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40 EDC Essentials that fit in your wallet or your pocket

Whether preparing for personal emergencies and trauma and natural disasters or planning for a more serious SHTF event that could come up, an EDC kit is essential. Most people don’t have the luxury of walking around town with a backpack full of supplies, so the next best thing is to have an everyday carry kit.

A full EDC kit customized to your own needs provides the following benefits:

Convenience-less time wasted looking for tools you need to solve a problem. With your EDC tools, each has a specific function and many of the tools have multiple functions. It’s like having a tool shed right in your wallet or pocket.

Make your life easier-EDC tools can often reduce the number of steps you have to take, can reduce frustration over fighting with plastic ties, packaging, or a popped button. It can certainly provide comfort for things such as chapped lips, blisters, minor scrapes, etc.

The “cool factor”-yes your everyday carry items are intended for survival and not to impress but many times your EDC kit takes on your personality. But if you learn to do EDC right, it grows and morphs until it becomes an integral part of who you are, it becomes uniquely you.

Survival and Preparedness-Of course the main reason to have an EDC kit is to be prepared to survive whatever emergency or SHTF event may come at you. A proper EDC kit is designed to help you survive until you can get to where you left your GHB or to get your BOB.

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About half of an EDC kit are the items that you can fit into your wallet and into your pockets. With recent events that have happened around the world like the bombing at the Boston marathon and the attack in Paris, many more people realize that life can change in an instant. And many people are realizing that things can go wrong on any given day, in any regular type of place, for regular people. It doesn’t have to be a holiday, a major event, or important people.

Personal trauma, accidents, terrorism, natural disasters, they all have one thing in common: they are unpredictable. You may not have time to get to your car in the parking lot or to get to your locker at work for your purse. You may be trapped with only the items you have on your person to use as a resource to help yourself and the people around you, including your children.

It only takes being in the wrong place at the wrong time for you and possibly your family to be suddenly fighting for your life. Your EDC items are the items that you carry with you every single day, no matter where you are going or what you are doing.

Since accidents, emergencies, and other crisis events are largely unpredictable, the EDC is the only way that you can be prepared if and when something happens. For most non-preppers, this means their pockets carry their wallet, phone, and keys already. So we’ll show you what you can add to just those areas to create an EDC kit without having to change to your daily routine much at all.

In your pants pocket there are a variety of things you can carry including:

  1. Your wallet
  2. Your cell phone and small portable solar charger
  3. Your car keys on a key ring or a keychain tool organizer
  4. Lighter
  5. A Bandanna
  6. Tactical pen
  7. A small notebook (preferably waterproof) to write directions or leave a note for family
  8. Pepper spray or Kubotan (if you are trained to use it)
  9. Swiss army knife or SOG Specialty Knife
  10. Sawyer Mini portable water filter

Many people also carry a handgun and or a knife as part of their EDC kit. You can choose from our list of the best EDC Knives or do your own research to find one that works well for you.

Use an old Altoid tin or a snack sized zip lock bag to create any of the following kits to carry in your pocket according to your individual needs:

  1. first aid kit that includes: single application antibiotic treatment, cold medication, pain medication, etc.
  2. mini fishing kit including a hook, sinker, bobber, and fishing line.
  3. Sewing kit that includes: needle, thread, extra buttons, etc.
  4. Fire starting kit that includes: cotton balls soaked in Vaseline or dryer lint soaked in rubbing alcohol and some waterproof matches.
  5. Infant diapering needs kit (baby wipes, diaper cream, etc.)
  6. Personal hygiene kit including toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, nail clippers, tweezers, chapstick, feminine hygiene items, razor, etc.
  7. High Protein Snack Food Kit that includes pemmican or beef jerky, energy bars or granola bars, and nuts

In your wallet or purse, you can easily carry:

  1. Extra cash
  2. Safety pins
  3. Several Band-Aids
  4. AEKU M5 Mini Card Cell Phone
  5. Small Fresnel lens for fire starting
  6. Individual doses of Ibuprofen, Benadryl, or Aspirin
  7. Credit Card Utensils
  8. Strip of cardboard wrapped with duct tape and/or electrical tape
  9. Tool Logic CC2HB Pocket Hunter Card Tool
  10. USB drive

On your keychain, there are a variety of mini-items that you can include for everyday survival use including:

  1. A small whistle to signal for help
  2. A button compass to help you navigate unfamiliar terrain
  3. A mini flashlight or even a flashlight/pen combination to light your path
  4. Paracord
  5. Infora Utility TU247 KeyTool Multi-tool, Pocketmonkey®, or Leatherman Skeletool
  6. Firestarter
  7. Can opener
  8. geocache containers (to carry medication, extra cash, sewing kit, etc.)

On your phone, there are also a number of different things you can download to your phone that will help you in a survival situation. The key for this is to make sure that you have an extra battery for your phone as well as a portable charging device that can be used without electricity. I also recommend getting apps that work both online and offline in the event that you have power but not internet connection.

Don’t forget your phone usually has a flashlight feature but you can also add these informational apps:

  1. American Red Cross First Aid App American Red Cross First Aid App
  2. Emergency Radio Apps
  3. SAS Survival Guide App
  4. MotionX GPS App
  5. Survival Guide (based on military manuals)

There are a variety of additional places to carry your EDC kit items, including on a lanyard around your neck or worn on your wrist, in a shirt pocket, ankle holster, or clipped to your belt. In this article, we’ll focus on those EDC essentials that fit into your wallet and pocket or can be attached to your keys.

Of course, what you carry and where all depends on your own individual situation. If you live in a more rural area, you may want to carry the mini fishing kit or you may even want to include a mini-snare or some additional cordage so you can make one if you were stranded. Since rural areas are typically darker at night, it may be worth the bulk for you to carry a small tactical flashlight like the ones listed here even though it would weigh heavier in your pocket.

In an urban area, pepper spray and a handgun for self-defense may be critical non-lethal self-defense weapons for your survival. Keep in mind that your EDC items are designed more to help you with everyday unexpected emergencies, to help you be more comfortable during long trips, and to help you get free or signal for help if you are trapped in an emergency.

Your EDC isn’t intended to aid your survival long-term. For that you will want to have some additional supplies on hand, so assemble a get home bag (GHB), and begin to put together either your bug out bag or in some cases the INCH bag.

If you work a job that requires more formal clothing which doesn’t have pockets, you may want to consider using an EDC bag that can be carried or worn. The key thing to remember is that to be effective, your EDC items must be on your person at all times so select a bag that you can wear every day.

The EDC bag that you select will need to be small and discreet, so that your co-workers, boss, and clients don’t think you’re a “tin foil hat wearing prepper”. Perhaps one of these small cross body bags will suit your more formal attire and enable you to be prepared.

Regardless of how and where you choose to carry your EDC items, it’s important to get in the habit of carrying them and using them on a daily basis. Use your knife to cut open plastic packaging or to cut strings off packages. Pull out your mini screwdriver to help someone put the screw back into their eyeglasses.

Normal, everyday things like this aren’t life threatening, but can certainly be annoying or cause delays if you don’t have the right tools. As you use your EDC kit, you will find there are some things that just don’t suit you and other things that you need to add. Allow for your EDC kit to be modified and develop over time until it really becomes almost an extension of your body.

When you are unpredictably thrown into a more pressing emergency situation, you will find that you instinctively reach for and use the items in your EDC kit. What’s your favorite place to carry your EDC items? Do you have a favorite mini-tool or another gadget that is part of your EDC? Let us know in the comments.

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About Megan Stewart

Born and raised in NE Ohio, with early memories that include grandpa teaching her to bait a hook and watching her mom, aunts, and grandmothers garden, sew, and can food, Megan is a true farm girl at heart. For Megan, the 2003 blackout, the events of 911, and the increasing frequency of natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina, spurred a desire to be more prepared for whatever may come along. Soon to be living off-grid, this mother of four and grandmother of six grandsons, is learning everything she can about preparedness, basic survival, and self-sufficient homesteading. She is passionate about sharing that knowledge so that others can be increasingly prepared to protect their families.

2 comments

  1. Great list, Megan! I’d also recommend one of the free knot reference apps. I always forget the lashing knots

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