By Brandon Butler, Director/Chief Instructor, TRS
Every Day Carry, otherwise known as EDC, is what we carry with us every day when out of the home. Just like the old scouting rule of “Be Prepared,” it is our opportunity to be ready for what may lie ahead. For some, EDC is a long list of items and, for others, a minimal complement of equipment for just in case situations or daily activities. EDC is usually referred to in the area of concealed carry and preparedness but, I want to expand on that idea and think of it as being prepared for more than just when I am armed.
Every Day Carry is about thinking ahead and planning for things that you may need. EDC is different for each person, as our personal environments are varied and the choice of gear to carry needs to be adjusted to what tasks we are doing and what places we may be going. The person going to work in urban environments may have a vastly different EDC from the person that works in remote places. Let’s start by bringing it down to the basic level of EDC essentials.
These essentials are usually personally defined and will fit into the pockets of what you wear daily. The key to EDC is that if its not on you, it won’t be there when you need it.
Here are a few things from my personal EDC:
Knife – I have carried a Spyderco knife for years until it came up missing and I picked up a Kershaw Shuffle folder to replace it. Not quite the knife I had before, but it works well for what I do. I am probably going to replace it with another knife, possibly a Benchmade or another Spyderco later on, but this works well for now and I am starting to grow fond of this little knife.
Wallet (with cash and a card tool) – Always have cash handy, credit cards don’t work in a crisis. Also a small card tool, like this one from Tool Logic, works great if you don’t have anything else.
Flashlight – This is more an optional extra for some, but where I work takes me into not so well lit areas where I need the extra light. Pocket lights come in a variety of types, some as small as a pen and others larger than a spotlight. I opted for the Hot Shot Mini (Hot Shot is now out of business) for it size and brightness.
Firearm – When I am able to add my firearm to my EDC kit, I opt to carry a variety of pistols anywhere from a full size 1911 to a S&W Shield. One item I always carry is an additional magazine. This will be covered in later articles but, trust me, having an extra magazine that works when things go bad is definitely a good idea.
Cellular Phone – Smart phones today are essentially electronic Swiss Army knives. They come with compasses, maps, GPS, internet access, satellite imagery…and you can call people on them too!
IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) which is really just a Small First Aid Kit with tourniquet. Mine consists of a North American Rescue compressed combat bandage, tourniquet, and a pair of gloves. For most situations that I might run into, this will work fine to get me out of dodge or back to my truck where I can get more medical supplies.
Small Multi-Tool on Keys – I have a few sets of keys and on each is a small multi-tool. My personal key set has the CRKT KERT and my work set has a Gerber Micro Multi-Tool.
Pencil or Pen and Paper- A small notebook and pen can be handy in a variety of situations. I carry a weatherproof all weather notebook by Maxpedition. Although this is a great book, I prefer the Field Notes Brand Book.
All of this fits nicely into my pockets without adding any real bulk. The key to EDC is to take what you need. Someone working in an office may only want to take a clip knife and a pen. Since I am in a profession that requires me to be ready, this kit gives me just enough to make it through most situations I might encounter.
Start with the basics and make a kit that fits YOUR needs. Just because someone says you should carry a set of equipment, doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Not everyone encounters the same things. Look at what you pass by, encounter and see on a daily basis; then, build your EDC to fit your needs and, above all, train with your equipment.
One thing overlooked is to always practice with your equipment and know how to use it. Research, learn and use it so that when you need your EDC, you can use it with confidence. Now, go build your EDC and be prepared for whats ahead.