My EDC: It has Nothing to do with a Firearm By: Allan Smith


By Dana Benner

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            Everyday carry, or EDC, is a very popular topic and tons of articles are written about it all of the time.  The ideas about what one considers is the proper EDC is as different as the people carrying it.  I know people who consider their EDC is not complete unless it includes a firearm.  I don’t agree with that, so my normal EDC does not include a firearm of any sort.  It is all up to the individual.


            A common mistake made by people is knowing the difference between EDC, a Bugout bag, and equipment carried in your vehicle.  EDC gear is not intended for long term survival use.  They are tools used in the spur of the moment to get you out of a jam.  Bugout bags and vehicle survival tools are intended for longer term situations and contain more elaborate sets of tools.  What follows are what I carry for EDC.  It is not the end all and you may disagree with what I carry, and that is okay.  Like I said, it is all up to the individual.

Why no Firearm:

            Anyone who reads my articles knows that I have, and use, firearms.  With that being said, I see no need to carry a .45ACP into a grocery store, library or even down the street, but that would be just what I would be doing if a firearm is part of my EDC.  In some cases, it could be illegal, but besides that, it could draw unwanted attention.  That is the last thing I want to do.

            Another reason why I don’t carry a firearm as part of my EDC is that where I may be going doesn’t warrant it.  Although I spend a great deal of time in the outdoors, I spend almost as much time in meetings, doing research or other such things, places and activities where a firearm would be more of a distraction than anything else.  When in the middle of an interview I don’t want my firearm to become the topic of discussion.  It is just easier not to carry one.  That is just my opinion.

What I do Carry:

            The items that I do carry have to be 1) practical and 2) have to fit into my pockets.  I don’t want any of my gear showing, but I want it available quickly if I do need it.  What follows are the items I carry all of the time.

5.11 Kubaton Tactical pen, Gerber Impromtu Tactical Pen and 5.11 EDC PL 2AAA Flashlight

As a writer I am always taking notes, so a good pen, or pens, are on me at all times.  I always carry one of the following pens; the Gerber Impromtu Tactical Pen or the 5.11 Tactical Kubaton Tactical Pen.  I recently wrote an article on tactical pens for Epic Tactical, so I won’t go into details here, but instead ask you to refer back to that article for additional information.

  • Flashlight:

In my pocket, next to the pen(s) you will find a 5.11 Tactical EDC PL 2AAA Flashlight.  Just a little larger than a pen, it is the perfect light to have.  I have used this light more than once to find my way around during a blackout.  This light is water resistant, and has a continuous run time of about four hours on 2 AAA batteries.

In my Pocket:

Lighters are something I always have

My father taught me to never leave home without two things: a knife and a lighter.  This rule I obey to this day.  So in one pocket you will always find a disposable lighter and clipped to the other you will find a folding knife.  I prefer folders because they are not as obvious as fixed blades.  When it comes to folders I like the ones that clip to your pocket for easy access.  While I have many folding knives, the knife that is part of my EDC is the Gerber Sharkbelly serrated.  This knife is American-made, holds an edge well.  I have used this knife to cut everything from rope to zip-ties and bags of wood pellets.  I have also used it to clean fish and small game.

                                                                                                           Gerber Sharkbelly

My tools on my keychain

By far most of my EDC tools are carried on my keychain.  They are out of sight and I know just where they are at all times.  Here is what you’ll find on my keychain:

  • 11 Tactical EDT Rescue:

This is an amazing little tool that includes a carbide tip that will break tempered glass, and a seatbelt cutter.

L to R  Gerber Dime, 5.11 EDT Rescue, 5.11 BASE 1SF, 5.11 EDC K-USB

  • Gerber Dime:

I would be amiss if I didn’t carry a multi-tool, so here it is.  The Gerber Dime is a mini multi-tool that includes many useful features including needle-nosed pliers, wire cutter, two flathead screwdrivers and other functions.  I’ve used this tool to do everything from straightening eyeglasses to opening a bottle of beer.

  • 11 Tactical BASE 1SF:

There will be times when a standard folder will not be allowed (courts, Federal Buildings, etc.).  For that reason the BASE 1SF is on my keychain.  It is small with a closed length of 2.365 inches.  When open there is a 1.5 inch sheep’s foot blade.

  • 11 Tactical EDC K-USB:

5.11 Kubaton Tactical pen

This is a small, rechargeable flashlight that is one of the handiest tools that I have.  It is perfect for use when a larger flashlight is just too much.  The best part is that it can be recharged using the USB port on your computer or in your car.


            Your EDC tools should not be confused with the gear you carry in your bugout bag or in your vehicle.  EDC is always those things that you carry on your person “just in case”.  They are not intended for long-term survival.  Their intent is to fix a problem and allows you to get out of a potential more serious situation.