I just finished filming a video on everyday carry and one of the issues I just didn’t have enough time to address was the one regarding what is comfortable to carry weighted against what is more capable, more efficient. I understand that life is too short to spend most of it uncomfortable, but where do you draw the line in terms of having the minimum amount of gear so as to follow what our survival mindset logic dictates yet not get to the point where it interferes with our lifestyle?
Well, that’s exactly were I draw it. I’m not going to get my panties all bunched up over a couple more ounces worth of gear. What’s an acceptable level of comfort? If I can sit, drive, run, move around, and it doesn’t look as if I have a brick in one of my pockets, then that’s ok. Everyday carry gear is already light enough, I have more of a problem with bulk rather than weight. So that’s why I rarely add more stuff to my EDC. I may change one piece of it for something I consider better, but rarely will I add.
I apply a similar philosophy to carrying an everyday carry bag. Is it that much of a deal? Is it that much trouble? Women have been every day carrying purses for ages, its nothing new to them. The idea of men carrying a bag everyday shouldn’t cause hysteria attacks, guys collapsing and retreated to a dark corner where they stay trembling in fetal position, but you’d be surprised. Some guys think you can’t to that, because you’ll soon get tired and not carry it any more. They seem to forget about women and purses.
While smaller and lighter EDC gear is preferred, at least in my opinion it shouldn’t come at the expense of functionality at performance. There’s plenty compact enough gear out there yet fully capable. A smaller knife is lighter and less bulky, yet a bigger one is capable of performing more tasks and can take more abuse. As long as you can carry it, half a gram more or an inch more really doesn’t bother me. The Cold Steel Vaquero Grande I carry every day is huge, it’s a 6” folding knife, yet it fits in my jeans. You do feel it when you sit (specially with jeans) but its not uncomfortable.
“How do you carry that thing?” I was asked once while having lunch in the shooting range’s club. I got up and showed him. “But its still visible” he said. So?, pocket knives in general have some part left outside, even if its just the pocket clip. A inch or two worth of handle isn’t going to kill me nor is it visible with a shirt covering it. Uncomfortable? Well it is a large knife but its not as if I have a handful of nails in there. Sometimes I think people in general have unrealistically low levels of tolerance. Feeling that something is there doesn’t necessarily mean that its uncomfortable or that you wont eventually get over it after you get used to carrying it in a couple more weeks.
All these comfort and size issues reach their pinnacle when it comes to concealed carry guns. I swear one of these days they’ll come up with a polymer 1911 so chopped up that it will weight less than the spit in a person’s mouth. It will of course be chambered for 45 ACP and will have a 3 round capacity (including the one in the chamber!) “But its so comfortable to carry!”
I’m sure it is, but how useful is it? How accurate are you with it? How many classes have you taken with such a gun and how did you perform compared to better equipped shooters?
If you think a Glock 17 is too big, then try carrying concealed an all steel 1911 Government model like they did not that long ago. The Glock 17 isn’t big, or heavy. Is smaller than the 1911 and its weight is a joke. Many folks have said so already and I’m confident about repeating it: No one caught in a gunfight ever wished for less gun.
Carry what you train with guys, and train with something good, a capable gun. When it comes to other gear don’t waste time splitting hairs over atomic weight or extra micros worth of flashlight size, just use what you find to be efficient. A shoulder bag or backpack (or laptop case) isn’t that crazy a concept. We’ve ALL carried bags or backpacks every single day for years at some point, remember school? and man where those books heavy. Today you can have with you a half empty bag of some sort filled with useful stuff of your own choosing.
Think about these things. You soon realize that what you have with you at the time is all you have during an emergency, and that carrying some extra stuff isn’t uncomfortable, but actually makes life easier when dealing with life’s inconveniences both serious and the ones that aren’t so much.
Take care folks.