With being prepared, where does one start?
In my opinion EDC is a good place to start. EDC stands for “Every Day Carry.” EDC’s are things you have to have with you every where you go, every day. It may change depending on what your activities are for that day but for the most part it is the same.
Everyone has different items in their EDC. Some have 2 or 3 items, others have 9 or 10. I have about 7 at the moment.
Heres a photo of mine. I’ve got my iPhone 5s, my work phone, my wallet/iPhone case with my most used plastic(DL, debit card) and some cash, a second wallet with my less used plastic, a business card holder, a paracord bracelet (12′ of paracord), and a pocket knife. I plan on adding a couple more things to it soon, but for now this has been sufficient. I see a lot of people who also have watches and flashlights. Its really up to you what you want to carry with you every day. My swiss army knife has a flash light and a pen in it. Pretty handy (if the batteries worked, mine are currently dead…so…not helpful with the flashlight thing…talk about being prepared 😉 ).
EDC’s are never complete. You can always add more to it, but making sure you have the essentials covered is the important part. A huge plus about EDC’s is that you have most of the stuff already. Wallet, phone, watch. So what else do you put into an EDC?
$$$ Money is always an essential. Cash and coinage in particular. You should always have some cash on hand. My total amount varies. Again, it is up to you how much you want to carry. You never know when someones debit machine wont work, or you need to pay a loonie for parking. Plus, using cash saves you on bank fees.
Phone. Communication is always a must. Since the arrival of cell phones, life has become much more convenient. Anything happens and it’s quick and easy to get in contact with loved ones or the authorities. One thing to consider with your phone is a spare charger. I have one in my car. Too many times my battery has died before my day was over.
Time. Have a watch or a phone that has the time on it. This one is more handy when your not in the city where clocks are everywhere. When you’re on a hike its smart to always know what time it is. You don’t want to be in a situation where you lose track of time and all of a sudden it’s getting dark, with not enough daylight to get back.
Light. You never know when you need a handy flash light. Drop your phone under your seat? Can’t see while hiking in the dark? Can’t see the keyhole on your door? Jogging in the dark?
Pen and paper. Its always a good idea to be able to write things down. I’m sure everyone can think of a time when you needed a pen but no one had one. If not pen and paper then an app to record notes. I have a recorder app. I have had ideas pop into my head I wanted to write down but I couldn’t at the time (driving, no pen…), so I speak into my phone and listen to it later.
Utility tool/swiss army knife. This tool has been very handy many times. I have even picked a lock with it (my filing cabinet…). Cutting tape, tightening your eye glasses. There are many examples of when having a screw driver would be handy. I am very happy that I made the investment and bought one. I have used it for many things that could have been accomplished without it but man, it made the task way easier.
Paracord. Very handy in emergency situations. If I ever need it, I have 12′ of rope around my wrist. I have never had to use it but who knows. The whole idea is being prepared for the worst. They are very easy to make and buying paracord in bulk is fairly cheap. You should check out paracord grenades. Fantastic idea.
Why start with an EDC?
They are cheap. You don’t have to add a lot of things into your EDC. Most of what is on the list you already have. It gets you into motion. It is the beginning of a good habit. Once you have a good EDC set up it will seep into other areas of preparedness. I believe an EDC is a gateway into being better prepared.
Do you have to start with an EDC? No, of course not. Start with what ever you want. Many start with food storage. I find the EDC is the cheapest and quickest way to become prepared. From the list of things you need to do to be prepared, this one you can check off rather quickly. It gives you a good feeling to say you have completed something, and as a result, you are more prepared for today, and tomorrow.