EDC: Do You (Always) Carry the Fundamental Four?

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Friend of TTAG Paul Markel, who’s well known for his Student of the Gun platform, relays the story of a friend who was running late, trying to get his kid to school. The friend dashed out of the house to take his progeny to the local knowledge dissemination facility…when he ran into a potentially deadly situation. Fortunately, it ended without incident.

We’ve all done it. We hop in the car to run a quick errand, leaving home base without our usual complement of EDC gear. When you realize it, you feel naked and it’s usually fine…until it’s not.

Markel preaches the gospel of always having the fundamental four with you; lethal, sharp, bright, and medical. A gun, a knife, a light, and a basic med kit. Good advice, that. Lots of us keep at least two or three of those items in our vehicles at all times (just remember…your car is not a gun safe).

If that’s not easy or practical for your situation, Markel suggests putting together what amounts to a mini “go bag,” something he’s calling the Running Late Bag that you can grab and go with any time you leave the house on the hop. Seems like a good way to make sure you’re never caught out without the basic gear everyone should have with them on their appointed rounds.

What gun/gear do you pack every day and how do you carry it?

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  1. I walked out of my house with mine today. It stays on the dining room table. An old Galco butt pack with a Glock 19X, Surefire, Spyderco, Leatherman, spare batteries and something the author forgot. A reload.

    • My “EDC THREE” is the gun, light, and knife. The med kit is in the vehicle.

    • I learned this from SOTG. And added it to my EDC. Pepper Spray. For when I don’t need to kill someone. Just make them go away, and stop acosting me.

      Less the need for a lawyer $$$, or the police.

  2. Markel forgot the most important 5th need and that is to see a psychiatrist to treat his out of control paranoia.

      • Dacian is not paranoid.

        On the topic of self defense for all with a firearm, he would most-likely qualify as Delusional with a fairly high degree of arrogance on the side. After all, those people and sources from whom/which he constantly references have caused the crime issues Americans now face that make it necessary for one to always have the means to defend one’s self. This was not so when I was growing up in the late 1950s-early-to-mid 1960s. Many Americans today do not remember, or have not experienced the time when we were a civilized nation.

        • … and the most economical these days, far cheaper than a bag of heroin laced with fentanyl (at least according to my local newspaper which states baggies are available for as low as $2.50)

    • Enjoy your early visit to the pine box. Your stone is already done.
      “Loser, woketard, unprepared, unloved.”

    • Paranoia is a 20th century concept, in our modern times if you can imagine something awful it is real. Just ask any “journalist” who thinks Q-Anon is behind the “Sound of Freedom” movie.

    • dacian, it is NOT paranoia when there are people out there to do us harm. It’s called being prepared. But then you are on the side of the criminal and want them to be “successful”? Right?

    • dacian, the next time your mistress lady-boy dressed up like Biden takes the ball gag out of your mouth tell them you need to take your meds.

    • You don’t have car, or homeowner insurance, or a fire extinguisher, do you? Nah, having those would make you paranoid too, wouldn’t it?

    • with all that has happened in the last 10 years … that is an unbelievably stupid statement.

      • Really, that is what I said a year ago. I will not even respond to dacian because he is such a dope. Possibly the dumbest person on earth. Other people should not waste their time with this fool.

    • paranoia?
      Not at all.

      You really need to take a good look around yourself. Med kits, knives, fire extinguishers, and various other tools are standard company issue for cable, telephone, and satellite installers. Most company owned 18 wheel tractors get supplied this stuff too. The only reason most people don’t have this in their personal vehicles is because they have to buy that themselves. Many truck drivers will carry guns as well. All these things are already out there. It’s because things do happen in life. There is no paranoia involved what do ever.

    • Speaking or mental issues what spectrum of illnesses would compel someone like.this joker to haunt such a forum like this just to troll a whole community of people he hates and vehemently disagrees with? He knows we despise him and everything he says, yet here he comes back every day like a pathetic puppy for more abuse. It’s quite sad actually. I can’t imagine the personal misery such a pathetic soul suffers from continuously. Schmuck…

  3. Rest assured the 7573 dumbbell democRats wanting POTUS DJT to go to jail are food for criminals…And that’s a good thing because criminals need to eat too.

  4. I carry as little as possible these days. (small) knife, Knipex Cobras,Ridge Wallet, Space Pen, Surefire Stiletto, reading glasses. No gun, no phone (burner in glove box), no medical. Even quit wearing a watch last month after like 50 years.

      • I’ve had a belt full of tools of one kind or another hanging off me since I was a teen. Just don’t need anything while I’m trapped in suburbia.

    • I see little use in carrying a pen in today’s digital information age. Why? so I can write on dead trees like some cave man?

      • Well, I don’t carry a phone. But I could easily live without the pen I agree. It will probably go next.

  5. I do not carry a med kit. One in the car, one in the house. One or the other is usually close by. I know that is probably not good enough.

    Also, I am not carrying a spare mag during the hot weather. Why? Because I have not purchased an OWB mag pouch that I like. Conversely, I have only purchased OWB mag pouches that I do not like. Seems an odd way to go about it, no?

    My moderate-to-cool weather 511s have a pocket front-left that is perfect for a spare mag. My hot weather Proppers do not have that convenience. So, the search continues. Once I have purchased all the available OWB mag pouches that I don’t like, maybe I will buy one that works for me.

      • I appreciate that. Just placed an order through them. Got the elite magazine holder. Almost bought the one in your link though.

        • @Prndll

          I like the ability to clip the mag carrier off and on in seconds rather than having to thread it on and off the belt. When I leave the house, I slip it over my belt and when I return home it unclips in a second. I have never had it shift or fall off the belt. Let me know how the Elite model works out.

          I have a Kore and several Aker Leather reinforced belts for EDC (the Akers have a semi-rigid inner reinforcement encased in the leather of the belt. My two Akers are about 8 and 10 years old and still have not taken a curve). Both style of belts work well…I prefer the Aker for their esthetics…they look good.

    • A double magazine leather pocket holder fits into my back pocket and is no larger than the wallet I carry in the other back pocket. A few wraps of hockey tape keeps it from moving around or pulling out when I reach in and pull one mag at a time from it. This is comfy and unobtrusive even wearing thin silk Tommy Bahama shorts and a T-shirt or Hawaiian short sleeve button down in hot Florida weather.

  6. Business cards for your lawyer and your self defense insurance. (Don’t unlock your phone if arrested).

  7. Small med kit in glove box, knife to cut seatbelt and/or break glass in console so it can be easily reached from either seat, under seat safe for where I can’t carry, AIWB S&W CSX, phone (has light).

  8. Wallet, phone, keys, knife, gun, I don’t go anywhere without these. Medical / tourniquet are in cars, don’t fit on my person, and everywhere I go, my cars are there. Too hot in Texas to carry anything extra, especially at 7 decades old. I suggest everyone who can carry a gun and a knife, or at least a knife.

  9. I carry a variety of firearms depending on the weather/situation, 2 knives, 1 for cutting and an old one for dirty work and an O light mini 3. As for a med kit I carry far more than the average person. As a member of a CERT team. I carry a full trauma kit x3, as as well as a mass casualty kit. Along with numerous other items needed for such activities as SAR. I’ve always been a worst case scenario type, simply because in previous professions I’ve been involved in many SHTF situations.

  10. “EDC: Do You (Always) Carry the Fundamental Four?”

    where we used to live “the Fundamental Four” would be a four man fire team.

    Yeah, it became that bad after the state decided we needed an ‘affordable housing’ complex built right next door to our 300 home ‘unincorporated’ area where homes started at $300,000.00 for the smaller homes.

    Gangs from across the state line moved into the ‘affordable housing’.

    Thank God for ‘constitutional carry’.

    • I have a med kit in the car. but with me I have a basic bandage and basic tourniquet set up, small package that fits in pocket.

      I also EDC my Glock 22 with five 15 round magazines (yep, I learned my lesson for ammo in an incident), a small Keychain type flashlight on keys that will let me identify at room distances at least, and a tactical pen (that actually writes, and I use it for that too plus it can double as the twist thing for the tourniquet) with a glass breaker tip and an internal 2.5 inch blade 1/4 inch wide (exposed when the pen is pulled apart)

    • deadskinmask, I do, in my car. Along with a knife, water, and blanket and flashlight.

    • you tell you what you must do. Does that count?

      My wife tells me sometimes with the way she looks at me what I must do.


      • SWMBO (pronounced “Swumbo”): She Who Must Be Obeyed.

        The “look” is a signal to the wise man.

  11. Keep your phone and choice of carry weapon next to you when you are sleeping and you put both on when you go to leave, next you go get your keys, knife, wallet, and whatever else you carry in your pockets, [these items should all be kept together in one place] then you go out the door. And when you are done for the day you put everything back in the same place for the next day. As far as go bags we keep one in every vehicle with first aid kits and Israeli tourniquet and other items, these stay in the vehicles. As far as a car not being a gun safe, I agree with that to an extent. Sooner or later you will run into a “gun free zone”, [which all should be abolished], then you have no choice but to leave your gun in the car. Of course we go way beyond these few things that are mentioned , but do this and you might save your own life or the life of another.

  12. Since I’m not going into town today, I have a gunbelt and revolver on. Liner lock knife in 1 pocket, 5inch blade straight knife on the gun belt. A couple quick reloaders in pouches on the gunbelt as well. Wallet and keys in pockets. Multi tool in other front pocket. First aid kit hanging next to the fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Full medics kit in the closet along with other emergency supplies. Trauma/med kit in each vehicle. Small kit with rubber tubing and bandages in a belt pouch. Small light next to med pouch. If using the CCW set up, most of the same set up with spare mag in left rear pocket. Since I usually am wearing work cloths a pliers and usually a few other small tools in the pockets of the dungarees or overalls.
    With the exception of the gunbelt and med kit, about the same load of stuff my father carried on his farm 50 years ago. Of course he was in Wisconsin and I’m in Alabama. He didn’t have the feral hogs or snakes I deal with here. When he went down to the cities, even the small cities in Wisconsin at that time, he did have a concealed pistol on him. And absolutely would if going down to the Minneapolis/St.Paul area. Even back in the 40’s, 50’s, and 60’s.

  13. oh yeah, EDC a defense insurance. If you do need to shoot a bad guy, and I hope you never need to …. Unless you live in one of those movie scripts where the cops show up and the first thing they say is “yep, ya didn’t have any other choice” and the last thing they do is ‘ok, see ya later” and you can go on your way….believe me, somewhere in the legal system you are going to need that defense insurance lawyer and it is going to be worth every penny you paid for it and more.

  14. Edge wallet, knife, watch, keys, flashlight, change of underwear, socks, pants, first aid kit, pepper spray, firearm(choice of the week/month), spare mag, all in an EDC backpack. Firearm and knife on my person, unless I’m at work, or go into a Federal building, which I try to avoid at all cost.🤮💩

  15. If the med bag is for me it’s to late and if the med bag is for the other guy I’m dragging him into the ditch with the tourniquet and hope the buzzards dont find him.

  16. How you roll depends on your circumstances and preferences.

    If you drive, a med kit on the back of the headrest or on a soft panel (the hard ones are waaaaaay overpriced) on the back of the seat allows you to carry a reasonably extensive medical kit in a rip-away package that generally will be pretty close to you and very easy to get at. Car accidents happen and they can be pretty nasty.

    Obviously doesn’t cover everything but it’s generally either very close or not very far away in most of the situations where you might need it and since you’re not carrying it on you it can be made more comprehensive without worrying about bulk too much.

    Hell, you can use some carabiners or a gear strap and put something like a TacMed R-AID or Assault Medic Bag on the back of a seat and have a pretty damn expansive setup if you like. Pull the zipper and it flops open or detach the crab and take it with you. Sucks for your back seat passengers if you put it on a front seat though, unless you’re rocking a rather large SUV.

    I mostly carry a kit I built using a drop-leg pouch with the straps removed, dunno the brand. I cut the straps and tag off years ago to use it in my long range pack where I put it in my lid and the straps would always get caught on the pack’s zipper when I tried to pull it out, so I slicked it with a hot knife.

    6.25 x 7 x 2.5 inches, 775g (27.3 oz) loaded with two TQs, two rolled sets of gloves, combat gauze, Quikclot sponge, trauma sheers, naso, naso lube, triangle bandage, scalpel with two blades, three pre-loaded suture packs, sharpie, newskin, noxasting, penlight, four syringes, and four glitter tubes (they’re fucking indestructible) with meds, plus some band aids, frog tape strips and a sheet of moleskin.

    I just toss it in a bag since I carry one pretty much everywhere.

  17. You mean the fundamental four arent a zip gun, butter knife, matches and a tampon? Those are extremely useful.

  18. Vehicles get multiple casualty med kits, Victorinox rescue tools (can saw through a windshield, among other uses), and flashlights. They also get vehicle specific equipment, like oil, premixed coolant, jumper cables/power packs, compressors etc.

    In the winter, vehicles also get scrapers, shovels, sleeping bags, multiple fire starters, pillar candles, camp stove, MREs, crank radio, HAM/GRMS handheld, playing cards, etc. It’s no fun getting caught in a blizzard.

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