We can often forget that our EDC Gear needs a little TLC from time to time. Whether we run our knives across a sharpening stone a few times to bring the edge back. Or simply clean the lint (or heaven forbid, left over gun powder) out of barrels.
Simply carrying our gear can put it in less than optimal shape, and it needs some attention in order to stay in ship-shape. So, in this article we're going to dive into what it takes to maintain a few key pieces of gear that fall into our EDC Essentials.
Smith & Wesson M&P 9, Hoppe's Cleaner and Recycled Firefighter Inspector Notebook Cover
Following up on our Everyday Carry for Beginners article, we'll outline some routine maintenance that should be followed on a regular basis for your gear.
1) Keep your blade sharp:
I've always heard that a dull knife is a dangerous knife. That statement in your mind doesn't really make sense. But think about it...If your knife is dull, you're having to put in the work to make cuts. You're having to push harder, which could result in you slipping and cutting yourself. The blade of your knife should be capable of making cuts with minimal effort on your behalf.
And let's just be honest - Who doesn't like a knife that can glide through whatever you throw at it!
2) Keep metal on metal friction areas lubricated:
I always like to keep pivoting areas of my knives slightly lubricated. It helps the knives open smoother and it will decrease wear over time as well.
3) Clean out the pocket lint:
Get some small picks, q-tips or compressed air and blow the dust out of your knife liners from time to time.
(Sidenote: Knives like the SpyderCo Paramilitary 2 are especially nice, because the entire knife is open and held together by standoffs. Which make cleaning it a breeze)
4) Ensure screws are tight:
From time to time check the screws that hold your pocket clip in place and your tension screw for the blade. Most of the time you'll be fine, but it's something to pay attention to when you're doing other routine maintenance.
Keeping your concealed carry firearm clean is honestly a fairly similar concept to keeping your knife in good working order. They both encounter the same problems during your everyday...They reside inside your waistband, in your pocket or on your hip where they collect dust. It's just the nature of concealed carry and everyday carry.
5) Clean the dust out of your gun:
For starters: Am I the only one that can say Hallelujah that our guns collect dust on a day to day basis? They don't have to be taken out of our concealed carry location expect to go into our night stands at the end of the day. Let's hope that's the way it stays.
But with that said - We do need to remember to clean the dust and dirt out of the barrel area, around the sear housing and anywhere else where your gun seems to collect debris. While I wish my concealed carry piece was an AK47 that can run with 4lbs of mud in it, I don't want to take my changes.
6) Re-Oil metal on metal parts periodically:
I always like to keep a light coating of oil (frog lube to be specific) around my barrel and on the rails of my guns. But i've noticed if I carry my gun for a month or so the coating of oil wears off - Leaving my gun drier than a bone. Sure it would probably still function just as well, but i'd rather not chance it. So I re-oil my gun from time to time, to ensure it stays in tip-top operating condition.
7) For goodness sakes, please don't shoot your gun and leave it dirty:
Okay...I'm going to act like people don't do really do this. But, if you shoot your gun at the range - Then carry it dirty, please stop reading this and go clean it.
Malfunctions happen when guns are dirty and fouled up. The last thing I want to see is someone need their gun, pull it and it won't go bang because it's clogged up with crud. Keep 'em clean, peeps!
8) Check your carry ammunition:
As you're cleaning your firearm, take that as a quick opportunity to check your carry ammunition. If you see that a bullet is set back into the casing a bit further than others (from frequent chambering/un-chambering), toss it (or shoot it). If your carry ammo has become corroded for some odd reason, toss it and reload a fresh batch to capacity. I've honestly never really had a problem in this area - But look for weird signs that nod to you needing to change your ammunition.
Almost all of our top 10 carry items need a little bit or maintenance of checking up on from time to time. So we'll outline a couple of things to look out for below:
9) EDC-Flashlight Maintenance: Really, the biggest thing to watch out for here is battery corrosion (R.I.P. 5.11 ATac PL). You may start to notice your flashlight acting funky and flickering. This could be a sign that corrosion is building up around the internals of your light. So save yourself the trouble and check your batteries every month or so. (You guessed it...my 5.11 light fatally fell victim to battery corrosion)
This is also a good time to swap fresh batteries in. The last thing you want is for your batteries to go belly up, leaving you in the dark (especially with Winter approaching).
10) Thin out your wallet: Ditch the junk, keep the essentials. If you haven't used it in a month, you don't need it.
We'd love to hear your maintenance routines....If you have something specific that you do on a regular basis for your EDC Gear, we wanna hear it! Or, maybe you didn't do something for your EDC Gear when you should've and it resulted in something unpleasant, like my poor deceased 5.11 light.
Share your thoughts in the comments below.