I learned one meaning of the word “enough” very early on in life. Every once in a while, during my formative years, my father would, without even looking up, utter those two syllables. To paraphrase some self-defense lingo, if he did not get an immediate cessation of unwanted activities, our interaction became much more direct (and one-sided).

For me, “enough” was and is the point at which all frivolity ends. “Enough” is the stopping point. It is also very subjective. Different people have different ideas of what is enough and how one might determine such a limit. I still consider “enough” to be the point of equilibrium, where you have what you need and no more. There is nothing superfluous, but there is also nothing lacking.

Let’s apply this word to our everyday activities as they relate to carrying a gun or other gear for self-preservation. What is enough for everyday carry? Seems like a loaded question, doesn’t it? Let’s start at the beginning.

You need a weapon. Let’s assume it’s a gun. Is carrying a gun enough? First, we should point out that the gun should be fully loaded. Some people insist on carrying an auto-loading pistol with an empty chamber. Let me be clear that “auto-loading” does not mean the pistol will automatically load itself when it senses danger. Carrying a pistol with an empty chamber means you will have to perform one more function before you can effectively fight back against an attacker.

So I ask again, “Is carrying a fully loaded gun enough?” If it is not enough, I imagine you are thinking about spare ammo.

Should you carry spare ammo? If you say yes, you should also be ready to say how much spare ammo is enough. Do you need one reload? If one is none, and two is one, I guess that means you should carry two full reloads for your defensive handgun. But now we start to get into the reality of the situation. Two full magazines is a lot of extra weight. Two full speedloaders provide a bit of bulk no matter where you carry them. Do you absolutely need that ammo?

You can see this debate is starting to open up. Certainly, you would rather have that ammo and not be required to use it than suddenly find yourself in need of it and not have it. But if it is uncomfortable, you won’t carry it every day and everywhere. So, you may need it. You may want it, but somewhere along the line, you are going to have to ask yourself, “What is enough?”

What about a flashlight? Should you replace one of the spare magazines with a flashlight?

What about a knife? Your pockets and belt are getting pretty loaded with all these items. What is enough?

Do you have a first-aid kit? What’s in it?

As you can see here, this line of questioning could go on almost indefinitely. What is in your EDC kit? What is enough?

Personally, I make sure I have a fully loaded gun and a flashlight. Sometimes I remember to carry a knife. Sometimes I load up a magazine with spare ammo. I have an IFAK that I have carried on my ankle, but I’m looking for a better system.

What do you carry? What is the least you would ever carry?