Food

Why on earth would food have anything to do with your EDC?

By food, I mean ammo. I view the human body as an incredible machine, well a firearm is the same way. What we put into our body will impact how it functions. The same comparison applies to handguns. This analogy is relevant to a few examples with the handgun.

First, and most important, is feeding your gun a lot of food. I mean shooting it a lot. Whether you’re a gun collector, only have one, or own a few, you want to try and shoot as much as possible. The way I do this is being caliber centric, or having multiple guns of the same caliber. I choose 9mm for a variety of reasons which I’ll discuss in an upcoming post. But it is cheap to shoot, therefore I can shoot more often. Like anything, practice makes perfect, and the more you shoot, the better you will be. You can dry-fire all you’d like, but nothing mimics felt recoil from live rounds, and it’s important to know how that feels in case you ever have to use your firearm in self defense.

Another reason ammo is important is because there are different types of it. Like I was saying, shooting a lot of ammo is important for your carry gun. In the market today, there are a lot of good choices for handguns. Most will work with good ammo. Well ammo designed for carrying is different from practice ammo. The bullets are designed to expand upon impact for the best destructive results. You want to make sure your carry ammo, or hollowpoints, will work in your firearm reliably. One thing I do with my desired ammunition is shoot 100 rounds of it through my carry gun before I start carrying it. This can be expensive due to increased prices of hollowpoint ammunition, but if I need to use it and it doesn’t work, that is not the time to find out. Another method of testing I do will be shooting at least 500 rounds of ammo, with at least 100 of that being my carry ammo, before I carry that gun. This makes sure there are no problems encountered with that firearm, and it gets me cognitive and physically prepared with that firearm. I know too many people who decide to carry a gun, but don’t shoot it enough, or don’t use the right ammunition. Don’t be one of those people.

The best recommendation I have is something that I practice. There are many oils on our skin which can impede the function of ammunition. If you are always touching your carry ammo, those oils may debunk the primers inside of the shell casing, making the round not fire. What I do to prevent this from happening is any time I take a round out of the chamber, I put it in a pile, and when it adds up I shoot it. First this helps me test my ammo, but it also cycles my old ammo with new ammunition, which has a shorter lifespan than you think. Find out what your gun likes, and what it doesn’t. Different ammo will feel different while shooting, as well as different guns work better with different types of ammo.

Medical Gear

This is the piece of equipment that most people elect not to carry. There could be a couple of reasons for this, but I think my explanation is justified. All of the other items that are included in my EDC are pretty cool to have. They are fun to use, and cool to own. Medical gear is a little bit different. It is the one item that you are most likely to use to save someone’s life, yet people still chose not to carry it. The odds of having to provide aid to a person is far greater than having to shoot someone.

One of the reasons individuals won’t carry it is that it can be large. The one item that I will always have with me as part of my medical gear is a tourniquet. The one I carry is about seven inches long. It isn’t very pocket friendly, but I make due with it. There isn’t anything flashy about carrying it, and hopefully I’ll never have to use it.

Another reason people chose not to carry medical equipment is the mentality behind it. Nobody wants to imagine themselves, or a loved one getting hurt. Thats a harsh reality that is in fact a reality. If you have to use your firearm, or get involved in another altercation, the likelihood of yourself getting hurt is real. I’m under the impression that if you’re willing to put holes in something, then you should be able to patch them up. Like I said earlier, it is the most likely item in my EDC that will save a life. I can’t predict what situation I may find myself in, but I can take precautions to my environments.

A final reason is a lack of training. Training is a big part of my life because it can mean life or death. Knowing how to use gear is important, but knowing when to use it is even more beneficial. Sometimes you can do more good than bad, and can be liable for certain actions. There are laws that will protect you for trying to do the right thing, however there are no certainties. My evolution of carrying medical gear has come a far way over the past two years, and the biggest step came because of training. It was a huge gap in my applications of medical equipment, but training helped that. I feel comfortable applying various types of medical tasks to myself or others, but I am no expert, and will continue to seek help.

So what do I do?

As I stated above, at the bare minimum I carry a tourniquet. I’m issued a CAT tourniquet at work, which I also choose to have on me outside of work. This is simply because to have consistency, and it’s easy to use. The one thing that I did was built my own medical kit. I wanted something small, but something that could have the essentials. There are many companies that specialize in this very field. I researched and found what I needed. A pouch from ITS Tactical to carry everything. It is about the size of a wallet, but thickness depends on the items inside. The other items I put in it is what I think I may encounter in my day to day life. I don’t have any medical problems, but I know people around me might. This is why I carry simple medications like Tylenol and Aspirin. I have a CPR face shield because I am certified in CPR, and if I find myself in that scenario, I want some protection for myself. I carry bandages, and other small items for the little stuff. The last piece I included is a trauma kit to stop major bleeding. I feel comfortable with these items in my life. We live in a world where a medical center is always close, so I think I have enough equipment to help until first responders show up. I work in a hospital yet still choose to carry a tourniquet for a number of reasons. The training I’ve had has also told me this. My medical EDC will continue to change over the years, but is something I won’t draw myself short on.

One other idea to consider is having multiple kits in various locations. Think of the “hotspots” where you may need a medical kit, or places where you spend a majority of your time. A vehicle is a must so I have an larger kit in my truck, which deals with trauma. I put another kit in my range bag in case of an accident. I don’t expect others to save me, or the people around me, therefore I want the power in my lane. It’d be interesting to hear what others carry, and their mindset on this boring topic.

 

Basics

Time to get into some of the gear. My plan is to not go in any particular order of relevancy, but I’ll start with the boring items. My phone and wallet.

Im a self-proclaimed gear junky, but these two items not so much. My phone is something that I don’t put a lot of thought or research into. I have an iPhone 6s. It gets the job done, plain and simple. It has internet access, ease of operation, and communication along organization is simple. I use an Otterbox case, which hasn’t really held up well. One of my biggest requirements for gear is its durability. So I’m not satisfied with my phone case.

Wallets are a very personal thing for most men. There are tons of different styles, which some don’t put a lot of thought into. I like bi-fold wallets because it only bends bills in half, instead of into thirds. I also like having a slot to put my identification visible when I open it. I call wallets personal because I’m planning on having mine my whole life. My father has had his for 25 plus years, and that has a cool factor for me. That being said, a cheap wallet won’t last. The one I have chosen is a Ralph Lauren leather wallet. It is fairly new as I’ve only had it for two years, but I am excited to see how it ages. Honest wear is an awesome addition to any piece of gear in my opinion. There are slimmer wallets, which would be nice at times, but I have no need for them. There are even “tactical” wallets and ones that serve as multitools. I’m and old-soul so I’ll stick to my leather wallet. The only time it will be replaced is if it lost. I would be interested in seeing what others have tried. Thanks.

Weather Conditions

The time of year has a huge influence on how we dress. It can means adding layers or taking some away. This can have positive and negative impacts on your EDC.

First off, I try to be consistent with what I carry which means I dress for my items. If I can’t carry everything comfortably, then I’ll likely change what I’m wearing.

Adding layers of clothing whether it be for winter applications or rain, you can get away with with bigger gear. The one dilemma to be knowledgeable about is the gear needs to still be quickly accessible, mainly firearm focused. Wearing more clothing means you have to clear more clothing in order to reach your firearm. The best way I found of keeping that speed and consistency is just practicing a few draws before I leave the house, and making sure nothing impedes my drawstroke. I will provide two examples of this. I carry the same knife everyday in my right pocket, and the clip is exposed. One time as I was taking a few reps drawing my firearm, I noticed my rain jacket was getting caught on the knife’s clip. Therefore, I had to put the knife fully in my pocket. Another example is from work. All of the gear on my duty belt needs to be accessible. During summer this isn’t an issue, but for winter we are issued a heavy jacket. I have to lift my jacket, and tuck it between my shirt and belt so I can access my work EDC. Even if it is snowing, the items we are issued will work while wet, which is the beauty of having quality gear and I’m thankful my department takes care of us. Gloves are also recommended during winter although I rarely wear them because I do not train enough with thick gloves. The plastic hospital gloves are on my hands sometimes for half of my shift, therefore I’ve trained with them on, and know how they effect my grip. Just a few things to consider.

Dressing down, many people have the mindset that they will carry smaller or less gear because their clothes won’t cover it. That’s a personal decision, but something I do not practice. I’m in the process of acquiring a smaller gun, and will give it a try. Until then, I will wear larger shirts and cargo shorts, which cargo shorts are the greatest invention ever for me due to the large side pockets. This is one of my hardest challenges with jeans lacking pockets. I don’t think I can personally change the fashion industry unfortunately. Thanks

Being Ready

The most important aspect of your EDC is you. That means you have to be ready for whatever, whenever. In order to make that happen, you have to be present. Being physically present is a given, but what I mean by present is cognitively.

Your state of mind and mental acuity have to be on par at all times. It can be mentally demanding being fully alert 24/7, while trying to focus on normal tasks at hand. The easiest way I found of doing this is to simply not put myself in uncomfortable situations, but when faced with them, try and give myself options. This is simple decisions like sitting facing the door, or next to an exit. Another big part of being in a good state of mind at all times is the preparation. Diet is very important as it psychologically needs to be fulfilled before anything else. I don’t know how people can function without drinking a lot of water, or without eating constantly. I know how my body works, and if I don’t put fuel (food) into it, then I won’t feel as strong physically or cognitively. Lifting and being physically fit is a personal choice. I do it because it is a nice getaway, and it certainly helps with this topic.

One struggle I’ve always faced while in school was drinking alcohol, and still maintaining my edc. The way I’ve approached it is I will carry everything, but limit myself drastically to maintain a low BAC, or not take my firearm if I know I’ll be drinking more than usual. It’s nice to take a break from it sometimes as too much of anything good can be a bad thing, although I may feel almost naked without my firearm. That being said, I will still give myself options by carrying other tools such as a flashlight, knife, or possibly two knives. We’ll get into this later, but I view a knife as a too, not a self-defense weapon. I’ve carried a fixed blade in the past while drinking, but have no formal training with them so I usually stay away from that route.

Just remember it takes dedication and sacrifice like all aspects of life. If you’re willing to put in the work, the results may never come because hopefully you’ll never encounter a situation where your items are needed. However, if it is required, you should be in a good state of mind to face whatever challenge is upon you.

Consistency

The most important part of an EDC is having the items on your person, or close by the moment they’re needed.

How is this accomplished? For myself, I try and dress around what I have to carry. This will include wearing a larger shirt, or cargo shorts. I sacrifice a lot of comfort to carry the items I do. That sacrifice is easy to make for me, but may not be as big of a deal for everybody. This is especially true if weapons are not in the rotation.

Building this consistency is all part of your mindset. Will you have that gain in tools while giving up the comfort? It’s not for everyone, and I can’t answer that question for anyone. Once the realization strikes that the emergency responders won’t be there as quick as you think, it will be too late. Having a great EDC simply gives you an advantage, and in most cases the upper hand to control any situation.

Humans like routines, and an EDC should be an everyday routine. Building the consistency is easy, similar to going to the gym. Once you find the rhythm, then it becomes second nature.

Why EDC?

The main focus of my blogs will be directly related to every day carry, or EDC as I will refer it as. What is this, and what types of people would want to do it?

It normally consists of individuals who carry things with them every single day. For a website developer, they may carry the normal phone, wallet, keys, and computer. I think it varies depending on time of year, profession, and commitment. For myself, my EDC is compiled of my phone, keys, wallet, knife, gun, spare mag, medical gear, and flashlight. I will eventually cover all of these components and why I elect to carry them. I will say one thing at this time. All of these items help me feel safe and prepared to handle almost any of my daily tasks, and situations I may not be expecting. The best way to describe my involvement with EDC is compared to the feeling a guy gets when he is halfway through his day, reaches down for his wallet, and realizes it is not there. That little moment of shock happens to me the moment I forget one of these items.

So why would anybody consider having a consistent EDC? The products that I carry are nothing more to me than tools. I don’t necessarily have an emotional or sentimental connection to any of them, but I do prefer certain products over others for various reasons. A tool is a device used to carry out a particular function. This is where the profession comes in to play. Golfers have a variety of clubs, all with a particular function. Police officers have different items on their duty belts for the same reason. When it comes to EDC, you really have to expect the unexpected in my opinion, and if you don’t have the gear for the job, then you won’t be able to handle the situation. The two things I need to be successful for any circumstance are tools and training. You should have EDC that compliments your life. If you fail to prepare, then prepare to fail. My preparation starts every day before I even walk out of the door.

Remember to share with your friends if you found anything interesting or informative!

Introductory Blog

The reason I am blogging will be to influence others, as well as expand my horizons in my field. The topic of everyday carry is an important part of my life for reasons beyond one blog post. This is a very independent subject, as every person is different within this realm. The people involved in my field should already have a great amount of knowledge, but for those that don’t, this should help. Some of the goals of my blog will be testing and evaluation of products and ideas that have worked for me in the past, and ones to come. Another will be seeing what others have found for them to work and why. The last goal of my blog is to connect with an audience. One of the greatest and most devastating variables of the internet is being able to connect and share with people instantly, yet I have never taken full advantage of this.

The audience for my discussions will be specific on a number of factors. First, the age will be anybody who is at least 18 years old. Not that the matters of discussion are sensitive material, but that is the age some of the topics covered is legal. The geographical area of my audience will be the United States for the same reason as age. The audience I am aiming for will have similar interests as me, with hobbies such as shooting guns and training with them.

The sex I am appealing to is men, although women would be very beneficial to myself, and for them. Women are somewhat limited with the upcoming topics, but they can be just as successful as the men. The sexual orientation of my audience doesn’t matter to me, but to my knowledge, the information should cover the interests more of heterosexuals. The audience will be seeking information as to what could help them in making buying choices, what their mindset should be, and how to prepare themselves best for possible challenges.

Something I am going to do differently than others is share my experience over the past three years with somebody who is on a limited budget. I think this is very important because people have to budget around their lives. I have also learned that buying quality sometimes is the right move, and other times it is not as important. I can provide examples of times where having the right tools has come in handy, and vise versa. Another twist with my blog is I am asking for help. I don’t know everything about the subjects at hand, nor will I act like it. With guidance from other, I would be thankfully open to new ideas.

The posting schedule for my blog will be every day. It won’t be at the same time however, as I am wagering time between personal life and work. One thing those in my field can understand is an erratic work schedule. For instance, working 16 hour shifts, and sleeping during the day, this can produce 4am blog posts. I think that is one thing that will keep it genuine. I am somebody who is out working in the field, and I can attest to how hard that can be to balance factors of life.

Please share anything you found interesting or informative with your friends!

My lead editor will be my girlfriend. Although she isn’t the best with math, she double majored at University of Connecticut in Environmental Sciences and Geology. That required a lot of essays and proof-reading, which I am hoping she can help me out with. There may be times where I ask a co-worker to read over my work, or simply proof-read myself if there are no other options.