Everyday Carry and the Musings of an Old Guy, for a Post-Apocalyptic World by OldRonin
A big part of the prepper culture revolves around guns and gear. I must confess, I’m gun and gear poor! I can just about outfit an infantry squad as I write this! My bonafides are as follows:
- In my youth, I was an Army Airborne Ranger (Ranger class 9/78, assigned to the second Ranger Battalion, 2/75th).
- Currently, I am a more than 29 year serving police officer and soon to be retired.
- I’ve done patrol, investigations, FTO, supervision, and I was a SWAT guy at one time.
- I have also been a “use of force” instructor and have taught rifle, pistol, and shotgun along with police defensive tactics. ‘
- I have been in some hairy situations over the years, to include two standup gunfights.
- I am a widower with five children, all of them by the same woman, God rest her soul. Three are grown and two teenage boys are still at home.
- I have prepped for over 20 years, and, yes, I am old.
I have given a lot of thought to what our world will look like if the thin veneer of civilization peels away. This article includes my own conclusions and opinions about some popular gear and EDC options we spend a lot of time and money on. I will also talk about my thoughts on training, mindset, and violent encounters.
I have worn body armor daily for most of my law enforcement career. It is hot, uncomfortable, and limits your torso flexibility at best. Having said that, I don’t leave home without it! But we need to be realistic about it. If you are over 40 and orthopedically challenged, you will not be very effective trying to shoot, move, and communicate in a full interceptor vest with rifle plates, not to mention all of the ammo, water, and gear you will inevitably strap to it. That stuff is very heavy and meant to be carried by 19 year olds, who believe they are invincible.
Conventional wisdom states you must wear the body armor that will stop the weapon you are carrying. I disagree with that for several reasons. Body armor gives you an edge and nothing more. It never replaces good hard cover or solid tactics. Also, manufacturers are very, very conservative on how they rate the protection levels of their vests. We have level 3 kevlar panels, in concealable carriers, with rifle plate pockets.
If we feel a need for the plates, we can drop them in. I assure you though, that if I’m walking the four miles to town on a hot summer day to trade a cigarette lighter for a roll of toilet paper, I will not be in full battle rattle. Hopefully, no one will realize I’m even wearing body armor. Remember the gray man principle?
Whatever you choose to carry is up to you. I am not going to step into that minefield. The situation will dictate whether you should openly carry or conceal; use a handgun or long gun or both. Hopefully, you are well trained in their use and they are configured properly for how you intend to deploy them. For example, if you are carrying an AK with a 3 to 9 variable scope mounted to it and you’ve only fired it from the bench at the local range, you could be in real trouble in a running gunfight. I’m just saying…
Ammunition and Essentials
I must confess, I have a man purse. It looks vaguely military and has a comfortable shoulder strap. It will also hold an amazing amount of useful items and doesn’t make me look like I’m about to invade Iraq!
On my speculative jaunt to town to get toilet paper, it will contain what I think I need to get home. My shoulder bag has two pockets under the flap and two internal pockets, which are ideal for each holding a 30-round AR or AK magazine. With one in the rifle, that’s up to 150 rounds of ammo, which if I’m attacked will hopefully be enough to break contact and run away home!
The main compartment will contain my IFAK, survival gear, and a little bit of food to get me home. Did I mention that my handgun ammo will be on my makeshift battle belt in a magazine pouch, and I will also be carrying a knife or two? Yes, we have more serious load bearing equipment. For example, I got a good deal on universal chest rigs a couple of years ago. They are essentially set up for home defense and escape and evasion (bugging out!), and patrolling. Or in a pinch, they can be used for invading Iraq!