Whether we realize it or not, each of us has our own every day carry (EDC) kit. Don’t believe me? When was the last time you left home without your cellphone, wallet, and keys? Exactly. However, EDC kits vary from person to person. We have backpacks, and shirts, tools, and the list goes on. Unfortunately, the one piece of attire that is often overlooked is the all-important hat.
Why You Need A Hat As Part of Your EDC
There are three main reasons why should consider wearing a hat every day. First and foremost a hat serves as protection from the elements. Second, an EDC hat is useful for storing valuables, small weapons, and tools. Finally, a hat can be used as a makeshift storage device under certain circumstances. At the very least, you should consider bringing one with you.
Choosing your EDC hat is about selecting the right tool to fit the environment you’ll be in. The first purpose of a hat is to protect you from the elements. Certain features are more relevant than others. For instance, having a durable hat is essential. Also, something comfortable is ideal if you’re planning to wear this every day. Beyond that, there exist many criteria that will dictate what type of EDC you choose. Depending on circumstances, it may be wise to have a couple of different hats.
Key Features of Your EDC Lid
There are many factors that will dictate your choice in your EDC hat. However, there are some features that I think should remain consistent no matter what your choice. I prefer hats with a visor, regardless of whether they are a beanie, baseball cap, or another style of hat.
The primary reason for the visor requirement is to shield you from the elements. When the weather is sunny, your eyes are shielded from sunlight. Furthermore, it offers some protection from the suns UV rays. In the rain, sleet, or snow, once again your eyes are protected. Even if there is a volcanic eruption or another event that results in falling debris, you have the first line of defense for your vision.
Also, your lid should cover your entire head. Visors offer little in the way of concealment and do nothing in terms of UV protection for your scalp. Because part of the EDC philosophy is to be prepared no matter what comes you want things that can serve a dual purpose. A full cover hat allows you to carry essentials when not being used as a head cover.
Other Factors To Consider When Choosing Your EDC Hat
Some factors that will affect your choice of lid include; the season(s), the climate, and the forecast for the day. For instance, if you live or plan to visit an area where the weather is sunny and warm, your choice in headwear should account for this. Under these circumstances, it would be prudent to have a cap with a visor to offer protection from the sun and made of durable breathable material. Perhaps a removable sweatband may also be in order.
During the winter months, or in a cooler climate, the material should insulate your melon. Ideally, you’ll cover not only the top of your head but also your ears to prevent frostbite. A pliable hat, such as a beanie, is ideal because it can easily be stored in a pocket when not in use. Combine this with the ability to store your gloves when not being used in your hat, and you have a strong candidate for your winter EDC hat.
Outside of functionality, I recommend a non-descript lid. Avoid bright colors that will draw attention, or that can be misconstrued as gang colors. Any insignia, that might indicate military or law enforcement service are likely to draw unwanted attention. For instance, in a hostage situation, you’ll be viewed as a liability. In an active shooter situation, you are a threat, and thus may be targeted first. These are not situations where you want to be singled out, as you may be the only chance for others survival.
Clever Ways To Make Use Of Your EDC Cap
I’ve covered a couple of alternate uses for your cap already. Storage of other items is a key benefit. Using it to bundle unused gear in the winter is one way. When you are on vacation or living out of a hotel, you can keep essentials like your phone, wallet, keys, flashlight, etc. in your cap on the nightstand. Should you need to make a hasty exit, the bare necessities are accounted for. Just grab your lid and go.
Beyond bundling larger items when not in use, you can store smaller useful items even when being used to cover your head. Keep things like an emergency stash of cash paper clipped to the inside band on a baseball cap. Should you ever get mugged or carjacked, you can always hail a cab. The inside band can also store other items that may prove useful. A razor blade (with a cover on the blade itself), a handcuff key, or any other slender item can also be kept.
Finally, a side note for the tobacco users. We’ve all seen at least one Vietnam war movie, and no doubt have noticed the guy with the pack of cigarettes attached to his helmet. Your EDC can also do this, which can free up pocket space.
Qualities By Hat Type
Each of the below types of hats has its place in EDC. Depending on the climate, weather, and what you’ll be doing choose accordingly.
The baseball hat is the epitome of EDC hat in my opinion. The hat covers your entire head offering scalp protection from the sun. Visors shield your vision and offer you a place to clip something like a small knife onto.
An internal sweatband allows for concealed carry of money or other EDC items. I recommend that you choose a version with a cloth strap. This allows you to attach the hat to a belt loop when not in use, and is more durable than a velcro, or plastic strap.
Ideal for cooler weather. I prefer most of my hats to have visors, however small, like the version pictured above. There is less opportunity for concealment, but you can clip some money via the knitting using a simple paper clip.
Some beanies offer convenient features like this bluetooth enabled beanie on Amazon, which allows you to accept calls as long as your phone is within a certain distance. You can even place a call to the last number dialed using the controls, which could be invaluable in a hostage situation.
Fedora/Top Hat/Cowboy Hat
These types of hats are my least favorite EDC hats for several reasons. Primarily, they don’t have the same abilities to conceal items within them. The hats are better for show than functionality. While they have an abundance of storage space, there’s really no way to make use of it. I supposed you could bobby pin items in that area.
Also, these hats stick out and are not in common use. I’ve voiced my concerns about sticking out should the need ever arise to use the items in your EDC hat.
Whether you opt to use one of my preferred hat types or choose another style, a proper EDC hat is an essential part of your kit. Make sure you account for the weather conditions and climate typical to your area. If you went with a different version of a hat, let me know why in the comments along with how you use it. I’m always interested to hear others takes on their choices for their kits.