(NOTE: This photo is NOT my EDC. I feel this is a good photo that shows a pretty good EDC setup, however.)
Ever since I began my journey in the Filipino martial arts and started teaching through Bayani Warrior (www.bayaniwarrior.com) I have always been interested in the topic of Everyday Carry, otherwise known as EDC. Everyday Carry refers to the items one chooses to carry on their person on a regular basis to help assist them with the everyday tasks of daily life as well as assisting them with the goal of being better prepared against violence, natural disaster, or injury. In this article, I intend to share some of my tips on EDC and my thoughts on what I have seen and witnessed regarding the topic of Everyday Carry.
I personally feel that there are a few things to consider when it comes to starting up your own EDC setup.
1) Know Your Lifestyle: Before you go out and start buying every MOLLE bag or tactical blade in sight, remember that your EDC will be defined by your daily activities and the choices you make. If you live on a farm, your EDC will differ significantly than an individual who works in the middle of a crowded urbanized city. Your lifestyle dictates what you wear and what you do throughout your day. As such, it’s important to adjust and tailor your EDC to your specific environment, lifestyle, and daily demands.
2) Do NOT Divulge Your EDC to the Whole Planet on the Web: I often see how individuals on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter like to post photos of their EDC setups online to show to friends around the world. Some of them even show HOW and WHERE they carry their EDC tools. To be honest, I myself used to indulge in this show-and-tell activity in my teens. However, I have been taught in recent years how dangerous this can be to your personal security. We need to remember that once something is on the web, it’s there for the whole world to see. Do you really want everyone to know that you are carrying a Glock 21 on your person wherever you are at? If so, all it takes is for one psycho to try to find you and attack you knowing what you are armed with and how you carry it. Many people on the web have tried to find my EDC setup, and for the record, I will never post it online due to my desire to keep my personal security well…personal. Lesson Learned: Don’t show your EDC to the world. Instead, I personally believe it’s better to keep it under wraps so that YOU can have the jump on a potential attacker without them seeing it coming.
3) Make sure your EDC is comfortable for you: If you don’t feel comfortable carrying something for EDC, whether it be a blade, gun, flashlight, etc…odds are you aren’t going to carry it. Make sure the items in your EDC are comfortable for you to carry regularly wherever you go.
Now, let’s talk about what to put in an EDC setup. Typically, most EDC setups consist of the following.
-Knife (Usually a folder)
-Some type of fire starting tool (a lighter is common)
However, in my experience, there are certain items that I feel are overlooked by most people creating their own EDC setup, and are oftentimes a lot more useful.
1) Gloves: While they are not as fancy as a new Glock or fixed blade, Gloves perform one simple, but extremely important task: they protect your hands. No matter how good of a knife fighter or pistol shooter you are, you cannot use any of your combative skills without the use of your hands. Gloves are essential when dealing with hot metal when dealing with a car crash, or even just keeping your hands warm in winter (which I know the vast portion of the USA is feeling right now). While many people gravitate towards to Kevlar/Nomex hard-knuckle tactical gloves, I personally like the Mechanix gloves you can get at any Wal-Mart.
2) A Good Pair of Sunglasses: Like your hands, your eyes need to be protected in order for you to see anything you may be fighting during the daytime. Here in Texas, it’s sunny the vast majority of the time, so sunglasses are essential for protection for the rays of the sun. However, in my home state of New Jersey, where snow is prevalent, I’ve found that sunglasses were essential for preventing Snow Blindness during the wintertime. Sunglasses protect your vision from bright light as well as protecting your eyes from debris, which can include dirt or dust (as was the case during 9/11) and also brass ejections from a pistol while shooting. My personal favorites are the Polarized Oakley Fast Jackets, which allow me to change the lenses whenever I feel like it depending where I am and what I am doing. I never leave home without them. They were pricy but totally worth it.
3) The Right Flashlight: There is no shortage of tactical flashlights out on the market. However, I’ve found many of these lights to be far too expensive or bulky for EDC. Personally, I’ve found that I have used my flashlight more than anything else in my EDC. It can be used as a pocket stick as well. My favorite flashlight is the Streamlight ProTac 2AA. It fits great clipped to my pocket and it’s dual bezels allow me to use both ends as a striking tool. Best part: It’s perfectly legal to own and carry virtually anywhere.
In conclusion, an EDC is an excellent thing to start, but make sure you go about it all the right way.
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