The concept of everyday carry (EDC) is something that most if not all of our readers are familiar with, and most likely already implement in their daily lives in one form or another. EDC is the principal of always having the pieces of gear on your person (or at least quickly accessible), that you believe are critical for operating in your normal day-to day environment.
It’s important that we define what I mean by “operating” here, because I’m talking about everyone and anyone on the spectrum from soccer mom to someone on a personal security detail (PSD). By “operating”, I’m simply referring to the methods (tactics) and mindsets someone uses to navigate their daily life, the things they do and the places they go. Their EDC will be dictated by what they expect to encounter daily, the tools they will expect to need (like flashlights, folding knives, multi-tools or an epipen for instance), and in some cases, life saving devices that they may only need in extreme situations, like weapons or tourniquets. The type and amount of gear will often be dependent on the person’s job, their experience and their philosophy of use for the specific tools they want to have ready.
With that long-winded intro out of the way, I want to talk about a great piece of gear that has become a core component of my EDC and provides key benefits that suit my lifestyle. Raven Concealment Systems (RCS) is a big dog when it comes to making kydex holsters; I have two myself and can attest to their quality. In 2015 they released a small accessory which they called the Moduloader Pocket Shield, which was developed by Chris Fry of MDTS training. I’ve been using the pocket shield every day for over a year now and I can highly recommend it to anyone who lugs around a plethora of EDC items in their pockets. The stated purpose of the pocket shield is to provide a secure, modular platform to carry the smaller pieces of your EDC discretely and consistently in the front pocket of your pants, including jeans and dress pants, without printing or showing the clips on the front of your pockets.
The Pocket Shield allows you to attach items of your choosing at various orientations, and is designed to stay in place in your pocket, allowing you to keep your EDC items mounted at a consistent orientation, facilitating easy access and fast draws for defensive implements. It is made out of a flexible, durable plastic that conforms to the curve of your leg, so its pretty comfortable to wear in most pants, and its easy to trim if you really want to custom shape it. The mounting slots allow users to attach a variety of items in different orientations using whatever attachment method you choose, creating a single piece of kit that you can customize to hold all of your pocket EDC items in a single, organized package. The RCS website advertises the ability to mount holsters for small guns or edged weapons to the pocket shield as well, however I have not tested that method yet myself, and the pocket holsters for sub-compact guns I have used in the past worked well on their own.
The items I like to carry in my pockets are pretty standard: folding knife, flashlight and extra pistol magazine. My knife is an inexpensive S&W folding knife which also has a seatbelt cutter and glass breaker, its purpose is a basic utility knife; a PowerTac Sabre flashlight which is a super slim profile AAA powered light that puts out 250 lumens and has two power settings and a strobe function; and one extra magazine for whichever handgun I’m currently carrying concealed–usually a Glock 19.
The knife and flashlight attach to the pocket shield using their built-in clips, while the pistol magazine sits in a BlueForce Gear ten-speed mag pouch, which seems like it was designed for the RCS pocket shield because it works so well. I can fit all three of these tools on one pocket shield and still access them and replace them in my pocket easily, of course pants with a smaller pocket opening make that a little more challenging. Reloading the pistol from the pocket is relatively easy with this setup as well, although still slightly slower than from an outside the waistband mag pouch. It’s definitely more efficient than fishing for a mag swimming freely in your pocket. You will need both hands to reset the mag in the ten-speed pouch.
The pocket shield reduces the signature of your EDC so that its impossible to tell what you have in your pocket. Depending on what is attached it can look like a bulky wallet or almost nothing. This is also dependent on the shape of the pockets and type of material of the pants you’re wearing, as thin dress pants will print more than jeans or tactical pants, but the pocket shield still breaks up the signature of the items. I also really like how the pocket shield keeps my EDC items together in a single piece of kit that I can put on in the morning and take off at night, without having to create a yard-sale of objects on my nightstand. I also appreciate that I can now keep my hands in my pockets, or hook my thumbs in them without having to worry about scraping my knuckles on pocket clip of my knife like I’ve done a few times. The pocket shield not only conceals my EDC but it also keeps it out of the way when I don’t need it.
I also experimented with carrying some ridiculous items just to see how they worked. Surprisingly, the 33-round Glock magazine works pretty well in this setup, of course you would have to weal a cover garment that went below your pocket to conceal it.
You can buy your Moduloader Pocket Shield here: http://raven-concealment-systems1.mybigcommerce.com/3-pack-of-moduloader-pocket-shields/
Thoughts on EDC philosophy of use
Mindset is critical; you shouldn’t carry a tool you don’t know how to use, and you shouldn’t carry a tool that you haven’t mentally prepared to use. If you’re carrying a firearm, edged weapon or a tourniquet, then you most likely have trained with those tools and have mentally prepared yourself to take action in response to some kind of traumatic or violent event. Along the same lines, a responsible person carrying a deadly weapon will understand the laws and respect them, understand their increased responsibilities and be obligated to maintain a higher level of situational awareness.
There are a few things that I really absolutely NEED to carry when I leave my house such as a mobile phone, my keys and my wallet, and then there are the extra EDC items that I CHOOSE to carry because I consider them to be beneficial. I am an average joe, a civilian, and my choices to carry a folding knife and flashlight are based on the fact that I use both of those things every single day for mundane tasks and they are extremely useful. I have had no training on using a fixed blade as a defensive implement, and therefore I don’t carry one. Once however, I had to use my folding knife and flashlight as well as the first-aid kit I keep in my trunk when I was the first responder to a nasty multi-vehicle accident. So these EDC items, while mundane, can also serve a critical purpose when things suddenly go sideways.
The most martial pieces of my EDC are my concealed carry pistol and extra magazine. Civilian concealed carry is growing rapidly in popularity, and I wholeheartedly support the exercising of second amendment rights and the natural right of self-defense. The idea of carrying a gun for self-defense requires no justification or explanation for most of our readers, but I try to approach my EDC choices as a civilian realistically, which means if I’m going to carry an uncomfortable hunk of steel in my pants then I’m going to take it seriously.
The fact that I choose to carry a gun means I am preparing for the worst case scenario of a deadly threat to my life or the life of someone close to me. I train with and carry a gun so that I have the best chance of not simply becoming a victim. If I am going to burden myself with this weapon and the physical discomfort along with the psychological and legal responsibilities of carrying it, then I believe I should do my best to do it right and stack the odds in my favor. I set myself up for success in the event that I actually have to use it. Of all the scenarios in which I imagine myself having to draw and potentially use my gun, having a spare magazine is a reassuring thought for every single one. I also try to carry the most capable, highest capacity handgun as I possibly can while still maintaining good concealment. I don’t generally put myself in bad situations but the world is a crazy place and its only getting crazier, so I feel safer knowing I have some capability to fight back should evil and his crazy friends decide to pay me a visit.
Final note: It’s also important to research the legal aspects of using deadly force as a civilian and understanding what is justified and what is a proportional response to a threat. Don’t put skulls or knucklehead engravings on your defensive EDC pieces as it will simply hurt you in the legal aftermath of any violent encounter.