5 Items You Should Carry Other Than Your Gun

5 Items You Should Carry Other Than Your Gun

If you’ve been following the #digtherig trend, you’ll tend to see a variety of objects people pull out of their pockets alongside their inside the waistband concealed carry holster and everyday carry gun.  Items can range from knives to cell phones to keys to card clips.  What’s the best combination?

In this article, we’ll go over a few ideas for items you may consider for your everyday carry setup.

1. Folding knife

A gun is useful for defense — a knife has many more applications.  Whether it’s taking out a flat head screw or carving away a piece of insulation, a good folding knife is a great option for everyday carry.  Folding knives don’t have to be an expensive ordeal.  The trick is just finding one that is light, compact, and fits easily in the pocket.  Another cool feature is a clasp of some sort to keep the knife locked to the inside of the pocket.  Too many of us can sympathize with the guy who sits down on a seat and forgets his folding knife behind.  It happens pretty often.

What I Carry: Kershaw Brawler

Or a multi-tool

The most ideal thing to carry with you everywhere you go is a multi-tool.  Useful for troubleshooting simple issues or as a last resort for emergency ones, something as simple as a Leatherman multi-tool offers the versatility of a screwdriver, pair of pliers, a file, and a can opener all in one package.  It can be a Swiss Army (or similar) or something fit for an EOD technician — that’s your call.  But you’ll certainly be thankful the moment you have cause to use it.

What I Carry: Leatherman Wave

2. Spare magazine

Compact and sub-compact guns usually come at the sacrifice of magazine capacity.  It’s always nice to know there’s a spare magazine nearby.  And, if you train for reloading after you’ve engaged your opponents, you’ll know that there’s definitely confidence in being able to start fresh with a full magazine.  Even if you can’t fit a magazine conveniently in a pocket, there are clips you can buy to keep them inside or outside the waistline.

3. Flashlight

Even a small LED flashlight can be a big help in a dark situation.  Whether it’s looking underneath a car to see if a hose got disconnected or just trying to find the front doorstep while coming home at night — an everyday flashlight is a very safe bet.

What I Carry: SureFire E2D Defender

4. Cell phone

Hate’em or love’em — it’s become a staple of our society.  A 3rd or 4th generation phone is generally able to use map utilities to find your way out of confusing terrain.  It’s also essential for calling police or emergency services in the event of an accident or incident.  Hilariously enough, it may even substitute a flashlight for very dark situations.

What I Carry: Samsung Galaxy Note 5

5. Water bottle

People callously assume because we live in a society with a convenience store every block that water isn’t one of the most essential things on the planet.  A water bottle — 16 oz. or more — can be a constant reminder to hydrate and a short emergency supply in the event you find yourself outside the hospitality of civilization.

What I Carry: Yeti Rembler 30oz.

In conclusion, our daily carry rig can be light and affordable or heavy and expensive (or any combination thereof).  Personal taste preferences aside, all the items mentioned are good ideas for basic survival in most sticky situations.

  1. Folding knife/multi-knife: $11 – $215
  2. Spare magazine: $30+
  3. Flashlight: $5 – 65
  4. Cell phone: $45 – $860 (depending upon model, service plan, etc.)
  5. Water bottle: $1.29 – $30


  • Mordecaidrake

    Nice list, what are your thoughts on carrying a defensive knife and a multi-tool?

  • Ron Kiely

    Sounds Right , also carry a disposable lighter.

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  • Grady Philpott

    I don’t think it’s particularly funny that a cellphone can be used as a flashlight. Many people found their way out of the twin towers using their cellphones and this was before smartphones with flashlight functions. There are many reasons why even basic smartphones should be essential tools for almost everyone, given their multitude of functions.

  • will_ford

    Carry a Benchmade Presido is best EDC knife

  • I carry a Smith And Wesson Homeland security titanium blade have had it for close to 10 years has been used in the garage on the ranch hunting fishing a bit of everything lost my can opener on a trip and had to use the knife and its still got a sharp edge and has never let me down great knife in my opinion

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  • R P Daniels

    A water bottle?? Seriously?? Where am I supposed to pack that???? I’d rather pack extra magazines or a back up gun rather than a water bottle. Should I offer the bad guy a drink of water when I run out of ammo? Geez…

    • bjensen

      You miss the point, trouble comes in all different shapes, not just someone attacking you…

  • Jenny Everywhere

    I’ve carried a number of different folding knives over the years, including a Gerber Covert Compact, a Kershaw Rainbow Leek, a Smith and Wesson side-swing folder, a CRKT “Hole in One” swing-open folder, and my favorite (so beloved I keep SPARES), the Kershaw 1920 Select Fire Multi-Tool. It combines an EXCELLENT folding knife with a 1/4″ socket driver and 4 screwdriver bits. It has a sturdy pocket clip a short metric/English ruler, and a bottle opener. I’ve found it to be one of the most useful multi-tools I’ve ever carried. It doesn’t have scissors, or a file, or a pair of pliers, but I NEED those so rarely it’s not an issue. A screwdriver, though…I frequently find myself in need of a screwdriver, and this fits the bill perfectly.

    Flashlights…I’ve got a pile of ’em, and love some of ’em to death. I’m a big fan of NEBO flashlights, and carry either a Redline SE or a Redline Select Titanium. They’re bright, adjustable focus, multiple intensities with a strobe mode, a pocket clip, and a strong magnet in a ring around the glow-in-the-dark power button on one end. Before I found these bright LED lights, I carried a Surefire E2D Executive Defender like yours for YEARS. The Redlines use AAA batteries in an internal holder, while the E2D uses CR123 lithium cells. That battery choice plus a krypton bulb instead of an LED led me to switch to the NEBO lights, though I do keep the E2D on a wire-shelf “bread rack” next to my recliner with my computer gear and ham radio rig. There are three oddball alternatives I’ve picked up recently, to try and consolidate and expand my lighting choices:

    o A Kmashi MP806 11,200mAh USB power bank with a VERY bright 3-LED offset flashlight.
    o A Sunjack LED lightstick lantern, up to 350 lumens, with a 5,200mAh power bank.
    o Another Sunjack, their 340-lumen USB-powered LED lamp on a daisy-chain cable. Combined with the lightstick, it provides nearly 700 lumens of area lighting with just the two lights, or more with additional lights chained off the cable.

    Those aren’t strictly EDC, though I do keep the Kmashi in my “vest of holding”, just in case. I keep a ThorFire expanding LED lantern in my backpack, because it can also act as a battery bank, but includes a crank to charge it up — so you can crank for light OR to charge a cell phone.

    My shoulder holster has a holder for two spare mags under the other arm, and I have a belt pouch that holds two more. Considering I usually carry a Kel-Tec PMR-30 (it’s a long story), if I carried all the spares I can hold at once just in dedicated mag pouches, I’d have 150 rounds with me. I don’t usually bother with the belt pouch, so I’d just have to let 90 rounds suffice.

    Water bottle? I don’t have an EDC bottle. I’ve got a Nalgene with my Steripen, and a couple of collapsible water pouches with my Sawyer Mini-Filter. There are some very nice collapsible water bottles out there these days…push come to shove I’d probably carry one of those to save bulk. I’m going to check out the Baiji roll-up 16oz bottle and see how well it works. Combined with a Sawyer filter it might be a really useful option…fill the Sawyer bag with water to filter into the Baiji bottle. No confusing which Sawyer pouch is clean or dirty…just ALWAYS assume the Sawyer bag is the dirty side.

  • Jamie

    Got them all but the water.