What Is EDC?: The Beginner’s Guide to Everyday Carry
For some odd years, I have found myself going deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole of Every Day Carry (EDC) and, as many of you have modified or improved my EDC and most likely will continue to do so as the years go by. As a kid, I couldn’t wait to get home from school, the weekend or the summers when I could grab my gear and hit the woods.
This was long before the survivalist TV shows and the only hint of “wilderness living” TV was Grizzly Adams. I never went into the woods or for a hike with one of my friends without at least the following; knife, BB gun, first aid kit, water, and a snack.
But now I’m older, 45 to be exact and I have a job at a respectable company so I can’t just show up in surplus army gear without causing alarm and making my coworkers uneasy. So what do I do?
Well for starters I’ve been frequenting many of the EDC sites on the internet and making minor changes to what comes with me every day and doing my best to make it fit in my pockets, on my belt or on my keychain. One of the things that surprise me when looking at peoples “pocket dumps” is how both unique and sometimes (in my humble opinion) lacking many of the selections for EDC there are.
I think even at the basic level of prepping, which is what EDC or pocket dumps are, many are taking too much for granted. Assuming all will be fine without putting just a little more effort into what they carry.
Now I know I am not right in the eyes and opinions of many, and yes we all must tailor our daily carry to what not only suites us best but also the environment in which we work and or travel. Granted, if you work at a Post Office you can most certainly not carry a gun.
If you work at a school there is no way you can get away with a tactical knife, in fact, many workplaces frown upon any knife, (and these are the places where the sheeple cower when someone uses a plastic butter knife when attempting to peal fruit.)
So, on to my basic EDC and why I feel it is important to me.
Belt Carry EDC:
Multitool: Like so many out there, the Multitool has become a way of life, that extra hand and in many cases a part of us. Myself, I prefer the Leatherman brand and like any gear addict, I have several of them (8 at last count I think). But among them all, I rotate between the latest version of the Wave and Rebar.
Pocket Carry EDC:
Small pocket knife: For years I have loved the Victorinox Rambler as a small be efficient pocket knife. This small Swiss Army Knife has all one would need on an everyday basis; knife, scissors, small flat-head screwdriver, nail file, Philips screwdriver, bottle opener, wire stripper, toothpick, and tweezers. Honestly, I carry it mostly for the toothpick.
Bic Mini Lighter: I don’t smoke and don’t plan to, however, I do believe in having a device that can always give me a sure way of making fire. These little lighter are compact, durable and have even made it through the laundry and still work after being submerged.
Wallet: Now how does a wallet fit into the “always ready” EDC kit? Simply put, I always carry at least 2 fabric band-aids in mine. I have 4 boys and sooner or later my wife, my kids or I will cut some part of us. I also have a RAT Knives survival card in there as well.
It always amazes me how many parents don’t even carry a band-aid or two and have to go begging for one at parks, stores and so on. Seriously? Not even a single band-aid and you have kids?! This is, in my opinion, the simplest, easiest and least EDC like thing to carry around with you.
Tactical Pen: Sure there are REALLY good ones out there that you’ll drop close to $100 for, but why? What is the basic purpose of this item? Something to write with and something that is sturdy enough to defend yourself with. Why should I spend a lot of money on something that could be confiscated by the TSA should I forget about it when traveling?
You can get a free tactical pen here – the only catch is that you may have to pay a couple of dollars to have it shipped to you but it’s still a great deal.
I have purchased 3 different models made by Schrade. They make a quality product, I can purchase refills at any big box office supply store and they work perfectly for the two standards I expect them to meet. They also don’t say something on them that might draw the attention of someone looking at my gear and make them paranoid like Smith & Wesson or Uzi.
Flashlight: A pocket-sized flashlight is another key component to my EDC. I rotate between two different models, one that is powered by a single AA and one that is powered by a single CR123 battery. Both are compact, bright, have multiple settings for brightness and flashing.
I have really started to prefer the AA battery model simply because I know I can always find AA batteries no matter where my travels take me. Whatever one you choose make sure it will seriously put some light “down range” from you so you can see what might be coming long before it gets to you.
Tactical Blade: My tactical blade is for just that a tool for my protection. If I want to cut something that is what my Leatherman is for and if someone wants to borrow my knife that is what my Leatherman is for. But my Tactical Blade doesn’t leave me, in fact, the only person I’ve let use it is my wife solely because she knows how to and knows how I am about it.
No one else will treat it with the same respect as I do. I have several “tactical blades” and I rotate through them every so often, but my favorite, my “go to blade” is my Zero Tolerance 0562 Hinderer Design with a 3.5-inch blade (click here to see it at Amazon.com). I shopped for a really good tactical knife for some time and decided on this one as for me the best quality, design, and reviews.
Also, as a smaller, beatable, and smaller Tactical Blade I’ve decided to carry the Kershaw Shuffle II in black (click here to see it at Amazon.com). The blade is only 2.25 inches, which makes it great for carrying at work and other places where I don’t want to have a “huge” knife on my (so as not to scare the sheeple.)
Belt: My favorite belt is the 5.11 1.5” Black TDU Belt (click here to check the current price at Amazon.com). This is a great belt, lightweight and has no metal buckle so in many instances there is no need to remove when going through metal detectors.
Watch: Casio’s Pathfinder PAG240-1CR Triple Sensor watch has been a long time desire for me and I finally got one recently online. This is a great watch some of its features include; solar power, sunrise/sunset, compass, thermometer, barometer, altimeter, stopwatch, and timer.
It is lightweight, comfortable to wear and is just a great all around watch. I feel prepared for anything with it and it is very easy to read (click here to find out more about this watch at Amazon.com).
Hat: The standard baseball cap is my go-to choice for a head cover, it shields my eyes from the glare of the sun, protects my head should I bump into something and provides just a little bit of extra warmth that I might need when the temperatures drop a bit.
However, during the winter months, I carry a Smart Wool Beanie. This is a great hat, very warm in the winter and long enough to cover my ears and part of the back of my neck from the cold.
Some other items that I keep on me would be of course my car keys which have a Victorinox Spartan on them (this model has a place for a pin and mini screwdriver for fixing glasses). Also, I have a ham radio license, so I usually have a hand-held (HT = Handy Talky) radio with me.
Lately, I’ve preferred the Kenwood TH-F6A which is a tri-band radio with exceptional receive capabilities. Not only can I receive AM & FM radio but also short wave and all Ham Radio frequencies (with the ability to fine tune as well).
I’m not big on wanting to talk on the radio, but I do enjoy being able to listen to what is going on. I rigged up a way to connect an alligator clip wire to the radio’s antenna jack then to any piece of metal, fencing or what have you to act as a giant antenna for exceptional receive capabilities. I also always have an AA battery pack with me for the radio for emergency power.
To sum up my choices, I feel it is important to be ready for as much as I can without having a backpack, pack mule or service van to carry all of my “must have” EDC items. Yes, there is some redundancy but for the most part not a lot.
I believe in the military idea of, “One is none, Two is one” and by having the Tactical Knife, Leatherman and Victorinox knife I fulfill that; as well with carrying at least two band-aids in my wallet. Everyone’s EDC is unique to them and their environment, my way may not be yours and that is fine. I often look at pics of peoples EDC online and think, “Well, if that guy and that guy meet up together they’re set!”
And well, that very well may be to a solution, you plus someone else may have all you need; it may be your mate, partner, traveling companion, relative, co-worker or just a stranger. Just as we are stronger in numbers, so is our EDC, a well thought out EDC will support itself and if added to someone else’s in a time of need, well your “Multitool will work better in the dark with that guy’s flashlight.”
Good luck to you all, stay safe, stay prepared, stay alert and talk to one another and please leave your thoughts and comments below… Also, please share this article with your friends on social media… thank you.