Navigating the list of essentials for concealed carry is not only confusing but also dang near impossible to come to find a one-size-fits-all approach. However, there are a few items that are 100-percent on every concealed carry practitioner gear list.
A building block of all concealed platforms, the belt is often overlooked. There are quite a few options when cruising the interwebs. A solid gun belt should be stiff and rigid. The temptation is there just to use what you’ve got. I get it; the belt isn’t the sexiest piece of gear. That doesn’t mean it should be overlooked.
The Tactical EDC belts from Bigfoot are discreet and possess a quick-detach buckle that is well built.
A solid holster is different for every single person. I’ve run holsters that I loved, but others tested out and weren’t thrilled about it. We have boxes of empty holsters lying around because it takes time to find the right fit.
I haven’t sprung into the micro-compact carry pool just yet, but the details behind that are for another story. I typically run a GLOCK 19, which requires a beefier holster. The G-Code Incog Eclipse Holster remains one of the toughest, most-rugged holsters I’ve run.
I’ve recently acquired a Safariland GLS Slim pro-fit holster, which I’ve grown to love. It’s a durable appendix inside the waistband (AIWB) holster with an active retention mechanism that ensures the pistol stays put.
Give me all the lumens. When running a light, I prefer enough output to dominate the area. However, I want a discreet outline when carrying. The SureFire Stiletto (shown above) crushes all these boxes. We’ve run this light on our series First Person Defender, and each participant that utilized the slim flashlight raved about it. We also have folks that come on the show, and that is what they carry. The simple fact is that a self-defense flashlight does make a difference and could de-escalate a volatile situation.
Self-defense situations happen fast, and what happens when you can’t access your firearm? Well, logic tells you fists of fury engage, or another weapon is deployed. An edged weapon carries the weight of the world when it’s needed. DoubleStar crafts some of the finest self-defense blades on the market.
Designed by Rob “Filo” Cabrera, the larger Drakon Blade is ideal for quick deployment. When I can’t carry a firearm, typically, I can carry a blade. This is that blade.
The Fang V3 is smaller and more discreet, giving concealed carriers an option when belt space is limited.
Don’t sleep on a good blade. You need a quality self-defense knife, and these are a great start.
Don’t take my word on this one. I’m still stuck on a G19. However, I am coming around given the multitude of high-quality micro-compact firearms coming out at a blazing speed. Look at the Springfield Armory Hellcat, Smith & Wesson Shield Plus, Ruger Max-9, Sig Sauer P365XL, GLOCK 43X, or Taurus GX4.
The self-defense handguns exploded on the scene over the past couple of years and are solid options when seeking a firearm. I don’t think you can choose poorly in any case. If it fits what you need, you can’t go wrong.
No matter where you go, don’t underestimate the gear on this list. Your EDC options are expansive. That doesn’t mean you should breeze through your selections. ~ KJ
Kevin Jarnagin (KJ) hails from Oklahoma but quickly established Louisiana roots after joining the Gun Talk team. KJ grew up as a big game hunter and often finds himself in a bass boat. Whether it’s making his way to British Columbia for elk or training with pistols, KJ always seems to find a gun in his hands and adventure on his mind.