What Exactly Is Urban EDC?

Numerous Gear Facts readers have been asking, “What is urban EDC?”

Even though the Gear Facts staff are near-complete experts on everything EDC, we are stumped on what urban EDC really is. Luckily, we interviewed Seattle native, Gary Thomas, who considers himself a pioneer of the term, urban EDC.

Below is the complete interview with Mr. Thomas.

GEAR FACTS: What exactly is urban EDC?

THOMAS: It’s my basic loadout (kit) for the city.

GEAR FACTS: More specifically, is there a reason why you differentiate between urban EDC and rural EDC?

THOMAS: My rural loadout prepares me for SHTF scenarios, random animal skinnings, mushroom foraging, and multiple other situations. My urban loadout is minimalist, but also compliments the inner Inspector Gadget in me.

GEAR FACTS: The general consensus would be that whatever primary tool (probably a knife) that you use for rural EDC, would also suffice the needs of your urban EDC.

Are all knives not created equal?

THOMAS: (laughs), Quite the contrary. Do you honestly believe a CRKT Minimalist Bowie would withstand the entire processing of a black bear? Or that a 100 lumen Bushnell flashlight will help me find my way home in the rural backcountry? I don't EDC just to be a top poster on everydaycarry.com—I’m just being prepared.

GEAR FACTS: What kind of situations would deem your urban EDC to be useful in?

THOMAS: The city is a whole different animal. For instance, I had a Gerber Shard (mini prybar) on my keychain, when I found myself surrounded by a gang of thugs—I found an escape route via the sewer system, and pried the lid up—escaping my attackers under the city streets.

In another instance, I found an abandoned laptop on the street. Not knowing the owner, I wanted to insure that their information didn’t get into the wrong hands. Luckily, I had my Victorinox Cybertool, and I was able to remove the hard drive.

GEAR FACTS: So is EDC a form of preparedness for you?

THOMAS: I would prefer to call it, “minimalist” preparedness. I can stockpile everything I need for the apocalypse at my home, but when I’m away, I still need to be ready to face the challenges of the day. There is nothing really in between urban and rural environments, so I always prepare my EDC for the environment I’ll be in.

GEAR FACTS: You would have probably made a good special ops type of guy—were you in the Military?

THOMAS: I get that question a lot on the forums. I’m American at my core, but I would have joined, if not for their lack of bushcraft implementations in their survival training.

GEAR FACTS: People often ask for the advice of forum members on what they should add to their urban EDC loadout, but get minimal support because of the lack of understanding for the term.

What do you suggest for people looking to differentiate between their urban and rural surroundings?

THOMAS: Essentially, don’t be an idiot! Most people have a purpose for going into their environment, which will give them an idea of what they may encounter.

GEAR FACTS: Why did you develop the term, urban EDC?

THOMAS: The forums are packed with noobs looking to get into the EDC scene. We always want to help, but people are typically unaware of what they actually need in their pockets. I developed the term to better distinguish what people actually need.

GEAR FACTS: So it was developed to help people out, even though most are confused by the term?

THOMAS: Yes, and Yes! However, once the term catches on, we can better identify the needs of the noobs.

We want to thank Mr. Thomas for giving us an interview to better help our readers and fellow EDC friends understand the term, urban EDC. Like Mr. Thomas said, consider the surroundings of where you might be going, and adjust your EDC accordingly.

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