Close Protection grab bag

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This week again we have another article (the last one for a few weeks from ‘Michael’). The close protection grab bag concept is one that so many get wrong in the industry. They show up like a paratrooper ready for battle with all sorts of stuff that can’t fit in the car or needs to be put in checked luggage and holds up the client at the airport. Michael breaks down his kit in this article. It’s what’s suits the tasks that he undertakes. I have my own set up that suits the type of work that I do. This article is not just meant for those in CP though. Any security professional (particularly at supervisory or management level) should consider how prepared they are for their role and what value they can add to that role by being further prepared. As always I’ll jump in with my comments in these orange boxes but for the most part I’ll leave it to ‘Michael’. – Tony

What to Bag What not to Bag, that is the question. #myopinion.

So we get out first big break on the circuit. We have done the halls and walls tasks (aka RST) and asset protection and we have got the nod from one of the boys. We are off on our first close protection task. 

We have the relevant dress attire squared away and all we have to do now is prepare our grab bag. The infamous grab bag. What size, what brand, how many compartments, what colour and method of carry are all questions that have to be asked from the off set.

The CP grab bag is different concept to packing for an event type job. I’ve written a previous articles previously on preparing for events. That type of work is about packing as much as you can in a small space for comfort. This is slightly different. It’s about adding value in the important ways and being good to go at short notice for a variety of tasks. That’s the nature of the CP/EP industry. – Tony

Keep it simple stupid

Grab bags shape size and contents will vary from operative to operative and from task to task. Bottom line. Here are some examples

Some may like the 5.11 Rush series (





Like everything else there are cheaper non-branded bags which are as good as the expensive brand.

As my father liked to say “it’s not the boot that makes the footballer but the man in them” . In my opinion you will carry what suits the task and you BUT I’m a firm believer that it’s better looking at it than for it. There are exceptions to this also.

Before we get to the contents I want to remind the overseas readers that ‘Michael’ does the majority of his work in Ireland and the UK. Both are non permissive environments for firearms and other offensive weapons. The kit is packed to the environment and the AOR.- Tony


Items I carry in my grab bag for a domestic task have included

1. IFAK(Individual First Aid Kit) This is usually for HEAVY trauma. I can write an article later if you are interested.

2. OTC prescription medications. These would include Asprin, Paracetamol, Ibuprofen, Dioralyte, Ant-Histamines, Anti-Diarrhea

3. 1 or 2 bottles of water or a collapsible container.

4. Battery Pack x 2(one for you and the other for the PA/Clients, in addition you will also need various cables to complement the phones on the market

5. Spare phone with a different sim card than you use as your main phone. Sometimes some providers are stronger than others.

6. Medical Kit.

7. Loose change. (Currency depends on location)

8. Tablet (larger than phone for running over schedules etc). you might not always have time to self use it but can be useful for the admin of the task and potentially easier to use than phones

9. Food(energy bars, nuts, sugary substances to help you along the 18hr days) Stay away from foods that has capacity to open pours and have dripping capacity.

10. Mouthwash/Mints—-Goes without saying

11. Spare Batteries—- Sizes will compliment equipment being used.

12. Hand Sanitiser, Wet Wipes, Tissues

13. Pens, Sharpie and Notebook

14. Professional Umbrella—Weather Dependent and can be used to deter unwanted attention.

15. Spare tie.— You won’t have any time to change clothes usually but a different colour tie from when you started at 0700 will potentially give the impression you have.

17. Sewing kit.

18. Leatherman and/or a multi-tool

19. Window Punch/Seat belt cutter. – – these should be externally mounted on your bag for easy access.

As mentioned previously grab bag contents are task orientated and operative dependant 

If you are working as an IBG(individual bodyguard) it may be necessary to share your contents with the PA/ Client /driver. They may need basic medical attention or medication. 

If you are working in a team and every person is carrying a grab bag, every team member should be carrying the exact same contents in the exact same location This allows easy access in the event of an emergency. 

If the contents vary from operative to operative as part of the team brief there should be a general note on who has what in their bags in case there is a need for a specific item.


I personally think this is a great breakdown of a task dependant grab bag for security purposes. The grab bag is not meant to cover all eventualities but its a short notice and near to hand solution for a lot of problems. My bag is slightly different in make up and content to Michael’s. I plan to cover the gear I use this week in the video series. As always f you use a different set up or have anything you would change or add then feel free to comment wherever you see the article posted. – Tony

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