Gear, Gear, Gear

Fighter pilots strap into their weapon. In the SEAL Teams, we are the weapon. And because we are often in very hazardous situations, we have to rely massively on the equipment we carry into battle. It has to be lightweight, multi-functional, weather-proof, rugged and reliable.

There were times I easily carried 100 pounds of gear (weapons, ammo, Kevlar, communications equip, first-aid, water/food, etc.) on an operation. If there is any distance that has to be covered on the infiltration – every ounce counts. So, for this article I want to focus on what I consider the “BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK” gear and my recommendations for everyday carry (EDC).  

  1. Multi-tool: This is a great example of “Bang for the Buck.” You get a dozen uses from something that fits in your hand/pocket. I prefer larger claws on the pliers vs. the needle nose.

  2. Halo XT Flashlight: Again, you have multiple uses in a handheld flashlight to include bright and strobe mode, solar recharging, windshield breaker, seatbelt cutting tool. It’s rugged and lightweight, and can be used as a weapon.

  3. Rain jacket: Even if I was operating in the desert, I never forgot to bring a rain jacket. You can crush it down to the size of your fist, but it will be worth its weight in gold when the weather turns for the worse. It can also be used to make a shelter. Always remember: if you’re wet, you’re dead.

  4. Hydration pack: With shoulder straps and a built-in two-liter water bladder, this can double as a Go Bag. Small in size and weight but able to carry water, survival food (I prefer the 4Patriots bars) first-aid, and signaling device with chest strap whistle. I strongly recommend having one of these in your home, at work and in your car. You can grab it and go when the stuff hits the fan.
  5. Bear Spray: I’m constantly answering questions regarding self-defense weapons. I personally have my concealed carry permit and highly recommend everyone get theirs. That said, if you don’t feel comfortable carrying a handgun, the next best thing is bear spray. Compact, easy to use, non-lethal, and VERY effective. Trust me, I had the opportunity to use it and it works!!!

  6. Patriot Power Cell: If it uses power, it will need to be charged. And if you find yourself in a life-threatening situation, the last thing you want is a dead battery. That’s why I love the Power Cell. In addition to having the ability to charge multiple electronic devices, it also has a solar panel and an integrated light.

In summary, if it is lightweight, small, rugged and multi-functional, it could save your life. The items I have recommended above can get you through many life-threatening survival situations. And combined they weigh less than 15 pounds.



  • Frank D - February 28, 2020

    Couple of caveats here:

    1) Windshields and some car windows are laminated glass. A glass breaker will not shatter laminated glass.

    It will just crack, remain in place and become opaque making it impossible to see through. This is why you should never shoot a bullet thru your windshield at a criminal trying to car jack you, kidnap you, etc.

    Always shoot at an assailant through a side window that is hopefully tempered; so check your windows to make sure before having to deploy a glass breaker in an emergency.

    Tempered glass which is ubiquitous in cars can easily be shattered by a glass breaker. Look at the lower corner of your glass window it should have the word “Tempered” if in fact it is.

    This is crucial to know when using a glass breaker or defending yourself with a firearm.

    2) It is counterintuitive but Bear Spray has less OC (the active ingredient) than regular Pepper Spray.

    For self defense purposes definitely use Pepper Spray to be sure that you put down an attacker and not just anger them even more.

    Bear Spray only gas 1-2% OC compared to 10% for regular self defense Pepper Spray.

    Bear Spray is intended just to cause just enough pain so a bear turns around and flees.

    But used on an assailant or drug crazed attacker it will only infuriate them even more and lessen your chance greatly of making safe retreat and surviving a potential attack.

  • Jean E Barber - February 28, 2020

    Thank you. I bought several survival supplies and food from 4Patriots, y’all know how to help is with your experience. One question, can you all design a simple way to keep the charger cords on or in the flashlights and on or in the pocket sized solar power packs? I have to use rubber bands or the hook with a wire tie. Your design ideas could fix it better. Keep doing the good things at 4Patriots, appreciated.

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