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Finding the perfect combination of gear has been a life-long pursuit…

The Goal: To put together the most practical, lightweight, multipurpose EDC Kit that I can carry discreetly and comfortably. But the solution is far more complex in practice than it appears in principle.

Outside of my basics that I carry with me everywhere – Wallet, Keys, Phone – I want to focus on several items I carry with me in case of emergency. While I always pray for the best, with kids, pets, and a various number of outdoor activities we get into, someone getting injured is a real possibility – and one that I try to mitigate as best I can.

While I still call this an EDC Emergency Kit, the reality is, I don’t keep this on my person at all times. Instead, this emergency only kit is one that I have duplicated several times to keep in places that I know I can access when I need to.

Where Do I Keep My Emergency EDC Kits?

  1. I keep an Emergency EDC Kit easily accessible in each car. That means in the glovebox, under the seat, or in an armrest. Always within arms reach when I am buckled into the driver’s seat.
  2. An Emergency EDC Kit is always available at the house. While I keep mine in the kitchen, it is more important to know why I keep it there. The kitchen is the most central place in the home – meaning I am as equal a distance to anywhere I need to be from that spot.

I recommend that you keep on in the most central or easily accessible spot in your home AND you instruct everyone in your family (as well as regular guests like extended family, babysitters, etc.) on where and how to use the kit. And make it regular practice to review how to respond to an emergency

NOTE: I think it is valuable to note, that while I don’t have a formal Emergency EDC Kit in my garage, I do have many pieces that I have tested in my garage – so it would be safe to truly say that there is a kit in my garage as well – and it would be well placed to have one where you have, you know, sharp, motorized objects – especially with kids running around. 

3. An Emergency EDC Kit stays in my backpack at all times (modified when I travel on a plane). My backpack is my briefcase, workout bag, it is with me at all times. If something is going down, I am going to be prepared. I don’t care if it looks odd when I have a shirt a tie on at church or at dinner with my wife – the bag stays with me. (NOTE: also important to note – I don’y carry any firearms in my bag unless I am going to a competition.)

Now that we have covered where I keep my Emergency EDC Kits, what do I keep in my EDC Kit?

  1. First Aid Kit: First and foremost, a first aid kit. And yes, barbie bandaids have made it into the kit because, well, I have a daughter and she likes Barbie. The essentials need to be met at all times because bumps and scrapes happen regularly. There is no excuse for anyone to not have a basic First Aid Kit with them at all times (bandaids, antiseptic, gauze, tape). In addition, I keep a tourniquet with every kit – maybe overkill – but I would rather be prepared.
  2. Multi-Tool: I prefer a Leatherman – but that is because I still have my grandfather’s in my backpack and it has never failed me. Now that I have 5 variants of Leatherman Multi-Tools, I have become pretty brand loyal. But Gerber and several other brands have high quality products as well and should not be discounted. If you are going to keep this on your belt at all times, maybe not important to have one with every kit, but I like to make sure that anyone that needs the kit will be able to access it when they need it if I am not there with them.
  3. Waterproof Pouch: Everything in my emergency EDC Kits are contained in a waterproof pouch. Not only are they lightweight and durable, but they provide an extra level of protection if you need to protect cell phones, or contain something that may have blood on it. Extremely versatile and becoming more and more affordable at any price-point.
  4. Emergency Blanket: These are so small and portable, it makes no sense to not have one for extreme emergencies. They are also dirt cheap. If you live somewhere cold, this is a must have.
  5. Flashlight: I have to thank my wife for this one – but having a small flashlight has come in handy more times than I can count. Just be sure to keep the batteries changed – or, get one that has a solar charger.
  6. Duct Tape: I shouldn’t have to explain why you need to have a small roll of duct tape – It literally fixes everything! Seriously though, it is one of the most versatile tool you could ask for. It never hurts to keep a small roll with you wherever you go. Trust me, you will not only be thankful when you need it, but you may also make friends along the way by sharing.

Finding the right tools and gear to meet your needs is the exciting and engaging parts of building your EDC Kit. Whether you want to put together an Emergency Kit like mine, or you are building tools to keep with you in your pockets everyday, building for your own needs is a continuing exercise in testing and reconfiguring. 

John Bishop

Category Survival

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