EDC – What Should You Carry Every Day?

(SurvivalDaily.com) – Bug-out-bags (BOB) and get-home-bags (GHB) are great – but if you find yourself in an emergency without access to them, do you have enough gear on you to handle the situation?

EDC, or EveryDay Carry, is a survivalist’s checklist of items they take everywhere in case the SHTF. These items are stored in pockets, on the belt, or worn around the wrist.

Why EDC?

Before we tackle what should be on your EDC list, let’s review the reasons why you should have one. At some point in your life, chances are you will be faced with an emergency of some sort. It could be anything, from a car crash to a fistfight at the grocery store.

Having the bare essentials on your person is good practice. Carrying your survival pack everywhere you go can be impractical – sometimes impossible. Additionally, there’s a chance these bags could be stolen or compromised in some way, at which point you’re left with whatever’s in your pockets.

We Know Why, Now What?

For starters, these items need to be small enough to fit in your pocket, wallet, or purse. Some of them can be worn, but you don’t want anything that will attract unnecessary attention.

Wallet – Your wallet is a place to store cash and a means of identification. If your wallet is large enough you can also add a credit card knife, multi-tool and/or a Fresnel lens to it.

Knife – This one is pretty obvious, as the number of uses for a good knife is almost innumerable. Keep a folding knife in a pocket or on your belt; just don’t overdo it. A Rambo knife on your hip will be a dead giveaway that you’re not the “standard civilian” if the SHTF. Find out the legal length of the blade you can carry on your person, and adhere to those laws to avoid causing yourself unnecessary problems.

Hat – Hats are great tools, as they can keep the sun out of your eyes and can also be used to conceal items. Most hats have a fold in the lining where you can stash money or other small items. Some hats even come with hidden storage built into them.

Mechanical Watch – The key to this one is “mechanical” — it will still operate in the event of an EMP or solar flare event. As an added bonus, many watches come with a built-in compass. Go with a waterproof option here if you can.

Cell Phone – In this day and age, your cell phone may be one of the most important tools you have for survival. Not only can you use it to call for help in an emergency, but you have access to all the information in the world at your fingertips. Download as much survival information as you can just in case you find yourself in an area where service is spotty.

  • Do not rely on your phone — if you are in an area affected by an EMP it will be nothing but a chunk of plastic.
  • Make sure you have a good case to protect it.

A Pen – You never know when you will need to write something down, so having a pen is a good idea. These are available in a variety of sizes and shapes, including those designed for self-defense or breaking windows — which could be useful if you are ever trapped in a sinking car, for example.

A Notebook or Paper – Paper should be part of your EDC as you can use it to take notes regarding landmarks, names, etc and to start fires in a pinch.

Bandana – Another versatile item that everyone should carry, a bandana can be used for anything from keeping the sun off your head and neck to filtering water. If you don’t have a bandana in your EDC and your BOB/GHB we highly suggest you add one.

Lighters  – This one should be pretty obvious, right? If you need to start a fire, and don’t want to rub sticks together to do it, this is a pretty convenient way to get it done. Carry two, if you have room.

Your Medication – If you’re taking any medicine, you definitely want to make sure you carry it on you at all times. If you have to bug out without your gear, at least you’ll have enough to get you through a day or two.

You’ve probably noticed that many of these items are things that are already in your BOB or GHB as well — that’s because they’re important. If you have your bags when you need them, great. Having spares is always a good idea anyway. If you don’t have your bags, at least you’ll still have the gear on you.

If you want to up your carrying capacity, here are a few tips:

  • Look for small items that can attach to your keyring
  • Wear cargo pants — extra pockets to store gear
  • Belt pouches

This is the bare essentials of what you can have in your EDC. There are plenty of other items you could consider adding to the list, such as firestarters, paracord or a can opener. It really comes down to how much you can carry on you each day.

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