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#47137 - 08/26/05 11:49 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
fugitive Offline
Member

Registered: 08/26/05
Posts: 183
Loc: The Great Pacific Northwest
Greetings,

I am new to the group and thought I would share my ideas of minimalist EDC options.

There are many different ways to look at preparedness. Some do it for peace of mind; others do it as a hobby/challenge. I take more of a Zen approach to the whole thing. I don't try to prepare for every possible disaster or trouble. I follow the old 90% rule and look for those problems that are most likely to occur, and that I can personally deal with to improve my odds of survival. You could say I follow the KISS philosophy (Keep It Simple Survivalist). Many folks in this group I will affectionately refer to as followers of the KSS philosophy (Kitchen Sink Survivalists). These folks plan for every possible outcome and have a tool, gizmo, or gee-gaw to assist in this quest. When I start preparing from a hobby standpoint, I start sliding to the “dark side” (KSS). When I sit down and try to be a bit more practical I can come up with some basic/inexpensive solutions that meet my personal and unique needs.

Here are some examples:

Back when I was part of the rat race with an office job in the city, I had a certain set of requirements. I met this need with a simple layered approach. I carried very little with me as an EDC. Just a wallet, a keychain light and knife. In my wallet I printed up business card size lists with phone numbers and e-mail addresses that might be important in an emergency. I have calling cards from AT&T, Sprint and MCI. I have found that after a crisis (Here in the Puget Sound, Mother Nature likes to shake things up a bit) I can usually get calls out on at least one of the cards. Same result when trying to call family in So Cal after the ground shakes there. I always carry some cash, a credit card, an ATM card, as well as two band-aids in the wallet. That’s it. The sole job of my EDC is to get to my next layer, my “Office kit”.

I had a small military tool bag in my office desk drawer with more survival goodies. The tool bag has a shoulder strap so my hands are always free. The bag contained items such as water, food, a dust mask, a larger flashlight and other basic tools. In an emergency if I can’t get to my office, I am probably already under a pile of rubble and severely injured or unconscious. Either one of these can make accessing or using an EDC difficult to impossible.

My next layer is a car kit. More water, more tools etc. Nothing fancy or complicated here. Just enough to get to home in the burbs. I have a few things in my car kit that can easily be overlooked. A good set of maps. (I have maps for state, region, county, and city), and I also have more cash. With a wide spread power failure ATM and credit cards will be useless. Cash sometimes talks. I carry an assortment of 1s, 5s, a couple of 10s and a 20 dollar bill (something to please everyone) I also carry a roll of quarters. If the power is up, lots of useful goodies are available via vending machines with a roll of shiny US tokens, also good for payphone calls. The car kit gets me home (on foot or on wheels) At home, more water, more goodies, etc. You get the picture. EDC> Office kit> Car kit> Home kit.

These days I play Mr. Mom and have different requirements. My EDC is still pretty much the same. Sure I have more knives in my collection to rotate through my EDC. I have added the low end military Fisher Space Pen to my pockets (cool factor). I used to use a Photon LED light, but after cracking the exposed LED on my personal light, I decided I could do better. I changed to an Inova button cell LED light. It seems to have a better primary switch, it has a much better “stay on” switch, and the LED is fully recessed for protection. It also doesn’t have any fancy strobe or SOS circuitry to go bad (keep it simple, baby). I have been suffering from a flashlight jones recently and felt the unnecessary need to upgrade my Inova to a Gerber Sonic AAA LED light. EDC: Wallet (with minimal goodies), flashlight, and knife. That’s my EDC. (Side note: If I could afford a cell phone, it would immediately be welcomed into my kit.)

Since I don’t have an office any more, the office kit is a bit redundant. When I take the kids on outings I usually carry a small daypack. In the day pack I stash water, a first-aid kit, and a small survival pack (in a Maxpedition pouch). I’ve used up enough bandwidth today, so I’ll share the contents of these ZEN kits at a future opportunity. Again, the function of these kits is to get me to my car. My car kit gets me home. My home kit keeps me fed, watered, and safe. Some will see my approach as more of a sieve than a solution. That’s OK. There is no “one size fits all” solution to preparedness. My option may appeal and assist some that have limited time, finances, or energy to create an “Ultimate Survive-All” solution.

Thanks to all for the great info in this forum.

Cheers, TR (aka pizzaman)

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#47138 - 08/27/05 07:44 AM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
7k7k99 Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 06/01/05
Posts: 375
Loc: Ohio
Your approach seems pretty well thought out, and that is the approach I am going to use for the most part. The cell phone I have is one of those pay as you go cell phones, mine from cincinnati bell, which I discovered is not truly nationwide on my recent vacation. It was useless in Chicago, Dallas and Las Vegas. I should have stayed with tracfone, they are truly the only nationwide pay as you go cell phone. I do like the idea of multiple phone cards however, as in 9-11, new york cell service was out when the towers went down. The phone cards might have been useful in that situation as well.
Thanks for the ideas pizzaman!

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#47139 - 08/27/05 02:00 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
jshannon Offline
Addict

Registered: 02/02/03
Posts: 585
Loc: North Texas
Are you using the phone cards as long distance cards for a landline phone? I didn't quite understand that part.

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#47140 - 08/27/05 02:38 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
Welcome to the forum. <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Good first post.

> In an emergency if I can?t get to my office, I am probably already under a pile of rubble

A whistle might be useful then, to let rescuers know you are alive and help them find you.

> I used to use a Photon LED light, but after cracking the exposed LED on my personal light, I decided I
> could do better. I changed to an Inova button cell LED light. It seems to have a better primary switch,
> it has a much better ?stay on? switch, and the LED is fully recessed for protection.

Photon have improved since then. They do a "covert" model, which has a recessed LED. I think the switch on the Freedom model is fine.
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#47141 - 08/27/05 02:45 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
Brangdon Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/12/04
Posts: 1201
Loc: Nottingham, UK
My minimum urban EDC would be:

Torch, eg Photon Freedom.
Whistle, eg Fox 40.
SAK or Multitool, eg Vic Rambler.
Money.

In practice I carry a bit more. It ebbs and flows, and currently is at a high point and may get cut back soon.
_________________________
Quality is addictive.

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#47142 - 08/27/05 03:17 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
GoatRider Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 834
Loc: Maple Grove, MN
Quote:
Photon have improved since then. They do a "covert" model, which has a recessed LED. I think the switch on the Freedom model is fine.

Even better- there's a special Doug Ritter version of the photon freedom. In addition to the recessed LED (mostly to prevent side scatter), it's also painted yellow so it's easy to find when you drop it in the woods.
_________________________
- Benton

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#47143 - 08/27/05 03:41 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
wolf Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 12/01/04
Posts: 329
Loc: Michigan
Welcome Pizzaman - I'm looking forward to hearing about your other kits.
_________________________
"2+2=4 is not life, but the beginning of death." Dostoyevsky

Bona Na Croin

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#47144 - 08/27/05 08:24 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
reconcowboy Offline
Member

Registered: 03/01/05
Posts: 170
Loc: Ohio
Mine is almost the same lately, Leatherman Micra and the Inova.

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#47145 - 08/28/05 03:05 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
Craig Offline


Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
Quote:
Well, you could shave a little more off by losing the small pocket knife, right? The wave has a blade. You may not want to or need to, but you did say "bare minimum".


SInce we are talking "bare mininum" here, I'll make a bold statement and say, lose the Wave, but keep the small pocketknife. Let the flames commence! <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

I can't always take my Wave or SwissTool everywhere. Most of the time they are really overkill for my needs. I usually carry my Victorinox CyberTool 41 or SwissChamp. And I can take a smaller SAK nearly everywhere. Either my MiniChamp or Executive is always in my pocket.

-- Craig

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#47146 - 08/28/05 03:12 PM Re: Bare Minimum EDC
Craig Offline


Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
Quote:
Are you using the phone cards as long distance cards for a landline phone? I didn't quite understand that part.


That's in case your cellphone battery has died, or you can't reception, but you can get to a landline, such as a payphone, and you don't have sufficient change to make a call. Personally, I always carry a phone card. I never use it, but it's always in my wallet.

-- Craig

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