Follow a forum or Facebook group long enough and you’ll eventually see a thread dealing with Every Day Carry. In the past few years, these types of posts have become extremely popular as everyone is eager to see what’s in people’s pockets. Posted loadouts range from simple to “pack mule” status and inevitably begs the question, “how do you carry all of that?”
In some posts, you’ll see several knives, multiple spare magazines and even spare handguns. While those posters are quick to point out the phrase, “two is one and one is none,” is that train of thought really necessary for everything? Can you truly say that each item in your EDC is absolutely necessary?
What are your requirements?
To figure out what’s overkill, first look at the requirements of the items you carry on a daily basis. Are you headed out into the wilderness, away from civilization and cell phone reception? Or are you like many us, commuting to work in your personal vehicle where you’ll be +- 50 ft. from it during the whole day? As Bryan mentioned in his leveling up article, it may not be necessary to carry “everything but the kitchen sink” in your pockets and waistband if you have additional supplies somewhat close at hand.
You need to decide what you’re preparing for and what tools you’ll need to accomplish what may come your way. Think realistically about those potential situations as well. Don’t plan your EDC around a multi-day survival scenario, while simultaneously slipping on your flip flops on the way out the door.
Those of us that carry handguns do so because we believe that we may face a situation requiring the use of deadly force. However, many of us carrying guns don’t carry equipment necessary for treating a gunshot wound or other medical emergency. Now ask yourself, which situation are you more likely to encounter?
The Latest and Greatest
Something I’ve seen sweeping the industry right now is the all in one EDC tool. Usually small enough to fit into a pocket, these tools are designed to offer multiple uses in place of a full size tool. While this is great in theory, many of these tools seem to be oriented more toward the “cool factor” than actual application. For most of us, it would be just as fast to pull out a small tool roll and retrieve a full size tool from our bag or vehicle than attempt to “make it work” with a smaller pocket device.
While this may seem like a jab at these smaller tools, it’s really just an observation that an item like that is taking up space in your EDC and could be dedicated to a more useful item. You only have so many pockets and so much space for your EDC, that is unless you want to wear your 5.11 Tuxedo and stand out like a Ripstop Nylon, loop covered, tactical beacon.
Lightweight backpackers have known for years that ounces equal pounds and pounds equal pain. Every item you add into your EDC adds weight, no matter how small. Items you carry should be ones that get used frequently, otherwise they’re just taking up space and adding unnecessary weight. While it’s cool to have the latest and greatest gadgets, if they don’t realistically contribute to the capability of your EDC, are they really worth it?
Two is One and One is None
It’s always good to have a backup option. Whether you’re planning an event or using a tool, having a replacement ready to go saves time and headaches. However, let’s look at how this factors into your EDC? Let’s look at knives, specifically. With proper maintenance and sharpening, a good knife will last longer than the user. So is it really necessary to carry another knife with you? Wouldn’t it be a better option to keep a backup knife in a place like your bag or your vehicle?
For those that carry handguns, spare magazines are extremely useful when it comes time to deploy that handgun. However, where do you draw the line at how many to have with you? There’s an old joke in which a man from Texas attends a wedding while wearing his pistol in a belt holster. A lady next to him asks, “Sir, are you expecting trouble?” “No Ma’am,” he replies, “If I was expecting trouble, I’d have brought my rifle.”
If someone came to you right now and told you that you’d be in a gunfight tomorrow, what weapon would you take and how many spare magazines would you have? Most likely, it would be the biggest gun you’ve got and all the magazines you have, including the ones purchased that very night.
Unfortunately, we don’t get a 24 hour warning on those kind of situations, so you have to draw your own line for what’s acceptable for you. Another great point made by Bryan in his leveling up article was using the immediately available firearm to fight to a bag or vehicle containing more ammunition or larger firearms.
Train Like You Fight, Fight Like You Train
Carrying a handgun or a medical kit won’t mean anything without the knowledge and understanding of how to use them. Rather than sinking several hundred dollars into that new gun, knife or other EDC toy, consider heading to a training class in your area. Knowledge is an important part of your EDC that doesn’t take up weight or pocket space.
Practice makes perfect when it comes to EDC, so ensure that you’re also getting the necessary practice with the items you have, including drawing from a holster or deploying a medical kit. If your tourniquet is still in the plastic, you’ve got work to do.
No one is perfect and no one’s EDC is either. It all comes down to how you use the items you carry and how effective they really are. With all that being said, below is a photo of my actual EDC, a bit stripped down from the photo above.
What’s in your EDC? We’d love to hear what considerations you take into account with your EDC, in the comments below.