Ever since the age of seven, I firmly believed in edcing or everyday carrying. It stemmed from me being quite paranoid and feeling a compulsive need to be prepared, as even a young child. I didn’t know to refer to it as that until my mid to late twenties. I also didn’t know there were others who engaged in this very same activity, until that aforementioned age range. The Internet, by the way, has done wonders for me inasmuch as making me realize that I am not alone and there are indeed others who share the same interests, beliefs and quirks as myself. I realize the Internet causes a lot of bad outcomes at times, but this very fact that the Internet allows likeminded individuals to fellowship, outweighs the bad outcomes exponentially.
My interest in edcing started shortly after I turned seven years old. For the previous year prior to that, I was always paranoid that the house would catch on fire. I had always been a very materialistic person, so I didn’t want what I valued to be destroyed in the fire. Therefore, I began using a discarded gym bag to carry my favorite things in. I figured if a fire was to erupt, I could just grab that bag and get out. I would also take it with me everywhere possible.
Eventually that old gym bag busted and I had since began using my old school bags from previous years.
Then, for Christmas of 1996, I was nine going on ten and one of the gifts I received was a red Outdoor Products duffel bag. I would have this bag for the next eleven years until the main zipper wore out. I still have it, though simply for sentimental value. This bag stayed with me during my tween and teen years. Many family members thought I was a little touched for always having it with me, but the truth is I am a little touched anyway. I take my medication faithfully and I don’t harm myself or anyone else, so if I want to carry my personal items with me, to whom does it harm? No one!
After the zipper on this bag broke, I had tried several other duffel bags, briefcases and backpacks, finally deciding that a backpack, preferably a Swiss one, was the way to go. I currently use a Wenger SiwssGear Backpack which I have had since November of 2017. The only time I don’t have it with me is if I know I’ll be in an area or building where some of the contents are forbidden. This would be something like a school or government building where knives aren’t allowed.
Those of you who know me, know that I have a really keen interest in flashlights. I always have and I guess I always will. Whether in my edc bag or on my person I always have a flashlight with me. Usually I have more than one. My flashlight interest got really serious during my late childhood and early tweens, but then I suppressed it for fear of being harassed. However around the age of eighteen, I allowed it to come back. It stemmed from me realizing, that it I should do what pleases me, no matter what others think, provided no one gets hurt. Most of the friends I had at the time thought flashlights were cool anyway. Flashlights were indeed starting to get cool too, because, at the time Operation Iraqi Freedom was in full swing and tactical gear was being marketed to the general public like never before.
Also around the age of eighteen, I fully developed an interest in knives. This was after a friend and I were volunteering a concession stand at a rodeo. I needed to cut open a box of French fries, so he lent me his knife. I opened the box and accidentally cut myself. For whatever reason, I became hooked on knives after that.
So, yes flashlights and knives are staples in just about every young man’s EDC items or at least they should be. Other items may vary.
For years, I felt the compulsive need to EDC and thought I was the only one in the whole world who did so. Surprisingly, none of my peers engaged in this behavior, so I thought I was all alone. My family was also quite hard on me as were a few psychiatrists. I guess they saw it as a non-conformity of some kind. Then I began getting on forums dedicated to flashlights. I soon realized that other people, mostly who were into flashlights also practiced the edc behavior. While the Internet taught me that I wasn’t alone on many subjects, I didn’t realize that other people also EDCed. By then I was in my mid-twenties. I had also realized that if people weren’t going to associate with me because I engaged in this behavior, then I didn’t need them in my life anyway. I just wish my family wouldn’t had been so hard on me about it. Aren’t we all told to be ourselves anyway? I suppose it only goes far as what society deems normal. Luckily with the prepper community gaining popularity, EDCing is becoming quite normal. I’ve even seen people bring their EDC gear and backpacks to church! I have too in recent months. Just know that I was doing this behavior way before it was “cool” or trendy. It wouldn’t be the first time I was considered ahead of my time and beyond my years, either.
Thank you for taking the time to read this. I hope you have been informed or at least entertained…