Erik’s EDC

It’s about time I listed my “everyday carry” or “EDC” for short. For those of you not familiar with the EDC subculture, there are entire websites devoted to posting, critiquing and obsessing over the items you carry every singe day (not, say, just when going on a hike). I went through somewhat of an EDC mid-life crisis last month and emerged on the other side with the following items:

1. A nice Saddleback Leather Wallet that Mrs. Homegrown bought for me after she got sick of my ugly overstuffed old wallet.

2. My old Leatherman that I use every single day.

3. A mini pen–I got a box of 12 from an office supply place. It fits nicely in a pocket and I don’t have to worry about losing it.

4. Ferrocerium Fire Starter “nanoSTRIKER” –this neat little tool has a blade and a ferrocerium rod. You strike the blade against the rod and you get a shower of sparks.

5. Small keychain pill holders–the red one contains a cotton ball soaked in Vaseline to use as kindling with the fire starter. The blue one contains ibuprofen (I’m a runner) and Benadryl (for insect stings).

6. MAGLITE K3A016 AAA Solitaire Flashlight. I had tried a smaller flashlight that used watch batteries, but it had a tendency to open up in my pocket and those watch batteries are expensive. This one has not turned on accidentally or opened up.

You’ll notice that I don’t have a cellphone–Mrs. Homegrown and I share an old one with next to no battery life and I don’t have it with me everyday. That may change soon when we switch plans. And I’ll admit I have yet to use the fero rod for anything other than a bizarre time killer when I deliver lectures to college students.

What’s your EDC? Comments . . . 

Many thanks to Jack Spirko of the Survival Podcast for the handy EDC list he put together that turned me on to those pill holders and fero rods. And read an interesting interview with Bernard Capulong, founder of, here.

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  1. i have a couple versions of EDC, and they depend entirely on what state I’m in and whether i have my car or am in someone else’s.

    i have a get-home bag in my trunk for serious emergency situations – that’s where my magnesium firestarter and Streamlight PT2L flashlight live. i also have a big list of other items in it that i’ll share if you want, but that’s not what this post is about. 🙂

    in my PURSE – if i’m in Maryland – i keep the following:
    iPod, cell phone
    2 pens
    pad of paper
    some cash (usually somewhere between $20 and $40)
    coin purse with at least $3 in various coinage
    this pepper spray – it’s easily one of the best on the market and it fits in the holster in my purse.
    my Ken Onion Leek. yes, it’s rainbow. yes, it throws people off. 🙂
    house and car keys.

    if i’m NOT in Maryland, that means i’m most likely in a state that honors my carry permit, so my Bersa .380 replaces the pepper blaster, and i add a spare mag. my purse has a built-in holster and mag holder (this is where my pocketknife usually lives. if i’m carrying, the knife goes in another pocket in the purse). i make good use of them whenever i am legally able.

  2. When walking early in the AM alone, I carry my buck knife, chap stick always, and my phone.
    I never go anywhere without chap stick or dental floss in my pocket.

  3. My EDC consists of a Gerber Ripstop I serrated blade, Swiss-tech Utilikey and a small keyring flashlight. Not much, but I’m almost always within about 200′ of my desk, car or home. There are other preparedness items in each of them. I have been shopping around for my best option for a fire starter, I’m leaning towards a lighter of some sort, but I haven’t decided on the type.

    As for cell phone, it sounds like you rarely use a cell. Have you considered Tracfone? That’s what I use and am very happy with them. I rarely use my phone either. It ends up costing me about $100 a YEAR for service. I never end up using my minutes and just have to renew with my time is almost up. I like it so much that my wife and son now have Tracfone cell phones.

  4. My maglite on my key chain looks just like yours. I hate that I have to twist it to turn it on, plus the twist is the thing that opens the light compartment. If I accidentlly twist too far, it falls apart just as I am trying to use it. Mine comes apart all the time, spilling batteries in my purse. Everything about twisting it open is so easy. Plus maglites always have a dark spot in the middle of the light cast by them. I am searching for a better flashlight for my keychain.

  5. Laura,

    I agree with the pepper spray and was going to mention it in my post. As for the .380, it’s an underpowered round. Unless you hit the “10 ring” on an assailant, he could still do you some serious harm. When I taught self-defense as a cop, I always recommended a 2″ shrouded hammer, 5 shot,.38 revolver. In addition, most semi-automatics are a little too complicated to operate for the average lay person. With a revolver, you just point and pull the trigger.

  6. Max – if you pay attention to ballistics charts, a GOOD .380 round is equivalent to decent 9mm (you know, what most people buy for guns they rarely shoot). I appreciate your suggestion on a .38 revolver, but a semiautomatic has something a revolver doesn’t – increased carrying capacity. Furthermore, I’m an accomplished shooter: even under high stress situations, the bullet goes where I want it to go. The last time I had a problem with it was when I first got started, and shooting my other pistol, a 1911 in .45, has helped to significantly improve my accuracy. Besides, .38SP in a 2″ barrel is not as accurate as .380 in a 3″ barrel…and a compact revolver is the worst possible gun for a newbie, unless you want to guarantee they never shoot again.

    If you’d like to continue this discussion in a gun-specific forum, please feel free to join me on my blog. I welcome debate like this, and I feel you would have something worthwhile to contribute. 🙂

  7. I carry a ferrocerium rod woven into a paracord lanyard that acts as a key fob. Also on the keyring is a Fenix E01 flashlight and usually a flay signal whistle but my dog chewed it, plus car key & alarm fob. I just got one of the pill containers to add some firestarting material & water purification tablets to.

    In my left pocket is a FlipSide wallet and a small NRA branded pocketknife.

    In my right pocket is some cash and a butane torch lighter. I need to replace my carry knife (Spyderco Police) with a more utilitarian Benchmade.

    iPhone in my shirt pocket.

    In my Maxpedition Monsoon Gearslinger, I keep a Pelican 1060 microcase that has a bunch of stuff for emergencies, and in another pocket I keep a Lifeline 4432 waterproof First Aid kit with some extras added. I also have a Surefire 6P with spare CR123 batteries and a bulb, a large folding knife, a water bottle, a pair of socks and jocks, a roll each of quarters and nickels plus some folding money and a spare wallet with extra id/insurance card/credit card. This is my laptop case so it’s with me whenever I am working.

  8. Glad to know that I am not the last person in the world without a cell phone.
    I don’t have any sort of portable music device, either. My life doesn’t need a soundtrack.

    I rarely go very far alone, but I do keep a bag of helpful things in the car: handy wipe things, aspirin, tissues, pens, a flashlight, that sort of thing. I find I don’t use any of it often, but when I’ve just gotten something goopy on my hands it’s nice to have the wipes.

  9. Laura,

    I love a woman who shoots guns :). Just a couple of random thoughts:

    1) Yes, ballistically a 9mm is similar to a .380. It’s an ineffective round that can get you killed. That’s why law enforcement officers now carry .40’s.

    2) Prior to the advent of autoloaders, the average police gunfight was 5′ or less, 3 rounds or less. Unless you are a cop or Navy SEAL (I was both), “extra capacity” is unnecessary and usally equates to too many rounds being fired and dramatically increases the chances of innocent bystanders being wounded or killed. Even experienced police officers have this problem. For the average citizen involved shooting, if you can’t end the threat with 3 rounds . . . 2 to the body, 1 to the head, a gun probably isn’t appropriate.

    3)You obviously are an “experienced shooter”. Autoloaders in the hands of an “inexperienced shooter” are dangerous and are inadvisable. I.E. is a round chambered or not?; is the gun “on” or “off safe”? If you have to stop and think about it, you’re dead, With a revolver, just aim at center mass and pull the trigger. Easy.

    I enjoyed our chat.


  10. Max –
    1 – *any* round can get a person killed if they can’t handle a gun. no one belongs behind a firearm if they don’t know how to use it…this includes LEOs who don’t bother to practice. 😉 also, .40S&W has been nicknamed Short & Weak for a reason. it’s slower than .45 while having little better ballistics than 9mm. i’d also like to offer the fact that even one well-placed .22 can take a person out.

    2 – i understand your point, and i can’t say you’re wrong, but if a semiauto is less expensive and equally reliable, why not go with it? i like revolvers as much as the next person – heck, i plan on buying a few at some point – but i’d rather have something with more capacity. call it a security blanket, if you will.

    3 – i repeat my earlier point: no one belongs behind a firearm unless they’ve trained to use it properly and effectively. i’d rather see a newb behind a pump shotgun than any kind of pistol.

    i’ve also enjoyed this conversation. offer stands – come and join the conversation at, won’t you? 🙂

  11. Pingback: How to Build a Better Every Day Carry (EDC) - Ever Growing Farm | Ever Growing Farm

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