Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Woodsman's EDC

When we think about the now common and modern term EDC (Every Day Carry) we see lots of posts around the net of peoples RFID Wallet, Keys with many items of use hanging from the ring, as well as Folding Knives, Flashlights, Self Defense Pens, and many other things that may be of use daily depending on profession or obsession!
When I think about EDC for a Woodsman, I think what do I take with me to the woods almost every time I leave the house, whether it is just for a hike, or to walk the trapline, go hunting, or just go bum around hunting mushrooms or other things of hobby/interest. I think for a woodsman this should always include certain Survival type items or Emergency gear in case one were to become stranded at a minimum overnight or even delayed in their planned return , or should weather move in causing one to hunker down a few hours unplanned. Even the woodsman of old had their pockets filled with useful items.
So to this end, we obviously think about tools first and I generally have a Belt Knife of Full tang and a knife or tool in my front pocket of some sort, SAK, Folder, or Multitool. I carry a small Saw in my haversack (Man Purse) mainly for quick work of trail clearing, and a small Hatchet in or on my Belt (unless I have a backpack with an Axe attached) .

 I also always have a Bic Lighter in my pocket, as well as one in the bottom of my haversack (in an Exotac case for WPing). Also in my front pocket is a small Compass (the old Military Sweden made Brunton).  I generally always carry a 6' piece of Para Cord for utilities like a spare boot lace or 2 if needed. 

This is one piece of my EDC that seems to find more uses for than I can believe. I have used it for Securing my iPhone (never forget that essential piece of EDC eh'), to a tree for a quick video clip or timed photo, Hanging my pack or Haversack on a tree to keep it off the ground in wet weather, lashing a fast tripod a lunch break for my pot, hanging game off my belt when hunting, bundling sticks for a needed fire, dragging a deer, the list goes on and on. I also carry a Shemagh generally around my neck, in my haversack, or around my waist to keep the Haversack from flopping about when walking fast (mentioned by Kephart as downfall of the haversack, but easily remedied), again the uses for this piece of kit could fill a book and they actually have (Shemagh The Ultimate Survival Tool). I stuff a (Helikon Tex) Poncho and Ridgeline in my haversack for rain gear or quick shelter.

 Another item that is a daily carry in the woods is a Container for Water, I carry a small flask with nesting cup (the Swiss officers type) most of the time in  my Haversack or a Larger Water bottle (depending on how long I plan to be out).

 Lastly a small (Rite in the rain)note book and pen are dropped in the Haversack just for any quick ideas or things I want to remember after leaving the woods. Of course my haversack as mentioned several times, and a pair of Gloves (these are indispensable for gathering fire materials in a hurry in Poison Ivy/Briar country).

That is really the extent of my EDC, not counting of course pack contents when I have one. I do of course generally have a Firearm of some sort no matter what in the woods and that varies depending on my mood really but most often is an M6 Scout I have had for about 10 years.
So to answer the questions ahead of time, I rarely carry a full 10C's unless I wear a Pack, and I do not carry a Ferrocerium Rod as a daily habit either (there is a full fire kit in all my packs), I have never not been able to start a fire with a lighter when I wanted one so I figure that's enough for everyday. While I understand some of this goes against the Principles I teach (at a basic level) but, it must also be realized that the longer you spend time in the woods, the more comfortable, skilled, and knowledgeable you get. With this comes the ability to rely on less STUFF for the short term, once you understand how to become comfortable being uncomfortable for a short time if you have to. On a side note I have found that over the years my Woodsman EDC has changed often but I have gotten to where certain staples seem to be the norm now and you will eventually find what is comfortable for you as well, so don't be afraid to experiment. Like any kit of sorts if you don't find yourself using something you are carrying after many trips think about how badly your really need it in your set up.
One thing of Note it seems there is always issue with carrying a Hatchet not attached to a pack, the frontier remedy was to tuck the Belt axe or Tomahawk in to the belt or sash and I do this at times when wearing a Shemagh around my waist but I also use a Loop doubled over of paracord a trick used by Jamie Burleigh, and I use the loop on my carpenter style woods pants to stabilize the handle.

                                                               Dave Canterbury 2018