Let’s get one thing straight: everyone’s idea of EveryDay Carry (EDC) equipment is different. EDC is as personalized as the clothes you wear and the thoughts you think. Rather than spending time reviewing my EDC, I’m going to use this article to talk to you about my EDC Methodology.
Tiered EDC Methodology
I follow a four tier methodology when it comes to my EDC kit. Each tier builds on the one below it and provides more protection to the “what if’s” that may arise during the day.
Before anyone calls me out on it, I fully admit to getting this idea from TheUrbanPrepper and adapting it for my own needs.
Let’s break down the tiers:
Tier 1 – Absolute Must Haves
The items that fall into Tier 1 are the items that I would feel naked without. I carry these items on my person and will always have them on me. Items that fall into this category include: keys, watch, wallet (w/ID, credit cards and cash) and my cellphone. Not having one of these would put me at a severe disadvantage with just getting around.
Tier 2 – Necessary Tools
I carry these items 98% of the time and they are also always carried on my person. For the most part, I feel naked without these items as well. My basic differentiation between the items in this tier and the items in Tier 1 are that this is my “No Fly” tier (with a few exceptions) meaning these are, mostly, items I wouldn’t be able to get through airport security. Items in this list include: a knife, a multi-tool, small lighter, headphones and a USB drive. The last two items can obviously be brought on a plane, but I don’t feel absolutely naked without them, so they fall into Tier 2.
Tier 3 – “Full Pockets”
The items in this tier are important to have on you, but can fill up your pockets pretty quickly. Typically, I will assess my trip and carry some part of this tier at all times. When the weather is colder and I have a jacket, I’ll carry most of the items in this tier simply because I have the pocket room. Items in this tier typically include: an Altoids survival kit, pen/pencil, small notebook and a mini medical kit. I can get by not having all of these items all the time, but I do try to carry as much of them as possible.
Tier 4 – EDC Bag
My EDC bag is far from ‘tacticool.’ In fact, it’s an old O’Neill surfing backpack. While the bag itself is nothing special, it does carry all the extraneous EDC kit I need including: a laptop, laptop power supply, a larger notebook, various pens and pencils, additional headphones, paperwork for work, a handheld GPS, a water bottle, extra gloves and hat (as weather dictates), a Tool Logic ICE Companion and various other items. I’ll be doing a full EDC Bag review later in this series. Just know that my EDC Bag is typically with me and is modified daily for the adventure du jour.
Conclusion – Planning Is Crucial
I can guarantee that the equipment you need every day looks nothing like the equipment I need everyday. That doesn’t mean you can’t benefit from how I derive my EDC.
The important step here is planning. You need to really think through what you do each day and what potential problems you could run into.
For instance, I drive back and forth to an office job five days a week. During the week, I don’t spend much time outside so my EDC kit doesn’t need to contain a lot in terms of outdoor survival items.
Instead, my EDC needs to concentrate on ‘surviving’ the commute and any trouble that may come my way during that time. I also must make sure I carry all I need for the office. I do tweak my EDC on the weekends to accommodate where I’m heading and whether it’s solo or with the family.
As you can see, a little planning let’s you figure out a top-level approach to your EDC.