Be Prepared. Is that the boyscout motto? Also, I vaguely remember something about courteous, brave, clean and reverent?
One down, four to go.
Recently, I’ve become mildly obsessed with preparedness. My wife, who I like to believe passively enables me, would probably tell you it’s not so mild. I got back into camping and backpacking a few years ago and since then, I’ve given more and more though to how prepared I am to be out in the world. I’m not talking about doomsday prepping, we can all recognize that as televised ass-clownery (although, I sorta get it). I’m talking about every day, living out your life preparedness. It’s a multi faceted topic that I’ve been mulling over for some time.
Where to start? Lets talk about what I carry with me every day.
Oh wait, this is an EDC blog? Dude, that’s so been done.
Yeah, ok. I get that writing about every day carry items isnt exactly new territory. But it occurs to me that since nearly everything I carry on a day to day basis has at one time or another saved the day, I think it makes it a topic worth discussing. But first, lets talk about my philosophy of every day carry.
I like to think of it as having options. Having options equates to having capabilites to handle unexpected situations. Sure, that means when I hike with my buddy Im humping two to three pounds more than him, but when he says, “I hope the answer is no, but, dude do you have…?” My response is, “Yeah man, I’ve got that covered.” This holds true in my everyday life just as much as it does in the back country. Need a pen? Covered. Your friends daughter has splinter and need some tweezers? Covered. Late night leaving work and dropped your keys in the dark and can’t find them? Covered. Got kitten breath? Yeah, I’ve got that covered too.
So with that in mind, here it is. Some of this stuff is obvious and by definition, not worth mentioning, but in the interest of being complete, ill include everything.
First and most obvious: wallet, cell phone and mints. I remember the days of pulling over to a pay phone to make a call, but screw that, it’s the 21st century. iPhone ftw!… Or droid, or Captain Kirk flip phone or whatever. Also, everyone hates the close talker with rampant halitosis. Don’t be that guy dude. I never leave the house without Ice Breakers. The rest of it looks like this:
– Kershaw Skyline folding knife
– 4sevens Preon 2 Flashlight
– Victorinox Spartan Swiss Army Knife
– Pilot G2 Pen and Black Sharpie
– Glock 19 occasionally with a spare magazine
I’ll start by saying that I have had occasion to use everything on this list, with one notably fortunate exception. In list form it doesn’t seem like much, but each item took a fair amount of research and integration into my EDC system.
First off, you might notice a bit of redundancy here. Keshaw Skyline and the Victorinox Spartan. Two knives? It may seem unnecessary, but I look at the Spartan as a multi functional backup. Because what’s the rule?
There is always a back up for the primary.
The Skyline is the primary knife in my system. Which is to say that its blade that I go to for pretty much everything you would want an EDC blade for: anything and everything that needs to be cut open. I dont think I would classify it as a self defense knife, but if it was all you had, it’s an option. The assisted opening makes its fast and easy to deploy, it is super light weighing in at just 2.4 oz and comes razor sharp out of the box. The Skyline holds its edge well, but like any knife, will need to be cared for with heavy use. Get a sharpener, and learn how to use it.
The Spartan has a few features that your basic EDC blade is missing. Having two extra blades is nice but I find the most value is added with the other features of this knife. Corkscrew, awl, can/bottle opener, screw driver heads, tweezers and toothpick are excellent tools to have available in this small package and have all come in handy at one time or another.
The other big winner in my EDC package is the 4sevens Preon 2. This is a surprisingly powerful little flashlight that not only provides 160 lumens, but several other modes that can be used for different scenarios. By clicking twice through the brightness settings, you access the strobe modes. This includes an SOS mode, high/low beacon strobe, and a high rate flashing strobe. As penlights go, it’s not exactly cheap, but considering how often this little guy has saved the day, I wouldn’t think twice about advising someone to pick one up. You don’t really realize how often a flashlight comes in handy until you’re in the dark, and need one.
The last noteworthy items on the list are the Glock 19 and spare magazine. I discuss in another post my philosophy behind carrying a gun for self defense, and also how I arrived at the Glock 19 and Crossbreed Supertuck as my primary concealed carry option. While I won’t go through those details again, I will reiterate that if you’re looking for a gun for personal protection, try as many as you can get your hands on, and then make an informed decision. This will save you untold amounts of time, money and effort.
In regards to the spare mag, I admit that I haven’t committed to this yet. Mostly, I just carry the gun and the standard capacity 15 round magazine in it. What some people may not understand is that the spare magazine isn’t really about needing 30 rounds in a self defense gun fight scenario (although it never hurts to have more ammo), its actually about malfunctions. The magazine is the weak point in the gun and as a result a lot malfunctions that occur can be magazine related. The point of having an extra magazine in a pocket or mag carrier is that if you have a failure with your gun, in diagnosing the problem, you can remove the perceived faulty magazine, replace it with the spare, and get your gun back into the fight. If I followed my own rule of backing up my primary, I should have a spare magazine. It’s something I need to work on integrating into the system.
At the end of all this, the message is simple: like the boyscouts we once were, be prepared. Give yourself options and the capability to handle the unforeseen issues of every day life. Not just for yourself, but for your friends and family.
Especially the guy who needs a mint.