Guys have their pocket dumps. But because my pockets are too small to carry anything of any real significance, I have a purse. It’s not a special purse. I got it at Target for $30 and I made sure I got a neutral color so that it would go with more outfits. As much as I would like to say that I’m a fashionista who always matches her handbag to her shoes, let me just say; ain’t nobody got time for that.

I watched a video today of two women going through each other’s purses and that kind of gave me the idea for this because, while the contents of a lady’s purse can remain a mystery, depending on her interests, they can be intriguing–maybe even inspirational?

So I dumped my purse out on the floor and took stock of what was before me.

Keep in mind, what is not included here is what I carry on my person. My Glock 19 is always on my person, as is my Ban Tang Clinch Pick and my phone. Magazines, flashlights, pepper spray and tourniquets come and go depending on what I’m wearing and the availability of my pockets, so this isn’t everything I carry, just what happened to be in my purse when I dumped it on the floor.

The full dump. Including crumbs.


Then I started sorting things by general categories including “clothing,” “girlie-girl stuff,” “how did that get in there,” and “I was looking for that.”

I live in Iowa. It’s November. Do the math. It’s cold here. Really cold. A lot. And I’m not the most organized person in the entire world. So, to beat the hustle of trying to find a hat and gloves when I need them most (once I’ve walked out the door and realize just how cold it really is), in the winter months, I just carry them in my purse.

But you might notice that there are two pair of gloves in my purse. One are Igloo gloves purely for the cold. The other are SKD Full Dexterity Tactical (FDT) shooting gloves. These I keep in my purse all year long. They are great for rifle shooting and while they don’t provide a TON of warmth they are far better than bare skin on a cold day and the full dexterity does allow for great firearms manipulations even while wearing gloves. Thick winter gloves and mittens can make firearms manipulations while wearing them impossible. So, if I can get away with it (and most of the time I can) I will wear these in cold weather instead of any other glove. And you never know when you’re going to find yourself in a position to have to shoot rifles all day.

I’m a woman. I have womanly needs. Deal with it. I also like looking nice and having soft lips so, of course, I have feminine hygiene products and a bunch of lip balm in my purse. I feel guilty about my jewelry being stuck in a baggy but it should have known better than to trust me with its care. And when you work with as many stinky men as I do and get as many brass burns, having some essential oils on hand to mask the smell and tame the burn is kind of nice.

If you ever ask for a pen in my presence and I tell you I don’t have one, the truth is that I don’t like you. Because I’m lying. I have pens. All of them. In all of the colors.

Why do I have so many pens? Because I write everything down.


I keep myself organized with a Moleskine dotted bullet journal and use it to take notes on classes, plan out my weeks, keep track of random thoughts that pop into my head and things I need to accomplish. I also use it to take notes on whatever book I’m currently reading (Currently The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck by Mark Manson).

I am never to be found without a book. I strongly believe that the world would be a better place if there were more readers in it. We can gain vast knowledge and experience through books and if you’re not reading you’re wasting your mind. I don’t care if it takes you a year to read a single book. Just read something!

Oooh. Look! Vitamin D! I wondered where they all went. I was kind of missing my Emmet keychain. My kids like to play with him and getting him back can be tricky. There’s my Tide to go mini pen for the quick messes and a challenge coin from Sentinel Concepts that I got from Steve Fisher.

I guess it’s time to throw away that old hotel key card, too. And I have no idea what is on that memory stick.

Look! Money!

I’m somewhat normal, too. I have a wallet that’s small enough to fit into a pocket because it’s void of all currency. I have my keys, my glasses, a phone charging base and cables tucked into a ZipIt Monster pouch that still makes me smile. I carry a small admin flashlight for little tasks and a roll of plastic bags for the million things that need to be contained as a mother with three small children.

And, yes, I do carry a roll of electrical tape with me everywhere. Not only has it come in handy a lot for things like patching holes or putting things back together, but, more importantly, it blocks light.

I am incredibly light sensitive when I sleep and I spend a lot of time in hotels with strange light sources. I do go around covering them all with electrical tape before I can sleep peacefully.

We all have our quirks.

I’m kind of a sucker for multi-tools and I have a pretty decent one that I’ve used so much I lost it! I miss it for when I get crab legs. Seriously, nothing works better on crab legs than a pair of pliers. But, I digress. The Gerber Curve is enough of a multi-tool to be useful for opening a beer or a box and tightening a loose screw and is better than whipping out your clinch pick to cut a piece of tape.

My booboo kit is actually a re-purposed Otis Tactical Cleaning Kit for Rifles and Shotguns. I pulled out all of the cleaning supplies and stuffed in a few alcohol swabs, some 2×2 gauze pads, some band-aids of various sizes, and some artificial tears. It makes for a great little kit for bumps and bruises.

I used to carry a reload on my person but my flashlight tends to go in its place these days so the spare magazine got downgraded to the purse. With 16 rounds in my gun, no desire to go chasing down bad guys, and the current statistics on the need for reloads in civilian encounters, I’m pretty okay with this arrangement.

I’m never without ear pro. In a little, water-tight plastic case I carry two pair of nitrite gloves and two pair of Surefire EP4 Sonic Defender Plus ear plugs. I use these most often when I’m shooting for myself or when shooting rifles. For as often as I find myself around gunfire, it’s always a good idea to have hearing protection with me on a regular basis instead of just in a range bag. I’ll probably end up throwing these and my nitrite gloves into the booboo kit to save space at some point. I’m just lazy.

I also carry a SOF Tactical Tourniquet-wide in my purse. I have one in my car, and one in my range bag and one in my home medical kit. A tourniquet is something that cannot be easily be improvised in the time it is necessary to make it most effective. If I could encourage everyone to carry a single item for emergency traumatic situations it would be a tourniquet. Just makes sure it’s a quality tourniquet. You can’t go wrong with a SOFT-T.

My Surefire–the new EDCL1-T–often goes on my person, but sometimes I need to throw it into my purse depending on what I’m wearing and if I’m being lazy.

Like the handheld flashlight, I usually carry pepper spray on my person, but as we know, sometimes women’s pockets don’t allow for much storage. When that’s the case, my pepper spray goes in the purse. The only brand of spray I trust to be effective is Sabre Red (no affiliation). I primarily carry the MK-6 and have the 3-IN-1 as a backup to the MK-6. Also, I have two main pockets on either side of my purse. One spray goes in each pocket so that no matter which pocket I reach into I can find a less-than-lethal option if I need one.

Purse included it all comes out to be about 7.5 lbs of stuff I lug around with me most places. I’m pretty regularly surprised by how often I end up using a majority of it, too.

I know some people might look at all of this and think it’s a bit much, but if you can tell a lot about a woman by the contents of her purse then this pretty much sums me up. Most of what I carry around I only carry because I use it regularly. If I didn’t, my disdain for carrying around unnecessary crap would see it ejected from my life forthwith. Having all of this at my fingertips is rather convenient for my lifestyle and there isn’t a whole lot that I can’t pull out of my bag of holding.

What about you? What do you carry around?