprinkle a little salt into your damp shoes and let them dry overnight by the fire to help remove odors. Just remember to dump the salt out of your shoes before you get back on the trail.

34. Remove grass stains

You might not worry so much about grass stains when you’re in a survival situation, but once you get back home, you may find your clothing is a bit stained. Pre-treat grass stains by sprinkling lemon juice over the stains and the cover the strain with salt. Rub with a toothbrush or soft fingernail brush to lift the stain and then wash normally.

35. Clean Up Around the Campsite

Salt makes a great natural scouring material and it naturally prevents mold, yeast, and bacteria from growing. Use a paste of salt and water to clean an outdoor table, or scrub utensils free of grease after cooking with them in a survival situation.

What’s your favorite one of these survival uses for salt? Did we mention something you hadn’t heard of before? Are you aware of survival uses for salt that we neglected to mention? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below.

Common Types of Salt

If you’re planning for a survival or SHTF situation, keep ten pounds of salt in your stockpile per person minimum. Having more on hand is good, especially if you plan to use it for food preservation in the absence of refrigeration or for cleaning and personal hygiene. There are several different common types of salt you’ll want to consider stockpiling including:

Iodized Table Salt
  • Great for personal hygiene
  • Use for first aid and cleaning tasks
  • Can be used for food preservation
Sea Salt
  • True sea salt is harvested from the ocean.
  • Contains trace minerals to supplement your diet
Himalayan Pink Sea Salt

• Rich in minerals including potassium, magnesium, and calcium
• Great for cooking

Celtic Salt

• Comes from France
• Harvested directly from the sea
• Contains more minerals and is lower in sodium chloride

Disclaimer

The author is not a doctor. The advice in this article is for information purposes only. Neither the author of this article, nor the website modernsurvivalonline.com shall be held liable for any side effects, or injuries as a direct or indirect result of applying the advice in this article.

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by Charles

In the context of an armed civilian, which I am and will wage most of my readership is also, if I asked you to assert how much ammo would be required from a handgun to survive a potentially lethal attack on your person that was sure to occur, what would your answer be?

Two rounds? Three? Six, ten, more? What would you base your answer on? A feeling? Statistics and other measureable data? What? For such an evergreen topic of conversation among shooters, the answers that people offer seem to have more to do with their own personal philosophy or confidence than any quantifiable reasoning. And like so many other popular “hardware” based conundrums, people seem to be unassailably certain of their preference.

Instead of telling you what the magic number is, or who is wrong and why so we can all argue furiously about it in the comments afterward, I am going to instead give you some food for thought on capacity in the context of civilian self defense to help you make intelligent choices when selecting a firearm. This article will be all about capacity.

What does Capacity Mean to the Average Shooter?

I assert that most armed citizens and shooters only consider capacity in an incidental context when selecting a firearm. Sure, some may desire a given gun, say a handgun, for its plentiful amount of ammo on board, but most only view it as an afterthought compared to the gun’s other salient characteristics, like caliber or brand.

I am not making too big leap, here: for folks that want a .45, it is only natural that their gun will carry less ammo than one shooting puny, ineffective 9mms.

A person wanting the 9mm likely desires it because it has so many rounds on tap compared to the same size gun with a larger chambering. Revolver shooters get five or six rounds as a general rule and that is that.

Most of these shooters do not really consider the implications of capacity, and whatever their chosen gun has it will be adequate to the task because they believe it in their heart of hearts. Many or few, whatever amount of ammo their gun holds is fine.

What Capacity Really Means to You

As simply as possible, each round your gun holds, ready to fire, is an opportunity to solve a problem. “Solving the problem” in our case means striking our attacker with the result being his incapacitation or cessation of his attack. Specifically, greater capacity simply means more chances without having to manipulate the gun, i.e. reload.

That is about the simplest summation of the issue I can muster. Simple is good, but simplicity often sweeps the ever important Nuance under the rug. While each round ready to fire is a chance to solve my problem, not all of my chances will be weighted equally: I may fire and miss, even multiple times.

I might fire and deliver a perfectly lethal shot to my attacker, yet he keeps coming and I need to try and try again, or try a new solution. The attacker may bring his friends, other problems for me to solve, with him and now I may need to fire even more. Now suddenly a deep pool of “chances” is comforting.

Fortune might, though, favor me. I may fire, miss and the resulting thunder and light still sends my attacker packing. I might fire a single round or two, achieving only scratch hits, and our earnest assailant might still drop in his tracks as if struck by God’s own fist.

Unfortunately, I will not know any of this prior to the event. I hope I do not have to deal with the former, but will surely be thankful if I wind up with the latter.

There is no denying that capacity is important, at least desirable, to modern shooters in most circumstances. Manufacturers keep cranking out guns with greater and greater capacity, even in larger calibers like .45 ACP.

Extended magazines and bolt-on magazine extensions are popular items today, and it is a rarity to see a gun with stock capacity among the cognoscenti of any discipline or profession. But what does it truly mean?

Answering the Hard Question

Can we say that lower capacity guns will get you killed in the streets, that you’ll simply be outgunned by your attacker? And hot on the heels of that question, what is the minimum acceptable capacity for self defense? Does caliber make any difference in the calculus?

After all, if I am chunking big bullets, I can get by with chunking less, so long as they hit, right? And around and around we go back to the beginning complete with caliber debates and more derp than you can quantify.

Is this just one of those questions that doesn’t have any answer? It sure looks like it to many seekers of truth, but I do not think that is the case. To reach anything approximating an honest answer, we at must consider the totality of the circumstances involving statistically average attacks on civilians and what a typical armed response results in.

It is often forgotten, these encounters do not occur in a vacuum! An armed robber’s motivation to hold-up a citizen or perform a home invasion is likely different from an enemy soldier on a battlefield, or even a criminal about to “go loud” and get into a gun fight with a cop in order to escape capture. This bears much consideration, and we’ll break into that in a moment.

Also, in my humble opinion, it is also worthwhile to stop and consider the personal philosophy of a given armed citizen before doing anything like making a sweeping proclamation. The attitudes of a hard-charging and motivated student of the gun and an aging grandmother who just wants to keep her grandbabies and herself safe are very different.

Theory versus Reality

Your objective as an armed citizen is different from a cop’s, or one of our fighting men and women in the armed forces on a battlefield somewhere. If you are forced to fight for your life, your immediate objective is nothing more than to extricate yourself from that fight and avoid death or injury of at all possible. You ultimately want to do that while also prevailing in the all-but-certain legal escapade that will follow your use of force, but leave that part out for now.

It does not really matter how I achieve the first part of my objective, be it run or fight by some other way or with some other weapon, but considering you are reading this article right now and are the kind of person who relies or will rely on a gun for self-defense, we can assume it will involve shooting the attacker.

It is assumptions made about this specific act and its potential outcome versus the potential reality of the outcome that lead to so much gnashing of teeth and gesticulating on this topic. Let me explain.

As I mentioned in the earlier sections, I might need to fire more than one shot to my attacker, for any number of reasons. Those reasons are valid, and have been borne out in many documented shootings.

But another possible outcome, even likely outcome of civilian shooting their attacker is that being shot, even shot at, may result in them fleeing or at least withdrawing from the attack. This outcome too has been documented in many, many self-defense shootings, and it, statistically, does not take very many rounds to reliably achieve that outcome.

Please keep in mind, crunching the numbers on all of this is something of a fuzzy operation as there is no convenient one-stop shop for accurate statistics, at least for civilians, but what data is available to all of us does paint a fairly reliable picture of an “average” armed self-defense encounter for civilians and I stand by my deductions.

Why? Remember what I said about the differing motivations of for-profit criminals trying to rob a victim for some material gain versus that of a criminal trying to avoid capture and lengthy incarceration or an enemy fighter on a battlefield?

Our scumbag mugger is likely trying to “do his job” and make money for whatever in the hell he needs it for. If the risk-reward ratio suddenly nosedives for them, precipitated by the intended victim’s outgoing fire, he has little to lose and more to gain by fleeing; there are plenty of less dangerous marks around the bend.

The other fighters I mentions, the criminal squaring off with the cop or the soldier at war, are likely far more motivated to fight on and hard as the penalty for failure is steeper any which way; they have less to lose by fighting on, or it is their job.

While motivation and intestinal fortitude is something that is impossible to measure among all these disparate participants, we can assume they are certainly different enough to influence decision making, all other things being equal.

In essence, a citizen is only concerned with stopping the attack, and the attacker, statistically, is keen to stop once he meets significant resistance from his intended victim.

Criminals fighting cops with lethal intent, or soldiers on battlefields endure far more resistance and wounds before succumbing or attempting to break and run, if possible.

Simply put, the nature and duration of the threat to a civilian is somewhat different than the threat to a cop or soldier. This means that an armed citizen is not operating under the same auspices of weapon selection as either of the others.

Just the Facts

Stay with me: if my objective as a citizen is to simply force the bad guy to stop his attack, so long as you have a gun you can, statistically (there is that word again), count on 1-3 rounds of any caliber being more than enough to do so should you hit him. Once hit, our bad guy is likely to start thinking escape versus pressing his attack.

A significant portion of them will do the same once you start firing in their direction. So relying on statistical probability, having a reliable gun of any kind and attaining proficiency with it is the single greatest contributor to a positive outcome once the attack has begun. Following this line of reason, even a 5- or 6-shot is more than enough to solve the kind of problem an armed citizen is faced with.

Essentially, once you start returning fire and especially if you get a good hit, you have a good chance of halting the attack by way of the attacker fleeing. Whether he is incapacitated or even killed is inconsequential; once the attack is halted and you can make your escape to safety, your mission is accomplished.

But…

The above informs and illuminates the mindset of some of our gun carriers above; some of us, your author here included, care not the least about those particular statistics, no matter how comforting they ostensibly should be. This brings us back to the philosophical questions.

If I wanted to trust to statistics, I do not need my firearm at all, almost anywhere in America. The U.S. is so overwhelmingly safe compared to most countries (save a few neighborhoods and cities) that one must positively go out of their way to get waylaid. Since that is so, why carry at all?

Exactly. Just in case. I do not trust to chance, and furthermore I want every advantage I can get in all circumstances and in all times. I know I can gain advantage by careful selection of my defensive firearm.

What are some advantages that a good firearm can confer? Reliability, certainly. Adequate caliber is another. And, yes, capacity is one. There is simply no way around it, based on my reasoning above: I have to solve a problem, and I want as many chances as I can get as quickly as I can get them.

Think if it another way: if five or six rounds is adequate looking at average encounters, how is 10, 15 or even more not even better, assuming all other characteristics equal? Precisely. Of course it is better. No one has ever wished for less ammo when it was time to shoot in the gravest extreme.

Charles’ Advice and Tips

All of a gun’s characteristics must be weighed in total against the job you want that gun to do. I carry a fullsize 18 round pistol because I want to and more pertinently because I can; setting, attire, profession, the works all allows me to conceal such a gun, and I want the advantages it gives me.

It does no good for me to beat you over the head with the Gospel of the Fullsize Gat if all you could truly carry, or would carry, is a small revolver or semi in a pocket or purse. Your needs may be different than mine.

Capacity is one characteristic that may get the chopping block in a ruthless paring down of “Wants” against “Can get away with.” No matter what, you cannot cram 15 rounds into a subcompact semi-auto without increasing the size of the magazine and ergo the grip dimensions.

All but a few revolvers or revolvers chambered in tiny calibers are structurally limited to 6 rounds, 8 tops. There is no use wishing or crying for greater capacity if one of those revolvers is otherwise right for you.

I believe you are better off selecting a class of gun that will perform well in its role for you first, then considering models that offer good capacity in their class while still being mechanically reliable and possessing other desirable features.

I am a stalwart advocate of guns with more ammo on board, but even I would not see someone move away from an option that they are far more likely to carry that just so happens to hold less ammo.

Bottom Line

Based on all available evidence for civilian self defense a gun possessed of anything more than a 6 shot capacity is not a typical deciding factor for a positive outcome in an attack.

Nonetheless, additional ammo onboard is always an advantage so long as you do not compromise other essential characteristics for your needs in pursuit of more ammo.

The most important criteria for a defensive pistol are that it is reliable, you attain proficiency with it and you, above all, have it with you when you need it.

Conclusion

Capacity is always going to be something shooter’s argue about, obsess over and analyze. But for civilian self-defense any gun holding 6 or 7 shots is very likely to be enough to do the job so long as its wielder is competent.

You will never regret having more ammo in the gun, and if you are particularly unlucky you may have need of it, but the vast majority of civilian attacks will be concluded within a handful of shots.

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by Charles

The EDC “movement” or philosophy or whatever you want to call it is nothing new, never mind the fact that some folks have found a way to buttress the idea as a cool “mindset” or shared belief to make money off of people who enjoy that sort of in-group lifestyle.

Carry of small tools, weapons and other implements to be better prepared for whatever contingencies may occur has been the province of mankind since tools were invented.

Today, while some folks would sneer at the idea of EDC, or give you a befuddled look if you asked them about it, almost everyone participates in the concept, even if only on a fundamental level. There is hardly a man alive who does not carry a pocket knife.

The majority of women head out with a purse, large or small (or extra large), in tow with all of the things they need to get through their daily lives. A great many citizens carry pepper spray or firearms for threats that may ever occur. Some folks have a lucky charm, sentimental trinket or other small object that they are just not happy without.

We all carry something, and if you are reading this article it is likely that you carry more than just the simple necessities to get you to and through the workday.

Knowing how best to place and carry the things you need can mean the difference between well-equipped comfort and walking around or sitting in aggravation as your pockets jingle like a slot machine.

This article is for the people who want to carry their EDC items as efficiently as possible.

A Word on Carry Philosophy

Before we delve into the methods of carry, I want to make clear quickly what I consider reasonable for EDC. I view a person’s “envelope” for EDC gear as fitting within the environmental context of their day to day existence, their job, if you will.

I think of a person like me, who works in a variety of settings but most typically lives and moves in a small city and dressed in business or business casual attire most of the time, as being able to reasonable carry what I can in pockets, on my belt, on my ankles and in my bag or briefcase the whatever I want so long as it does not draw undue suspicion from the people around me. Ruffle their feathers, you could say.

A person who works in the woods as a hunting or hiking guide or is a student or other professional who has the expectation of carrying a backpack or satchel has more room yet to work with within the confines of their expected appearance, thanks to their luggage.

The ideal is to do nothing to draw unwanted attention. Nothing good will ever come of it, no matter what you are carrying.

Sure, you may not be doing anything illegal, but a person heavily laden with bulging pockets, jingling pouches and conspicuous outlines visible through clothing will never fail to make others uncomfortable, or simply avoid you for your socially rudderless behavior.

Of course, some readers will not be dealing with this restriction or will be beyond all care and worry of such things. We have all seen the mythical survivalist wackadoos who go get groceries wearing a chest rig, thigh holster and have a machete or flea market ninja sword strapped to their back. That’s an extreme example, and personal decision, but I strongly advise all of my readers to blend in wherever they may be.

Should you need more room for needed items, figure out what kind of luggage “belongs” in your environment and use that instead of hanging so many things on your belt and in your pockets that you start to stick out

Basic Carry of EDC Items

No matter what you are carrying, be it tools or weapons, you only have so much space to work with on or about your person. This depends partly on the size and nature of the thing carried, but generally you will be limited by your apparel. For most of us, we are working on our beltline and in our pockets. There are other, underutilized methods of carry that I’ll get to in a bit.

Consider an average example in a suburban environment, a prepper on the go, or if not a prepper than at least a person who wants to be prepared for a bad day. They will at least be carrying a folding pocket knife, a small flashlight, perhaps pepper spray and often a small handgun. This is in addition to the usual suspects of wallet, watch and house or car keys.

Those items alone will gobble up 3 pockets (both front and one rear pocket, leaving room to comfortably access tools) and some room on the waist for the gun, assuming the typical carry location of a handgun.

What else might a smart person carry these days? How about a small medical kit? Perhaps a lighter, notebook, pen and multi-tool? Seems like space in the pockets is running out fast, eh? So what else can we do?

Ok, we can put something small, thin and light like a notebook and pen into a shirt pocket, if we have one, or a jacket pocket. A lighter? Perhaps in a pocket, or hung from a pouch on our belt. Same with the multi-tool, as anything except the smallest ones will rapidly abrade pockets and none of them ride there very well.

But then we are back to hanging pouches off our belt again, and that can start to get tacky and awkward pretty quick for most of us. Additionally, what if I already have a magazine or speed loaded pouch opposite my pistol? Now we are really getting into a “Bat Belt” situation! Not okay for most of us.

The point of all this is, unless you truly do not care about how you present to the people around you, carrying gear beyond the minimum means you will need solutions beyond the norm. These solutions can be had by changing clothing, changing your gear, or using equipment and luggage for the task. We’ll talk about all three below.

Sartorial Solutions

Changing up your attire or buying clothing with additional cargo room is definitely the most expeditious way to equip more EDC items, but depending on your style of dress and environment it can be troublesome.

One way you might get a few extra pockets to add more gear (or allow you to spread it out) is by buying shirts, pants or shorts with extra pockets. Cargo shorts and pants are largely sneered at by those concerned with looking sharp and professional (unless your job is taking hunters on safari) but their utility is undeniable. For millions of the nation’s dads, they seem like they could care less, preferring instead these comfy utility garments.

Of particular interest to some will be the newer generation of cargo pants and even jeans designed originally for the low profile carry of extra equipment and magazines for personal security professionals, undercover police and other professionals.

Pants of this type, as made by 5.11, Vertx, Blackhawk and others typically omit the bulky and obvious cargo pockets on either leg, opting instead for supplementary frontal and hip pockets often closed with unobtrusive fasteners or with openings hidden with clever stitching and placement.

A shirt that features one or two closeable pockets on the chest can also be used to hold small light items with no problems, things like pens, pads and other similar things being most commonly stashed here.

Other prospects could be tiny pocket pistol magazines or speed strips for a revolver. These locations are not anything like ideal to load from, but they work well enough for supplementary carry of ammo when you don’t have enough proper pouches or carriers.

For those of us that wear blazers, coats, jackets and other outerwear we will have even more options for carry, both in our garment’s pockets and with the greater concealment afforded by them.

Exterior pockets of coats and jackets are ideal places to carry defensive implements in cold weather if they are secure enough. Similarly the additional concealment qualities afforded by these garments often makes concealing even large handguns and other items on your belt a snap, though you will need to practice clearing the garment to access them at speed if they are items you would need to withdraw quickly.

If you regularly wear or get the chance to wear such articles of clothing make sure you practice loading various items in the differing pockets to see how it affects the drape and hang of it; a bulging, drooping pocket on a coat, blazer or similar item is highly conspicuous. Adding a little “ballast” to the opposite side can improve comfort and carriage.

Newer, Lighter, Smaller

Many times, upon careful reflection, you might come to realize that an item you carry all the time could be replaced by a smaller, lighter and all around leaner solution.

Oftentimes, when considering downsizing, people can get wrapped around the axle worried about a loss of capability, or simply torn up with the thought of retiring a cherished piece of gear they have come to see as a constant companion. While understandable, you should never fret over improving your situation through smart gear choices.

Consider this: you carry a fixed blade knife, a handgun, a reload for your handgun, and a flashlight. This, again, all in addition to your wallet, keys, etc. I can promise you the load you are carrying and trying to (hopefully) conceal will vary drastically depending on those choices. Let’s compare the following.

Say your original, time-tested and time-honored EDC of the above is a medium Ka-Bar knife, a Beretta 92G, a 20 round spare mag for the Big B, and a 3-cell Surefire G2 flashlight. May not seem like a lot for the average Joe, but I can assure you it will feel like you are waddling around in plate armor compared to our next selection unless you are one huge, frickin’ guy or gal.

Can it be done? Of course. Can it be done reasonably comfortably? Yes. Given a choice, would you like to save ounces, inches and discomfort with virtually no loss in capability? You decide.

Compared to our original boat anchors, our new slicked up and slimmed down kit might consist of a Ka-Bar TDI knife, a nice, compact crook-neck fixed blade designed for self defense, a Beretta Px4G compact, a far lighter and smaller offering that handles nearly identically to its older sibling, a single 15 round spare mag for that pistol, far smaller than the extended 20 rounder and still more than enough ammo for any problem a civilian is even theoretically likely to encounter, and topping it off a Streamlight ProTac 1L-1AA light, plenty of power, multi-mode, multi-fuel and about 1/3rd the size of the giant Surefire up there.

What is the takeaway? As you can see, there is a good case to make that if you can go smaller, and go lighter, while retaining the same capability, you should. This will enable you to carry more gear, if you want, or have an easier time accessing the things you have.

You can take this too far; I am not advocating for a pocket pistol if you can carry a more capable pistol, or a small boo-boo kit in place of a proper IFAK, but so much that we want today can be had in leaner versions if we care to look.

You may consider the impact even one small change in this way can make. Perhaps you carry a multi-pliers tool in a front pocket, or on your belt in a pouch. The idea is to carry useful tools, ultimately.

What might we swap out the multi-pliers for and retain capability while saving room and weight? We could go with a smaller multi-tool variant, but we could also go with something like a Swiss Army knife and seriously cut down weight.

Sure, we would give up the pliers component of the tool, but we would retain everything else like support blades, drivers, openers, saws and more depending on the model.

Another option for really saving weight would be something like a flat all-in-one tool card, akin to a die-cut steel credit card with all of its tools and wrenches machined in. These tools have drawbacks, but the point is that you can hedge your bets where you need to. Everything is a trade-off.

How likely are you to use all of the tools in your multi-tool, and for what kind of duty? My multi-tool pliers were almost never used, even in “practice runs,” save for removing splinters. So much so that the tiny tweezers included with my Swiss Army knife were more than adequate to the task.

I keep a set of vise grips in my BOB, just in case, but I have not felt the loss of pliers from my EDC at all. One of the lighter tool cards might work just fine for the person who only rarely needs to tighten a screw or open a can.

Assess, really assess your “why” before carrying any one item in your EDC. Be honest with yourself and decide if you can go lighter and smaller with no practical loss of capability. I’ll bet you money that you’ll discover you can. Light and fast almost always beats bulky and heavy when it comes to survival.

Equipment Solutions

There are specialty solutions for discreet carry of gear that can make a substantial difference in how effectively you can carry your EDC gear. Depending on what it is you want to carry and where, you will have plenty of options that can make your life easier all the way around.

If you are a regular carrier of pocket knives and flashlights that feature clips, you may consider looking into Raven Concealment Systems Pocket Shield, a rigid plastic carrier of sorts that allows you to clip those items on to the shield in any orientation you prefer before dropping the whole kit and caboodle into your front pocket.

The Pocket Shield eliminates the obvious telltale of a clip outside the mouth of a pocket or a distinct printing from within while also forming a nice sort of pouch out the pocket interior, allowing easier access while improving concealment. I really dig this system and find them an undervalued tool for EDC.

Medical supplies are an increasingly necessary item to have on you at all times, but finding the room to stash anything more than a tourniquet or gauze when dressed slick is tough.

Enter the ankle carrier! Just like carrying a pistol on your ankle, only a little easier often since many medical supplies are so light, special “cargo cuffs” wrap around the ankle with individual compartments and pouches for your med gear. The ankle medical kit has really picked up steam here lately with switched-on folks, and it is not hard to see why.

Medical supplies on the ankle can be accessed with either hand from nearly any position, and barring the occasional carry of a small pistol down there this location is otherwise wasted space. Locating medical supplies here is very little impediment since the items can be withdrawn single or the whole cuff removed to lay out and access the contents accordingly.

The single best attribute of the ankle medical carrier is that it totally removes the excuse most of have for not carrying med and trauma supplies: a lack of space in our pockets and on our belts! Obviously, these are not really acceptable for carry if you are wearing shorts, but work like gangbusters with any long pants or jeans.

Lastly, consider options like around the neck carry on a lanyard for things like small knives and IDs, even a quantity of cash and the like, and consider a small pocket organizer pouch for holding smaller tools like pen knives, lock picks, flash drives and compasses.

A decent small organizer is no bigger than a wallet, and will handily keep all of these things from clattering into each other or bouncing out of a pocket as such small things are wont to do.

Luggage: Packs, Briefcases, Purses and More

For many of us who normally carry a bag or other piece of luggage with us, we have it easy: we can keep nearly as many items as we would like, within reason, in our bag of tricks, no one the wiser and keep only our most crucial or rapid access gear on our person, freeing up much weight and space. Ladies in particular often enjoy the flexibility that a purse affords them for carrying pretty much whatever they want!

No matter who we are, there is probably a certain class of bag that fits our typical environment, or if not, at least one or two that are not so terribly out of place as to attract attention.

If you are not having success with the above techniques or just want more room, consider picking up an appropriate piece of luggage to bring with you on your forays.

A little creative thinking will provide many suitable bags that you might not have considered previously. Any parent with an infant knows all about hauling a diaper bag back and forth over creation in order to care for the little rascal.

Why not devote a single pouch of the diaper bag to carry of other supplies? If you have a small diaper bag, would a modest size upgrade be worth it if it meant you could carry more goodies of your own?

Professionals who tote briefcases to the office can almost always fit a few extras inside. Medical supplies, some spare ammo, a small knife and a flashlight makes for unobtrusive and easily hidden pieces of equipment that are all worth their weight in gold when disasters of all kinds strike.

When it comes to bags and packs, the sky is the limit, but with a little thought and observation you can choose a pack that fits invisibly into your daily carry environment. If you determine that your needs are best met by carry of an abundance of EDC items, some type of luggage is often the best way to go.

Conclusion

Proper carry of EDC items is far more than just a pocket full of crap you like dragging around with you. Done well, it is an important part of your preparations and life-support procedures.

Smart, well-planned carry of your knife, pistol, flashlight and other items can spell the difference between a good outcome and a bad one when things get dicey.

Don’t treat your EDC gear as an afterthought; practice and refine your EDC techniques as you would anything else you do.

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by Charles

All guns have metal parts, or are made entirely from metal, and metal can corrode. Sad fact of nature when considering what it can do to our firearms slowly over time. Whether you use your guns the way they were intended or keep them safely ensconced in a cabinet or gun safe, rust is still a pervasive and insidious threat, and one we must perpetually be on the lookout for.

It does not matter if it appears on a gun in complement of a collection of scars, scrapes and other wear from rough times in the field or it magically pops up overnight on a pristine safe-kept specimen, you must deal with it. Left unchecked, unsightly rust can lead to serious damage, even breakage of any firearm.

So if you have a gnarly working gun, blemished showpiece or ragged rescued blaster, this article will give you the knowhow and info you need to smite the red menace.

The Life of Rust

Full disclosure, I am not a metallurgist, and I do not play one on T.V., so this article may be brushing over what are surely fascinating minutiae pertaining to the formation and processes of rust, no doubt to all of the chemists and metal professionals in the audience.

To you, I apologize, but I regret nothing since I will have doubtlessly saved many of us a heap of tedium. This section will serve as a fast overview of what rust is so that we might better understand how to combat it.

Rust forms on metal surfaces in response to the presence of moisture, even trace amounts of water in the air. Water and iron, rather oxygen and iron get frisky and form iron oxide, or commonly, rust.

Compared to other surface reactions on other metals, take for instance the patina that forms on copper, rust offers no protection or other beneficial perks to the metal beneath, instead remaining completely permeable to more air and water, allowing ever more iron to be converted to iron oxide. This conversion process is rusting.

With enough time and neglect, all iron in an object can be converted to iron oxide, quite literally rusting away to nothing. Even a small amount of rust on the surface can leave unsightly pits and blemishes after it has been scoured away; these are little bites taken out of the metal itself, and long the bane of anyone wanting to keep metal pristine and shiny.

While all rust we are concerned with is more or less the same, its appearance and behavior can vary significantly. Most rust appears as a typical red-brown, but some will appear much browner or much redder. It can be faint, even dusty in appearance, or show itself as a big, obvious blemish.

Lesser deposits of rust can be simply wiped off the surface of the afflicted metal but more substantial instances will need serious attention. These latter, larger deposits are more likely formed by some drop of water or perspiration from the body, while “dust rust” is more likely occurring from moisture in the air versus direct contact.

What Causes Rust to Start?

We know what rust is, so what in practical terms causes it to appear, what is the culprit? Well, it depends on a few things that make metal susceptible to rusting or inhibit it. The specific type of metal is a big one, as all metals and alloys are more or less prone to rusting.

The environment is another huge influencer: high humidity, salty air and corrosive atmosphere from smog and chemicals will greatly accelerate rust, all other things equal.

Incidental contact with rust-causing agents is another common culprit, and depending on the agent, one that can be quite severe. Any old-timer who has left a gun in a leather holster that was tanned with chromium salts knows what kind of havoc that will visit on a nice sixgun.

Some poor folks have especially corrosive body chemistry, and in the course of carrying, and perspiring on, their gun, are astounded to see exposed metal parts covered in furry, red rust!

Some people that handle guns regularly without wiping off acidic fingerprints will see the evidence of inscribed in thin rust the next time they pull out the gun.

Guns exposed to any of the above will need through and frequent care to eliminate these contaminants and protect them against ongoing rusting.

The good news is that this care is actually quite simple in any case except one where the gun has been completely immersed in something like salt water, or soaked so thoroughly in sweat that the internals show sign.

Metal Finishes, Rust and You

This preventative anti-rust regimen will need to be performed more or less often based on the finish applied to the metal of the gun. This is another major variable, as some finishes are extraordinarily strong against rusting, while others will blossom red if you breathe on them.

Some metallic finishes are damn near rust-proof, some are fair, and others are poor, or actually encourage rusting. Non-metallic finishes are actually proof against rust so long as they remain intact with no scrapes or gouges reaching the underlying metal.

No matter what the finish is, just like your grandpa told you, it is easier to prevent than fix, and stopping rust before it starts is your mandate.

Knowing how often to wipe down and oil your gun to prevent rust is going to broadly be determined by what kind of finish it has. Guns over the years have been made with, and are still made with all kinds of finishes, so we’ll discuss a few of the most common here below.

Your modern guns, especially handguns, will be finished with either a tough, hardworking finish like nitrocarburizing, have a bare “steel” finish or be coated with a non-metallic finish like Cerakote (which is uniformly excellent). Other finishes exist, or were more prevalent in older days, like classic gun bluing, or Parkerizing.

Your heavy-duty finished, like nitrocarburizing, are usually mentioned with a trade name to make it less of a casserole salad. Glock uses the trade name Tennifer. S&W dubs the coating on their M&P’s Melonite.

H&K calls theirs HEM, for Hostile Environment Finish. These finished are often applied and then overcoated to achieve either a duller or glossier look and coloration, but all are supremely rust resistant among metallic finishes if applied properly and require very, very little care.

Your non-metallic coatings, like Cerakote and the less popular former champion Duracoat are usually applied via airbrush and then either air or oven cured.

These coatings both have an extraordinary and nearly infinite color range, and both offer total resistance to rust so long as the metal beneath is not exposed through the coating from damage or misapplication.

Of these two, Cerakote is superior in every way imaginable, and is amazingly thin while still offering incredible abrasion resistance. Cerakote is also mostly responsible for the wildly varying patterns and colors you see on custom guns today.

A gun that has a “steel” finish is likely made of stainless steel, which as most dads and other handy types know is not stain-free but merely stains-less-often. Depending on the exact type, it will offer good to very good rust resistance, but will need periodic care, especially from salt.

Other bright, shiny metals may be in actuality chrome plating, long legendary for its rust resistance but a bastard to keep mirror shiny, or nickel plating, which is highly corrosion resistant in some situations.

That bluing I mentioned that appears midnight blue to near black and is so beloved (rightly!) by shooters is a highly traditional and sadly very vulnerable finish as far as rusting is concerned.

Fun fact: bluing, and its cousin browning, are actually themselves a form of rust, and both will need regular or even constant care to prevent “real” rust from eating them alive.

Older steel guns that are a hazy, rough gray or charcoal color, and sometimes a greenish color, may be parkerized. This was the O.G. tough finish before the common use of nitrocarburizing above, and is still in use today. Depending on how carefully it was applied, rust resistance is anywhere from okay to good, though you should still be taking care to lube regularly.

No matter what kind of gun you have, and no matter what finish, you probably noticed my mantra throughout the section: “regular care, oil, lube.” That is because regular wipe downs with a clean, oiled cloth is the simplest, best way to prevent rust from forming on any finish.

This is not to say you should not care about or find out precisely what your gun’s finish is because you should, as understanding what your finish is capable of withstanding will help you take better care of your gun.

This is important info should worse come to worst and you have to scour rust off your gun’s surface: you cannot whale away on bluing like you can some other metal finishes, and you must use care when choosing cleaners and so forth, as more aggressive ones might attack the finish itself!

Rust Prevention 101

The easy way: wipe the gun down regularly with a clean, oiled rag and keep them in a dry location with some kind of moisture control solution, desiccant or similar to tame ambient moisture in the air. If you use the gun and it gets wet from any source, dry it thoroughly before lubing it.

If the gun was inundated with water, you’ll have no choice but to have it detail stripped and re-lubed, especially of it was salt water. Some folks have success in that case by using high pressure air to thoroughly blow out the gun, but invariably there is a nook or cranny where water collects, waiting…

Plastic parts obviously do not need to be oiled, but take care that every metal surface, part, control and place on the gun gets a light sheen of oil on it.

If your guns are used in corrosive atmospheres, near salt water of or in very humid environs, or you are one of the unfortunately very sweaty people, you’ll need to increase the frequency of your preventative maintenance regimen, used the gun or not.

Also, take special care in the following situations: keeping the gun in a case or holster of any kind, especially leather as leather traps moisture and may itself leech harmful chemicals or dyes onto the gun and wreak havoc on your finish. As a general rule, if a gun is carried or shot often it should be inspected and treated for rust formation at least once a week.

Getting Rid of Rust

Sometimes it is never enough, and it didn’t make any difference no matter what you tried: you have rust on your gun! Ack! Now is not the time for panic, let’s deal with it as best we can before, and if, we need to call in the cavalry. What we need to be honest about is the severity of the rust.

A badly rusted-through or rust-covered gun, or one that is showing significant deep pitting, is probably in need of a trip to a gun doctor (your gunsmith) to assess, potentially repair and refinish.

You probably lack the skills to assess the structural integrity of the gun! Rust corrodes metal! You cannot assume a severely rusted gun is safe once the rust is removed!

Assuming the rust is not too bad, you can proceed to the next section, our supply list for doing the job right.

You’ll need some specialty supplies, but most handy types and shooters will have most or all of this stuff already. You’ll need either some bore cleaner or gun-specific rust remover

Caution: Ensure the rust remover is safe on your gun’s finish, and wear protective gloves and eyewear as many of them are harsh, a natural cloth rag or old shirt, steel wool in 000 and 0000 grades, and a fine copper brush. Gather all of this then head to your work area. This will get smelly and messy most times, you have been warned.

Start by soaking your rag with your rust remover chemical. Wipe down the rusty area so it is wet, but it does not have to be dripping. Follow the instructions on the package, or give it 5 minutes. Next we will attack our rust deposits with ascending levels of aggression with the intent of removing the rust but saving the finish, if we can.

Start with another clean rag soaked with your rust remover. Rub the rust firmly and see if any is coming off on the rag. That may do it. If not, switch to the copper brush, and taking care to scrub in the direction of the grain in the metal, see if that will take it off. Every so often wipe the area down with the rag and cleaner to check your results.

If that doesn’t work, step up to the 0000 steel wool. Again, go back and forth with the grain of the metal. If that still does not work, switch to the 000 steel wool and repeat. That is starting to reach the end of things you might try, as anything more aggressive, wither brushes or metal wool, has a good chance of mauling your finish.

Some old timers claim to have used a genuine copper penny to remove stubborn deposits because the copper marks left behind are easily removed, but your mileage may vary.

Assuming that the above worked, inspect the pitting, if present, carefully to ensure no rust lurks within. If left behind, rust will return quickly. Once you are all done, wipe the whole area down one more time with a clean rag and cleaner, then wipe dry and re-lube with your favorite gun oil. Whew! You did it.

As a last measure, pay close attention to the condition of the gun’s finish where the rusting was. If the finish was compromised, you’ll need to have it touched up, refinished or otherwise covered unless you want to be dealing with rust more or less constantly at that location. Keep the gun well oiled this time at any rate.

If the gun is for defense, and lacks a modern, heavy-duty finish, you might consider having one applied.

Conclusion

Rusty guns are eyesores but more crucially may suffer impaired function or even breakage if neglected. Even with the best high-tech finishes, rust is always a concern so you should understand how rust works, how to prevent it and how to remove it from your guns. Keep them cleaned, checked and oiled, and you’ll get no issues from rust.

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by Charles

Talk to enough preppers about their long-term preps and you are bound to run into a decent number who plan on stockpiling at least a small quantity of precious metals for various purposes. Gold, silver, even rhodium and platinum, you’ll get a fair education form some of them regarding the importance of precious metals in a well-rounded SHTF survival supply room.

The specific reasons vary somewhat, but will all typically revolve around the historical importance of these precious metals in trade and industry, as well as their perennial value as currency since the dawn of recorded history.

This precedent makes precious metals, especially silver and gold, tempting and seemingly reasonable resources that you should provision if you are preparing for any long-term crisis.

But is it that simple? Is the “gold standard” one that is truly imperturbable, immune even to the crushing forces of a society-altering event or series of events? Is the presumed assurance of precious metal worth the tremendous cost and will it be worth sacrificing now to obtain it in the hope that it will pay off where nothing else can after a collapse?

People simply cannot eat metals. You cannot use them to heat your body or your house. You cannot fend off an attacker with them. Okay, well you could melt some of them down and form them into projectiles, but now we are getting a hair silly. If things get really bad, chances are most folks will be concerned with other things besides acquiring precious metals.

In this article, I’ll be discussing some of the pros and the lesser-considered cons of investing in precious metals for survival.

How Precious Metals May Save the Day

The typical imagined scenario by which a prepper sells themselves on the idea of stashing significant quantities of gold or other precious metals goes something like this:

Something Really Bad has happened. Society as we know it has crumbled. The government is either no more, or is doing a piss-poor job of keeping what is actually an assemblage of regional cultures stitched together and operating as a nation. The economy forthwith hanged itself from the nearest rafter, inflation is sky high and climbing fast, and that isn’t the worst.

This massive disruption and fear has led to sporadic availability of goods and services. Most places only accept cash, and many don’t even accept that, seeing dollars as so much kindling in the wake of the collapsing empire that was America.

Some preppers see the universal currency of the post-SHTF world reverting back to the historically commonplace use of gold or silver (or some other metal). They further envision that everyone will, most often anyway, be in lock-step agreement over the continuing value of these precious metals. If they have a significant quantity, they will be able to procure what they need, assuming they don’t already have it.

Viewed in this light, precious metals are a cannot-lose proposition: perennially and immutably valuable to most people in most places, no matter what event has befallen society or even mankind. The preppers that think so may be right. Or they might not…

A Sad King on a Sad Hill

Things may be so bad that trade and barter among survivors and citizens could strictly be for items capable of sustaining life and day-to-day operations. Gold, platinum or rhodium may be screamingly “valuable” but if folks are desperate to stay warm, stay fed and hydrated they may not be willing to part with their necessities for what is ultimately a shiny brick.

Of course, there will always be those of magpie temperament that covet jewels, gold and coin literally no matter what is happening, but they will likely be the minority.

So in this scenario, our dedicated prepper and his patiently amassed hoard of precious metal is, in effect, all gussied up with nowhere to go. Sure, he will likely be able to still use his metals for trade, should he wish, but the likelihood of him finding a favorable and fair trade, i.e. one where is liable to get out what he paid in to acquire his gold, silver or whatever, is less likely, in my opinion.

Opportunity Costs

The biggest problem with amassing precious metals is their drastic financial cost. Even one of the most affordable precious metals, silver, is pricey considering it will just be sitting in your safe or hidden cache.

Gold is several times more expensive, and platinum and rhodium are far more expensive still. The latter two are also less likely to be readily recognized by the uninitiated, so there is that to contend with also.

The point of all this is that the money you are sinking, and you will be sinking it by the bucketful, into amassing a quantity of precious metals could be spent on other preps and supplies that will make a much bigger difference in influencing events so you have a positive outcome.

The cash outlaid on a few ounces of gold will buy a lot of food, ammo or water. It could buy a few guns, a load of medical supplies, tools, clothing or training in any discipline you can imagine.

In short, you could do a lot with the cash you would otherwise outlay on some shiny bricks that you will sit on in the hope you can trade them to get something you need later. Alternatively, you could simply buy and keep stocked those things you anticipate, or know, you will need later!

Stocking Precious Metals

If you do decide to stock precious metals for use as real currency during a society-toppling crisis, keep in mind how currency is actually used. We have large denomination bills and smaller ones. The same with coins. Silver is worth more than gold, and incredibly precious metals like platinum and rhodium are worth more than both.

You should not expect to simply keep a hoard of 1 oz gold coins or bullion handy to make purchases thinking you’ll get change back. Yeah, right. Instead, if you want to rely on precious metals as currency, you should keep metals of greater and lesser value and in various fractions and denominations, ideally mint marked with their weight and purity.

This will allow you to make “exact change” purchases more often, without the worry of getting hosed when you are in need and in a hurry.

On that note, the type of metal you are purchasing will play a part in how easy it is to use it. Gold is the, heh, gold standard (sorry) and silver is right behind it, though far less valuable. Both are well known and accepted in all parts of the world. In some circles, other, rarer or less commonly encountered as bullion metals are starting to gain traction. Among these two, platinum and the fantastically rare rhodium (also in the platinum group) are the standouts.

Platinum is an extremely expensive and rare metal, and available as bullion, though far less commonly than gold or silver. Rhodium is even rarer, and cannot be mined; all rhodium is created as a byproduct of mining and processing other platinum group metals.

Rhodium is notable for its absolutely essential inclusion in catalytic converters for automobiles, making it very much perennially in demand. Rhodium is only very rarely available as bullion, as it is extraordinarily hard and tough to work.

The breakdown of these metals’ merits and flaws for preppers is as follows:

  • Gold – Excellent value to weight ratio. Extremely common commercially, available in many sizes, forms and denominations. Expensive.
  • Silver – Valuable, but poor value to weight ratio compared to gold and other metals. Extremely common commercially. Affordable to purchase stash of hard currency.
  • Platinum – Superior value to weight ratio. Uncommon commercially, may be mistaken for silver by uninformed or ignorant. Very expensive to purchase as hard currency, and less denominations and forms available.
  • Rhodium – Best value to weight ratio. Very rare commercially, easily mistaken for common platinum or perhaps silver. Fantastically expensive (twice the price of gold) and only available as one or two kinds of bullion. Difficult to use as currency, but excellent hedge against collapse of paper money.

For common purchasing, gold or silver is your best bet. If you care to purchase metal to form a bulwark against currency devaluation when the lights hopefully come back on, platinum or rhodium is a highly convenient and compact option.

A Quick Note on Buying Precious Metals

Based on my research, I did not find any truly reliable online vendor of precious metals based on consumer and business reviews.

While the convenience and relative anonymity of such outlets make them attractive to some, the chances of being cheated or winding up with a dreaded case of “not what I ordered” and the lack of a retail storefront make this a dicey proposition.

My recommendation? Seek out and deal with a trusted local source in your area, one where you can physically ascertain the product and deal face to face with your seller.

A More Realistic Assessment of Precious Metals and How You Can Leverage Them for Survival

Now, I have come down pretty hard in the “nay” column when it comes to stashing precious metals for survival planning, but I don’t hate them! Heck, I even have a small stash of my own, but not quite for the same reasons I wrote about in the article.

As a trade commodity, precious metals do have serious advantages, I just see them better applied to events of a shorter duration and somewhat higher peak intensity.

When I am travelling, I often carry with me a small and easily hidden quantity of gold. I carry it as a favor-getter: if things go pear-shaped in a hurry, and hard, gold, like cash, can speak well on your behalf.

I might need a favor in the form of transportation, access or preferential treatment. I might need someone one to look the other way. I might need guns, or other supplies. I might need medical treatment with no questions asked.

The right approach and a liberally greased palm can make that happen. If the gold itself is not to be used for the transaction you can be assured of rapidly converting it to cash almost anywhere and in a hurry so long as there is the expectation of a “tomorrow” in the minds of the buyer!

I personally do not think that in the worst kind of major, society-ending event that precious metals will be as simple and effective trade fodder as some preppers hope.

That last part is what sets me apart on using gold from some other advocates of preparation: I see gold as, essentially, another form of hard currency when things are not too awfully bad, or at least, the awfully bad does not each from coast to coast or affect the fabric of the nation. So in that regard gold is more or less a part of my daily contingency planning instead of a long-term SHTF survival plan.

Also don’t discount the glamour of gold: a gold bar or ingot casts a peculiar spell on people, far out of proportion to even its monetary value. If you are a shrewd negotiator you can likely get a better “return” on your money using gold when you are in a pinch and emotions are high.

While not the ideal solution for everyone (some would rather just carry a wad of bills), gold and to a somewhat lesser extent silver both have merit as easy to carry and conceal currency alternatives to help you get out of a serious jam.

Conclusion

Precious metals definitely have their place in a prepper’s toolbox, but it is my opinion that they are not worth investing in as a long-term currency replacement for trade unless one so happens to be concurrently investing in physical metals as a matter of course.

The tremendous cost of precious metals makes them an either-or proposition for all but the most well to do preppers, and the funds spent on amassing a stockpile of precious metal could be put to better and more certain benefit by spending it on supplies, training and other things.

If you are going to make use of a quantity of precious metal, make it a quantity and format which you can easily carry and conceal as a sort of emergency coin to help spring you from a situation where no other resource may get passage.

In all but the most severe situations, precious metals are valuable enough to encourage people to part with pretty much anything, a fact that a savvy prepper can exploit to their advantage.

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While U.S. citizens enjoy their natural right to keep and bear arms far more than the overwhelming majority of the rest of the world’s residents in other countries, this does not mean that the laws and regulations restricting those rights are applied evenly or consistently throughout the 50 states. This is a fact that any interested and active gun owner will no doubt attest to.

While gun ownership is permissible in every state, some states are far, far more friendly and permissible than others. Some states also show more firearm-friendly culture among the citizenry, while others see it relegated to a comparative oddity.

These different legal landscapes and cultures are of some importance to travelers as well as anyone contemplating a move or relocation who has a choice of where or whither.

In this article, I will be presenting my list of the 10 best states for gun ownership, as well as the 10 worst. Some of you readers firmly nestled into a state which stands as a beacon of 2nd Amendment freedom may enjoy seeing how your state compares to others like it, while those of you sadly trapped deep in “enemy” territory may have some planning to do as you lament your current predicament.

The Criteria

The criteria used for judging each state for placement on my list is simple, and relatively unscientific. I consider each state fares across several 2nd Amendment factors that are important to most gun owners: Legal Landscape (self-defense, stand-your-ground and other law), Concealed Carry, Gun Bans and Culture. I’ll explain each below.

  • Legal Landscape – This category is of extra importance for all gun owners, but especially for gun owners who choose to carry or keep one at home for defensive purposes. Face it: not all states, even in ones where it is “legal” will treat you as the victim if you are forced to fire in self-defense. This category considers the presence or absence of Stand-Your-Ground (SYG) and Castle Doctrine laws and statutes as well as the general bias of the legal system for or against armed citizenry in such states.
  • Concealed Carry – This category examines how easy and affordable it is to get a license to carry your pistol concealed in a given state, if one is required. Also considered here is how laws and regulations regarding prohibited places for carry are interpreted or enforced. Overall, the easier it is to carry concealed legally and in more places, the better a state will fare.
  • Gun Bans – By feature or by type, some states have their own bans in place on use and ownership of what should be completely mundane guns or their components and accessories. Magazine capacity is a big point of contention here, as is banning any firearm by type or class.
  • Culture – Some states bustle with thriving Pro-2nd Amendment groups, activities or commerce. Be it hunting, competition shooting, or manufacture and trade, these states will have guns and the lifestyle surrounding their use and ownership more tightly woven into the day to day life of its citizenry. Such places are always more welcoming and comfortable to gun owners than Meccas of anti-gun animosity.

The following states as placed on my lists are ultimately my opinion. While I have tried to be as fair and balanced as possible with respect to various interests as a whole, what is most important to me may not matter one lick to you, and vice versa. Please bear that in mind as you read on.

Caution: States are not homogenous, even their laws; while states’ laws will always apply within their borders, some localities and cities within them have even more stringent laws, or even entirely different requirements or restrictions on the exercise of your rights.

It is, as always, up to you to know the law backwards and forwards for any place you are considering living and owning guns.

Lastly, this list is not entirely comprehensive as to what a given state offers gun owners or holds against them. Instead, you should consider each entry a snapshot into the greater picture of what they have going on in the gun sphere within their borders.

The 10 Best States For Gun Ownership

Aside from a few standouts, the top 10 was actually a tough list to assemble! We are fortunate that there are so many states in our great country that recognize and enshrine our 2nd Amendment rights within the confines of the law, instead of doing the opposite as we will see later on the “other” list.

Some states are so close in effect of their laws that I had to pick on based on intangibles or even, gasp, my personal preference. So if you are surprised to see a state like Missouri missing, don’t be; I know how great your state is, and great for gun owners, Missourians!

1) Alaska

Alaska tops the list with no-permit-needed concealed carry, the highest rate of gun ownership in the Union and extremely self-defense friendly laws. Additionally, Alaska no longer requires a law-enforcement officer sign-off on NFA-restricted purchases and transfers, further shoring up an already extremely pro-gun owner stance.

About the only thing that you can hold against Alaska is that it does not have much in the way of commercial or competitive shooting activity, though its hunting opportunities are rightly famous.

2) Arizona

A long-time pro-gun state, Arizona is in many ways the premier destination for gun owners: robust concealed carry law (with no permit needed), open carry statutes and pro-victim use-of-force laws for self-defense, Arizona treats the good guys as what they are when scumbags want to press their luck.

Add to that a bustling commercial industry and competitive shooting scene and you have one of the friendliest and most welcoming places to live a shooter could ask for.

3) Idaho

Idaho does not require its citizens to hold any sort of permit for concealed carry, and also keeps a pretty well hands-off policy on the subject of NFA items and banning guns or accessories by type.

In mid-2018, Idaho took a huge step in favor of gun ownership by finally revising their self-defense laws (a long overdue move) and also deleted the odious and dangerous legal duty-to-retreat statute. With that fell swoop, Idaho is no one of the best places for gun ownership in the U.S.

3) Wyoming

A state of many animals, incredible vistas, and few people, Wyoming is nonetheless quickly becoming a destination location for gun owners. A tune-up to what were previously poorly worded self-defense law clarifying no duty to retreat by citizens in addition to existing no-permit concealed carry has made for a welcome enhancement to what was already a staunchly pro-gun state.

Wyoming’s recreational shooting, training and hunting opportunities are many and vast, perfectly matching this sparsely populated state.

4) Oklahoma

Oklahoma recognizes all other states CCW permits has no restrictions on any kind of guns, magazines or accessories, including NFA items. Oklahoma has long been pushing for proper no-permit carry, but that was unfortunately thwarted this year by their joyless governor.

That quibble aside, Oklahoma has a thriving long-range shooting culture thanks to its wide-open and flat expanses.

5) Kansas

Slowly but steadily moving more and more pro-2A, Kansas recently passed a no-permit carry measure. Totally egalitarian on the subject of ownership and bans, you can have pretty much anything your heart desires in Kansas with minimal invasive checks on ownership.

Kansas, while very gun friendly, is not as booming in the competitive or sporting sector as some other states on our list and that keeps them from ranking a little higher.

6) Utah

Another long-time force for good among gun owners, Utah is still in the top 10 on our list. Comprehensive and pro-victim use-of-force laws and positively no restriction on use or ownership of any specific guns or accessories make Utah a great place to shoot, and also hopefully a holdout against future infringement of gun owners’ rights: a preemption law prevents localities and cities from enforcing their own gun control schemes

Concealed carry requires a permit, but other than that Utah is an excellent state for gun owners!

7) Texas

As befitting the Lone Star State’s proud history of cowboys, gunslingers, and pioneers, Texas remains a pro-gun bastion: Strong concealed carry law (with a permit), self-defense statutes and open carry provisions, no restrictions on firearms or magazines and gun culture that is as much a fabric of the state as the soil.

A positively booming gun culture including competition and manufacture cements Texas’ place in our list.

8) Montana

Montana is home to many firearms manufacturers, and sports a robust legal framework strongly in favor of gun owners. While it has sadly missed out on passing no-permit carry thanks to governor veto twice (buy a clue, Bullock!), it nonetheless remains highly pro-gun with a thriving culture to match. Permits are “Shall Issue” and Montana has both SYG and Castle Doctrine in effect.

9) Tennessee

Tennessee has many places to shoot, some excellent world-class training facilities and an active and busy gun culture. The state does require permits for concealed carry (Shall Issue) but otherwise has excellent laws protecting the rights of gun owners, especially in cases of self-defense. You can hardly go wrong in the Volunteer State.

The 10 Worst States for Gun Ownership

And now the problem children on our list. These are the states that bend over backward at every opportunity, that stoop to new lows constantly in their quest to infringe on the right so gun owners. If they could have their way, there would be no 2nd Amendment at all.

It is not enough to say “whew!” and thank your lucky stars you don’t live in one of these states; as we have seen time and time again, these influential states often see their morally bankrupt and corrupt ideologies seep from their borders and spread to other areas.

It is up to all of us, but especially citizens living within their borders to fight these laws and educate our neighbors about gun rights on a grass roots level, lest we all chafe under the same yoke, sea to sea, one day.

Presented in descending order of terribleness.

1) New York

The headquarters of gun-grabbing professional scold Michael Bloomberg and other anti-2A leadership, New York may as well be Mordor for gun owners: handgun registration, magazine and firearm bans, no NFA item ownership, concerted efforts to regulate and attack gun-related businesses and service providers by financial and insurance institutions, the list is endless.

Crowning it all is a “May Issue” permitting system that is beyond draconian, and New York City requires a separate and impossible to obtain permit… Unless you know someone who knows someone and are willing to kiss the ring…

2) New Jersey

New Jersey has had it in for gun owners for some time and a recent flotilla of anti-gun bills signed into law has done nothing to help that reputation or its beleaguered citizens.

Confiscatory “Red Flag” laws, magazine capacity restrictions, caliber and bullet-type bans, May Issue permitting with steep fees, tedious and restrictive requirements, a defacto ban on NFA items (in practice, if not by law) and a hostile legal system prejudiced against gun owners. Bad, and bad to worse. Sadly New Jersey is showing no signs of reversing this trend.

3) Massachusetts

New England states are in many ways the archetype by which freedom-hating, meddlesome liberals would see the entire U.S.’s laws molded. Massachusetts is no exception.

A ban on semi-autos that has withstood legal challenge, magazine capacity restrictions, dangerously vague confiscation provisions, and an overall atmosphere of stigma around gun ownership makes this one state to avoid for sure if you love guns and freedom.

4) Washington, D.C.

While recently forced to concede the point on the issue of CCW permits to subjects- ah, citizens living in the District, D.C. is still hatefully against the rights of citizens when it comes to gun ownership.

Broad bans on types of firearms and capacity, outright ban on NFA items, comprehensive registration requirements and some pretty troubling laws about a citizen’s duty to retreat when confronted make our nation’s capitol a place to avoid unless you want to do so unarmed.

5) California

California is actually an old Native American word for “Gun Grabber.” Ok, that isn’t true but it sure could be. For decades now, California has been the tip of the spear on anti-gun legislation, pumping out increasingly draconian tripe at an unceasing pace.

The state’s assault weapons ban mandates registration of entire classes of formerly legal firearms, and is growing broader all the time. The state also has restrictions on purchase age for firearms and an indecipherable county by county issue-basis for CCW permits. The weather may be nice, but the legal landscape for gun owners, decidedly, is not.

6) Maryland

A newly minted “Red Flag” law in the state allows for trial-less confiscation of a person’s guns by court order, and that is just the tip of the Gun-Hating Iceberg. Yet another New England state that likes its subjects disarmed, Maryland nominally issues CCW permits, but is virtually impossible to gain one.

That is a double whammy since purchasing a handgun requires obtaining a permit, creating a bureaucratic bottleneck by design when it comes to citizens’ rights to keep and bear handguns. Many other types of guns are banned, also, though, curiously, NFA items are permitted.

7) Rhode Island

Another signor to the “Red Flag” laws so cheered and championed by anti-2A people, Rhode Island manages to outdo even that egregious slap in the face to gun owners: bump stocks have been banned, CCW permitting is complicated and far from certain even in light of a court ruling in the affirmative for them, no reciprocity and no NFA items of any kind.

Most guns are otherwise allowed by type, and magazines of any size are OK, but the state burdens already beleaguered defenders with a duty to retreat if attacked outside the home.

8) Connecticut

A fresh ban on bump stocks and May Issue CCW permitting form the center of a fairly restrictive state law that also bans magazines holding more than 10 rounds and so-called “assault weapons”.

The only silver lining is that, even though a permit is required to purchase a handgun, if you can qualify to buy a handgun you in essence qualify to get the permit. It is beyond stupid, and an embarrassment to all men of reason, but such is life in the states ruled by the clinically timid.

9) Hawaii

The Aloha State would rather say “au revoir” to gun owners: bump stocks are banned, magazines are all limited to 10 rounds or less and all NFA items, any type, are banned.

Many guns and other accessories are banned by type, and the permitting system for getting your CCW, though classed as May Issue, seems to issue very few permits. Interestingly, Hawaii does have a thriving gun culture, especially centered on hunting.

10) Illinois

Only fairly recently acknowledging their citizens rights to carry concealed, Illinois still has a long way to go to reach parity with other pro-gun states. Long guns require a 3 day wait, and courts may issue protection orders that seize the guns of citizens without a trial.

Some locales have an “Assault Weapon” ban is in effect, as is one on magazine capacity. NFA items are verboten but one saving grace is Illinois’ otherwise strong self-defense laws.

Conclusion

That wraps our list of 2018’s best and worst states for gun owners. Did your state make the list, and did it make it good or bad? Do you live in a state that falls somewhere between the two extremes? Be sure and let us know how things are going in your state and locality down in the comments!

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by Megan

If you’ve heard about EDC or everyday carry, you might be a bit confused about this term. Is it a bag or a kit? Do I carry my EDC or wear it? Unlike a get home bag (GHB), bug out bag (BOB), or even a get out of dodge bag (GOOD), which are bags you pack up and carry when SHTF, your EDC is made up of those essential items that you carry all the time.

That means you can wear your EDC or you can carry it, or a little bit of both. For women, the basic concept of EDC or everyday carry is to have with you at all times, the items you need to handle both minor and major unexpected emergencies or crises.

Most men carry their EDC on their keys, phone, and in their wallet or pockets. Women, in this respect are lucky. EDC for women means what you wear everyday, what you carry on your keyring, pockets, or phone, AND what you can carry in your purse.

Remember Mary Poppins’ and her bottomless carpet bag? Well, growing up, it seemed no matter what we needed or what went wrong, Gram found something to make it work in the moment.

Just like Mary Poppins, Gram never got rattled, angry, or upset when things went awry. She’d simply reach into her jacket pocket or into her purse and quietly hand us whatever we needed.

Whether it was a straw because we broke ours, a flashlight, a safety pin to fix a broken bra strap, an umbrella, or a logic puzzle book, to keep grandkids from squabbling during a road trip, Gram saved the day.

You may have a woman or two like this in your life. These are women who, whether they know it or not, have mastered the concept of EDC or everyday carry. The ultimate guide below is to help you become more like these women, prepared to handle whatever comes your way without missing a step.

In today’s dangerous society, everyday carry (EDC) includes much more emphasis on self-defense than Mary Poppins or even Gram could have imagined. In addition to minor inconveniences, you may find yourself in situations such as:

• Stranded in a snowstorm on the side of the road
• Being followed walking home from work or school
• A carjacking or mugging
• Face to face with an intruder in your home
• Trying to get home as a hurricane or tornado approaches
• Running from the scene of a mass shooting

How can you, as a woman, possibly be ready for ANYTHING life throws at you? How can you be prepared to protect yourself and your loved ones, no matter what the situation? Read on for ways to put together your own modern women’s EDC everyday carry-the ultimate guide.

What to Carry

This next section will give you a guide to the EDC items you should consider and later we will give you recommendations on where to stash EDC items including the best purses for EDC, clothing and wearable EDC items, as well as other EDC pouches for additional carrying capacity.

Food & Water
  • Bottled Water
  • Water Filter (Sawyer Mini or LifeStraw)
  • Stainless steel cup or container
  • Water purification tablets
  • Piece of aluminum foil
  • Gum or Hard Candy
  • Tuna fish in a foil pouch
  • Single servings of instant oatmeal protected in zip lock bag
  • Tea bags
  • Granola bars or Energy bars
Staying Warm
  • Several methods for starting fire (waterproof matches, lighter, Fire striker)
  • Hot hands brand hand and toe warmers
  • Emergency tinder (vaseline soaked dryer lint, char cloth)
  • Winter weather accessories (gloves, wool socks, hat or balaclava)
  • Cordage for shelter building (duct tape, paracord, or even twine)
  • Shelter items (Mylar emergency blanket, military poncho)
Self Defense and Protection Additional EDC Items

• Button Compass
• Signaling Mirror
• Sharpie Marker
• Waterproof Notepad and pen
• Credit Card Knife or Swiss Army Knife
• USB drive (with important documents)

EDC First Aid Items

Large Altoid Tin Mini first aid kit can include:

  • Band-aids
  • Neosporin or antibiotic cream
  • Single doses of pain reliever, allergy relief, etc.
  • Burn cream
  • Bug bite relief stick
  • 1-3 days doses of any personal medications
Personal Hygiene Items
  • Safety pins, bobby pins, rubber bands or hair ties
  • Measuring tape
  • Small manicure scissors or folding scissors, nail clippers, tweezers
  • Feminine hygiene products
  • Eyeglass repair kit
  • Crazy glue or super glue
  • Makeup wipes and/or baby wipes
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Breath strips, dental floss
  • Wisps (mini pre-pasted disposable toothbrushes)
  • N95 mask or bandana
  • Sunscreen and sunglasses
  • Deodorant
  • Bug spray
  • Lip balm or Chapstick
  • Small trash bags
  • Goggles or other eye protection
Places to Stash EDC Items

When it comes to your EDC and where to carry it, pretty much anything goes. You can put things in a purse or carry items in your pockets. You can also store info or apps on your phone, add items to your keychain, use an EDC pouch or several, or even wear some of your EDC items.

Below are some of our recommendations for best ways to carry your EDC:

Best Purses

The best purses for EDC are durable and lightweight, ideal recommended by USDA is 2.2 pounds total. The average purse weight for women is approximately 5 pounds, but ideally your purse should weigh no more than 10% of your bodyweight.

Consider number and accessibility of pockets, fabric and stitching quality, and carry style. Cross body bags or backpack purses are better for distributing weight than an over the shoulder purse.

The Vertical Travel Sling Bag by Swiss Gear has been my number one purse of choice for about four years running. It’s not too bulky and not too small. I have one in black, but the interior is bright red which makes it super easy to find things, even in dim light.

There are TONS of pockets and compartments which means EDC items are organized and accessible. If I’m working outside, I can slip a few essential items in my pockets quickly. The deep interior pocket is great for holding all kinds of large items or paperwork. I recently discovered that my mini Lenovo laptop and charger fit perfectly inside!

TomBihn Cafe Bag or their EGO bag are also great choices for those who don’t mind a purse that looks more like a messenger bag. Both have great pockets for organization and are lightweight and durable.

I also recommend the Daylite Sling bag by Osprey, especially for women who are more active or who need their hands free to wrangle children or pets during the day. The Daylite Sling has multiple pockets that are easily accessible and help to organize your EDC items. It’s lightweight and versatile. It can be worn cross body or on the back.

If you need a purse for your EDC items that is a bit more formal so you can blend in at your office job, I recommend this classic shoulder Utote Bag. It will hold a 15-inch laptop securely in the main pocket but has several additional internal and external pockets for organization of your EDC items.

This budget friendly crossbody purse by Fabuxry is a good choice for those that want to carry a purse that blends in but that has the organizational capacity for EDC items. It has small compartments on the front and ends for frequently accessed items like keys and Chapstick as well as a large compartment with zippered divider and smaller interior compartments to organize personal hygiene and other less often used EDC items.

If your budget won’t let you completely swap out your traditional style purse for one of our recommended EDC purses, don’t worry. Give your traditional style purse an instant EDC makeover by inserting one of these fabulous purse organizers by Vercord.

These organizers come in 3 sizes which makes them the perfect update no matter what size purse you currently have. Simply drop the organizer into the main pocket of your purse and presto, you instantly have tons of additional pockets and compartments to organize your EDC items.

The discreet handles on the organizer mean you can quickly and easily pull the insert out to swap it into whatever purse you are carrying that day.

Other EDC Pouches

If carrying a purse just isn’t your jam or if you need additional carrying capacity for your EDC items, you can consider any one of these other EDC pouches:

Bellroy EDC Pouch or Pocket Plus Wallet are both great when you need some portable storage capacity that you can either drop into your purse or slip into your pocket.

Maxpedition Organizers are a great way to organize things in your traditional style purse or for when you need to leave your purse behind and carry several items with you in your jacket pocket. They come in several sizes.

The main pocket on the EDC pocket organizer is 6 x 8” and has a full clamshell opening. It comes complete with an oversized handle for carrying, attachment webbing, and various tie-down loops, divisions, and slip pockets to help you organize all your EDC items for easy access.

Condor T & T Pouch is an EDC pouch for women who need something smaller than a purse but bigger and tougher than a coin purse. Made of cordura waterproof material, this little pouch is durable and will help keep your thing dry.

It has a thin profile but don’t worry there are plenty of elastic straps inside for your gear. Adjustable paracord opening and heavy duty pull strings make this a great option for women whose work day or play time tends to be more rugged than average.

Handmade EDC pouches available on Etsy are typically slimmer and trimmed with color or ribbon. These pouches great for women who prefer a more feminine look to their EDC pouches.

Clothing and Wearable Items

Your purse or an EDC pouch are not the only place for you to stash EDC items. In fact, putting all your EDC items in your purse isn’t recommended in case your purse is stolen.

Many times you can choose clothing or other wearable items that can hold your EDC items and help distribute weight more evenly. Women are often at a disadvantage when it comes to clothing because they are either nonexistent or smaller than a man’s pocket.

Clip Pouch by DesignGo is great for women who need to carry a few things with them discreetly. It will clip to the waistband of your pants or clip to a belt. These are durable and inexpensive, a good solution to no pockets.

Women’s Travel Concealment Shorts come in handy for discreet and secure carry of valuables such as credit cards, cash, and ID. This is a great solution if you must wear something without pockets or don’t want to carry a purse but need to keep cash and credit cards with you.

A Belly Band is a wide piece of elastic band that goes around your waist. Corset holsters are specially designed with a pocket. The belly band also includes pockets which you can use to holster a gun or carry other EDC items.

It can be adjusted to just above the hips or just below the chest and turned until the gun position or pocket positions are in a comfortable position. The cons with both is they can roll, shift, and otherwise be uncomfortable to wear, especially if you are active.

Many women prefer something like this flashbang holster is made to sit under the bra band or one of the many different options for concealment t-shirts, tank tops, or shorts.

Women’s Taclite M-65 Jacket by 5.11 is an adaptation of the military jacket. In most cases, 5.11 clothing has the disadvantage of looking “too tactical”. But for women, 5.11 created a tailored jacket, made of Taclite ripstop and finished with Teflon, that protects you from the elements while carrying all your hidden EDC items.

Keeping the Weight of Your EDC Down

When you are planning your EDC kit, one of the key things is to consider the weight of each item. In many cases, you can greatly reduce the weight of items by doing some of the following:

  • Start with a purse, pouch, or organizer that is lightweight
  • Remove items from packaging or boxes
  • Group smaller items together in zip lock bags or Altoid tins
  • Remove handles on toothbrushes or hairbrushes
  • Buy “mini” items such as breath strips, wisps (pre-pasted toothbrush), deodorant, mouthwash, etc.

Distributing the weight of your EDC in several different ways as we outlined above can also make keeping your EDC items with you more comfortable. If you do need to pare down, put non-essential items in a separate pouch so you can quickly adjust what you’ll be carrying to fit the situation.

Many women have a different EDC kit for work or school than they do if they are traveling, working in the yard, or out for a run in the park.

What’s in your EDC? Tell us in the comments below about your favorite way to carry your EDC items.

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