Continuing on the theme of different bags and packs for preparedness I now seek to finish this discussion with the analysis of a final pack that is of great importance and likely of value to most, even if you have never before considered it: here I wish to point out the utility of a home defense bag.
The idea of having a dedicated bag for home defense might seem odd as we typically associate packs of some kind with carrying items while away from the home, but a dedicated pack for home defense makes perfect sense and I will explain why:
When things go bump at o ’dark thirty, rousing you out of bed, what are you typically wearing? Probably not much more than your underwear. You are not wearing your gun belt with holstered gun, blade, light, medical kit, and all the rest of your carry items. When responding to a breach of the home we are likely to do so with minimal clothing on and likely no tools except for the dedicated home defense pistol or long gun next to us.
Many self-defense practitioners keep body armor or a battle belt next to the bed with all needed defensive tools affixed to it. Such a plate carrier or belt can be put on quite quickly, but I urge you to consider the following:
You awake to a 3am banging on your front door, so you arm yourself and wear your armor or battle belt and go investigate. The ruckus happens to be police officers who are alerting you to an emergency in the neighborhood. Question, do you want to open the door to the cops while holding a gun and wearing body armor or a battle belt? I certainly would not want to be in that position. I would much rather be able to stow my pistol in a quick-access bag that is over my shoulder, providing quick retrieval of the gun but not threatening in any manner. This is one example among many that leads me to consider a dedicated “home defense bag” the best tool for responding to home defense situations for civilian needs.
The home defense bag does several things for you: first, as noted above, you can stow the pistol in it if the situation demands it. Second, you can have all of your support gear in the bag so that by throwing it over your shoulder you instantly wear spare magazines, a light, a blade, a medical kit, etc… Third, put armor in the bag and by drawing it to the front of your body you cover a significant portion of your vitals.
When things go bump in the night, grab your home defense handgun and throw the strap of the bag over your shoulder; you now have everything needed to move and respond to a situation that warrants moving in the home. Pull the bag to your front and wear the strap tight enough so that the armor plate in the pack covers your vital zone. Familiarize yourself with the layout of the bag so that you can access reloads, lights, and medical supplies within it.
If you wake up to a home invasion and you don’t have to move, putting the bag on might still make good sense, and if you keep a rifle or shotgun in the bedroom for such a situation then having a reload for the long gun in the bag might also be in order. However, the benefits of this bag are truly manifest if you must move to respond to a knock at the door or a disturbance that needs to be investigated.
In home defense you should never move towards a threat if you don’t need to, but the reality is that most often a possible threat is not identified unless we investigate, and that requires us to seek it out. Having all necessary tools on you, as well as some ballistic cover offered by the bag itself, makes perfect sense when things go bump in the night.
Watch the demo for an overview of use:
I came to the exact same conclusion years ago. A small, efficient bag that I can quickly throw over my shoulder that carries a spare mag or two, a trauma kit, knife and handheld flashlight, and that I can ‘holster’ my pistol in if needed to attend to other tasks, is my ideal quick-grab solution. But you don’t hear much about this approach – seems like everyone is encouraging every civilian out there to have a chest rig, armor and or a battle belt at the ready in their bedroom. Then again, most of these ‘experts’ come from a military background and have stuck with that, and fail to transition their mindset and training to civilian contexts.
Agreed. I have no issue with having plate carriers and chest rigs, I encourage people to have that stuff. However, to your point, the bag offers a much more useful solution for defensive use for civilian application.