Now it’s time to put the two together and come up with an EDC bag that won’t break the bank, one that takes care of the most common SHTF situations you may encounter.
What’s an EDC Kit and Where Do I Keep It?
The acronym stands for everyday carry and it refers to the survival items you carry on your person (or are in your proximity) each and every day in case of an emergency.
An EDC Kit is different than a bug out bag, an INCH (I’m Never Coming Home Bag) or a Get Home Bag. All these bags have only one purpose, to help you in a survival situation. And EDC bag, on the other hand, is designed to help you in those critical moments when you don’t have any of the other bags near you.
Some of the places where you’d store the items from your EDC kit are:
- inside your pockets,
- in your laptop bag,
- inside tablet case covers (this one is great for your iPad as it has room for your credit card and cash but you can put anything else in there, such as a few band-aids, fish hooks, paper clips, and so on)
- inside ladies’ purses
- inside belt packs
I already covered all the possible types of edc bags here so I won’t go into that again, so let’s come back to our goal for today.
How to Build The Ultimate EDC Kit For Under 50 Bucks
Think we can’t do it? I beg to disagree. Let’s assume we’re getting an EDC bag for 20 bucks and leave the rest of the budget for no less than 15 survival items. Here’s my breakdown of these items…
Your EDC Bag (approx. 20 bucks)
Obviously I can’t recommend something like the Camelbak Urban Assault Pack no matter how good it is because it’s pretty pricey. For our goal, we want something lightweight and cheap, yet durable. It needs to be made of quality materials since you’ll be wearing or carrying it with you almost every day.
Recommendation #1: the AmazonBasics 15.6-Inch Laptop and Bag (Amazon link). This one works well if you’re talking your laptop with you to work or if you travel a lot. As you can see, it comes in a dark color, it doesn’t have any camo prints or anything (which could give you away) and it doesn’t have a fancy design that could tip off others you might be rich.
Recommendation #2: the Rothco Vintage Classic Messenger Bag (Amazon link). It’s pretty big too, allowing you to conceal a lot of stuff in there.
Recommendation #3: A purse. Ladies, I’m not going to tell you which purse to get, you know that better than me. You probably have several already. I’m sure that if you’re not looking for anything fancy, if you watch out for sales and if you use coupons that you can get a good one for under 20 bucks.
OK, that leaves us with 30 to 35 bucks for the rest of our EDC items… so let’s see what those can or should be.
- a pocket knife (the Tac Force TF-705 Series Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed is great and compact)
- water purifying tablets (you can get 100 of them for 6 bucks but let’s say you only carry one packet of 5 with you, that means a total of $.03)
- extra cell phone battery / or a portable battery with a charger such as this one, that works for most phones)
- band-aids (you can get 80 for $2.5 but you’ won’t carry all of them with you so let’s assume you’ll have around 10 in your EDC, that amounts to $.31)
- bic lighter X 2 (at about 0.50 bucks a piece, that’s one dollar to our expenses)
- an emergency Mylar blanket (these come in packs of four, but you can just give the others to your family for their own EDC kits)
That’s 20 bucks so far, which leaves us with 10 to 15 more bucks to spend on other emergency essentials such as:
- a mini flashlight (this one is LED and hand-crank, meaning you don’t need any batteries)
- a Paracord bracele
- a tarp (this one is 5 x 7 feet)
- a classic wooden pencil
- paper (let’s list this one as free, who doesn’t have a blank piece of paper around the house?)
- 5 to 10 cotton balls (one cent per cotton ball, that’s $.10)
- survival PDFs (free when you load them on your smartphone)
- fishing hooks (this pack of 4 is only one cent, excluding shipping)
- fishing line
The grand total for these 15 items (excluding the bag) is a little over 30 bucks. Not bad.
That’s a lot of items for 50 bucks, right? And let’s not forget that we started off with a 20 dollar edc bag. If you can get one for 15, then you have 5 more bucks to get more items or upgrade the ones from the list above to higher quality ones.
Caveat #1: there are a lot more items you might need in a survival situation as part of your edc kit. The ones above were just the essentials but, in time, feel free to add more items from the megalist I put together here.
Caveat #2: The items above aren’t necessarily the best you can buy for their intended purposes. We had to cut a lot of corners here to keep the whole thing below $50. The two big factors we had to keep in mind for each item were how compact they were and how much they cost. If you’re looking for better gadgets, check out this list right here.
Tip #1: As you can see, a lot of items come in packs so to to stay below the 50 dollar mark, you should either:
- purchase them individually from a supermarket
- or assemble EDC kits for all your family members so you can split the costs.
Tip #2: Don’t forget that you’ll be putting a lot of this stuff in places other than your EDC bag, such as your wallet and pockets. You might need a smaller bag than you think. In fact, if you’re on a tight budget, you might consider skipping the bag purchase for now and choose to just keep the items inside your pockets and other places.