The term, everyday carry, (or EDC), is pretty much defined as the kit you carry with you 'every day'. However, not every day is the same as the other. Your collection of small gadgets, items, and weapons tell a lot about who you are as a person and the philosophy that you use to live your life.
- An EDC for almost any situation including a SIG P229R DAK 40 sheathed in a Galco Royal Guard inside the pants holster, Surefire tactical light, Bench-made folder, wallet and keys. The key ring itself includes a widgy pry-bar, bottle-opener and handcuff key.
Advantages of a true EDC
A true EDC is one you are 100% comfortable with keeping 366 days per year. It is your 'get out of trouble' escape plan translated into mechanical format. By pairing that one sidearm with its dedicated holster and accessories, you are making a statement in reliability. You trust that device in any situation, without reserve.
This set of gear should include 4 items:
1. Your primary weapon (whatever you are comfortable with and meets the widest range of threats from all sources) and its holster. Remember, Dan Tanna didn't carry a loaded gun, you do.
2. Your secondary weapon/multirole tool such as a pocketknife, Leatherman, kappostick/kubaton/fist load device, etc.
3. Your communications device (smartphone, blackberry, iPhone etc.)
4. Your credentials (wallet/billfold)
These four items should be as natural to you as any other extension of your body. Would you leave home without your phone and wallet? Not at all, and you should not leave home without your primary and secondary weapons/tools. Get to know them. Use them often.
Practice with your EDC safely at a range often, as often as possible. A good rule of thumb is if you have not shot in 90 days or more, you are wasting your time in carrying. And don't just go and blaze up on some old tin cans, actually put some effort into firing at varying distances while using your EDC set up.
A good benchmark goal is routinely hitting a normal silhouette target from 7 yards (21-feet) center mass in 2 seconds from your holster. Unless you can accomplish this, you need more training. If you have some sort of EDC that prohibits you from doing this, reevaluate your EDC. If you need extra help, most ranges have an instructor's number they can give you to put a little time in. Remember you are choosing to carry a firearm as a CCW or open carry holder to protect yourself and those around you. Not being able to put your money where your mouth is dangerous.
Say you get in a shootout and wound a good-guy who turns around as sues you for the gesture. What is the jury going to say when you explain that you never had the time to practice at the range enough?
-A smaller, more compact carry option of a slimline Gerber razor, Smith and Wesson titanium J-frame 38SPL in a Bianchi holster, wallet and keys. This is super concealable and still allows a response to a wide range of threats and jams.
Why Vary your Carry?
Some EDC zealots can marry their single weapon and carry it forever, putting all other weapons to the side, and eschewing their benefits. For them, there can be only one.
However, this can lead to an issue of not being prepared enough. What if a friend asks you to come by their house and they live in a declining neighborhood. Normally your Smith snubby with its 5 comforting rounds of 158-grain nyclads are enough for you to feel safe so that's what you have. However when you find a group of 8 neer-do-wells sitting on the hood of your car when you go to leave, do you still feel like you made the right choice?
Then there is being over-prepared. A nice trip to the beach with the family and you are the oddball wearing two shirts over your swim trunks so your Kimber long slide, three extra magazines, mini-flashlight, and paracord-wrapped multitool do not freak anyone out.
Not every day is the same, and your carry should not be either.
The modular approach
What may people like to do, myself included, is to adopt a modular approach to life. You start out with the things you absolutely have to have in every scenario.
Then you plan your firearm choice
Hot day, thin clothes- the smaller the better. Think Glock 26, Ruger LCP, Walther PPK, or Smith snubby sized. A close fitting inside-the-pants holster and a spare magazine or speed strip completes this rig.
Normal everyday operations, when not too hot, try to carry the largest and most effective firearm you can without printing and being Mr. Obvious CCW person with a Freudian compensation complex. Personally, I can conceal a full-sized duty weapon (Smith M&P, Glock 22 etc.) with the proper holster and without a pat down, you would never know it. A large magazine full size sidearm with a nice long sight radius inspires confidence.
Finally, your add-ons, all of which are up to the EDC-ers personally choice and the needs of the day and can include:
- Flashlight (who likes to be in the dark)
- Handcuffs (not for everyone, but a good choice for some)
- Handkerchief/bandana (useful in many first aid situations)
- CPR face shield and latex gloves (sold in a small cigarette-pack sized pouch)
- Pocket knife/multitool device
- Fist load such as kubaton, kappo stick, hard heavy tactical pen etc. (check your local laws)
A large frame option centered around a Browning HP 9mm longslide in a yacqui slide holster, Benchmade Facas wrapped in 4-feet of paracord, titanium kappo-stick, wallet and keys. This EDC would be more suited to large over wear in winter, or for long walks in rural areas.
These can go on and on for eternity. The point is, if you are going to be an EDC practitioner, think about it, and actually prepare for being prepared.