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7 Essential Every Day Carry (EDC) Items to Have

Every Day Carry (EDC) is an important aspect to emergency preparedness. After all, you’re really only as prepared as what you actually have with. All the preps in the world will do you no good if they are all somewhere you are not and cannot get to!

Certainly, the concept of EDC could be extended to equipment you may keep quickly accessible, such as in a Get Home Bag (GHB) or your vehicle kits. For the purpose of this article, however, we will limit the concept of Every Day Carry to what is physically on your person.

I should point out, too, that EDC is really more than just what you carry on you. What you keep between the ears—that is, what you know—is often more important than anything you may be able to carry with you. As such, I will always encourage you to learn, learn, and learn some more!

In no particular order, my list of EDC items would include the following:

Lighting – this could either be a handy keychain light (my favorite is the Photon Freedom) or a small AAA LED flashlight that is either attached to a keychain or belt. The ability to see, even a little bit, will serve you quite well if you ever REALLY need to see in the pitch black.
First Aid Supplies – Although not usually for a real emergency, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve got into the few simple first aid supplies I keep in my wallet alone. From bandages to Ibuprofen and my allergy medication, I use these a lot. Think about any major OTC medications you may use and especially any prescription medications and you’re on the right track.
Duct Tape – Several feet of duct tape, wrapped around an old credit card or something similar, fits quite nice in a wallet pocket or anywhere in a purse or day planner. From emergency repairs of tents or clothing to stopping leaks and even as a makeshift bandage, you’ll find a reason to never be without some.
Knife – I keep a high quality pocket knife with me at all times. While something like a Swiss Army knife may sound good (and occasionally have its uses) I’ve always believed that if you have a need for a knife then you really NEED a knife. Make sure it’s a quality blade.
Cash – Until TWOTWAWKI occurs, cash will still be king. Keep at least enough on your person (stashed away in your wallet or purse) so that you can at least pay for a full tank of gas. More cash is better if you’re able… and don’t spend it like my wife is inclined to do. :)
Fresnel Lens – Although I occasionally bring a simple Bic lighter with me, I happily tuck a Fresnel lens inside my wallet and forget about it. Not only can it be used to magnify my vision (for reading or to remove a splinter, for example) but it also works as a wonderful fire starter so long as the sun is out.
Emergency Contacts – I always keep a list of my emergency contact numbers and assorted other personal information in my wallet. As much as I rely on my cell phone (and who doesn’t) you never know when the battery will die or if you’ll lose it. I also keep a spare key in my wallet too.

Of course, there are any number of additional items you could keep on your person, including a multi-tool (I used to keep one on me all the time), compass, bandanna, whistle, aluminum foil, paracord, firearm, and much more. Maybe a small pocket survival kit is in order. The only downside is that you have to be able and willing to carry this gear. There is such a thing as too much! Remember, the point of EDC is that ONLY what you have on your person is what counts.

For other ideas, consider these sites:

6 comments to 7 Essential Every Day Carry (EDC) Items to Have

  • T.R.

    A leatherman . I always have one , got dependent on the little sucker long ago lol .

  • Smoothe1

    More and more I realize how important it is to have the equipment actually on your person rather than expecting you can get to your supplies. Thanks for the post and I will re-consider what I keep with me.

  • Irish-7

    (RE-POST OF MY REPLY ON THE USCCA SITE, EDC-EVERY DAY CARRY). Interesting article, thanks for sharing. I am grateful to everyone that is willing to dedicate time and effort in helping the good guys. Call me neurotic, but I am one of these guys that carries a bunch of stuff around with me. I have always been this way. For over 30 years, I was in the Army, so I had lots of pockets to lug around all my stuff. Since I retired, I wear BDU pants every single day (except to church on Sunday). In the summer, I wear cargo shorts. I don’t always have a tactical folding knife on my person. I carry a Schrade Tough Tool Multi-plier on my belt that has a 2.5 inch blade and saw, plus a Swiss Army Knife with another blade and saw. On my main set of keys, I have a Cabelas Mini-tool that contains a third small knife and saw. Both sets if keys have the Tinkerer model Swiss Army knives as well. I do keep folding tactical knives in both of my “fag bags”. (Nickname for military map/photo cases, which I converted to survival kits / pistol bags. I carry a Colt Gold Cup .45 in one and a S&W Governor in the other.) When dressing each day, I slip a Walther PPK/S into an Uncle Mikes holster, then cover the top with a red bandanna. I slide the gun in my front left pocket with a spare magazine, NEBO Redline tactical flashlight, main set of keys and Swiss Army Knife (Huntsman). My left cargo pocket holds my smokes, lighter and small tube of Curel hand cream. My right front pocket holds the other set of keys, 2 pill bottles, another red bandanna, pack of Rolaids, Listerine Breath Strips, Saint Michael coin and the coin from my last Army unit. Right cargo pocket holds another pack of cigarettes, back up lighter, book of matches, pen and a pack of Jolt caffeine gum. My back right pocket holds my wallet (George Constanza type). My left rear pocket carries a small notebook and 2 more 7 round .380 mags. My belt holds the Schrade Multi-tool, cell phone and leather loop with a clasp to tie my keys off. I am certainly not advocating that others carry all this stuff around every day. I just want to give some suggestions and tell readers that these items fit in ACU/BDU trousers or cargo shorts. Thanks again for your input. Please forgive me for being so long winded.

    • Nice setup. I used to carry plenty more with me in cargo pants and on belts, from pocket kits to cordage and more. For some reason, I’ve really pared that list of items down; this is probably because I’m never far from my supplies… but that kind of defeats the purpose of EDC, doesn’t it? ;)