A good everyday carry kit has two important functions: to help you with everyday tasks and to keep you alive in case of an emergency.
The problem with an EDC is that you can only carry so much at one time. Unless you have a large car, you’ll have to pick and choose which items are going to be most important. To help you put your gear together, these are the survival items you should have on your EDC kit and important considerations for your kit.
Pocket or Folding Knife
This is one of the most useful items that you can carry. While you may not actually ever need to use it, a good knife has a wide variety of uses. Make sure to purchase a knife that is good quality and has a decently sharp blade that can be used to slice and cut. A sturdy knife made from good quality steel should last for years and can fit in a small kit or backpack wherever you go.
When you’re in an emergency situation, you may need to be able to start a fire in a pinch. Although there’s more than one way to start a fire, a lighter is easy to carry and compact. Make sure that you choose a good quality lighter that will last for a period of time. Check the lighter at least once a month to ensure that it’s still usable and replace as needed.
Pen and Paper
This is an item that many people don’t put in their EDC but it can actually be incredibly important. You never know when you need to write down a quick note, record something important, or write a note to another person. A small pad of paper and pen are all that you need to carry around.
This is an item that you can either wear or carry in your kit. These bracelets can be unraveled and used for a variety of purposes. Having some kind of strong cordage on you is a good idea and easy to carry around. Some survival paracord bracelets even come with a whistle and fire starter on them which is a good option as well.
Some people choose to either carry a multi-tool or a knife but carry both if you have room. A multi-tool will generally have a blade as well in addition to pliers and other useful items. Most multi-tools also fold up into the size of a deck of cards. There’s a huge variety of them on the market today. Look for one that’s good quality and has the basic tools without being too flashy.
Spare money is going to come in handy so try to carry at least $50 in cash with you at all times. Make sure that you keep this cash separate from your normal spending cash so you don’t accidentally use this money to pay for basic purchases. In an emergency situation, you might need to use the money to buy food or pay someone. Although you don’t need to carry a huge amount of cash, a little extra on hand is a good idea.
There are a variety of survival cell phones which are good back up options. Depending on what you feel comfortable with you can invest in one of these. However, the most important features that you’ll need in a phone are the ability to tell grid coordinates, show where you are on a map and be used as a compass. Many smart phones have this capability. Although a smart phone may not be useful in a long-term emergency situation, one with a long-lasting battery can help you out in the short-term.
Since you can’t rely completely on your phone or memory to know addresses or important phone numbers, take the time to write down a list of emergency contacts and other important information. Consider laminating this list so that it won’t break down easily. Update it as needed to ensure that the information stays current.
These essential items are the basics you should have with you at all times. However, you may want to add on to this list depending on your situation. Use this list to get started making sure that you’re prepared.