Every Day Carry or EDC is the minimal amount of gear I need – and can carry – on a daily basis to protect myself and others and survive whatever life throws at me.
Without looking like a tacti-cool nerd, that is.
Number one to surviving life is knowledge or software. There are a million books and courses to fulfill this requirement. EDC is about the hardware – how much or how little and how custom your kit is. I am a huge fan of anything custom and things that make sense.
I personally like looking at what others do and adopt what I like for myself. This is my ultimate tried and trusted guide of what I carry in various situations.
There are EDC kit lists that have way too much stuff or items in separate pouches, to where there is no way you carry all of that in your pockets every day. These items are to aid you in everyday life and in an emergency, but EDC kits only work if they’re practical, functional and you actually carry them. I believe in setting yourself up for success. Learn, blend and be prepared.
I’ve broken down into 3 levels what I carry depending on what I am wearing and doing. Most military will recognize the similarities as 1st, 2nd and 3rd line gear loadouts. This list is intended for a permissive environment, or everyday life. I have highlighted, in RED, items you cannot take through US government security check points (ie. gov’t buildings,airports, etc.). Take note and I hope this helps you. Feel free to change makes and models according to your taste and budget.
Level 1: Jeans and t-shirt
- Digital Watch – Primary – Suunto Ambit 2 (gps), Secondary – Suunto Core (Carry in Level 3 as back up)
- Wallet – Custom by Chester Mox – ID, Concealed Carry Permit, multi-tool card, ceramic razor
- Passport – with custom case by Chester Mox (Only during Foreign travel)
- Cell Phone- iPhone 6 w/ Life Proof FRE Power Case (2x battery capacity) – VPN capable, survival apps, ebooks, music, light, unit converter, measuring, local map, language translator
- Keys – light, handcuff key
- Sun glasses – Gatorz, whatever fits your face and protects your eyes.
- Knife – Zero Tolerance Hinderer Flipper, Other favorite: Spyderco Native (Check for state legal length)
- Pistol – Glock 42 .380 w/ RIP ammo and Techna Clip
- Custom 17mm Tungsten wedding ring
- Hidden money – in sock or small pocket in jeans
- 550 para cord, kevlar or dynama cord shoe laces (match color of original shoe lace as to not stand out)
- Polymer handcuff key – hidden in sock, small pocket in jeans or tied to shoe lace (not to be found during a basic search i.e. survival bracelet will be confiscated)
- Metal Pen – I don’t have a fancy self-defense pen as I always lose them.. Ultimately, any pen will do.
Level 2: Cargo Pants, Jacket or Suit and Tie (Add to Level 1 list)
- Nice watch – Panerai PAM 328
- Notebook – Write in rain or appropriate
- Medical – gauze, tourniquet, curvat, quick clot (each in a different pocket will smooth out profile)
- Fire – Lighter or paper matches to get through security
- Multi-tool – Leatherman Wave
- Self defense tool – spike, knuckles, etc. (Train with it or it becomes a hindrance in a fight)
- Medicated chap stick – for lips and wounds.
Level 3: Back Pack (Add to Level 1 & 2 list), (If in Level 1 attire add Level 2 list to your Back Pack)
- Civilian style backpack (Anything tactical looking stands out and attracts attention)
- Medium medical pouch – Gauze, chest seal, pressure dressing, quick clot, tourniquet, band-aid, antiseptic, pain killers
- Batteries – in original packaging or battery container
- Head lamp/ Flashlight
- Small Solar Charger
- Extra Clothes- pt shorts, socks, underwear, t-shirt (for unexpected overnight stays and lost luggage during travel)
- Computer – VPN or Tor browser capable
- Thumb drives and external hard drive
- Strobe – VIP Strobe, 9v Strobe
- Lock pick set
- Cable box – all charging cables
- Water bladder or bottle- Nalgene, Regular water bottle or Platypus (They will need to be empty when going through airport security.)
- Food – MRE, Cliff bar, Gue, etc.
- Water purifier – tablets or straw
- Book – Favorites – How to Disappear by Frank M. Ahearn, Escape the Wolf by Clint Emerson and Raising Men by Eric Davis (for the fathers in training)
- Extra 550 cord
- Riggers tape
- Sharpie – extra pens and pencil and notebook
- Fixed blade knife – Dan Winkler WKII, CND Custom, etc.
- Rain jacket – REI black
- Tooth brush and paste (3 oz.)
- Hand sanitizer (3 oz.)
- Tissue pouch or wet wipes
Blending in to the population around you, situational awareness and technical knowledge is the first line of defense and offense. These items are the secondary. Be smart. Don’t wear a maxpadition pouch and G-shock with a suit and tie or run around like you are in Kabul while you’re in Milwaukee (you might need to if you are in Detroit – haha). This makes you stand out and first to go in my book. Your situational awareness and posture will make you stand out and is a deterrent enough. If not, doom on them.
Practice, practice, practice and know what to do with what you have during threat identification, initial contact and post conflict. It can be an earth quake, drugged-up crazy with a box cutter, plane crash or zombie apocalypse. Have a “broad strokes” plan. As information comes in on what you are dealing with, then make adjustments.
This is not just about your safety and survival. As a father it is up to you to provide for your family. Be prepared.
I’m a grown ass man, I can figure this shit out.
Be a grown ass man and figure shit out.
Please comment and share your EDC kit. If you have any questions about my list, please ask.
Code Name Dad… Out!