When it comes to your EDC, or Everyday Carry gear, everyone is a little different. The gear you decide to strap onto your belt each day should be based on a number of variables ranging from the types of threats you anticipate running across, to the level of training you have to deal with in different situations. For many, their EDC will also change over time based on new equipment  breaking in, new concerns about the environment, or a shift in defensive strategy.

Whether you’ve got a tried-and-true EDC loadout you swear by, you’re thinking about changing up your setup, or you’re entirely new to the concept, it always pays to hear the perspectives of folks with real operational experience to pull from.

That’s why videos like this one from Vigilance Elite always seem to find their way into my digital consumption habits. Sean Ryan served with SEAL Teams 2 and 8, deploying to both Iraq and Afghanistan before transitioning off of active duty and contracting with the CIA. In total, Ryan has something like 20 deployments under his belt, so while his EDC needs may be different than yours, there’s a real value in hearing him relate his experiences and how they inform his gear choices.

Sean Ryan calls his approach to EDC “minimalism,” and I’d agree. But it also touches upon something I always try to consider when putting together my own EDC options–something I like to call, “The Comfort Compromise.”

The comfort compromise is basically that line at which your gear stops being a benefit and starts being a burden. If where you carry your knife means its clip will keep scratching your car door as you walk by, you’re going to pull it out of your pocket. If where you carry your firearm digs into your love handles, you’re eventually going to leave it at home. On a long enough timeline, things that wear away at your comfort or ability to function normally will get left behind.

Sean Ryan mitigates this by carrying only the essentials (including the longstanding pilot and operator favorite of wearing a Rolex to potentially use as a bargaining chip in a bad situation). You can choose his method, or devote the time and energy to ensuring whatever gear you do carry is comfortable and accessible where and how you wear it.

What should go into your EDC? That really depends on you. But it never hurts to hear from an expert.

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