As you head out the door, you probably check for your everyday carry (EDC) items – gun, keys, wallet, and these days, mask. And while it is sensible to travel light, there are still five basic items other than your gun that you should carry.
Boker Strike D2
A simple folding knife is the most basic everyday carry essential. Use it for opening packages, cutting food, removing splinters, making drainage holes, making kindling, or any number of basic functions. Not all folding knives are created equal.
Length and grip are important considerations. A longer blade can make cutting effortless, but it should still be short enough to be comfortable clipped to your waistband. On average, most everyday carry knives have blades ranging from 3” to 4” long. A textured grip makes for a steady hand and more controlled use.
Check your local knife regulations to be sure that your everyday carry knife is legal. Some regions restrict carry knives based on length or locking mechanism.
Pro Tip: Be sure that your folding knife of choice includes a window break and seat belt cutter, in case of vehicle collision or submersion. This could also be helpful cutting clothing if you need to render medical aid. It could save your life or someone else’s.
Although a folding knife is compact for comfortable carry, some prefer to carry a fixed blade. A fixed blade requires no manipulation to draw and is sturdier in a self-defense situation.
An average concealed carry holds six to ten rounds. This allows for compact and lightweight gun design and will suffice in many self-defense situations.
Carrying a spare magazine is not just about have additional rounds, it's also about being prepared in the event of a malfunction. Additional mags gives you the opportunity to drop the mag, rack the slide, reload a fresh mag, rack the slide and reassess the target a lot faster than it is to clear the malfunction while retaining the existing mag.
But what if it doesn’t? The documented rise in U.S. active shooter incidents in recent decades leads many Americans to define threat assessment and self-defense on a totally new level. Be extra prepared by doubling the number of rounds, carrying a spare magazine in a mag holster like these.
Practice wearing the mag carrier and changing it often so that in a stressful situation, you know where it is on your person and can efficiently conduct a reload. Developing this muscle memory in advance will take any guesswork out of performing under duress.
Fenix PD35 TAC Flashlight
Any flashlight you carry should be used in conjunction with your gun on a regular basis. Practice drawing and holding both at the same time. Choosing a flashlight with a button on the base allows for easier manipulation while simultaneously operating a gun.
Some people think that carrying a weapon mounted light, the don't need a hand-held flashlight. But there's several instances where you may need light, where you can't (and shouldn't) pull out your gun to light it up.
An effective EDC flashlight strikes a balance between lumens (light output) and the convenience of being lightweight. Variations in design can make all the difference so think ahead to the environment in which you will be operating.
Some bezels, the outer ring that protects the lens, have deep enough notches to also use as a self-defense mechanism. Pay attention to the reflector, which will determine the throw (distance) and quality of your light beam. Most have smooth reflectors. A poor-quality reflector can cast spots or rings in the path of the light. Choose a cool white LED flashlight for indoor or city surroundings, and a warm one for outdoor use to discern the color of objects better.
Some models offer multiple output levels and a strobe light. A light with strobe capabilities can be used to temporarily disorient an adversary.
Whether we’re aware or not, we probably check it 150 times a day. It’s a tiny warehouse of data storage, putting everything from online banking to shopping at our fingertips. It’s also a lifeline in emergencies, allowing us to call or text 911.
The swiss army knife of tech, a cell phone can morph into any number of things with app downloads – a compass, a flashlight, a map, a translator, a Red Cross First Aid Guide, a FEMA alert.
Think ahead and protect your EDC phone with a quality custom phone case.
Beyond the obvious convenience of portable drinking water, a water bottle can be converted into a number of handy tools. Simply cut and melt the edges to create a spoon, bowl or cup with a handle to drink your most basic necessity – hot coffee!
Need to keep something small protected from the elements? Let the bottle dry out, cut the top off, and reattach it inverted to make a waterproof container for a first aid kit. This design could also serve as a container to collect food or other items without risk of them spilling out easily. Need to collect minnows for bait? Insert a bite of bread or worm for a small fish trap.
Have to use a quick funnel? Cut off the top of a water bottle to make a funnel for pouring.
Spill something or need to collect dirt or gravel? Cut through the opening down the side and apply gentle heat to harden the plastic for a scoop.
Growing subsistence vegetables on a budget? Cut off the top. Put water in the bottom of the bottle. Thread a cord through the inverted top before adding dirt, and you have a seed starter.
Need to dispense a liquid without turning on the fire hose? Melt the bottle cap. Gently press a pointed object into the melted cap to create a nozzle shape. After it cools, clip the tip off for dispensing.
Spiral cut a water bottle for cordage or binding material. The uses are endless.
Tourniquets, fire-starting devices, multi-tools, and other medical supplies are also popular EDC essentials. With a little forethought, you can customize your EDC items to your routine environments. Keep your game tight by staying organized with a dump tray at home. The best tool you have is yourself. You can stay sharp with tactical defense training and wilderness survival training to continue this path of preparedness.