By Lynne Finch
Fall is a very special time of year, the oppressive heat of summer is past, and we feel newly energized to get outside before the chill of winter settles in. Outdoor activities have their own special needs for concealed carry.
Biking and Jogging
If you are biking or jogging, odds are you are not anxious to wear a traditional holster that requires a belt to support it. Not only would this be uncomfortable but it would scream “ARMED”. Can Can Concealment (www.cancanconcealment.com) has a “sport belt” that is an excellent carry method for athletic activities. It has lots of pockets, so you can stash your ID, cell phone, gun and spare magazine, all in the belt. It is a little stretchy and closes with a hook and loop attachment so that you can adjust the size and position as needed. The front pocket has a “rare earth magnet” to aid in retention. Additionally, there are silicone strips on the inside that help keep the compression holster from sliding around. This makes it ideal for jogging or biking. It fits nicely under sweats or shorts, minimizes the print of the gun and gives you easy access. Plus, it is comfortable!
Another wonderful fall activity is hiking. Obviously, carrying in parks is subject to your state laws, but if you are where you can carry, you can probably use your EDC (every day carry) rig. The question to ask yourself is “Do you use a hiking staff?” I know I do, it makes me more stable as I scramble over rocks. However, I’ve learned to hold the staff in my support hand, which leaves my strong hand free. Think about it. If you use the staff on the same side as your firearm that is extra time you need to get to your gun.
Enjoying the outdoors, your best defense is situational awareness. Be alert, enjoy the day, but take notice of who is around you and what they may be doing, so you can preferably avoid a confrontation, if you have a few extra seconds to respond.
Trick or Treat!
The next best thing about fall? Halloween! My favorite holiday! I love to dress up. Parents still walk their children around neighborhoods to Trick or Treat, although it is becoming less common in many areas. For an armed parent, have you practiced with the little ones? Do they know what to do in a confrontation? You, the parent, need to focus on the aggressor, be it a punk teen trying to steal candy or a serious mugger who doesn’t care that this is a night for the kids. Practice with your children, give them a safe word that is their signal to run and hide. You want them to run away from you, at an angle, to hide in relative safety, until the situation is over and you tell them it is safe to come out.
Why wouldn’t you want them behind you? This restricts your movements and your response. You are concerned with where they are, not tripping on them, and it places them in more danger being closer to the aggressor. As you walk through your neighborhood, make it a game, teach them the difference between concealment and cover, and how to spot it quickly. Practice your safe word, without warning, so they scatter and hide. If you make it a game, ittakes most of the fear out of it, but also teaches them what they need to know and how to respond. Teach them to stay in their hiding place until they hear you give your family’s all clear word. Keep your “Safe” and “All Clear” words simple, easy to remember, and let them know these are “Family Secrets,” just for you.
Lynne Finch is an instructor and author in Northern Virginia. Her website is FemaleandArmed.com, and you can find her on twitter @FemaleandArmed. She specializes in teaching women, especially beginners, and strongly encourages Safety through Awareness. Look for her books on Amazon.com. Finch is a key member of the SAFTraining Division. For more info visit: SAFTD.org.