Tradecraft: The TFC Every Day Carry kit

(TFC) – Emergencies, by their very nature, are typically unexpected. You can prepare for scenarios, but you can’t plan for an emergency. It isn’t always feasible to have a bug out bag with you everywhere you go. You can’t always be completely prepared. Even if you always have a bug out bag in your car, the emergency could separate you from your vehicle. Ever since World War II, the major world powers outfitted those working behind enemy lines with small kits providing the basic tools of survival, but you don’t need to be a spook from the golden days of espionage to be prepared.

To reward those readers who support The Fifth Column financially, we recently put together a collection of “Every Day Carry” (EDC) kits. The goal was to provide the tools for the basics: fire, water purification, fishing, snaring, shelter, navigation, wound management, emergency signaling, knife, basic tools, and a flashlight.

OK, it’s about 1/8th of an inch larger than a cigarette pack.

The catch: we wanted to fit it all in something the size of a cigarette pack. Sometimes, size does matter. In this case, the smaller the better. It couldn’t be something cumbersome. It had to be something that could be thrown in a purse, coat pocket, or whatever. For the product to be worth anything, it had to be small enough for someone to have with them at all times. Surprisingly, we were able to do it. It’s all inside a tin about the size of a cigarette pack.

So what items are inside the tin? Why were those items chosen?

Firestarter: Lighters run out of fuel. Matches get wet or you run out of them. The firestarter included won’t fail. Simply scrape the steel down the rod with a little bit of force and sparks go everywhere. Do it over some tinder, and you have a fire for cooking, light, signaling, or anything else you need it for.

Flat Multi-tool: On the card, there’s a can opener, knife edge, screwdriver, ruler, bottle opener, four-position wrench, butterfly wrench, a two-position wrench, etc.

Standard Multi-tool: Pliers, wire cutters, knife, Phillips head screwdriver, flat head screwdriver, saw, flashlight.

Finger saw: Cutting limbs for building a temporary shelter. It can also double as a garrote.

Whistle: Signaling. Also, has a waterproof compartment for pills or other small items.

Twine (not shown): For making small animal snares or securing items.

Compass: Navigation.

Fishing line: Besides the obvious, can also be used for snares or fastening.

Water purification tablets: Two tablets. One tablet purifies two liters.

Tampon: I’ve been advised against recommending this be used for wound management Surgeons tend to whine about the need to irrigate wounds packed with a tampon. So definitely don’t use this extremely clean and absorbent material for that. Instead, it can be used to absorb liquid and, when unrolled, makes excellent tinder if nothing else is available.

Hook and sinker: Fishing.

Rubber bands: Fastening items.

Several small plastic bags wrapping the items (not shown): can be used along with the tin to create a solar still to collect water.

These are the base things everyone needs. There’s still a little room in the tin for other items. I added a few trick birthday candles (if the wind blows them out, they relight), a very basic lockpick set, a handcuff key, a folding card knife, and a few other small items to mine.

So how do you get one of these little things? Well, you can’t. We only put enough together for our Patreon sponsors. Now might be a good time to sign up as a sponsor so you don’t miss the next cool thing we do. Not only will you be helping the independent media grow, you’ll be certain to get a cool little surprise occasionally. While you might not be able to obtain a TFC branded one, you can use the above as guide through the process of putting one together and we’ll even link you a place to purchase the base kit.