Thursday, September 24, 2015

Philosophy Of Use For EDC and BOB

My wife thinks I over analyze everything. She may be right. So here goes another one. To steal a phrase from my favorite You tuber, Nutnfancy, this is POU (philosophy of use) of EDC (every day carry). You can find may articles and You tube videos about what and how to carry your EDC, but what used to get me in trouble in the military was I always asked why?
My EDC is no different. Why do I carry what I carry every day? I like to put it in levels. Look at your EDC and see how you do.
Level 1
This is just me, myself, and I. If I had nothing but the clothes on my back, could I survive? What are my skills? Could I cover the basics of survival? ASWiFFS. (air, shelter, water, food, fire, security) Do I have skills to create shelter, find water, find or procure food, create fire, and provide security? If you can answer yes to that question, ask if you can provide a “plan B” to each of those basics you can take care of. If you can find water at least 2 ways, make at least 2 types of shelter, obtain food at least 2 different ways, start a fire 2 different ways, and can think of various ways to use different things for weapons and ways to secure yourself then you probably have the redundancy needed to survive. Also at this level you should be able to think creatively. How could you make tools or other items? If you found some items how would you be able to use them in your survival? Learning skills that require you to think is part of being prepared. Being resourceful is also a big part.
Level 2
This is what you carry with you every day. What is on your person or possibly a bag that is with you 24/7. Once you start dealing with items, you must be thoroughly proficient with what you carry. You should know what the limitations are with your EDC items. You should practice doing different tasks with your items so that you know if they will actually do what you think they will. I would also suggest SWB (size, weight, bulk) be considered in all that you do. Does your knife really need to be that size and weight, or can you get by with something smaller? Can you find one item that will do multiple things that may eliminate one item? Have you carried an item around for years and never used it? Is it an item that will only be used in a survival situation so you feel you need to continue to carry it? Be critical of every item.
Level 3
I consider my GHB (get home bag) part of my EDC. Each car has one and I am usually with a vehicle. Also, anything else that is in those vehicles is fair game. I’ve made it a habit to always have a cheap folder knife and a lighter in every glove compartment. Along with each GHB we carry 3 gallons of water. Each vehicle has a FA (first aid) kit also. I build FA kits with a level system too but that’s a different article. No vehicle should be without basics tools, gloves, and jumper cables.
Level 4
This is our BOB (bug out bag). I go through those bags at least once a year to replace meds in the FA kits, and inspect or replace the food.

Remember the KISS system, keep it simple stupid. So maximize function while minimizing everything else.
I’ve seen the “dollar store EDC kits” or “dollar store BOB”. I think that you should have something, rather than nothing. If you can only afford dollar store items that’s fine. But your plan should be to replace those dollar store items with quality items as soon as you can. If you’re on a strict budget, you can research your items and slowly replace them with quality, which is always more expensive, gear one item at a time. A good bugout bag could end being 200 to 300 dollars total. I’m not saying you should spend that, but it’s certainly possible. Save and shop sales.
The thing about this equipment is that you really should not use it unless you are in an emergency situation. Going camping or just needing one thing, does not qualify. It’s hard to leave that quality gear alone. No if you are actually testing your gear to learn how it works and what it will do, then that’s fine. But to really be prepared ALL your gear should be together at once. You should be able to grab and go and not have to think about where something is or use it for the first time in an emergency. You should know your gear completely. You should also know where everything is and have a detailed inventory of what you have and don’t have. You should know when items expire and keep them current.
Your EDC and BOB systems are there to give you peace of mind and carry you through difficult times. If you think someone else can do this for you then spend the cash buy a pre-packaged bags and kits. Some of them are good, but usually not worth what they charge. They also lack the POU that you would need to be effective.
Look at your EDC and bugout items and gear. Review it on occasion to be sure it’s all there, current, and what you need. Be critical and don’t include “fluff” that really does not fit your needs or POU.
Semper Paratus
Check 6