One thing I love about blogging and writing is that it allows me to be productive with what I enjoy doing anyway. It gives a new sense of meaning to all those hours thinking about survival, gear and the more philosophical questions in the survival and preparedness world.
A couple hours ago while I was in the gym on the stationary bike. Few things are as boring as pedaling (or walking) and going nowhere. I had my iphone with me but I had finished watching The Patriot (extended edition) during my previous visit to the gym. So while I was there I kept thinking about Preparing with very limited Funds post. What’s important, and what isn’t as much.
We’ve covered having the right mindset and learning. Getting into proper physical shape was also mentioned as a top priority SHTF or not, even though many self claimed survivalists chose to ignore this little topic. Food and water? Absolutely. Other than a few other random items such as a well stocked first aid kit, flashlights and camping gear, I kept thinking that when it comes to gear what matters the most is what you have with you at all time, you Every Day Carry gear.
Here I quickly remind everyone how important it is to get the CCW license and be armed at all times, but other than that there are other tools you should carry with you 24/7. While you can go as crazy as you want regarding EDC with a 400 USD Chris Reeve Sebenza or a custom made $3000 ( yes, that’s three zeros) Spy Tri-V flashlight, most of us don’t have that kind of money to put into gear. In fact, most of my readers are on a very tight budget. Students, young families, people that lost their jobs or suffered salary cuts, a lot of folks reading my blog and getting into survivalism have little cash available for gar, so what to get?
Before I start, know that there’s always cheaper. Yes, I’ve seen the 10 dollar knife and 9 dollar LED light, I even own dozens of both, but I also know that when you have a very tight budget its better to buy affordable quality gear, and not throw money away in slightly less expensive stuff that may or may not work. This 99 USD EDC I’m proposing here is not sacrificing quality and will last a lifetime with proper care.
Folding Knife (Use: general purpose with an inclination to defensive use)
At $33.29, its hard to beat the Spyderco Tenacious. I like Cold Steel a lot, but I used to like it even more when their prices where more competitive.
With the Tenacious you get a 3 3/8” full flat ground blade, 8Cr13Mov Stainless Steel which is pretty good, takes a good edge, beefy liner lock and G-10 handle. It has the very practical Spyderco trademark thumb hole witch combined with a clip that can easily be reattached with a torx scredriver to any of te 4 possible positions you have a product that is hard, excuse me , impossible to beat for that price.
If you have a better alternative for under 34 dollars please let me know, post it in the comments.
Flashlight(Use: Every day use, signaling, emergency light for short or extended periods of time)
This is a hard one. There’s so many awesome LED lights out there its hard to go for just one. I wont recommend here some of the generic brandless ones. For a one and probably only light, go with quality. Quality brands are offering some lights at a very competitive price, and in this category 4Sevens and Fenix are my favorite brands.
For an EDC light? The Quark Mini AA has an Cree XP-G R5 LED. This may be Japanese if you’re not a flashlight geek, but its simply one of the latest LEDs from Cree, the best LED manufacturer. These are efficient, reliable and have great color, pure white in their cool white models. If you remember the first LEDs, even the Nichia LED currently used by the Fenix E01 (excellent little light by the way) has that purple/bluish tint to it. My personal choice is this same model but it CR123, the Quark Mini 123. This is of course brighter, but batteries are also more expensive than the cheap and widely available AA, so I think it’s a better choice for a budget EDC.
At 39 USD for The Quark Mini AA R5, if you find a better light for that money I’ll let you hit me over the head with a crowbar next time you’re in Bs. As. We still have 26.71 left.
Multitool (Use: General use, repairs)
A Leatheman Charge it is not, but some of you may be surprised that even with 26 bucks left you can still get a very functional multitool and oh yes my friends, it’s a Leatherman. The Leatherman Squirt PS4 wotn be used to disassemble your car’s engine, but for general use such as repairing a broken light switch in your house, opening your desktop CPU and opening up and repairing small home appliances it does get the job done. He pliers are small, yo wont be cutting nails with this one, but your can twist, tighten an cut wires and it has scissors, Phillips and flat screwdrivers, wood/metal file, bottle opener and of course a little Clip point 420HC for when you don’t want to get tape glue all over your brand new Spyderco Tenacious. The Leatherman PS4 costs 22.36, leaving us just 4,35 on our EDC budget.
Lighter (Use: Starting fires, burning rope, etc)
Bic Classic Disposable lighter. $1.99
You wont be impressing your friends with this bad boy but it is reliable and time proven. Even when wet, you can still use it if you wait until it dries up.
The advertisement says you get 2500 lights (flame) out of this lighter, which in my opinion is more handy than 3000 sparks from your average firesteel. Even if you run out of gas, you still have a bit of flint and the wheel. Removing the metal cover you can use it as an improvised flit to ignite some fibers (make a bit of lint using your clothing) and start a fire.
We only have $2.36 left in our budget and this is the end of our shopping spree.. or is it not?
Miniature FireSteel Rod(Use: Emergency Fire starter)
I just found this puppy when I thought we were done. $o.69 guys.
Lets go totally nuts and get a couple these for a total of 1.38. One goes into the wallet (where it folds, should fit nicely and secure with a bit of tape) or you can keep it in your shoe. The other one can be placed inside a bit of Paracord after removing the core strands. This you can tie to your keychain along with the Leatherman PS4 in case you need to start a fire during an emergency and your’ trusty Bic died on you.
So that’s it guys, a pretty neat EDC setup for under 99 USD. Excellent folding knife, LED light, quality little multi tool and means to start fire for both emergencies and ordinary use. You still have 0,98 cents, but I leave that to you, just go crazy on it, life’s too short. :-)