I’ll admit I am an EDC fanatic. I often browse web sites, social media and forums to gawk at the cool collections different people dump from their pockets.
EDC, (which stands for Every Day Carry in case you didn’t already know,) can take many forms. It is very individualized based on what one desires to carry in their briefcases, purses, or pockets. It can contain anything from phones to knives to first aid kits. All in all, what you should carry should be decided by you.
What I have decided to carry is quite extensive. I must admit it is easy for me to carry that much since I usually have some kind of bag or purse with me. So what may work for me may not be ideal for you, and that’s ok. What is important from a preparedness aspect is to try to decide what you think you may need for an everyday emergency. I like to think prepping comes in levels, and EDC would be your first line of defense when it comes to preparedness. The next level after your EDC would be your “get home” bags or other smaller kinds of kits. The level after that would be your more serious “bug in/bug out” bags, and the level that I would define after that one would be any and all supplies necessary for a true long-term grid-down scenario.
Bringing us back to the first level of preparedness, what we carry every day should reflect our preps for what kinds of every day events we think we would likely face in our current “rule-of-law” atmosphere.
Here is a breakdown of what is commonly found in someone’s EDC:
Most people carry things such as keys, watches, money, wallets, and phones. It would be a fair bet that most people have these items on them whenever they are out. However, if I were you, I would find a way to carry more. Why? You may find you may need something else to get through an out-of-the-ordinary event. So here’s an example of what is beyond the basics to consider…
Some people carry knives, others carry mace or pepper spray, and some may even carry a firearm. Many carry a combination of these. What you carry in times of “rule-of-law” should be in accordance to whatever laws govern where you live. Research what is legal to carry in your area first to make an informed decision of what you will carry. There are many laws that govern what you can or cannot carry in regards to all the three types of security options I had listed above. In addition, many more security options exist such as tasers, monkey fists, etc., but again you would need to consult the laws in your area to be aware of what would be legal to carry on an everyday basis.
Many people carry an EDC flashlight. This is often a smaller, shorter flashlight, and there are many decent options available. Just do an online search for “EDC flashlight” and you would get the idea. Others, if they choose not to carry a flashlight, may just carry a keychain light. At the very least, I would recommend some kind of light source besides your phone so that you would not be dependent on your phone’s power for illumination. Speaking of phones, this brings us to…
This would likely be covered by your phone for most people, but there are also many other options available. For example, I also have a cheap ham radio HT (handheld transceiver) that I carry every day. I also carry a small copy of my ham license, and some small cards with information such as radio instructions and a list of repeaters. Notice that a lot of this could be stored on my phone, and I do utilize my phone in that way, but I do not depend solely on my phone for such things. If something happened to my phone, I would want some other means to access the information I would need. I carry a small list of phone numbers for the same reason…and so should you.
Many people carry some kind of writing instrument with them. A pen on hand is always handy if you ever need to jot something down. In addition, many also carry some kind of small writing pad or notebook.
Even though the items already mentioned are all tools, there are others often carried as well. Multi-tools are popular ones to carry. There are also small versions of pry bars and lock picks that you may also find useful. Very often, people may carry tools specific to their professions or hobbies. This category can be very individualized. For example, I once ran across a picture of a professional yo-yo player’s EDC. Of course…it had yo-yos.
Here, like the tools mentioned above, any technological EDC would be very specific to one’s preferences. Some carry a notebook PC, while others may carry a tablet. A very popular option for some to carry is some sort of music player, and of course, some headphones to go with it. One EDC option I would recommend to most people would be to carry a USB drive. It would be handy to have one on hand to save, store, and to carry digital information if the occasion were ever to arise.
These items vary widely due to their nature. Personal affects, make up, lip balm, and the like are all up to the carrier. First aid items are one group of personal items that I would recommend to carry, as well as any medications one would wish to have on hand.
As I have stated before, EDC is very personalized. One should carry what they believe they would likely need. What you may need is likely not the same exact things as what I may need, and that is the beauty of it. The reality is that the only limitation that exists is what you would be able to carry.