What a Former Soldier Carries Everyday: EDC Explained

Everyday Carry EDC

People can spend all day imagining possible situations they could find themselves in and then try to come up solutions and items to carry so they can counter the situation or threat.

This can become an endless cycle, of what ifs. The unimaginable can happen to anyone at anytime, but how likely is it to happen to you, and would it matter what tools or materials you had on you?  Having tools and materials on you is one thing, using them effectively is another thing entirely.

Carry things based on necessity and not so much on extreme possibilities, because after all, you only have so many pockets, and you do not want to draw attention to yourself.

Carry certain things based on your job, route to work such as rural routes or city streets and based on the way you get to work such as by train, cab or bicycle, and carry based on known, or possible threats that you have determined do exist.

You would have to assume that if you travel country roads to work you might need certain items, like matches, lighters and other fire starters for example. These items would not do you much good on a bus or train in the middle of a city. If you ride a bicycle to work then you may need specific items for maintenance for example.

Carry based on where you will be on a particular day. Some of your EDC items may very well change on a daily basis.

Do I Carry a Firearm Everyday?

If you type in EDC in the search bar, you will find various lists of EDC items and the vast majority of them will have a firearm listed. There are multiples of reasons to carry one and just as many reasons in some cases, not to carry a firearm.

If you have to carry one illegally then you are much more likely to be charged with an illegal carry then you are to use the firearm to save your life. You have to decide, this article is not making decisions for you. It is simply giving you a certain perspective.

I carry a firearm occasionally a small caliber pistol that can be easily concealed. Bigger, is not always better in a crowded mall, or on a busy city sidewalk. Range is usually not a factor in most urban environments, so small calibers can be ideal in close quarters combat when neutralizing not necessarily killing is sometimes the objective.

I carry a small caliber pistol a .22 Magnum Revolver in what some of the old timers used to call their “gentlemen’s pocket”. I carry a revolver over an automatic for various reasons. I have nothing against semi-automatics it is your choice.

In years past men of means wore suit coats or overcoats with inside breast pockets where they carried their billfolds and expensive cigars. The common person usually could not afford fancy overcoats or suits of quality so they stuffed coins or bills in their pants pockets.

The gentleman’s pocket is where I carry, because if on the off chance I am mugged that is where I would supposedly reach for my wallet to hand over. I have never had it happen, so whether the concept works or not remains to be seen but a firearm must come to the hand quickly and the less moves to get it there the better, right? My firearm is carried chest high in the left pocket because my strong hand is the right hand.

Neck Chain

  • Dog tag chain that breaks away if it is caught on something or someone grabs it. On it, I carry:
  • A small compass
  • P-38 (can opener, not that I would necessarily ever need it but it is about nostalgia)
  • Dog tags
  • Ferro rod
  • A nifty little gadget from Gerber that has a mini pry bar and bottle opener it is called the Gerber Shard and it also has small screw drivers, but frankly they are pretty much worthless but it is a gadget after all and the pry bar is stout enough to open paint cans, pull small nails and so on

Cell Phone

Carry it always

Small Note Pad and Stainless Steel Ball Point Pen

Great for mapping rooms for exit/entrances, note cover and concealment, general note taking, and of course for grocery lists. Pen can be used as a weapon.

Canvas Belt with Accessories Attached Such As:

  • A Handcuff Key
  • Cord cutter it is a tool made by Kershaw and it also has a bottle opener, flat head, and a slot for opening closing oxygen tanks it also has a finger hole to hold the tool if you are doing repetitive cutting of cordage, I tested it and it will cut plastic ties
  • Optional items could include Paracord

I have worn a belt ever since I could pull my own pants up. I wear a heavy canvas type with a subdued black buckle. On the backside of the belt where it meets the middle of my back, I have sewn a handcuff key. It is attached so it can be broken loose with little effort.

I also have a small tool that has a cord cutter on it, sewn on the backside near the handcuff key. The main purpose for this tool is to cut through zip ties or rope. Am I paranoid, yes of course I am, because I have been restrained in the professional cuffs with the little section in the middle that adjusts each wrist separately, almost impossible to get out of unless you can cut the ties off.

At one time, I had attached two 33-inch lengths of Paracord to the underside of the belt. I attached them with some thread and I did need a heavy needle but I always had cordage. I have since stopped carrying cordage this way.

You can attach just about anything to the underside of a canvas belt with a little sewing thread and some needles.

Do I Wear a Paracord Survival Bracelet Anymore No?

I do not wear a survival bracelet, anymore. I tried a few and even made some of my own and simply never got into carrying cordage this way. I tore one apart once, and to save the length by doing it properly, it took me 45 minutes. Not sure if the bracelet was made right or I was doing it wrong, it does not seem like it is worth the effort for me. If cordage is important to you wear some like a belt by threading through the loops and then tie off.


Carry everyday a Gerber or Leatherman I have both, and it is one tool I find I need almost daily for one thing or another, carried in a small pouch with belt loops.

Folding Knife

Knife with pocket clip that has a spring assist for one handed open and close. I alternate from Gerber, Kershaw to Schrade.

Mirror: Used To Carry But Not Anymore

For years in the military, I carried a mirror every day. It was used for grooming, signaling and for applying camo paint to the face. It was also used to direct sunlight to tracks or impressions in the soil. Using a mirror, I was able to direct stronger light to the track or impressio so the details were highlighted. Hunters can benefit from a mirror when tracking game.

I do not carry one anymore but some may find one beneficial.


Carry one every day and if I expect to need a bigger on a particular day I will switch out.


Have worn one every day since I could tell time


Never leave home without it

Key Chain

It only carries the car keys though, because if they are stolen or lost I do not want a house key on it or any useful tools.


There are universal tool pouches with belt loops that could conceivably carry all that you need in one place. The pouches can be picked up and any Lowes, Home Depot or even some retail department stores.

Your carry is your carry based on your personal preferences, perceived or known threats or known situations you may find yourself in. In other words, everyone carries something different from someone else.