I’ve previously discussed tiered EDC methodology as well as what I consider ‘must have’ EDC items. Continuing with the EDC series, I’ll discuss items on my EDC Tier 2 list which are commonly considered ‘necessary tools’ in an EDC environment. These items are on my body 98% of the time and, while I don’t feel completely naked without them, I do feel quite uneasy most of the time I’m not carrying them.
EDC Tier 2 – What It Means
EDC Tier 2 items are items I leave the house without only on the rarest of occasions. These items, for the most part, are on the “No Fly” list meaning I wouldn’t be able to get through airport security with them. Despite this restriction, these items have tremendous utility and I use them all almost daily.
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The five items in this list provide protection, utility, fire, entertainment and data transfer capability on a daily basis. They include:
If you ready any prepper/survival/homesteading blog, you’re bound to run across numerous articles on pocket knives. They seem to be a mainstay in most people’s base must haves and my EDC Tier 2 list is no different. I constantly have a pocket knife on me with the exception of when I’m flying. As I’ve discussed before, I typically carry the Spyderco Endura 4 FFG which is a simple, yet very functional pocket knife. I use this pocket knife for everything from opening mail at the office to whittling sticks on the trail when I’m hiking. If you don’t currently carry a knife, I cannot completely explain to you how often you will use one. Take my word for it – you NEED an EDC pocket knife.
I recently reviewed the Leatherman Juice S2 multitool that I carry as part of my EDC Tier 2 kit. As useful as a pocket knife is, sometimes there are just times when you need more than a blade. A multitool will give you pliers, screwdrivers, scissors and can openers in addition to other tools. The functionality is almost limitless and allows you to get most emergency jobs done without carrying around a full toolkit. I highly recommend the Leatherman Juice S2 for its size and convenience, but any multitool will meet your needs as long as you have a variety of tools contained within it. If push came to shove and I could only carry either a pocket knife or a multitool, I’d go with the multitool for the simple reason that most multitools have blades built into them.
Fire provides light, warmth, cooking ability and, possibly most important, comfort. For that reason, I always carry a small lighter so that I can start a fire if need be. The small Bic lighters are extremely tiny and can be carry in the fifth pocket of a pair of jeans without knowing it. For that reason, they are a great edition to my EDC Tier 2 kit. While I don’t smoke, I have on occasion provided a light for a smoker. This act usually provides me with a way to start a conversation with a new person. Meeting new people allows me to network and, in a tough situation, may produce allies or information.
Headphones are definitely more of a comfort item than a ‘must have’ in terms of survival. They have become part of my EDC Tier 2 kit for a few reasons. First, when travelling, it is much easier to listen to music, podcasts, videos, etc on your smart phone without annoying those around you when you have a set of headphones. Secondly, I like to keep my phone conversations to myself and the Apple iPhone headphones that I carry have a built in microphone which allows you to have a conversation without holding your phone or talking loudly. Again, these are more of a comfort item but their small size and utility make them a must have for me.
USB Flash Drive
In my line of work, I’m constantly working between multiple computers. A small USB flash drive fits easily in my pocket and allows me to easily move between workstations without problem. I keep some important personal documents on this USB flash drive as well (encrypted, of course, in case I lose it). These personal document may come in handy in a situation where I’m stranded or unable to get to the original documents. They include PDF versions of driver’s licenses, birth certificates, bank account records, credit cards and passports among other items.
My EDC Tier 2 kit contains some very basic items that have a lot of functionality. While I don’t need these items at all times, I do feel that I need must have them on a regular basis. I highly recommend building an EDC Tier 2 kit similar to the one described above for your daily use.
What items do you consider part of your EDC Tier 2 kit? Let me know in the comments.
In case you’re interested, here’s where you can buy any of the items listed in this post:
- Spyderco Endura 4 FFG Pocket Knife ($66 at Amazon.com)
- Leatherman Juice S2 Multitool ($41 at Amazon.com)
- Small Bic Ligther (at any drug store or grocery store)
- iPhone Headphones ($29 at Apple.com)
- SanDisk 8GB USB Flash Drive ($9 at Amazon.com)
- EDC Methodology – It’s More Important Than What You Carry
- EDC Tier 1 – Must Haves
- EDC Tier 2 – Necessary Tools