I am very much in favor of having a small and easily transported safety kit available at all times — an “Everyday Carry Kit.” Here are some considerations you might want to think about when building your own. My personal design might be best for everyone because I often carry other great directly on my person too. But as we walk through what I do, you can easily imagine variations that can better meet your needs.
I always wear BDUs or cargo shorts with lots of storage space. My folding knife is already in my pocket as is my tactical flashlight that offers white, red and green bulbs as optional colors, and includes a tiny compass in the base.
My IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit) is thinner than my wallet and easily fits in my back pocket. It contains bandages, 1 set of latex gloves, neosporin, betadyne wipes and a rescue breathing shield. A badanna is carried in another pocket. That handkerchief can be used for breathing, head cover, bandage, tourniquet, sling or wash cloth. It’s large enough to be cut in half so that the same bandanna has two separate uses. My wallet contains a credit card sized folding knife and a similar sized flat multitool. If you have space, a Swiss Army knife or Gerber Multitool fills the bill. In addition to FIAT I carry three1 ounce silver coins.
My everyday carry firearm is a Keltec P32, a 32 caliber pistol. I carry 2 backup mags loaded with Hydrashock rounds. That’s 27 total rounds of ammo. The pistol is carried in an inside-the-belt l holster, offers total concealability and is as lethal at knife fighting distance as a gun as you would want. The whole rig weights less than 1 pound. Yeah, I know. Mouse Gun. Sub-caliber. Pocket Rocket. I’ve heard all the snide comments. Rest assured I am very capable with that little blaster as my summer carry firearm. Come winter I carry a Glock 26 with 3 mags in my vest.
For the Gray Man effect that allows you to blend in, you want to wear clothes that fit your firearm and not the other way around. Your EDC bag should reflect that. Find a bag that doesn’t shout Maxpedition. Military. I carry. I’m a prepper. The more you blend in, the more you can walk around without drawing attention to yourself. As a quick P.S., my car gun is an AR 15 pistol with 5 20 rounds mags carried in a Wilson Tennis Racket bag. Just sayin’ … but that’s my backup gun. Subtle I am not.
Every kit must contain fire starters. A BIC lighter and a small pack of Vaseline coated shredded paper in a Altoid tin or air tight pill bottle works well. Add a Fresnel lens for magnifying power that can also concentrate sun power to light flammables, a few waterproof matches and you’ll have 2 backup firestarters.
A Sillock key is useful for opening water valves at commercial buildings. Most non-residential buildings have shielded water valves that can only be accessed with a Sillock key. The key reaches into the recessed valves of most commercial water taps. Under stress, you can become dehydrated within 2 hours so know that water is life. Instead of a hard sided water can, I suggest you get a soft sided plastic canteen. These flat plastic canteen can be completely collapsed and folding into a small space but when filled with water will hold as much as 1 liter per canteen. They’re available at Walmart for less than $3. I would not store water in these bags for extended periods. They make decent temporary canteens but you’ll probably see some chemicals leaching into the water. It’s easy to keep 1-2 gallons of water in quality plastic bags that won’t leach. Rotate the water regularly so it doesn’t get stale. Two gallons would allow you to refill your radiator or that of a stranded motorist and have clean drinking water close at hand.
Boots? I wear a good pair of walking shoes or boots 24/7. My socks are top quality and made for miles of walking. As for outwear, a poncho is a good idea. Bright yellow would not be my first choice. Digital camo or gray would be preferred. If I want to be seen, my flashlight has a strobe and multiple colors. It might be a good idea to have a pair of gloves close at hand. They take up space but since we are talking about an EDC bag, you should be close to another means of storage ranging from your car, office or briefcase, so if weather is an issue, make sure you have gloves nearby if not stored on your person.
A solar blanket is a great idea for warmth. If heat retention is critical, the solar blanket can be worn as extra cover. Just cut a slit in the middle and make arm holes, drape it over your body, under your clothes and then wear the poncho. A solar blanket can double as a poncho but be sure to wear a hat or have a watch cap nearby. You will be sweating within 1 mile of your walk so layer your protection for heat retention and dispersal. Staying dry and warm is the key to survival where exposure to the elements is a factor.
Buy a very small carry bag like the Scrubs sacks sold as grocery bags Some even have shoulder carry straps but all have handles This allows you to pack a lot of gear even though the actual sack is about the size of a gold ball when folded. These sacks can carry 5-10 lbs easily.
This small Get Home Bag or EDC might offer space for a high calorie energy bar. Include a couple of pieces of caffeine gum (or a pack of instant coffee and a packet of honey). With a Snickers bar, you’ll round out the calorie count. Some people like to keep their EDC bag on their belts, like I do. These military style zippered bags attach with belt loops and have MOLLE or ALICE fasten points. Keep to small carabiners on the MOLLE straps. You can hook your folding canteens on to the carabiners, leaving more space for your gear. I keep a folding canteen in my pocket all the times. You should be able to blouse out your shirt or better yet, don’t tuck it in. You might look like a scruff but that shirt covers your gear and weapons, helping you blend in. So you look like and Urban Dork. You’ll be a surviving Dork and that’s all that counts.
You can always scrounge food at Mickey D’s or Starbucks if they are available. With a fire starter, wood and a flat rock you can cook some road kill. Just kidding. I wanted to see if you were still reading. I’d use a metal road sign as a grill.
The universe of ideas on EDCs is nearly infinite. Have fun designing yours. It’s not your father’s fanny pack anymore.
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