The importance of having the right gear on hand was made crystal clear to this author early on in life while growing up in the Great White North. In some ways Canadians are born preppers. After all, if you didn’t properly prepare for winter, you’d find yourself frozen stiffer than a tauntaun in a Hoth snowstorm.

This mentality carried over into my adulthood, and we’ve learned even more by training and sharing knowledge with some of the best survivalists, firearm instructors, and martial artists in the world. Our everyday-carry (EDC) gear — while usually minimalistic and compact — is never left at home, even if it has to change to match the demands and restrictions of the different environments we’re headed to. It’s that adaptability that we’re after, because adaptability equals survivability.

To that end, we present four subject-matter experts to share their daily loadouts and the way in which their EDC philosophies ensure their survival. Each professional specializes in something different, informing on their product selection and decision making.

Read on to find out how their daily carry gear compares to yours and what takeaways you might learn from the differences.

Richard Duarte

edc-of-the-survival-experts-richard-duarte

Organization
Urban Survival Tech, Inc.

Job Titles
Attorney, urban survival/preparedness consultant, instructor, and author

URL
www.quickstartsurvival.com

Survivalism/Emergency Preparedness Background
I’ve been studying and developing urban survival/preparedness methods and techniques since narrowly surviving a nasty Category 5 hurricane (Andrew) in 1992. The majority of my experience comes from more than 20 years of trial and error — always focusing my efforts on practical, real-world solutions that can actually help average people survive in an unpredictable and dangerous world. I’m the author of Surviving Doomsday: A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster and The Quick Start Guide for Urban Preparedness. In 2012 I began offering urban survival/preparedness consulting and training services to businesses and individuals.

EDC Items

edc-of-the-survival-experts-richard-duarte-everyday-carry

Brite-Strike EPLI Illumination Tool: This waterproof, shockproof bad boy isn’t much larger than a standard ballpoint pen, yet it pumps out 160 lumens and is rugged enough to do double-duty as an improvised striking weapon.

Gerber Dime: This device squeezes 12 impressive tools into an ultracompact design, providing true EDC size, weight, and functionality. It allows me to carry multiple tools in an extremely practical package. I never leave home without it.

Luminox 3067 Navy SEAL Colormark: A watch is a must-have EDC tool for a variety of reasons, from telling time to calculating direction. I favor the old-school analog, glow-in-the-dark face and rarely go anywhere without it.

Smith & Wesson M&P9 Shield: It conceals easily and provides 8+1 9mm rounds. I prefer to carry a full-size handgun. But, as we all know, the EDC gods always demand a sacrifice of size and weight.

SOG Trident: I can’t imagine ever being without a blade at my side. This folder is my constant companion and has served me well for many years. It feels right in my hand, deploys like a champ, holds a wicked sharp edge, and always gets the job done.

EDC Philosophy
EDC will never be one-size-fits-all. Every situation, person, and environment is different; gear that may work for me might be useless to the next guy. I don’t like to carry tons of stuff in my pockets, and I especially hate carrying bags everywhere I go. To make the most of my valuable pocket space, my EDC must be well-thought-out, functional, and practical. But above all else, my EDC must address my needs and become an integral part of my regular routine. As with all my other preps, my EDC is carefully selected, tested, and refined over time — it either works in real-world conditions, or it gets tossed.

Candice Horner

edc-of-the-survival-experts-candice-horner

Name
Candice Horner

Job Title
Competitive shooter and freelance writer

URL
www.candi323.com

Prior Service
Sergeant, U.S. Marine Corps

Survivalism/Emergency Preparedness Background
Aside from my training and service in the Marine Corps, working in a federal prison as a registered nurse honed my emergency preparedness skills. As staff, we weren’t provided any weapons or equipment to defend ourselves from inmates, who undoubtedly had homemade weapons.

EDC Items

edc-of-the-survival-experts-candice-horner-everyday-carry

Taran Tactical Innovations Glock 43: When allowed to legally carry a pistol, I carry this one because it’s easily concealable, and I trust the reliability of Glock.

Microtech LUDT: I love the automatic opening of this knife. I carry this one in my back pocket.

Medford Knife & Tool Micro Praetorian T: This small knife is like a bulldog of knives, but is small enough to fit in the front pocket of my jeans.

The Pilot G-2: This pen has a sharp tip. As a last resort, or in a worst-case scenario where I couldn’t carry a conventional weapon, this stabby pen is good at damaging soft tissue and sensitive areas (i.e. eyes or throat) of an attacker.

EDC Philosophy
Working in a prison taught me to make do with what I have, and always have a backup plan. With a gun being my best option in a life-or-death situation, I feel most comfortable having it on me. But, since laws dictate what can be carried where, I feel confident having a plan to use a pen as a weapon, if needed. Almost anything can be used as a defensive weapon; just realizing all the options is half the battle when selecting your EDC gear. The reason I carry multiple knives is because I have a special affinity for them. I always have two on me, but several more in my purse.

Michael Janich

edc-of-the-survival-experts-michael-janich

Organization
Martial Blade Concepts LLC

Job Title
Founder and lead instructor

URL
www.martialbladeconcepts.com

Prior Service
Staff Sergeant, U.S. Army
GS-12, Defense Intelligence Agency and Joint Task Force-Full Accounting

Survivalism/Emergency Preparedness Background
As a team leader for POW/MIA investigation teams in Vietnam and Laos, I worked in remote areas with very limited resources. That experience taught me improvisation, creative problem solving, and the difference between “cool” kit and really useful gear.

EDC Items

edc-of-the-survival-experts-michael-janich-everyday-carry

Glock 43 9mm Pistol and Aker IWB Statesman Holster: This combo offers an outstanding balance of comfort, concealment, and reliability that makes them easy to carry constantly.

Spyderco Yojimbo 2: I carry two — one ground down to a 2.5-inch blade length. I designed the Yojimbo 2 as a box cutter on steroids, capable of everything from picking a splinter to hard-core utility cutting and defensive application.

Streamlight ProTac 2L Flashlight: It’s small enough for everyday carry, large enough for use as an impact weapon, and versatile enough for everything from low-light tactics to mundane utilitarian use.

Tuff Writer Stainless Steel Precision Press Pen: Hands down the best writing tool I’ve ever owned, this amazing pen (with custom Vehement Knives “Apocalypse” finish) is also the ultimate low-profile, go-everywhere personal-defense option.

Swiss Champ Swiss Army Knife: More versatile than a pliers-style multitool, there are very few things this knife won’t do.

EDC Philosophy
I travel a lot, so I designed my EDC kit to be scalable based on the carry laws of the areas I visit. In more restrictive areas, I can delete the pistol and full-sized knife, but still carry the bobbed Yojimbo 2 and other items. Even on a plane, the pen and flashlight remain constant. That way I never have to change gears completely and my skills to draw and use each tool stay consistent.

Erik Lund

edc-of-the-survival-experts-erik-lund

Organization
Federal law enforcement

Job Title
Special Agent

Prior Service
Trooper, Virginia State Police

Survivalism/Emergency Preparedness Background
I’ve got over 24 years of law enforcement experience in tactical-style operations in urban, suburban, and rural environments — including undercover, surveillance, intelligence, and counter-surveillance operations. I take emergency preparedness very seriously as my personal experiences have taught me that the only person you can and should rely upon in any serious situation is yourself. I’ve seen first-hand that many unfortunate deaths could have been prevented with just the smallest amount of planning and preparation.

EDC Items

edc-of-the-survival-experts-erik-lund-everyday-carry

FNS 9mm Pistol with Two Spare Magazines: I choose to carry a firearm on a daily basis for protection because I accept the fact that there’s evil in the world. I also accept the fact that regardless of how good a life I choose to lead, that one day evil will find and confront me. An unarmed man, possessing no self-protection skillsets, can only beg mercy from evil; and evil by its very definition isn’t merciful. I choose to resist evil, not beg mercy from it.

SOG Kiku Large Folding Knife: Aside from the obvious benefits of having a knife for protective use and everyday tasks, many practitioners of self-preparedness overlook the use of a folding knife as an intermediate striking implement. While features such as blade length and profile, grip, and locking mechanisms are important, one aspect I consider when selecting a knife for EDC is ensuring that when in the closed position, the knife is of such length that it slightly extends past my palm on either side when placed flat across my palm. This extra length allows me to grasp the knife within my fist and, with the knife in the closed position, have a small section of the knife-end extend past either side of the fist. This provides an excellent metallic area for use in all manner of combative strikes.

Klarus XT2C Flashlight: Positive identification of a potential threat is a non-negotiable requirement prior to a use of force against that threat. Additionally, my experience has shown that I use a flashlight for so many little everyday tasks that I’ve taken to carrying two lights so that I don’t burn out the batteries in my primary light as quickly as when I only carried one light.

Small Medical Kit: I choose to carry a personalized medical kit because in life things go wrong. On several occasions I’ve driven up on severe car crashes prior to the arrival of emergency medical personnel where people needed immediate medical attention. This kit and another larger medical kit kept in my vehicle helped me render aid until EMS crews arrived. This small kit has everything from simple comfort gear like Advil, Rolaids, and hand cleaner to more advanced medical items for serious traumatic injuries. This kit is always with me in my car or in my sling pack when I’m away from my vehicle.

Mobile Phone: Having the ability to communicate, either to render assistance for others or to bring assistance for yourself, is of the utmost importance.

EDC Philosophy
I choose to carry these items with me on a daily basis to confront evil when it finds me and to combat life’s unpredictable nature. These items bring me peace of mind and confidence that irrespective of the difficulties that life brings to my door, on some level I’m prepared to deal with them and up to the challenge of being a provider and a protector to my family and friends.


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