At the risk of losing my entire readership under the age of 50 my fascination with EDC stems from childhood. I grew up in the era of Adam West’s Batman, Thunderbirds, Captain Scarlet, Joe 90 and the peak of James Bond’s gadget years. If you are so young none of this rings a bell do bit of Googling, you’ll be amazed how different these programs are to what you are used to.
Batman had a Batphone, a Bat Signal, a Bat-Tracer and a personal Bat-Computer, well ahead of its time in 1964. He was armed with a variety of Batarangs, Bat-Nets, Bat-Bombs, Bat-Cuffs and Bat-Shark Repellant. He rode a Batbike and, of course, drove The Batmobile. If you had an uncontrollable reflex to sub-vocalise “To the Batmobile!” that’s fine; if you’ve shouted it out loud on the bus… sorry about that.
You may have noticed this obsessive prefixing (without the relaxed attitude to the use of hyphens) has been blatantly copied by Apple by using the letter “i”. My favourite Batman gadget didn’t have a Bat prefix, with or without a hyphen, the Utility Belt.
There was something about the idea of a belt with a gadget for every situation which fascinated me. From there I developed an interest in survival tins, making my own items like wax dipped matches and packing my Gramp’s old 2oz Golden Virginia baccy tin with all the usual bits for what I now realise was a Last Ditch Survival Kit (more on this later).
The Devil is in the Detail: Many of the sources I’ve read while researching this book have lists of the things you can do with an item but no detail. Potassium permanganate (KMnO4) can be used as an antiseptic, an igniter (mixed with sugar), a snow dye etc. But how much do you add to water to make the antiseptic? What is the ideal ratio of sugar for ignition? Will it work in every type of snow?
The next problem is what to carry. I could easily list over a hundred items from fishhooks to 10,000mAh USB power supplies and an inflatable shelter with built in chemical toilet, a solar powered shower and heated jacuzzi but you’d end up struggling to fit it in two 65 litre rucksacks. And then there’s the weight…
The next aspect of the problem is when and where to carry. EDC as a concept is fine but the fact is you need to carry the right things for the right tasks and in the right places to reduce redundancy, avoid omissions and comply with local law.
How you carry things drastically affects your chance of success at EDC and particularly All-Day Carry (ADC). If you aren’t comfortable, or the things you carry are noisy, or keep tangling with your surroundings you’ll stop using them.
The Devil’s Detail: Our goal is to give you the detail other books omit, making this the most comprehensive guide of its kind.
What To Carry? In rare as rocking horse poop situations like a plane crash in an inaccessible area the ability to improvise with only locally available materials is undoubtedly useful…essential even.
But this book is about having at least some tools to hand and our modern world is packed with compact multi-function gadgets. We will add these to the fish hooks and waxed matches give you a choice to eat grubs or cook a duck egg soufflé in your USB powered fold flat laser oven…
When & Where To Carry is much more tricky. I want to make this book applicable worldwide. I’m currently reading a book where the author advises carrying a couple of Glocks to suit every occasion. This isn’t about covering my arse legally, I’m confident “But it said so in the book, your honour,” isn’t a valid defence. It is up to the individual to understand the rules for their environment… Americans who cross state lines will be particularly used to this idea.
The problem is covering your arse. You need to be aware that legal carry is a complex mixture of rules. Many countries have common law for public spaces but many places you enter, from shops and offices, to pubs, clubs, cinemas, theatres, airports and stadiums have totally different rules.
Take a look at the pavement in the shopping mall… see those little brass studs outside the shops? That is the threshold where you lose your rights under common law and become subject to someone else’s rules. This fragmentation is called Balkanisation.
The key to What & When is a flexible “load out” system allowing you to rapidly adapt what you carry to suit every situation. We’ll give you a flexible way to organise and easily identify your gear so you don’t accidentally take your favourite machete on the school run.
The final element to maximised but comfortable EDC is how you carry the things you want on you and near you on a daily basis. We’ll cover packs, organisers, wallets, clothing and accessories to allow adaptable, unobtrusive carriage of vast quantities of useful gear.