EDC Packing: Must-have Everyday Carry Items

Any prepper worth their salt knows what EDC is, but if you’re new to the club, here’s what you need to know.

Simply, EDC means “Everyday Carry.” Average joes have come to define it as all the things you bring with you when you go out, but in the world of prepping, EDC is something more than that. 

Just take a look at any preppers’ pockets, and you’ll find several everyday carry items that you would’ve never thought you needed.

Wanna know what these items are? Read on to find out:

Why Do I Need An EDC Bag?

Everyone and their aunt Judy knows that today’s world is unpredictable. Small emergencies usually catch us by surprise on a day-to-day basis.

The upside? 

We can fight these nasty surprises by doing what we do best— preparing.

Enter your EDC backpack, prepped for your well-being and advantage. A well-stocked EDC bag can help out with everyday problems while keeping you on your toes for dangerous times.

Planning your EDC ahead of time is crucial, and anticipating the situations you might get into will be a big help for your preparation. Choosing what to put in your EDC pack can be tricky, but don’t worry, we’ll help you narrow down your choices.

But first:

Take These Into Consideration

Before we dive right into the deep end and list the things you need, let’s take a look at the factors you need to consider when putting your EDC together. Here’s what you need to think about:

What’s Your Daily Carry Like?

Step back and reevaluate. Empty your pockets or bags and take a look at the stuff you have. The best way to know what you need to put in your EDC is to understand what you already have with you.

What Are Your Essential Everyday Items?

Which leads us to the next point — from the things you carry, which ones are the most valuable? What are non-negotiable and which ones don’t mean jack? For example: do you really need to have four different multitools or will one Leatherman do the trick? Sit back and evaluate. Clearing out the must-haves will help you understand how much space you have and need.

What Regular Situations Do You Get Caught Up In?

Do you find yourself using scissors more often than not? Do you always pat yourself down for a pen? The daily situations, even the simple ones, are things you have to think about to determine your EDC needs. Consider your job, too. For example, if you’re a computer technician, you might need to carry a small flashlight to visualize the area, or if you take a bike to work, it might make sense to bring a pocket multitool that’s got small hex wrenches for quick fixes. 

What COULD Happen To You?

Now, hold your horses. We’re not talking zombies or TEOTWAWKI here. We’re talking small emergencies like a power outage, a loose screw on your glasses, or that damn UPS package not budging. Do you have the tools to make those situations a bit easier for you? 

Do You Have Space And Can You Cut Down?

And lastly, consider the space you have. Is it enough without your tools bogging you down, or do you have to cut back and let some things go? Does everything go in your bag, or do you have a car for extra storage?

What You Should Generally Pack For Your EDC

Now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty — what EDC items do you need? Here are some things to think about getting: 

Pocket Knife

Ask any prepper about their EDC must-haves, and they’ll whip out some knives for you. Literally. 

Now, pocket knives for EDCs aren’t weapons but more of an essential cutting tool. Think of it as something that could help you perform simple tasks that need a sharp blade. Pocket knives come in handy when you need to cut tight packaging off or if you need to get rid of those annoying zip ties. You might even find yourself in a situation with gum in your hair but no scissors on hand. A pocket knife can easily solve that problem for you. 

We’re suckers for a good lock and fold knife for EDC since the locking mechanism keeps the blade in place. While full-tang knives are awesome for survival and bushcraft, folding knives are more discreet and easier to pack. Just make sure you’re not carrying this if you’re headed to the airport, the mall, and other areas that prohibit sharp edges.

Smartphone

We can’t harp enough on the importance of communication in any situation, especially with how useful smartphones are now. With a few simple taps, you can get updated on weather conditions, have a virtual compass, get directions, or go cashless with finances. The possibilities are endless. That’s saving you some space and lessening the weight of your carry. Make sure, though, that you also have the means to charge your phone while on the go.

Wallet

Think it’s best to forgo a wallet when choosing items for your EDC? Think again. There’s so much you can store in a wallet that can prove to be helpful and useful in times of need, but here are two major reasons why we think a wallet is a must for your everyday carry:

  • Extra Cash

In a world that’s going for cashless transactions, having extra cash on you is one of the most underrated things. It won’t take up that much space in your wallet and it’s handy for when you find yourself in a place that somehow doesn’t accept plastic. Put a few loose bills and you’ll be good to go. 

  • Important Info

Get a piece of paper, list down all your emergency contacts, all the medical information about you, and have that piece of paper laminated. This is essential and must-have in your wallet.

Aside from that, you can also store band-aids and important cards. There are a lot of cool designs for wallets that will best fit your taste and need. Consider going for slimmed-down wallets that are durable and can take a beating. You don’t want to be that person who changes their worn-out wallet every other month.

Wallet Multitool

We love multitools and having one on hand, but on the off chance your EDC is space-limiting, we recommend opting for a wallet multitool instead. As the name suggests, these bad boys have a lot of functions and can fit in your wallet. Good wallet multitools are made of sturdy material like stainless steel, and an even better one is TSA approved. Before buying one, make sure that it fits easily into your wallet without making things bulky.

Tactical Flashlight

Next on our list is the tactical flashlight. Tactical flashlights have always been a must for many preppers, and for good reason. Aside from being portable and fitting great into tiny spaces, flashlights are super helpful during emergencies.

Let’s give you a situation:

A lot of crimes happen in the dark or poorly lit areas. With a flashlight beaming up, the chances of someone jumping you is highly unlikely all because you packed a small yet powerful flashlight. Crime averted. Kudos!

Aside from that, make sure your flashlight has a long run time and is okay for any weather situation. The last thing you’d want is your flashlight dying on you just because you forgot to check if it was okay to use in the rain. If you can get a tactical light with USB-charging capacity, all the better.

Pen & Paper

Lots of tactical pens on the market have dual or several purposes and are easy to keep in the pocket with its small size. What’s so great about a tactical pen is that you can use it as a writing instrument and a self-defense weapon or window breaker.

Slim designs with quality material is your best bet for a tactical pen. Make sure you’re comfy writing with it, too. As for paper, well, you can either use it to jot something down or use it as tinder.

Lighter

Some might opt to go for a firestarter, but a lighter is something that many survivalists choose for their urban EDC. Think about it: lighters are less suspicious if you’re planning to simply blend in with the crowd and not attract too much attention with your gear. 

You can use your lighter to make a fire, as a source of light in case your flashlight runs out of juice, and for melting plastic if you ever find yourself in need to do so. A perfect choice for any prepper would be good old BIC lighters, which are cheap yet reliable.

Paracord

Paracords are crazy impressive and deemed to be one of the most useful items you can bring with you. You can use it for an emergency tourniquet, tying up bundles together for a more comfortable carry, or for that impromptu pet leash, should you need it.

Don’t want to look a little out of place, taking a bunch of rope with you? Go for a paracord bracelet. There are loads of different designs available today, and most of them look badass.

Metal Water Container

By far the bulkiest item on the list, a water container is a lifesaver. Aside from storing water, you can also use it to boil or cook food like noodles. To cook some quick grub, make sure your water bottle is made of stainless steel, has a single-wall construction, and a wide mouth.

Some Additional Stuff To Look At

We’ve listed out the basics above but here are some other items you might want to consider putting in your EDC backpack or pouch: 

Food

Now, this has gotten preppers divided; some are for bringing food, others not so much. We think it’s fine to bring food for your EDC as long as you make sure it isn’t causing problems. Beef jerky, individually packed protein bars, hard candies, and gum are great EDC food. They’re tasty and have just enough to give you energy to power through until you get a proper meal. 

Filtration Straw

Of course we’re gonna bring up water. A filtration system is vital for survival, and it doesn’t have to be heavy or bothersome. A lot of companies now offer filtration systems in the form of filtration straws, which are easy to pack in a backpack. Portability is the number one thing to look for with this system, as well as how many liters the straw can take before having to replace the filter.

Safety Pins

You know how Mcgyver escapes death with nothing more than a safety pin? Yeah, you can’t do that in real life. But safety pins can provide infinite uses for the average and expert prepper. From something as simple as securing clothing or becoming an impromptu toothpick to coming in handy during first aid situations or various jerry rigs, you can do no wrong with a safety pin.

Final Thoughts

Many agree that EDCs change depending on where you’re going and what you are doing. Some days, you might feel like your EDC pack is too much while on other days, it might seem lacking, but either will be of no use if you don’t plan wisely.

There’s a saying that goes that a carpenter is only as good as his tools, and it’s the same for prepping your EDC. Stuffing your pockets with useless items or things you don’t know how to use is inefficient. Meanwhile, limiting what you pack and keeping stuff out of your EDC might have you in an awkward position one day.

Plan ahead and figure out what items you would find most useful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Happy packing, preppers!

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