What's in YOUR pocket?

You could have five years worth of food at home. You could keep your BOB packed and ready to go at all times. You could keep a "get home bag" in the trunk of your car right next to your rifle. Unfortunately, none of that will do you much good if something happens really fast and you're stuck with what you've got on you. You never know when getting back to your vehicle or even home will be difficult if not impossible. What you can conceivably carry on you can be very limited depending on your job, the season and what you're doing. It could also be all that you have. In my case I'm stuck wearing dressy clothes every day so it's really hard to conceal anything. I also spend a lot of time with customers all over town so I can't just keep a kit in my office desk. Anything bigger than a laptop case is just too bulky.

Cash is king. Even if there is no emergency it's good to have a few bucks in your pocket. It's faster than a check. You don't have to worry about the credit card machines going down. Sometimes you can get a better deal if you have cash. Also, purchases made with cash aren't easily trackable if you're paranoid about that kind of thing.

In today's day and age a cell phone is obvious. You can call anyone, anywhere, anytime as long as you have service. They keep accurate time. Newer ones have nifty little features like internet access, cameras and video recording. It's hard to get by without a cell phone these days since so many people have them. You're just causing yourself inconvenience by not using one.

If you live in a state where you can get a concealed carry license then you should get one asap. Even if you don't think you need one today it's still a good idea to get one. You never know when you won't feel so safe walking down the street unarmed. While a concealed carry license isn't a license to kill at least you'll have some kind of protection under the law. I carry a Keltec P3AT most of the time. If things get hairy I've got a full sized 9mm with a high quality, tuckable in waistband holster. Make sure you've got a very sturdy belt if you're going to carry a gun in waist band (or on waistband). I recommend the wilderness instructor when I'm not dressed up. Don Hume also makes good belts if you prefer leather or need something more dressy.

A flashlight is another thing that I wouldn't want to live without. You can get very compact keychain LED lights but they tend to be fragile and if you actually kill the battery they're a pain to replace. I prefer pen lights that use normal batteries. The one that I use is a Rayovac that I got from Wal-Mart for $3. It uses 1 AAA battery (which it came with) and it's got a reasonably durable aluminum housing. I've had this light for months and I haven't had to replace the battery yet. It's lasted longer than the last two keychains that I've had.

A knife is another useful thing that there's no reason not to carry. You don't need a big blade. I carry a small Gerber knife that's about 2.5" folded and I've cut watermelons in half with it. It's sharp, it holds an edge and it only cost around $10. It's also unnoticable in my pocket.

There is no easier way to start a fire than with a lighter. Even though I don't smoke I still carry a small bic. I don't use it much but at least I have it if I need it.

Those are the basics in my eyes. A multi-tool would certainly be something that I could add but I haven't found one that I like that fits comfortably in my pocket. A "survival tin" with things like fishing line, hooks, basic first aid items, snare wire, cord and other little knick knacks that would be handy in a wilderness survival situation are great and all but it just wouldn't fit well with my dress code. What do YOU think I'm missing?


Anonymous said…
irishdutchuncle here...
i'm turning into a gerber baby myself. i have a gerber "tempo" led penlight(1 AAA cell) and their money clip knife, and medium size "paraframe" knife. i also carry a whistle, a magnifying glass, one bandanna size cloth handkerchief and a nylon case with two pairs of exam gloves, band-aids, butterfly closures and a couple gauze pads wrapped in a sandwich bag. one stub pencil in a hard plastic tube cover, one fisher space pen. raine co. makes a nylon coin pouch they call a "coin silencer" and that's what it does. it will hold $10. in quarters (although they say it only holds $5.)if i put it all in carefully, my pockets dont bulge much. when i find the right one, i'll add a waterproof match case.
You might want to try keeping a small firesteel in your wallet rather than a lighter or matches - because a FS ALWAYS works whereas lighters break down and matches become wet or degrade over time. And a FS will make many many more fires.

It is up to you if you want to keep this link, but Survival Topics offers them at very good prices and I really believe in them. The PUP size fits well in a wallet and will go unnoticed until you need it - then it could very well save your life:

Good idea on the firesteel. I just found a flint that came off of a cheapo magnesium bar a while back. It just went in my wallet. I suck at making matchless fires, though, so I'm not sure if it'll do me much good.
vlad said…
Make a flint key. Hold lighter flints in plier.
Wirebrush away the red coating. with JB
Weld secure flints
in grooves of old key.
Apply three coats clear nail polish
to retard oxidation.
It'll be on your keyring when you need it.
Mfskinner said…
It seems you have basics covered mostly, I carry a little bit more in my laptop case.
A small bic lighter, SAK multi tool, a small sewing kit for those rips that happen at the wrong time and a few band aids and antibiotic cream, the first aid kit at work is only out when I need it. I also have a magnesium and flint stick on the key chain. I carry the photon key chian light it has held up nicely for me.

Not enough for every occasion but it is enough for small emergencies and day to day nuisances.

Oh and yes I carry a cell phone with internet service.
Frank said…
On weekends and weekday nights I will usually carry a Gerber lock blade that clips inside my pocket as a little insurance.

I had purchased a year ago a Gerber multi-tool. It is a good tool, but I still like the feel solid blade.

One site I was recently on had a survival key chain. It had everything on it, but I wonder how practical it might be.
Anonymous said…
i carry a swiss utilikey and a small LED keychain light on my house/car keys. both have come in handy.

Anonymous said…
a sport coat or suit jacket, usually has at least three outside pockets, plus a couple inside. the well dressed survivalist could probably carry the contents of the survival tin, plus a mylar "rescue blanket" or a disposable poncho in his jacket, if arranged carefully. no substitute for a survival vest, but better than "casual wear". otherwise i usually just wear a camo BDU jacket, since everyone at work already knows i have conservative tendencies anyway.
Briel said…
Well my SHTF moment happened in Africa as I quickly (ha, six days holed up in a crappy motel with only what I was wearing) became a military evacuee. So...
Swiss Army Knife, Kleenex (gold, there wasn't any tp after 2 days), book, iodine tablets, malaria meds, cell phone.
Of course I wished I had more. But this worked fine.
FerFAL said…
You've got the basics covered.
Maybe I'd get a Glock 19, or a subcompact Glock 9mm if pocket carry is your only option. But deffinitely Glock and most deffinitely 9mm as a minimum. If you ever have to use it yo'll sure want something better than 380 ACP.
About the light, get one that you can trust. Its one of those things worth buyig good quality. Fenix offers the LDO1 which costs 43 bucks but man is that a nice light. You have low mid and high modes, 80 lumens in your keychain! The Fenix Eo1 cost 15 bucks, still Fenix quality and still something you can trust your life on, costs only 15 dollars shipped but you have only 10 lumens worth of power.
For a ligher, try getting a good one that wont fail as esily as the cheaper ones do. Not all cheap disposable lighters are created equaly. Bics are good, but Romisen seem beter built. In ant case since the habilty to start fire is so important, I'd recommend the little peanut ligher. Uses liquid fuel but lasts for months thanks to the screw and oring, also waterproof, you can find it both at countycomm and dealextreme (DX is much cheaper of course)
As for multitools, I've been in your same sitaution for along time but now a Leatherman Charge Tti lives in my right pocket, along with a Quark Mini 123 titanium R5. That's 189 lumens out teh front and includes low and mid modes too. Extremly compact light just a bit larger than the battery that powers it.
Take care!

Anonymous said…
OK, another Zimbabwe story. We were out in the bush at dusk, with about a 5 mile ride back on a moonless night when the lights went out on the Land Cruiser. I'd already impressed my guide by having tire plugs in my fanny pack. Now it was time to pull out my mini-Maglite and show the way home. My Leatherman also came in handy later on the trip when I was staying in a London hotel during a record heatwave. No AC and the windows were screwed shut. Of course, that didn't last long with the leatherman in my hand, and soon I was the darling of the hotel patrons. I'm sure the handyman hated having to screw all those windows shut again! One thing I didn't have in my pack, and have now learned to carry, is bicycle inner tubing. I saw them used for EVERYTHING over in Africa, and have even used a piece as a temporary radiator hose sealer, to get me to the next exit.

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