Jerry Ziegner of Hilltop Firearms Training Center has picked up on an amusing social media trend that has been going on for several years, and which seems to be gaining steam. It is the practice of people posting pictures of their so-called “every day carry” (EDC) concealed firearms and gear in a supposed “pocket dump.”
Some of these, as ITS Tactical so expertly mocked, are so clearly attempts at oneupmanship that they are becoming incredibly absurd.
I’ll be the first to admit that my EDC can vary dramatically, depending on how lazy I am on any given day, and what I think I’m going to be doing and where.
When I’m not being lazy and I’m heading out of the house for any appreciable length of time, I carry my 9mm CZ P07 in a Dark Star Gear AIWB holster, an Olight M18 Maverick or Surefire E1D LED Defender tactical light (whichever one is at hand), a SOFTT-W tourniquet compressed in a PHLster Flatpack, a Benchmade Presidio folding knife, and if I’m wearing cargo pants and I have a pocket free or know I might be doing something where getting injured is a possibility (chopping wood, going to the range, or doing maintenance at the stable, etc), I may grab an Israeli combat dressing and stow that in a pocket as well.
But I don’t always carry this much when I go out.
My wife and I just went for a quick 30-minute walk before lunch in our relatively quiet, semi-rural subdivision. I knew I would be a short trip on sidewalks in a safe neighborhood and I anticipated no threats in our jaunt.
So I cheated, just like everyone else.
Instead of carrying the P07 and a spare mag, I went with a Ruger LCR 5452 in a pocket holster I had laying around the house. It’s a six-shot .327 Federal Magnum loaded with 100-grain Speer Gold Dot JHPs. I didn’t even cary a speed strip with spare ammo, just the six rounds in the gun. Do I know that I need a better holster (one that protects the trigger better), and that it would be advisable to carry spare ammo? Of course. But I was lazy, and this is what I had. I also carried the SOFTT-W tourniquet in the PHLster Flatpack, because I simply carry that everywhere now as a matter of habit. I also slip my Presidio folder in the front pocket of whatever pants I’m wearing when I get out out of bed in the morning, and so is also more or less automatic for me. It was broad daylight, so I didn’t see any need for a light. I didn’t anticipate any need for a bandage and know the EMS response time to my neighborhood from the closest fire station is < 5 minutes, so I left the trauma dressing at home.
These EDC dumps are highly amusing for both hobbyists and professionals (who enjoy picking apart the EDC gear selections of others), but the simple fact of the matter is that your competence with the gear you carry is far more important than having tons of it.
I know how well I shoot that .327 LCR at relatively close range where most self-defense encounters take place.
I also know how to use that SOFTT-W tourniquet, thanks to my recent trauma management class.
I’m also not unfamiliar with what it feels like to stick that Presidio into warm flesh, thanks to non-ballistic weapons expert Steve Tarani, should I run the gun dry and have a pressing need to filet someone.
Gear may win you cool points on social media, but it’s not going to ensure you win a fight, or better yet, avoid walking into trouble entirely. Skill and knowledge are your most potent weapon regardless of any tool you may buy or carry.
Hone those, instead of your Instagram game.