If your house is anything like mine then chances are that you’re the prepper and your spouse just goes along with things. It seems I’ve been at this long enough that she usually just sighs and says “whatever, dear!”
Recently, however, I got to really thinking about the saying “you’re only as prepared as what you have on you” and, though I’ve done my best to adhere to it personally, I think I’ve been woefully neglecting my wife’s EDC!
I’ve always figured that so long as I had gear with me as well as supplies in the car for her then that was good enough. After all, what are the chances she would ever be that far from me, our home, or the car? The odds are probably small but then again she might be on her own and unable to return to the car, so, there’s *that* potential problem.
Of course, I carry various gear on me from a simple pocket knife to multi-tool, firesteel, and more but there’s no way I could get her to carry half of this stuff… or was there?
Obviously, I knew she had to carry her keys around and so I got to searching the Net for “keyring EDC” ideas and found quite a few things that looked interesting, a few of which I’ve adopted.
First, I should note that I’ve always kept a small keyring flashlight attached to our keys. We’ve had a Photon LED Mico-Light on our keychains for years and it’s worked flawlessly but recently I switched to the Streamlight Nano LED Light which I actually like even more since it’s significantly brighter and just as lightweight (and it uses typical watch batteries which can be replaced):
Like I said, it’s a solid light and one that I recommend. We’ve found many situations where they come in handy just in everyday life. Adding a keychain light a no-brainer. Besides a light, the only other two items I’ve included up till now was a P-38 Can Opener (and I only bothered to do that because it took up no space at all) and a Corsair USB drive. And although I like the USB drive I really should have spent the money and purchased a more sturdy option.
Anyway, it’s obvious her keychain needed… more stuff.
Now, as it only took my wife two days to notice I added this–in her defense she hadn’t gone anywhere in that time–I choose to add a way to start a fire to her keychain.
After searching, I wanted to go with something like this True Utility Key Ring Lighter but I couldn’t bring myself to spend more than a few dollars on this need and instead choose to add a mini bic lighter (buy them at your local Walmart to save money) as the following video shows:
Now, I also considered just adding a firesteel instead (or in addition to) but I didn’t because I never expected my wife to take up bushcrafting skills. I did, however, want to ensure she could light a fire whether she wanted to be able to or not and a bic lighter was the easiest way to do that.
At first, I choose to try and wrap about a foot of duct tape around the mini bic lighter but that didn’t go so well. Reason being is that I used a paperclip as my attachment mechanism (as per the first video above) and I found that the more I wrapped the more creases I wound up with. If I had only wrapped once or twice it would have worked out fine.
As such, I only wrapped duct tape around the lighter a few times instead which probably equated to six inches at most. A few days later I redid this plan and went with the bic lighter mods shown in the second video above because I choose to add duct tape in a similar fashion to the following video which worked out a lot better (minus the fancy beads and clips) and equated to about two feet total:
Honestly, finding an old bic pen was the hardest part! And, FYI, you can get two applications out of a single bic pen if you’re careful when cutting.
Whistle: Signaling for help
Yes, there are whistles designed to fit on a keychain but I like these Rescue Howler Whistles which I think are far superior and, besides, they don’t take up too much space:
Other Things I Could Have Added But Did Not…
Believe it or not, there are all sorts of keychain-sized items you can add, from scissors to nail clippers, mini multi-tools, telescoping pens, a compass, a watertight capsule for storing cash or whatever, key-shaped USB drive, key-shaped multi-tools, and more. Just search Amazon and you’ll find plenty of items to fill your keychain rather quickly. IMO, try and steer clear of most of these items unless you have an actual need.
Stuff I Still Somehow Want to Add…
The one item I wanted to add was pepper spray but even the keychain-sized ones are rather large. Perhaps in the future I’ll revisit EDC pepper spray again.
I also thought about adding some OTC meds since I had some small vials (like these) but decided against it as her keychain was getting a bit bulky as it was.
The last item she should probably have was a knife but I didn’t see any great options for keychain knives, though there are a few that might work, I just haven’t tried them yet. I did briefly consider a credit card knife which wasn’t very expensive but I do wonder how truly useful it would be, here’s what one looks like:
If anyone has experience with them I would love to hear it.
As you can see from the first photo her keychain not only has car and house keys, it also has:
- a mini bic lighter
- duct tape (about two feet)
- a whistle
- can opener
- USB drive (with pertinent info)
The thing is that I had to remember that I could only add so much before my wife balked and so I figured I could get away with the above and thus far I have.
Granted, there are other ways to carry some of these items, including in a wallet or purse. For instance, I prefer to keep a foot or two of duct tape wrapped around an old credit card in my wallet and have done so for years. Similarly, it’s a simple matter to add a p-38 can opener almost anywhere, whereas a “secret” stash of money in a wallet or purse (my wife carries a day planner) takes up no space.
Ultimately, I tried to add a few items that my wife could potentially use without overwhelming her and, of course, ensuring her keys could still fit in a pocket, well, sort of. 🙂