But guess what?
You might have overlooked a few things.
These 15 EDC bag essentials may not be the first items you think of when it comes to everyday carry, but they’ll come in handy when you’re in a pinch:
What Underrated Emergency Essentials Should You Include in Your EDC Bag Contents?
There are certain factors to keep in mind when choosing your EDC bag contents—a regular day in your life, scenarios that may possibly happen, and how much space you have.
All these EDC bag essentials make the cut:
Most days, you can get away without carrying cash because of credit cards and digital wallets.
But you still need actual bills in your wallet. You might eat lunch at a place that doesn’t accept cards, for one, or your card can get declined.
Think about emergencies, too. Your shiny AMEX won’t be much help when the power is out across the city. ATMs? Maybe they’ll work, but the long lines will be a nightmare.
The old saying is that “cash is king” and that’s why it’s one of the top EDC bag essentials.
The solution to avoiding a major sunburn? Piling on sunscreen, of course.
Sunscreen doesn’t just keep you looking young. It also prevents you from developing skin cancer. Get one with an SPF of at least 30 and reapply it as needed.
Don’t make the mistake of leaving your rain gear behind just cause the sun is shining in full force in the morning. You could get caught in a downpour on your way home.
If an umbrella is too bulky for your pack, add a disposable rain poncho to your EDC bag contents instead. This poncho is lighter than umbrellas, plus you can easily tuck it inside your bag.
Know what a headache, aching stomach, and runny nose have in common? They all badly affect your day, especially when you’re not at home.
Unless you’re willing to grin and bear the discomfort, better include these EDC bag essentials in your pack:
- Pain and fever meds (e.g., ibuprofen and acetaminophen)
- Anti-diarrhea meds (need we say more?)
- Antacids for stomach aches
- Antihistamines, if you have allergies
Keep the tablets in one place so you won’t have a hard time finding them.
Also, don’t forget to check if you can still take them. To make the job easier, list down each tablet’s expiry date on a tiny sheet of paper.
Oh, and one more thing. Exercise caution when you take OTC meds, even if you don’t need a doctor’s prescription for them. Some pills just don’t mix. Check for interactions to be safe.
Mini First Aid Kit
While we’re on the subject of health, another thing to consider including in your EDC bag contents is a first aid kit. Nothing crazy like the full kit in your bug out bag, just the absolute essentials.
Essentials mean different things to different people, but generally, your mini first aid kit should have:
- Cotton swabs
- Antibiotic cream
Metal water containers are neat, but they take up a lot of real estate in your EDC bag.
Get a collapsible cup as an alternative. It can’t keep your water hot or cold, but it’s way more portable than a metal bottle. Just pull the cup to use it and fold it back when you’re done. This is perfect when you want to grab a drink on the go.
Getting caught in traffic can make you ravenous, making snacks EDC bag essentials you can’t ignore. Throwing a few in your bag will help you stave off your hunger. Think hard candy, a CLIF bar, or jerky—anything that gives you an energy boost.
You probably bring these already if you pack your own lunch for work. But even if you order from your go-to fast food joint, include a set of utensils in your EDC anyway. We all know disposable sporks aren’t any good.
Toilet Paper or Wet Wipes
You can never trust public restrooms to have toilet paper. Stash some in your bag to avoid crisis mode the next time you take a dump.
Better yet, bring wet wipes. Besides coming in handy when you have to hit the can, you can use them to:
- Freshen up during a hot day
- Clean your hands before a meal
- Remove mud from shoes
- Sanitize germ-infested items (ex. grocery carts and door handles)
Chapstick has a place in many women’s EDC, but it’s not only for the ladies. Men need chapstick, too, because it’s effective for flaky lips. It also makes a good piece of urban survival gear.
Thanks to its waxy substance, chapstick can help you:
- Start a fire
- Keep debris out of wounds
- Stop blisters from worsening
- Prevent your glasses from fogging up
Your phone is a beast with enough horsepower to run the heaviest apps. Plus, it’s got a battery that lasts 3 days when fully charged. You never leave home without it.
That’s where a powerbank comes to the rescue. It may not be something you use every day, but it’s worth adding to your EDC bag in case of emergency.
No one wants the embarrassment of having food stuck in between their teeth, but that’s not the only reason why you should carry floss in your bag. Here are some ways it can help when you’re in a pinch:
- Replace broken shoelaces
- Fix your glasses
- Attach gear to your EDC bag (as a dummy cord)
- Seal plastic bags
- Mend tears on clothes
Most folks don’t give paper clips a second thought, but there’s more to them than meets the eye.
A paper clip has several uses for survival. Check out these examples:
Handkerchief or Bandana
Handkerchieves or bandanas should be EDC bag essentials. Bring either of the two to:
- Mop up spills
- Wipe the sweat off your forehead
- Blow your nose
- Clean your glasses
- Curb bleeding
It took a pandemic to get the world to mandate face mask policies, but even if these requirements are easing up, we’ll still bring a spare mask everywhere.
Masks don’t just protect you against COVID; they’re effective against other respiratory illnesses like the flu. You’ll feel much safer wearing one when you ride public transport or spend time in a crowded space.
…or rather, digital copies of important records like:
- Emergency contacts
- Driver’s license
- Birth certificates
Save these files to your phone and to a USB for good measure. Make them password protected so they won’t be compromised.
Don’t forget that EDC stands for everyday carry.
While multitools and smartwatches are undeniably cool, you shouldn’t leave out the emergency essentials we mentioned above from your EDC bag contents.
A lot of these survival tools may seem ordinary, but they’ll be more useful than you think. They truly fit the essence of EDC—things that don’t only help when SHTF but also when life throws a minor inconvenience your way.
Any EDC bag essentials we forgot to mention? Let us know in the comments!