The 4th of July is one of the most important holidays in the United States as it directly relates to our history and future. Many of us will be celebrating the holiday with friends and family, and whether that celebration is at home or you are getting out, it is crucial to be equipped with the right gear for whatever task you may encounter.

4th of July

Red, white, and blue are obvious color choices during the 4th of July. Source

To that end, we will look into some everyday carry items that will make your Independence Day celebration as enjoyable as possible. But before we get to the gear, let’s discuss the real reason why July 4th is so important. 

Historical Significance

The Declaration of Independence (DOI) is one of the foundational documents of the United States of America. It was signed on July 4th, 1776, and the ideas and concepts it laid out set the tone for the later Articles of Confederation (1777), the US Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights.

Declaration of Independence

It doesn’t get much more important than the Declaration of Independence. Source

Thomas Jefferson, the primary author of the Declaration, the third president, and one of the Founding Fathers, crafted one of the most famous phrases in American history and placed it in the DOI:

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed, by their Creator, with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

What is often overlooked is Jefferson’s continued statement: “That to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.”

The Founders knew the ideas in the Declaration would be principles that would shape our nation. The ideas of “unalienable rights” such as “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” and the consent of the governed are cornerstones of the American identity and the country’s values.

Modern Relevance: Ideals Always Matter

Any political action taken without understanding and respecting these values is functionally useless and potentially dangerous. 

Calvin Coolidge, one of the greatest presidents, said, “The fathers made their declaration and adopted their Constitution…to establish a free government, which must not be permitted to degenerate into the unstrained authority of a mere majority or the unbridled weight of a mere influential few…there are our guaranties of liberty.”

The significant changes in American society have always flowed out of respect for these ideals. The United States hasn’t always lived up to them, but our attempts to do so have driven us to achievements that no other nation in history has reached.

Celebrating the 4th

As you spend time with friends and family over the 4th of July, ensuring you have the right gear is paramount. What good is it to buy an overpriced megapack of fireworks if you don’t have the right gear to properly access and ignite said freedom?

 Let’s check out some of the essentials you will need to celebrate the 4th of July.

Knives or Multi-tools

A knife is an essential piece of your EDC every day, but it is even more so on the 4th of July. Whether you are cutting open a stubborn box holding your fireworks, opening a pack of your favorite hot dogs for the grill, or doing any number of activities that require a quality knife, one of these knives has you covered.

Milwaukee Fastback

The Milwaukee Fastback is an excellent choice for everyday carry due to its practical and versatile nature. Additionally, the Fastback has the same build quality and durability you have come to expect from Milwaukee tools.

Milwaukee Fastback

A Milwaukee Fastback with a utility blade will make easy work of any box or packaging.

I carry a Fastback quite often, and it has always stood up to any task, no matter how strenuous. 

Additionally, the Fastback is available in several configurations, so you can order one with a stainless steel, tanto-tipped serrated knife if you prefer over the utility blade.

Celebrating the 4th can get expensive, between buying food and fireworks. The Fastback does not add to that burden as it’s easily found at affordable prices year-round.

Leatherman SKELETOOL® CX

If you are looking for an EDC knife with a more extensive feature set than the Fastback, look no further than the Leatherman Skeletool CX.

Despite its minimalist design, the Skeletool CX has seven tools. These include needle-nose pliers, regular pliers, wire cutters, hard-wire cutters, a 154CM knife, a carabiner/bottle opener, and a large-bit driver. This should cover almost anything you experience during your 4th of July celebration or any other day of the week.

SKELETOOL® CX

Just in case you need to put anything together for the day, the bit driver will have your back. Source

One last point about the Skeletool CX is the build quality. Leatherman has a reputation for quality products, and the Skeletool CX continues that tradition. 

You will pay more for a knife like the Skeletool CX, but you get what you pay for.

Lighters: Pocket and Torch Lighters

plain match trying to light your fireworks

You don’t want to be stuck with a plain match trying to light your fireworks. Source

Zippo Pocket Lighter

Any discussion of lighters has to include the classic Zippo lighter. Zippo lighters have stood the test of time because of their classic, functional design and durable construction.

Windproof and refillable, Zippo lighters are perfect for lighting your fireworks, or at the very least, your sparklers, which we all know can be challenging to light without a good lighter.

The Bernzoamtic Duracast 4000 Torch

Don’t want your $400 grand finale to fizzle instead of wow? Then, get a torch that will work in most weather conditions. The Bernzomatic TS4000 is going to ensure your fireworks light when required. The TS4000 is not an EDC-type lighter, but the 4th of July is not your run-of-the-mill holiday!

First Aid/Burn Kit

A first aid kit and burn kit should be around anytime you use fireworks. I wish I didn’t have to say this, but fireworks can be dangerous, and not everyone makes good decisions when shooting them off. Having a first aid kit and a burn kit around can help ensure that if an accident does happen, its impact is partially mitigated.

Starting with a general first aid kit like the Adventure Medical Kits’ Ultralight/Watertight .7 kit is a great way to start your 4th of July precautions. It is light and compact and contains essential items to ensure you can treat general medical issues.

medical supplies

It can’t hurt to have more medical supplies than you’ll realistically need. Source

Then, adding something like the Ever Ready First Aid Emergency Burn Kit is a good addition when dealing with fireworks, bonfires, and anything where you might experience a burn. The kit is limited, though, and assumes you can acquire more thorough burn treatment promptly if needed. 

Finally, everyone needs to have a tourniquet around. I recommend the Combat Application Tourniquet (C-A-T). It is fast, safe, effective, and easy to use.

All of these together will ensure you’re able to buy time until the professionals arrive or you get to the hospital.

Flashlight

Since fireworks are best viewed in the dark, having a flashlight makes the whole exercise of lighting them more manageable and safer. While you might choose to have a more robust flashlight for the night, it never hurts to have your EDC light with you—which it should be, anyway!

My EDC flashlight is the Streamlight HL Handheld, which I have been running since 2017. It has been first-class. Other than changing out the batteries, it has not required any maintenance or repairs. With 750 lumens, it is plenty bright, and its compact and lightweight design makes it easy to carry.

Streamlight HL

My well-loved Streamlight HL Handheld.

Concealed Protection

I wish this section wasn’t necessary, but it is always better to have something and not need it than to need something and not have it. 

In 2024, a handgun is an essential piece of EDC kit for most of us. What pistol you should choose for an EDC handgun is not something that can simply be covered in a paragraph or two.

That being said, I will leave some recommendations based on my experiences.

Glock 26

My first recommendation is the Glock 26. It may be cliche to put a Glock on this list, but this is my EDC, and I trust it with my life every single day. The Glock 26 is compact, reliable, customizable, compatible with larger-capacity magazines, and easy to conceal. 

SALE Amend2 Glock 9mm 34 Round Magazine
Amend2 9mm 34 Round Magazine for Glock 17, 19, 19X, 26 Pistols
$13.99
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SALE Glock 33 round magazine
Glock 17, 19, 26 9mm 33 Round Gen 5 Extended Magazine
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Is it suitable for all users? Nope. Is it right for many? Most definitely.

Glock 26 Gen 5

Great things can come in small packages.

Sig P365

The P365 is slightly smaller and lighter than the Glock 26 but is still manageable for many. It also benefits from modern design techniques, resulting in excellent ergonomics. Thankfully, it avoids the decreased ammo capacity many companies have adopted when trying to get a smaller footprint.

Sig P365 12 round magazine
Sig Sauer P365, P365XL 9mm 12 Round Magazine
$44.99
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SIG P365 X-Macro 9mm 17 Round Magazine
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Sig P365

Don’t forget your holster! Source

Last Words

The 4th of July is a uniquely American celebration. We are a nation with twin founding documents, the Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution. These documents stake our claim to the ideals upon which the United States was founded. It is our responsibility to strive to achieve these ideals. 

“Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn’t pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same” – Ronald Reagan.