EDC = Every Day Carry
What do you carry with you on a daily basis? Keys, Wallet, a little cash, maybe a pocket knife? Are lock picks part of your EDC? You may be a minimalist with nothing in your pockets but a money clip or you might be a survivalist with a 30 pound bug-out-bag containing MRE’s, a gas mask, and extra ammo. No matter what your EDC style, consider including lock picks in your daily equipment.
My situation may be unique. I worked for years in the facilities maintenance field. I was the guy with the big ring of keys that could open everything. But no matter how big your key ring, there’s always one electrical panel, one equipment cover, one customer padlock, or other odd item that your keys won’t fit.
I always carried some sort of lock pick set and I used it almost every day. I’m no longer hands on in the maintenance field but old habits die hard. I still carry a lock pick set almost every day. I keep my big set in my truck and have a small HPC folding set on my key ring. A tiny, compact folding set isn’t nearly as comfortable to use as a full sized set of picks but it’s a lot more comfortable to carry.
Even though I’m no longer working in a field where lock picks are almost a necessary part of my tool kit, I still use my lock picks at least weekly. I’ll admit that some of that might be because I just like picking locks but there have been lots of situations where having those lock picks with me made things much easier.
I’ve heard a few people who were worried that carrying lock picks might get them into trouble with the law. Unless you live in Washington DC (any maybe Tennessee), simply possessing lock picks will probably not get you in trouble. Possessing lock picks while breaking into a house will.
As I mentioned, I always carry a small set of lock picks. A few years ago, I was summoned to appear for jury duty. I arrived at the county courthouse to do my civic duty and had forgotten that there would be sheriff’s officers with metal detectors and x-ray scanners screening everyone entering the courthouse. I got in line and emptied my pockets into the plastic tray provided at the security desk. As I emptied my pockets, I realized that I was bringing lock picks into the courthouse.
One of the officers may have noticed my surprise in finding lock picks in my own pocket. He started sifting through the pocket junk in my tray. He found the lock picks and held them up to me asking “What is this”. I answered truthfully, “Lock picks”, I said.
He stared at the lock pick set silently for a few seconds as if he was trying to decide if he was supposed to do something about this situation. Then, with a look that said “I really don’t feel like dealing with this right now”, he handed everything back to me and waived me through.
Your mileage may vary.