Old school EDC. Photo by Todd Quakenbush.
The term Every Day Carry is self-explanatory. What do you need to carry every day? Here’s the reason: a disaster or emergency situation can happen any time. You will not always have access to your Get Home Bag, so it pays to have some useful tools with you all the time.
What’s your EDC? Photo by brian.ch.
What should you already have on you?
We are assuming that you already have the “holy 3” with you : wallet, keys and phone.
What is the minimum EDC you need?
This is what we recommend:
1. Pocket knife or multi tool
That’s it. Sure you can add in any number of useful items of gadgets, but you need to balance this against Remember, this gear will be on you all the time while you’re in the office. We acknowledge that you don’t have huge, bottomless pockets. Even if you do, there’s no point having yourself being bogged down by gear.
Victorinox Cadet Swiss Army Knife – a minimalist tool.
Yes, you do need a knife and no, it’s not dangerous. In an emergency situation you may need to cut off clothing, cord and seat belts. Need more reasons for every day use? Here are 18 more. That’s not even considering a Swiss Army knife, which would typically have a few more tools like screwdrivers.
Pay attention to knife laws for your city. In general, Swiss Army knives with non-locking blades are legal. If you have big pockets, you can choose to carry a bigger multitool like a Leatherman Wave.
Can’t carry a blade where you work? Look at other multipurpose keychain tools like the Gerber Shard. It’s a screwdriver, bottle opener and a prybar.
Fenix E01 Compact LED Flashlight.
If you work in an office, then you need a flashlight. Depending on where you sit in your building, blackouts could affect you. And who know if the lights in your emergency stairwell still works. Yes, your phone’s screen can serve as a flashlight, but not for long – and you’ll need to conserve your phone’s battery.
If you have not bought a flashlight in a while, you’re in for a treat. Modern flashlights use LEDs instead of bulbs, making them a lot more durable and long lasting. A Fenix E01 LED flashlight is extremely light (one ounce), very durable, water resistant, and can last for 21 hours on a single AAA battery. It’s not going to put out a whole lot of light, but it’s definitely usable when it gets dark.
LED keychain flashlights are increasingly common. They are smaller and therefore easier to carry (or clipped to your keychains). However, you do get non-standard (coin) batteries which are usually difficult to replace without tools.
Multi-coloured, versatile bandanas. Photo by Sofia Salom.
The bandana has multiple uses. Not only can you cover your head with it (to prevent heatstroke), it also serves as a mask (for dusty or smokey environments), a bandage, or tourniquet. If your bandana is in a bright colour (yellow or orange, for example), you can also use it as a way to signal for help.
Other Every Day Carry Items
Are we missing anything? The list seems awfully short. Of course, you can add other Every Day Carry items to the list – pretty soon, you’ll need a bag to carry them all.
If you need to add 3 more, this is our recommendation:
1. Lighter – a simple BIC disposable lighter will do. You can use it to start fires, or to signal.
2. Pen – preferable a small marker pen like the Sharpie, in case you need to leave messages or mark your route.
3. A whistle – to signal for help.
The Shopping List
Note: These links go to Amazon. Any purchase will help us pay the costs of Urban Evac.
Minimum Recommended Kit
1. Victorinox Swisscard Lite Pocket Tool, Ruby
2. Leatherman Squirt ES4 Keychain Multi Tool
3. Gerber Shard Keychain Tool
4. Columbia River Knife and Tool / Doug Ritter RSK Mk5
5. The Friendly Swede Extra Beefy / Wide Paracord Survival Bracelet
6. Leatherman Style CS Clip-On Multi-Tool with Scissors
7. BIC Classic Lighter
(ok, just kidding – get one at your nearest convenience store today).
8. Timex Men’s Expedition Field Chronograph Watch