The Bedside Home Defense Kit

The first kit that we will look at in this chapter is what I refer to as “the bedside kit” and as the reference implies, this kit is kept beside your bed in a drawer or under the bed in a small box with a lid such as a plastic storage box with a snap on lid, you could of course just toss the kit under your bed, but that would allow dust, dirt and grim to accumulate and the items to be more likely to be scattered and difficult to find, especially in the dark, when you’re most likely to need them.

Of course, if you have small children living at home, you won’t be able to do this, you’ll need to secure your handgun from being assessed by them while still being available to you. There are a number of ways to do this, but I like the Gunvault MV500-STD Microvault Pistol Gun Safe for this.

My bedside kit - The kit includes a handgun, extra loaded magazines, weapon mounted and hand-held flashlights, a phone and a blood control kit.

My bedside kit – The kit includes a handgun, extra loaded magazines, weapon mounted and hand-held flashlights, a phone and a blood control kit.

The kit above is good for most home owners that are concerned about crime, theft or home invasion, but my readers aren’t usual nor typical and most (as I do) see it necessary, to be even better prepared and armed with an extended bedside kit, because you never know what, or who is going to burst through your door in the middle of the night.

The photo below shows my extended bedside kit…

My bedside kit

The extended kit includes a Mossberg 590 pump-action shotgun, extra buckshot, body armor, and gas mask.

After Argentina’s economic collapse home invasions by well-armed gangs was common place. According to the accounts of people who were there, the gangs would invade the homes, (they targeted rural secluded homes and farms mostly), and then tortured and rape the inhabitants for days… I see this also being the case in the U.S. (or any other country) after a major long-term social upheaval. Have your bedside kit ready because you never know when they are going to come through the door at 3:00 AM.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. I don’t have the laser on the pistol yet ,but it’s coming. Flak jacket and gas masks are another of the wishlist items.

    • Try talking with a few officers. They get new vests every few years and some aren’t required to turn in the old ones. Although they may be expired, they typically only become more rigid but will still do their job. Might be a cheap alternative until you can afford a brand new one. It’s better than nothing.

      • Body armor made of Kevlar will deteriorate where it has been bent. Like sitting in a patrol unit. The amour will bend and the bending becomes a weak point, That is why it is changed out every few years. If you have a fairly new one that hasn’t been used, hang it up or lay it flat to prevent any bends. It won’t matter how old it is as long as it hasn’t been bent. I’ll take one that is 20 years old that hasn’t been used and been laid flat. Its still good!

  2. I would strongly recommend at least two sets of Impact Sport ear protectors preferably plugged into short range comms. Why: 1)It helps cut down on confusion that comes after the first shots are fired inside a confined space; 2) The ear protectors can be turned up to listen for movement in the house. 3) After the fact when the Sheriff shows up you will actually be able to talk to him without yelling. They’re a little testy about that; and 4) Make sure the change the batteries annually when you do your smoke alarms.

  3. I keep my shield 9 on the table beside the bed,a 12 gauge with flashlight mounted on it and a bandolier on the door knob. Unfortunately they don’t make a vest in “you gotta be kidding me”.

    • Unfortunately they don’t make a vest in “you gotta be kidding me”.

      LOL… I bet you’re a hoot in person…

      • Curley Bull says:

        Yep, BC can be a “Hoot”. Depending on situation, mood and/or company, he can also be a “Poot” or even a “Snoot”. But all-in-all, he’s a good man.


      • Encourager says:

        How about some Velcro straps, BC???

    • Yup, they sure do. Special order though.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      Yes, they DO make excellent body armor in the size of “You’ve GOT to be kidding me!” Just gotta look on line, LOTS of options within economic reason. Look at Palm Armor for a start, not affiliated with them at all, but they DO make armor for we who are not petite. I’ve got a 36 inch waist, 54 inch chest, 20/12 inch neck and have LONG simian-like arms. If I can find it, so can you. No faint hearts!

    • tommy2rs says:

      Size Charts for the ProMAX Concealable & ProMAX Tactical

      They’ll cover yer back and yer front.

  4. Omg!!! This stuff on the government is really unsettling!!! My husband I have been collecting and preparing for 2 years now. We are looking for land in Alaska as it is much safer there and we will live off grid.
    I am a diehard on this sight and have learned soooo much more than ever imagined. we are alomost ready!! but it would be nice to find a like minded couple in our age group to go with us.I have found away to keep us all fed and afloat, but its nearly impossible to do it with just 2 people. I honestly dont think things will get better in our economy’s state in just a few months . I pray Im wrong but I think it will take years. I know I dont want to be in the struggle of it all!!!
    My husband and I are normal average folks , nothing to quirky lol . If you are like minded have hunting, green house, and animal skills ,I think we should talk.
    Thank you for reading this.

    • Encourager says:

      Be very, very careful on your search, Rebecca. There are some real creeps out there. There are a few websites where you can join and check a person’s background. Would be worth paying the $$ to have that bit of assurance.

    • Sister judi says:

      Good luck ,and be very careful.I have friends that moved to Bolivia and are so disappointed in people that joined them.Its not what they wanted and they didn’t stay.Finding like minded people is difficult.I have tried myself for 2 years,and thought A few times I found some people a few times but as I got to know them it was no match.So I do the best I can to learn self defense
      And educate myself to prepare for many different scenarios .God Bless us and protect us from all evil storms and viruses

    • David Giles says:

      I’m just thinking here. I moved here Estes Park CO 4 years ago but I am thinking I didn’t move to a remote enough location. Not off the grid and too much government. Problem is I have tons of prep and people etc here. Trying to figure out whether to stay or leave. Not sure about further north. Do you know where you will end up after the pole shift? Right now I am looking at South America below the equator below the nuclear fallout. Your thoughts?

      • Are most of these other people preppers? If not, then definitely move on. I would say move on even if they are because a large amount of government means a lot of attempts to take your preps away, either by legislation prior to SHTF/TEOTWAWKI or martial force after SHTF/TEOTWAWKI.

        Also, don’t pigeonhole yourself into one or two SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenarios and let that make your decision. Instead, think of all the logical scenarios that could occur, then look around and ask yourself, “what location(s) give me the best shot at surviving in most of these scenarios?”

        I hope that helps.

      • Diana Smith says:

        Come north to God’s Country.

      • Encourager says:

        David, you not only have to evaluate the existing govt and friends/neighbors, but also consider resources. Do you have a good water source? Land to grow crops? Length of growing season? Natural protection (cliffs, swamps, forests, etc)?

        My dh and I took a six week vacation to enjoy but also check out CO and other states to relocate in. We came to the conclusion that CO is mostly high desert. The lack of rainfall, tillable soil was a big concern. The one area that met our requirements was Ouray. However, can you imagine the hoards of people heading to that place? Abundant water, good fields for irrigation, natural protection (at least in part)… and hundreds of thousands of desperate folk thinking the same. You may have enough supplies to last you two years; but what do you do after the supplies are gone? You have to be able to grow your own food in safety, with abundant water to irrigate your crops if your rainfall is not sufficient.

    • Country Vet says:

      Just wanted to make sure that you are aware that Alaska is included in the “ring of fire” and that the Cascadian fault on the west coast is over due to “go” so earthquakes, volcanoes and tsunamis are a viable risk there right now so research the geological information carefully.. Friends have moved to Panama and absolutely love it there. Be very careful of new “friends” as more and more people are not what they seem. As Encourager suggested, be sure to run a background check, but be aware that it will be only a beginning. Do home visits unannounced, personal, credit checks, and employer references, just like you were adopting out a child and hiring a new employee all at the same time. Look for ANY red flags and don’t make allowances for any you find unless there is an absolutely definitive explanation. I can tell you that from my own personal mistakes in hiring. Good luck, just proceed with caution.

      • “Be very careful of new “friends” as more and more people are not what they seem.”

        Forewarned is forearmed. I never thought I would come to a point in my life where I would run a background check on a new neighbor. I did about 4 weeks ago. Sure glad I did too. No stone unturned these days. Sad state of affairs.

  5. PatrickM says:

    Bedside kit? Absolutely! Ordering a light for my shotgun soon. Although white light goes against everything this old paratrooper was trained for, I can see the need here, where wild animals fit into likely scenario’s.

    Alaska is awesome! Yes, they have crime there as well, but I cannot think of many State’s that allow and celebrate personal freedom and liberty more. Have an elderly or disabled neighbor? A Proxy License can be had to hunt and fish for them. A few areas still allow harvesting timber for home construction, IIRC, POW Island allows the most.

    Alaska’s resident’s for the most part are very eager to help their neighbors, very friendly folks there. Take an extended vacation and meet people in the areas you are thinking about moving to. I would think very closely about Prince of Wales Island were I to head up that way. Do your geological homework as well, Map Tsunami Inundation zones. AK is very seismicly active. Were I younger, I’d be loading the truck!! 🙂

  6. JP in MT says:

    I like the set up, although I don’t have the 1st aid items there. Got just about all the other covered in about the same way.

  7. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Add some door wedges to your exterior doors to slow down home invasions. Insert at door threshold and door jambs for certain.

    • TPSnodgrass says:

      Two-by-fours, cut into smaller lengths then split on the diagonal make EXCELLENT door stops. Have several we use for travel as well, I drilled holes in them for a braided wire retention loop that goes around the door knob ON THE INSIDE(in case anyone was perplexed) for fire reasons. Inexpensive and a total pain to try and defeat. Buys those on the inside a LOT of time and time and distance are your best friends in any violent tumultuous entry into your home.

      • PrepperDoc says:

        What a cool idea! I have done the 3 inch screws, but the wedges sound like another extraordinarily good idea

        I don’t have these bedside things set up, but we have purchased a gun vault, so I think I’ll get this done…..

        Thanks for posting this article!

    • Chuck Findlay says:

      One of these flip down door stops is a nice thing to have. they mount on the door and make it hard to kick a door open. I have them on my outside doors and one time a few years ago it flipped down and I can attest to the difficulty of pushing the door open. I ended up going through a window.

      No need to buy them from Amazon as all home stores have them. Just use good screws or even a metal plate to get a firm mounting.

      As far as bedroom guns, a 357 Mag pistol and lever rifle, a 9-mm Beretta or a 45 auto.

      I also have a 9-shot 22 revolver because at times I hear animals messing with my garbage cans and a 357 is a bit overkill for a wayward cat.

      Nothing against cats, but if you own one you should keep it in your yard like people have to do with dogs.

      And NO I don’t have flashlights on my guns…

  8. SheepDog says:

    After a few years use my Gunvault pistol box died!

    It had stumbled a time or two when I woke up at 0 dark 30 to noise close by and wouldn’t open quickly under sleepy fingers!

    Worst was a long minute of trying to get it opened with someone/something on the front porch!

    After that I locked my wallet, checkbook, keys ect. in the Gunvault, but kept the pistol free and clear of the grip of moody electronic locks!

    For the past 8-10 years I’ve been using a Simplex locked Knox Pistol Box. ( No more batteries going dead and not opening! No more faulty electronic locks! No more not opening when I want it open!


  9. Sister judi says:

    Love the article.Very thought provoking..I sleep with a a full bed under the pillow.I have flashlights all over my place and practice’set the alarm and jump out of bed with gun and flashlight and check hoise.Just to practice.I have guns everywhere not in plain sight.I have the car stocked with guns and masks etc.I have 72 hour bags all over the place.
    I have certain bolts on doors and a security system,THE ARTICLE MADE ME look around the entry ways into the home and I have some weaknesses I have to fix.Thanks for article.

  10. Nothing like having the MURS Dakota System to give you advance notice. Even my wife, who thinks I am nuts because of my prep mindset, was impressed with the simple announcement “Alert Zone 1” that gives her a good minute of advance notice when anyone is coming up the outside stairs in our apartment.

    She and my daughter were away for a few weeks visiting friends, and they arrived late last night after 16 hour drive. I was sound asleep at midnight, but was promptly alerted.

  11. Illini Warrior says:

    Good to see a cell phone included in the bedside table kit …. there’s a time to call 911 and have them on the line RECORDING everything – and there’s periods during any event where it could/can be detrimental ….

    Ask a guy named Zimmerman ….

  12. Chuck Findlay says:

    Another set of guns I have on my is a small pocket pistol. In the warmer months when it’s 80 deg and up it’s impossible to hide a big gun when you are in shorts. I have a Beretta and Colt 25-auto and a Beretta 22 lr that I throw into a pocket when making a quick run to the store.

    No a 25-auto is not a power house, but I will guarantee anyone that says it’s useless will not want to have 8 of them fired into your face or chest. They fit the bill when a larger gun won’t work.

  13. I like the attention that is being paid to hindered entry and early warning systems! However, something I haven’t seen yet is a hindered entry or early warning system for windows! If someone’s truely determined to get into your home, they WILL use windows. Fortunately, windows are a tad bit easier than doors to work with because you and your loved ones are not likely to be getting in and out through windows and don’t need to be getting too close to them, especially at night. Consequently, they may require a less sophisticated system. For the sake of cost-effectiveness, I would recommend a simple solution: glass. Set it out from the window sill from directly underneath to about a foot out. While the likeliness of the burglar wearing durable enough shoes to protect his or her feet is high, the sound of breaking glass in the dead of the night should be handy in alerting you to something happening that shouldn’t be.

    • Edit: I should also note that a veteran or career criminal could and most likely would be adept at maintaining silence when breaking into your home. Barring the alarm systems already mentioned, it would be worth the while to jerry-rig some sort of DIY alarm at ANY possible entry point into your home.

  14. Another thing that I haven’t seen here is any mention of the use of knives/bladed implements or blunt force implements. While I realize that most people are probably quite loath to be literally inches away from someone else and have their self-defense be so visceral, and that using a bladed implement or blunt force implement requires a great deal more skill and/or strength than a firearm, I believe that it IS necessary for a few reasons: 1.) Bullets run out eventually. While in a present-world situation this is unlikely and you may only have to fire three or four shots to either scare off or incapacitate the burgler(s), in an SHTF/TEOTWAWKI scenario, you are likely to face a group of assailants, possibly from multiple directions. 2.) Legalistics: This is more of a present-world situation, but if your assailant has no more than a shank and bare fists and you have a firearm, that actually may backfire (no pun intended) on you, depending on where you live. I know that several states and even several municipalities within states have laws protecting “the less aggressive” individual, by that meaning the more lightly armed. It would do you well to know your state, county, and city/town laws regarding use of force in home invasions. 3.) Tactical maneuvering and awareness: While a firearm seems optimal for home invasions, there may be certain aspects of the home invasion environment that actually may inhibit the use of firearms. One should take stock of the layout of his or her home and find any “sticking points” that don’t bode well for the use of firearms. By sticking points I mean any area of the home in which it is difficult, overly complex, or even impractical to mainpulate a firearm, regardless of what type it is. This is tactical awareness. While obtaining tactical awareness, one should also go through a (one or several, whatever makes you feel comfortable) dry run of tactical maneuvering to more easily spot the sticking points. That is to say, moving through your house with firearm at the ready in a sort of mock home invasion. One of the common sticking points is “corner clearing,” which is looking around or maneuvering around corners formed by walls or other upright obstacles in order to check that nothing’s there and it’s “all clear.” A veteran or career criminal, or later in an SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation a former military person, may very well be attuned to corner-clearing techniques and be waiting to disarm you. This is particularly a problem with long-barrled weapons like rifles and full-length shotguns. If that were to happen, can you transition easily and quickly from your primary weapon to your secondary weapon? Even a handgun requires a little space to fire effectively. This scenario might be why you need a knife in your bedside kit.

    • Edit: Or a club/cudgel of some sort. If wielding a blade unsettles you, then go with the blunt force option, provided you have the strength.

    • A machete works nicely.

      • Ya, that might do well. Just make sure it’s not so long that it’s ineffective for “short work” should things ever get to that point (again, no pun intended). In my bedside kit is a makhaira-style machete that is straight blade on one edge and serrated on the other. I also have a Bowie knife in my kit. I’m thinking about replacing the Bowie with a short sword of my own design (based loosely on a mixed style of a kukri and a makhaira) whenever I actually get down to taking bladesmithing lessons from a local guy I know.

        • But just think if the intruder/s may be armed home invaders and you might feel inadequate with a small knife. No pun intended. Just think if they have shotguns !!!

          • Oh no, don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying carry a knife/sword/blunt impact weapon INSTEAD OF a gun, I’m saying carry them in your bedside kit WITH a gun, for reasons that I mentioned in my original post. There’s another article on this site that says most armed confrontations occur within 3-7 feet. If they somehow manage to close that distance, you’re gonna want a backup to even a handgun.

  15. Rings of defense work best. Physical barriers fences, Jagger bushes. Then outside motion detectors for lights and buzzers. Then heavy doors. German shepheds internal motion detectors. Opps outside night vision cameras. Then comes the artillery. I prefer a40 cal. Block with night sights and a saiga with a 20 rd. Drum. Every other round buck shot slug just in case the bad guy has body armor. It would be like getting hit with a 20lbs sledge hammer over and over. Trama kit, gas mask and an assault vest with plate flashlight and a gator machete. Any questions?

    • No Bocage hedges? It would seem that part of a ring or rings of defense would include some natural concealment.

  16. Indoors however you are supposed to aim at the head and fire three shots to eliminate the threat, outdoors fire two shots at center mass.

    • Just remember Thori, your target outside is going to be moving. A body mass hit may not be possible. Hit where you can to wound, then finish it after they are disabled.

      Inside targets will also be moving, but in a more confined, cautious manner. A good shotgun will take care of the threats. Or even a pistol if that is all you can use.

      Then the clean up….sigh.

      • Good point but the size of the target is determined by range. Outside will be further range and not as much of a threat compared to inside close range more of a threat and may be wearing body armor. Elimination of the threat needs to be immediate.

  17. I need some thoughts on one of my carry guns, a walther ppk 7.65, made in 1965. Reliable gun, so does anyone have any thoughts on if it is too old to be carrying concealed (even though I have said it is reliable, should I just put away in gun safe and stick to the kimber .45 ulta carry II.)

    • To my knowledge, there’s no restriction on concealed carry simply because a weapon is “too old.” I think consideration for this weapon should be analogous to an original M1911 .45 ACP. My grandpa had one from just after WWII and he put it through hell in his day and it was still in good working order when I was a kid (late ’90’s). If the weapon is still serviceable and reliable, use it.

    • JP in MT says:


      Just stay away for FMJ ammo. Lots of good quality JHP out there.

    • If its reliable and you are comfortable and accurate with it. It wouldn’t matter if it was a howitzer although a little hard to carry. How hard is it to find ammo for would be the next question. I had a friend who had a WW2 Japanese pistol that ammo was scarce and expensive if you could find it.

  18. You guys and gals have a lot of information, however I would like to see pictures of window protection from the inside or outside of a persons house. My house is built with 2×6 studs.

    Best Regards

    • SheepDog says:

      They make hurricane/security screens that look like regular window screens from a few feet away that are very difficult to get through without a demolition saw!

      Rocks, bricks, Molotov cocktails ect bounce right off. They are hinged and have a latch so they open easily from the inside for emergency exits. ( ) As an example of type!


      • Encourager says:

        SheepDog, thanks for the info. We have casement windows that crank out with the screens on the inside. I called Tapco Inc and spoke to a nice man named Don. He said to send him pictures of the windows inside and out and they would send me a sample drawing, screen sample and a sample of the metal they use. Free.

        It will probably cost an arm and a leg, but if we do a room at a time? Maybe. I like the security of these screens. They have a short video that you can watch…very informative!

  19. Are there any thoughts on how to buy a 3 year prescription of “Warferen”. Other than that my life span is 3 months during a SHTF happening. I HAD A HEART VALVE REPLACEMENT. (AORTA)


    • rebecca says:

      Yes !!! you can go on line look up canadian online pharmacies. Also I think india. you cannot purchase narcotics , but as much as you want anything else. FYI!!! make sure you pay close attention to exp dates. Some meds do not age well.How ever I have managed to collect air seal then freeze alot of meds.
      Good luck to sir and check your internet. NOTHING IS IMPOSSIBLE NOW A DAYS

    • Rebecca makes a good point with the latter part of her comment. Do you have a means and/or a plan for proper storage of medications so they don’t go bad? I would suggest setting this up first before actually getting the meds. If that’s not in place, the whole thing could be kaput anyways because they’ll be ruined before you can use them.

      Alternatively, if something goes wrong with your medication store, I would suggest a Warfarin-like agent found in plants in nature. Here are some suggestions:
      Also, there is sweet clover, from which Warfarin was originally derived. This all goes without saying that you should probably attempt a trial run with all of these substances under the careful monitoring of a qualified herbalist or naturopathic doctor.

      I hope this helps.

  20. Monty Edge says:


    I’m looking for your feedback concerning the above article and comments, but with reference to how you would stage such a bedside kit and have all said items on your person when you wake up in the night to an incident wearing only your underwear.

    I’ve been thinking about this and I want the following items attached to my person if I have to fight and I don’t have time to get dressed…

    Quick-on shoes by bedside
    Weapon light
    Spare mag
    Handheld light

    I’m woken by a noise either inside or outside my home. I don’t have time to get fully dressed, only throw on shoes and grab my kit. I may have walk quite a distance from my bed, lower levels, outside the home. It will be dark. I need all that kit on my body and ready at an instant.

    I’m considering a belt with said items or perhaps a shoulder bag or super light shoulder rig. I’m curious if anyone else has thought of this as well. What solutions have you come up with?


    • Hi Edge,

      I would recommend a thigh rig. It might be the easiest “slap on and go” kit that you can find. Most today come set with holster already or holster-ready attachment. Most also typically have enough cargo attachments to carry the other equipment you mentioned, plus a bit extra. You can find them easy at hunting/military surplus sources such as Sportsman’s Guide or CH Kadels. The nice plus about a thigh rig is that drawing a weapon becomes a bit more instinctive since your hands naturally rest at about that area. That would come in very handy in speed-reaction scenarios. Even so, I would also suggest a fair bit of practice with it.

      As for shoes, I would recommend mocs. There are no straps, ties, or buckles to worry about, yet unlike crocs or sandals, they are actually a full shoe. That will be a big plus when it matters because you will want the stable platform that a full shoe gives you. Just put your feet in then and pull the loop to fit and you’re set…..takes two seconds. I get mine on sale at Sportman’s Guide. Otherwise, most carriers are the high-end places and they’ll be a fair bit more expensive.

      I hope this helps.


Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!