- Will I primarily be indoors or outdoors?
- Am I in an urban or rural environment?
- Will I encounter threats or hostile areas?
- Do I need to accomplish tasks that require specific tools that would otherwise not be readily available.
- Are their water sources, emergency weather forecasts, areas for shelter, steep inclines, heavy foliage, or other environmental concerns?
- What other supplies will be at my disposal? (Bugout Bag, Get Home Bag, Toolbox in back of car, stocked kitchen at work, etc)
- What are some of the common barriers I may encounter today?
Now you’ll need to match your analysis to items that can aid you. Here are some examples of proper applications of assigning a tool/item to accomplish a task or overcome a barrier.
- If darkness will fall before you return home = Flashlight
- If you are hauling tied down cargo in your truck bed = Knife to cut rope
- If you are going to a backyard bbq and plan on drinking = Bottle opener
- If you are driving = Wallet/ID Card
- If you will be away from home or car or work for 10+ hours = Phone charger
- If you are working out in the sun = Lip Balm, Sun Glasses, Hat
- If you are clearing trees deep in a forest with a chain saw = Safety Glasses, Gloves, Tourniquet
As you can see, your EDC will vastly change day-to-day. Just because you don’t have in specific expectations to need a knife, or a gun, or even a flashlight; doesn’t mean you should remove them from your EDC. Planning for the unexpected is what will set you apart from others who fail to prepare. You want to be the person that has what you need and what others need. Rather that be offering a handkerchief to a lady that sneezed, defending yourself and others during a gas station robbery, or cutting yourself free from jammed seatbelt after a vehicle rollover.
You want to find the right balance. While you should try to prepare for possible outcomes, it’s impossible to have everything you’ll ever need on your person at all times. Don’t burden yourself with unnecessary items. If your pockets are loaded, your belt has 6 things clipped to it, and your shoes has a screwdriver slipped in the sole you’ve gone too far. Assess your needs each day and fine tune your carry.