Off Body EDC: What I Carry and Why
If you’ve spent anytime around the gun world, you’ve probably seen somewhere between 12 and 30,000,000,000, “EDC” setups. With stuff ranging from a pocketknife and a cell phone to a truckload and crap with more guns & ammo than a crack house in Riverdale.
I’ve gone through mountains of gear and more iterations of my EDC than I’d like to admit. (Maybe I actually just like backpacks) So without further ado here’s what I’m carrying these days and why.
I’ve never been a fan of looking too tacticool when I’m out. I usually laugh and point out other people who are obviously carrying guns by their hats, patches, 5.11 pants, and 11 Bravos t-shirts etc. So I’ve traditionally avoided external webbing and bags purpose-built for EDC. But I feel that Vertx hit the sweet spot with this one. It has the features I need, it is a dedicated bag that allows me to carry a full size handgun with easy access, and it looks good.
Here’s what’s inside:
- Macbook Pro
- CZ Shadow 2
- Spare mag
- Leatherman Surge
- AR500 Armor IIIA backpack panel
- Princeton Tec Remix Pro Headlamp
- Handcuff key
- Enola Gaye Blue Pull Tab Smoke
- Fox Labs lock-on pepper spray
- AR500 EPIK Trauma Kit
- CAT Tourniquet
- Cohiba Pequenos
- Box Cutter
- Moleskin Notebook
- 6” of wire
- Ozark Trail Penlight/lantern
- Maybelline Master Conceal tattoo concealer
- Handcuff Key
- 32gb Flash Drive
- ResQme tool
- Surefire EP4 Earplugs
- Magnetic GSM tracker
- Passport photos
- ID card lamination strips
But Wait, there’s more!
Before I dig into the why of all this little stuff, let me add that I also have a TIHK, pocketknife, Flashlight, bobby pin, neck knife, Ka-bar TDI, 16gb Micro SD, and Vigilant Gear micro Sere kit on my person at all times.
I take a layered approach to this whole thing. Those layers for me are on my body, in my backpack, in my vehicle, and finally at home. But we’re talking about my backpack here so back to it.
Are You Actually Going To Use That?
First up, the things that I obviously usefor daily life; my laptop, charger, flash drive, pens, and notebook. Pretty self-explanatory, I need these things to do my job and be a productive human being. The Cohiba Pequenos… I just like them. Fight me.
Next up is the offensive/ defensive gear. Yes, I like full size handguns, no the weight doesn’t bother me, and 40rds of 9mm Hornady Critical Duty ammo isn’t too bad either. Sure beats having 7 in a G43.
The AR500 Backpack armor panel is pretty obvious in its use. My backpack is slung around to the front of the body to access the gun, so this positions the armor pretty well when a gun comes out and that is a huge plus in my book.
If we carry the stuff to shoot back in an emergency then its reasonable to also believe someone could be shot or severely injured in an emergency so medical is a must. The little Trauma kit from AR500 is a pretty awesome for its price. It’s worth checking out. The CAT Tourniquet is in there for the same reason. Though easier to access and apply if I had to use it on myself.
Then there are the oddballs, my pepper spray and smoke. These are both tools to cause disruptions on a larger scale without any lasting damage. Filling a room with smoke can change a lot, or it can be use to signal or start fires in a pinch. The Lock-on type pepper spray from Fox Labs is one of my favorite deterrents. Nothing clears out a space or slows down pursuers like dropping a can of mace that empties its entire contents into the air at once.
Odds & Ends
The last unusual items in the bag are the passport photos, tattoo concealer, and lamination strips. Well, I have visible tattoos and if you need to disappear quick, fast and in a hurry, it is much better to make your tattoos disappear than to wear a hoodie in the middle of summer. Feel me? Blending in is a skill and sometimes that skill takes a bit of makeup. Get over it. About the passport photos and lamination. Well, ID’s, whether real or improvised along with a straight face can get you in and out of a lot of places that restrict access; if you know how to play the gatekeepers right.
Summing It Up
If I had to summarize it, I would say my approach is to be lightweight, inconspicuous, but pack the ability to fight, aid, escape, evade, and generally disrupt emergency situations on the fly. I have no intention of staying put when things go south. So there you have it.
Hope this gives you some insight, and ideas for your own use. If you have suggestions or a tool that you find invaluable for your use, feel free to comment and let me know.