Episode-717- Every Day Carry and Beyond — 42 Comments

  1. My EDC list looks very similar to yours. Two things I use a lot are and I’m almost embarrassed to say how often I use that little Swiss Army knife. You won’t be cutting down a tree or even sharpening a stick with it an time soon but it is useful for picking slivers out of your hands and other small tasks. It also has a file, screwdriver , scissors, pen(how many times have you needed a pen and couldn’t find one), and LED flashlight. The thumb drive is just like any other except it has very good encryption software on it so your files will be password protected. Also Victorinox is going to be selling an encrypted thumb drive multitool soon. Before anyone freaks out I also carry a larger SOG multitool and a larger flashlight.

    • @Jon,

      Let me second that Victorinox Silvertech Signature…great little knife. Unfortunately you trade the Tweezers and Toothpick for the Light and Pen, but I often carry a combination of two Swiss Army knives, and I make sure I get all those functions.

  2. Jack,
    On a previous show you mentioned carry of a water resistant USB flash drive. Could we have a link for that?

  3. @Matt : I don’t remember the exact USB drive Jack mentioned, but I have used this one for along time with great results:

  4. My EDC: No Batman belt for me. I live in the suburbs.

    House Key, Car Key, Can/Bottle Opener, Flash Drive
    ID, Medical card
    Razor-blade Knife (The kind that holds replaceable blades)

    That’s about it, but here’s the thing! before I ever leave the house, I always go through a mental checklist and also look in my top drawer to see if there’s anything else that I might need for the day.

  5. @Everyone,

    I have a variety of Victorinox Knives–a small collection. This includes the TSP Trekker, which has a very nice selection of tools, and is great as a large-sized Swiss Army. Locking Blade is also a nice feature, and could certainly be the main knife in your EDC.

    I usually carry the Victorinox Explorer, because I like the inline philips screwdriver.

    However, if anyone is looking for a really slim, and light Swiss Army knife that is packed full with features (including Pen, tweezers, toothpick and scissors), check out the Victorinox Compact.

    There is another (no longer produced) model called the Yeoman (original, not Explorer version), that would be my perfect Swiss Army.
    In fact…I’d LOVE it if someone (HINT HINT: TSP GEAR SHOP) were able to get these made with TSP logos. I’d be all over that. I have no idea how one might do that. However, I’d be interested in certain other TSP versions of Swiss Army knives as well.

  6. I carry the American Lawman EDC and you’re right the sandpaper like handle does wear down. It took me about a week to wear it down. It is hands down the best knife i’ve carried.

  7. I am going to listen to this episode again, but I guess one thing that jumps out at me is why not just carry a leatherman or something like that? Doesn’t that cover a few of the items you want for EDC? And the added benefit is that they are so common that you wouldn’t raise an eyebrow versus walking around with a knife around your neck.

    • @Scott, First I like leathermans. Second no one would ever notice my neck knife. Third, leathermans are cool for having a pliers, screwdriver, etc. However as a cutting tool, they really kind of suck.

      Again if you walked up to me on the street about the only thing you would notice is the Swiss Trekker in my sheath.

      EDC is also highly personal if you want to use a leatherman as your cutting tool, well, that is fine. I just personally want at least one really hard working blade with me at all times, honestly I want two. Two is one, one is none and the cutting tool is the most important component of EDC, bar none.

  8. A year ago I got the CRKT M16-13ZER from REI on clearance for less than $20. I think it’s marketed for EMT use, as it’s safety orange color, similar to emergency life vests, etc. It’s got a hybrid flat/serrated edge. The bright orange color is not “tacticool”, but in the old growth rain forests in western Washington I might actually find this knife if dropped.

  9. Not as glamorous as a knife or firesteel, but I never leave the house without an old-fashoned red bandanna in my back pocket. It’s a handkerchief when my damn seasonal allergies flare up. It can be a headband or do-rag when the head starts sweating. I have used one for initial filtration of murky water prior to sterilization and as a signal flag out in the woods. Also can be fashioned into a pressure dressing, tournequet or as a component to a splint. Could be folded into a hobo-style bindle for carrying things. Very versatile for very little weight or bulk.

    • You can certainly create a USB drive like that. Check out a distro called BackTrack linux. Their website had a tutorial on how to set up a live USB drive last time I checked.

    • @Backwoods Engineer,
      Until you get a bootable Linux distro up and running, you might try Portable Apps @ which is a free solution to running useful applications on portable devices. On a thumb drive, you plug it in, change to the new device (e.g., H: on Windows), and use the tools. Email, Browser, Editors, Word Processors, and a lot more are available, and it’s all free. All bookmarks, files, caches, etc. are contained on the portable device and leave no trail behind on the computer you’re using.

  10. Concealed pistol: I carry either a KelTec P3AT (.380ACP) or a S&W .38SP revolver with a hidden hammer (Model 442).

    KelTec now makes a 9-round mag for the P3AT. I carry (2) 6-shot mags, along with the 9-shot, and one in the pipe.

    Here in NC the brandishing thing isn’t as big a deal, as unlike Texas, we have open carry here are well as concealed.

  11. Jack

    This is a great article/show. If I may suggest ading to an EDc a writing instrument and small notebook, like we “had” to carry everyday when we were in the Army. I think I use mine every other day.

  12. I have never used the *Gerber 31-000345 E.A.B. Lite Pocket Knife, Fine Edge* of which you spoke & to which you linked. However, I have owned a *Gerber 22-41830 EAB Pocket Knife, Exchange A Blade* for a couple years now. It has a more rugged clip, and I have never had a problem with it. I carry at all times, and I use it as a money clip. I highly recommend it.

  13. This was a great show! Thanks. I love the idea about keeping wire in my hat.

    Jack, a question: how do you carry everything, especially the stuff on your keychain?

    I have a “keychain use only” carabiner or two that I use for my keys, but I don’t EDC it. I have a small (~1 inch by 5 inches) bottle of pepper spray plus numerous keys. If I start adding things, or even if I don’t, it is quite bulky. Do you hang it off a chain or hook it into a belt clip, or what? When I’m walking, the pepper spray bounces around, as do the keys. Do you tuck your keychain into a pocket or just let it hang? I try to wear a shirt with a shirt pocket to keep my lighter and other stuff, but my pockets are full of my wallet, small notebook (oh yeah, great idea. I have a small notebook that fits into my back pocket. Great for writing things down., cell phone, etc.

    Another thought I had while listening, not sure it is the best but thought I’d mention it. I was getting out of my truck at a gas station and clipped the carabiner with the pepper spray because I’d rather spray someone if need be than shoot them, and even then… but I had an idea to put the pepper spray on my left side since I draw my gun with my right side. Of course, I need to practice drawing the pepper spray with my left hand, but this would serve at least 2 purposes: 1. grab pepper spray to use less than lethal force if necessary with one hand, and have the other hand available if need be (god forbid it) to grab the gun. 2. have a self defense option for each hand in case one hand is unavailable (carrying something, hand tied down, or MZBers bite one arm off).

    • @Luke it really isn’t a big deal, my key chain just looks like a key chain. About the only thing that sticks out is the inferno pepper spray.

    • @Darksky I like that set up for the bush, it is way to bulky though for EDC. It does give me some ideas though, thanks.

    • @Modern Survival For me its light. I carry the big knife on my ankle, opposite ankle is paracord, on belt is Leatherman, lighter in case and key ring with Inferno spray, ferro rod and keys, one pocket is E.A.B used as money clip, other pocket is rescue knife. Being a biker I carry a limited amount of things so all of them have to double duty and need to be balanced out. I also wear steel reinforced boots all the time so a little extra weight does not effect me. If I am going on a motorcycle trip (2 or more days) the EDC increases 2 fold then it gets heavy.

      • @DarkSky well you know what I always say,

        “Your personal philosophy is more important for you than mine! You are the master of your own life and if you don’t agree with my views, great, define, understand and implement your own.”

        So if it works for you bad ass! For me that much bulk kind of stands out, I carry pretty much the same stuff just distributed across a greater surface area.

        • Bad ass… no. I just like to be ready for most stuff. I do agree with your saying and I do like the ideas and suggestions that everyone puts out. Maybe some day we could have a beer & shoot the sh!%.

  14. So I learned two things from today show: first Jack is a big Steelers fan. Second Jack carries so much cash that he busts the clips on his Gerber EAB’s ! Large bills I bet too!

    • @matthew, not really. I usually carry about 50 bucks in my pockets. Generally about 30 though is 1s and 5s, with the balance in 10s. I do carry more but not in my pockets, ;>)

  15. Love the idea of you selling the Survivor flash drive with data pre-loaded. I suggest loading them with some empty Excel spreadsheets. Great episode that got me thinking…and adding items to my Amazon cart!

  16. Great ideas on every day carry. Me, I carry a Mel pardue benchmade and have a blow out med kit in the car. Taking long trips I have a bigger med bag that can handle most casualties. When not on base, I ccw my .45 with enough rounds to stop anything threatening me or my family. Attached to my belt is my Surefire flashlight, and SOG mutitool.

  17. I’m not sure whether it is the difference in population density or a difference in what is considered a common every-day emergency situation, but in Canada if you find yourself in an emergency situation you *need* to attract the attention of passers-by so as to be rescued, not fend them off with pepper spray, a knife or firearm!

    So many people have fallen off their personal watercraft or fallen out of their small boat and then spent hours treading water in a cool lake before being spotted by a passing boater that the Ontario Provincial Police recommend everyone out on the water have a pealess whistle attached to their lifejacket (which they should be wearing).

    Every winter people skiing at a ski resort have their bindings pop open, hit a patch of ice or are blinded by a snowstorm and subsequently ski into a fixed object such as a fencepost, lamp pole, snow making equipment or a tree. Some are killed outright, but those who aren’t are injured and unable to get up. It can take a long time to be noticed if all they can do is call for help while waving a ski pole in the air (particularly if it is snowing at the time!) Blowing a whistle is much more likely to attract attention.
    This is why my EDC includes a pealess whistle on a string about my neck, worn under my clothing.

  18. I ordered one of them heavy duty thumb/flash drives just for every day info and to back up some of my computer stuff so I dont lose them and I ordered one of them Tool Logic SL3 Tactical Folding 1/2 Serrated Knife.. I also contacted the paracordguy to custom make me a neckless so this knife can hang around my neck, I am getting better about my EDC..

  19. I am bookmarking this show as “Christmas Ideas.” LOL! Seriously, I’ve been giving prepping gifts at every possible occasion. Spreading the prepping mindset one gift at a time. 🙂

    • Annie,
      Great minds must think alike, because as I was discussing budgeting a few of these items with my wife, she said the same thing. When the boys ask for a Christmas gift wish list, we are always at a loss as to things we want. The only downside is that I’ll have to wait until December for items I’d like to have right now, but I’ll get over it.

  20. Before anyone here thinks I’m more eccentric than I really am, I’d like to offer a quick explanation before I discuss EDC. I have a vision problem that precludes driving a vehicle on the public roads, meaning I quite often need to catch a ride with one of my friends, many of which do not prep at even what I would consider a minimum level. I therefore go a little overboard by many people’s standards with my EDC.

    First of all Jack, as a follicley challenged guy, I wear a ball cap of some sort everywhere I go, so the addition of the picture wire wrapped inside is on my list for this upcoming week. Great idea.

    Other than a firearm, two knives, glasses, a magnifier, and a voice recorder that are on my person everywhere but the bed and the shower, the bulk of my EDC is stashed in a 511 Tactical vest. The vest has 17 pockets, and the hardest thing to do with that many pockets is determine what not to carry. Anything you carry will add weight, so lightweight &/or multi-use items are always preferred. I don’t think this makes me look like Batman, but perhaps only Robin. Sometimes however it’s a perspective thing. I was back in western PA in June to deal with some family matters, and was in line at a McDonalds and chatting with one of the locals. He looked at me and asked if I had been fishing. Who knows, perhaps a few hooks and lures pinned into the hat might provide good camouflage, since perception is everything.

    I also based the core of my EDC on Dave Canterbury’s 5 ‘C’s plus another ‘C’ of my own.
    Cutting: Camillus Blaze Robo; Buck Whittaker Metro; Tool Logic SLPro Silver- Fire; Gerber EAB (One of my personal requirements for any folding knife is a locking blade. I’ve seen too many nasty cuts when knives folded up on people while being used).
    Combustion: Bic lighter, Ferro Rod & tinder (I’ll be adding those pill cases)
    Cover: Minimum of 2 Space Blankets and 1 30-gallon trash bag
    Container: 2 1-square foot pieces of aluminum foil, and 2 empty aluminized Mylar Capri Sun packages.
    Cordage: about 30 feet of paracord.
    Light: A Serengeti 80/160/160 strobe (lumens) with Cree LED & 3 AAA batteries

    My 6th ‘C’ is a compass. Nothing fancy like you might use for orienteering, but something that can reliably point north, can sometimes be very useful.

    For a carry firearm it’s one of three depending on the season and the clothing, from a full sized 9mm, and 38SPL revolver, or the one I carry the most, a Bersa Thunder .380 with 3 additional magazines in the vest.

    I also currently carry a Tool Logic SLPro Silver- Fire with blade, magnesium rod, LED Light and whistle. It was a Christmas gift last year, and I’m still deciding if its usefulness outweighs its weight, since it’s a bit heavy. It may be replaced by the TSP Trekker and some other discrete items. My only issue with the Trekker is that the size of my hand precludes safely opening it with one hand.

    I have additional things like a Camillus Heat Rescue knife, meant for breaking vehicle windows and cutting seat belts, although it works well on any rope or webbing I’ve encountered, plus basic first aid, etc, but this makes up the core. There are also some seasonal items like gloves and ear warmers.

    Although I haven’t built the jig for this yet, I’m looking to carry additional paracord based on the Paracord fast rope video here:

    Finally, one thing I’m surprised that nobody mentioned is a vehicle self-rescue device like the Res-Q-Me, which easily fits on your keychain, and allows anyone to cut off a stuck seatbelt, and pop out a side window. A decent knife and a spring loaded center punch would do the same, but these are cheap insurance if you’re stuck in a car after an accident.

  21. Jack you said you wanted a new sheath for your neck knife that will hold the knife and a fero rod. I am starting a holster company and would be happy to build you one as a “thank you” for helping inspire me to make my own business. Shoot me an email if you want one!

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