Everyone’s Everyday Carry or EDC setup will be unique, and it should be. We all have different life situations and experiences that will dictate what gear makes sense to have at any given moment. Some people define EDC gear as only the gear that you can carry on your body (using pockets and belt clips). I personally take a layered approach to EDC and it starts with my keychain.
My keychain is one of the few items that I actually keep on my person during the day. It may be just part of how I grew up, but I don’t like a ton of stuff in my pockets. I pretty much draw the line at my wallet, my phone, and my keys. Most of my EDC gear lives in whatever bag I have with me that day (laptop bag, over the shoulder sling bag, or backpack), but I keep 3 key tools on my keychain so they will always be available: a whistle, a flashlight, and a multitool.
One of the most powerful and simplistic methods of signaling and communication is a whistle. Using a whistle can make a louder sound, for a longer duration, with less energy than yelling can. Whistles can tell rescuers where you are, scare off potential threats by drawing unwanted attention, and signal other people with various patterns sounds. I chose the Biboll Stainless Steel Whistle because I wanted something metal and flat. The whistle is about as long as my house key and relatively flat compared to other whistles.
There are so many times when you’re walking at night or trying to find something you dropped under a car seat, where extra light would be beneficial. Having a small flashlight on my keychain gives me access to extra light anytime I need it. After doing a lot of comparisons I chose the Streamlight Nano. It has an easy twist on, twist off action so there isn’t a button to accidentally hit while it’s in your pocket. The incredibly small size makes it shorter than most of my keys, which is great for reducing the overall bulk of the keychain. The LED produces 10 lumens, which is plenty of light for a keychain. Remember, this isn’t meant to be your only flashlight, it’s meant to be an emergency flashlight.
I absolutely LOVE the Leatherman Squirt PS4 multitool. When I started looking for keychain tools I kept finding the same combination of tools in every one:
- Small Blade
- Bottle Opener
- Flathead Screwdriver
- Scissors (some had them, some didn’t)
But what I wanted was:
- Small Blade
- Wire Cutters
- Bottle Opener
The Leatherman Squirt PS4 checked all of the boxes in a form factor smaller than my car key. The Squirt PS4 also comes with a file and a second screwdriver. The tool has the Leatherman quality that I expect (with a 25 year warranty) and has held up to all sorts of uses. Leatherman makes a couple of different versions of the Squirt, but I found the PS4 to be the best fit for me. Additionally, Leatherman makes the Juice which is similar in size but trades out the scissors for a corkscrew and costs almost twice as much as the Squirt.
It is easy to take an everyday object for granted and assume that they only serve a single function. My keychain used to just keep my keys together (it didn’t really even keep them organized). Now, by simply adding these three tools, my keychain provides significantly more utility and capability that can help me in an emergency, or with day-to-day tasks. I highly encourage you to take a look at your keychain and see if you can take it to the next level too.
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