Under normal circumstances, I still carry a firearm like a plainclothes assignment rather than a washed up retired guy. I usually carry a compact duty gun (currently HK P30), a Surefire E2DL, and a Strider SMF folder and DB fixed blade, along with a hideout Ti HAK. I use a HK P2000SK as a second gun at times in a small fanny pack. Old habits die hard, and this is probably overkill for most. On occasion or as required by dress I will carry items more in line with a size that most folks would consider for daily concealed carry. Because I have to sacrifice in size, does not mean I have to sacrifice in performance. I have obtained some outstanding items recently that offer huge performance in a smaller package.
The first is the light. My normal Surefire E2DL has a crenulated bezel so it can double as a control tool and has enough length to allow a solid grip on the light. No problem in my normal pants and daily wear. It stands out in slacks when dressed more formally and harder to stow when in gym or beach type clothing. The new Surefire EB1 is a single battery light that is smaller, lighter and more streamlined with better options for bezel up or down carry. It offers an amazing 200 lumens of very clean light when the rear momentary button is pressed and 5 lumens when partially depressed. While it doesn’t allow me to “click” the light on like my E2DL, it does everything I need in a tiny package. I am very impressed with this light and it disappears from view when carried bezel down in slacks.
I always carry a knife, and usually three. I like my custom Strider Ti Hak that I have carried everywhere, everyday, since they came out. It is my last ditch weapon and always allows me to have a cutting instrument at hand and is set up to look like jewelry or a trinket, so it can be worn even without a shirt in the water. I recently picked up a lighter folder for times when that SMF is a little too much. It is a one-off of the limited release Ti Frag gripped Strider SNG’s from Monkey Edge. It offers a large blade to handle ratio, a great “do it all” blade grind in the Mick Strider TF Dagger style that I find works well for both utility cutting and can be pressed into defensive duty. It is a polished finish to avoid rust and the entire frame, grip and lock are Titanium that is both light and very strong. When clipped inside the waistband of slacks or gym shorts, the corrosion resistance and light weight of a highly regarded and proven folder is a good means of not having to sacrifice much in going to a smaller, lighter knife. These knives are expensive, limited in availability, but it is a good example of what characteristics to look for in a production style knife for those who do not want to spend the money and effort needed for a piece like this.
The last is my pistol. It is no secret that I do not really like “little” pistols for primary carry. There are those times when I do not really have a choice. My current back up HK P2000Sk 9mm simply gets pressed into primary service. It holds 11 rounds of 9mm, is equipped with HK’s Light LEM trigger and I can feed it reloads from 10 round SK mags, 12 round P2000 magazines or my preferred 15 round P30 magazines. I use a snap on Raven Concealment Systems single magazine pouch and my wait is almost over for a Vanguard 2 for a minimalist AIWB holster to replace my current IWB holster that is a little bigger than I would like. I can also hide it in a very small fanny pack. The P2000SK is disturbingly reliable, easy to shoot, fairly light in recoil even with the abbreviated grip and very mechanically accurate pistol. Since I started carrying it, I was surprised to find out how many solid professionals depend on the P2000Sk as their small hideout pistols.
All of these pieces of my minimalist kit are very expensive. You pay for technology and performance early. The biggest factor is that you are getting some huge performance from these items.