I carry some tools with me all the time. Survivalists and “preppers” call these items “Every day carry” gear. (EDC for short.) So, do only mall Ninjas or ex-military wackos carry this stuff? No. No. These are just common sense items that will serve you well daily and also in an emergency. The essentials are: 1) a knife, 2) a flashlight, 3) a lighter, 4) a wallet or purse, and 5) a cell phone. Some people also like to carry a multi-tool, a watch, and moleskin-type notebook and a pen. Here’s some sweet every day carry gear:
A knife is a useful, practical tool for many daily tasks. It can also deter an attacker and be used for self-defense if needed. If you’re a city dweller or haven’t done much camping or backpacking you might not realize how often you need something sharp to cut with. A prepared person carries a knife. I’ve listed these in general order from “practical” to “tactical.” For most people, tactical means something to fight with. Here’s a quick run-down on these knives:
- The Victorinox, is well, the Swiss Army Knife of the bunch. It’s discreet, traditional, and functional.
- The Spyderco is really my favorite. It opens easily with one hand – that’s what the little circle cut out of the blade is for. It is easy to hide, light-weight, and long enough for self-defense. It also has smooth blade, so it’s suitable for most cutting tasks.
- I include the Vaquero because it’s probably the best “fighting” knife that also folds. Lots of my friends like this knife.
Next are two survival knives. These are full tang, meaning the metal part of the knife extends all the way down the handle making them stronger and capable of chopping.
- Les Stroud from the T.V. show “Survivorman” uses the Buck.
- Navy Seals use the SOG.
Pick the one that fits your situation the best. (For me now, that’s the Spyderco.) You really can’t go wrong with any of them.
- Key-chain micro-lights are awesome – very bright for such a small package.
- The LRI Rex photon has 4 LEDs plus many different settings and is rechargeable.
- The Fenix is brighter still, but compact enough to put on a key-chain also.
- The Quark is the bomb. It is very bright and has a slick push button on and off switch which you can easily do one-handed off, which is great if you happen to employing your gun in your other hand. It’s the best of the small tactical flashlights.
- I’ve include a headlamp, not because it’s a typical “EDC” light, but I think everyone should have one. A flashlight is great for short amounts of time, but if you need light for more than a few minutes at a time, such as washing dishes, hiking in the dark, etc. a headlight is essential.
- A firesteel works if you have tinder or are lighting a propane stove. You just scrape down and heavy sparks fly out. One of these will last most people a lifetime.
- Matches or a lighter are best if you need immediate flame. Who wants to wait for anything in a survival situation after all? I prefer the chrome zippo because it’s reflective and could double as a signaling mirror in a pinch. I haven’t used the IMCO, but they are highly regarded. A friend of mine has had one for 20 years and it still works great. Those Austrians know how to build stuff
With the basics covered, here as some extra EDC items that you could consider:
- The ResQme key-chain has a tool that will easily break a car window and cut a seat-belt off in no time.
- You can make notes, leave instructions, or draw a map with the Moleskin pocket note-book and people say that the Zebra pen is the best pen for the price every made.
- The G-shock listed has great features for survivalists: solar-powered, barometer, altimeter, digital compass, hour of sunrise/sunset, and thermometer.
- A cellphone with a data plan. I was in Haiti immediately after the earthquake. My cellphone worked most of the time. It saved lives. I’m not saying a cell phone will work in any disaster, but if it is, you want one!
- Who can live without a Leatherman? Not me, anyway. Awesome, rugged, practical, do just about anything tool.
Consider carrying a firearm if allowed by laws in your state or country.
You can’t go wrong with the Glock 19. See review here. Get trained by a qualified instructor.
Check out http://everyday-carry.com/ to get some more ideas for your EDC list.
Hope that helps. -Prepster411