Prepping 101 – EDC

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What is EDC? Well in case you mistakenly go out to Google “EDC ideas” for some inspiration; EDC does not in Prepper lingo stand for Electric Daisy Carnival. What is this world coming to?

No, my friends. EDC is one the top 10 great Prepper Acronyms and it stands for Every Day Carry. If you don’t already know, we Preppers LOVE acronyms. EDC is essentially the items you carry with you at all times, or as often to all times as possible. It’s the quintessential Prepper gear that you have handy without any backpack or BOB (another of my favorites which we will be discussing later) Bug Out Bag .

One of the misconceptions about EDC gear is that it needs to be a large set or capable of doing more than most people would need in any normal scenario. Now, I know that when we are talking about SHTF (The S**T hitting the fan) we aren’t necessarily thinking about normal everyday occurrences. We want to be prepared for something, anything out of the norm, right?

I bring this up because your EDC is less about the actual gear you are carrying around and more about how diligent you are with carrying it in the first place. The best gear in the world does you absolutely zero good if it is at home on your nightstand, packed away in your backpack or worse, stored in the attic somewhere. For you to realize any value from your EDC gear you have to Carry it Every Day. Get the point? OK, moving on.

Why should this matter to you? EDC gear consists of simple items that individually or combined can make a world of difference if you are ever faced with a situation that the average bear isn’t ready for, but as with everything, your own personal situations vary from a lot of other people. If your job is in an office somewhere you probably won’t need to take an axe, lifeboat and bear spray to work with you. I am sure someone out there can prove me wrong, but until then let’s go with the assumption that most people during their day-to-day activities are near civilization either working or commuting near their town. That is the scenario we will go with.

What should your EDC be made up of? Great question and again this varies. Let me first talk to the average Joe out there and split the normal EDC into Good, Better and Best with Good being what you should have on you really at all times no exceptions. You don’t win any prizes for simply having a Good EDC, you just don’t have to hang your head in shame.


      • Folding Knife – I recommend something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (usually less than $30) like the Spyderco Tenacious G-10.The blade is wicked sharp out of the box, won’t freak too many people out at 3 3/8 inches but a good knife has millions and I do mean millions of uses. Think back to our earliest ancestors. They might not have had all of the fancy gadgets like we did, but one of the first things they got their hands on was a good knife. Even if all you use it for is to open your boxes from Amazon you will use it and if you really need it you will be glad it’s on you.

        A really excellent EDC knife for the money.

        Spyderco Tenacious G-10. A really excellent EDC knife for the money.

      • Phone – This may sound silly now because Hey? Who doesn’t have their cell phone with them every single second of the day? Actually, I wish most of us (including me) didn’t have their cell phones. I am tired of watching a bunch of teenagers sit around a table staring at their phones and not talking, but that’s for another time. You need a phone to communicate so make sure you have yours with you. Don’t leave it in the car when you go into the mall. Something else to add to this would be a written list of important numbers. Who else besides me relies too heavily on speed dial and Google?
      • Spare Cash – Another rarity in this day and age, and even I have to force myself to remember to bring some cash with me. If I am going out-of-town, one of the first things I try to do is get out $50 or $100. It probably won’t by me a plane ticket home, but it could get me out of a jam.
      • Watch – You need to know the time and if you’re really tricky like Bear Grylls, you can tell the direction of North with it. Of course, you could be lazy and just by a watch like the Casio Pathfinder watch that has a compass built in.




    • Handkerchief – What? Do you mean like one of those hillbillies? Or an old man with his pocket square that he offers to the first lady he sees crying? Yes, exactly. It can be whatever color you want but a handkerchief is like a knife in that it can be used for a thousand things. You can use it for a dust mask, sling, tourniquet, sweat band or you could just blow your nose with it. They are light and don’t take up any room. In fact, I bet you have one pocket that you never put anything in. The back left pocket, right? Stick a hanky in there and off you go
    • Multi-Tool – You can carry a multi-tool or something like a Swiss Army knife. I recommend the Leatherman Charge. It’s tough and not to beat adeadhorsebutithas a million uses. Could you leave the folder at home and only bring the multi-tool? Sure, but I like options.

      Leatherman Charge

      Leatherman Charge – Great for just about anything you need to cut, twist or wrench open.

    • Flashlight – Flashlights probably start getting into geeky territory here, but believe me; you will find that they are useful. From coming home late when the carport light is out to power outages or dark parking lots or broken down vehicles a good flashlight comes in handy. I used to carry the Fenix LD10 but have since moved to the Fenix PD22UE. There are tons of other models. It is simply amazing how much light this little thing puts out.

      Fenix LD10

      Fenix LD10 – Super bright flashlight and only needs 1 AA Battery.

    • Para cord – Some guys (and ladies) wear Paracord bracelets which are fine but might not be the most practical in every situation. If I am going camping or hiking or hunting then definitely I wear the Paracord bracelet. This has about 8-10 feet of Para cord woven into a nice carrying profile on your wrist. This can save you when you need to tie up a tarp or replace a shoelace or in an extreme case, lash your knife to a spear and fight off the zombie horde. If you aren’t ready to rock the Paracord bracelet in the office you can easily buy or make a key fob, or just stick 10 feet or so in your briefcase or purse and keep on trucking.




  • Firearm – Yes I recommend that every adult legally and responsibly carry a firearm. I will save the argument for and the types and situations for another post.
  • Spare magazine – See above.
  • Flash Drive with information – If you are really worried about TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) then a flash drive with electronic copies of your favorite document makes sense. I personally don’t. Spare phone batteries fall into this category also if your phone accepts them. Mine doesn’t so I try to be mindful to keep as full a charge as possible.
  • Something to make Fire – You can learn how to rub two sticks together or get really proficient with a flint and striker but a good old cheap bic works great just about every time.

Women – What about women? I think every woman should carry all of the same items. You have an advantage in that you normally carry a purse and frequently take this with you wherever you go. You may adjust things like the knife if that folder is too big. How about a nice key chain Leatherman like the juice? Even that is better than nothing. Everything else should be fine.

Leatherman Juice

Leatherman Juice – At only 3.2 inches this could be a simple addition to a key chain.

I think you will agree that this is a good start. Is it the most comprehensive list ever assembled and will it cover every conceivable option? No, but again, we are taking baby steps here. If you have nothing more than these items above you will have a vastly better chance of making it through anything that life throws at you than your friends who don’t have anything. I look forward to your comments on what you carry.



  1. Bob

    April 14, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    Add to these a pair of latex gloves. You never know when you may have to handle someone bloody or have contact with potentially bio-hazardous material. They can also double as an emergency water canteen and a cut-off finger could protect your rifle muzzle from rain or mud. You might be able to fashion a sling shot using on as an elastic.

    • prepperjournal

      April 15, 2013 at 9:09 pm

      Thanks for the suggestion Bob! I know I have plenty of latex gloves in my supplies inside the house, my medical kits and my Get Home Bag, but don’t carry them every day. I guess since my Get Home Bag is in my car, I can count that as my extended EDC 🙂


  2. Tony

    August 18, 2013 at 1:33 pm

    I really like the simple holster you have pictured. Who makes it? Also, where do you carry your spare mag?

  3. Steve Steiner

    September 25, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    If a flashlight is a bit geeky to carry for some, those little keychain LED lights are great and slip right on with your keys. It’s no 100lumen tactical light, but better than trying to see using a cell phone screen! Also, better to make sure the handkerchief is full size, like a bandana, and not a small one. Just as easy to carry and much more versatile!

    Nice article! And yes, I found this by googling for “EDC ideas”…wow at some of the results.

    • prepperjournal

      September 25, 2013 at 7:49 pm

      I warned you!!! That really surprised me too, guess that makes me old.

      Thanks for the comments. I had one of those key chain lights you are talking about. I think it was a streamlight and it seemed like a great idea to me too. The only problem was that it kept turning on in my pocket so I would take it out and it would be shining. It isn’t the easiest to handle while you are trying to get keys out either, but it is better than nothing.

  4. ilovechristmas

    October 24, 2013 at 5:02 am

    on top of everything mentioned here, I also carry energy bars. they get consumed within the week so they are continually replaced 🙂

    • prepperjournal

      October 24, 2013 at 1:12 pm

      Great ideas, thanks! It helps to be a snacker and you usually have food with you all of the time. 🙂

  5. Chris

    December 13, 2013 at 2:58 am

    I would definitely add a lighter to your edc, simple mini bic wont take up much space. And a folded bandanna or handkerchief can fit in your empty back pocket, it has a million uses, dust mask, emergency bandage, and a filter to name a few.

  6. Evil

    December 16, 2013 at 12:26 am

    So, that pocket on the left side is really there for a reason? Wow, who would have thought. Personally, I don’t mind all the teenagers staring at their phones, doesn’t bother me that they are quiet. Besides that, most of what most of them have to say isn’t worth listing to anyway, even if you can understand what they are saying, which is usually ” I need a new… I want a new… I need more money… etc, etc, etc.

  7. Barry

    December 29, 2013 at 8:29 pm

    additional items for my EDC: P-38 can opener, (an extra) keychain flashlight, dust mask, more cash, bandages, zip lock bag of pills – (for me pain, antacid, no-doze), duct tape around bic lighter, glasses, my Leatherman wave pouch also carries a mini sharpie, a mini pen, and a AAA flashlight. I have to use a fanny pack to carry everything but that also includes a Glock 27.

  8. David Benjamin Donoho

    May 15, 2014 at 1:13 am

    So I am not sure exactly how I started getting theprepperjournal.com emails in my inbox but I have been reading them for months now and I generally love what you have to say. When the EDC article came out a few months ago I was pleased that i already carried most of the things you mentioned just because it made so much sense. And then I added to my EDC some of your suggestions – because they too just make SO MUCH SENSE.

    For what it is worth, one of my boot laces broke a while back and I didn’t have time to get a new pair of laces and I swapped them out with paracord. And i have found that they are FAR SUPERIOR to store bought laces. First, with melted ends of paracord, it never comes undone like the plastic ends of laces. Second they stand up to far more abuse and abrasion and yanking and pulling than laces do. Third, easy to find any color of paracord you want to replace laces. Fourth, if you have to start a fire with the bow and drill method, old paracord laces work way better than old boot laces (and yes I have built fires using bow and drill method).

    I don’t like regular paracord bracelets for the reason that it takes at least five minutes to untie them any time you need some paracord. I came up with a way to tie paracord that looks good and unties way faster than the regular way of tying. I should get on and share sometime.

  9. Pat Henry

    May 15, 2014 at 11:58 am

    Thank you very much David! I’m glad you found us even though the circumstances sound mysterious… 🙂

    I had the same issue with my boots when I was hunting. The laces broke and I figured that good old paracord would do the trick until I could get back home and buy more laces. The paracord was so superior as you said and I don’t know why I didn’t do that from the start. I replaced the other boot with the same thing and they have lasted so much longer than regular laces. Even though I don’t wear my boots everyday I have a hank of paracord with me in my computer case, in the cars and when I am out in the woods, on my bracelet. Paracord is probably duct tape’s long lost cousin.

    Hope you keep visiting and enjoying the articles!

  10. Andrew J. Jackson

    November 9, 2014 at 12:04 am

    Glad to see the hankie make it onto the list! Another use for the hankie is in communication as in “if you see me use the red hankie to wipe my forehead the meet’s going bad”

    • Pat Henry

      November 10, 2014 at 11:34 am

      Great idea Andrew. I wiped mine out last night to (jokingly) protect my face from a relative’s recently passed flu. There are millions of uses not to mention the original intent. My daughter blew about a fist sized blob of snot into it after a sneezing fit one dad. It was my hanky or else she was going to be wiping snot off with a plastic cup.

  11. Lewis

    December 17, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I’m 15 and live in Australia so I can’t carry a firearm but this is what I do have
    Belt: Mini first aid kit (paracetamol, latex gloves,antiseptic, bandages etc lSwiss Army Knife and Multitool
    Wrists: Paracord Bracelet, watch, Keychain (safety pins, whistle,mini-torch,usb)
    Backpocket: Bandana
    Front left: Torch, box of matches, Survival Tin (Compass, little knife, flint,matches,tinder, saw,light,whistle etc)
    Front Right: Wallet, Handkerchief,Phone (With News, first-aid and survival apps)

    I also have a GHB which has some food, water, tub tent, properfirst aid kit and a bunch of other stuff.

    • Pat Henry

      December 19, 2014 at 2:37 pm

      Sounds like a good kit Lewis. Thanks for commenting.


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