The Ultimate Every Day Carry Guide

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.

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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.

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Level 2: Cargo Pants, Jacket or Suit and Tie (Add to Level 1 list)

  • Nice watch – Panerai PAM 328
  • Headlamp
  • 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.

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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.)
  • Comb
  • 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!

CHECKING OUT: A guide to leaving the country

Expat:

An expatriate (often shortened to expat) is a person temporarily or permanently residing, as an immigrant, in a country other than that of their citizenship. The word comes from the Latin terms ex (“out of”) and patria (“country, fatherland”).

With all the recent talk about leaving the country depending on who is elected president, the question is – how do you go about moving abroad?

Whether your favorite politician didn’t win, someone is after you, or you decide FTW and just want to sit on a beach drinking Mai Tais for the rest of your life, moving abroad might be a viable and/or necessary option.

I have personally visited 23 different countries, staying anywhere from 3 days to 6 months. I was fairly serious about moving to Grand Cayman Island and visited for two months. With all of those miles, I have picked up a few things you want to consider when moving abroad.

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1. Where are you going? There are many web pages on the google machine to learn about your choice of exile (CIA World Factbook ).You can read all about the sandy beaches and how you can live comfortable for $500 a month (Thailand), but you will never really know if you are going to like it unless you have been there. Before selling the family farm, I highly recommend a test run. Visit your new country for a few weeks to 6 months. You can go through all of the integration pains with no strings attached. If you don’t like it, then you can slip out the window while its sleeping never to return. Sleep around, explore the neighborhoods, local food, talk to other expats… This is it! I have found the place for me. What is next?

2.Prepare yourself and expect change. Everything will be difficult and different from what you are accustomed to. Logistics, administration, culture shock, customs, traditions, language and you may face discrimination. Do your homework, read a lot and talk to others who have done it.

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3.Sell everything and travel light. UHAUL and PODS works well in the states, but they do not exist in most countries. Moving a whole house full of goods will cost an arm and a leg and there may not be a guarantee that everything will make it through customs or arrive undamaged. Regulations and customer service are not always the way they should be. Poor nation’s customs tend to have sticky fingers. Expect this and try to avoid at all cost.

 

4.Hoblar the local mak chow???? Learn the local language! Very important for the long haul. Invest in Rosetta Stone or something of the like. It will make life possible — to buy groceries, if you have to go to the hospital, to set up a bank account, get a taxi or even order your favorite drink at the tiki bar. Don’t expect the cashier at the road side coconut stand to know multiple languages. You may think you ordered a hamburger but you get a cooked duck leg with burnt feathers still on it chopped up by a rusty cleaver…trust me. You can also look for highly populated expat locations where your language has been common for a while. This will help if you have to move in a hurry.

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5.Get your documents in order.

Passport – Everyone needs one to travel internationally. Plan on it taking a few weeks to acquire. You can get it expedited to a few days for a few extra bucks.

Visa – Some countries require a visa to be approved before allowing you into their country. Something about not liking illegal immigration or whatever. Just a guess. Minimum of 24 hours to process.

– Student Visa – Spending the last few semesters abroad? You will need a Student Visa and knowledge of local campuses. Once you find out what school you want to attend, they should be able to help you with the visa application. Also, if your younger kids are not citizens, they may need one too if you are not home schooling.

– Work permit – Some countries (ie. Grand Cayman) won’t let you stay past a few months or move there without a work permit. If you plan on staying awhile and are not filthy rich, you might want a way to make money, which makes this a must.

International Drivers license – You can walk or ride a bike, but after a while you may want to venture further. An international drivers license/permit will work in a lot of countries but you may need to get a local one eventually. They should not be difficult if you are a good driver but some countries have different rules of the road and even drive on the opposite side. Yikes.

– Resident status, dual citizenship or full citizenship – “Going out for a pack of smokes, I will be back never”. There will be many hoops to jump through to obtain these. If taxes are something you are trying to avoid this might not be your route. You forgo your previous country’s taxes, but now have to pay the local tax man. Also, you lose your emergency exfil via the U.S. Embassy. When your new country goes up in smoke due to a coupe or revolution, Uncle Sam will no longer be able to get you out of town. You are a local now. Good luck.

6.Pets. Meow that you have your paperwork in order, what about Fido and Mr. Whiskers? For our move to Hawaii we took our dog Baxter. Multiple shots, 6 months out with documentation and about a $grand$ later he could fly in without making a 3 month layover in quarantine. Yikes.. or Meow…and that was still within the U.S. Keep that in mind when making the quick get away. The local embassy or country website you are moving to should be able to provide answers to most ,if not all questions, about pet import regulations.

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7.Local laws and crime stats. New country, new government, new rules. In Amsterdam, you can get all the Mary J your burnt out noodle can hot box. In Indonesia, 1 roach blunt is punishable by death. You might want to look into that if that is your thing. Also, making that wrong turn at night into the Rio de Janeiro favelas might have you ending your night in the mortuary. True story for an elderly couple who’s rental car GPS led them astray. Find out the no-go spots and how to stay out of jail.

8.Ouch! I just got bit by a clown fish riding big surf in the lagoon out the front door of my hut in Indonesia. Do they have Obamacare here? NOPE! Better put a tourniquet and salt on that wound. I would start my adventure off with having some sort of vacation insurance . I print out a copy, laminate it (waterproof) and keep it on me at all times. That will get you going for the short term. Where to go for a medical emergency is something you should iron out during your test run. How do I fill my prescription? What if I need a dentist? How do I pay them? Does the beach bar I work for offer employee insurance? Where do I get Insurance or is that a thing in this country? Find out!

9.This Place is Awesome! I want to live here forever! I did everything above. I’m making hundreds of dollars a month at the beach bar. What’s next? Bank account! You need to put that fat stack of pesos somewhere, get a auto loan for that local beater to blend in and a home loan for the palm trees you attach your hammock to on the beach. Plus side, you may get a higher interest return on your savings. Some as high as 7% unlike US banks that offer 0.9% #yeswegetscrewed… Bad side, most overseas banks do not service American clients. And, if the account reaches $10,000 most banks have an agreement with the USA to report your account to the IRS. Shop around, keep the account low and have a good time.

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10.Taxes. If you ever plan on coming back to America then get a tax guy and pay your taxes. I have one and he cost $320 a year, but he has saved me a mint. Worth every penny. I have claimed Expat status before. Rules change, but here is the gist: 330 days outside of the U.S. in one calendar year gets you $96,000 tax-free. After that, it is taxed as normal in whatever bracket. AGAIN… Get a tax guy and make sure. (I am not a tax guy).

11.Land. Know before you go. My buddy had to buy his condo in Thailand all in cash as they do not give out loans to foreigners. Foreigners are also not allowed to own land in some countries. You can marry a local and put it in their name to get around that, provided you don’t already have a spouse. That could get ugly. Foreigners can lease land for 100 years in Mexico, but never own. Same deal. Something to know before you eyeball that perfect beach house or chateau.

There you go. I think I covered the meat and potatoes of moving abroad. Do your homework, get your passport, pack light, stick with the expats, don’t get into trouble, don’t get yourself killed, pay your taxes, have fun, eat, drink and be merry. I hope you find what you are looking for and where you belong on this earth. And remember, sometimes where you were born is where you are meant to be, regardless of the current political leader.

Top 10 Locations to move to abroad:

  1. Singapore
  2. New Zealand
  3. Sweden
  4. Bahrain
  5. Germany
  6. Canada
  7. Australia
  8. Taiwan
  9. United Arab Emirates
  10. Switzerland

Top 10 cheap locations abroad for retirement or whatever:

  1. Belize
  2. Thailand
  3. Philippines
  4. Nicaragua
  5. Malaysia
  6. Panama
  7. Vietnam
  8. Bulgaria
  9. Colombia
  10. Nepal

CODE NAME DAD…OUT!