Choosing Your EDC Items
Choosing your everyday carry gear is not trivial as you might think. It might seem that way but why waste hundreds of dollars and end up throwing away some of the stuff you buy, when you could be getting the right thing from the get go?
Now, I’ve written a megalist of all the items that make good EDC candidates here but what I want to talk about today is how to select those items. And let’s start with… objectives.
Whenever you buy something for your everyday carry, that particular item should:
- …actually be useful to you! This is a great question to ask because too many people get sucked in by online prepping articles and end up buying everything they recommend. See yourself with your mind’s eye actually using the thing you want to buy, no matter how cool it looks.
- …be of the highest quality (You have to absolutely make sure it won’t fail you).
- …have a great price. You’d be amazed how much you can save when you’re not buying the item from the very first website you find. Look around, ask around and, if you can, write down all the prices you can find (I’ll show you how to do that in a moment).
- …have as many uses as possible. For example, the multi-tool I got for my bug out bag also has a mini-flashlight built in which could prove very handy should my other power sources stop working for whatever reason. If you take your time and do your due diligence, you’ll surely find something with more uses.
Ok, let me show you how you can use a simple excel sheet to track your spend. It’s really, really easy.
First, you need to create an empty one. You can use Office, Google Docs, anything you want. Now, in this excel we’re going to have two sheets. One is created by default, the other you’re gonna have to make for yourself.
Do you have them both? Good. On each of them you’re only gonna need three columns: item name, item link and price. Nothing fancy, we just want to put all the options in one place so we can see them all at once and compare prices.
All you have to do now is start looking both online and offline for the items you need (from the list I already gave you the link to).
So let’s say you’re looking for a folding knife. After reading all the reviews and looking around on popular shopping sites, you carefully add each link in the sheet not before you put a label that says “pocket knives” at the top.
When you move on to mini-flashlights, you do the exact same thing. Below the knives, you write in bold the word “flashlights” and start adding the links and prices underneath. In the end, you’re gonna have links for different kinds of flashlights as well as for the exact same item. Also, when you write the item’s name, you should write down all the uses because a lot of them are multi-purpose. This will allow you to see those uses without having to click each individual link to find out.
By the time you finish filling out the excel with everything you want, you’re gonna have a full list of items and their prices grouped into categories.
And now comes the easy part, the one where you actually start buying stuff. I’m not going to tell you which one you should get – that’s up for you to decide. But what I can tell you is to write down each purchase in the second sheet and make a total at the end so you know exactly how much your EDC has cost you so far. Really useful if you really want to keep your expenses under control.
Dan F. Sullivan