Your everyday carry gear or EDC is made up of items that you use frequently, items that you would need for the most likely emergency and important items that you would most likely need on a daily basis. Everybody technically has EDC gear. However, the recent fad that has been sparked by the preparedness movement has given popularity to these items.
As a prepper is important to focus on the most important items needed for your EDC instead of what is most popular or fashionable. There is a foundation of the most important items that we should build on top of. Don’t get me wrong, I like to show off my pocket dump but it isn’t the focus. Once you have the foundation built then you can get creative.
For this post I wanted to provide a list of the most important items that a prepper should have with their EDC. There will be some overlap from a previous post about your get home bag because this gear can be thrown into it if there is an emergency.
17 Important EDC Items That Every Prepper Needs
- Functional Knife
Knives have so many great uses from just using a tool for everyday activities that may come up to chopping wood for building a fire for survival. Most of us don’t live in the woods so there wouldn’t be the need to carry a bushcraft knife all the time. However, if you have a functional knife you can be really prepared for anything that may come up from cutting rope or using the knife as a pry bar to open something.
Not only are knives used for tools but can be used as a layer of self-defense. Now I wouldn’t expect to get into a knife fight like you see in the movies but could be used to slice up an attacker to get some distance. You won’t always want everyone to know that you are carrying a knife so search for one that can be easily concealed or even consider a mini keychain knife.
As a pocket knife I recommend a folding blade as a fixed blade would take up more space and just isn’t practical in many applications. It should also have a pocket clip so that you can quickly remove it within digging around into your pocket. For my main pocket knife I currently carry the Spyderco Byrd Cara Cara2.
Along the lines of speaking about having a layer of self-defense, a handgun has to be included. This is really helpful when fighting off robbers or getting space from an attacker. This should be your last line of defense after the situation has escalated to the absolute need.
Typically the 9mm is the most popular concealed carry firearm because of it’s size. You could get smaller than that but you will sacrifice power. However, if you need a pocket pistol then I recommend a ACP .380.
- High quality holster
When carrying a handgun you will need a high quality holster to keep it concealed. The holster should be able to safely lock the gun down in place while allowing you to quickly remove it in the time of need. You will also want one that is breathable and won’t retain sweat. I recommend purchasing a kydex holster as leather typically will hold sweat which in turn makes it uncomfortable to carry and hard to quickly remove.
- Legal Defense Card
It is said that “98% of Americans have car insurance but don’t have legal insurance.” With the increased persecution of legal concealed carriers in the United States it is important to have some sort of legal protection. There are many stories were a conceal carry licensee have been sent to jail and even sued for legally protecting themselves.
United States Concealed Carry Association provides legal insurance and a list of preferred lawyers if you ever find yourself in that situation. You may not know this but lawyers are expensive especially when it comes to defending yourself with a weapon.
Flashlights are helpful for everyday situations like trying to find something you dropped in a hole or even something extreme like a grid down situation. I would recommend something small that you can keep in your pocket or bag. There are a lot of great quality options when it comes to EDC flashlights including Cree and even Olight.
Multitools are great for everyone including those that are not familiar with using tools. I’m not a handyman by any means so I have been surprised by how many times my multitool has been helpful. There have been times where I have used the wrench to screw something down at a trade show for work.
Some of us may have medical issues where it goes without saying that you need to keep your medicine with you. However, it is always a time saver to have medicine on me instead of needing to run to the store at the last minute. This is especially true when dealing with allergies. You never know when it is going to hit you.
- A Good Pen
Living in a digital word where we can easily take notes on our cellphone we almost feel that there is no need to have a pen. This is especially true if you work in a office like me. All day I am at the computer and typically type notes there instead of on paper.
However, there will be times where maybe your cellphone is dead or lost and then electric is down with no way to type notes. You will also want a pen that is great in all weather conditions whether if it is cold or raining. Typically pens will dry up when it is cold.
Pens can also be used for multiple purposes. For example, I have the Uzi Tactical Pen where I can use it to break glass with the glass breaker on the end. It is also made of aircraft aluminum so it is strong and durable. Tactical pens can also be used for self-defense where it isn’t necessary to draw your concealed carry or cannot quickly access it.
In previous posts I have mentioned some survival uses of a bandana or even DIY survival gear using a shemagh. Bandanas are not only good for wiping sweat and cleaning things but also for things like filtering water. If you have a 100% cotton bandana you can place it over a bottle while pouring water into it to use as a filter.
- Functional Wallet
The wallet is the most sensitive and probably most important item that you carry with you on a daily basis. It not only keeps private information about your identification but also holds your money or bank cards. If someone got their hands on this item then their actions could ruin your life.
Today many thieves don’t even have to physically take your wallet in order to access your information. Many of them use RFID scanners to collect your information. This is why it is important to have an RFID blocker integrated into your wallet like the Secrid Cardslide Wallet.
Being able to quickly communicate with important people during an emergency situation is imperative. If there is a fire or even active shooter you will want to be able to contact authorities quickly. Or maybe there is a natural disaster in your city you will want to be able to quickly contact your family members. Not only should you have a cellphone but also back up methods of communication like handheld radios.
- Portable Battery Chargers
Along with having a form of communication you will want to have a backup source of power for those important devices. An emergency always seems to happen whenever my cellphone battery is low. Having a portable battery charger has been so helpful for me on many occasions.
- Functional Key Ring
You shouldn’t be living your life to where you have keys in multiple locations and then having to dig through junk to find it when in need. This is especially true in the case of an emergency. Having a keyring is nice but many times it can get caught up in your pockets or even have rings slip off of them from time to time.
So I carry the KeySmart with me. With this I am able to keep all of my keys securely in one place with quick and easy access. I don’t have to dig through my pockets or worry about them getting caught up with other items.
- Durable Watch
Being able to tell the time quickly is very important to me as I like to be organized and on time for everything. However, it is also helpful if you are in a survival situation where you need to know what time of day it is and how much sunlight you have left. You will want a battery that will last and a watch that will not easily break.
I’ve gone through my fair share of watches. Most of them have been fashion pieces to show off or look good on my outfits. However, the batteries would die quickly and it was impossible to change the battery myself. So I would just end buying a new watch.
That was until I bought the G-Shock G100-1BV. This watch has been going strong for a long time. It is also super durable so I don’t have to worry about breaking it when it drops or hits something hard. On top of that the battery is super easy to change out. These watches are worn by law enforcement officers and even military so that speaks of the quality that it provides.
- Physical Cash
I know that we are living in a cashless society where many of us don’t see the need for carrying cash or checks. You can simply swipe your card whenever you need something. However, what happens if your wallet is stolen or if the grid is down?
Here in Florida there was a year where a major hurricane hit our area. It was a week or two until power was fully operational. Many stores were unable to take cards or use their cash register. So transactions had to be done using cash. If you didn’t have cash then you were going to go without food or water unless you traveled a great distance outside of the affected area.
Sunglasses are another item that many people see as fashionable pieces and don’t see any functional uses for them. As a prepper I believe it is important for us to have ballistic grade sunglasses. In case there is an emergency where you will need to pull out your handgun then your eyes will be protected. Now you don’t have to buy gun range glasses. There are many nice looking glasses that are ballistic grade.
- A Good Bag
A lot of foundational items are not going to fit in your pocket. So you will need something to carry them and keep you organized. You will want to be able to quickly grab your EDC items without digging around trying to find it.
Currently I am using the Maxpedition Beefy Pocket Organizer. You can check out my review HERE or even check out all of my gear that I currently have at My Gear Setup. However, I considering changing this out with a backpack that I recently purchased. Either way you will want something to keep all of your EDC gear organized.