Every Day Carry – The “Passionate” Thinker
Is having one EDC enough for every possible “everyday situation”? Are all situations somehow equal at some level? How much is too much or too little? Running through scenarios in my mind every so often and wonder am I over prepared or under. Does my EDC work for my entire day or meant for specific situations? Are we planning for news related events or real life events? The biggest question I ask myself is am I too passionate about EDC?
The reality is I believe we are under prepared. This is due in part to the media and the current state of events. We plan for the mass shootings, hostage situations, bombing etc. Most of us fail to plan for the little everyday things we take for granted. To the hunters and fisherman in the back country and hikers, planning for bombings doesn’t make much sense when you’re alone in the wilderness. The point I’m trying to get across is that planning generically may not be the best solution.
My resolution to this is SCB (situational carry bag). Take a moment and reflect what your daily lives consist of. Does your EDC reflect those little situations like your travel paths to work? What if that path changed one day, detour? Are you prepared for unfamiliar roads and terrains in the event you break down or worse? Does your morning routine consist of coffee at the same retailer? Do you drop kids off at school at the same times and locations? Most importantly do you recite your daily program without thinking, more of a ritual? To me breaking these patterns is essential to being prepared. The environment around you is consistently changing and evolving, positively or negatively. You need to be able to evolve with it No amount of EDC or SCB will help if you operate in a daze.
My theory is you plan for the day’s activities. For example I know that Monday through Friday my schedule is get in my truck, go to the office, go out for lunch, possibly to store and go home for the evening. I plan for as many possibilities as I think I may encounter in those specific activities. On the weekends I typically head out to the lake or fishing in remote areas. This consists of waking up early and driving my truck up the highway into the foothills or mountains. I plan according to my activities for that day or days. Theoretically speaking you would have SCB’s for work weeks, weekend activities and for road trips etc. The amount of SCB’s really though is your level of passion and preparation.
At this point hopefully you have a general understanding of what an SCB is and its purposes. So let’s discuss some contents of them. As I stated before part of what we prepare for is media driven and sadly a reality. The first item that you should carry in every SCB is a gun. The style and caliber is up to you. I’m not going to sugar coat this next fact. In most states it is illegal to carry a concealed weapon without a permit and if you are caught expect to be treated like a criminal but since you are reading this it is assumed you already have a valid permit, thanks for exercising your right to bear arms and protect the weak and innocent. Obviously get the proper training and for god sakes go shooting often. You are no good to anyone if you cannot protect yourself. Carry extra magazines, a minimum of two. Why? In the event you have to use it the first magazine will no doubt be a riddled mess until your senses kick in. The next item should be a knife. I like to carry a good solid tactical bowie knife in the blade length of 5in (check your local regulations on length vs concealment). The styles and types vary widely but a good quality knife where the handle unscrews to provide a few little items such and fishing line, hooks, matches and maybe a magnesium stick is nice. This next one I cannot stress enough, you need to carry a map of your surrounding areas and know how to read and understand it. Maps should be coated in plastic or vinyl so moisture cannot ruin them.
Let’s talk about weight. Weight is a large factor when carrying your SCB and must be a considered during planning. SCB’s will differ and should be packed according to the situation you will be encountering and the environment you will be in. For example do you need to have forks and spoons in your around town SCB if your travels only take you a few miles from home in a heavily populated area? That will keep weight down and unnecessary cluttering. With the exception of the mandatory items, bulky heavy objects should be carefully considered based upon the environment or situation. Items should be considered multiuse not “one situation specific” excluding the requirements. This will help reduce the weight and bulkiness of your SCB.
When considering items for your SCB long-term storage should be a factor. Always choose items that can withstand climate changes and have some ruggedness to them. Remember the contents will no doubt be banged around, thrown and see a variety of weather patterns. You don’t want to open your bag in an emergency and find out your krazy glue dried up because of warm of temperatures or the cap cracked and it dried up. This goes without saying that you need to periodically check the SCB for any damages, expired items, cleaning etc.
Aside from the everyday items think outside of the box. Consider items that are not normal but have extra ordinary uses. Such as a condom. Used for very quick fire, tourniquet, water proof bandage and water markers. Bag of Doritos chips. They last forever and burn just as long. By no means is that a complete list of uses just general ideas. These items have long-term storage, are light weight and not bulky.
Applicable reference material is equally important to your SCB. Paperback reference guides come in millions of topics. Creating or purchasing laminated cheat sheets are time savers and extremely useful. Applying the appropriate guides to the appropriate SCB is essential. You don’t need a guide on consuming wild mushrooms if you are in a concrete city. Build for your environment and situation.
Tech gadgets are fun and amusing but require batteries that are not long-term, are bulky and add lots of weight. Items such as a cell phone with extra battery pack serve well. Most current cell phone devices provide you with much needed data such as GPS locations, directions, internet access when available and media. There are tons of devices and gadgets that do tons of things and all should be considered for the correct SCB. One item that is great to have in an SCB for out of town are personal locator beacons. When deployed can transmit your location to emergency services. Draw backs to most of these devices are costs per month or year.
Consumables should be considered for each appropriate SCB. Look for food that can store for long periods of time, sealed and easy on the digestive system. You don’t want to have a bottle of Sriracha in your bag if it gives stomach issues. Consider things that are nutritious and provide natural energy in small lightweight packages. Try to include things that make you feel full like you just finished a good meal. Water purification tablets or filters need to be carefully considered and researched prior to purchase. They are not all the same and some are inferior and waste of time and space. Definitely do your research ahead of time!
Medications are a necessity for any SCB. Any medications that are specific to your personal health should always be carried in all SCB’s. The obvious basics items would be pain reliever and fever reducer. Understanding the proper dosages and combinations is critical to your health or someone else’s. Environmental allergy and skin irritants such as Poison Oak, Ivy and Sumac treatments are essential to outdoor SCB’s but not so in a concrete jungle. Carry content appropriate items, always.
Skills differ from situation to situation so having a roundabout set of basic skills can help. A skill that everyone should learn is CPR. You may be someone’s last chance at survival, be prepared. Practice your skills as often as possible. Do not rely on the notions of “when I need the skill, it will be their”. Assuming unpracticed skills will just work is hazardous. The following is by no means an exhaustive list and any skill acquired will be useful at some point.
- Fishing (Hand lining). Learn to fish with a line and bait without a typical fishing pole. In a situation where you are fishing for your food it is unlikely you will poses a typical rod and reel.
- Hunting and or trapping of small game. Learning basic small game hunting techniques are essential. In a survival situation you will most likely not be able to bring down big game such as deer, elk or larger. Small game such as squirrel, rabbit, raccoon, possum and bird are much easier to harvest and cook.
- Shelter construction and fire. This varies from terrain to terrain so it is advisable that you study or keep a manual that covers your area.
- Maps. As mentioned before this skill should be learned as it applies to all situations and can be the difference between a successful escape and loss of life.
- Medical aid. Understanding how to properly synch a wound, recognize dehydration symptoms, construction of a portable cot, wound dressing and proper medication allowance. Again not an exhaustive list just a quick few.
Last but not least is ego. While not a physical item it needs to be mentioned regardless. Do not believe for a second you are a “Survivor Man” and can do what those television stars do. Those are controlled scenarios that are meant to provide tips and tricks, not real world events and most of all they are provided for entertainment. As the age old saying goes, check your ego at the door. An open mind may save you or someone else’s life one day.
In closing I want to follow up with a few final thoughts. While we all hope to never encounter a bad situation life brings many challenges and obstacles being prepared will always payoff. Practice your skills as often as possible. Always think logically, plan accordingly and pack appropriately. Always try to trust your gut feeling, it’s put there for a reason and will serve you well. Know who you can trust and who can be a co-useful resource. Do not assume you can do everything in a situation, life will show you very quickly you cannot. Learn to adapt to any situation. Adaptation will always be key to success. Never get to comfortable with situation, always plan ahead and lastly humanity. Remember we are all human and react to situations differently. Try to understand and guide folks to a positive outcome as best you can. Humans are a pack animal and need to be with others. Communities are stronger as a whole then individual rouges.