Simple Tools for Every Day Carry


What is preparedness? The answer to that question is different for every person who does it. It's a personal thing isn't it? Some people like to store a year’s supply of food and others think keeping the gas tank full is good enough. For me, it's a common sense approach that fits my lifestyle and yet gives me the potential to stay safe in an emergency.

That's the key word for me: Emergency. If something outside of my control happens during the course of the day then my survival goal is simply getting out of whatever crap I'm in and making my way home to my loved ones. In the trunk of my car, I have a variety of hand tools, a few automotive supplies and enough knowledge to patch up the old girl and get her back on the road in the event of a breakdown. My mechanics tools, torque wrenches and diagnostic equipment stay home because I have no plans to rebuild an engine on the side of the road and I don't care if she runs like an old tractor. All I want to do is chug along for the few miles it will take me to get to where I can work on the problem in a more pleasant environment.

Likewise my everyday carry, or EDC as they say now. When I'm dry camping out in the California desert I wouldn't dream of leaving the RV and taking off for a day's hike without water and some basic survival tools. In the city, I'm equally prepared. I don't need fishing lines, snares or a two hundred piece survival kit. If something happens the chances are that I'm going to be in a building somewhere and just need to get back to the car where I can drive quickly away from whatever is going on. In addition to a small flashlight on my key-chain, I carry a Leatherman Super Tool 300.

The Leatherman doesn't have scissors to trim my nails or tweezers for a splinter. It's a full sized pair of pliers with screwdrivers, wood saw, metal saw and lots of things that cut, pry and undo hardware.

The flashlight may not be very bright but it's not for lighting up a campsite, it's for finding my way down a dark staircase and getting to safety. There are better choices out there but I have the security of knowing with absolute certainty that the little flashlight can take a huge amount of punishment and still continue to light the way out. Serious tools for serious work because an urban survival situation is not the place to be trying out that little Chinese multi-tool from Wal-Mart.

The desire to be prepared for all contingencies can sometimes cloud our judgment as to the realities of what we're likely to face in our everyday environment. Yes, there's a possibility of a major incident that will require long-term survival gear but it's far more likely to be a situation where you simply need to escape. By keeping it light, your prepping doesn't get in the way of enjoying and living your daily life. At the end of the day, isn't that what it's really all about?