Editor’s Note: A contribution to The Prepper Journal from Peter Betts on a subject we haven’t posted about in awhile. An interesting take from a Prepper/survivalist in the Pacific Northwest, The Prepper Journal is a forum for different ideas.
Have you gotten your Everyday carry (EDC) bag but not sure what items to include into it? Everyday carry items are stuff you constantly carry on your body, so you are always prepared for unexpected dangers. Sometimes, it could even be useful for solving daily problems like preventing you from ‘losing’ your phone charger.
In this article, the focus would be geared towards understanding what you need to put in your EDC bag. If you are looking for a suitable EDC bag, you can check out this post in The Survival Hacks.
We will be diving into tools that you should consider including in your EDC bag. Bear in mind that the items listed here are designed to keep your bag as durable, light-weight and convenient as possible, so I have excluded few essentials which you would normally find in a bug out bag list.
The idea of an everyday carry is to prepare you for any unexpected danger, so you can move to a safe location or back home with limited tools. Before we begin, what are the few items that you are already carrying before leaving home every day? What are the items that will come in handy if you added it into your EDC bag? Let’s get right on to it!
What do you need in an EDC bag?
Yes, spare cash is at the top of the list. Make sure you bring loose change instead of big notes, so you can buy items like batteries, food and water from any stores before they run out. If you are carrying your everyday carry bag for travelling, you could consider bringing an extra wallet to stash your cash at different location to protect yourself from a pickpocket, have extra copies of your passport, ID and travel documents in case of emergencies. To prevent losing valuable items, a money belt can keep your important stuff hidden and hard to get too.
Why Leatherman? It’s the only multi-tool that gives you a knife, scissors, prying tool, bottle and package opener, screwdriver and tweezers all in one small device. In fact, some Leatherman can be custom made to fit a saw, file, wire cutters and wrench according to your needs. This multi-tool is a must-add into your EDC bag list because well…it can do almost anything!
#3 Phone with Power Bank
Nowadays, a phone can be used as a navigator, calculator, torchlight, signalling for help and more importantly, to communicate with your loved ones. However, a phone can only be as useful as its battery life. You might carry a phone charger with you but not every place has a socket plug available and in the event of a total blackout, you will need to look for alternative power source.
Consider taking with you a Power Bank which is compact, light and can easily fit into your EDC’s bag pocket. With this reliable backup power source, you would not have to worry running out of battery for at least the next 24 hours.
A hand-held flashlight might come in handy especially when you are using it navigate your way in the dark, use it as a help signal or just to illuminate dark areas when you are working on your car. Though a phone torchlight function can easily do the trick, but if you could carry a flashlight inside your bag, why not?
#5 First Aid
Now we are getting into the real stuff. Bringing a mini emergency first aid kit either storing it in your EDC bag or car would make a huge difference when disasters strike. Injuries are always unexpected and failure to sterilize the wound would result in infection and inconvenience. Pack a few adhesive bandages, plasters, alcohol wipe, burn cream, cold pack and aspirins.
Depending on your health condition, you might want to pack your own personal medication as well like asthma inhalers, pain killers and insulin injection to name a few. Packing these first aid items in your EDC bag would guarantee your chances for survival.
#6 Food and Water
Since this is an everyday carry, you probably don’t need to pack survival food kit or filtration straw because the goal is to arrive at your safe location within the shortest time frame. Still, it is an option to pack a few survival food bar and extra emergency water packet to quench your thirst and hunger during the trip. Most survival food bar and water packet can be kept in your bag for years and it still taste good.
Name me one thing you can’t control? The weather…of course! What about fitting an umbrella into your EDC bag? It will probably take up plenty of space and besides, strong winds will break it anyway. Perhaps packing an emergency poncho in your EDC item list might not be so bad after all as it is lightweight, compact and has a hood to keep your body dry while it rains.
#8 Signal Whistle
Adding a whistle to your EDC bag list is optional. It will be useful when calling for help or to attract attention. Blowing into the whistle using the SOS code: three short pulse, followed by three longer pulse, and then three more short pulse is an internationally recognized distress signal in Morse code. Who knows? The whistle might save your life one day.
#9 Global Positioning System
While you phone do have google maps to help you with directions, but it’s hard not to admit that turning on your phone GPS would reduce your phone battery so drastically that having a power bank might not save you if you are using it the whole day.
Keeping a GPS like the Garmin gives you a highly sensitive GPS receiver which is high receptive in dense wooded areas, trackback function to retrace your path and alert function which can send distress signals through satellite to your loved ones and rescue team.
#10 GPS tile
Imagine packing your EDC bag for hours but you left it somewhere accidentally or even worse, it was stolen. With all your precious gear packed inside your EDC bag, you could opt to place a GPS tile into your backpack or wallet to keep track of your valuables if the need ever arises. This is particularly useful for preppers who take their EDC bag for travelling, you would save yourself from plenty of heartaches and anxiety of scrambling to search for your lost items. With a GPS tile, you can find it with just click of a button from your phone.
#11 Notebook & Pen
You probably are already bringing a pen and paper in your everyday carry to pen down any ideas or thoughts throughout the day. A nice add-on would be a field note cover which holds your notepad, pens, name cards, lighter and spare cash. You can even keep a mini survival tin inside your note cover to hold small items like emergency whistle, lighter, safety pins and paracord.
There are many things that can be covered into this EDC bag list, few things worth mentioning but were not included in the list above are sunscreen, duct tap and hygiene products such as dental floss and trash bag.
Hopefully after reading through this list, it gave you a rough idea on what to include into your EDC bag. Make sure you do not over stuff your bag with items and keep it as practical and light weight as possible. If there are any items you feel should be included into the list, feel free to let me know!