Like it or not, you already carry – every single day.
Sometimes it’s a measured decision, other times it’s just what you do. EDC, or, Every Day Carry is a term that refers to the things you take with you every day. A mix, often times, of tools, writing implements and the needed materials to get on with your day, EDC is a topic like many on the internet, that floats between the hobbiest and the all-in, super serious. I guess I’m somewhere in between. Not specifically devoted to it the way I probably should be, I can tend to swing toward the more focused EDC types just as soon as I would simply clip a pen to my pocket and call it a day.
I’ve gotten better, over the years. In many ways, I went from being a left-leaning hippy type to being ultra-conservative and even further, I’d been known to put the tin-foil atop my head once or twice. I remember the shift. I was living in Thunder Bay and had an altercation on the way home from work one night that taught me the valuable lesson of being responsible for my own security and by proxy, the security of my family. Soon after, I bought a kubaton – a small, handheld impact device for self defense. Ahead of that decision, I also purchased a CRKT M16 EDC, my first pocket knife.
Since, I’ve purchased a number of gadgets that all promise high-speed, low-drag carry options. Similar to the mindset that I’d drifted through, I’ve been able to trim the fat off the edges and refine a ‘system’ that works for me. That’s how I approach almost any gear-oriented project. I like to divide the various pieces of kit into groups based on function. I’ve got different ‘systems’ for First Aid, hiking/wilderness, vehicles, defense and EDC. The smallest, most mobile part of my EDC system is what I carry in my pockets. I also have a 5.11 Rush 12 that I pack each day with the essential tools needed for my full-time day job as well as a variety of just-in-case items. I’m careful not to over pack or plan for the apocalypse – that just leads to unneeded spending for me, where I can almost guess what I’ll run into during the course of a day.
The most important part of my EDC system – or any system for that matter – is one that is free and completely accessible. Mindset.
I think it’s crucial to square away this part before any other. The world is a big, scary place. You have to get that in check inside your own mind before buying gear – at least that’s my humble opinion. If you go into a gear-store afraid, that’s like grocery shopping on an empty stomach. Try to determine what realistic threats exist in your AO before spending money on kit. It’s hard to do, but here’s a couple of ideas to get you going;
History – Has something like the scenario you’re expecting happened before in your area?
Not saying that the unexpected has never struck with surprise, but we can eliminate the extreme pretty quickly. It’s pretty unlikely that I’ll ever be faced with a tsunami in southwestern Ontario.
Proximity – How close am I to potential threats?
There are some aspects of our lives we don’t have much control over. While I might prepare to be stuck in my vehicle if I’ve got to take a winter service call up north, you might never have to plan for snow.
Environment – Pay attention, dynamic changes should change your approach.
Keep a keen eye on events in your area. Shifting feelings in your gut can sometimes point to a change that you should be more acutely aware of. Just be aware – remember OPSEC.
My EDC system is based loosely on the above principles. I’m careful not to cement my EDC decisions based on some ‘rule’ or another static reason in my head. My basic EDC rarely changes because I’ve found what works best, so far. I’m open to changes and replacements, but I try to carry with intent. If you’ve never heard of EDC and it interests you, I’d encourage you to check out this subreddit. There’s nothing wrong with being prepared, so long as you can draw the line before paranoia sets in.