The Deep Concealment Quandary

Wearing tools of personal protection is not very difficult to do when wearing casual clothing such as jeans and a T-shirt, or jeans and a sweater or jacket, etc…, but formal clothing, or gym shorts, make such carry much more challenging.  While wearing jeans and an un-tucked shirt I carry a compact pistol and that proves easy enough since I moved to appendix carry years back.  Such clothing also offers the pocket space for additional gear; I carry a light, knife, OC spray, and a tourniquet in my pockets along with the gun on my waistband.  I most often wear a spare magazine in the waistband as well, so, I carry a fairly complete tool set when dressed casually.

However, when wearing gym shorts and a shirt I simply cannot wear this gear.  Similarly, if dressed in formal clothing with tucked-in shirts I can’t carry this gear.  So, to accommodate such dress, which I spend a lot of time in, I carry a reduced tool set and this deeper concealment setup has changed numerous times throughout recent years, unlike my standard toolset, that has remained quite consistent over time. 

For the past year or so my deep concealment setup has been a small revolver carried on a Phlster Enigma.  I had been using belly bands for years prior to this for the same application, but the Enigma is the best device yet invented for beltless waistband carry.  The small revolver also prints less than any small auto does when carried AIWB, so this setup works great under a tucked-in formal shirt or while wearing gym shorts.  Also attached to the Enigma is a small pouch which carries a speed strip reload for the revolver.  I have also carried a speedloader in this location at various times, though the strip proves much easier to conceal than the fatter and more conspicuous speedloader. 

When wearing either dress pants or board shorts the material is usually thin, so carrying small and lite-weight objects in the pocket becomes necessary.  The solution I have come to is having my OC spray on my keys (POM OC), all of which sits in one pocket, and having a small tourniquet and small light in the other pocket.  The combination of the Snakestaff Systems tourniquet (I am currently experimenting with this) and a small Streamlight pen light, makes for a small and lite-weight package that is barely noticeable even in the thinnest fabric.  I was carrying a Soft-T Wide tourniquet, even for my deep concealment needs, but the Snakestaff tourniquet is a bit smaller, and much lighter.  I am hoping that real world experience starts to support this tourniquet as I think it will be a great carry option if it gets vetted in use. 

Noticeably absent in this deep concealment setup is a knife, although I do keep a SOG key knife on my key ring, which gives me an emergency cutting tool, if needed.  While a blade might prove an essential defensive tool for some, it is not really part of my overall defensive toolset or skillset any longer, and I opt for only carrying a folder as part of my regular carry, and nothing beyond only the small SOG utility knife on my keys for deep concealment carry.  Perhaps I will get “kilt in da streetz” for not carrying a fixed blade, but I will take my chances.  I am more concerned with having an emergency cutting tool for cutting people free of seatbelts or other possible snares, and even a small utility blade can do that. 

One aspect of this deep concealment carry setup that I find appealing is that, to accommodate restricted zones, I just lose the waistband tools and I am left with the OC spray and light, which are both essential defensive tools, and these can go almost anywhere within the United States.  Even if traveling to a restricted destination, I would rather have OC Spray, a light, and a tourniquet on my person than no tools at all.  Being able to simply pair down the tool set for the environment works better than needing an entirely different set of tools just to accommodate restricted environments. 

Therefore, if you are struggling to formulate a deep concealment assortment of tools that is truly flexible, this example might provide some useful ideas. 

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