Sentinel Handbook

Tips for security, safety, and crime prevention volunteers

Personal Useful Every Day Carry Items

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“Be Prepared!”, may be the Boy Scout motto, but it’s also an essential rule to live by if you’re a safety volunteer. Within reason, it is better to have and not need it, than to need it and not have it.

The most essential piece of equipment you will want with you at all times is a cellphone, preferably one with a camera and video capabilities if possible. You will use your phone for everything from calling 911 to evidence collection. In a pinch, it can be used as a source of light.  Smart Phones can carry useful apps and emergency information.

Next is a pen and paper. You don’t need to have the latest indestructible tactical pen, or a waterproof all-weather notebook, but you also don’t want a notebook that will easily fall apart, or a cheap pen that will leak in your pocket either. The astute observer makes a practice of keeping notes of details, such as license plate numbers and vehicle information, or suspect descriptions, when they notice something out of the ordinary. Writing down and memorizing the names of individuals you meet in the neighborhood is also good practice.. and people respond more favorably when you smile and call them by name.

A flashlight is always a popular go-to carry item. Either a penlight, or a small tactical/mag-lite, that can easily be carried on the belt or in a pocket will do nicely. Because of the nature of my job, and because I use my flashlight in self-defense, I carry a tactical light (and have studied self-defense techniques using such).

Many people prefer to carry a folding knife (with a lock equipped blade), usually one that clips inside a pocket. While these are very useful tools, I shy away from carrying a pocket knife as I am not allowed to be “armed” while on duty at work. Otherwise a knife is a wise investment, so purchase a quality, rugged one. Also check to make sure your blade meets the legal requirements for length in your jurisdiction. Some places also have rules about open carry as opposed to concealed when it comes to knives.

The practice of a gentleman carrying a handkerchief has long fallen out of vogue, but is making a comeback. Cleaning camera lenses, wiping glasses lenses, and many other uses come to mind. Carrying a good, non-scratching, handkerchief is not only useful, but adds a touch of class.

One piece of equipment I am never without is my, Leatherman FUSE, multi-tool. Knife, screwdrive, pliers, and several other tools in one, I never go anywhere without it. If you carry a multi-tool, don’t go cheap. Expect to pay more than $20 for something sturdy that won’t fail in an emergency.

Last, but not least, I suggest carrying a PFAK (Personal First Aid Kit). A quick Google search will turn up several good designs that fit into an Altoids tin. If you need to carry medications with you, the tin keeps it from being mangled, and keeps your band aids and sterile wipes from being ruined.

There are other items that you can carry, such as a paracord survival bracelet, and a good outdoors watch, but they aren’t as essential if you’re not an outdoors man type, or live in an urban setting. Again, these items are left to personal choice.

 

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Written by Silver Sentinel

April 7, 2013 at 4:24 am

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