Most people have an EDC rig of some kind. EDC—everyday carry, for those of you new to the idea—is just that: the collection of things you carry with you every day in order to make life run more smoothly. Keys. Your phone. Lip balm. A cigarette lighter. Your wallet. The miscellaneous contents of your handbag/satchel/briefcase/etc—you get the idea. It’s a long, long tradition, probably going back to the beginning of “clothing”, but in recent years it has become a lot more systematic. There are books, web forums, social media groups, and dozens of online articles focused on the finer points of EDC carry practices and gear reviews. I would argue that this is a good thing, as it raises awareness about preparedness in a way that can appeal to folks who aren’t into firearms. And if we play our cards right, we might be able to use EDC as a gentle way to introduce folks to the 2nd Amendment community.
First, though, we need to get your EDC rig up to speed Per my usual approach, I’m going to avoid making specific gear recommendations and focus instead on general principles to get your retool your EDC rig to meet your unique needs. Everyone’s AO, physique, and personal needs are different; your EDC should reflect your own situation.
Do Some Research.
Do a lot of research. Study up on local and state law, workplace policies, how you/your child’s school feels about it. Firearms, bladed tools, and pepper spray are all subject to a wide variety of laws, rules, and policies depending on locale. Even lighters and matches can be subject to regulation, as anyone who’s tried to fly in the last 15 years knows. Learn what you need to know before stetting down the EDC trail.
Examine Your AO.
Beyond the legal or regulatory concerns, your Area of Operations (AO) offers unique environmental needs. Someone living in rural Alaska is going to need a very different EDC rig than a resident of urban Miami. Weather counts, both in terms of what you need to carry but the ways in which you can carry it. Urban dwellers may have different needs than their rural counterparts.
Establish a List of Essentials.
You’ve looked at the laws/rules/regulations, you examined your needs in light of your AO, so make a list of things you need. Don’t make it too specific just yet; just note general items: flashlight, multitool, knife, CCW, note pad, notebook, watch, etc. These are just examples, again you’ll need to tailor your list to your situation.
Do Some More Research.
This can actually be fun. Do some online research, read reviews of products that fit your needs, and then if possible examine them in person before buying them. Shopping for bladed tools or firearms can be a pretty good time; take a friend with you and make a day of it.
Buy Quality Over Time.
You need to buy the best gear you can afford—you’re trusting this equipment with your daily life—but you probably won’t get your perfect EDC together all at once. A cheap lighter will be fine until you can afford the high speed survival one, so just keep upgrading consistently until you get where you need to be.
Don’t Skip the Small Stuff.
Because it isn’t small stuff. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the fun toys, but while you’re picking the perfect knife or handgun don’t forget that you’ll need a quality holster or sheath, which will in turn necessitate a good belt. EDC is a system of tools, not a random collection of items—so stay organized.
There’s a lot more to say on the subject, so please share your thoughts in the comments section or reach out to me by email. I’ll look forward to hearing your ideas—so until then, stay safe out there.