Everyone works a little differently, but there are some pieces of equipment everyone should carry. Among these is the humble tape measure. You bought may have a pre-made EDC bag, but there are a few items you need that weren’t included While professional kits are a great way to get started, you should never stop there. It’s vital to customize, so you have the gear that matters most. I recommend getting yourself an excellent tape measure to include. It may seem like an unusual choice to some, but you’ll never regret having one on hand. Even if you’re not the type who works with their hands daily, you’ll find this is one small item that makes a huge difference.
Why You Need an EDC Tape Measure
There are very few jobs where you wouldn’t benefit from having an EDC tape measure. Moreover, even if you do have a profession where you never find a use for a good tape measure, you need one in your daily life anyhow. Whether you’re buying shoes, or putting away groceries, there are so many times when the ability to make a quick measurement would help.
One of the overlooked skills of emergency preparedness is organization. All the supplies in the world won’t do you any good if you can’t find what you need when it’s urgent. Simply measuring out the space on your shelves is enough to tell you how much of any supply you can store.
Without my EDC measuring tape, I would have a lot more wasted space. With a little creative thinking about the space you have, you’ll easily be able to lay in additional supplies.
Measuring Food Storage Space
For example, my family loves canned cream soup. Those containers are an odd shape, but knowing that I can lay down three sideways rows of cans and stack them five high lets me keep fifteen cans of soup in a space where I used to struggle to cram in about nine.
Better yet, I can also fit about four dozen spices in the round shakers we like between those rows. Celery and onion flakes or some powdered garlic will go a long way when food is scarce and bland. Salt is a necessity.
You don’t need fancy gimmicks and unique holders when you can use the space you have to your own best advantage. Try laying sealed containers on their sides. You don’t need to pack every inch, but the more you can fit, the longer it will get you by in a pinch.
Packing Your Trunk
If you have a recessed wheel well with a spare tire, you can probably pack most of the car tools you need inside. However, getting a trunk space maximized is a little tougher. Luckily, that measuring tape will help you create a better system.
Most of us use plastic bins that are larger at the top than they are at the bottom. Hence, you need to make sure they’ll fit. Measure how wide they are across the top when sitting side by side, and how wide your trunk is at the bottom.
Don’t pack all those lidded bins upright, flip them upside down. If you’ve packed properly, then you should have them secured shut. Camping tents, bottles of water, and things you need to access quickly fit around your larger supply bins. Make the most of a BOV trunk.
Build It Yourself
Building and repairs should be a top priority skill for any prepper, and you definitely need an EDC measuring tape for that. If you haven’t yet started learning, then now is the perfect time to start—however, even an experienced professional needs to keep practicing to stay sharp.
Look around at what you have at home. Got a coffee table? Add storage space. I’m not talking about a couple of drawers. A typical coffee table or end table is an example of the perfect easy upgrade project.
Use your tape measure to turn that wasted space underneath into a smart emergency supply stash. Keep flashlights, spare blankets, or a bug-out bag out of sight. I converted my footstools as well. Resultantly, we can grab our go-bags in under a minute, but visitors don’t need to know that.
Don’t Get a Keychain EDC Tape Measure
Time and again, I see the same mistake when choosing an EDC tape measure. Instead of selecting a high-quality tool, people shoot for the smallest size. A keychain piece is excellent when it’s what you need, and the mini is as useful as a full-size version.
A great example of when to compromise on size is when people choose some of the outstanding wallet cards that break into multiple useful small parts. A good emergency EDC card can have arrowheads, tools, and fish hooks at least. Alternately, a cheap keychain tape measurer is rarely a useful tool.
In keeping your EDC useful, lower weight is essential, but sometimes you have to compromise and choose a more substantial piece to get the quality you need. A tool that breaks after a few uses is only a waste of money.
A Measured Decision
There are some outstanding measuring tapes available with crazy features. Unfortunately, many of them add substantial bulk. Instead of a hand-sized three-inch tool, they end up too wide because of additions.
The MulWark 16ft Digital Tape Measure brings the right balance between a small device with features and avoiding excess bulk. You can determine a midpoint, laser measure, and use the LCD screen. However, the best part about the MulWark is that it remains a small, portable EDC tool despite all the bells and whistles. Pick yours up from Amazon by clicking here.
When adapting your EDC, it’s worth getting a belt pouch for your tape measure. The overly flimsy tape inside tiny versions is hard to work with and easy to break. Keep in mind; the point of bringing useful items with you is to help you get through your day no matter what happens.
Fix Your Tape Measure
Fixing the essential components of your EDC tape measure is an important skill. Fortunately, it’s also easy to do. Most measuring tapes have similar insides, and you can figure out why the tape isn’t doing its job with a few simple steps.
- Open up the case. Be careful not to spill parts everywhere. If you’re lucky, it’s just a small jam because some dirt has gotten inside. You can tap this out or use compressed air.
- Clean the inside parts. A microfiber cloth is suitable for this step, or you can use that compressed air if you have it on hand. Do not use water or sanitizing sprays.
- Check your screws and spring to determine what is loose or not functioning correctly.
- If the case was loose, then tighten or replace any internal screws. Alternately, if the spring is disconnected or broken, then you should carefully unwind and remove the tape.
- Replace the spring. If you have rust or any broken spring parts, it’s easy to see what happened. Small springs are available at hardware shops, and you should be able to bring the broken piece in to find a new one, but grab a couple of replacement springs while you’re there in case it happens again.
- Reconnect and wind the tape.
- Put the case back together and test your measuring tape to make sure the problem is solved.
Pro Tip: If you’re worried about which part goes where then use a digital camera to photograph each piece as you remove and clean it. By going back through the pictures, you can reverse the process smoothly. You should never have ‘spare parts’ when you finish fixing your tape measure.
Treat Your EDC Right
Letting out your tape measure until it bends is one of those fun, childish things that you should leave behind in your youth. Or at least get a cheap measuring tape to play with that’s not in your survival gear if you want to do that with your equipment. Weakening the tape makes it more likely to break every time it bends.
Forgetting that your EDC needs TLC is a serious mistake. Like all the rest of your preparations, you need to perform checks on your equipment. Keep it clean, change batteries as needed, and make sure your tape measure is dry.
The MulWark Digital Tape Measure can stand out up to 235cm before it bends or breaks. Plus, the nylon embossing coating helps to add strength and durability. Like any good piece of EDC, it’s rustproof and comes with useful extras. You can swap from imperial to metric measuring with the click of a button. Better still, the memory feature and long-life lithium CR245 button cell battery bring this tool to the next level. To find out more on Amazon, click here.
Unless you work with tools daily, carrying a tape measure as part of your EDC might never occur to you. However, you’ll soon discover that there are plenty of uses for it. From setting an ambush to making sure you have enough space to pack your BOV, this one small thing will make you a more effective prepper.
For those who are newer to using tape measures, there are some crucial tricks to learn. To read it correctly and not mess up your measurements. Check out this useful video on tape measure reading to learn more about fractions and other vital details. You might be surprised at what you don’t know.
Much like a knife, fire starter, and compass, a good tape measure is indispensable for your everyday carry gear. When survival is on the line, making sure you have the space you need can make all the difference.