Everyday Carry: More Than Just a Gun?

— Jason MosherCADRE Dispatch

Carrying a gun isn’t just about looking cool like you’re auditioning for the next action movie. It’s about being prepared for the unpredictable twists that life throws at us. Imagine this: you’re ready for a potential threat, but then you’re stuck trying to cut open a stubborn package with your teeth. Not exactly a heroic look, right?

Everyday carry items are not just about self-defense, they’re about everyday life. It’s a lifestyle, a mindset, and a commitment to readiness. It’s about having the right tools at the right time, whether it’s for self-defense, or a minor inconvenience.

Everyday carry gear
Everyday carry includes much more than just the firearm.

Think of it as your personal Batman utility belt, minus the Batmobile (unless you’ve got one, in which case, we need to talk).

From multi-tools to flashlights, each item plays a role in ensuring you’re prepared for whatever comes your way.

So, let’s gear up and make sure you’re ready for everything from a zombie apocalypse to a surprise office birthday party. Here are some items worth considering for everyday carry.

Multi-Tool: Your Pocket-Sized Hero

A multi-tool is somewhat like a Swiss Army knife on steroids. And if you are old enough to remember the show MacGyver, you know how important a Swiss Army knife is.

Why is a multi-tool important? Because life is full of little challenges that can pop up out of nowhere. Need to tighten a screw, open a bottle, or fix a minor issue with your firearm? Do it all with a multi-tool.  

My first multi-tool was a gift from my kids. I keep this Good Journey multi-tool in my vehicle.

Popular options include the Leatherman Wave, Gerber Dime, and Victorinox SwissTool. These tools often include pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, and even scissors. Choose one you think works best for you. You’ll find yourself reaching for it more often than you think.

If you don’t like carrying a somewhat bulky item on you, think about a backpack, or keeping it in your vehicle so it’s close by. It’s just too handy to ignore.

Flashlight: Shedding Light on Dark Situations

A reliable flashlight is a must-have in your EDC kit. Whether it’s for a power outage, cheating at hide and seek in the dark, or blinding a would-be attacker, a good flashlight is indispensable.

Flashlights come in all shapes and sizes, from keychain-sized to tactical behemoths. The key is finding one that balances brightness, battery life, and size. Cell phones have lights on them, which is a good backup source of light. But you may need your phone for other things during an emergency.

Streamlight Wedge XT
My go-to light for EDC is the Streamlight Wedge XT.

Of all the things that require the need for a tool, darkness is the one inevitable thing. So, find one that is easy to carry at all times but still bright enough to accomplish the job.

My favorite lights include the Streamlight Wedge, Wedge XT (for an even smaller option), and the Surefire Stiletto PRO. There are plenty of cheaper options, however, if you don’t want to spend $100 or more on a light. Just make sure the light is dependable and has a decent battery life.

Pocketknife: Cutting Through the Clutter

A good pocketknife is a versatile tool that can come in handy in countless situations. From opening packages to self-defense, a knife is a practical addition to your EDC lineup.

Just about all multi-tools have a knife on them, so if you don’t want to carry a separate knife, at least you’re covered. However, a stand-alone pocketknife is a great item to include in your everyday carry arsenal.

Before multi-tools were a thing, a good old-fashioned pocket-knife was the multi-tool. It had one blade, and you could carry out a lot of tasks with it. Have you ever stuck the end of your knife in a screw to tighten or loosen it? Or used it to pry something open? I can’t count the number of times I’ve used my pocket knife for tasks that don’t involve cutting.

Mini-Adamas Benchmade knife.
The Mini-Adamis from Benchmade is my favorite knife to carry.

When choosing a pocket knife, consider the blade type, handle material, and locking mechanism. Popular choices include the Benchmade Mini Adamas, Spyderco Para 3, and Kershaw Blur. These knives are known for their quality and durability.

A pocketknife is not just a tool; it’s an everyday companion. Keep it sharp, keep it clean, and it will serve you well in a variety of scenarios. And remember, with great power comes great responsibility, so use your knife wisely.

The Ink Pen: More Than Just Ink

A pen might seem like a mundane addition to your EDC kit, but it can be incredibly useful. From making a quick note to using it as a makeshift self-defense tool, a sturdy pen can do it all.

I get it, we’re in the digital age so a pen is irrelevant right? If you ask a kid to take a note, they will pull out their phone. But guess what, an ink pen doesn’t need batteries, and can write in places where your smartphone can’t. Plus, a tactical pen can double as a glass breaker or a self-defense tool in a pinch.

It’s also needed to write the time on a tourniquet or take some other type of note during an emergency. I once applied a tourniquet on someone in a car wreck. They told me their name, age, and blood type before they went unconscious. Getting out my phone was not an option at the moment, so I scribbled the info down on my arm.  

RFID wallets and ink pen.
Include an RFID wallet and pen on your EDC list.

Wallet: Your Portable Safe

In the world of EDC, a good wallet can protect your personal information with RFID-blocking technology and keep you organized.

Unfortunately, we live in a day where hackers are roaming rampant on the web and in the streets.  Someone with the right equipment can walk by and take all your card info without you even noticing. An RFID-blocking wallet will prevent this and keep your credit/debit card info safe.  

A wallet is just as important as a cell phone and if you lose it, your life is turned upside down for a while. Now that your wallet info can be stolen while it’s in your pocket, it’s important to include an RFID-blocking wallet in your EDC list.  

First Aid Kit: Small But Mighty

Carrying a small first aid kit might seem excessive, but it can be a lifesaver. From small cuts and scrapes to more serious injuries, having the right supplies on hand can make all the difference.

We all know that sometimes accidents just happen. Whether you’re out hiking, at the office, or just going about your day, a first aid kit can help you address injuries quickly and effectively.

Live the Creed medical kit.
A small medical kit is good to have on your EDC list.

A compact first aid kit should, at minimum, include the following:

  • Adhesive bandages
  • Antiseptic wipes
  • Gauze
  • Adhesive tape
  • Tourniquet
  • Compression bandage
  • Self-sticking bandage wrap
  • Tweezers  
  • Pain relievers

You can build your own medical kit or purchase one from places like Live The Creed, MyMedic, and Surviveware. These kits are designed for portability and convenience, ensuring you’re prepared for minor medical emergencies.

Small kits can be carried on your person, but if you include a backpack in your EDC items, a medical kit will fit nicely.

A first aid kit might not be the most glamorous item in your EDC arsenal, but it’s one of the most practical. Keep it stocked, keep it handy, and you’ll be ready to handle life’s little (or not so little) injuries with confidence.

Tourniquet: Life-Saving and Essential

While a medical kit should include at least one tourniquet, I recommend keeping one on your person as well. After working in law enforcement, I’ve realized the benefits of having a tourniquet handy without digging through a medical bag.

Especially if you carry a firearm, a tourniquet should be in your pocket or somewhere within easy reach. During an incident with a severe injury, a tourniquet can be the difference between life and death.

Tourniquets for everyday carry
Tourniquets come in various sizes.

At work, we use larger tourniquets like the Tactical First or the CAT Combat Application Tourniquet. But smaller pocket-sized ones like the Ewinever Sport Emergency tourniquet are small and easy to carry in a pocket. I keep one on me, in my car, and in just about every bag I have.

What’s on your EDC list?

Everyday Carry should include a reliable firearm for self-defense. A good holster is just as important to ensure the firearm stays secure until drawn. But there are a number of other important items worth considering for everyday carry.

What you put on that list is a personal decision. What you do for a living, where you travel, and how comfortable you are with some items may influence your list. Training classes are often available that teach self-defense, medical, survival, and other important skills.  

The important thing is to take the step of creating an EDC list and re-evaluating it regularly. Not everyone’s list will be the same, but starting your own is the first step. Plan and prepare so you are ready to respond.

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