Past the Pistol: Other EDC Items for the Prepared Mind

Past the Pistol: Other EDC Items for the Prepared Mind

Past the Pistol: Other EDC Items for the Prepared Mind

Dear faithful and constant readers, we talk a lot, you and I, and we tend to talk about guns. Given the nature of this site, that makes perfect sense; it’s a forum for firearms discussion and the exchange of information related to CCW issues.  I would postulate that most of you carry concealed on a regular basis; I know some of you are also habitual open-carriers.  We’ve had a lot of good discussions about the ins and outs of carrying a firearm for personal protection, and exchanged a lot of great information.

Today we’re going to move things in a different direction. Let’s look past our guns and into the rest of our every day carry (EDC) setups. And let’s do so with the following in mind:

What should I carry other than a gun?

As with our discussions about firearms, a lot is going to depend on your area of operations. In these sad times, everything from flashlights to pocketknives to lighters is subject to heavy regulation.  Make sure you know and follow the applicable laws; remember, you’re representing a community of people who support these rights.  And your individual needs, as dictated by your AO, might differ widely.

That having been said, here’s a short list of items I think everyone needs.

A flashlight

My rational is simple: there’s a 100% chance of dark. Whether in an unlit basement or while changing a tire at night, there will come a time when a flashlight is really handy. And when you need one, there’s nothing like it.  For most of us, it doesn’t have to be anything big; a smaller pocket LED light will do.

A pocket knife

Some people like old-fashioned Case knives. Some prefer small fixed blades. Some of us like tactical whiz-bang folders. You’ll have to pick what fits your needs and taste, but regardless a quality knife is always a useful tool for day-to-day tasks.

A lighter

The bane of the TSA, your standard cigarette lighter is an essential EDC item, even for non-smokers. A source of light, heat and flame, your EDC lighter can be used for a variety of tasks in both everyday and emergency situations. And while a high-speed tactical weatherproof lighter might be a nice addition in the long run, you can get pretty far on a cheap convenience store model.

A notebook and pen

Something pocket-sized, obviously, but nonetheless useful. Even in these digital days, the ability to jot a note or write down a number can be essential. It’s an easy way to leave a message for someone if the power goes out, too.

There are almost certainly other items you’ll want to add to your EDC: a cell phone or other device, a multitool, a small first aid kit. The list I offer here isn’t meant to be exhaustive; just a starting point for the discussion.  As always, I encourage you to buy quality as you can afford to, but don’t let the lack of a perfect item stop you from setting up your EDC rig.

What items are in your EDC?

As always, I look forward to hearing your thoughts on the matter. Until then, Constant Reader: be safe

Read More: Retooling Your EDC Rig The Right Way

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Michael Jenkins is a writer and editor based in Wilmington, North Carolina. He is a lifelong reader, gardener, shooter, and musician. You can reach him at
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QuikClot Clotting Gauze is an essential when I carry and even when I don’t (I work in a state with crap gun laws). I also carry a 1 foot length of Duck Tape, and an Israeli Bandage. I do NOT carry those for the bad guy, I carry it to apply emergency first aid to either myself, or an innocent bystander who the bad guy may have wounded!

Harry Orenstein

Apart from all your above mentioned EDC – swap your pen/biro for a Sharpie, then if I am “carrying”
1. First Aid kit suitable to treat gun-shot
2. Small folding scisors
3. Whistle
4. Gorrilla Tape (1m)
5. Local cash for 3-days + 10no US$20.- bills


On me, xds 9mm, spare mag, pen light, lighter, cellphone, multi tool, hand ham radio set to local scan freqs, a few bucks in cash. In my car i have my hunting gear with a first aid kit, and basic survival gear, and a converter. Ill be adding quick clot and some bandages after reading this article(good idea, duh moment for me)

Braidon Benjamin

I already carry all of these everyday, so I agree with this article


Yup, agree with all.

Plus, in my vehicle there is always a first aid kit and a survival pack with warm clothes, hiking boots, a more extensive first aid kit, water, food, light, a knife, and a few other goodies.