What's in your EDC? Do you have everything you need all the time?
It may come as a surprise that everyday carry doesn’t just mean only carrying a firearm. In fact, even before legal carrying age, most young adults should have some form of “non-lethal” protection on them. If you remember nothing else from this blog, remember “two is one, and one is none.”
The best way to carry is always on your body. It offers the quickest access to your firearm and keeps it protected better than off-body carry. Think about what happens in robberies we see on TV or hear about in real life. Purses are a big target for criminals to snatch and go. There go the tools you had to defend yourself, and now the bad guys has them. Emergency alert buttons, cell phones, and other lines of help can be out of reach, and all you will have to protect yourself is what is on you at the time. Also, always carry with a round in the chamber. You will likely not have the mental wherewithal to rack the slide at the moment the gunfight starts. The second or two that takes may have been the only chance you had. Now you're dead.
What you carry with you everyday -- EVERYDAY -- is essential to your survival. It's not called a Sometimes Carry. It's called an Everyday Carry. Get into the habit.
No matter what your carry gun is, you need a good holster for many reasons. Always purchase a holster molded to the specific model gun you carry. The biggest mistake new gun owners make is choosing a “one size fits many” holster. Your holster needs to have proper retention. What does that mean? Proper retention on a holster prevents the gun from coming loose, even when it’s turned upside down. There should be an audible “click” that confirms your gun is seated in its holster. Be sure the holster you choose is designed for your particular gun, not just a one-size-doesn't-really-fit-all-very-well knockoff. It might cost a little more, but a good holster is worth every penny.
There are thousands of guns out there. The only person that can pick the right gun for you is you. However, not all firearms are made equal, and not all manufacturers warranty their guns. Make sure to purchase a new carry gun from a reputable dealer, and choose one that will perform when you need it to. After all, that could be the one tool that could save your life.
Whether you have a small capacity carry gun or a larger capacity pistol, it is always a good idea to have a spare magazine on your body. Just like with anything else, magazines are not guaranteed to work 100% of the time. Your everyday carry magazines should be cleaned regularly (yes, magazines require cleaning), checked for rust or corrosion, rotated out, and have springs replaced every now and then. There are numerous ways to carry a spare magazine, so figure out what is comfortable for you. Just in case you're thinking "but I'll never get into a gunfight that requires a reload," that may be true. Or it may not. But it's not the only reason to carry a spare mag. What if you have a malfunction where you strip the mag out to clear it and the mag clatters to the floor? Do you have time to crawl around and find? Probably not. Go for your spare instead and get back into the fight.
Using a gun is not always necessary. Having a pocket knife is certainly handy when it comes to opening boxes, but knives can do some real damage to a body. Not to mention, presenting a knife can de-escalate a situation just as quickly and have fewer consequences than drawing a gun, especially if your state has strict brandishing laws. Always carry two knives whether they are a folding knife, a fixed blade, or even a switchblade. In college, I used to carry a knife in a sheath attached to a chain around my neck so all I had to do was pull the handle to remove the knife quickly.
Lastly, a multi-tool can be a very handy everyday carry item. You never know when you need to file your nails. My multi-tool is set up as both needlenose and regular pliers, has a safety whistle, a carabiner, a bit driver, can cut wire, also has a knife and a saw, plus it can act as a hammer. Not to mention a bottle and can opener, which in survival mode, are essential tools. You’d be surprised how often you find a use for your multi-tool.
A good first aid kit will serve you well, but if you spend a lot of time around firearms and other weaponry, a quality medical kit is a great investment to make to have with you at all times.
There are a plethora of tourniquet holders that can attach to your belt so you can have one on your body at all times. There are also full tourniquet and trauma kits that can wrap around your ankle as well. Knowing basic first aid such as how to stop a gushing wound can save someone's life, including your own, until professional help arrives.
What is your everyday carry dump? Leave us a comment and let us know what other essential items we should keep on us.
Kenzie Fitzpatrick is a professional competitive shooter and an active blogger for many firearm websites. As an NRA-certified instructor and National Range Officer Institute Chief Range Officer, Kenzie trains new shooters on basic firearm safety, brings new shooters to competitive shooting, and works major matches across the country. She has a passion for teaching people how to concealed carry and is a positive ambassador for the Second Amendment.
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