Everyday Carry: Prepare to be prepared.

Preparedness is critical to my everyday life. Being a parent only compounds the amount of essential items I am required to have available at any time throughout the day. I tend to focus on packing small and light wherever possible not only for the ease of transport, but also for accessability. It takes more time in most cases to dig through a bag looking for an item then does to use that item and put it back. This is why I lean towards EDC's "everything in its place and a place for everything" category.

My son's bag is a small multi-pocketed tactical-style bag. It contains multiple pockets and pouches each having a particular role to play. The main compartment has a change of clothes, wipes, and a diaper. The side pockets have snacks in one, an first aid in another. The top pocket has a flashlight, a pad of paper, and a pen. Those are the essentials. I add things as necessary determined by the destination planned for the outing.

My EDC bag currently has the same function. Each pocket and pouch has specific items in it. I change my items frequently, but the basics are always packed and easily accessible. A good folding knife, flashlight, fire starting kit, small first aid, a multi-tool, and a pen and paper round out the base-line items I carry. There are many examples of where each of these basic items came in handy. Knowing where each item was located in my EDC bags saved time and prevented frustration. It is also a great feeling when a situation appears where having an item saves the day. For example, I always carry a source of ignition in my pack; be it a lighter and small pack of weatherproof matches, or a faro rod and striker. When asked to start a campfire, I can just open my pack and be ready to go. I have become the weird relative who always has something someone needs and no one else thought to bring.

Keeping a basic number of frequently used items in my EDC allows me to maintain inventory accurately. I am able to grab only the bags I need. If I am with my family, friends, going to the store or out for a hike, I grab my EDC and my son's EDC knowing I am as prepared as I can be for the day. Preparedness is the very essence of everyday carry and preparing to be prepared is the definition of preparedness.