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12 Tactical Experts Share What Their Everyday Carry (EDC) Items Are

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12 Tactical Experts Share EDC Items

Americans are living in unprecedented times. A bonafide plague is sweeping the nation, making people afraid of each other and the unknown. Civil unrest is sweeping through our largest cities. Dangerous rioters and looters have been taking full advantage of the lawlessness to unleash undue chaos into the streets.

We’re not sure about you, but we feel that these reasons (amongst MANY others) are why our founding fathers felt it paramount that Americans be able to legally arm themselves for protection. What that “protection” may come to be is up to you.

Since times are changing and what was once considered “adequate” protection a few months ago might no longer be suitable, some of us find ourselves switching up our everyday carry (EDC) to meet the new normal.

Interested in what some of America’s tactical experts carry for home defense or their AR set-up? Check out our expert round-ups on the best home defense gun and defensive AR builds.

Apparently, we are not alone as we’ve recently been in touch with 12 tactical experts who have evaluated the situation for themselves.

Take a look below to see how the experts are responding to the rapid-fire changing of events by seeing what their everyday carry items are:

EDC Gear Experts Use

Bill Blowers

1. Bill Blowers

  • US Army Veteran
  • Police Officer for 25 years spending the bulk of his career with SWAT
  • Owner and head instructor of Tap-Rack Tactical

My everyday carry is a Glock 43 with Dueck Defense Mount and Trijicon RMR… I don’t go places, nor do I live, where riots and looting are likely to occur. So, basically, no change has been required to my everyday carry.”

Bill’s complete response:

My everyday carry is a Glock 43 with Dueck Defense Mount and Trijicon RMR. I use Hyve magazine extensions for the primary and spare magazines and carry a SureFire Tactician handheld light.

With regards to what’s been going on with COVID-19 and the civil unrest, I don’t go places, nor do I live, where riots and looting are likely to occur. So, basically, no change has been required to my EDC.


2. Brandon Wright

  • Former Police Officer having served as a SWAT Member
  • Professional Shooter
  • Owner and Lead Instructor at Wright Shooting
Brandon Wright

“I carry one of two guns at all times: a Smith & Wesson Compact or a Smith & Wesson Shield… nothing has changed…my EDC equipment prepares me for any type of scenario that might face me or my family.”

Brandon’s complete response:

I carry one of two guns at all times; a Smith & Wesson Compact or a Smith & Wesson Shield.

To be honest, nothing has changed for me in light of all the chaos that is happening in our nation right now. My EDC equipment prepares me for any type of scenario that might face me or my family.

Just because of the unstable environment we now see, the threat of something happening is always present. The two things that have changed for me aren’t in my everyday carry; they are actually my situational awareness and travel patterns. The best way to avoid conflict is not to be around conflict.


Byron Rodgers

3. Byron Rodgers

  • U.S. Marine Corp Combat Veteran
  • Private Security Professional
  • Conducted Executive Protection Operations in 60+ countries

Learn more about Byron here.

My everyday carry is a PWS PCC 9MM with hollow-point rounds.”

Byron’s complete response:

My everyday carry is a PWS PCC 9MM with hollow-point rounds.

Advantages of the carbine-rifle platform are that it has more magazine capacity and is quieter because of the barrel length.

This weapon is ideal for CQB but also is formidable if you might have to defend your front lawn in case things get extra weird. If you end up needing a force multiplier with a little bit of extra reach and accuracy, this setup has you covered.


4. Dave Steinbach

  • Former Army Ranger
  • Served in the 75th Ranger Regiment, 3rd Battalion
  • Served in the US Army Marksmanship Unit (USAMU)

Read more about Dave here.

dave steinbach

My EDC is a Glock 22 (.40cal) with an appendix holster… only thing that has changed is now I keep a long gun and several mags in my truck.”

Dave’s complete response:

My EDC is a Glock 22 (.40cal) with an appendix holster from Raven Concealment and a Benchmade Auto knife. The only thing that has changed is now I keep a “long gun” and several mags in my truck.

I see the relevance of including a stand-alone flashlight in my everyday carry but I don’t do it. Just a pistol and a knife work for me.


Jared Reston

5. Jared Reston

  • Law Enforcement Officer since 2001 and an active member of SWAT since 2004.
  • Owner and Lead Instructor at Reston Group.

My EDC has not changed much in these times of civil unrest, but my vehicle is now loaded differently… I have a long gun with a chest rig loaded with four 30-round rifle mags, two smoke canisters, pepper spray, and one can of Clear Out.”

Jared’s complete response:

My EDC has not changed much in these times of civil unrest, but my vehicle is now loaded differently. I’ve always used a pistol as my everyday carry which allowed me to go on the offensive at a moment’s notice.

Now, when in a vehicle, I have a long gun with a chest rig loaded with four 30-round rifle mags, two smoke canisters, pepper spray, and one can of Clear Out. I believe our nation is full of good people, but I am ready to protect if need be.


6. Jason Redding

Jason Redding

My EDC is between a G19 & G43, depending on where I am heading that day… with everything going on in the country these days, I am a little more aware of my surroundings.”

Jason’s complete response:

My EDC is between a G19 & G43, depending on where I am heading that day. I also add a spare mag with a NeoMag clip based on the circumstances and always keep spare mags for both pistols in the truck as well.

Never leave home without a blade either. Really diggin’ the Benchmade SOCP these days.

With everything going on in the country these days, I am a little more aware of my surroundings. My everyday carry hasn’t changed much but I tend to run “what if” scenarios through my head more. Times are changing; adapt and overcome.


Joe Farewell Firearms Training Tips

7. Joe Farewell

  • 7 Years of Law Enforcement & SWAT Experience
  • Full Time Competitive & Tactical Firearms Instructor
  • Owner of Farewell Firearms Training

Read more about Joe here.

My everyday carry setup consists of a Sig P365 with a 12-round mag full of 80gr G9 Defense External Hollow Points, and of course, one in the chamber… with civil unrest on the rise, the potential for larger-scale violence is real.”

Joe’s complete response:

My everyday carry setup consists of a Sig P365 with a 12-round mag full of 80gr G9 Defense External Hollow Points, and of course, one in the chamber.

I carry that in a Priority 1 Holsters IWB in the appendix position. That, as well as a good knife (whatever the flavor of the day is), goes on every time I leave the house.

Carrying more gear really depends on the situation, where I’m going, and what I’ll be doing. Most of the time, my EDC includes an extra magazine and a Streamlight ProTac HL, which is my favorite pocket flashlight. It makes for an excellent intermediate option as a distraction device and/or a small-impact weapon.

In addition to the gear I carry on my body, I also have extra equipment in my vehicle, starting with a well-stocked medical kit.

If I’m traveling cross-country or going into any bigger cities I bring along my SBR with a couple of magazines. Necessary? Probably not, but with civil unrest on the rise, the potential for larger-scale violence is real, and you should plan your EDC and your routes accordingly.


8. Ken Stretz

  • 23+ year NY Police Officer have served as a SWAT member
  • FBI certified firearms instructor 
  • 9.5 years Army reserve
  • President & Lead Instructor of Stretz Tactical 

I either take with me a Glock 19 in a Phlster skeleton holster or a Sig P365 in a TXC X1 holster… the only change I’ve considered due to the pandemic and social unrest is a truck gun.”

Ken’s complete response:

I use a pistol as my everyday carry. I either take with me a Glock 19 in a PHLSTER Skeleton holster or a Sig P365 in a TXC X1 holster (or a Galco belly band when activity, like running or the gym, or clothing prevents me from carrying my G19).

I keep a Spare 17-round magazine (G19) or spare 15-round magazine (P365) in a NeoMag pocket magazine holder.

Also in my EDC is a SureFire Tactician handheld light and spare batteries in an ASP battery case

TQ & QuikClot gauze – SOF-T in jacket pocket during wintertime, SWAT-T in pants/shorts pocket during spring/summer.

The only change I’ve considered due to the pandemic and social unrest is a “truck gun”. But for the most part, it’s just me & my dog in the car.

If I’m driving, I need to drive until the wheels come off and not worry about shooting since I can always use my car as a “projectile”. If the car is immobilized, will I have time to get my truck gun and dog?

Also, the risk versus reward of leaving a carbine in my car, and the car being stolen or broken into, (a more likely scenario where I live & work) isn’t worth it – at least so far.


Mark "Coch" Cochiolo

9. Mark “Coch” Cochiolo

  • Retired Navy SEAL
  • Served Over 24 Years as a
  • Naval Special Warfare Operator
  • 8 Years at Naval Special Warfare Development Group
  • Firearms Instructor for Over 10 Years Having Trained 3500+ Navy SEAL Candidates

Read more about Coch here.

With the recent events in mind, I have been in favor of my Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield with a Lasermax TLR-6 light/laser in a Hybrid IWB holster, and a spare magazine on a NeoMag clipped in my back pocket.”

Coch’s complete response:

Everyday carry is becoming a hot topic these days. People want to be prepared and able to deal with their mundane, everyday situations as well as potential unexpected events.

It’s easy to list the various gadgets that we carry every day, but all that cool stuff will be useless in an emergency if you don’t possess the skills to use them effectively. Hand-to-hand, less-lethal, firearms, and first aid, to name a few, are all skills you will need to develop and practice to be truly prepared.

That being said, these are the things I always have in my EDC when I leave the house:

I always have my iPhone 11 in an indestructible (but not waterproof) Mous case.

For my wallet, I have a TGR custom leather wallet that was made especially to fit the silly oversized CCW card that California issues. Cash goes in a Gerber money clip.

My house keys are clamped in a Key Smart key organizer and attached to my car keys with a mini “S” carabiner.

I carry a small Streamlight Protac 1l-1AA 350 lumen flashlight that uses one AA or CR123 battery, in my back pocket to see in the dark.

Knives are incredibly useful tools, so I usually carry at least two. My larger folder is a Spyderco Resilience and I have started carrying a small fixed blade on the left front inside of my Bianchi B9 leather gunbelt, for quick access with either hand.

I switch between an SH9 Kiridashi or the smaller CRKT Folts Minimalist 2387.

I wear 2 watches on a single NATO Strap, one is a high Tech Garmin Fenix 5 sapphire that has many usable functions, but needs regular recharging. The other is a low tech, reliable Scurfa Diver One 500m quartz, I clip on a Suunto compass as well.

With the recent events in mind, I have been leaving the Smith & Wesson 5-shot .38 snubby at home in favor of my Smith & Wesson 9mm Shield with a Lasermax TLR-6 light/laser in a Hybrid IWB holster and a spare magazine on a NeoMag clipped in my back pocket, figuring if trouble comes in a crowd, 18 shots will do the job better than 5.

My everyday carry has evolved over time. I modify what I have on my body depending on what I am doing or where I’m going, not always, but whenever possible I carry a concealed handgun.


10. Matthew Little

  • US Army Special Forces Combat Veteran
  • Extensive Law Enforcement experience having served as a SWAT member
  • Owner and Lead Instructor of Greybeard Actual

My go-to EDC is my Staccato XC 2011. It gives me 21 rounds of 9mm in a high performing and reliable pistol... with what is going on currently in our country, I may stage more items off-body in my vehicle.”

Matt’s complete response:

What I carry every day varies. Now that I am retired, my needs analysis is different than it once was.

When I was still an active law enforcement officer, I needed more items of kit on my person than I do now. Now I can be more streamlined, and still be sufficiently prepared for likely contingencies. This is more in line with most civilian CCL holders’ needs.

With what is going on currently in our country, I may stage more items off-body in my vehicle, or opt for my full-size pistol instead of my compact based on where I will be, and what recent events have been. The basics remain fairly constant, though.

The basics are, of course, a firearm and a spare magazine. I am large enough to comfortably carry a full-size pistol concealed, so my go-to EDC is my Staccato XC 2011. It gives me 21 rounds of 9mm in a high performing and reliable pistol.

I carry AIWB (appendix inside the waistband) for concealment and use the Trifecta holster from Weber Tactical. I’ve added a foam wedge from Raven Concealment to the Trifecta, as well as a second belt clip for added stability.

If I’m going to be driving long distances, running a quick errand, or if I’m dressed for extremely hot weather, I’ll sometimes carry my compact Staccato C instead. It’s a single stack, so it is much slimmer and lighter than my full-size 2011s.

The C also gets worn AIWB in a Trifecta. It’s a comfortable pistol to conceal and shoots well, but it has less performance and capacity than the XC.

I usually carry a spare magazine as well. More because of malfunction clearances than the likelihood of a reload being necessary under fire. I use a NeoMag for ease of concealment here.

I also typically carry a small fixed-blade knife. Employing a folding knife under stress while entangled with an adversary can be problematic. A fixed blade solves this issue and is comfortable to conceal when worn properly.

My go-to knife at the moment is from Skallywag Tactical. It’s a “ring knife” which offers significant advantages for concealment and employment.

Another must-have everyday carry item is a small flashlight. There are numerous affordable, small, and powerful options for EDC flashlights available.

The last common category of EDC kit is medical. Now that I am retired, I no longer carry any sort of IFAK on my person. I do keep full medical kits in all my family’s vehicles, though.

What is most important to remember though is that kit is useless without skill, and both are useless without awareness. Seek out reputable training, practice your skills, and cultivate a mindset of relaxed awareness.


Rick Hogg

11. Rick Hogg

My everyday carry is my Archon Type B Pistol in a Standard Co USA Geronimo holster, pocket knife, flashlight, phone, and wallet with cash... Nowadays, we’re seeing confrontations with larger groups of people which requires a different approach.”

Rick’s complete response:

So, for me, my everyday carry is my Archon Type B Pistol in a Standard Co USA Geronimo holster, pocket knife, flashlight, phone, and wallet with cash.

I have started carrying a 5.11 AMP 10 bag with a Primer Body Armor panel and a couple of extra mags and a small Active Carry IFAK.

In the past, your average deadly force encounters were with one, maybe two people. Nowadays, we’re seeing confrontations with larger groups of people which requires a different approach.

Changing times requires us to change as well, but never forget that we must always be training – not only with our firearms but also with our hands.

Get 1% better each day and have a solid training plan for both live and dry fire training. If you are a new firearms owner, seek out some quality firearms training.


12. Vic Lopez

  • 20 Year Retired US Marine Corp Scout Sniper
  • Police Officer for over 21 years
  • Owner and Lead Instructor at Sierra Element
Vic Lopez

My new EDC is a Glock 43 with a Strike Industries magazine extension and an extra magazine.”

Vic’s complete response:

My new EDC is a Glock 43 with a Strike Industries magazine extension and an extra magazine. The holster I use is a Centurion Concealment IWB holster.

I also carry Ice Breakers berry-flavored breath mints because when you have fresh breath, you can make better decisions.

Conclusion

After hearing from the experts, it seems there are a few commonalities.

As you may have guessed, a compact and concealable pistol is essential for your everyday carry kit, with additional mags as a frequent addition. It’s important that you are intimately familiar and comfortable with the pistol of your choice because in a moment of chaos, you’re not going to have time to think – just act.

Another major component that seems to make it into most of our experts everyday carry is a solid flashlight and a knife of some sort. Aside from tactical uses, the experts believe that these two tools can help in a variety of situations. Also, many seem to use the NeoMag.

Lastly, the experts all seem to agree that quick assess to some sort of first aid should be included in your everyday carry. It’s vital to have this and be well-trained so that you can not only care for yourself, but you can provide life-saving first aid to both loved ones and those in need.

Interestingly, the civil unrest throughout the country has not severely impacted the experts’ everyday carry significantly. Most feel that their pre-pandemic EDC setup is up to the task to handle anything that could face them in the event of violent unrest.

Although the experts haven’t made major changes to their EDC, they do see that the threat they have prepared for has changed. Instead of one single assailant attacking a group, like they had been previously preparing for, the threat now comes from a group of assailants usually against a smaller group.

This means that their everyday carry now usually includes the incorporation of a long gun stored in the vehicle, more magazines/ammunition, a bigger emphasis on first aid application, and a shift in training from handling lone wolf attackers to confronting large crowds.

Although the experts have largely left their EDC unchanged, we understand that they have years of professional expertise and training to rely on.

We want to hear from YOU about your everyday carry and how current events are impacting you! Let us know in the comments below and in our forums.

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About the author

Chad Hadley

Chad is a shooting enthusiast and part of the Tactical Hyve content team. He works with our expert cadre and industry professionals to bring you content and news you can use.

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