Everyday Carry (EDC)

David's picture

A big part of homesteading is preparedness. Being prepared for hardships, emergencies or even just being prepared for daily routine. We have delved into this philosophy and have learned and enjoyed a great deal in getting prepared. Prepared for what? TEOTWAWKI, stranded in the bush, power outage, being snowed in for extended periods, etc. Being a 'prepper' can be quite addictive and, possibly, overwhelming. We try not to get too carried away with our preparations, and just try and enhance some of the things we already do. I'll post some of the things we have done, and I'll start with one of my EDC's.

An EDC, or 'Everyday Carry', is generally something one carries with them at all times that help them do certain tasks. It can be a single item, or many. It can be carried for daily tasks or for emergencies, or even both. I have two EDC's that I carry. One is pretty simple, and the other is more elaborate. This first blog on the subject will cover the simple one I put together.

It started from a simple sheath knife that I used for carving and other bushcraft tasks. I felt it needed, and had room for, some modifications for some added capabilities. The knife itself is a good knife. It's made of 1095 high carbon steel, which throws a decent spark off a hard stone. The spine has a 90 degree angle for scraping a ferro rod. The blade has a scandi grind, which I prefer for wood carving. The cutting edge is 5" long and works well when batoning through 4" diameter limbs. The blade is full tang and 1/8" thick which is more than enough for any chore I ask of it. It also has a bearing divot in the handle which I've read works well for a bow-drill set (I have yet to try this feature out). The only complaint I have with it is that the handle is a bit slim for my hand. If I could, I'd like to get my hands on the PLSK1 Pathfinder knife. At $300.00, it's way out of my price range though.

Now the sheath, on the other hand, had much to be desired. So I changed it up. First off, I didn't like the style of the sheath. Just a basic 50's style hunter knife sheath. It hung from the belt on your hip, and had a simple button snap at the handle. First of all, the position felt awkward to me when I took the knife out, and when I put it back in. Maybe because it rode so high on the hip, but by the time I had my hand on the handle, it seemed I was half way to a hammerlock. Regardless of the reason, it didn't 'feel' right and needed to be changed. Secondly, the snap strap at the handle is a poor design in my opinion. Every time the knife is removed, you had to unsnap the button and hold the strap out, or else the blade slices the leather strap as it slides out of the sheath. I figured I could change this design easily enough.

There were some other mods I felt were needed. I wanted a sleeve attached to it to hold a ferro rod. I wanted a pocket attached to hold a sharpening stone and fire kit. And although my knife has many uses, I felt if I could attach my Leatherman Rebar, I could greatly increase my rigs versatility. With all this in mind, I had my work cut out for me.

To begin, I had to disassemble my existing sheath, and re-purpose it for it's new design. I couldn't build a new sheath from scratch because I didn't have the right leather for the job. But I did have a few scraps I salvaged from I forget where, and put them to good use. Now, this is my first leathercraft, so it's not the purdiest thing there ever was. Mismatched leathers and stitching that I'm sure a 12-year old could do better. But it has everything I want and in all in the right places. It rides nice on my belt, is very functional and has held up well for two years, and going. To make sure the Leatherman stayed put, I wet formed the leather. I put the sheath in hot water to soak. Then removed it from the water, slid the Leatherman in, and formed the leather around it, so that it was nice and snug. It worked really well, and made a nice friction fit. The Leatherman has never accidentally slid out.

Living on the fringe of the Northern Canadian Bush, this EDC has served me quite well. I can do a number of carving tasks, build and start a fire, make primitive traps, and even construct a bush shelter, all with what I have on just my belt, which I carried on me all the time. And the Leatherman can handle a multitude of small odd jobs around the house and the car. Here are some pictures and descriptions of my rig: