What Should I Carry in Addition to my Concealed Handgun?

Here are two products that you should always carry as a concealed handgun owner.  First I’ll say that you should carry a good flashlight. The flashlight should be at least 150 lumens and have a battery life of at least 4 hours at max power. I picked up some at Home Depot ($7.99 for package of two including 6 AAA batteries). This one is good for 7 hours at 200 lumens. Note the crowned edge (sometimes called a strike bezel), which allows it to double as an in close weapon if needed. I bought one to carry on my person, one for the car, one for the closet to keep next to my Glock 19, one for the girlfriend’s go bag, and one to keep in case one of the others breaks. At $7.99 for 2 plus batteries…why not?

If you are one of those gadget freaks you can purchase the $155 Fury (500 Lumens) from www.surefire.com.

Why do you need a flashlight on your person? Aside from the obvious reasons it can be a real life saver.  A friend of mine got stuck in an underground shopping complex during a power outage. It was pitch dark and no back up lights. He pulled out his trusty $8 flashlight and led himself and about 15 other people to safety. When they got to daylight all of his followers were amazed to find out that he wasn’t a cop. Just carrying a flashlight in a dark situation could tell a potential assailant that you are not a sheep and it would be better to find an easy target.  I imagine being able to illuminate some dude in 200 focused lumens and say, “Stop. Let me see your hands. Don’t come any closer.” It sounds foolish, but if it keeps me from having to deploy my primary, I’m all for it. I don’t always carry my primary, but any time I leave the house at night, I’m carrying a flashlight.

Once I started hanging out in these circles, I noticed that all of these concealed carry people are also pocket knife people. I started clipping one inside my pants pocket and man does this thing come in handy. When I was 23 a friend of mine gave me a special edition Smith & Wesson pocket knife with my name engraved on it. The blade is about 3 inches and it is barely noticeable when I have it clipped inside my pocket. The other day I was at Wal-Mart and saw a pocket knife made by Winchester that was only $5…yes five dollars. It had a serrated edge so I bought it. My Smith & Wesson is smaller and doesn’t have a serrated edge so I alternate carrying them.

They come in handy all the time. Opening packages, cutting cordage, cutting zip ties, and the list goes on.  My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy (who isn’t) because I’m always dreaming up scenarios where my flashlight or pocket knife will come in handy. Do most of these scenarios ever happen? No. But I’m ready if they do.

Can you help me convince my Girlfriend that I’m not crazy by listing some times when you had to deploy your flashlight or knife? When are some times when you needed them but didn’t have them?