If you read our page on The Art of the EDC, you already know that your Every Day Carry kit offers you everything you need to get through any challenges that life might throw your way from day-to-day.
But for those looking to sharpen their EDC skills, there’s more to learn than just the morning keys-wallet-phone-pistol pat down. EDC is more than just a set of tools, it’s a lifestyle. Develop your skills and build a purposeful and practical set of tools with On Your 6 Designs.
Don’t Neglect First Aid Training
First aid training is one of the most valuable set of skills you can have, regardless of your occupation. The fact is, there are a million different ways to get hurt every day, and that’s even before you leave the house. A basic first aid course can teach you to take heart and respiratory rates, basic wound care, and even how to create a precise and clear incident report that lets you communicate more clearly with EMS. Consider also taking an AED/CPR course as well. These skills are vital for helping those with cardiac issues. If you spend a lot of time outdoors, you might even consider taking a Wilderness First Responder course, which teaches you how to make the best of bad situations in wilderness settings.
Consider Your Car an Extension of Your EDC
As we’ve already covered in our discussion of cars and concealed carry, you likely use your car nearly every day. It makes sense then that you should think of it as an extension of your EDC abilities. A car offers you the chance to carry equipment and material with you that you wouldn’t be able to lug in your backpack or pockets otherwise.
When preparing your car for EDC use, consider keeping the following in your trunk or in a lock box in your truck bed:
- Bottled water
- A full medical kit
- A solar charger for your phone
- A space blanket
- A bug-out or get-home bag
- An additional weapon, like a shotgun or rifle
These additional items allow you to respond effectively to most of the emergency situations that you and your family might find themselves in.
Think About the Tools of Your Trade
We all have different jobs with different requirements. As such, no two of us use the same “tool kit.” So when building your EDC kit, think about what you do every day, and include objects that make those tasks easier.
While your needs and work may vary, we’ve found that the following objects find their way into many peoples EDC routines and prove to be useful on a regular basis:
- A multi-tool
- A small pocket knife
- A small flashlight
- An all-weather pen and pad
- A watch
At a minimum, you’ll likely employ one of these tools once a week. Having them on hand ensures that you don’t have to scramble to find them when they’re needed. You’ll save time and effort that way.
Pair it Down to the True Essentials
Of course, after reading our suggestions on tools, you’re first instinct might be to run out and fill your pockets, bags, and cars with “survival” kits, extra ammo, and enough MREs to survive for the next month.
Instead, do the opposite. Lay out all of the gear you think you might need every day and then give each one a critical review. Remember, the goal is to actually carry all of this every day, and if you don’t, it’s not doing you any good at home.
Think about this mantra: ounces become pounds, pounds become pain.
Be mindful of what you’re using regularly and what you need. These essential items should never leave your person. If you find yourself struggling to leave a piece of kit or equipment at home, but it doesn’t fit on your gun belt or in your pocket, consider bringing a lightweight day bag with you. That can store your extra essentials.
Make Use of a Bag
You don’t need to carry a complete complement of gear with you everywhere you go, but if you’re out and about more than you are at home, having a day bag with your essentials is never a bad idea. Again, the goal here is to go light and simple. Just because you have a bag doesn’t mean you should fill it to bursting with kit.
Carry your essentials in dedicated pockets on the front or sides, and use the main well of the bag to carry things like laptops, books, extra layers, and your lunch. It also leaves you space to store things you might have just bought. Your bag should be practical and functional.
Practice, Practice, Practice
For those making a firearm a part of their EDC, regular range trips should be a part of your EDC routine. That doesn’t mean you have to go to the range every day, but you should still go frequently. Schedule a trip once a month, if not more frequently. Practice drawing your firearm from your IWB or OWB holster. Practice reloading under time limits. If possible, take a specialized course that gets you off a firing line and doing specific drills.
This applies to your other skills to. Make sure your first aid certifications are up-to-date. Take a few courses on navigation and orienteering. The more you practice your skills, the more you can rely on yourself to get out of bad situations.