Friday, July 27, 2012

Carrying Gear and Small Children

I am a mom in the (safe) suburbs of a major Midwestern city (Chicago), blessed with seven children. You have excellent advice on always carrying a light, weapons, etc. As a homeschooler, I wind up being home almost all the time (which I love). However, with lots of little ones constantly climbing all over me/being carried, I find it hard to even clip a flashlight on, much less anything else. I’m afraid to keep a weapon on me, for fear a little one could get hurt. I thought of trying to clip a Swiss army knife somewhere, but often I’m not wearing anything that I could clip it onto, and since my youngest ones are carried on my hips, it would be very uncomfortable for them. Even clipping it to a lanyard around my neck would mean it becomes a chew toy for the baby. Any suggestions?

Hi Lori, seems you have your hands full! I understand your concern, I have two boys of my own.
The good news is that it can still be done. I know they chew your hair, tug on your clothes, touch everything and everywhere all over you. It does however require gear made for being carried all day and in some cases it may even require a change in wardrobe. Carrying some of this stuff while using skirts with no pockets, that would be a challenge, jeans or other pants with pockets are more practical. Sometimes people find a solution in a small fanny pack, and that would work pretty well for most EDC items, some are especially designed for carrying concealed firearms.  Its also a matter of getting used to it. I hear people complain about this or that knife being an inch too large or an ounce to heavy. When you’re committed and make the effort to get used to it, eventually that’s what ends up happening.  One day you simply forget you have a Cold Steel Voyager clipped to your right pocket and a Fenix PD10 in your left one. That is, you forget until you need it! These clipped to your pockets, it wouldn’t be a problem at all. I’ve played with my kids many times with these in my pockets, not a problem.
In terms of firearms it can also be done, but this yes, requires discipline and training so as to do it safely and efficiently. The idea here is first of all, carrying so that its not a risk to you or your loved ones, otherwise just better leave the gun in the safe. Second, you carry because you want to be able to defend yourself if there’s ever a serious threat towards you and your family. That may never happen, but you may still want to be ready for that, if nothing else because of principle. Now, carrying a gun doesn’t make you a gunfighter any more than me sitting on an Airbus cabin makes me a pilot, so a good CCW class and at least a basic pistol class is strongly recommended. For carrying safe in the kind of circumstances you describe, appropriate wardrobe would be needed including pants, a gun belt, and a good holster. Bladetech, CrossBreed and Galco are some of the most recognized ones. Crossbreed is pretty comfortable and I’ve had good results with my Blatech Phantom.
I would avoid neck carry because of the reasons you describe. Victorinox isn’t exactly ideal for carry as most lack a proper pocket clip. In your case a Spyderco Delica would work nicely. Its well made, has a nice flat profile and 4 position clip.
 Spyderco Delica4 Lightweight FRN Flat Ground PlainEdge Knife

Spyderco Delica4 Lightweight FRN Flat Ground PlainEdge Knife (Purple)
As for flashlights a small one just drops easily in your pocket. The Fenix EO5 I recently wrote about is as small as it gets for a single AAA LED light.
Fenix E05 LED Waterproof Mini Torch Flashlight (Purple)

Fenix E05 LED Waterproof Mini Torch Flashlight (Purple)
(Purple combo shown just becuase its pretty and women seem to like it :-) )
Again, check the fanny pack. A lot of people find a solution for their carry needs in them.
Good luck!
Join the forum discussion on this post!


Jo Schmo said...

It's great to see that a woman responsible for instilling values in 7 kids is visiting this sort of site. We definitely need more kids raised to be able to take care of themselves. My suggestion is to make sure that if you wear a holster, get one with a trigger guard. Most guns have multiple levels of safety that will prevent them from being fired accidentally, but I always worried about little fingers and toes getting too close to the trigger when my kids were on my hip. A Belly Band type of holster might work. It has pockets for documents, guns, knives, or whatever relatively thin items you wish to carry and goes under your clothes. Otherwise, you might want to try one of those travel zipper pouches that attaches to your bra straps. I think they are adjustable to be carried high or low, but I'm not sure how much room is there. Best of luck in finding an option that works for you.

Anonymous said...

When I began carrying, I had the same concern about getting careless with the gun. Very quicly I realized that the safest place for the gun was in a holster by my side all the time---NO EXCEPTIONS. At night it goes into a small safe.

A standard size gun, in my opinion, is too heavy to lug around all day iwb. But you can get used to it. A better solution is a j frame revolver. You sacrifice capacity, but it is more likely that you will take it with you. I carry a glock 26 which I consider still a little on the uncomfortable side, but a good compromise.

Check out the youtube channel of faliaphotography. She has a lot of good advice for ladies wanting to conceal carry and still dress like a lady.


Anonymous said...

A pistol with a heavy double action trigger pull and/or a manual safety would make things a bit safer. The CZ 2075 RAMI features both and is a good carry choice being fairly light and compact. A newer option would be the Smith & Wesson M&P Shield which has a thumb safety, but a lighter trigger pull. It's very thin and light.

A proper holster will make a kid snatching a gun incredibly difficult from a conscious mother.

Teaching kids at a young age to not touch the pistol would be a good idea.

Anonymous said...

HI. I am a homeschool mom as well but my youngest is eight. I have an M&P shield and a crossbreed holster.It's in the waistband and I wear at 4 o'clock. It would be easy to carry a kid on the opposite hip etc. They get used to hugging you around the gun. I play basketball with them, do my morning walk and chase them around with no problem. Packing pretty and the well armed woman have some good stuff. I spent lots of time in front of the mirror figuring out what clothing would work. the kids will learn so much from you.

Anonymous said...

Hi, I'm also a homeschooling mom, and since I also have small children I understand your dilemma. I took a two pronged approach to solving the problem:

At home, I keep my gun in the kitchen (laugh if you want, I spend a lot of time there). I put up a baby gate to keep the littles out, and used a gun magnet to attach it somewhere they couldn't easily reach anyhow. It takes a good yank to get it loose from the magnet, too. I feel fairly confident doing this because my house is as secure as I can make it (thanks, Ferfal) and small enough I'm still never far away from my gun.

Away from home, I use an inside-the-bra holster. The one I use is called, wait for it ... the FlashBang. The Well Armed Woman carries it and several other female specialty holsters, that's where I got mine.