By Carlos Huerta

Everyone’s EDC is different as most people carry differently. Your EDC defines who you are, where you work, and so on. What you carry says a lot about you. Choices in equipment are shaped by training, occupation, life style, personal taste, and even body type. EDC equipment is part of the dress code for the prepared officer or citizen. What may be too much for some is not enough for others. My EDC is focused around preparedness and self-reliance. Having these tools at the ready every day will not only equip me for my daily routine, but also for unexpected situations. Here is some key advice on advanced EDC tactics.

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This Is What I Carry In My Advanced EDC

When it comes to EDC, most people just carry the basics, but you might be leaving out the most important items. When building my EDC, I go by the motto: “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it but not have it.” Everything I carry has a use if not multiple uses. You never know what will happen once you’ve walked out your front door. A simple trip to the gas station can turn into so much more. Here is a list of what I typically carry:

  • Phone
  • Multi-tool/Knife
  • Wallet
  • Chemlight
  • Handcuff key
  • Pen/Notebook
  • Lock pick
  • Pocket Trauma Kit
  • Bandages
  • Gun
  • Foil
  • Spare Magazines
  • Fire Starter
  • Holster
  • Magazine Pouch
  • Keys
  • Belt
  • Watch
  • Flashlight

It seems like a lot but this is what I’ve determined I need daily basis. Why do I carry so much stuff? It makes my life easier and convenient. It also allows me to deal with emergencies big or small and complete everyday tasks more efficiently. Sometimes you waste a lot of time trying to find the right tool you need. Because of my well-built EDC, I’m not wasting time digging through a junk drawer or asking co-workers to borrow a band-aid. In the military, they teach you a phrase: “two is one, one is none.” This means to always have a backup, be it knife, flashlight or other gear. Something can always go wrong in an emergency setting, having those extra tools can go a long way.

No matter who you are, you will always have three essential EDC items: phone, wallet, and keys. There’s a lot of fancy wallets and key rings out on the market made for EDC carriers. Those are based on preference and style alone. A cell phone is obviously something you would have on you, and it’s arguably the most important. You can get all sorts of information at the touch of a button. In your hand you have a map, coordinates, a compass, survival and medical books, and plant references books. Phones don’t always work, especially in a disaster scenario, but they’re the best option to have when they do.


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How You Carry Matters

How you carry matters, whether it’s your pockets, belt, or backpack. There are three important things to remember when assembling your EDC gear:

Even Weight

If you carry your gear in your jacket or on a belt, distributing the weight evenly will go a long way. Make sure the weight is even, otherwise it will effect your walking and sitting. Some battle belts are designed with an inner velcro belt which helps with the weight distribution. This also helps keep gear tight to your body. Equipment tends to “flop around” which can be a nuisance when running. It pays to keep your EDC gear as secure as possible.

A Good Belt

You can’t get the job done without a good belt. You’ll need a belt that’s stiff and sturdy, especially if you are carrying multiple items. A belt designed specifically for everyday carry allows for better wear and concealment. Be careful not to buy the cheaper “gun” belts. You need a quality belt that can hold your heavier firearm, backup mags, and trauma gear. I personally wear a riggers belt made by Tactical Tailor. A riggers belt is sturdy and reliable, and also it can hold your weight if needed to repel in a survival situation.

Thoughtful Placement

If you carrying your EDC on a belt or in your pockets, everything has a place. When you place you items, it needs to make sense. Depending on what I’m wearing or carrying, I use different carry methods/positions. Different locations means different firearms. If I really want to conceal, I would normally have my Glock 43, which is very small and slim. On other occasions, I would go bold and carry my Glock 21, which is a .45 caliber larger handgun. Some days I would have an IWB holster and other days I wear my OWB holster. Some days I have my appendix carry holster, some days I have a drop-leg holster. The placement of my gear and firearm depends on where I’m going and what I’m doing that day.

I carry a lot of gear, but where do I put it all? Often, I carry the majority of my EDC in my backpack that I have going to and from work. However, if I’m running errands, I rely on my duty belt and pockets. I prefer the 5.11 Tactical denim jeans because they are designed to hold your EDC gear. In the cooler weather, when I’m wearing a jacket, I’m able to carry a lot more gear in the pockets.

Everything Has A Purpose

One of the most useful items you can carry is a good knife and a multi-tool. A knife is definitely the primary tool you should carry, but knives have limitations. Get a good multi-tool that will give you a second blade, pliers, tweezers, and several other useful tools. A multi-tool gives my EDC kit almost infinite utility options. You may never find yourself in an actual survival situation, but you actually use your knife a daily basis such as opening boxes, cutting string, etc. On a daily basis, I use my multi-tool more than anything. If I needed scissors or a pliers, my multi-tool is always at my fingertips.

When going out, I always make sure I have my Rite in the Rain notebook and pen. This notebook is a waterproof tactical notebook. I have the 3.5”x5” size and it can easily slide into any slim pocket. In everyday situations, paper and pen comes in handy for updating a to-do list, making notes, or getting a phone number. You can’t always reply on getting into your phone to get addresses or important numbers. A while back, I made a list of numbers and emergency addresses in the notebook so if anything were to happen to my cell phone, I would still have my emergency contacts. In a survival scenario, a pen can be used to leave notes for rescuers.

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Even during the day, you’ll always need a decent flashlight on you. I personally carry the SureFire Tactician. It works great and it’s there when I need it. Also, I carry a Chemlight in my backpack or in my jacket pocket. Most people don’t usually carry a Chemlight, but this is a habit I developed in the military. A Chemlight is a heavy duty glow stick. There could be a point in a survival situation where my Tactician may stop working, so the Chemlight serves as my backup light.

Carrying Lethal

No matter where I go, I always have my Glock 19 on me. Not at home, not in my truck or under the seat but on me at all times. When I’m carrying I like to use my GRITR holster or appendix holster. It’s ridiculously comfortable when open carrying or carrying concealed.

With my handgun, I usually carry spare magazines in my Bravo Concealment double mag pouch. Carrying backup magazines is a responsible approach to EDC. Two mags is no more difficult to carry than one, so I carry two as often as I can. The main purpose of having the spare mags is to quickly clear a malfunction and to have extra ammunition. If I am ever using my firearm and for some reason it jams, a quick release button and a drop of a mag can easily fix that problem.

Can’t Carry Lethal?

Some days, my EDC really changes especially when I’m not able to carry my firearm. I may not go lethal that day but I still have my backup options. Instead of my Glock, I would instead have my OC spray, a good knife, and my tactical pen. Having different tactical options helps give my EDC variety.

Trauma Kits

Do I need a pocket trauma kit? The answer will always be yes. If I’m carrying my firearm, then I will always need my trauma kit on me. My pocket trauma kit currently includes QuikClot combat gauze, a SWAT-T tourniquet, a pair of gloves, and a chest seal. These are just the basics I would need to help get someone to professional medical care. There’s a bigger chance of me using my pocket trauma kit than my firearm. It’s not anything major or big, but it’s there to save either my life or a loved one’s life.

Everyday Carry In Your Wallet

Instead of limiting myself to pockets and bags, I carry my smaller items in my wallet. It’s not a fancy wallet, it’s just a simple wallet I picked up at 5.11 Tactical. In my wallet, I’m able to carry a handcuff key, a lock pick, bandages, foil, and a fire starter. With the handcuff key, I’m able to get out of illegal restraints and the lock pick can be used in multiple legal situations. The bandages will always come in handy for small cuts and scrapes.

The foil is a little less common but still just as efficient. There’s about four feet of foil nicely folded up in my wallet. The foil comes in handy in numerous ways. It can be transformed into anything I need. I could shape it into a cup or a cooking utensil in a survival situation. The foil could also be used to keep items dry from rain or water. Just simply wrapping up certain items in the foil could instantly make them water-proof. Also, with the foil tucked away in my wallet, it protects my credit cards from those fraud scanners. Finally, the fire starter can be used in any survival scenario. There is no doubt fire is pretty important when out in the wilderness.

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Final Thoughts

Is it absolutely necessary to carry all this gear? Not at all. This is my EDC. Some people may think this is too heavy or uncomfortable but this is what I’m accustomed to. I stand by my motto, “it’s better to have it and not need it than need it but not have it.” My EDC does change day to day depending on the season and my activities. Everyday carry is all about assembling a setup that fits your needs. No matter what EDC should define who you are as a person.