Tuesday, August 25, 2015

EDC: How Much is Too Much?

Erin posted a video to the BCP Facebook group over the weekend, featuring an individual showing off his EDC load. The individual in question claims to carry, among other things, two guns, 100 rounds of ammunition, a baton, and two passports. Further, the claim is that he carries this entire load in his pockets and on his person.

I'm aware this is satire, but there's a lesson to be learned here.

A look back at my articles will show that I'm all in favor of having the correct tool for the job. However, sometimes we get so caught up on having tools that we begin to wander into the absurd. How do we keep from falling so far into a tool fallacy that we carry our body weight in gear everywhere we go?

Start by looking at redundant gear. The adage that "two is one, and one is none" is wonderful - on a large scale. It begins to enter fallacy when you feel it necessary to carry two of everything. If you feel you truly need a backup for a piece of equipment, look into a device that performs multiple functions. It may not perform each function as well as your primary item, but "good enough" truly can be. Instead of carrying two flashlights, realize that your phone has a light as well. It may not be as bright and fancy, but it'll keep you from tripping or stubbing your toe.

In addition, take a look at how often you'll actually pull out each item. I don't plan to get lost in the wilds while I'm out and about in my city, so a survival guide isn't going to be any benefit day-to-day. In addition, survival and other guides should be studied ahead of time and practiced, so you don't need to be carrying one anyways.

I don't take my passport out of my safe more than about once a year. Considering that it's legal ID that contains enough information to make an an identity thief nigh-orgasmic, it's not something I carry if I don't have to, much less a pair. In addition, if you were ever searched by authorities, for whatever reason, having two passports from different nations could raise eyebrows.

I'm a vocal advocate of firearm carry, concealed or otherwise. However, if I need two guns, 100 rounds of ammunition, chemical spray, and a baton, in addition to the rack of knives, then either I need to not be in a place, or I need backup and long guns. I do give the man in the video credit for carrying completely interchangeable gear with regard to his guns, though.

My personal method of avoiding the tool fallacy is to try to justify every item I carry. Forcing myself to critically consider everything on my belt or in my pockets gives me a lens to filter my EDC gear through.

With that said, and because I haven't played "What has it got in its pocketses?", the following is what I'm carrying, this very minute.

Right front pocket: Keys to my truck; Boker AK47 automatic knife; general key ring with work and house keys on it; Swiss Army Knife (admittedly, the SAK is carried mostly for sentimentality and inertia. Dad carries one, both of my grandfathers carried one, and Angus MacGyver carried one. Who am I to argue?).

Right rear pocket: Wallet, with the various contents that a wallet has.

Left rear pocket: Samsung Galaxy S3. Needs an upgrade, but it still does the job for now.

Left Front pocket: Keys to my wife's truck; micro flashlight; coin from one of my state's firearms groups. There's usually some kind of lip balm in there as well, but not today.

On my belt: Gerber MP400 Sport. Still going strong, and seeing daily use.

I also have an iPod floating between pockets. At work, like I am right now, I'll have various tools hanging around, depending on that day's tasks.

I don't carry at work, for a host of reasons. When I am carrying, however, I carry one sidearm (usually either a Glock 20 or a 1911) and one or two spare standard-capacity magazines. I do advocate carrying spare magazines, both for extra ammunition, and because a mag swap will fix a great many common firearms failures.

Now that you've seen what I'm carrying, and how and why I justify carrying it, what am I missing? What ounces should I look at justifying?


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