Tatiana Whitlock is a strong proponent of women learning how to carry concealed, teaching several classes around the country throughout the year. One of the aspects of carrying is learning about appropriate and safe methods. We took a few minutes to talk with Tatiana to find out how she carries and why she chooses the methods she does.
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How do you carry? On your body or off?
My preferred method of carry is on body, cross-draw appendix. For me I find this the most comfortable location that works with a variety of firearm sizes and allows me to carry in a consistent location every day. While I am not a big fan of off-body carry, there is a time and place for everything. Very rarely will I carry in a well thought out purse due to apparel restrictions, like a having to wear a cocktail dress, or sub-arctic temperatures where bundling up would bury the gun out of reach.
How do you decide how to carry?
Deciding to carry is a daily recommitment to a promise made to myself – to be here to see my children grow and thrive. Maintaining a clear personal mission makes the inconveniences and hassle of concealment worth the effort. For my body type and firearm of choice, the Walther PDP compact or the Walther PPS, carrying front of body works the best. I will tune my carry location slightly to the right or left of the belly button based on the size of the firearm and select higher or lower waistline pants to ensure a flat fit for optimal concealment.
Does it change depending on certain circumstances such as weather or dress?
Generally, I try to standardize my carry solution to one primary carry position. I select holsters that might change however, where I carry does not. For example, my standard carry in jeans with a belt I utilize a BlackHawk holster; however, should I be wearing yoga pants or a skirt, the Phlster Enigma is my go-to.
Only under extreme circumstances, like getting married or wearing a gown, have I changed my on-body carry strategy to ankle carry. For that, I prefer the Wilderness Tactical ankle holster for a comfortable and secure fit. A smaller firearm is required here so I carry the Walther PPS with an RMS optic and a spare magazine. Range of motion is critical and ensuring the garments allow for taking a knee and access to the gun are all tested in advance of the big day.
What do you consider the pros and cons of how you carry?
Pros to carrying appendix are that I am able to carry a standard sized firearm on a small torso thanks to excellent holsters and well-selected base garments (pants). Cons however, are that due to having a limited amount of “real estate” to work with incorporating other EDC accessories on-body becomes a challenge. The most I’ll have room for is a spare magazine most of the time which places other essential EDC items like a med kit, flashlight, pepper spray, or multitool in my purse or outerwear pockets. Working out a daily strategy for where these items can fit becomes a greater challenge than incorporating the firearm.
What are the best tips you can give to others for carrying on- or off-body?
The three best tips for carrying on- or off-body: