When reading about concealed carry on social media and internet forums, the term “EDC” appears very frequently. EDC is simply an abbreviation for “Every Day Carry”. These are items which you never leave your home without and typically carry in some way attached to your body. It should go without saying, since these items should go with you every day, you do not want to over burden yourself with a utility belt full of enough gear to make batman jealous. EDC’s should be principled and minimalist.
To set an example, below is a list of what items I carry and the thoughts I have behind why I carry each item.
This is the foundation upon which much of my EDC gear is attached. Without a good belt that is capable of supporting the weight of my gear, I am much less likely to carry the things I need on a daily basis. A good belt is not going to be found at your local J.C. Penney’s or Macy’s department store. Typically, the type of belt you will want is made specifically to carry a handgun. You can probably find an “OK” belt at your local gun store, though, there are better selections to be found by custom gun belt makers. Unfortunately, with quality and strength, usually comes with a heftier price tag.
My favorite tactical belts are from Volund Gear works. Their Atlas Cobra belt is stiff, sturdy and fits comfortably. It is high quality, and supports the weight of a full-size pistol, extra magazines of ammunition and occasionally a good fixed blade knife.
For a dressier look, I have a Comptac kydex reinforced belt. This high-quality leather belt has a kydex (flexible polymer) insert that increases its stiffness and ability to carry extra weight comfortably. It’s classic styling allows me to wear it in more formal settings where I need to look more like a professional businessman and less like a military contractor or security guard.
We are talking about concealed carry, right? Of course, this means we should talk a bit about handguns. I am currently a huge fan of the 9 mm Heckler and Koch VP9. It is a full-size pistol with a capacity of 15 rounds (plus one in the chamber). It is a striker fired (no external hammer) handgun with a fantastic trigger. I love the ergonomics of this pistol and the fact that it has an ambidextrous “paddle” style magazine release. I have relatively small hands, and the traditional button style magazine release on models like the Glock 19 are more difficult for me to manipulate with any speed during an emergency reload. That is not to knock the Glock by any means. Glocks, Smith and Wessons, and Sig Sauers all have fantastic and highly reliable models to choose from. The VP9 is simply my current preference. Let’s face it, your EDC handgun is an extremely personal choice… and as it goes, different strokes for different folks.
There are two go-to holsters I use depending on the situation. For the majority of time when I can where an untucked shirt over my pistol, I will use a Haley Strategic Incog holster by G-Code, carried inside the waistband at the one o’clock, or appendix carry, position. Carrying in the appendix position allows for a very quick and smooth draw-stroke and provides for more accessibility toward the front of my body. The kydex material also ensures that the top of the holster is open so that I may re-holster the handgun easily. When I am wearing business attire and have the ability to keep a jacket on, the Crossbreed Super Tuck Deluxe holster is what I will use. The Supertuck is made of a leather back with a kydex half shell surrounding the gun and is referred to as a hybrid construction. This holster is carried a little behind my right hip, inside the waistband. While wearing a jacket, the full-size firearm is very easy to hide and the hybrid construction makes it very comfortable.
Ammunition and Magazine Carriers:
Always carry good quality self-defense ammunition and always carry a reload. Currently I am a big fan of the Federal HST 147 grain +P hollow point ammunition. It exceeds all of the requirements for the FBI ballistics testing and is extremely reliable. Of course, I always carry extra ammunition in a magazine carrier… just in case. The number one cause of non-ammunition based handgun malfunctions (other than human error) is the failure of the magazine. If you need to recover from a malfunction in a defensive situation, sometimes a magazine swap is the only thing that will get you back in the fight. Plus, a few extra ounces in the form of extra ammunition has never been a bad thing. If, in the event, there is an active shooter incident or multiple assailants, I have a little peace of mind knowing I have 15 extra rounds lined up just in case.
My current favorite magazine carriers are the G-Code single mag carrier with miniature paddle attachment or the Blade-tech classic dual magazine carrier with paddle attachment. The paddle attachments make it easy to take the carriers on or off and are surprisingly more comfortable than they look.
There is one tool in my EDC that gets used almost every single day. I carry a small tactical flashlight. This little light, a SOG dark energy flashlight, puts out tons of light in very small package thanks to its LED light source and lithium batteries. I use this when I drop my keys in between the seats in my car. I use it to look at the different parts of my car when I am working on it. In short, it is the MOST used tool in my daily carry rig.
Two blades, two purposes:
I carry two knives. This is not because I am some sort of ninja. I have one knife that I keep extremely sharp that is meant for defensive use only, and that is my Cold Steel Recon 1 Tanto folder. This knife is made for tactical/defensive use. It is my fighting knife. I also carry another knife. Usually a small pocket folder. This is my box opening, paper cutting general purpose knife. It gets dull from use over time so I sharpen it every few weeks. The whole point here, is that when I need a sharp knife for a defensive use, I don’t have to worry about it being too dull to be effective for its intended use.
Emergency First Aid:
Tourniquets… they can save your life or the life of someone you love. In the event of an attack, being able to stem the flow of blood may become extremely important as you wait for emergency services to arrive. A tourniquet is a relatively small and lightweight item that can easily fit in a pocket. In the event of a severe extremity wound, this truly can become a life-saving little device.
Also… always carry a loaded cell phone; and keep its battery charged. This will be your conduit to emergency services should you or a loved one need them.