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Five Things to Never Leave Home Without

It's no secret that some guys walk out of their house like they just stocked up at the Bat Cave. They carry multitools, key fobs, EDC folding knives, EDC fixed blade knives, ammo carriers, mustache combs, beard combs, IFAKs…

Unless you are deploying to Afghanistan or preparing to bivouac in the local Charbucks during a TEOTWAKI event, you may be humping too much gear, troop. We tend to carry a lot of gear with us just in case, but in all actuality we can break our EDC down to the ultimate express lane: 5 items or less.

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These are the things we don't leave home without.

1. Smart Phone – In this case this is an IPhone 6S Plus. When you think of the amount of information you can put at your fingertips these days via a phone, it truly is mind boggling.

Gone are the days when CEOs measured their status with having the smallest phone possible (much like the Wehrrmacht officers who measured their status by carrying the smallest pistols they could find). Today's phones are all about the memory and the apps that are jammed on to them.

If you're a lo-tech guy, you still have the ability to dial 9-1-1 if you need help or 4-1-1 for information, but this phone has Google Maps, DropBox, MS Word, GPS, Shot Timer and a host of other apps that allow us to actually work while away from the office, get to where we need to or simply blow up villages in Boom Beach while waiting for an appointment.

2. Knife – When RECOIL contributor turned 8-years old, his father gave me a yellow-handled Case Trapper and in his Irish brogue said, “Son, carry one of these or wear a skirt for the rest of your life.” Reeder has a similar story.

Carrying a knife is one of those first steps we take toward adulthood. It signifies that you posses a maturity and sense of what is right or wrong.

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Whether your daily tasks are as mundane as opening boxes or envelopes or a bit more diverse; a knife makes those chores easier.

Although they can be used in self-defense, ours gets more use switch-hitting for what passes as silverware in most restaurants, opening boxes, etc.

We do not advocate one brand or style over another. Choosing a knife is a personal and almost spiritual act for some. There is a bit of the maker in every knife he makes or designs and different knives appeal to  different people.

3. Flashlight – If you read just the advertisements from most flashlight companies, you would probably be pretty convinced that nobody needs a handgun for self-defense. A lot of their marketing would make you believe all anyone need do is whip out 500 lumens powered by a pair of CR123s and blind their attacker or batter him about the face and neck with a crenelated bezel until the police arrive.

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Not so. It doesn't quite always work out that way. We prefer using our light as an actual light source. whether it is locating a pair of dropped keys or trying to read in a darkened room.

The crenelated bezel and hard annodized bodies of most lights are definitely an asset as a last ditch personal defense weapon, but it is not what always drives our use.


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3. Pen – It's not just professional writers who carry pens. Sure, if you are hand writing the great American novel it can be good to have, though of course no literary agent would ever touch a handwritten manuscript. For taking notes, writing down directions or any other workdaday writing task a pen is always a good thing to have. They even make tactical ones if you feel the urge.

4. Multi-tool – This is more of an option, but lately we have been making use of ours for the simplest things. If you feel a multitool and a knife makes for too much to carry simultaneously, most multitools include a knife blade as well.

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One of our guys carries his in a leather “coin purse” for convenience — and to use as a sap. If he does run into an overzealous mugger, a quick rap to the temple will ensure he's on the “coloring books for Christmas list” for a few years.

A Leatherman MUT or Gerber Multi-Plier mgith ride in our range bag; maybe you keep a MultiTasker in our truck, but often something like the Al Mar pocket tool (the one based on an old OSS design) sees the most EDC time. It's got pliers, pry bar and a serrated knife blade. Few people need the tools to repair a NASA satellite at a moment's notice.

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Whoah Montana, it still sounds like you need Batman's Utility Belt.

If your loadout consists of a firearm or two plus additional ammunition and your daily mode of dress is “Business Casual” (the look that is neither business-like nor casual), you may have a point.

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Thankfully, most companies are scaling down their EDC items for that reason. We found the Lumintop Flashlight on Amazon.com a while back and not only is it as thin as a pen and smaller than any other flashlight we have ever used, but it throws out 110 Lumens. That may not sound like a lot compared to some of today's workhorse lights, but it's perfect for finding keys in the dark and a ton of utilitarian tasks while being completely small and harmless looking.

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The bullet pen breaks down into the size of a 30-06 Springfield round.

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Everyone's list is probably a little different, but more than likely includes at least 3 of these items.


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