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Organization Options for Your EDC Kit

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments
Organization Options for Your EDC Kit

Illustrations by the author

If you carry one or more concealed weapons and other everyday-carry (EDC) kit, proper organization can make you more comfortable and your EDC kit less cumbersome. One of the best ways to organize your EDC kit is to exploit your belt to the fullest advantage, freeing up your pockets in some measure.

For the purposes of this article, and as a general rule, I suggest that proper EDC kit should include all of the following:

  • at least 1 pistol
  • 2 spare magazines (this is a time of war; 2 extra mags is compulsory)
  • at least one knife (flip knife and/or fixed-blade fighting knife)
  • smartphone
  • flashlight
  • tourniquet
  • multi-tool

The fixed-blade knife recommendation is in addition to a flip/folder-knife, as a fast-access or backup weapon option for those who have been trained and have a fighting plan for knife employment. Otherwise, I believe a fixed blade is entirely optional. As a general rule, you should only carry what you’re trained to carry. Since a tourniquet is compulsory, do get trained in how to use a tourniquet. It could save your life or the life of someone you love.

If you wear a shirt un-tucked…

While wearing an un-tucked shirt, I find it very easy to conceal a host of items on my belt. I spend almost every day with the Option A or Option B loadouts shown below. This approach has four items on my belt, freeing my pockets for other items. With an un-tucked shirt, I highly recommend keeping your spare magazine(s) on your belt. Mags are heavy and can wear out a pocket quickly. Also, it is important that your spare magazines be properly oriented for fumble-free reloads.

Note: These loadouts are configured for righties. If you’re a lefty, just flip the positions.

Option A Loadout

edc kit organization

Options A’s belt loadout has an AIWB holster, smartphone in a kydex holster, TDI knife in a Kydex sheath, and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster. Everything except the pistol is carried behind the body’s lateral centerline, for better concealment.

Notice that the appendix position for the pistol works best with the belt buckle moved off center.

Carried in Pockets:

  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • tourniquet
  • flip knife

Advantages:
A pistol carried in the appendix position conceals better than any other option. OWB magazine pouch allows for fast, easy access for reloads and conceals perfectly. With the phone and magazines carried on the belt, pockets are more easily organized. The rear position of the TDI knife makes for more comfortable sitting and bending.

Disadvantages:
While out of the way and comfortable, the rear position for the fighting knife is more difficult and takes longer to get to in a violent situation. Also, as it lays horizontal, the TDI knife is pretty much accessible with the left hand only.


Option B Loadout

edc-org-b

Options A’s belt loadout has an AIWB holster, smartphone in a kydex holster, two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster, and a vertically-mounded fixed-blade fighting knife on the weak side.

This option is identical to Option A, except for the position, orientation, and style of the fighting knife.

Carried in Pockets:

  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • tourniquet
  • flip knife

Advantages:
A pistol carried in the appendix position conceals better than any other option. OWB magazine pouch allows for fast, easy access for reloads. With the phone and magazines carried on the belt, pockets are more easily organized. The fighting knife is in excellent position for easy and fast weak-hand deployment.

Disadvantages:
The longer, vertical mount for the fighting knife can sometimes be uncomfortable for some folks, especially when sitting. Discomfort can be mitigated by positioning the knife more to the side (at 9 o’clock).


Option C Loadout

edc-org-c

Options C’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster, tourniquet, two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster, and a push knife in a Kydex holster.

Carried in Pockets:

  • phone
  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • flip knife

Advantages:
The side-rear hybrid-style IWB holster and position is typically more comfortable than appendix-position carry. The belt-mounted tourniquet solves what can be an awkward carry issue (sometimes not best suited to a pocket). A push knife is not as long as a typical fixed-blade EDC knife so it can be more comfortable and be positioned more toward the front.

Disadvantages:
The 3-5 o’clock position of the primary weapon takes longer to get to and is more difficult to defend (retention). The push knife can be a more awkward weapon to fight with, especially without getting specialized training. A phone is large and can be cumbersome to keep all day in a pocket (often requiring nothing else live in that pocket).


Option D Loadout

edc-org-d

Options D’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster, tourniquet, and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster.

This loadout is just like Option C, but without a fixed-blade knife.

Carried in Pockets:

  • phone
  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • flip knife

Advantages:
With most of the same advantages as Option C, this option has one less item on the belt.

Disadvantages:
With most of the same disadvantages as Option C, the lack of a fixed-blade knife means having to use a slow-to-deploy flip-knife as a non-gun or backup weapon if needed.


Option E Loadout

edc-org-e

Options E’s belt loadout has an IWB hybrid-style holster and two spare magazines in a Kydex OWB holster.

This loadout is just like Option D, but without a belt-mounted tourniquet.

Carried in Pockets:

  • phone
  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • flip knife
  • tourniquet

Advantages:
With only a primary firearm and backup magazines on the belt, the diminished belt loadout means less weight and bulk on the belt.

Disadvantages:
With only a gun and ammo on the belt, everything else must be carried in pockets. Unless you’re wearing 5.11s, with extra pockets, it’ll be difficult to comfortably and strategically carry a phone, flashlight, tourniquet, flip knife, and multi-tool in your pockets. Also, there is no fixed-blade knife to use as a fast-deploy or backup weapon.


If you wear a shirt tucked…

A tucked shirt presents some challenges to concealed carry and to advisable and comfortable EDC kit complement carry. A tucked-in shirt generally means a smaller gun and only a single IWB magazine pouch (I’ve never seen a comfortable way to carry 2 mags inside the waistband). While one could carry an additional magazine in the pocket, the pockets will already be loaded down with other EDC kit. Not optimal.

While a phone can certainly be belt-carried with a tucked-in shirt, I’m not showing that option here as I don’t think a phone should be a visible fixture on a person. Surely, some with less concern for courtesy will disagree with me.

Option F Loadout

belt loadout options

Options F’s belt loadout has either an an AIWB holster or an IWB hybrid-style holster and one spare magazine in a Kydex or leather IWB holster (all covered under a tucked shirt). Of course one could wear a Kydex holster in the 3-5 o’clock position, too.

Carried in Pockets:

  • phone
  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • flip knife
  • tourniquet

Advantages:
Tuckable holsters for both the pistol and spare magazine allow for workplace or formal dress with good concealability (with a smaller gun model).

Disadvantages:
IWB carry with a tucked shirt typically, if not always, means a smaller gun than one should otherwise carry (especially in a time of war, like now). The single spare magazine means less ammo and only one malfunction-replacement option. The exposed belt means no good option to carry other important EDC kit outside of the pockets.


Option G Loadout

edc-org-g

Options G offers a variation of Option F’s approach. Instead of carrying a pistol and a spare magazine, you might carry a primary pistol and a backup gun. This approach can be accomplished in a number of ways (spare gun in ankle holster or carried off-body—not recommended), but I’m showing here in what is the best configuration with both guns on the belt. One is in appendix position and one is in 3-5 o’clock position.

Carried in Pockets:

  • phone
  • flashlight
  • multi-tool
  • flip knife
  • tourniquet

Advantages:
Tuckable holsters for both the pistol and spare magazine allow for workplace or formal dress with good concealability (with a smaller gun model). Having a backup gun rather than a spare magazine means a faster transition should your primary run empty or malfunction beyond quick repair. There is an added advantage of having the option to arm a compatriot should a prolonged life-threatening situation develop.

Disadvantages:
A backup gun will generally be one smaller than your primary gun. This can present challenges with respect to ammunition caliber match and magazine compatibility between the two guns (it’s always best to have magazine compatibility—like primary is a G19 and backup is a G26, etc…). Also, two guns on your belt can be a bit bulky for some folks.


Conclusion

While there are many other possible configurations you might opt for, the options shown here outline some of the primary organization plans you might consider. Some folks may find fault with prescribing two extra double-stack magazines as compulsory, but we are at war right now. That war may break out at any time at any place we frequent during the day and the attackers may number half a dozen, be well trained, and be armed with rifles. Putting them down or getting to safety could take a while and require a lot of ammunition expenditure.

Carrying a bunch of EDC kit needn’t be overly cumbersome or uncomfortable. Organization helps. I hope you find the presented options useful and thought provoking for your own approach considerations.

Playing With a Pivotal Trainer

Last week I got to play with a couple of Pivotal Trainers from Triumph Systems while at Proactive Defense. The targets were 2-sided and I was shooting only Target Side #2.

The action was random and the timing was set to 5 seconds, so it was super easy, but having to monitor both targets made it interesting. This is just a small clip of what I got to do. These are cool tools with wireless remote control and adjustable settings. I can see how they could be of use in shoot-or-no-shoot and multi-target drills. The price of these guys is not too bad!

Aggressive Defense Drill

In this drill, the scenario is that you are force to defend yourself against two armed individuals where you have no cover and you cannot outrun them. In such a situation it is best to overwhelm your attackers with aggression.

You draw and advance in an aggressive manner while stopping your attackers’ ability to do harm. In this case, 2 rounds on target one and 1 round on target two. Here I’m starting at 20 yards and beginning engagement at about 15 yards.

Notice that when I run empty, I immediately change direction (get off the line/X) while performing the reload. This action should be an unconscious, automatic response to an empty gun. Train to make it so.

You’ll see that I miss a couple of shots in a couple of instances, due in this case to rushing the shot; going to trigger break before my sight picture is perfect (also, walking and shooting can be tricky). This is why it’s called training. The point is to get better!

Range Zero Drill

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

Here’s a drill I try and do every time I go to the practical range. It assumes a close-quarters confrontation that suddenly turns deadly and you’re forced to defend yourself. This is a drill for when a close-up confrontation quickly turns deadly and you are forced to respond. Shot placement is basically the same as for a Mozambique drill, with 2 to the body and one to the face.

As is evident here, I was having a bit of trouble clearing my shirt this morning. Stuff happens; you power through it and complete your objective.

Notice that on the last one, my pistol ran empty after only 2 shots, so I immediately changed my movement direction while performing a reload and finishing with the last shot. That habit of moving off your X or off of your movement line is vital and should be an unconscious, automatic response to an empty chamber.

Left-Hand-Only Drills Day

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

I spent almost 2 hours this morning working nothing but left-hand-only drills at the range. Never touched my pistol with my right hand for drawing, shooting, magazine exchanges, or re-holstering. Trying to gain more skill and accuracy with my left-hand shooting, but want to ensure my manipulations are good to go, too.

You’ll notice that my draw puts the pistol upside down in my hand, so I have to press it against my thigh and reorient my grip. Same for re-holstering. This position for the grip change is safe and muzzle is always pointed at the ground.

Here I’m shooting 8″ steel at 12 yards.

New Surefire XC1 on My Glock 30s

Got another Surefire XC1 light, this time for the Glock 30s. I love this gun (really fits my hand) and have come to really like this light. I say the XC1 is the best pistol light for concealed carry, bar none.

Interesting note: the G30s frame’s picatinny rail has but one slot and it is very far forward. This puts the XC1 a few millimeters beyond the frame; needlessly.

Glock 30s with Surefire XC1

X Fire Pistol Drill – Winter Training

by Andy Rutledge 0 Comments

It’s cold now, so time to train in winter clothing to ensure EDC drawing and manipulations are good to go.

One of today’s range drills is one I first saw Pat McNamara doing. He calls it “Blaze X,” but since I’m not blazing as well as he, I call this one “X Fire.” 5 cones setup in a box with a center cone. Center cone is 10 yards from the 10″ steel plate. Shoot right-side positions with right hand, left-side positions with left hand, center position with both hands.

This was about my 12th run through the drill today. I had been doing pretty well and got cocky for this run, so it’s a bit jacked up—just in time for the camera! Second shot was a hard primer, so did a tap/rack drill and rushed the next shot. First lefty shot I was rushing and had to take 3 stabs at it. That’s what I get for getting cocky! The point is to get better.

25-Yard Heart-Rate Drill on 7″ Steel

Any good shooter can take their time and get 100% accuracy, but this is exploring boundaries. With this drill I’m working to get fast, accurate shots while moving dynamically between them and while my heart rate is climbing with each shot. My six misses (!) in this drill are testament to the difficulty of managing fatigue and speed at the edge of my current ability. The point is to push boundaries and improve with time.

7″ steel plate from 25 yards.

– Draw from concealment while moving off the X and put 1 round on the 7″ plate,
– Run around the obstacle and put another round on the 7″ plate,
– Repeat until magazine runs dry,
– Perform a speed reload while moving away, scan an assess, re-holster.

You can do a 1-mag (15 shots) or 2-mag (30 shots) drill. It’s important to ignore fatigue and any frustration from misses and continue no matter what, until you’re empty.