An Every Day Carry Manifesto - ITS Tactical

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An Every Day Carry Manifesto

By Bryan Black

EDC Every Day Carry Manifesto

There’s something to preparing for having nothing, but carrying everything you need. Minimalist is up for interpretation when it comes to your every day carry.

What I mean by this is two fold in terms of the possibilities that may confront you in your next fight. Let me first define “fight” in the context I’m using it, because it’s completely ambiguous. Your next fight might be one in the traditional sense, which requires you to defend yourself or those around you. It might be an ambush that catches you off guard and requires you to use skills over dedicated equipment to prevail.

The fight might also be overcoming adversity, starting a fire, or even the fight you’re having with the box that won’t open. I know that last thing sounds a little silly, but in the context of your EDC, all these situations can apply.

Back to the inherent interpretation of EDC.  People often criticize those that carry a lot in their pockets and that’s completely acceptable. Everyone is entitled to their own opinion on the matter, as well as what they choose to carry.

You certainly won’t always be able to carry a gun, or even a knife in some situations. Your training should reflect this and if it doesn’t, you’re spending too much time and money shooting and not enough on training the other disciplines that are important to surviving any situation. Yes, this includes knowing how to tie a knot or start a fire without a lighter too, but I digress.

What’s in Your Pockets?

While knowing how to properly defend yourself without tools is important, why put yourself at a disadvantage from the beginning? Yes, a pocket full of “stuff” can often be a burden, but your situation and clothing will dictate the level of “discomfort” you’re willing to tolerate. Set yourself up for success in whatever way you’re comfortable with.

Carrying a gun, knife, wallet, medical kit, tourniquet, keys, pen, flashlight and all the other litter that might mean “prepared” to you, can be completely ludicrous to the person who will more than likely find themselves in a position of needing those items one day. They’re the same people that you carry a gun to protect and a medical kit to save.

Those who chastise people for what they choose to carry are either self conscious about their own preparedness, or they’re simply those who expect others to come to their rescue when disaster strikes.

What principles do you go by when it comes to EDC?

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  • Adrian

    Can anyone identify the trigger guard holster on the Glock please?

  • tt
    • Adrian

      @tt Thank you very much

  • Tim Lewallen

    I try to carry as little as possible. Keys, phone and a pocket knife.

  • Jay Cee

    Everyone has a different skill set in life as we all do different lines of work professionally. You also have to take this into consideration when building an EDC. What you know how to do efficiently. Therefore, each persons EDC should very a little bit. If in a emergency situation and you can hook up with in a team(fire team for those that served) each person can contribute in their area of expertise, providing a wide range of survival possibilities.

  • Jeffrey Stevens

    Perfect carry

  • Jon Sewell

    As annoying as people who dismiss prepping entirely out of hand are, the other side of the spectrum can be equally grating. Y’know, those that would say you’re a defenseless sheep if you’re not carrying a defensive blade in addition to your utility folder in addition to a multitool, or aren’t carrying an extended extra mag for your backup gun.
    Look, if you have tools on hand, you have additional options. That’s awesome. But with the right mindset and with a spirit of always training and learning and improving yourself, you’re never WITHOUT options, either, even if you’re caught without your pants, let alone your carefully cultivated EDC.

  • vettepilot427

    We had an old rule when I was an auto tech:

    “If you need to borrow it more than 3 times, you need to buy it.”

    This applies well to EDC:

    If you’ve needed it more than 3 times, you need to carry it .  This doesn’t apply to any first aid or self defense items, but it does work well to identify what tools or gadgets that you should and shouldn’t carry.

    The same rule can also be used to cut gear.  If you’ve carried a fancy (and heavy) multi-tool and all you use is the knife, it needs to go and just carry a knife.  If you’ve been carrying a “good idea” item for a while (I say 6 months) and never used it once, it probably needs to go.
    This helps to identify what works well specifically for you, your occupation, and your location, it can be scaled up or down to encompass everything from EDC to packing for trips and gear lists for your vehicle.
    More than anything is to be able to improvise and that comes from training/education and experience.  Sure, you can carry a pair of cutters just in case you get into an illegal restraint scenario or you can learn how to improvise and escape.
    Another saying from automotive:
    “ANYBODY can fix it with the right tools, it’s the genius that fixes it with nothing.”

  • Frank Pompliano

    I always carry in addition to my wallet and phone, i carry a zippo, and a knife with a leatherman usually as well. The zippo even without fluid (if it runs out) can create sparks if i need to make a fire. I also have a go bag in my truck with a more extensive kit

  • David

    I tend to have a decent selection of great on my person. If its something i don’t use regularly i generally evaluate the risk of not carrying the item. SO while i rarely need the CPR shield, gloves and gauze that i carry on my belt every day, it is never coming off: the risks are too great.

  • cdennisg

    I skew to the minimalist but its all about blending in for my edc. The basics allow me to shoot, move, and communicate. CCW gun, keys, and phone. Of course a pocket knife, usually a single blade SAK. Mostly I don’t want to look like the guy who EDC’s when I’m out in public.

  • caj1980

    While I live in a state with fairly open laws concerning weapons (edged and projectile) the district where I work and spend most of my time is very strict… max 3in blade and zero guns!  So I carry a 3in CRKT folder with tanto blade and skeletonized handle and a small aluminum flashlight with tail cap button (sorry, don’t remember the make/model).  I used to carry a ton of other “preparedness” items (medical, meal bars, water, ammo, big knife, paracord, etc.) but after 5 years and never using any of it once, I re-evaluated the risk and decided that it was not worth carrying all that stuff all the time.  Personally, I think many people give to much credit to the “what if” scenarios and get distracted from historical precedent and “most likely” scenarios.  The other factor I consider is that I use public transportation to/from work and work in a fairly formal business environment so the big backpack does not blend in with my environment.  I carry a small, plain messenger bag with an extra knife/light, batteries, meal bar, umbrella, spare shirt, and water bottle.  When I’m not commuting/working I usually just have my primary light, 3in knife, and my Glock 19 with IWB and 2 spare mags… no bag, no bulk, hands free, head up, eyes scanning!

  • ChrisBrooks2

    My wife tends to rib me about how much crap I carry in my pockets, but I’ve used almost all of it at some point — and pray I never use the rest (gun, CAT). I’m always giving out bandaids or using my flashlight. The lighter I thought I’d never use got used within the first month I carried it (birthday, not an emergency, but …). So I just wear my cargo pants and roll with the weight.

  • Marcos Sisneros

    I do not want to sacrifice comfort so I only carry what I need for whatever I plan on doing that day. The saying goes ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. If it’s not comfortable you’re less likely to actullay carry it.

  • Mike Glass

    Peggy Wood Lawrie

  • Peggy Wood Lawrie

    Love the stuff you carry!

  • Trent Allen Cornforth

    My EDC

  • extremesgs

    Knowledge is power; get trained up. then train (“practice”). Know stuff… where you’re going, laws, what’s around you, etc
    Think, “concepts”

    Or, box yourself into the “always” trap… if you feel the need. “I always carry (insert items here), my same gun is in the same position every day, every season, even in boxers (or briefs)…” etc.
    Ok…  does your environment or situation support that?

    or…  think concepts:

    I teach my guys that the situation and environment dictate the majority of things, on and off duty. lets stick with off-duty for this one. 

    Gun? yes, unless i’m drinking. 
    Light? usually.. .
    Tourniquet? 99% yes (leaving room so i’m not called a liar, but can’t think of when i don’t have one)
    Comms? 99.9999% of the time (see above lol)
    Knife? i’d prob call it 100% (yes, even in.. well, boxer briefs)

    Grocery store around the corner to grab milk, wearing gym shorts and a t-shirt? .38 IWB, tk tucked in, cell and wallet in hand. yes, a .38 with only 5 rds and no reload. better than the .40 or 9 that’s not on me.

    Mall, in winter, with family in tow? full size gun, 2 extra mags, high power light, possibly small backup light, cell, at least 2 tk, quikclot, cell phone, 2 knives. 

    wedding? depends whose…  

    Dinner with a buddy? mid-size pistol… or revolver with reloads? knife, tk, QC, knife, cell. prob small light. 
    Do i carry in my backpack instead of on person (go ahead, cringe…)- yes, if i need to. beats not carrying it at all. 

    See where i’m goin?
    And yes, to those thinking it…   us good guy don’t get to decide where the fight happens, with how many bad guys, with whom your with, or what they have for a plan…   so one never knows what could happen or when/where.

    BUT- one can make calculated decisions. ….based on situation and environment.  
    if you roll 365 with a long sleeve button down and long pants, god love ya….    not happening for me and lots of others. so, you adapt. 
    situation and environment…  

    With all that, there are also layers. Real simple:
    Whats on me (see above)?
    What’s available with my stuff (ie in the truck/house)? these are more of a constant… the truck/car is a “supply depot”

    What’s available at my location/what can I get to close by? environment/situation will dictate…

  • Frank Deckard

    What watch is in the picture from the article? I like it…

  • Jon Sewell

    Resco, but not sure of the exact model/line.

  • Jesse Stanley

    It is the MARATAC GPT-1.

  • Johnny Dushman

    This is my EDC.  I carry it in a deployment bag from Condor.  Being in Canada, CCWs are extremely hard/rare to get so hence no firearm.  The wallet, watch, keys, and knife go on my body while everything else, as you can see, packs into the bag quite nicely.  Interested to hear any thoughts, comments, or questions.

    • JohnM89

      Johnny Dushman Sweet getup

    • Cody1771

      JohnM89 Johnny Dushman Do you drive a truck? you might want to check out Du-Ha if you drive a crew cab. there are ways around somethings here in Canada… that’s all i’m going to say.

  • Omar Ortez

    all operators need a big watch

  • Frank Deckard

    Thank you all for the responses.

  • Winko

    Wallet, Yamaha Dragstar 1100 Custom keys, iPhone charger and data cable, patches for the kids, cleaner and sting relief, first aid kit bag, ipubrofen 200mg and paracetamol 500mg, tape, bandage, siccors, paracord, coins container, tweezers, torch, USB stick 8 GB, rescue me car emergency kit, ferro rod, knife, access tool, ruggedized iPhone 5, torch, camera, iPod Nano, earphones, USB stick 64 GB

  • Steve

    Nice Belt. What brand is the belt and belt buckle in the article?

  • My minimum EDC for short runs to the store or to pick up the kids from school in the afternoons. I don’t go out without these items (driver’s licence and cards in the Moleskine’s pocket). The Streamlight Microstream has a 10440 loaded, but I have a couple AAA cells in a battery holder that’s didn’t make it into this photo. The Gerber dime has been a decent pocket multi-tool, and the pen is a Zebra Stylus pocket pen.

  • digirati

    What kind of lock is that on the Glock?

    • chazman07

      @digirati Raven Concealment Trigger Guard

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