Like my friend and former SEAL teammate Clint Emerson said the other day, first, start off with a plan, and keep it simple.

I’m shocked by how many of my friends, many who travel frequently, don’t know where the stairway exits are in the hotels they stay at. Finding the exit first thing is an ingrained habit of mine, and I usually take the stairs over the elevator. That is, unless I’m 60 floors up at some crazy Hong Kong hotel.

Clint’s article below has some good tips, but I’m going to talk about some good everyday carry items to think about.

‘Run-Hide-Fight’: Former Navy SEAL Reveals How You Can Survive a Terrorist Attack

“Plan scenarios and your actions ahead of time. That way, you’ll be more likely to take the right action in a stressful, time-crunched situation when not all of the facts are available. Have an exit strategy at all times. Plan this in advance before heading into any situation.” —Clint Emerson
Read more here.

Everyday carry items

1. High-lumen flashlight 

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools DE-06 Dark Energy
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools DE-06 Dark Energy

I carry one with me every day—a SOG Dark Energy rechargeable DE06. It’s a 700+ lumen light produced by SOG. There are plenty of great LED high-power lights on the market. SOG and Surefire make some of the best. Don’t skimp on price; your life could depend on it. I carry mine everywhere, and it’s travel friendly (airports, sports games, schools, and even the Fox News building). Some lights even have a small bezel at the end for breaking glass, and this always comes in handy.

2. Aerosol pepper spray

ASP-Palm-Defender-SOFREP
ASP Key Defender OC pepper spray

The ASP Palm Defender is a favorite of mine; it actually looks like a light but packs a jet spray that reaches out to about 5-10 yards depending on wind conditions. It’s a favorite, and goes right on the key chain. Note: Buy an extra 2-3 canisters and practice with it outside before carrying it. You don’t want the first time you deploy it to be while you’re under high stress. I’ve had two friends deploy this. You’ll ruin someone’s day if they have it coming.

3. Small multi-tool

SOG Specialty Knives & Tools S66N-CP PowerAssist Multi-Tool
SOG Specialty Knives & Tools S66N-CP PowerAssist Multi-Tool

There’s nothing like a good multi-tool, but not all are created equal. SOG and Leatherman make great ones out of high-grade steel. You can use these tools to make tools out of everyday items around you. Cutting ropes and clothing comes to mind. A small, palm-size tool also substitutes for a roll of quarters in the fist during a brawl.

(Bonus item) A small medical kit

Med-kit-sofrep

I always have one of these with me, in my vehicle, and in my small RV6A airplane. You can go big or small here, but at a minimum, I’d have a small tourniquet and a QuikClot bandage to stop bleeding. A lot of extremists like to use razors and box cutters as their weapons of choice. The U.S. servicemen heroes who saved that train near France from an armed terrorist recently had to apply first aid to a man on board who’d been cut severely with a box cutter. He almost bled to death.