In the modern, urban world, humans are actually in an unnatural environment. At any moment a person could be plunged into total darkness in a windowless room, or locked into a similar room without convenient means of escape. A human voice can fade into the background of the city noise and quickly loose strength and volume if trying to cry for help.
I think it very important to extend the capabilities of the human animal to make up for the lack of night vision, a loud and piercing scream, or strong talons. So the first items I would use as the EDC lanyard are:
The lanyard itself should be of a “break away” style, so that it does not become a hazard during an emergency To keep from using these emergency tools for everyday, routine tasks, the lanyard items are gathered into a large, ranger band sized to completely contain the EDC lanyard items and just snug enough to keep them from slipping out while still being easily removed during an emergency. I have found an extensive and cheap selection at kid’s toy stores – especially the party stores that have all sorts of birthday loot bags and loose, cheap toys.
Or do the 550 cord trick – remove the center fibers, heat seal the ends, and don’t tie the ends together but overlap them and wrap them with electrical tape. You may have to experiment to get the right mix of length, tension, and tape to provide enough holding power for running with the weight of the EDC and still able to break away if you get snagged. After all that work, it probably better from a cost/time perspective to just buy the $1 breakaway lanyards.
I use fishing tackle – split rings, swivels, and clips – to attach the rest of the EDC Lanyard items to the lanyard ring. The additional small rings allow for adjusting the height each device hangs so they are all approximately at the same level for easy of storing in the extra long ranger band. The clips allow for individual device removal for greater flexibility during an emergency.
A florescent colored lanyard with a florescent colored whistle could be used as a visual signal by swinging them around in a circle. Realistically, it is better to let the intended target choose the color(s) she likes. We want her to want to have it with her always, and not even sub-consciously desire to leave it behind because it is an ugly color or clashes with her style.
Normally I would recommend that a flashlight (or headlight) use easily acquired, standard batteries (AA or AAA). This is one exception where the smallest possible light necessitates coin batteries. The bulb should be a LED as they can handle the shocks of constantly being carried around that would break a filament bulb. The light should have an always on feature (without having to hold it in the on position), as well as a way to flash the light.
Because this light uses coin batteries, this flashlight should be kept from the temptation of everyday, routine use. A second flashlight just for routine use can be in the purse or pocket, if desired. The everyday, routine use flashlight can use rechargeable AAA or AA batteries for reducing the operating costs.
A small, rather flat, yet very loud, pea-less, plastic whistle can enable a person to keep up an emergency signal far louder and longer than simply yelling. Plastic won’t cause a problem in the cold like a metal whistle can. There are fairly generic marine rescue whistles that fit the bill (the ones that are normally tied to a PFD or life jacket).
Multi-Tool Knife –
A knife is just an essential tool. While I much prefer (multiple) large, strong blades, as a practical matter in the modern, scared people compared to sheep in being docile, foolish, or easily... More society, a “real” knife can cause more problems than it solves. So a small (but very sharp and sturdy) blade is the compromise. As part of a multi-tool, it seems to be more “acceptable” in polite society. And the additional tools can be handy. Pliers and screwdrivers always work. For the target audience (see part one) as an EDC on a lanyard, it needs to be very small and not have hard edges on the handle. There will be another knife (knives) in the BOB/GOOD/GO bag.
I’ve tried several of the best sellers and personally like the Leatherman Squirt P4 model. Better yet, she thinks it is “cute”. Translation; she has no objections to it.
Electronic Information Fob –
The fourth item is a modern society necessity – an electronic record of one’s self. In an emergency you may become separated from your regular wallet full of identification and transaction cards. There might even be the need for immediate flight to a distant place without time to retrieve passports, medical (shot) records, or other items not normally carried in the wallet.
I recommend using a “Micro SD” card carried in the smallest USB Card Reader you can find.. On it would be unencrypted information for first responders and medical personnel to use when they find your unconscious body, and encrypted information fully documenting yourself and your standing in society that you can use.
The reason for the dual media format is flexibility; the Micro SD card can be removed from the USB Card Reader and inserted in most smart phones for instant viewing of the unencrypted information. When used with the USB Card Reader, the Micro SD card can be read by any computer (laptop or desktop) that has a USB port, no matter the OS. The Micro SD card should be 2 Gig or smaller for maximum device compatibility.
Another article will detail the files on this fob.
D. Period – All rights reserved – 2009 – Use permitted by all only with attribution.
Originally posted on July 5, 2009 @ 7:01 pm