What do you carry in your pockets every day? I bet it is more than you think. I will bet that you carry items that have more usefulness than what they were initially designed and intended for. I would also wager that you don’t carry what I believe is the most important item.
If you Google the definition of “EDC”, Wikipedia will give you this:
“Everyday carry (EDC) or every-day carry is a collection of useful items that are consistently carried on person every day. The main reasons for having EDC are utility and preparedness; to help individuals overcome simple everyday problems, and to prepare someone for unexpected and possibly dangerous situations.” – en.wikipedia.org
With that in mind, I’ll share some of the items that I carry in my “EDC” and what I feel is the most important tool to carry.
- To start, I have my keys. Now because the vehicle I drive has a “keyless” system, it’s really just a key fob.
- I have, attached to that keyring, a simple twist-on flashlight from OLight.
- My cell phone with several useful applications on it (flashlight, scanner, weather, etc.).
- A twist-to-open ink pen in an aluminum housing.
- An assisted-opening pocketknife.
- An RFID-blocking wallet.
- An OLight M2R Warrior Pro flashlight.
- A firearm with a weapons-mounted flashlight and an extra magazine. (Firearm and holster type vary depending on certain factors. Also not carried when disallowed and protected with discovery devices such as metal detectors.)
So what do I feel is the most important tool to carry? Well, maybe you noticed the same item listed a few times above. In case you didn’t, I believe the most important tool is a FLASHLIGHT! If you count the number of flashlights I carry, it comes to 4. One on the keyring, my cell phone, a hand-held, and one on the firearm. Let me explain why I feel this is the most important tool to carry.
First off, light, especially in darker conditions, can be used as a defensive weapon. Blinding an attacker can disorient them, cause them momentary pain, and can help create enough time for you to distance yourself from the attacker. In addition, a hand-held light allows you to possibly use it as a striking weapon. This can be accomplished by “packing” your fist or by simply hitting them with it. (If you’re curious and want to see some professionals teach these skills, Google “Flash, Bash, and Dash”.)
Most importantly, however, having a light allows you to better see things (duh) which will allow you to gather more information. Information will aid in the decision-making process. For instance, if you’re walking along a dark street, sidewalk, or path and you catch movement in the distance you can shine your light toward it and be able to decide whether or not to continue. You don’t want to assume something is innocuous or dismiss it altogether, because we all know what “ASSUME” does . . . If you shine your light and it’s a raccoon, then you may feel embarrassed for feeling the need to shine your light on it. However, if it is a person lurking behind a tree or lamp post, you will likely feel grateful that you not only acted upon your instinct but that you also had your flashlight to be able to do so.
So, if you don’t carry a dedicated flashlight of a decent size with ample lumen and candela output, I would encourage you to reconsider and make that a part of your EDC. The uses and benefits far outweigh any sacrifices you may think you’ll have to make, and I think you’ll find there are far fewer than expected, too.