Welcome to this week’s Urban Survival Newsletter. This week, I’m going to tell you about a great concealment holster, as well as some ways to find “hidden” water on a large scale.
But first, recently I told you about a Maryland doctor’s radical retirement plan and got positive feedback, so I thought I’d mention it again. It’s no secret that far too many people face dramatic financial pressures today. So a plan that allows you to retire comfortably with as little as $10,000 in savings could be the answer. It may not be right for everyone, but this 5-step plan could be perfect for you. See the full details here:
On with this week’s issue…
A few months ago, I ran across a concealment holster called the “Stealth Holster” at StealthHolster.com. It’s an ambidextrous In Waist Band (IWB) holster-belt that will hold either 2 sidearms or a sidearm and a spare mag or other items. Think of it like a combination between a belly band holster and a hidden money belt that many people use when traveling.
Personally, it’s impossible for me to talk about the Stealth Holster without talking about the Smart Carry Holster, which is a very similar design. You might remember that I’ve been a HUGE fan of the Smart Carry Holster for a few years now, which I got based on Tim Schmidt’s recommendation back, I believe, in 2005. It’s been my daily carry holster since then MOST of the time. I have a couple of alternates that I use occasionally, but the Smart Carry Holster has been my go-to concealment holster.
The one downside of the Smart Carry Holster has been that was a little rough to wear and I actually had to build up callouses for it to be comfortable. The few times when I spent extended periods traveling to places where I couldn’t carry or was testing other holsters, I had to re-build up the callouses when I started wearing the Smart Carry Holster again. Even so, I consciously chose it over all of my other holsters on a daily basis—it was that good.
Back to the Stealth Holster…Let me tell you how it works and why (in addition to being pain-free) it has become my favorite concealment holster.
In short, the Stealth Holster is a belt with a velcro closure that has 2 pockets for you to put firearms/accessories in. You wear it inside of your pants…inside or outside
of your shirt, above or below the waist band using abdomen, cross-draw, appendix, or 3 o’clock carry. In addition to the flexibility, there are several advantages to this design:
- The weight of your firearm(s) and magazine is supported by the Stealth Holster belt and not by your pants. This means that you can wear almost anything…from jeans with a gun belt to loose gym shorts and still carry your sidearm.
- If you have to sit down in a restroom, you don’t have to figure out what to do with your holster & sidearm…it just stays on your waist, or you can hike it up to your ribs.
- Although there are disadvantages to having to draw your magazine across the centerline of your body, having your spare mag and firearm together on the same side of your body allows you to have 1 lump instead of two around your waistband. This is particularly good if you carry a double-stack firearm.
Personally, I wear the holster so that my sidearm (a Glock 27 sub-compact, which is a double-stack .40 semi-automatic) is in the exact same 3 o’clock position that it is in if I’m wearing an outside-waist-band holster…with the grip of the firearm just above my waistband. Some people wear it below the waist band lined up with their belly button, but that just doesn’t work for me. I have tried appendix carry and cross draw, and will occasionally switch to cross draw on long road trips, but my typical carry is at the 3 o’clock position on my right hip so that my concealed draw is as close as possible to my open carry draw.
One feature of the Stealth Holster that is VERY neat is that it has a form of retention that no other belly/appendix holster that I’ve worn can match. When you put on the belt snugly, yet comfortably, it squeezes the front and back sides of the holster together…not so tight that you can’t get your sidearm out, but tight enough that you can hold the holster upside down without your sidearm falling out. As a note, I’ve tried doing handstand pushups while wearing the holster and you have to have it uncomfortably tight to be able to have upside down retention. So just because it’s possible to retain a firearm with the holster upside down doesn’t mean that you’ll actually want to.
When I have the holster tightened to comfortable tightness I’m still able to do burpies, roll around some on the ground, throw a few kicks, do calisthenics, and jog across an intersection without my firearm coming loose. It should be obvious that you should try these activities yourself, at home, with an unloaded firearm and that my experience and even your testing won’t guarantee that you’ll always have the same experience, so always be responsible and mindful of your firearm.
A couple more benefits of this holster, as well as a couple of issues…
The fabric is waterproof, breathable, and machine washable. It’s also ambidextrous…which proves to be both a benefit and a drawback for me. The 2nd pouch on my Smart Carry Holster was shaped to hold a spare magazine…not a spare gun or for left handed carry. What I’ve done is carry a spare full size Glock mag in the 2nd pouch, just like I did with the Smart Carry Holster. It does move around
some, and I’d prefer that it was secured better, but it hasn’t been a problem.
The second issue, which is common to almost all IWB holsters is mechanical retention. There isn’t any. I’d LOVE it if there was a way to have Serpa-like retention…or even shaped leather holster retention on the Stealth Holster, but that isn’t an option at this time. My Smart Carry Holster provides more of a snug fit when the holster is lying on the floorboard or seat of a car, but the Stealth Carry Holster has slightly better retention when I’m actually wearing it. This is just a matter of knowing the strengths and weaknesses of a particular holster and avoiding situations that exploit the weaknesses.
I mentioned how flexible this holster is…I regularly wear it with shorts and an untucked t-shirt without any issues. I also wear it with jeans/slacks and a tucked in shirt. Since it is a double-stack semi-auto, I have to blouse my shirt some to hide the bulge, but not unnaturally so.
As with any IWB (inside waist band) holster, your choice of clothing makes all the difference. It varies from brand to brand, but I normally need to buy pants/shorts that are 2-4 inches bigger than what I’d wear without carrying IWB. Shirts are also somewhat of a challenge…especially casual ones. I’m kind of old school and prefer tighter jeans and tighter t-shirts. Not skin tight, but not so big that they’ll fall off or look like I bought the wrong size either. My chest is bigger than my waist, so as long as my t-shirts are long enough, I don’t have any trouble concealing my sidearm…even when bending over. If your waist is larger than your chest, you’ll want to make sure that your shirts are a little loose around the waist so that your sidearm doesn’t print through your shirt.
In any case, if you carry a concealed firearm, this is a great holster to try. You might be wondering what I use when I’m not wearing my Stealth Holster. I’ve got a BIG Rubbermaid container full of holsters—pocket holsters, ankle holsters, fanny packs, concealment/holster garments, etc. After trying several different methods of carry and range testing them, I’ve settled on a few that I use on a regular basis. For my Glocks, I wear a Don Hume IWB leather holster. For my 1911s, I wear a CrossBreed SuperTuck Deluxe. I wear all of these on my right hip at 3 o’clock. When IWB isn’t possible or practical, I wear a compression shirt holster from A Better Holster. When I’m biking on the street to get from place to place (not for exercise), I use a fanny pack holster.
When you check out Stealth Holster, I’d love it if you tell them where you heard about them.
Do you carry concealed? Do you have any experience with the Stealth Holster? Do you have another favorite concealment holster that works better for your body type? Please share your thoughts and experience by commenting below.
Creating water out of nothing…
Water is one of the biggest things that you need to consider in a survival situation, and I want to share a few thoughts that I’ve had on things that can be done on a city/regional level to increase the amount of water that’s available in drought situations. These are measures that can be taken both now and in a grid-down survival situation.
First, the effect of plumbing leaks are incredible. In Austin, Texas, there is a plumbing company offering to replace up to 1,000 leaky toilet flappers for free. At a water savings of 10-100 gallons per toilet per day, this amounts to a savings of somewhere between 300,000 and 3,000,000 gallons per month. Some places may be able to absorb that kind of waste, but Austin is in what many consider to be the 11th year of a drought that is expected to last at least another year. There are several plumbing items like this…one of them is planning on wasting water flushing toilets in a disaster situation. I realize that there are some instances where this is a necessity, but most people who I’ve talked with about keeping water on hand for flushing toilets are planning on using several gallons per day to accomplish the same thing that they could accomplish with a shovel and a little sweat.
Another Texas water creation story comes from ranches in the Hill Country of Texas. Several years ago, a friend of mine would buy up ranches that had lots of juniper trees (mountain cedar) and seasonal springs. He’d then clear out all of the cedars which would increase water flow considerably and in many cases cause the springs to become year round springs. Then, he’d sell them for a profit since land with running water is generally worth more than land with a dry creek bed.
The last paragraph will surely bring up a lot of debate…getting rid of cedar trees was shown to free up 35,000 gallons of water per year per acre in one Central Texas study referenced here: http://www.edwardsaquifer.net/brush.html (I am unable to find the original study). The issue that complicates the whole matter is that while cedar trees use up to 33 gallons per tree per day, they don’t use up that much more than other plants and the water “savings” only remains in effect as long as the cedars aren’t replaced by high demand grasses or other trees.
Regardless…I do see situations where people sitting on 10-40 acres and a seasonal spring may want to clear out cedar to increase available groundwater…even if it’s only for a few years to fill a tank or get through a rough patch.
Third is lawn watering. I’m always amazed when I have lived in or visited arid/high mountain desert communities at the amount of grass that people have planted. It’s not uncommon for people with .2 acre yards to use 15,000-30,000 gallons of water per month to keep their lawn looking green. In areas where the primary grasses die after 7-14 days without water instead of going dormant, it becomes a choice between 2 evils during extended droughts…spend money on water or spend money on replacing your lawn.
This is why, in many cities across the country, people are turning to “rock gardens”, “wood chip gardens”, xeriscaping, and planting edible native drought resistant plants in their yards. In some cases, people are making the change because they want to conserve water. In other cases, they’ve just decided that it’s too much hassle trying to make grass grow and stay green when nature seems to have other plans. Still, in other cases, it’s because droughts have caused watering restrictions, dead lawns, and people want to “plant” rocks once rather than spending so much time and money on grass.
What are your thoughts on water and strategies to make more water available for drinking and irrigation? What about grey water recycling? Any thoughts on legislating water conservation vs. personal liberty? Where does my right to spend as much as I want on water intersect with other people wanting water to drink? Are stepped up prices the answer (the more you use, the more you pay per gallon) or something else? Share your thoughts by commenting below:
Finally, it’s time to change your clocks this weekend. In addition to using this weekend to change clocks and change batteries in our smoke and CO detectors, we also use it as a time to change the contents of the 72 hour kits in our cars according to the season, update our inventory of supplies, check and replace the worn out/expired items in our kits, etc. I encourage you to do the same thing every time you change your clocks.
Until next week, God bless and stay safe!