An EDC (Every Day Carry) kit is the set of items that you carry with you everywhere. If you haven’t given any thought to what is in your EDC kit you probably have the basic items everyone takes with them when they leave their house such as your keys, phone, and wallet. However with some simple consideration you can add to this short list to help yourself be better prepared and generally make your life easier. Common purposes of the gear in an EDC kit include:
- Keeping survival or “get home” gear on your person at all times
- Making your life easier
- Solving common problems that you face regularly
- Protecting yourself from threats
- Giving you peace of mind
So, what should be in your EDC kit? Well, it can be pretty much anything you can imagine. Some people just stick to the basics and others carry purpose made gear to solve specific problems they expect to face. No matter what you currently carry these 5 Quick Tips will help you make an objective assessment of your needs and improve your kit to best meet your specific challenges:
#1 – What Threats or Challenges Are You Likely To Face?
Making a realistic assessment of what problems you are likely to face is the first step towards identifying what
is most useful for you to have in your EDC kit. Just because every kit you see online seems to have a notepad or particular gadget doesn’t mean yours needs to have this as well. Tailor your ideal kit to YOUR specific needs.This is done by looking at the threats that are present in your local environment (earthquake, terrorism, mugging, etc) as well as problems you are likely to face frequently (walking in a dark parking lot, needing to open packages/boxes at work). Make a realistic assessment of both the probability of these challenges occurring and the potential impact they will have on you. Make your ideal list based on this assessment. My “How To Make An EDC List” article covers this in greater detail, click here to read it for more detailed information.
#2 – What Do You Carry Already?
Everyone already has some items that they carry with them that are essential to their day-to-day. This may be the basics of wallet, keys, and phone that I mentioned above or a full blown get home bag, depending on how much thought you have put into it at this point. Take a good look at what you are already carrying with you and think of what you can remove or upgrade to better address the challenges you identified in #1.
For example: Do you have an old bottle opener that you carry around that is beat up and worn out? Why not upgrade to something like a mini-multi-tool so you can open those bottles plus have the ability to pry, screw, cut, and torque as you need? Don’t be afraid to remove anything you haven’t used in a while or that does not meet the challenges you identified above, you can always add it back in if your threats change again in the future.
#3 – What can you add to better address these challenges?
When people start seriously thinking about what to add to their EDC kit the most common items that they add are:
- A quality, reliable knife (see my EDC Knife Guide here)
- A bright, compact flashlight with good battery life (see my EDC Flashlight Guide here)
- A tactical pen
The reason why these are popular is that they are all compact, light weight, and can be used across a HUGE variety of situations. When you are thinking about what to add to your EDC kit look back to your initial assessment in #1 to see what you need to address those challenges. Some other items that are commonly added to EDC kits are:
- First Aid Kit
- Rain Gear
- Water Bottle
- Fire starting kit
#4 – How to Carry Your EDC Kit
So, you have removed things you don’t need from your EDC kit and added some useful tools as well. If you have done this based on the threats and challenges you identified in #1 you should have a lean kit that is optimized to meet your individual needs. Now consider how you are going to carry it. Remember, this is an EVERY DAY Carry Kit. So you will have it with you whenever you step out your front door. If your kit is awkward to carry around you will want to leave it behind and it will then be USELESS when you need it!
- A small kit it should be able to fit in your pockets or purse
- A medium sized kit can be carried and organized in a shoulder bag or pouch
- Many people carry larger kits in small backpacks.If you do decide to carry your kit in an EDC bag, make sure you choose one that allows you to organize your gear in a way that makes it easy to find.
#5 – Periodically review your kit
Once you have chosen your EDC kit and are carrying it around for a while it is wise to review it periodically. You will want to review what you are carrying and make sure every item is still relevant to your needs. In the modern day world threats change rapidly:
If you are facing a new challenge you may want to add gear to help overcome it. If a threat has changed you may want to remove gear to lighten up your kit. This is a long term tip but if you want to set it into action RIGHT NOW you can set a recurring reminder on your phone or calendar to remind yourself to review your EDC Kit in a couple months. I like to review mine every 3 months but pick a schedule that works best for you.