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What’s Your Pocket Dump? (You DO Have One, Right?)



Pictured: Me preparing to go to Kroger, c. 2021, colorized

Batman’s utility belt is the stuff professional concealed carriers dream of— lightweight and chock-full of the goodies required for any situation. Unfortunately this is not how it works in real life. Even in the military you have to break down different types of combat loads, because it is impossible to have everything at all times.

For example, a fighting load will consist of only essential items needed to accomplish their assigned task during an immediate engagement. This is analogous to the civilian everyday carry (EDC) load.

“Approach March” loads are extra operational essential items, like rucks that are dropped off before or during contact with the enemy. They dump the extra weight of non critical items (extra socks) for better maneuverability. In the civilian world think of this as our get-home or bug-out bags. Loadouts then get bigger and more complex all the way to sustaining loads for long term operations.

It is amazing that in the firearms-related talk groups I frequent, each one seems to have its own version thread of the “pocket dump.” This is the tacticool term used to describe all of the stuff you carry every single day. At the end of the day you have to empty all of your pockets, dumping out all sorts of goodies. Some of these individuals carry enough stuff to make Batman say, “That’s enough, Alfred.”

I am not making (much) fun of anyone for this—if you enjoy humping all of this stuff around, good for you. But common sense leads me to believe that maybe that fishing kit, firestarter and Rambo survival knife could be staged in our vehicle or work office area? Is there REALLY going to be an immediate need to go emergency fishing or will walking to the car to get your extra gear be ok?

Just like the military fighting load, where you want only the essential items, every day carry should be the same thing. EDC should blend in and not be burdensome. My personal decision is that I want a pistol, holster, utility tool, flashlight, and tourniquet. Once you add in all of the other stuff I have to carry around like a wallet, phone and a keychain that would be the envy of any janitor. No wonder I have to wear cargo style pants with tons of pockets. Everything beyond that I can just make the effort to fight my way to the larger cache in the parking lot.

Some may even notice that I do not mention extra magazines. You do what you want, but I just do not feasibly see myself getting into an extended firefight. My current main pistol is a Springfield Hellcat Pro with 16 rounds topped off. This may not be a popular opinion, but looking at most shootings, good guys are not the ones that need to lay suppressive fire. My first goal is to de-escalate or avoid situations if I can. After that, well if I could not stop the threat in 16 rounds or less, damn it was not my day. You may not agree and that’s fine … I just wish you luck with the Grand Jury after your spray-and-pray shooting.

As of the last couple years one addition that I look at as a critical piece of gear is a North American Rescue Cat Tourniquet. Some of the best continuing education you can take is a Stop the Bleed/Tourniquet class. I have taken the class multiple times and it amazes me every class there are still people who swear the tourniquet is a last resort and you lose limbs employing them. Don’t take my word—go find a local class and get some firsthand high-speed training. A tourniquet is definitely an item that you need if someone is shot in a limb, and when you need it, you need it five minutes ago. You won’t have time to go retrieve one.

I don’t know about you, but a flashlight has to be one of my most used tools. I trust Surefire and have carried their lights for almost two decades. The aluminum construction and angled bezels can make them serve a dual purpose as a make shift Kubaton, increasing your striking capability. On top of that, even during the day time, flashlights are just useful pieces of kit. I have actually personally used my Surefires for self-defense, at night in a dark area of a park. Some nefarious folks who were intent to lay hands on me, were blinded instead. When you shine a thousand lumens in someone’s dark-adapted eyes, it creates temporary blindness.

I have actually switched over to the Surefire rechargeable CR123 batteries. When used with a light that has multi-power capability you just find yourself using it more often since you no longer eat batteries left and right. I keep a charger in my with fresh batteries so I no longer have an excuse to not use the light.

Next up is a good knife or multitool. I honestly go back and forth, but my Leatherman Charge has a knife so I don’t see the need to double up on my immediate need EDC stuff. My Leatherman is my modern Swiss Army knife, and it is actually ridiculous how frequently I use it. If the Leatherman can’t handle it…we’re in trouble, and it’s time to get out of Dodge anyway.

My pocket dump may not be exciting, but it’s neat and portable. And if I need “tier two tech support,” all that stuff is a few feet away in the parking lot.

People will definitely argue that two guns are better than one, and you need magazines to reload for days. Sure if that’s what you feel you need, have at it. I guess I could start carrying my active shooter pouch everywhere, but I am not into tactical purses and it just gets in the way of everyday life. For me I want to carry the same load in a t-shirt and shorts or jeans and a jacket. I want to blend in as much as I possibly can. What’s your pocket dump? The comments are open!

James The “XDMAN” Nicholas Mr. UnPewFessional himself


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