Some people have never heard of “preppers”, however among those who have, there is a percentage that believes we are fringe-dwellers, somewhere on the way to becoming hermit Una-bombers or social outcasts.

In most cases, nothing could be further from the truth.

First, let’s define what prepping actually is (keeping in mind that everything you read on this blog is simply my opinion).

So if you stock your fridge with enough food for a week, you keep a supply of toilet paper in the house, you have clean clothes available to wear, congratulations, you are actively engaging in a simple form of “prepping”. That is, you are looking forward and making sure you have supplies enough to last for a certain period of time, and to cover certain contingencies. In fact, humans have been prepping since we first learned to walk upright and store food to last beyond the meal we were currently eating.

So that covers the basics.

Where the waters start to get a little murkier is when we look at those of us who want to go beyond day-to-day situations, and who believe we should prepare for the unexpected.

Again, that doesn’t make us fringe-dwellers. If you drive a car, it has a spare tire; you are prepared in case of a flat. You keep a flashlight in the house? You are prepared in case the power goes out. Simple stuff.

But let’s take it a step further. I’m not going to get into nuclear holocausts or alien attacks. No serious discussion or exploration of prepping could prepare anyone for every contingency that could possibly occur. But let’s just look at actual history.

2003, power went out across the entire eastern seaboard. For days.

Who was ready for that? Cell phones were blacked out, gas station pumps couldn’t do their job, radio stations were down, until they could get emergency generators going. This wasn’t the result of some alien or foreign attack, this was just a day in the life.

Personally, we had enough camping gear in the basement that we were able to use to ensure an almost hassle free disruption. Of course the first thing was to collect as much water as we could in every available container, including the bath tub.

After that, it was a matter of firing up the Coleman stove for coffee and meals, getting the lanterns and candles going to get us through the dark hours, and ensuring the house was secured against unwelcome visitors.

Having a few camping basics saw us through what could have been a much harsher period.

Now that was a fairly extreme case, and we haven’t seen a repeat on that scale in more than a decade.

But what do you have with you on a normal day that can help you get through unexpected situations? I’m not going to get into get-home bags or bug-out bags in this post, because they each deserve to be examined in depth.

But what about EDC? Every Day Carry.

If you are a woman with a handbag you already have the advantage, and could probably survive if dropped into the middle of Antarctica. But I am amazed at how many people routinely leave the house with absolutely no tools to handle the unexpected.

So I’m going to quickly go over my personal EDC, those things I carry on my person, not packed in a bag somewhere.

In no particular order:

Wallet:

Contains driver’s licence, insurance, health card, debit and credit cards.

Watch:

I need to know what time it is.

Para-cord bracelet:

I always have 10 feet of cordage with me, which can be stripped down to individual strands for clothing repairs, suturing wounds, fishing line, and a hundred other uses.

Knife:

I carry a SOG Aegis clipped on the inside of my right hip pocket. Lightweight, easy to deploy one-handed, and an invaluable tool in many situations.

Multi-tool:

Many different brands, but again I favour SOG just because. Decent pliers, file, knife, scissors, screwdrivers and a ton of other stuff.

Flashlight:

Fenix PD35-TAC. Small, tough, bright, and doesn’t take up much room on my belt.

Keys:

Apart from house and car keys, also keep an old style English boy scout signal whistle and Nite Eyes Do-hicky.

Cash:

Sure we live in a cash-free society…until the power goes out. And it drives me nuts when I am at work and someone is selling cookies for their kid’s fundraiser, and I have to listen to a co-worker explain they don’t even have five bucks in their pocket because they only use plastic, or worse, Apple Pay.

Cigarette lighter:

Either my indestructible Zippo, or at least a couple of Bic disposables.

Tactical pen:

I always carry my CRKT Tao tactical pen, because you never know when you might want to write tactical stuff. Seriously, I travel a lot and obviously the knife doesn’t go well through airport security, but a good tactical pen is TSA-friendly, and is, well, just a pen. Until you need it to be more than that.

Leather belt:

Because you never know when 3 feet of indestructible strapping will come in handy.

Boots:

Because you will never find my in sneakers or flip-flops.

And that’s it. Not a lot of stuff, but a lot of function to handle most situations with a minimum of inconvenience.

Hope you enjoyed this, and it gives you some food for thought.

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