Your EDC (Every Day Carry) is what you carry on your body everywhere you go. Two things that immediately come to mind for most individuals are wallet (or purse) and keys, but think of your EDC as also including your clothes. And when people think of clothes they first think pants, as covering the private parts is required by law and necessary to most people’s normal mentality. This normal mentality also for the most part includes a lackadaisicality in that people often tend to try and appear normal, like one of the herd, to fit in… and some even work very hard to appear and act normal… I believe because they are insecure about being, not different per se… but that they have a conformist fear of being looked up to… as ready… probably because they don’t want to be turned to… or ON!… when TSHTF (The Shit Hits The Fan).
It’s not a completely unreasonable fear really, but an unfortunate one for them, should the need to be ready present itself. I think this fear is so ingrained in our modern society that being ready for anything is just not cool anymore… and everybody is sooooo cool these days. People need to find a comfortable middle ground between a dignified level of readiness in public and the stigma of coming across as one of the often awkward or weird extremists such as some of those showcased on National Geographic’s Doomsday Peppers.
But the reasons why most people shy away from readiness is an in-depth psychological study for another article, and an article on the psychology (mine at least) of readiness for yet another.
If I were to ask you if the clothes you are wearing right now would be sufficient to get you through 72 hours of constantly being outdoors, with some of that time having to be spent hiking through the local terrain in the dark for whatever reason… what would be your answer? Well, if your answer is “No.”, don’t take comfort in that most other people would honestly have to answer that question with a “No.” as well.
This is why my EDC always includes a backpack. In it, among other things, I carry a wind/water repellent insulative jacket, without having to wear it when the day is hot.
But before all that… let’s start with the very beginning of EDC… footwear! It is your feet that will get you where you need to go, so better to focus on the best most comfortable and functional footwear you can afford. I used to wear sandals on a daily basis here in sunny California, but only during warm (mostly) and dry (mostly) weather, and only when I was within a short distance, let’s say less than a mile, from my more survival appropriate shoes or boots. I do not want to be wearing sandals in the rain or outdoors overnight or in a fight. And it is precisely this later reason I no longer wear sandals even on warm sunny days when walking around in public.
In the event I must deliver a hard kick to someone, I want it to hurt, the other guy a lot, and not me at all! I want sturdy shoes or boots that I am comfortable running and climbing in and that will deliver that sturdy kick, if need be.
The boots I wear on a daily basis are different from the ones I have in my BOB (Bug Out Bag), which are more especially suited for carrying heavier weights and other off-track features, but that is a story for another article. The boots I have on presently as I type this are Danner Pronghorn boots but with cordura side panels. The only problem I had with these occurred once, and was when I had them laced a little loose and the knot came out of the top quick loop hook. Other than that happening once, I love how fast it is to lace them up, even in the dark with a little practice.
These Danner Marine Temperate Military Boots are a close approximation of the model of Danner boots I wear everyday but maybe better. They don’t have the quick loop lace hooks though, so no fast lacing. Regardless, these are probably the ones I will buy if my current ones ever wear out. Mine are probably at least 3 years old now and despite some leather wear the black Vibram soles are intact and functional. I have kept good care of these boots though. I have treated them with leather conditioner and saddle soap. I have not used this particular brand but here is Otter Wax Leather Care Kit, a complete leather care kit that looks to make things easy. Use a brush type applicator to get the leather conditioner into the small spaces where leather panels overlap. It pays to take care of your boots, and to wear them wherever you go.
Here’s a little story that might help you to understand why I think this way. It is a true story about one of my Dad’s friends. I was 11 years old when this happened. My Dad’s friend was a well-to-do stock broker by trade and he owned an old mansion in the New York countryside in which he lived. He had a son and a daughter who lived in NYC with their mother and who were about my age and who would visit him every other weekend; he was divorced from his wife and she had custody other than that. I used to spent some of those weekends with them at their Dad’s house… err, I mean… mansion. We would swim in the pool, explore the grounds, find secret rooms, and do what all kids do when they have a 200 room multi-story stone house to explore… play hide-and-go-seek and hopefully find a wardrobe to Narnia or some other such magical place, although we were a few years or so too old to be expecting that sort of thing, etc. The only reason I’m describing the mansion is to give you some kind of idea how wealthy he was. Well, late one night my friend’s Dad called our house asking for my Dad to help him. We were all brought into the kitchen to deliberate and my Dad told us that he was going to go do as he was asked because he was a friend, and to not worry. So we all worried… not me really, but my Mom and little brother did. My Dad didn’t explain the details of the call until after he returned home a few hours later. And when he did return he showed us a Polaroid photograph of his friend. The Polaroid showed him completely naked in the woods that very night covered from bloody head to bloody toes in bleeding scratches and a very frightened desperate look on his face. So… apparently this true life short story goes, not only was he a wealthy stock broker… but he also owed ‘somebody’ some of that wealth… long story short, a team of guys went to his house in the countryside to kill him, and he escaped from his bed naked and panicked running through the woods to a pay phone miles away, from which he called my Dad… because my Dad is awesome… for help. While the parents were talking about this and that, there was a little worry still, and when my Mom asked my Dad what more we should do, my little brother excitedly exclaimed like he was sincerely helping, “I know! Let’s call dial-A-Joke!” We all laughed and the somber mood reverted back to somewhat joyous again. Well, my Dad’s friend moved out of state soon after that. What stuck with me is that for whatever reason he had no choice but to run naked through the woods at night without even any shoes on… from his own home! Suddenly, without any warning he had to Bug Out! And he had no BOB (Bug Out Bag). But then again, maybe the moral of this survival story is to not owe the mafia.
This story is truly terrifying and reminds me of the actor Cornel Wilde as ‘Man’ in the movie The Naked Prey.
Most people do not think of survival when they choose their clothes except for when wearing extra layers to increase warmth. Where clothes are concerned, most people think comfort and appearance, nothing more. But what about if you had to immediately jump out of bed and out the bedroom window? Besides your BOB, which might contain your boots, would it not be wise to also have a pair of quick and easy to slip on shoes of some kind? I think so.
I wore Vans slip-on shoes all through my teens. They are made in China these days, which sucks! And they call them skate shoes these days. We used to call them deck shoes, because although we were skateboarders and skateboards are decks with wheels, we also had boats and boats have decks. Vans have decent grip on wet boat decks is the logic, although I never wore them or any shoes on the boat, though some did. Our blue canvas Vans all had white sole trim back then, which we would wrap with black electrical tape at night as part of our being unseen when we practiced our ninjitsu skills in the neighborhood. We took this very seriously. Our well-to-do suburban neighborhood had an active neighborhood watch, private security vehicle patrols, and an enforced after dark curfew for minors. Good times for those of us antiestablishmentarian enough to accept the challenge.
“But oh, you spelled it wrong! It is ninjutsu.” Actually, it is correct as either “jitsu” or “jutsu”, which simply means ‘school’.
I bought this book, Secrets of the Ninja, when I was about 13, it is still in print and expanded, it even has the same cover art.
After going to several elementary schools including one in NY, I spent my teens in Newport Beach, no hunting anywhere nearby, so even though some of us had military camouflage clothing for Halloween (I didn’t), nobody would wear wear it, those were the rules… seriously, because it wasn’t at all normal and we had to appear like the normal do-gooder kids at a moment’s notice including being able to pull the electrical tape quickly from our Vans. But if back then we had Vans made with black trim and even black canvas for that matter, I might just have preferred them.
I would try myself and probably recommend some sort of rugged slip-on shoes designed for trail and off-trail running through mud, something like this Vibram Spyridon MR Elite, but I don’t like the pull cord thingy hanging out. That would suck major hard ones if that cord were not easily and quickly and surely held hidden from those grabby twigs and branches and brambles your life depended on your not getting hung up on and tripped by.
Well, that’s all I have to say about this topic right now. Again, when it comes to your feet, don’t compromise. Don’t be afraid. Go beyond the normal mentality with regards to your footwear, so even if you find yourself running naked through the woods at night pursued by killers… with the right footwear, you can enter…
In addition to the EDC footwear you have attached to your BOB… what kind of “Oh Shit! I’m jumping out the window half asleep!” footwear do you have sitting next to your bed… or that you sleep in? Does anybody sleep in footwear of any kind other than socks?
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