Every Day Carry – it’s a great catchphrase. Awesome acronym. Useless without the mental preparation to utilize it and the situational awareness to pick up on a threat before it occurs.
Every Day Carry or Every Day Ready?
I love the whole concept of Every Day Carry (EDC). I love the blogs, the gadgets and gear, introducing new items in to my EDC rotation. I love it all. I love it the way fat girls love chocolate; I love it almost as much as I love good hair product. There are a many people who share my love, but unfortunately many of them don’t realize there is more to EDC than the contents of their pockets/jacket/pack.
Question: what is the most important item in your EDC profile? To answer this, I’ll reference back my first days in Law Enforcement. To my very first basic firearms course. The answer is actually very simple: Mindset.
If you’ve been to a Bulletproof Mind Seminar by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a Caliber Press Street Survival course, Combat Hunter or any similar course, you most certainly heard this mantra over and over. You were shown videos from dash cams, re-enactments and interviews with LEOs involved in horrific incidents, AARs of TICs gone bad where the only thing that saved them from certain death was their collective and respective will to survive.
It was their mindset – a prepared determination to prevail, combined with good SA (situational awareness) and a predetermined, ruthless will to act.
I can personally recall numerous times getting ready to go out on patrol and looking at a picture of my wife inside my locker and saying to myself “today could be the day”. Not the day I lose a fight, but the day I get in to and win the fight. Not just to survive, but to prevail. I listened to those instructors, every one of them. Instructors from my own department, instructors from around the country, instructors who wrote books, made videos and imparted their wisdom of mindset to me.
Your EDC, no matter how good or extensive it is, is of no use to you without the SA to pick up on a threat and the mindset to prevail under stress. Everyone you care about should understand what Matt Jacques calls the “Blue Collar OODA Loop” (more on that later). EDC plus mindset plus SA = EDR. Every Day Ready.
Here is the brutal truth of the concept of Everyday Ready: it’s not just for LEO’s or soldiers, although it should be for everyone, not everyone practices it. It is a concept that transcends the Warrior Class to be shared shared among the general populace – the responsible, prepared (preferably trained and armed) citizen. That really is the only qualifier for Everyday Ready. It is a willingness to be ready, everyday, for when things go pear shaped. It’s something we want you to start promulgating in all your friends and family.
Ready for a vehicle breakdown. Ready for a natural disaster, power-outage, a fistfight or a fire in the theater that requires you know where the exits are – hell, the fact that your checked luggage didn’t make it to your destination but you still have to do your job anyway.
Ready for…an active shooter?
Forget the zombie apocalypse BS and the “end of the world” garbage. If you think you are ready for those eventualities, you let me know how the actual “bugging out” goes (when you try to travel with a year’s worth of food and water). We’re not talking Nat Geo Doomsday Prepper fuckery or whether you think you can make the same walk that was made in Book of Eli and The Road.
Wanna know who really knows about EDR? Ask the squared-away mother of an infant child. Ask if you can look in her “bugout” bag (diaper bag). I bet there is extra food, fluids, first aid and entertainment items. Look inside her vehicle. Look at her gas gauge. She’s ready. Do you think she’s aware of her general surroundings? That, my friends, is mindset. That is EDR.
For the rest of us gun-toting, highly trained and hyper-aware folks. I would bet the above description is eerily similar. The primary difference of course being we are generally armed and ready to respond in a manner that puts us moving toward the sound of gunfire as opposed to away from it. Or…would we? If you are at a mall and an active shooter scenario begins to play out before you (and I know you’ve allowed yourself to mentally walk through this one) are you going to engage? Are you going to seek hard cover? How often do you go to the mall ALONE? Yeah, your family. Your priorities just changed. Did your mental checklist include your kids? Your wife? Your elderly parent?
Do your nattering mother-in-law, your wife, your 10-year old nephew know what to do if you clear kydex at the sound of gunfire in the distance? Do your children know where all the exits are in relation to every one of their classes at school in case they have to haul ass?
This is the real basis of EDR. It’s not just whether you carry a 9mm or a .40 or a .45. It’s not what kind of flashlight you carry, if you have a backup magazine or how many folding knives you have on you at a given time. It’s not the fact that you remembered your umbrella AND Rocket Propelled Grenade launcher. Don’t get me wrong, I STRONGLY advocate that trained and accountable law abiding citizens (as well as off duty and retired LEO’s) should carry all of the above items. But it’s not enough. Get trained, be aware of your surroundings and prepare for things that might actually happen.
Be ready. Every day. And remember EDR by its very definition must involve the family, friends and prob’ly co-workers you spend your time with.
More to follow on this topic. No gas mask or buried, EMP proof bunker or reflective belt required. Overly capable EDR jacket with eleventy-five pockets optional.
Mad Duo, Breach-Bang-CLEAR!