If you carry a gun for self defense, it’s important to recognize that not every problem you’ll encounter is a “gun problem” – in fact, most of you will go through your entire lives without ever needing to draw your gun. But what about problems that you may actually encounter, or times when you need a lower level of force? That’s what these must have EDC items are for.
Let’s start with flashlights. Useful for finding your car keys when you drop them in a parking garage, avoiding dog poop on the sidewalk at night, and being a dick to your drunk friends. Flashlights also have self defense utility; being able to see in the dark is very useful, and a blinding light in someone’s eyes has a documented deterrent effect. One of my favorite lights is the Streamlight ProTac 90.
Up next in our must have EDC items is pepper spray. Pepper spray detractors will tell you in the same breath that it’s not an effective tool while also saying that if the stream blows back in your face you’ll be completely debilitated. That doesn’t make sense, and it also shows that person doesn’t understand how spray works or how to employ it. In its specific use case, pepper spray is an extremely effective deterrent for dealing with people you can’t shoot, but that you need to get away from.
Moving along, an absolute must have EDC item is a knife or small multitool. This isn’t for self defense, this is just useful. Think about all the times you’ve needed to open a box or a package, or think about all the times a coworker or friend has said “hey, do you have a knife?” That’s what the multitool or pocket knife is for – open stuff that isn’t made out of people.
Another must have EDC item is medical, and this is where the Phlster Pocket Emergency Wallet is so great. Just buy like 7 of these and have one in the glovebox, and one in your pocket, and one in the nightstand, etc. They fit in a back pocket comfortably, and I take one wherever I go. It’s light, it’s easy to carry, and it has everything you need to plug a big hole in someone.
Last, but not least, we have something that isn’t a must have EDC item for most people…but is for me. This is a Shivworks Clinchpick, which is a small, fixed blade knife designed for use in extreme close quarters. The use case for this knife is during a life or death fight in grappling distance, the idea is to use it to create distance and separation between you and your opponent. It’s important to remember that if you do carry a knife for self defense, the only thing that knife should ever cut…is people.
Hopefully you’ll be able to round out your self defense selection with some of these handy items!