You’d think there are no mistakes to be made when it comes to everyday carry. You get yourself a nice wallet, stuff it with essentials, put the rest in your pockets or in a bag and you’re done.
Well, that’s not the case. Sure, unless you’re in a survival situation, these mistakes probably won’t be a big deal, but that doesn’t mean you should make them. Plus, if you ignore emergency situations, you could end up beaten, raped or even dead.
So let’s see what the biggest EDC mistakes that people make are, and talk about ways to fix them.
Mistake #1: Ignoring Self-Defense
Now, I’m not saying you should carry a fully loaded revolver plus a belt packed with extra ammo every single day… but you shouldn’t ignore this aspect altogether, either.
Depending on where you live, carrying a gun, a knife or even pepper spray may be against the law. Still, if they are not, I highly recommend you carry the thing that will do most damage in case of sexual assault, a shootout and so on.
By the way, if you’re travelling, particularly by plane, you should be aware of what you can and cannot take with you. Airport security will stop and even flag you for something as banal as a credit-card shaped multitool.
Mistake #2: Abusing Their EDC Knife
If you want a knife (of any kind) to last you a lifetime, you should only use it for its intended purposes. Sure, some bushcraft knives are even suited for splitting wood, but misusing your knife is a definite no-no.
First, you might not be able to use that knife when you need it most. Second, it’ll cost you money.
A good EDC knife is around 40 bucks, with some being over $100. That’s not the kind of money I’m willing to spend twice just because I damaged the tip when I used it to open a beer. A knife’s tip should never be used for things like these.
I know you could, in theory, you could use it in a variety of survival situations (such as digging a Dakota hole to make fire), but that doesn’t mean you should.
Keep in mind EDC knives have smaller blades and are weaker than survival and bushcraft knives… so, please, treat them with care and respect.
Mistake #3: Carrying Too Much Stuff
If you’re willing to learn new skills and new ways of doing things, you shouldn’t have to carry too much stuff with you. It’ll not only weight you down, but people may start asking questions about why you carry so many things with you all the time.
So how do you know which items to remove from your EDC? Redundant items are a good place to start. I know redundancy is a very useful survival concept, but this is everyday carry we’re talking about. You can keep redundancies in your get home bag, not your pockets. For example, if you carry a lighter with you at all times, what’s the point in having a credit-card shaped Fresnel lens in your wallet?
Another way to do it is to look at the item and ask yourself two questions:
#1. When was the last time I used this?
and #2: Would this be useful to me in a survival situation?
See, just because you haven’t used something you carry, it doesn’t mean you should disregard it. I’ve never used my pepper spray but that doesn’t mean I don’t carry it with me wherever I go.
Mistake #4: Ignoring Their Phone
Everybody has a smartphone these days. The amazing thing about it is that you can load it with apps and information and not add a single ounce to the weight of your EDC kit.
From articles and ebooks to survival apps, photos of things such as giving first aid and navigation apps, there are plenty of things you should download. Unless you’ll be dealing with an electromagnetic (EMP) pulse, your phone will probably be one of the most important survival items in your kit.
Tip: avoid putting your survival apps on your main screen. People may notice them at some point.
Mistake #4: Not Checking Their Gear
Are you sure your lighters work? Are you sure your flashlight’s batteries are functional? You should check every little thing that you carry and see.
And if you want to minimize the risk even further, how about you ditch your battery operated keychain flashlight for one that is hand-crank? That way, you won’t have to worry about batteries anymore.
Mistake #5: Carrying Items that are “tacticool”
This is important particularly in urban environments, where anything tactical sticks out. In a survival situation, you want to be “grey”, you want to stand out as little as possible. Avoid items in camo and bright colors and opt for things in black and dark colors.
Mistake #6: Bragging
There’s no point in bragging with your edc unless you like the idea of being labeled a prepper or a survivalist by people who have no idea what it really means. Keep your items concealed and, if they do happen to notice them, avoid getting into arguments. You probably won’t change their minds.
Mistake #7: Not Having Basic First Aid Items
I always carry a band-aid in my wallet. It’s small, lightweight and no one will find it. It won’t do much in most survival situations but if either I or someone else gets a cut, this can and will stop bleeding.
But don’t stop here. You can add even more first aid items. You can fit them into a Maxpedition organizer or even in an altoids tin that will fit in your purse or laptop bag.
Mistake #8: Lack of Skill / Not Knowing How to Use Their Gear
This one is obvious. You need to know how to operate every edc item in your possession, enough said.
What mistakes have YOU made with your EDC? Please share below.