Updated for 2015 with new & improved gadgets!
There are Bug Out Bags (BOBs), Get Home Bags, I’m Never Coming Home (INCH) bags, and then there is EDC – Every Day Carry kits. When you look up EDC kits on google, you’ll see a vast array of kits. Some of them are practical, whereas others are far from it!! EDC should be a kit that is always on your person regardless of where/how you travel. Some kits that people have online are one stop short of going back into the 80’s and carrying a fanny-pack with you everywhere you go. While that may be practical for a couple of folks, the vast majority of us will not be wearing a fanny pack everywhere we go.
I wanted to share with you the contents of my EDC kit. Remember, the EDC by itself does not give you all the tools to “survive”, but it increases your odds dramatically.
1. Security – Have your CCW license and if necessary, an extra magazine. With the times as crazy as they are, carry where ever legal.
I also have kevlar cord and a handcuff key tucked inside of my watch (#8 below)! The kevlar can cut through plastic handcuffs and the handcuff key is there when if I need it. All you need is a bicycle inner tube cut to size, the kevlar cord, and the key. It only cost me about $10 to make. A company called Gearward makes the product ready to go for $25, but you can learn just by looking at the pictures. To learn how to make this setup, look at their pictures here.
2. Fire – Peanut lighters are great as they can be attached to your key ring. Two nice brands are the Numyth Tohil, or (as pictured above) The Tru Utility Peanut Lighter. A ferro rod and striker are also good alternatives as they can be small enough to put on a key chain.
3. Keys – Do you go to work and then set your keys down at your desk, or do you carry them with you as you go to meetings? What if an emergency happened while you were away from your desk and you needed to get to your car immediately? Make sure you have them on you at all times.
4. Paracord – a nice paracord bracelet or paracord lanyard is cheap, easy to make, and provides you with a good deal of cordage. This can have a multitude of uses!
5. Cell phone – This should be your primary communication tool. Most of us carry these on us all the time. Also, smart apps make the phone that much more powerful. If the network is still working, you have communications, GPS/Maps, compass, flashlight, etc. all in one unit. Also, if you didn’t know, text messages can still be sent even if you cannot make a voice call because they take up less bandwidth!
6. Quarters & Cash – If an large scale emergency happens, don’t count on your cell phone to get access. Cell phone towers typically get overloaded in emergencies. Therefore, it’s good to have quarters to dial out on a public land line phone. Have cash available in various bills. Cash can be good for a variety of situations including paying/bribing people to help you out.
7. Multi-tool – This one sits on my belt, has pliers, a knife, and various tools. Can’t stress how useful these are on a daily basis let alone a survival situation. If you don’t have a multi-tool, at least carry a small knife. A good small knife that you can carry on a paracord necklace is the Esee Izula II.
8. Analog watch – Other than telling time or using stop watch features, you can also easily tell north, south, east, & west directions by using the watch & sun.
9. Small Flashlight – The cell phone is a good flashlight, but have a backup is always a good idea. Cell phone battery life may not last as long as a dedicated flashlight as the cell phone battery is powering all sorts of other processes.
Overall, this setup is very convenient for me to carry. It is spaced out between my wrists, pockets, and belt. Nothing is too bulky with how I have it situated.
Most importantly, aside from all the “gear”, the most powerful tools are knowledge and the honed skills from practicing. Paracord will do you no good if you do not know how to build a good shelter. A peanut lighter will not guarantee fire if you do not know the principles of good fire starting.
Kits are always very personal, so I’m interested in what you carry. Leave a comment below and help give fellow readers an EDC tip!