When I started out this whole EDC thing I watched an endless amount of YouTube videos and read a lot of articles attempting to wrap my arms around what gear to get and why. In order to determine what gear I needed, that required me to purchase several knives, lights and other items over a period of time before I found what worked best. At one point I was carrying 2 to 3 knives, a handheld light, pepper spray along with a few other odds and ends; that’s a lot of ‘stuff’ in the pockets and on the waistline which may not be the best use of gear.

After re-evaluating things and getting professional training I was able to slim down things and carry only what I needed. this is great for when I’m at home or around my local town, but what about when I travel and have to reduce what I’m legally able to carry. How do I remain effective in the defense of myself, my loved ones and those around me that need my skills? I recently read an article in RECOIL about Frank McRae (Former Army Special Operations) about soft skills and how he can carry a lot less than most people and still get the job done. Here is what he had to say.

A good run is better than a bad stand any day. If you can get away from it, get away from it. Soft skills are important. I’m never not looking, never not conniving. I’m always paying attention to, “I can use that if I have to, I can use that if I need to.” I was in a convenience store and a guy came in to rob the place… All I had in my hand was a Mountain Dew bottle, so I was going to use that. Soft skills are extremely important. A good run is better than a bad stand any day. Even if you win the fight, if you die on the way to the hospital I still win as the bad guy. 

A good run is better than a bad stand because only you know if you’ve prepared for the fight up to that point. A warrior can only afford to die once. Running headlong into defeat is not only stupid, it endangers others. That is more important than self-preservation. If a man has the jump on you with a gun or knife in your throat or head, give him the wallet. It’s only money. Turn away if you’re not prepared for that fight in the right way. But if the fight is happening anyway and there’s no way to avoid it, go down biting, screaming, punching, kicking and anything else you can do to cause harm. Always pick your battle space, prepare your defenses and have a way out if need be.

So in a nut shell remain situationally aware of your surroundings (at all times) and what can be used around you as a weapon of opportunity. Sometimes I feel like the Terminator walking around scanning people and places to get a read for threats and ways out.

For more on that check out the 100 Deadly Skills book to learn about unconventional ways of dealing with threats that you may have not thought of. My bare minimum everyday carry regardless of where I’m at is a handheld light and a tourniquet. If I’m traveling I pack an inexpensive yet still quality folding knife in my checked bags for carry once I arrive at my destination. Other than that I try to stay aware of everything around me.

What are your thoughts on this concept?