Friday, August 21, 2009

George the Travelling Salesman and the Joy of Go-Pants

A story about pants compelling enough to make Robb wear some.

A couple of weeks ago an odd fellow dropped by the house late on a Saturday night claiming to be a travelling salesman named George. He wasn't much of a salesman, and it seemed like a ruse to determine who was home that night and who wasn't. Plus, there was a white van trolling the neighborhood that was probably linked to George. Presumably it contained his accomplices who had plenty of cargo space in their vehicle to cart off televisions and the like.

I called the cops and suited up in my Go-Pants.

What are Go-Pants? Somewhere in between not being armed and strapping on a tactical vest and an AR-15 to survive the zombiepocalypse is a useful set of tools to deal with the problems that present themselves on a more regular basis. If you are out and about running errands, it may be a concealed handgun, a spare magazine, and a cell phone. When things go bump in the night it helps to have an emergency kit set up to deal with it. I'm a firm believer in being able to wear my emergency kit - my Go-Pants.

Go-Pants are what I have staged under my bedside gun safe. Handgun is locked up in a small safe, loaded and equipped with a rail-mounted light. Go-Pants have a retention holster, magazine pouch, two loaded magazines, and a separate flashlight with a neck lanyard. Plus plenty of pocket space to hold a cell phone, keys, and identification. If I have to leave the bedroom during a break-in (not Plan A) I'll be wearing them.

Picture of said Go-Pants below:

Yes, technically they are Go-Shorts - it's summer. I've played with a different name for them, but Readiness Trousers doesn't have the same ring.

Here is Clint Smith of Thunder Ranch describing a similar concept, a pouch with a neck lanyard to hold your spare magazine, cell phone, light, and keys:

The great thing about shooting competitively is that this is essentially my IDPA competition rig. So, all that time spent standing around with a gun on one hip and two magazines on the other isn't wasted - my magazines are where I am used to them being and I've got tools to deal with a lot more than I do with just a gun.

Back to George the Travelling Salesman. The police showed up and took him into custody for unlicensed soliciting. When they came to the door to take a statement from me, I stepped out on to the porch with my Go-Pants on. This is another advantage over carrying your defensive handgun around, a legal one. Open carry is legal in Virginia, but it ought to be done sensibly when the police are called to your location to investigate suspicious activity. A conversation with the police with a gun on your hip and one with a gun in your hand are two entirely different experiences. I'd bet there's a pretty clear change in tenor when you walk out of the front door with a gun in your hand.

Feedback from a friend in law enforcement advises me that I ought to add a cover garment to my kit to avoid being mistaken for the suspicious activity the police are looking for. This seems sensible, especially if something drew me out of the house while they were on their way. I can't think of what that might be, but it's a good reason to stage the whole IDPA kit, vest and all, under the nightstand.

Feel free to give some feedback on what I ought to add to the Go-Pants kit. Does anybody else keep a similar setup handy?


  1. "shootin' shorts?"

    "shooter's shorts?"

  2. I've gotta figure out how to incorporate my cell phone into my setup.

    Anyway, my approach is to just grab my loaded shotgun if time is short, or if I've got a bit more time, I have a gunbelt with my holstered handgun which I can strap on, then the shotgun.

    But I've gotta remember to get that cell phone into the mix somehow. Thanks for making me think.

  3. Boyd,

    I have never tried it but it is my understanding that an old deactivated cell phone can still dial 911 as long as it can get a signal. I keep one plugged in next to my pistol incase things go bump and I need to make the call. My cellphone ends up in the kitchen or in the car, the house phones are god knows where, this way I know I have a phone available.

    I think I may just have to incorporate the go shorts concept into my gear. I don't think my neighbors would really be to excited to see me come out the front door in my boxers with a holster.
    I may just have to set it up to where they are plogged in to keep the phone charged.

  4. I just grab my 5.11 vest since it has everything but the phone already on board.

  5. That's a great idea, Johnnyreb, and Robb wouldn't have to wear pants for that solution!

  6. Yeah, gotta run with the vest.

    Pants are just nature's way of telling you that you need to move farther south.

  7. I'd suggest an inexpensive micro recording device, except that it's my opinion that men in particular should be carrying one at almost all times regardless, rather than just with their Go-kit.

  8. Mine's a maxpedition versipack.

    For comms, I have my cell by the bed. But I also keep an old, not hooked up cell in an outer pocket of the versipack, plugged in.

    Deactivated cells phones will still dial 911, and the plug is the type that will pull out of the phone if I grab and git.

    The bag has a spare XD mag, spare AR mag, spare light, spare knife, keychain light on the exterior, and a medkit inside. The conceal carry pocket is set up to take my bedside XD/light combo.

    I also have a set of house keys attached to a chemlight in the pack. If the need arises, I can break the chemlight, cut the window screen and toss the house keys to responiding LEOs.

    In the event of badness, I can sling this over my shoulder and have enough gear to go. What I need to add is copies of ID/CCW in case the wallet gets left.

    It also makes for a nice, quick go-kit if I have to make a late night grocery run.

  9. I use an old DeSantis fanny pack, contains a Glock, a Surefire, a tiny LED light, and a house key. When I'm not dressed to go out with my normal concealment rig, it's worn on me, except when I'm in the shower (then it's hooked on the towel bar) or in bed (on the nightstand).

    I like the chemlight attached to house key idea.