Do It Yourself
EDC: Top 16 Items to Have in Your Kit
Life comes at you fast, and sometimes you won’t have the option of getting all of your gear together. When this happens you just have to drop everything and go. This can cause much unneeded stress but don’t lose all hope. Your personal EDC kit will help you prepare for a situation such as this.
There are a few items that can be carried with you at all times that can seriously improve your survival chances should you be caught off guard. These items make up what I like to call my EDC kit (every day carry). These are items that I carry on me every day that fit into my normal lifestyle and that a normal person would never guess is something useful to my survival.
Essential Items for your EDC Kit
Below are some of the items that I keep in my car as an EDC kit:
- A folding pocket knife
- A good pair of boots
- Paracord bracelet (roughly 10 feet of cord)
- Aqua Mira: Frontier emergency water filter
- 8 LED flashlight with batteries and adapter ( takes either 1 C Battery or 3 AAA’s)
- Bright yellow emergency poncho
- Mylar survival blanket
- Stainless steel water bottle (also used as a container for the kit).
- Not pictured is one 400 calorie ration bar from Millennium simply because it was time to rotate it out (and I was hungry). Millennium makes a great compact energy bar that fits just about anywhere.
- I also created an EDC tin from an Altoids container that I keep in my desk. Aside from the odd look I get when I refuse to give a coworker a mint, this fits effortlessly in my pocket or my desk or just about anywhere and no one will ever be the wiser. Inside the Altoids tin I keep an array of items. The most common items are:
- Small screw top pill holder filled with Vaseline: Vaseline has a variety of uses. It can be used to prevent and cure chapped lips and hands, can be put on cuts and scrapes to help prevent infection and is extremely effective as a fire starter.
- Cotton balls
- Weatherproof matches
- A small wire saw
- A small assortment of fishing supplies
- A few hard candies and or bouillon cube if there is room, a small amount of sugar can give you a great energy and moral boost after a crisis.
I have several EDC kits that I have stashed in my car, at my desk, and even in my pocket at all times. Each one is a little different than the last.
Whatever you decide to put in your EDC kit, make sure that even if you’re caught unaware… you’re never unprepared.
11 Must Haves For Your EDC Kit
5 Reasons You Should Have a Flashlight in Your EDC
Urban EDC: Tools for the Best Urban Every Day Carry
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October 22, 2012 at 4:15 PM
The AquaMira water bottle (at least the microfiltration version) gets terrible reviews on Amazon … any other suggestions (besides $150 Katadyn?)
October 24, 2012 at 2:47 AM
Dear Joseph , For your best value for purifing water from the gutter or other wild source, I don’t think you could beat the Seychelle bottle. Filters down to .05 microns which means it takes out Ecoli, Giardia and other like minded pathogens. I found them on line at http://www.beready.com It looks like they have changed the design since I got mine, AND I bet they have gone up in price too, BUT you should be able to get for around $50
September 11, 2014 at 3:57 PM
The Sawyer Squeeze is a great product and starts at $20. The best thing about the filter is that it comes with a container for the contaminated water so you don’t have to put it directly in your bottle to boil. Simply attach the filter to the bag and squeeze it into whatever container you have to drink from.
September 11, 2014 at 4:37 PM
There seem to be a couple of reviewers on amazon who didn’t understand that you are supposed to squeeze the bottle to get the necessary pressure to force the water through the filter. Otherwise, the reviews didn’t look bad to me. I don’t have it, so I can’t comment on the item itself.
September 13, 2014 at 9:43 AM
How about a 20.00 lifestraw?
September 13, 2014 at 11:43 AM
1+ wide mouth stainless steel canteens from the canteen store. I bought a few kits + their cheapo canteen covers. I use the kit bags for EDCs and hang the covered canteens from them. I know that Katadyns are pricey, BUT, they are the gold standard for filters. The LifeStraw is far less expensive, BUT, only produces @ 1,000 liters vs. the 13,000 Katadyn. H2O is one’s # 1 survival need. I use Katadyn _+ Micropur tablets + boiling. I carry a few different fire starters — BlastMatch + magnesium with sparking edge + Primus + Zippo SOS lighter + survival matches in O Ring Pocket Container. Stove is Canteen Store wide mouth canteen accessory. I also carry Canteen Store canteen hanger. Also, sturdy hybrid knife with serrated back. More goodies, BUT, not enough space to write.
September 23, 2014 at 6:36 PM
I second the Sawyer Squeeze. Got one for each of my brother in-laws last Christmas
Sawyer Squeeze is $18.97 on Amazon
September 25, 2014 at 2:14 AM
I personally like the Sawyer squeeze water filtration system, guaranteed to filter 1 million gallons of water, weighs in at 3 ounces, filters through a 0.1 micron absolute filter removing 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa, claiming to have the highest filtration rate available. And here in Pa. it cost me at Walmart $29.95 and I think it works great. I’ve been using mine since may 2013 and I take it fishing to drink water from the lake. They also have a smaller one that will connect to a camelback resevoir and filters 100,000 gallons for $19.99. Also available in a drink bottle style for $29.95. Just dip it your water source , put the top on and drink. Hope this was helpful for you and anyone else that reads this!
October 22, 2012 at 8:06 PM
No fire starters for the bigger kit?
Including some matches and a couple of “pink lady” type candles wouldn’t take up much room could be a life saver in snow country.
I didn’t see the paracord bracelet pictured. I assume that this is because you wear it on a normal, day-to-day basis. If so, I have been advised not to use the cord in the bracelet for lifting. That is due to the normal wear to the cord and due to it being kinked and thereby weakened.
It might be nit-picking, but I’d think that including some bandaids and antibiotic ointment rather than fishing gear would be more practical for the little office tin.
I loved your article. It gets me thinking on other size kits than the big Bug-out type kits.
September 15, 2014 at 7:45 AM
The bracelet is attached to the water bottle.
October 24, 2012 at 1:19 AM
I wear a 1W LED 2AA (AAs are more readily available that AAAs or Cs) flashlight in a holster along with a great tool made briefly by Vise-Grip called the Toolbox in a knife scabbard. My Swiss Army Knife lives in my pocket. A lighter and chapstick live in my other front pocket. My backpack which goes everywhere with me has a good book, a small but powerful and clear set of binoculars, plastic utensils, insulated gloves, a CPR kit, painkillers and meds, a pillow, a set of thermal underwear, pens and a pencil, a small mirror, a bottle of water and of course my wallet. There are a few other everyday items not for survival. I always take a jacket, even if I don’t expect to be out after dark.
This has evolved over a period of years due to living in the mountains and being a firefighter. I am not overtly a survivalist, this is just practical.
January 28, 2013 at 9:12 PM
purifiation of water, try [ first water ]. i have not tried it but it had good reviews, also cleans down to .05 microns. there are some good one’s out there but as mentioned, some are pricey.
September 14, 2014 at 10:11 AM
Depending on your occupation, you may wear body armor daily, while working.
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September 11, 2014 at 10:17 AM
I can’t believe you would suggest using Vaseline on your skin and mouth. It’s basically gasoline. Why would anyone want to rub gasoline on their skin and mouth? Coconut oil would be a much safer choice as it can be used for both fuel and skin care.
September 24, 2014 at 12:14 PM
You can also eat coconut oil, and cook with it, too. Yes, I agree with you, coconut oil is a better choice, unless you need to waterproof something.
September 11, 2014 at 10:23 AM
I would just like to thank Above Average Joe and the survival sites. I have learned so much it’s unbelievable, and still wanting more.
September 11, 2014 at 10:28 AM
The MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter works great. Cost is around 82.00 US but will screw onto most water bottles. It filters 1 liter per minute, one filter cleans 500 liters of water. This is the filter that special forces has used. I have one and it works great and easy to clean.
September 11, 2014 at 10:52 AM
This is an amazing idea to have in any emergency! Being prior military as well as a Desert Storm Veteran, you never know when an emergency can take place. I love these emails you send out and tips for survival.
Keep up the great work, it is greatly appreciated…
September 11, 2014 at 11:45 AM
Why not keep an extra tin actually containing mints in your desk for the occasional coworker who wants one.
September 12, 2014 at 2:36 AM
Let people buy their own mints…. dang moochers.
September 11, 2014 at 11:47 AM
Do you offer the kit on your website ?
'Above Average' Joe
September 13, 2014 at 9:36 AM
Hey George, Unfortunately I don’t This was my personal EDC kit that I made. However based on all the comments I’m going to see if I can put one together for y’all. Just got to make sure that it is a great deal for you.
September 11, 2014 at 2:07 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how many guys (never women) have to include and emergency fishing kit with their EDC. It is a total waste of space. In the event of an emergency, who the devil has time to go off fishing? Much less have the time and supplies to clean it and cook it? Sure can’t be much of an emergency! You really need to re-assess your priorities…especially if you are in the city…the odds of you snagging a Northern Pike with a 1/4″ hook is about nil. Replacing the fishing kit with water purification tablets is a far wiser choice.
September 13, 2014 at 9:46 AM
I am in Arizona and we might occasionally catch a “rock cod” lol 😉
September 25, 2014 at 2:25 AM
Not only can you use the fishing kit to catch fish, you can also catch birds or even set up a booby trap with it. Also the string is good for repairs to ripped clothing or other gear repair. If you really think outside the box many other things can be thought of as well.
September 11, 2014 at 2:46 PM
amusing : life straw pop up ad at the top of this page
September 11, 2014 at 2:50 PM
now the endless match ad …
September 11, 2014 at 3:45 PM
Just ordered yesterday (9/10/14) six 18/80 (food grade stainless steel) 6 oz. flasks & caps from: shiningmountainherbs.com. They are on sale right now @ about 7.99 ea; and 50% off. I ordered the flasks because they fit a pants/vest pockets better than a water bottle that would cause me unnecessary chaffing in all-day carry. I liked the quality (including the 18/80 stainless screwcap, price, and that it fits pant/vest pockets better than a bottle. I already got canteens, metal and plastic; and stainless water bottle kit/bag from the Pathfinders store. I like that too. But for EDC, I’ll take a flask or two (pant and vest). Cod liver oil (Omega 3 + DHA+EPA)…good fat for heart, diabetes II, cell metabolism, reduce BP+cholesterol: 6 tsp (@ 1/day)=1 oz. Flask holds 36 tsp. A flask can hold health/med supplements too.
September 11, 2014 at 6:23 PM
You define EDC a little differently than I do. You include what I call “available nearby” which should be reachable in almost any situation, but isn’t carried on your person.
My EDC, which is what I actually have on me, includes a wallet which has one of your metal credit-card survival tools and one of your folding knives and “enough” cash ($25-$60) for most common needs. I have a keychain, on which is a Leatherman Squirt and another clipper-type multi-tool that has a little flashlight in it. I also carry a 3000MaH RAVPower USB charger that is also a flashlight, and a 4-color pen. I have a cellphone, and a few coins. I do not currently carry a gun, for multiple reasons (some of which could change); I’m very pro-2nd, but don’t own a suitable firearm and am deaf in one ear, so I won’t know from which direction a threat is approaching. I do need to add some paracord, and possibly a lighter (although I have those nearby).
September 11, 2014 at 8:45 PM
Good way to survive, good assortment of things.
September 12, 2014 at 12:04 AM
I was going to suggest a lifestraw, but read the other comments first. I still think the lifestraw is the best way to go. Cyalume light sticks are pretty good area lighting if you have room for them, and a couple of condoms are always useful as water carriers, and can be used as a lense to start fires if you have a bright sunny day and no luck starting a fire with other ways.
September 12, 2014 at 4:24 AM
alcohol prep pads work welll as a easy to carry firestarter also!
Joe T Silva Jr
September 12, 2014 at 2:34 PM
great tips. flashlights plenty I have. other items are so simple to find. thank you for the awareness that we all can make.
September 13, 2014 at 7:42 AM
Are any of these kits for sale?
September 13, 2014 at 9:35 AM
You failed to explain what an EDC is. This makes it hard to sacrifice my time to read your material because it seems your only talking to seasoned survivalists. If so then keep abbreviating everything. Denise
September 14, 2014 at 7:51 AM
The topic is Every Day Carry. Unless you are taken by aliens and dropped into an abandoned area you will not need, fishing gear, a fire starter, a Mylar blanket, and a rain poncho. If you are one of the few that calls the deep woods your office then maybe. My EDC is what I may need in my everyday environment. Security is a Tradewinds knife $20 and an Executive Pen. I carry a Swiss Army knife with pliers that is wicked sharp. I carry a small micro flashlight that uses a AAA battery. I have a small multi-tip screwdriver and a Pico pry bar 5 inch length. My Para cord is in three pieces, 2-6 foot and 1-20 foot. The Para cord is looped and kept loosely in two pockets. All of the Para cord have clips on each end, knotted and glued. I carry two magnets, one is an extendable pick up tool and the other is kept in a non-magnetic Peanut Lighter shell. I can not tell you how many times I have had to clip the Para cord to the magnet to retrieve something. The Para cord bracelet is cute, but how many people pull it apart to use it? I use mine all of the time. My credit cards, id’s, and money is kept in a vest pocket inside two RFID cases. All of this is kept in my Scott E-Vest that I wear everyday. Look, if you are not using it ever, then it is not worth carrying around. The only item that would be worth carrying and never having to use would be a CCW. That being said, where I live and work that would not be allowed.
September 14, 2014 at 10:12 AM
The kit you keep in your car seems awfully weak.
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September 15, 2014 at 9:39 AM
Survival Life, I have been asking this question for months now to every prep site I can find, with not one reply. So I will try again.
Is there any way a person can evade thermal detection ?
September 16, 2014 at 6:29 AM
Yes Nora, You can evade thermal detection by being the same temperature as your surroundings. If your clothing keeps you warm or cold it can pretty much erase your thermal footprint, but it has to be full body like a ghilly and thermally opaque.
September 24, 2014 at 12:32 PM
Would a rescue blanket with reflective mylar side facing outward protect you from thermal detection? I wonder.
September 25, 2014 at 2:33 AM
Using a “space blanket” to avoid being picked up by thermal from the sky can be effective if the blanket is kept away from your body as it reflects your body heat back on itsself.
September 16, 2014 at 6:27 PM
As a former nanny/girl scout/boy scout (explorer)/camp counselor, I got in the habit of carrying a lot of odds and ends on a daily basis. They’re all things I use regularly (weekly if not daily) and would probably confuse the heck out of most of my coworkers if they knew. I consider this my “every day carry” and it fits in a messenger-style bag. In my vehicle i keep some additional goodies and a “get-home” bag- basically anything i’d need to get home in an emergency if I had to leave my car behind, but is too bulky or isn’t used often enough for every-day carry (I live in a state prone to storms so downed trees happens). I definitely encourage friends and family to think about this sort of thing- it never hurts to have a few extras on hand, whether for impromptu hikes or a road flooding due to a downpour.
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