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Real World Pocket Dump: Honest EDC

With no idea when this “trend” started, I started looking at these “pocket dumps” on line. Apparently there is a contest of sorts to see who can get the most minimalist important stuff in an Altoids tin. Take a moment today to admire/respect the ingenuity of your fellow person- some of these things are amazing.

Here’s another thing I’m deliberately ignorant of- watches. Apparently, watches are key decorations to “show the world” just what your status is in the universe. It’s also a pretty big deal (for some) to have an old school handkerchief, and highly ornamental devices for your car keys, and those ridiculous “tactical” pens that have likely not ever been used…anywhere. If note taking is a use, then-mission accomplished. I’m referring to defense of self/others.

Anyway, the thought that people took the time to show what they lug around seemed pretty cool. Whenever I encounter something I’m ignorant about, and interested in, research becomes quasi obsessive. There is a rationale behind this build up, promise.
So, for months, in dribs and drabs, I studied these “pocket dumps” and came to some conclusions. It’s a safe bet that most of us who carry firearms for pay will have particulars about things, just like these people online. Maybe the majority of these images were posted by just that type of person (doubtful). Following are conclusions I came to- perhaps erroneously. In any event, consider it food for thought.

The need for a high priced watch. What is considered “high priced”? Let’s say $500. To some, this is ridiculous, to others, the number seems paltry. Fair enough. Could you not take that same amount of money and spend it on a basic trauma class? You can look at a lot of these images and see which people have been to an edged combatives class (possibly), or, they know someone who has, because they have 4 knives amongst their stuff. Exactly HOW they have 4 knives in a “pocket dump”, I’m not sure, but perhaps I’m ignorant of the rules. I didn’t find an exact parameter list anywhere.

Be that as it may, in my state I can’t carry concealed fixed blades, but who knows where some of the pictures came from? As a life long devotee of the blade, they are just like firearms- 1 is none, and 2 are 1. Four? How about trading 1 knife for a dead reliable small flashlight? How about sacrificing 1 for a spare magazine, if you’re toting a pistol? There are still 2 knives, but now we have a light and extra bullets, light and a secondary mag in case the primary takes a poop when you need it most?

Here are the last couple of items with knives- fixed blades rule, period. They are stronger. However, if you can’t carry them, how about a pair that function exactly the same way with the same PROVEN locking mechanisms? That narrows down your choices considerably. You will often find trainer knives when you step into this type of arena. Maybe buy a cheaper watch, and reconsider the idea of training. Looking menacing in your bedroom mirror while reciting lines from “Pulp Fiction” is NOT training.
Don’t ever expect a dancing, tough talking foreplay ritual in a knife, or gun, fight. It is over before most even realize it has begun. Your witnesses will have wobbly cell phone footage, that helps with exactly nothing,and they won’t get down to earth like a sane person would. They will also throw in at least 1- “OMG, it all happened so FAST!” No self preservation sense at all, but more than willing to speak to reporters…

Has anyone ever entertained the notion of a small keychain dispenser of OC spray, say FOX Labs, for example? You can shoot a dog if it attacks you, but you could also miss and nick an innocent passerby, filming you shooting a dog… Or, you can spray the dog, and ruin his day, and likely not go to prison. The same applies to people. OC is not considered a weapon where I live, and as an OC instructor with 15 years experience, FOX works.(I’ve shot nearly 100 people with it, zero failures to stop)

Granted, a can of OC isn’t sexy, but I posit this; Bad Guys watch you. They are making decisions about who to pray on. If you’re the person with their keys in their pocket, and that canister is visible outside the pocket, they will likely leave you alone. You’re not brandishing with menacing intent, but you have a visible less lethal option close to hand. What else might you have, My Dear? Have you ever considered that there are 2 incredibly vulnerable moments in your day? One is when you’re fooling around with your back to the world, getting into your car (with kids, groceries, etc.) The other is when you’ve “locked” yourself in a bathroom stall. Ever practice shooting from this configuration? Number 3 is vestigial, but everyday for some- trapped in an elevator with a bunch of unknowns isn’t exactly choice, either.

With knives, here is a train of thought- just like firearms. Is it better to have 15 pistols with multiple modes of operation, so that you’re completely flummoxed if the balloon goes up, ar 2 dead reliable pistols that operate the same way? Take into consideration the cost of those other 13 pistols, holsters, magazines, etc., and think about the classes you could have taken with that money. Then again, owning 15 pistols will literally scare bad guys into staying away from you, because…somehow, they just know…

Again, I’m ignorant of this whole concept, and merely find it intriguing. Every person who had time in their day to put all this stuff in one place, take pictures, and share it with the entire world is undoubtedly a hybrid of John Wick and Vin Diesel, for sure. A lot of these pictures show a whole lot of money in a very small place. Rarely present was any kind of multi tool that you can use for a pleothora of daily tasks, but those are heavy, and ugly. I get it. The same applies to an actual gunfighter belt. There were few of these on display. Maybe because they were not in the pockets, like the 4 knives were (?)

The final thing that absolutely floored me was this- and I looked every time these pictures occupied my time. Maybe I was looking in the wrong “format”, but here it is. There was an incredible lack of tourniquets. To be fair, I saw 1 person who took their picture, and there was a “SWAT-T” present. Here is more food for thought.

I learned at my last TC3 class- (if you don’t know what this is- here is something for you to do today. Stop taking pictures of useless crap, and Google TC3. This will be time well spent, for a change. Stop spending money on mismatched and overpriced totems that will have you looking very foolish as you panic in a real emergency, trying to figure out just which item to grab/use first. As a rule, don’t go for the “tactical” pen) that the SWAT-T is a versatile, useful tool- FOR OTHER PEOPLE. Here is the truth- they are great for children (unfortunately, kids get hurt, too) and canines, if you operate in that type of arena. As far as self administration, well, hopefully someone is there to help you.

Anyway, this is not a promotion for any specific tourniquet type. This is not meant to be negative towards a SWAT-T- either.They are awesome to have when things get bad. You have decided to carry tools that will take human life, yet you have no tools to preserve your own?If your arteries are severed/damaged- you have (maybe) 2 minutes. What is that “Tactical Pen”, or expensive watch good for then?

Stop the over spending on stuff that works no better than cheap stuff. Get many, many tourniquets. Keep some in your car in case you come upon a traffic collision. Buy training tourniquets, and practice. Have everyone in the home capable of applying them. They may save YOU when you all get in a wreck, and can’t tend to yourself.

Maybe reconsider pocket litter- not that it’s unimportant, but devote some time to having training/gear in the vehicles. After all, if you must use it, a car is a bigger weapon than any bullet you’ll ever carry on your person. Here is a concept for the idiots who are anti-gun. Thank goodness for yellow paint. Cars don’t kill people, because the million of gallons of yellow paint on the highways of this great nation keep anarchy at bay. Have gear in every vehicle in the household. Traffic mishaps occur all the time, and you’re more likely to have 1 of those than a vignette from a John Woo film.

Photo courtesy of Graham Baates

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