“He must be one of those crazy, paranoid ‘prepper’ guys.”
There’s a phrase you don’t want uttered behind your back as you cruise through the grocery store trying to feed the kids. But how can you be ready for a violent confrontation, a car accident, or other emergency without looking like one of those “crazy guys” walking around, ready for the zombie invasion?
There are several pieces of gear out there that can be a part of your Everyday Carry (EDC) supplies that are easily concealed and provide you with a leg up during times of crisis. First, though, we must look at what types of items are needed, regardless of being concealed carry, or a tactical assault kit headed to war. To remember what should be packed, we start with the acronym SMOLES:
Self-defense, Medical, Observation, Land Navigation (or Lost and Found), Extreme Weather, and Survival.
- Self-defense can be anything from your well-trained hands and feet, to a concealed weapon (CCW). It is your choice as to what you feel the most comfortable with, as long as you are confident that you can use your tool of choice to defend yourself and family against a wide range of potential threats. Just remember that the best defense is the ability to avoid the fight in the first place.
- Medical gear can quickly become cumbersome and take up much needed room, not to mention be uncomfortable in jeans and a t-shirt. The U.S. Military has noted however, that the #1 cause for preventable combat deaths is extremity hemorrhage… an arm or a leg that bleeds you dry…. The good news about that is you can fit a tourniquet into a back pocket very easily. A SOF Tactical Tourniquet, or something similar, can be applied by the injured person with one hand quickly and save a life. Add in some blood stopper type gauze, and you have an emergency first aid kit that is easy to hide, relatively comfortable, and can take care of some of the worst injuries before emergency medical services can arrive.
- Observation, on an EDC scale, is pretty simple. Have some sunglasses on you. If you wear prescription glasses, either get a pair of tinted ones, or auto darkening ones. Keeping an extra pair of glasses in the car can help, should you lose or break your glasses in a fight and get back to the car. Now you don’t have to drive blind. Another good one for the car is a small pair of binoculars. And right next to that pocket knife you carry, and at about the same size and weight, there should be a small flashlight. The 5.11 Tactical ATAC is a good choice to make. A bit pricy for a small light, but with the rechargeable battery pack, in the long run, it saves you money over those expensive CR123 type batteries.
- Land Navigation is pretty simple these days. Almost all smart phones have a GPS built into them. Sometimes, however, you are out of coverage or you have a dead battery. Keeping a set of maps in the car will give you something to work with, but you will still need a compass. You can either keep a small compass handy or piggyback on something you probably already have: A wrist watch. By wearing an analog watch, you can navigate. It will not give you pinpoint accuracy, but it is better than “North is….. umm….. that way?” This is where the previously mentioned flashlight comes in handy as well. It can double as an emergency strobe light if you are trying to be found.
- Extreme weather is one that is a bit hard to work with in an EDC role. First, you should dress for the season in your region and pay attention to the weather forecasts. A light, soft shelled jacket is always a good start, plus a small, folding, disposable poncho that can be turned into a tent with your boot laces….. you did replace your laces with 550 cord, right…..?
- Survival….. This is, you know, food, water, that sort of stuff. Keep a small folding water bottle on hand and an energy bar, plus some water in the car with a small water filter. And don’t forget fire….. Fire is always nice to have. Have a pack of matches, a lighter, something to get a fire going.
This is just a quick basic idea to get you started in a way that doesn’t scream “Watch out for zombies!” but still allows you to be ready to put up a good fight if the need arises, or to survive a night or two should your car go off the road on a snowy night.
But just remember…. to drop a zombie, you need head shots.