If this is your idea of self defense EDC gear then please read this article
For those of you who are not familiar with the term EDC: EDC stands for Every Day Carry, referring to the items (usually defensive or urban survival related) that you carry on your person everyday.
I have had quite a few requests to write an article on EDC, but my self defense EDC is sort of lame (gun, spray, knife, knucks, pocket lint) so I decided to do a bit of research on some of the popular survival and gun forums.
After about half a day reading the page long lists of all the EDC items that some people carry I was pretty dumbfounded. I couldn’t believe that people actually carry (by my estimates) up to 10 pounds of EDC crap.
The first thing I thought was “do they really carry all of that shit, even at work?”
And it wasn’t just the quantity of items they carried everyday that was wild, but some of the stuff listed made it seem like they thought the zombie apocalypse may happen wile they picking up a pizza at Papa Johns. Multiple handguns, 5 mags, 3 knives and even stun guns were amongst the items listed for EDC. Wow.
Anyway, I have thrown some advice together for any of you that may be putting together an EDC list for defending yourself and for the guys here that may have gone a bit overboard with their EDC.
Unless you owe you bookie bread, are an off duty law enforcement officer or some other sort of armed professional then you do not need to carry enough weapons to take on North Korea.
I would suggest the following:
- One compact handgun - One extra magazine
I know what you are thinking now, but seriously folks – you will never (as a civilian) get into some sort of Die Hard style epic gunfight where you will burn through 40 or 80 rounds of ammo on the streets of Barkerville Alabama.
Statistics show that basically all gunfights in the US only last a few rounds at best. Even in the event of confronting an active shooter I have never heard of a civilian (who confronted the shooter) who had to conduct multiple magazine changes.
Also with active shooter situations the shooter tends to choose places where people can not legally carry concealed guns anyway (like schools and military bases) so it wont matter if you have four 20 round glock magazines because they will be in your car.
So basically the gun you carry will more than likely only be used to suddenly defend yourself (or others) from street level crime, not a team of assassins sent by an evil genius.
If you (as a civilian in the US) end up getting into a massive shoot-out where you cook through 3 magazines you can write me and prove me wrong, until then one compact gun and one mag (optional) will be my EDC advice to the average Joe.
For knives I would suggest going with a folding knife that has a blade length legal for you to conceal where you live. If you work in the great outdoors then a good fixed blade knife is fine but don’t walk around Starbucks with your Bowie on.
You don’t need to carry 2 or more knives for self defense, you will never get into a knife fight where you will stab someone so many times your knife will become so dull that you will need to switch to a fresh blade.
Carrying a large bladed combat or fighting knife concealed is not necessary for self defense; it is also serial killer behavior.
EDC Impact Weapons
Personally I would argue that the majority of people don’t need to carry impact weapons at all. If you get into a situation where you need a weapon but you could not use or present your handgun/knife, then you are probably in a fist-fight because someone pissed you off or violence has happened so suddenly that you could not draw your gun/knife.
If it has come down to a H2H situation then you ether won’t have the time to draw and engage your ASP baton (or whatever) or you will open a huge can of legal whoop-ass on yourself when you beat someone to a pulp with your kubotan keyring because he called you a fag.
Also getting into a H2H confrontation means that you are someone that is likely to intervene in another person’s non-life threatening situation or go straight to the fist when confronted with a non-life threatening situation directly.
Reconsider your train of thought on the above, if the situation isn’t one where you can’t go straight to your gun then you should count to 10 or call the police.
Basically what I am saying is; an impact weapon is used when a firearm is too high a level of force, so what situation would you get into where you need to beat the shit out of someone with a baton but you can’t shoot him? (Especially if you are not a cop)
If you do carry an impact weapon then get some sort of certification or training and make sure that the impact weapon you carry is legal in your area.
EDC Chemical Sprays
Pepper spray is the one thing that I think everyone should carry (male or female) after taking a course on proper use (that includes being sprayed in the face). Pepper spray fills a void in the use of force pyramid for civilians between a gun and your fists.
For Example: If some guys are messing with a young girl and you step in and they move towards you, well... shooting four unarmed guys probably isn’t a good idea, pulling out a kubotan keyring won’t be enough force and going H2H 4 on 1 is only for Ninjas – so spray those fuckers down (this situation actually happened to me in a grayhound station in DC).
I have used pepper spray more times than I have gone to the gun, knife or impact weapon combined (in the US). It is a fight or bad situation stopper that won’t end up with you on trial for murder.
Many men fight the idea that they should carry something that “girls” carry so some frat guy wont date rape them. But if every law enforcement agency in the country issues some sort of chemical spray then they must be on to something smart.
Carrying a full sized 2 cell SureFire light really isn’t necessary, most people can get away with a single cell SureFire (or similar brand) and an LED keyring light. If you use a light it will be for offensive/defensive purposes or so you can find the parking voucher that fell under your car seat.
So the single cell SureFire can be your offensive/defensive light and the LED keychain light is for normal stuff.
What this article is not about
This is just about the EDC that people carry for self defense, it is not referring to stuff like mini-pry bars and tactical gadgets. If you want to carry titanium sporks or Swedish fire tools on your keyring then knock yourself out.
And if you still want to carry both a full sized & compact Glock, four 20 round magazines, 3 fixed blade knives, an ASP baton, kubotan keyring and a 6 cell D maglight then again, knock yourself out dude.
~James G Founder - Editor in Chief
James G is a Veteran Civilian Contractor who has worked in the Middle East and Southeast Asia for way too long. He spends his off time in Indonesia and Virginia getting drunk, shooting guns and writing poorly written articles.