Your everyday carry consists of all the things you should have on your person most of the time, just in case your disaster catches you away from your survival bags. As a result, it’s much more available to you and you’re much more likely to use it.
Is there a difference between an EDC kit and a get home bag? It depends. You can consider your laptop bag to be your get home bag and your EDC to be whatever’s in your pockets. However, if you’re a woman, you can consider your purse to be both.
When you think about their contents, EDCs and get home bags often overlap, so please keep an open mind about these namings and acronyms. What matters is that you’re protected.
Your bug-out bag stays at home. Your get home bag is either in your car or in a drawer inside your desk at work. But your EDC items should be on your person at all times. Things such as house keys and smartphone are part of everyone’s EDC, but it bets better. There are micro-items you can add that cold aid you in a catastrophe or a personal emergency.
The Anatomy of an EDC Item
Before moving on to the full list, consider these important aspects about your EDC items:
- they need to be small enough for you to carry them with you in your pockets
- they need to be useful for the SHTF scenarios you think you’ll have to face
- some should also be able to act as self-defense weapons if need be
- you’re gonna need something to help you open things (such as doors and vending machines), start a fire or fix things such as pipes
- you need something to help you cut things
- you need something to tie things
- have something to help you filter water
- stuff that can be worn around your neck
- have means of communication
- and last but not least, something to help you escape should you get tied down or locked away somewhere
Obviously, having a cellphone, your wallet and your keys just won’t cut it, so let’s see a full list of items you should do your best to have with you at all times.
The Full Everyday Carry Gear List
Note: you don’t need all of them, pick the ones you think you’ll need
- wallet (preferably a large one so you can fit more stuff)
- cell-phone (unlocked, so you can switch SIM cards if your service provided becomes unavailable in an emergency)
- pocket folding knife
- a handgun, spare mag and holster
- a mechanical watch (because it’s EMP proof)
- a button compass (or you can just get a watch that has one incorporated)
- a hat (you can also hide stuff in it)
- a pen (possibly with an incorporated flashlight or a space pen)
- a small notebook (if you like taking notes the old fashioned way)
- a small flashlight (maybe one you can attach on your keyring)
- paper (for writing stuff or to use it as tinder)
- band-aids (keep a few in each of your wallets, too)
- small whistle
- a hankerchief (lots of alternative uses besides blowing your nose 🙂 )
- fresnel lens (small, lightweight and fits in your wallet – use it to signal or start a fire)
- fish hooks
- the Benchmade 909BK Axis Stryker
- a small firestarter (such as this magnesium firestarter from Amazon that’s less than 5 bucks and you can add it to your keychain or wear it around your neck)
- a bic lighter (as an alternative to starting a fire)
- waterproof matches
- a P38 and/or P21 can opener (as suggested by one of the commenters, keep them coming, guys!)
- mil-spec paracord
- spare AA or AAA battery and/or spare button cell
- small portable solar phone charger such as this one
- safety pins
- a few water purification tablets
- wasp or pepper spray
- cotton balls
- snare wire
- a mini first aid kit (can fit in one of the pockets of your cargo pants or inside your purse, although this is more of a “get home item”)
- 1-2 band-aids in each wallet (besides the ones in your first aid kit)
- a few basic over-the-counter meds such as Ibuprofen, Benadryl, Tylenon, Aspirin and/or antacid (they can all easily fit in a purse)
- paper clips
- a multitool (can be credit card shaped or one you can add to your key ring)
Micro-Items You Can Attach to Your Key Ring
Yes, there’s a number of survival items that fit right on your key ring. Yes, it’ll get bulky but if you have a purse or a pouch, that won’t be a problem. Some of the micro-items you can add:
- a micro-flashlight
- a tiny pepper spray can (how about this one?)
- a small multitool
- and even a tiny whistle
Ingenious Ideas To Stash More EDC Gear
If you’re looking at the above list going:
Wow, I could NEVER fit most of that in my jeans’ pockets!
…there’s no need to worry. You just need to wear the right clothes and accessories that will help you carry more stuff. For example:
- your key chain
- a carabiner
- cargo pants (they have lots of pockets)
- your phone or tablet case (some of them have credit card slots)
- a belt pack (you can fit a huge number of small items in it)
- a bigger purse
- a shirt with a front pocket
- a lanyard (to hang stuff around your neck) that won’t be visible from underneath the shirt or t-shirt;
- a paracord bracelet such as this one that that usually has other useful stuff inside, such as fire starters and whistles
- you can get one of those capsule containers that can fit anything, from the items listed above to powders and medicine
- …or even a travel-friendly multitool bracelet.
How Do You Pick Which Items to Carry?
You probably saw this coming but the things you carry with your everyday depend on yourself, on your location, your unique situation and all the possible (and likely!) scenarios that may hit you. That’s right, you can’t prepare for everything with a small EDC…
Whether you’re in an urban or a rural situation – that’s is a big factor. Another one is your gender. If you’re a lady, you might want to carry wasp or pepper spray in your (large) purse. If you’re a guy, on the other hand, you’re probably going to rely on your gun or on your folding knife and, of course, your strength.
Last but not least, think about the situations you might face. Are riots likely to happen? In this case, you’re definitely gonna need some cash (to pay for your freedom) and a bandanna to give just a few examples. Do you live in a rural area and you want another means of signaling your loved ones from a distance? Get a whistle.
Many of the items in this list have , as you can see, dozens of uses so, the thing you should do next is to learn how to use them.
Your Phone’s EDC
I don’t think anyone talked about this before so I will. Your smartphone is capable of storing quite a bit of crucial information. Only problem is, most people are unaware of that. To give you a few examples, here’s what you can download on it:
- maps of your surrounding areas (some apps offer the option to download them offline which is very useful because then you don’t need a 4G connection to navigate – keep in mind the dot moving on the map which is you is updated directly through satellite, not through your phone carrier)
- a PDF copy of your car’s owner manual (you never know)
- copies of all your important papers and documents
- a special folder or group with your emergency contacts (the way you organize these depends on your phone’s mobile operating system)
- survival eBooks (obviously)
- lots of survival apps
- can you think of more stuff to store?
Have you noticed that none of the above will increase the weight of your EDC by even one ounce? 🙂 All you need is a smartphone with a comfortable 32 GB of storage space.
I almost forgot… Your cell phone has many other uses besides the ones it was meant for. For example, you can use it to start fire (you need the battery and some kindling), as a signaling mirror, use the flashlight function, you can even use the circuit board to cut stuff.
One Item You should NOT Have in Your Kit
That item is water. It’s hard carrying with you at all times, as it’s really heavy. I’m not trying to say it’s is not important, far from it, but you should keep your bottle inside your get home bag.
Remeber that you don’t want your gear to slow you down when you’re doing your daily chores, let alone when you’re running for your life.
Last But Not Least…
One last thing to thing to keep in mind is that you won’t always get to wear your cargo pants or your belt pack. Sometimes you need to put on your trousers or you may ditch that shirt with a front pocket for a t-shirt.
Here’s what you can do… You can organize your EDC items in two groups: the ones that are essential and the ones you can afford to leave home from time to time. Either way, you should always have as many of them with you at all times.