Being prepared is all for nothing if you're not able to survive away from your stash. Of course, you've got to have your home ready for whatever may come, but today I want to talk about discretion.
It's not always practical to lug your bug-out-bag around. But a disaster could strike at any time. And I can guarantee, it's going to come at the most inconvenient time.
This is where the concept of the everyday carry comes in. It's also called an EDC, but it really just refers to the key survival items you have with you at all time. Unless you want to carry a backpack around, the trick to your EDC gear is that it's light-weight and discreet, so no one actually knows you're wearing survival gear.
Here's a few of my favorite items I have in my EDC
Being able to start a fire could save your life. I've got a simple flint steel on my keychain, which means I'll be able to spark a fire no matter what. I also picked up a nifty little pair of fire starter shoe laces. They've got concealed flint rods and striking bar, so you'll always be able to get a flame. Plus, no one is going to even look twice at them.
Being able to see when the powers out is critical, and you need a flashlight. I personally don't want to drain my phone simply using it as a light, so I've also got an LED flashlight on my keychain. No one's ever looked twice at it, just pick a mini one that's got long-lasting batteries.
The only downside to wearing one of these is that it's quite obvious. But what most people don't notice is the dog collar on my dog is also paracord, along with the "handle" on my keychain. If I'm dressing casual, the belt I use is also completely made of paracord, so I'll always have enough cordage with me.
Getting a license for a concealed carry is critical. Having your weapon of choice with you at all times is important, but so is following the law. Do it right people, and get your license. Then it's just a matter of choosing the right holster. The belly band holster is a particular favorite of mine, but you can also get ankle holsters or pocket holsters. The important thing is knowing how to retrieve your firearm quickly, and safely, from your holster.
Use your heel
You can buy boots with a removable heel that will allow you to carry a small amount of hidden items inside. Some people say you can do this yourself, but I'm not that crafty. My advice would be to buy the proper gear, and do it right.
Altoid tin kit
These are a must-have for your EDC, and most people would never guess there's something other than delicious mints inside. Pack in whatever works for you, for me I've got a miniature fishing kit, a few key pieces of medication, as well as some water purification tablets and a lighter.
Credit card knife
One of my favorite products is the credit card knife. It's ultra light and ultra thin, designed to sit inside your wallet, just like a credit card, until you need it. Then it simply unfolds into a functional knife. No one will be able to tell the difference unless they pulled it out to look at it, making it one of the perfect items for survival gear on the go.
A hollow watch
There's a handful of unique watches on the market that allow you to stop wasting valuable space. Inside they've got a secret compartment you can use to store a few small items. Like medicine, fire starters or even small fishing items.
One of the biggest things on my mind in a SHTF scenario is staying safe. There will be mass hysteria, and you've got to be able to defend yourself. Now I always carry a pen with me, but I've long since switched it out to a tactical pen. It's basically a sturdier version of a regular pen, that you can use as a weapon should you ever need to fight back.
The last point I want to cover actually ties back into thinking ahead. Your wardrobe may not be the first thing you consider when it comes to survival gear, but you couldn't be more wrong. You need to ensure you've got the right clothing for the weather that's expected, and the proper attire you need to make it home. If you've got to wear high-heels for work, have you got a pair of trainers in your desk or in your car that you could switch into if you needed to walk home? I think it makes sense to have a spare set of clothes with you, I've actually got mine packed in a small duffel I leave under my desk. If anyone asks, I just say "Oh that's my gym bag," which is usually more than enough for them to forget it entirely.
Your entire goal when preparing for a disaster is to be ready to react and take action no matter what. If you're in a shopping mall or your office, at your kid's school or meeting up with a friend, you need to be able to be ready. Of course, my ultimate goal is always to get home safe. From my home I'm equipped to ride out pretty much anything that comes my way, but by incorporating practical items into your everyday carry, you're giving yourself an edge. One that may just give you a higher chance to survive.