A prepper aims to be ready for the different surprises life may bring, and in so doing, they carefully choose which items they feel will prepare them for whatever event may happen. What anyone carries as their EDC (Every Day Carry) is a matter of preference. As for me? I tend to carry more than the average person, because, well…I want to.
As detailed in my post, EDC…What’s in Your Wallet? (Or Bag…Or Purse…Or Pocket…Etc.), there are numerous aspects of preparedness that your EDC can cover. One’s EDC can include security items, tools, technology, and so forth. This week, I thought that I would give you a glimpse into my EDC and show you my EDC-Level Communications Kit.
I have many kits, and I tend to view my preps on four levels which are based on the seriousness of the possible scenarios I prepare for, and I consider my EDC to be my first level of preparedness. The need for communications is critical in any emergency, large or small, so it should be no surprise that I have put a lot of thought into what I am willing to carry every day to address this need.
So here is the list of what is in my EDC communications kit:
- smartphone – Like so many other people, I carry a smartphone to send and receive phone calls, text messages, etc. I also have it loaded with useful apps for obtaining information that I may want on the fly such as weather radar, ham repeater locations, a scanner app, and so forth.
- amateur radio handheld transceiver (HT) – Even though I have a cell phone, I do not place all my communication “eggs” in one basket. Cellular phones are notorious for not working in serious regional emergencies. So for those occasions, I carry a ham radio HT in my EDC. Most days, I carry a Baofeng UV-5R. I carry one of these because, compared to other HT’s, they are small, light, and most importantly, inexpensive. However, they’re not my favorite radios to use. When I go out planning to use a radio, I bring my Yaesu FT-60r whose operational features I much prefer over the Baofeng. Also, when I carry my Yaesu, I protect it in a MOLLE-compatible radio bag, and I do the same for its antenna. I also place a small rubber cap over its SMA connector to protect it since I travel without the antenna attached. (This is not necessary for the Baofeng since it is equipped with a female SMA connector.)
- factory “rubber duck” antenna – As stated above, I carry my radios with the antennas unattached. This makes carrying easier and more compact. Yes…I know using other after-market antennas would greatly improve the performance of the radios over just using the factory antennas…and have many of those. But for the purpose of trying to keep things compact for every day carry, I just choose to carry the “rubber duck.”
- credit-card sized battery charger – I carry a small, thin battery charger for my cell phone for emergency power.
- ear buds –These aren’t truly a necessity, but I like to carry a pair of ear buds with me in case I want to listen to something on my phone without disturbing others around me.
- laminated list of phone numbers – It is unwise to have your phone as the only stored location of the phone numbers you would need in an emergency. What if your phone was lost, stolen, broken, or just plain out of juice? It is a good idea to keep a list of important numbers on a small card that would fit into your wallet, business card case, (or whatever,) for these reasons.
- laminated ham radio reference cards – I keep in a small zipper case several cards which pertain to ham radio. I keep some small laminated cards with repeater lists and other useful ham radio information. I also carry “Nifty!” radio reference guides for my radios. In addition, I keep a laminated copy of my ham license with me, and I also carry a few small QSL cards just in case I wish to exchange information with another ham that I may happen to meet.
- index cards – Along with my other written references, I keep a few blank index cards in case I need to write something down or give someone a note…which brings us to…
- Fisher space pen – I carry a Fisher space pen for writing. I love these things! They write in just about any weather, any condition, and even upside-down. In fact, one cold morning, I was at a sign up booth at an outdoor event. Every pen was frozen and unusable…except for the Fisher pen I had brought with me!
- metal whistle –To signal an immediate alert, I have a metal whistle on my key chain. The sound of a metal whistle carries, and it does not wear your voice down as shouting would.
- small mirror – Also for signaling, I have a small compact cosmetic mirror that I could use for this purpose in a pinch.
This may all sound like a lot to carry, but in reality, (when I am carrying my Baofeng radio,) it all just takes the space of a 2 inch high stack of index cards and weighs just 12 ounces (0.7 kg.) In addition, since I keep these items in my purse, it really is no effort for me to carry at all. You may need to make adjustments to adapt this to your specific situations and preferences, but many, if not all, of these items could easily be included into your every day carry. Whatever you choose, it is wise to have on hand multiple ways to communicate in an emergency. You never know when one will occur…