Everyday Carry, or EDC, is the latest trend in tactical preparation and self-defense, but are you carrying what is really needed? If you are thinking “Yes” and have nothing more than a knife, firearm, and survival bracelet, then you are fooling yourself. There are valid reasons for carrying each of these items, but unless you expand your EDC, you might not be prepared for the emergencies that are most likely to happen: a car accident, personal injury, or getting lost in the wilderness. Any of these is more probable than getting involved in a shootout. Plus, a solid EDC will come in handy in any situation that is not life-threatening, but merely inconvenient.
Here are some popular EDC tools that can help you tackle the more common emergencies.
Fire is an essential key to survival. A roaring blaze can help you keep warm, ward off predators, boil water, and signal for help. It can also simply provide the peace of mind needed to make it through the night. Starting a fire is easy if you have the right gear:
- Matches. Waterproof, strike-anywhere matches stored in a waterproof container are all you need.
- Lighter. Bump up your fire-making ability with a gas lighter. The increased power will allow you to start a fire quicker, even if battling damp tinder.
- Magnesium Striker. Matches and lighters are a good option, but both can fail. A magnesium striker is a good option for longer survival stints.
Humans often forget how much we depend on water—until it is no longer available. Go a few hours without H2O, and you will feel thirsty. Soon after, you face dehydration and its associated symptoms, which includes loss of energy. If you go a couple of days without water, you face death. In other words, water is not a option. It is a necessity.
- Personal Filter. Carrying jugs of water is not always an option, but a personal water filter, or straw, weighs next to nothing and takes up little space.
- Water Treatment Tablets. Tucking a few treatment tablets into a small waterproof container is another option and provides you a secondary treatment method if you don’t have access to a water filter.
We’ve got some great articles on hydration in survival situations—including how to build a water still. If you end up outdoors for a long period of time, this knowledge is one of the best things you can “carry” with you.
Although you can survive far longer without food than water, it will not be a comfortable survival. Every hour you spend without nutrition will sap your strength and ability to heal if injured. How will you eat if faced with an emergency?
- Fishing Kit. Many survival kits, including paracord bracelets, include small fishing kits for a reason. All you need is a short length of line and a few hooks. Tiny lead weights help, if there is room in your EDC.
- Snare Wire. Small game animals can provide days of food and can easily be taken with nothing more than a snare, which can be used over and over. Add a few feet of wire to your EDC, and you are ready to hunt.
- Compass. No survival kit would be complete without a basic compass. Add one to your pack, or attach a small one to your watchband.
- Multifunction Watch. A big component of EDC is utilizing items that are small and multifunctional, so why not take advantage of something you already carry every day? By using a watch that includes a compass, weather forecast, and even a light, you can reduce gear and weight and increase its usefulness. One of our survivalist writers just posted a great article on choosing a watch.
- Flashlight. Sometimes, finding your way is as simple as seeing where you need to go. Add a flashlight so you can do just that. Here are some flashlights that our readers recommended.
Sometimes, the difference between survival and death is being found. Make sure you have some means of signaling for help.
- Whistle. Whether it is alerting bystanders on a dark street during an emergency or signaling rescuers, a good whistle is worth its weight in gold.
- Signal Mirror. Sometimes, all you need is a shiny surface and the sun. If you do not have room for an actual mirror, select other tools with a flat, shiny surface.
Not every emergency involves living in the wilderness, catching game, or finding your way across uncharted territory. Sometimes, survival means fixing, cutting, or breaking something. When there is no room for a tool box, downsize and put your tools in your pocket. Look for items that include a combination of tools, such as pry bar/screwdriver or wrench/knife, to reduce weight and space. Of course, a multitool is always useful.
- Pry Bar. A situation that calls for a little force, or a little more force than you can apply with your fingers, requires a small pry bar that can quickly remove, move, or reshape a variety of items.
- Screwdriver. Tiny screwdrivers have been standard EDC since the first Swiss Army knife was invented, and there is a good reason: You need them more often than you realize.
- Paracord. Some guys can survive with nothing more than paracord and duct tape—both can be used for more than you can imagine.
- Wrench/Pliers. These are two essential items for every multitool. You never know when they’ll come in handy.
- Cutting. The most basic of EDC tools is the blade, so it goes without saying that one should be in every tool kit. While a knife may not always be available, some sort of cutting edge should be.
PUTTING IT All TOGETHER
Once you have assembled your EDC gear, you need a way to carry it with you. It does you no good if it is at home.
- Carry Case. Belt or pocket cases, like those used to store your cell phone, allow everything to be carried together and close at hand.
- Key Ring. Many EDC tools are designed to be added to a key ring, and this is an excellent method of carrying smaller items without taking up space on a belt or when cargo pockets are not part of your wardrobe.
- Carabiner. This is another multifunction item, as it can carry your tools and function as one as well.
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.