For me it depends on a few factors. First what am I carrying. If I am carrying a double stack 9 of 15+ rounds I am satisfied with 1 extra mag, however if I am carrying a 1911 with 8 round mags I carry two. Second where am I going and what am I doing. If I am traveling out of town I’ll carry more mags then say going to get a gallon of milk. Last how do I have/want to dress and how concealed do I have to be.
I've always carried four spare magazines for 28 years and continue to do so since I retired 7 years ago. Better to be prepared because of the old adage. "Better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it." Because needing it and not having it will get you killed. And, I don't want to die. Others, who carry only one or no spare magazines, that's their problem if they want to risk it. I don't care what others do. I do care about myself and my loved ones.
My standard EDC. I may change out the pistol and magazines, but, the number of magazines stays the same.
Magazines? I don't carry no stinkin' magazines. It's bandoleers for me. Sometimes it's a one bandoleer day. Other days, it's two bandoleers. This was taken last weekend while on my way to Patsy's Liquor and Plumbing Emporium, which, unfortunately, is on the north side of town.
I also don't carry a flashlight, medical kit, or tools. I have those items available in my vehicle and in my home. I don't schlep that stuff around on an 8 Pound Batman Belt.
After years of nearly-daily watching CCTV / Security Camera footage of self-defense shootings it's readily apparent that mag-changes in a fight are incredibly rare.
Now what is NOT rare is semi-auto malfunctions. Those happen a lot. How many are magazine-related? No way to know. So if someone carries one spare to address potential mag failures that makes some sense.
But carrying multiple magazines for extended gunfights? Nope. There are, for the most part, no incidents of that nature. I've seen gang-on-gang or Police battles where a lot of rounds were fired. But crook(s) Vs Civilian fights are not like that. If shots are fired it's few, and quick. This is prevalent to the point of making lugging around multiple mags about as necessary as carrying a spare alternator in your car "just in case"
That's my observation-based opinion on this. But if other guys want to roll heavy, fine. Chiropractic care is readily available.
I agree, most often I only carry a spare magazine when I think it might be necessary because of location, travel, etc. I carry a small flashlight with a strobe in the event we are going out to a movie and having to walk to the car through a dark parking lot. I don’t carry first aid kits, NBC gear or such either. When I was on the job, I carried multiple extra magazines but as a civilian now I don’t.
As you stated, nothing against those who carry all kinds of stuff. My waist is not really big and my low back is as old as I am and I hate crowding a belt.
I'm a small, skinny dude. I already carry a fat wallet, a gun, a phone, keys, and a pocket knife. By day's end I can feel minor, but definite effects of this that I don't experience when on vacation. When out of the country I often just carry three cards and a pen. It's a noticeably lighter load of stuff.