May 27, 2017

Practical EDC

We’ve all got items we carry every day, hence “EDC” or “Every Day Carry”. When I started prepping, I saw a lot of advice on what people should carry. Some of the items were neck or other types of knives, para-cord, cash, fishing gear (a few hooks, sinkers and line) and on and on. The trouble is, most of it just wasn’t practical to me. I’m not knocking anyone who carries a neck knife, but I hate wearing anything on my neck.

I think having a fishing kit is a good idea, in case one has an accident and goes off road in an isolated area and help isn’t coming quickly. However, while not practical for my EDC, I have one in the glove box of each car instead.

When it comes to EDC, carry what works and is practical for you! The following is what works for me.

My approach to EDC is to be modular, meaning I have smallish containers that I can trade in and out depending on my plans. For example, last weekend I needed to make a road trip to give a talk at a men’s retreat. I didn’t want to bring my whole kit so I grabbed the pieces I needed and combined them.

I keep my BOB in the car because the car isn’t ever very far from me. If I need to use it as a BOB, or GHB (get home bag) it is always ready. Because of this, I don’t need to carry gear like the fishing kit, and can just carry the things I will need to get through my day.

I hate pockets full of stuff, so I carry most of my gear in my laptop bag, which isn’t ever far from me either. My core gear, the gear I always keep on my person is: a folder knife, a flashlight, a money clip, emergency cash, and my phone.

In the laptop bag, I keep a small first aid kit with some OTC meds, a Swiss army knife, and lip balm, a thumb drive with important data, a pen and paper, and my kindle.

The purpose of EDC is to get you through your day and through possible and likely scenarios. If you’re carrying a small fishing kit on your person and, like me, don’t run the risk of going off road in an area where I would not be spotted, you might be okay leaving it as a piece of your car kit.

Again, I think you need to tailor your EDC to your life, carry what you use and works for you. If you carry around a bag of gear or pockets full of gear you never use, it might become cumbersome, frustrating and you might decide to quit carrying it all completely.

If you want to carry all kinds of gear, go with it, just don’t feel like you have to.
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  1. silly me! I never would have thought to put a first aid kit in our laptop bags!!! That’s a great idea, off to do that right now!

  2. Some of the best EDC advice ever read! I’m rarely more than 10 miles from home so I carry what I need to get home. If I carried everything some say to carry, I’d rattle when my high school students gave me a high five in the hallway. Great thoughts on carrying the likely needs based on life situation.

  3. Mic Roland says:

    I’ve been transitioning to a sort of three-stage approach. In my pockets are some core essentials (small knife, small multitool, tiny flashlight, lighter, A few feet of paracord, water-purification tablets, tiny first aid kit in mini-altoids tin. This is on-my-person, so more like Constant Carry.

    The next level is my laptop bag which has a bit bigger first aid kit, mylar blanket, dollar store poncho, more water tablets and a mini water filter, etc. This, and my pocket stuff are my EDC proper, but more of a Get Home Bag. This I carry with me each day, but I don’t have it in my hands all day.

    Then, in the truck is the BOB proper as the 72 hour kit. It’s always handy in the garage and while I’m driving, but not available when I’m at work. (commute by bus)

    So, I don’t carry everything, all the time.

  4. I also have multiple smaller kits for my office, my car, my briefcase. After watching several tv shows about people being trapped in elevators or buildings during disasters, my main concern at the moment is having what I need on my person in case something happens. What if I am in the elevator or the ladies’ room or the mail room at work when disaster strikes and I am trapped. I have no way to get to any of my bags so what do I need to have on me? A flashlight, my cell phone, a whistle, a multi-tool, a stick of beef jerky, I’m not really sure what I need. And being a woman, where do I carry it? I bought a small pocket organizer but it’s really too big to fit in a woman’s pocket. I don’t want to always walk around with a sling bag, especially if I’m just walking to the water cooler. Does anyone have some suggestions?

    • Chris Ray says:

      The amount of time you spend in the restroom or the elevator is probably minimal. While there is a chance something could happen when you’re in one of those locations, the chance are very small. I would recommend keeping a kit in your desk or purse, and brining your phone with you. If something were to happen that traps you, the main goal is to alert others where you are. If something happens that causes you to flee, like an active shooter, to goal is to get out, and call 911.

      I hope that helps some.

      • Good point, Chris. If something happens to me at work, someone will be looking for me. So that lets me cross a lot of things off the list that I thought I might need.

    • If you absolutely feel like you have to have more than you can clip to your waistband (I carry a slim knife, USB on a smiley-face lanyard, two sizes of paperclips, and a spritzer bottle inside mine, always, even without pockets) you might consider checking out a women’s CCW holster that you can modify into a pouch for the “essentials” you feel like you can’t live without.

      I’m with Chris, though, and wouldn’t spaz about the elevator or ladies’ room.
      If you’re not CCW, you’re not getting through the bad guys, and I don’t know anybody who carries a wrecker bar every step they take, so they’re not going through walls to get to their bigger kits.
      It’s a balancing act: “What do I feel like can happen while I’m there?” and “What duration of time in my urban environment will these EDC CC items see me through?”
      If they don’t make a difference outside 24 hours…

      If you have meds that need to be taken, a sports carrier for a bottle of water with a pouch for them in a slim tube or mini altoids tin might be an option.
      Plenty of people carry water around, and a reusable bottle is a good way to go green (plus it can hang on a stall hook).

      You could also consider keychain container you can clip to a waistband or inside your bra might alleviate that concern. I know they make little pouches for asthma sufferers that can attach to those slinky bracelets – easy enough to slip that on a wrist if you’re walking away from your bag, if asthma is an issue.


      • Good stuff Rebecca, thanks for adding it.

      • Thanks for the tips, Rebecca. I have filled an Altoids tin with some useful items, I bought a new phone case that has little pockets I can stash a few things and since I have to wear a lanyard ID badge at work I added my flashlight and some other mini-items to it. Everyone has so much stuff on their lanyards that no one pays any attention to what I have on mine.

  5. Glad to see someone else who thinks lip balm/Chapstik is an essential. I keep Chapstik in every car, in my suitcase, in my briefcase, in several places around the house.
    Another item that is similar in its essential usefulness is fingernail clippers.

    • Chris Ray says:

      With the winters here in Minnesota my lips get dry and would crack if I don’t use it throughout the day. That begs the question, why do I live in a place that wants to hurt me? lol

  6. Along with a few other items, I carry a 1 way pocket mask incase I find myself in a situation where I am the only one around who knows how to do CPR. I had this happen twice before I got my mask and not since, but since I took the time to learn CPR and I am one to remain calm when the fecal matter contacts the rotory occelator, I feel it is better to be prepared than to get a mouth full of something nasty.

    • Chris Ray says:

      Good for you for being ready to jump in and help another like that!

      I actually considered that for a while. But the last time I took the class they said they are not recommending breaths anymore. They said the victim gets enough air during compressions, and the heart beating is more important.

      If it makes you feel better prepared, keep doing what you’re doing.

  7. Thanks for this article Chris. & hope u & ur family are doing well. Grace & peace to u. Pls keep my family & me in ur prayers, as it looks like I’m going to be laid off, but they’re giving me some advance notice, out of grace.

  8. My EDC – TacFlashlight, Sharpie, Combo Torch-lighter & small knife (walmart for <$10), Mech Pencil, Handkerchief, Paracord, Data Scissors (stronger/more useful than regular scissors), Small/Basic First Aid Kit, Ibuprofin (Grunt Candy!), Aspirin (Dual pain relief/heart attack-stroke treatment), Antihistamine (also useful in event of bee sting), Caffeine Tablets, Spare Magazine+Ammo, Small Roll Duct Tape, Electrical Tape, Dental Floss (also useful as small cordage), Chapstick (doubles as firestarting aid), Mini-Tape Measure, Lifesavers (quick sugar), and of course, my M&P Shield 9mm. Notice – I am not really preparing for getting lost in the woods, just what I need to get me by until I can get home. I always look for dual-use items as well. Keep calm and press on!

  9. I can’t carry at work, so I don’t count my firearm as my EDC. If I’m not at work and not at home then yes, it is on my hip.

  10. Rev. Dr. Michael E Harris says:

    My medic alert is like the ones shown at I got mine from, but I could not find it this morning. It has room for all your medical information–emergency contacts, medical-dental-pharmacy contacts, medical-seasonal-food allergies, and all your meds plus dosages and reasons for the meds.

  11. Carol Reimann says:

    I keep a lot of stuff in my car that are daily things. Tools, duct tape, trash bags, matches, several flash lights, knives, gloves, rope, first aide kit… etc. In my purse are constant carry items. Meds for a few days, band aides, small k. nife, matches, small flashlight. If I’m traveling farther from home then I add a more complete bag with “stranded” items. Things people forget about is if you’re stranded in the winter you can use seat covers, carpet etc from vehicle.

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