Prepping 101 – EDC

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +
Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Last Updated on November 13, 2020

What is EDC? Well in case you mistakenly go out to Google “EDC ideas” for some inspiration; EDC does not in Prepper lingo stand for Electric Daisy Carnival. What is this world coming to?

No, my friends. EDC is one the top 10 great Prepper Acronyms and it stands for Every Day Carry. If you don’t already know, we Preppers LOVE acronyms. EDC is essentially the items you carry with you at all times, or as often to all times as possible. It’s the quintessential Prepper gear that you have handy without any backpack or BOB (another of my favorites which we will be discussing later) Bug Out Bag .

One of the misconceptions about EDC gear is that it needs to be a large set or capable of doing more than most people would need in any normal scenario. Now, I know that when we are talking about SHTF (The S**T hitting the fan) we aren’t necessarily thinking about normal everyday occurrences. We want to be prepared for something, anything out of the norm, right?

I bring this up because your EDC is less about the actual gear you are carrying around and more about how diligent you are with carrying it in the first place. The best gear in the world does you absolutely zero good if it is at home on your nightstand, packed away in your backpack or worse, stored in the attic somewhere. For you to realize any value from your EDC gear you have to Carry it Every Day. Get the point? OK, moving on.

Why should this matter to you? EDC gear consists of simple items that individually or combined can make a world of difference if you are ever faced with a situation that the average bear isn’t ready for, but as with everything, your own personal situations vary from a lot of other people. If your job is in an office somewhere you probably won’t need to take an axe, lifeboat and bear spray to work with you. I am sure someone out there can prove me wrong, but until then let’s go with the assumption that most people during their day-to-day activities are near civilization either working or commuting near their town. That is the scenario we will go with.

What should your EDC be made up of? Great question and again this varies. Let me first talk to the average Joe out there and split the normal EDC into Good, Better and Best with Good being what you should have on you really at all times no exceptions. You don’t win any prizes for simply having a Good EDC, you just don’t have to hang your head in shame.

Good EDC Items

  • Folding Knife – I recommend something that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg (usually less than $30) like the Spyderco Tenacious G-10.The blade is wicked sharp out of the box, won’t freak too many people out at 3 3/8 inches but a good knife has millions and I do mean millions of uses. Think back to our earliest ancestors. They might not have had all of the fancy gadgets as we did, but one of the first things they got their hands on was a good knife. Even if all you use it for is to open your boxes from Amazon you will use it and if you really need it you will be glad it’s on you.
Spyderco Tenacious
I have carried this knife for over 10 years I believe. The 3.39
  • Phone – This may sound silly now because Hey? Who doesn’t have their cell phone with them every single second of the day? Actually, I wish most of us (including me) didn’t have their cell phones. I am tired of watching a bunch of teenagers sit around a table staring at their phones and not talking, but that’s for another time. You need a phone to communicate so make sure you have yours with you. Don’t leave it in the car when you go into the mall. Something else to add to this would be a written list of important numbers. Who else besides me relies too heavily on speed dial and Google?
  • Spare Cash – Another rarity in this day and age, and even I have to force myself to remember to bring some cash with me. If I am going out-of-town, one of the first things I try to do is get out $50 or $100. It probably won’t buy me a plane ticket home, but it could get me out of a jam.
  • Watch – You need to know the time and if you’re really tricky like Bear Grylls, you can tell the direction of North with it. Of course, you could be lazy and just by a watch like the Casio Pathfinder watch that has a compass built-in.

Better EDC items

  • Handkerchief – What? Do you mean like one of those hillbillies? Or an old man with his pocket square that he offers to the first lady he sees crying? Yes, exactly. It can be whatever color you want but a handkerchief is like a knife in that it can be used for a thousand things. You can use it for a dust mask, sling, tourniquet, sweat band or you could just blow your nose with it. They are light and don’t take up any room. In fact, I bet you have one pocket that you never put anything in. The back left pocket, right? Stick a hanky in there and off you go
  • Multi-Tool – You can carry a multi-tool or something like a Swiss Army knife. I recommend the Leatherman Charge. It’s tough and not to beat a dead horse but it has a million uses. Could you leave the folder at home and only bring the multi-tool? Sure, but I like options.
LEATHERMAN, Wave Plus Multitool
Packs a quiver of 18 tools, including pliers, replaceable wire cutters, wire stripper, knives, saw, spring-action scissors, ruler, can & bottle openers, files and screwdrivers
  • Flashlight – Flashlights probably start getting into geeky territory here, but believe me; you will find that they are useful. From coming home late when the carport light is out to power outages or dark parking lots or broken down vehicles a good flashlight comes in handy. I used to carry the Fenix LD10 but have since moved to the Streamlight 88063 ProTac. There are tons of other models. It is simply amazing how much light this little thing puts out.
  • Paracord – Some guys (and ladies) wear Paracord bracelets (video on how to make your own below) which are fine but might not be the most practical in every situation. If I am going camping or hiking or hunting then definitely I wear my Paracord bracelet. This has about 8-10 feet of Paracord woven into a nice carrying profile on your wrist. This can save you when you need to tie up a tarp or replace a shoelace or in an extreme case, lash your knife to a spear and fight off the zombie horde. If you aren’t ready to rock the Paracord bracelet in the office you can easily buy or make a key fob, or just stick 10 feet or so in your briefcase or purse and keep on trucking.

Best EDC items

  • Firearm – Yes I recommend that every adult legally and responsibly carry a firearm. I will save the argument and the types and situations for another post.
  • Spare magazine – See above.
  • Flash Drive with information – If you are really worried about TEOTWAWKI (The end of the world as we know it) then a flash drive with electronic copies of your favorite document makes sense. I personally don’t. Spare phone batteries fall into this category also if your phone accepts them. Mine doesn’t so I try to be mindful to keep as full a charge as possible.
  • Something to make Fire – You can learn how to rub two sticks together or get really proficient with a flint and striker but a good old cheap bic works great just about every time.

Women – What about women? I think every woman should carry all of the same items. You have an advantage in that you normally carry a purse and frequently take this with you wherever you go. You may adjust things like the knife if that folder is too big. How about a nice key chain Leatherman like the Squirt? Even that is better than nothing. Everything else should be fine.

The Squirt PS4 is equipped with 9 tools, including a knife, pliers, screwdrivers, wire cutters, scissors, a bottle opener, and a file.

I think you will agree that this is a good start. Is it the most comprehensive list ever assembled and will it cover every conceivable option? No, but again, we are taking baby steps here. If you have nothing more than these items above you will have a vastly better chance of making it through anything that life throws at you than your friends who don’t have anything. I look forward to your comments on what you carry.

0 0 votes
Article Rating

About Author

Freedom-loving American doing what I can to help prepare and inform others. Editor and creator of The Prepper Journal 2013-2017, 2020 -

Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Add to these a pair of latex gloves. You never know when you may have to handle someone bloody or have contact with potentially bio-hazardous material. They can also double as an emergency water canteen and a cut-off finger could protect your rifle muzzle from rain or mud. You might be able to fashion a sling shot using on as an elastic.


Thanks for the suggestion Bob! I know I have plenty of latex gloves in my supplies inside the house, my medical kits and my Get Home Bag, but don’t carry them every day. I guess since my Get Home Bag is in my car, I can count that as my extended EDC 🙂



I really like the simple holster you have pictured. Who makes it? Also, where do you carry your spare mag?



The one I am using now is from Raven Concealment and they also have magazine pouches too.


Steve Steiner

If a flashlight is a bit geeky to carry for some, those little keychain LED lights are great and slip right on with your keys. It’s no 100lumen tactical light, but better than trying to see using a cell phone screen! Also, better to make sure the handkerchief is full size, like a bandana, and not a small one. Just as easy to carry and much more versatile!

Nice article! And yes, I found this by googling for “EDC ideas”…wow at some of the results.


I warned you!!! That really surprised me too, guess that makes me old.

Thanks for the comments. I had one of those key chain lights you are talking about. I think it was a streamlight and it seemed like a great idea to me too. The only problem was that it kept turning on in my pocket so I would take it out and it would be shining. It isn’t the easiest to handle while you are trying to get keys out either, but it is better than nothing.


Yeah, that is much better than what I had. Probably a lot brighter too.


on top of everything mentioned here, I also carry energy bars. they get consumed within the week so they are continually replaced 🙂


Great ideas, thanks! It helps to be a snacker and you usually have food with you all of the time. 🙂


I would definitely add a lighter to your edc, simple mini bic wont take up much space. And a folded bandanna or handkerchief can fit in your empty back pocket, it has a million uses, dust mask, emergency bandage, and a filter to name a few.


So, that pocket on the left side is really there for a reason? Wow, who would have thought. Personally, I don’t mind all the teenagers staring at their phones, doesn’t bother me that they are quiet. Besides that, most of what most of them have to say isn’t worth listing to anyway, even if you can understand what they are saying, which is usually ” I need a new… I want a new… I need more money… etc, etc, etc.


additional items for my EDC: P-38 can opener, (an extra) keychain flashlight, dust mask, more cash, bandages, zip lock bag of pills – (for me pain, antacid, no-doze), duct tape around bic lighter, glasses, my Leatherman wave pouch also carries a mini sharpie, a mini pen, and a AAA flashlight. I have to use a fanny pack to carry everything but that also includes a Glock 27.

Pat Henry

Thank you very much David! I’m glad you found us even though the circumstances sound mysterious… 🙂 I had the same issue with my boots when I was hunting. The laces broke and I figured that good old paracord would do the trick until I could get back home and buy more laces. The paracord was so superior as you said and I don’t know why I didn’t do that from the start. I replaced the other boot with the same thing and they have lasted so much longer than regular laces. Even though I don’t wear my boots everyday… Read more »

David Benjamin Donoho

So I am not sure exactly how I started getting emails in my inbox but I have been reading them for months now and I generally love what you have to say. When the EDC article came out a few months ago I was pleased that i already carried most of the things you mentioned just because it made so much sense. And then I added to my EDC some of your suggestions – because they too just make SO MUCH SENSE. For what it is worth, one of my boot laces broke a while back and I didn’t… Read more »

Andrew J. Jackson

Glad to see the hankie make it onto the list! Another use for the hankie is in communication as in “if you see me use the red hankie to wipe my forehead the meet’s going bad”


I’m 15 and live in Australia so I can’t carry a firearm but this is what I do have
Belt: Mini first aid kit (paracetamol, latex gloves,antiseptic, bandages etc lSwiss Army Knife and Multitool
Wrists: Paracord Bracelet, watch, Keychain (safety pins, whistle,mini-torch,usb)
Backpocket: Bandana
Front left: Torch, box of matches, Survival Tin (Compass, little knife, flint,matches,tinder, saw,light,whistle etc)
Front Right: Wallet, Handkerchief,Phone (With News, first-aid and survival apps)

I also have a GHB which has some food, water, tub tent, properfirst aid kit and a bunch of other stuff.

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x