Don't Be An EDC Troll: Carry the Gear You Need to Prevail
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Don’t Be an EDC Troll: Carry What You Need to Prevail

By Bryan Black

Level up your EDC

There’s something to preparing for having nothing, but carrying everything you need.

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.

It’s a fact that you’re not always going to be able to carry a gun, or even a knife in some situations and your training should reflect being able to prevail under these conditions. This isn’t some ploy to say you don’t need those items, or not to train with them.

However, if at any point in your self analysis, you realize that all your training time and money has been spent on, say shooting classes for example, you’re spending too much time focusing on just one aspect of self defense and self preservation. Yes, important skills to train include knowing how to tie a knot or start a fire without a lighter too, but I digress.

There has to be a balance and I’d argue that what you carry on a daily basis should also support this complete picture of your skill-sets and give you the physical tools to increase your odds. Minimalism is up for interpretation.

Leveling Up

To use a video game analysis, think of your EDC (every day carry) as supporting your transition to the next level.

Bryan's EDC

Level 1

With what’s in your pockets, think of this as Level 1, you should be able to survive the immediate threat at hand. Those same materials, no matter how minimalist, should also support your “level up” to your bag. Whether this is a backpack, messenger bag or a briefcase doesn’t matter. These kinds of containers make sense to most people who commute, due to their versatility and portability.

Level 2

Your bag, being Level 2, should not only hold those larger items you need on a daily basis to do your work, but also the bigger tools that support your level up to your vehicle. Because a bag is something you’d potentially set down during the day, you have to realistically think there’s times when you’ll be away from it, hence why it’s listed on a separate level.

Level 3

FJ Cruiser

Next up is your vehicle, or Level 3. Contents at this level can be as extensive as the space available to fill, of course carrying around too much weight starts to affect gas mileage. These items give you the means to survive away from your home, so thinking about the contents here in that perspective is time well spent. An aspect of this, outfitting your vehicle with a winter emergency kit, was recently covered on ITS and I’d highly recommend reading that article if you haven’t yet.

Level 4

Level 4 is your home, your castle, the location you can hopefully survive from for a significant amount of time. Again, the items in this location are only limited by the available space. A good exercise here is to think of your power being shut off and not being able to leave your house. What will you and your family need to make it through? A step further could be moving to a secondary location, or Level 5, if you’re forced to evacuate your home.

Break down all these levels for yourself and look at what you “carry” in each level as building blocks, increasing your odds and building in redundancy where applicable.

I’ve also heard this as, “you carry a gun so you can fight to your vehicle and you have what you need in your vehicle to fight to your house.” I personally like looking at it more from the leveling up approach and having the right tools at my disposal in each level to support my skill-sets.

Increasing Your Odds

While knowing how to properly defend yourself without “tools” on your person is important, just be sure you’re properly analyzing the disadvantages in doing so and the inherent risks involved given your own skill-sets. Yes, a pocket full of “stuff” can often be a burden, but your situation and clothing should always dictate the level of “discomfort” you’re willing to tolerate.

Carrying a gun, knife, wallet, trauma kit, tourniquet, keys, pen, flashlight and the other litter that might mean “prepared” to you, is completely ludicrous to the person who will more than likely find themselves in a position of needing those items one day.

The thing is, I carry those things for them and they don’t even know it. My gun is for my protection, that of my family and especially those around me. I’m also the last person I plan for my medical kit to be used on, but it’s there for someone else to use on me, too. I’ve often joked that I should EDC a shovel to dig people’s heads out of the sand too.

Those who chastise people for what they choose to carry may either be self conscious about their ill-preparedness, or confident that others will come save them when disaster strikes. Don’t worry, we have your back.

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