Guest Post by Lint Picker (Northern California)
After I completed making my BugOut Bag (BOB), a Get Out of Dodge bag (GOOD), and a Get Home Kit (GHK), I realized there was one more scenario that needed to be addressed – suppose I need help or need to get home or to my car and I’m without my BOB, GOOD, or my GHK? What if all I had for survival was whatever I had on my person, in my pockets? With this new scenario in mind, I searched for ideas. I found some information on a few survival-related blogs and on several YouTube videos.
What I learned was that there is a name for this type of survival gear – it’s called Every Day Carry (EDC) because it is carried with you whenever you leave the house. I also learned that EDC is as varied as BOBs, GOOD bags, and GHKs because each of us has different needs and those needs change, . IOW, my EDC would be a work-in-progress throughout my life just as my BOB, GOOD bag, and GHK are.
What good is EDC if there is so little to it? Good question (if I do say so myself), let’s look at a couple of emergency scenarios.
Scenario 1) Suppose you’ve gone trout fishing up the Snake River in Idaho and you slip on a wet rock and break a leg. You can’t crawl to your truck because it’s 2 miles away – uphill. You can’t use your cell phone because you’re in a canyon and there is no signal. What are you going to do?
Scenario 2: Or imagine you’re in San Francisco on the 10th floor of an office building when a 7.4 magnitude earthquake collapses the structure. You survive the initial disaster, but now you’re trapped with a heavy file cabinet on your chest and a bad slice on your noggin. What do you do?
If you have your EDC in your pocket or purse or around your waist or in your vest, you can do lots of things to help yourself. In Scenario #1, you could take out your whistle and blow it, hoping somebody else on the river will hear you and come to investigate. Or you could use your flashlight as a signalling device at night when a rescue plane flies overhead. Or you could start a fire with your fire making kit. Now you can stay warm and keep predators away, as well as signal aircraft with it.
In Scenario #2, you can use your whistle to signal the rescue crew so they can find you in the rubble. (You can use a whistle even when your chest is crushed by a file cabinet.) Or you could shine your flashlight in their direction if they are searching in the dark. You could even use your knife blade to cut off a piece of your clothing to stem the flow of blood from the head laceration.
My personal EDC consists of various little tools hooked onto a couple of keyrings, as well as my wallet, my car keys, house keys, and my cellphone. The wallet and car keys go into my right front pants pocket where I can get to them easily – I’m right handed and frequently need to get to my wallet and car keys. In my left front pants pocket are my house keys, EDC-specific tools, and my cellphone – things I need less frequently. EDC consists of anything you carry with you whenever you leave your home or your car.
It consists of things you have with you at the time of an emergency, whether the original intent was for survival or not. For example, let’s say you are walking down the street in your hometown when a gas station explodes two blocks away. You don’t get seriously injured from the initial blast, but you feel hot ash falling from the sky and hitting you on the head. You have your pocket knife, keys, cellphone, flashlight, and other typical EDC gear, but you also have a briefcase because you’re a salesman and you were on your way to contact a customer.
Your briefcase could be considered part of your EDC gear because you carry it with you almost every time you leave your home. So now you use it to shield your head from hot ashes. It enabled you to stay relatively unharmed while you sought the safety of your car, which is two blocks farther from the explosion site.
EDC is your most intimate and basic survival aid. It is with you whenever you leave your home or vehicle. It becomes as much a part of your daily routine as putting on your shoes. It isn’t everything you’ll need, but it isn’t meant to be. It’s a set of tools needed for dealing with your immediate and very personal emergency. It’s not the end-all survival kit, instead it’s meant to get you to a better situation so you can survive longterm. It’s like a first aid kit, it’s not intended to provide anything except quick and immediate assistance. And just like a first aid kit, EDC could save your life.
Photo #1 – These are my EDC gear, shown the way I carry them in my pockets. Starting at the top of the photo with my Car Keys with Remote and going clockwise: Cellphone; Yellow Trifold Wallet; keyring (I refer to this keyring as my “tool ring”) with Green Mini Multitool; Silver Medication Tube Vault, Gold-tone Money Tube Vault, Green Whistle, Red Victorinox Knife, Green & Black 1-:LED Flashlight, Black 4-Purpose Tool; on another keyring (I refer to this keyring as my “house key ring”), which is attached to the tool ring, are – House Keys and Blue Mini Maglite.
Photo #2 – These are my EDC gear opened up to show their specific components. Starting at the top of the photo with my Car Keys with Remote (Your car’s remote control device can be very useful in an emergency, With it you can locate your car by honking the horn or flashing the lights and you can also use it to get attention if you are unable to reach your whistle or yell for help.), and going clockwise: Basic Cellphone; Yellow Trifold Wallet with cash and large bandaid (as well as the usual stuff which I didn’t want to show for Opsec reasons); on the Tool Keyring are: Green Mini Multi-Tool with pliers, 1-LED flashlight, saw blade, knife blade, can opener with standard screwdriver tip, and awl with sewing eye; Silver Medication Tube Vault with a day’s supply of prescription meds; Gold-tone Money Tube Vault with $20.00 bill; Red Victoronix Knife with scissors, tweezers, knife blade, and file; Green & Black 1-LED flashlight with strobe option; Black 4-Purpose Tool composed of 1-whistle, 1-compass, 1-magnifying glass, and 1-thermometer (on back side); attached to the Tool Ring is the House Key Ring consisting of my House Keys and a Blue Mini Maglite.
With these items I have 3 ways to signal with sounds, 3 ways to signal with lights, 2 sources of cash, 2 knife blades, several other small tools, a communication device, and a bandage for minor injury.
This is just the beginning of my EDC. I intend to change things and add things as I learn from others and as I experiment with it, Already I realize I need a few matches or a small lighter (perhaps the Peanut Lighter) and some Duct Tape would be good to have. I think I can wrap some DT around the metal case of the Mini Maglight.
What would you suggest I do to improve my EDC? What do you have in your EDC? How do you carry your EDC? I’ve seen people use something as small as an Altoid tin, or something like I use – keyrings and pocket-size devices, and other preppers use things as large as a softside briefcase. What works best for you, and why?
Please post your comments, suggestions, and ideas below. And you are invited to show your own EDC photos (M.D. Adds: Photos of your EDC kits will be posted next week, send to mdcreekmore (at) thesurvivalistblog (dot) net.
Thank you and keep on prepping.
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