E010 - Rich & Justin's Every Day Carry (EDC) Loadout

This time on Across The Peak, Rich and I talk about the things we carry in our pockets on a daily basis.

Intro Stuff

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  • Rich's Drink: Guinness Stout

A dying art: drawing a shamrock in the head of a properly poured Guinness.

A dying art: drawing a shamrock in the head of a properly poured Guinness.

Why You Should Have an Every Day Carry (EDC) System

  • Scope of today's show:

    • The things we have on us 100% of the time

    • This episode doesn't touch on backpacks and extended gear; we will do a separate show on that stuff

  • There are challenges you will face every day or nearly every day

  • Allows you to be systematic

    • You ALWAYS know what tools and capabilities you have available

    • You ALWAYS know where everything is

    • You ALWAYS know when something is missing

    • You ALWAYS know if something additional is in your pockets

NOTE: In the show I mentioned keeping an old hotel key in your wallet to do the "credit card trick" to open doors. I misspoke; what I actually carry is a store loyalty card. it is more flexible than hotel key cards, allowing it to get into tighter spaces without breaking. See my article on how to use it to bypass a door.

Item #1: A Knife

A Knife. Generally we recommend a folding knife rather than a fixed-blade knife. Knives are one of the most basic human tools have have evolved very little in function over the last few millennia. A knife is:

  • A self-defense tool that can go a lot of places a firearm can't go.

  • Ubiquitous. Knives are everywhere and don't usually draw a second look.

  • A survival tool. A knife can be used to start a fire, skin an animal, cut a seatbelt...

  • A utilitarian tool. A knife can be used to open packages and perform other light day-to-day chores

  • Justin's Knives - See the full article

    • The knife I used to carry: Emerson CQC-7BW. I don't recommend it anymore because the liner lock failed, presenting a danger to the user. You can read a full article about retiring this knife on my other blog, HERE.

    • Zero Tolerance 0620

    • Chris Reeve Sebenza 21 Plain (Small) - This isn't a great self-defense knife, but it is absolutely top-quality and an excellent choice for a general use.

Justin's ZT 0620.

Justin's ZT 0620.

Get some knife training! Every redneck, tactical dude, and outdoorsy-type has a knife clipped to his or her pocket, but how many people really know how to use it defensively? We are big fans of Michael Janich's Martial Blade Concepts.

Generalist vs. Specialist Knives: Rich and I also discuss the merits of carrying highly specialized knives that were designed with a singular purpose, versus carrying knives that are more generalist in nature. There is nothing wrong with carrying a highly specialized knife, as long as you have the training to employ it effectively and reap the advantages of its design. Most of us are better served with a more generalist design.

Justin's EDC items (minus handgun and belt).

Justin's EDC items (minus handgun and belt).

Item #2: A Flashlight

We think this is one of the most important things you can have on your person. Why a flashlight?

  • It gets dark every single day and we function at night because of an artificially-supported environment.

  • Light your way in an emergency. If you live/work in a large building you may be completely blacked-out in a power outage. If you live/work in the country and your car breaks down...

  • You can carry a flashlight in almost anywhere. This includes places where you can't carry a knife...like on an airplane.

  • You can use it as a self-defense tool.

  • Justin's Flashlight: Fenix LD02

  • Rich's Flashlight:

Item #3: The Phone

We probably don't need to convince you to carry a cell phone around. A cell phone is an multi-purpose powerhouse. Some things the modern smartphone brings to the table:

  • The ability to call emergency services,

  • A back up flashlight (this should NOT be your primary or only flashlight!),

  • Store large amounts of information in the form of PDFs and books,

  • And have life-saving apps like the ones on the Red Cross's website

Even though we recommend you carry a phone, we also recommend you use it in moderation. Keeping your head in your phone lowers your situational awareness and steals untold amounts of time from your life.

Item #4: Cash Money

We believe you should always have some cash on you...even if you don't normally use cash. Here's why:

  • Privacy. Your purchases aren't tied to your name and tracked by the merchant, the bank, your credit card issuer, and data brokers.

  • Some places don't take credit. They are getting rarer but they still exist. Toll boths, parking meters, and other services still require cash (and/or coins).

  • Power and phone outages can render credit card processors inoperable, but critical services will probably still take cash.

We recommend you keep at least $100 in your wallet, and up to about $500. This should give you enough cash to get through most emergency situations. If you never use cash, go get two bills: a $20 and a $100. Fold them up tightly and put them in the back of your wallet. Now you have a small bill and a big bill, depending on the situation.

Rich's everyday carry items.

Rich's everyday carry items.

Item #5: Firearm

Rich and I both carry a firearm on a daily basis. If you aren't a gun person, or don't want to carry a gun, far be it from us to convince you otherwise. Firearms are specialized tools that work only in a very narrow band of circumstances.

Justin's daily carry handgun - a 9mm M&P Shield.

Justin's daily carry handgun - a 9mm M&P Shield.


Bonus Items

Rich and I both carry a few items in addition to the ones we've just listed.

Book of the Week

Pocket Ref  by Thomas Glover

Justin Carroll