Everyday Carry Bag-What You Need

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EDC stands for everyday carry bag, which is different than our 72-hour kits or bug out bags. This is not designed to replace your 72-hour kit or bug out bag, but consider one of these for riding on a bus to work, commuting by train or one you would carry like a purse or small backpack. You see a lot of these on college campuses. These are great for the commuter who rides the bus or train type of transportation to work many miles away.

We have all heard about cars being stranded on the side of the road or at a complete standstill on the highway. We wouldn’t have our 72-hour kits with us 24/7 on most regular days, so this is why I like to talk about these. These are not designed for long-term survival, but it would at least get you through some minor glitches in everyday situations.

Some men and women prefer ones that look similar to a toolkit/belt that a carpenter would wear. It hooks to your belt and thigh.  It can be looped onto a belt buckle and your upper thigh to secure the EDC bag while hiking, as well. This list will get you started and you can add to it as needed. When we leave home we usually grab our phone, wallet, and keys to the car, house and work keys. I have friends that carry their concealed weapons in these as well. You would never know that, but they do it for security.

Items I carry in my Everyday Carry Bag:

  1. Multi-tool knife, you can use these for so many things
  2. Hand sanitizer-keep my hands clean from bacteria
  3. Mirror-if stranded I can flash this to let people find me
  4. Compass-if stranded I can at least know the direction I am heading
  5. Whistle-I prefer the ones that are extremely loud to alert people
  6. Small bills and coin for emergency cash if the power goes down
  7. Water bottle (with a filter)
  8. Lip gloss
  9. Small first aid kit
  10. Duct tape (small rolls now available)
  11. Seatbelt cutter
  12. Flashlight-extra batteries
  13. Pen and small paper tablet
  14. Folding knife for protection or other uses
  15. USB charger for phones and tablets
  16. Aspirin and Benadryl
  17. Pepper spray
  18. Black sharpie
  19. Solar cell phone charger

Here is a printable to get you started: Printable. Now, remember, this list is just to get you started, you may have an emergency car bag in your vehicles with additional items. I wouldn’t be carrying an ax around in my EDC bag, just giving you the heads up here. I do have one in my car though. Please let me know any items you would add to this list. I love your ideas!

Other EDC Items To Consider:

  • Names and phone numbers of who to contact in an emergency
  • Battery/crank powered portable radio/extra batteries
  • Flashlight/preferably one with solar/crank/LED
  • Compass and maps; not everyone has GPS in their car and on phones
  • Can of motor oil
  • Fire Extinguisher (5 pound ABC type)
  • Flares and/or orange cones
  • Jumper cables
  • Rags/paper towels
  • Shovel/Ax
  • Pocketknife
  • Tire gauge
  • Toolbox
  • Window scraper for ice

Necessities for survival:

  • Water/Granola bars/Jerky
  • Blankets
  • Jackets/sweaters
  • Emergency cash: approximately $50.00 in small bills
  • First Aid Kit
  • Baby Wipes
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • Scissors/pens/pencils (not crayons-they melt)
  • Emergency snack food and/or MRE meals (items may need to be replaced more frequently if stored in extreme heat conditions)
  • Whistles
  • Umbrella
  • Hand warmers
  • Extra blankets
  • Diaper rash ointment-zinc (Debbie, an awesome reader mentioned they sell packets at Walgreen’s)
  • Imodium or Pepto Bismol tablets
  • From Deborah: Here’s one easy-to-carry item everyone should pack, cayenne pepper. Sprinkle it on a minor cut (yes, it burns like the dickens) and the bleeding stops – immediately. Another great item for scrapes or scratches: lavender essential oil. Both of these are well worth carrying.
  • From Sharon: Cornstarch will stop bleeding without the burn. Also good for diaper rash
  • From Frank: I did not see a bandanna on your list. It seems silly, but they can be used for many things (As a tie down, a towel, a sling, a bandage, etc) and if you place one over a metal cup of boiling water it will absorb the steam and when you squeeze the water out is distilled. A neat trick when desperate for drinkable water.

Here is the EDC bag above: Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack, Khaki

I quote: “Amazon Specifications:

  • Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Material: Polyester
  • Dimensions: 12.5 by 10.5 by 5.5 inches (W x H x D)”

Here is another one that might work for you: Maxpedition Fatboy Versipack (Black)


I quote: “Amazon Product Dimensions: 3 x 8 x 6.5 inches; 1 pound”

Here is another great one as well: Black Military Advanced Tactical Shoulder/Hip Bag

The bag shown above holds my iPad and a wallet, as well as the items in the EDC printable list. It never hurts to be ready for the unexpected. Just think over the last few years, or months for that matter, how many accidents on trains, cars, buses or other forms of travel where the passengers were stranded for some time before help arrived.

These bags give you that extra level of comfort when you’re away from home knowing that you could take care of yourself for a few hours if need be. I haven’t listed travel on planes since you’d have to check the bag due to TSA restrictions on some of the contents unless it was a private plane, then you’d be fine.

72-hour kits by Linda

26 thoughts on “Everyday Carry Bag-What You Need

  • June 30, 2015 at 11:04 am
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    Love this post, I am a new subscriber and have not been disappointed. An EDC bag is a great idea! Maxpedition makes great products (I have a few and LOVE them!!!) I keep and EDC box in both my vehicles. I love the window scraper on the list. Living in the desert south west I did not consider that item for my EDC box until we made a road trip to northern Nevada and needed one. Check that item off my list! One suggestion I would make is a Sharpie marker, longer lasting than pens in the heat, and it can be used to write on many different surfaces. Keep the posts coming 🙂

    Reply
    • June 30, 2015 at 11:07 am
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      Hi Angela, you make me laugh because all 4 of my daughters carry black sharpies! They take after me! I am adding that to the list right now, thank you, Linda

      Reply
  • July 7, 2015 at 12:42 pm
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    We sell most of these items. One thing I did not see was a fire starter. We recommend you carry several different types. lighters, strikers and matches. Each works in different situations. A small Tarp in case you are trapped out in the weather. Bag items would differ as to your area of the country, season and if you are bugging out or Getting home.

    Reply
    • July 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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      Hi Dena, good idea! I have all of those in my car emergency bag. I really hope the post makes people think about what they should carry with them at all times. Not just chapstick. 🙂 Linda

      Reply
  • July 7, 2015 at 1:30 pm
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    A small handaxe/hatchet could be handy to have.

    Reply
    • July 7, 2015 at 1:39 pm
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      Hi Richard, you are right about the small handaxe/hatchet. I have one in my car but it would be handy in our EDC’s too! Thanks so much, Linda

      Reply
  • September 3, 2017 at 12:56 pm
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    Since I live in a rural area and am seldom without my car, I use my ECB for a different purpose, more like a mini- grab bag. A friend took her mom to the emergency room in the middle of the night where they immediately loaded her mom and her into an ambulance. She didn’t have time to gather things from her car go kit. Several days later when all was said and done, she shared that her take away from the experience – she put together a small ECB for just such times. I decided to make an ECB as a supplement to my car go bag that is always with me in the car. There are some duplications but holds items I don’t want to carry in my regular purse, although my ECB is a nice canvas room purse.

    One item I would suggest for an ECB is pepto-bismol tabs in the first aid kit and diaper rash ointment – zinc cream that is good for all kinds of rashes and skin care. Walgreens carries them in travel packets so one or two will do the trick.

    Reply
    • September 3, 2017 at 2:18 pm
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      HI Debbie, great comment, I am adding those items to my list right now. Thank you so much, Linda

      Reply
  • November 18, 2018 at 8:33 am
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    Thank you, Linda, for your informative posts!
    Here’s one easy-to-carry item everyone should pack: cayenne pepper. Sprinkle it on a minor cut (yes, it burns like the dickens) and the bleeding stops – immediately. Another great item for scrapes or scratches: lavender essential oil. Both of these are well worth carrying.

    Reply
    • November 18, 2018 at 7:29 pm
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      Hi Deborah, great comment! I’m adding to my post, thank you!! Linda

      Reply
    • November 18, 2018 at 9:34 pm
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      Corn starch will stop bleeding without the burn. Also good for diaper rash

      Reply
      • November 19, 2018 at 12:29 pm
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        Hi Sharon, oh my gosh, I used to use cornstarch, thanks for the reminder! I’m adding this right now! Linda

        Reply
    • November 22, 2018 at 9:50 pm
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      Deborah,

      Here’s one easy-to-carry item everyone should pack: cayenne pepper. Sprinkle it on a minor cut (yes, it burns like the dickens) and the bleeding stops – immediately.

      Cayenne works fine; but, Bleed Stop, Wound Seal, and Quikclot come in self contained packets and are inexpensive additions for the FAK. Cayenne mixed with A&D ointment canalso be used topically for sprains and strains.

      Reply
  • November 18, 2018 at 10:31 pm
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    Hi Linda, I wanted to suggest that as a cheaper alternative to the Maxpedition Jumbo or even the smaller “Fatboy” is the UTG Tactical Shoulder bag. It sells for $25.00 on CheaperThanDirt.com and other places. It’s the same design and size as the Jumbo.

    I have two other bags that I got great deals on, but otherwise they’d be a little rich for my budget. All these bags (511 P.U.S.H. Pack, Condor, Rapdom, etc.) can be found on sale or clearance if one looks. Failing that, the UTG is a nice bag for the money and comes in brown, green and black and a camo pattern.

    I did not see a bandanna on your list. It seems silly, but they can be used for many things (As a tie down, a towel, a sling, a bandage, etc) and if you place one over a metal cup of boiling water it will absorb the steam and when you squeeze the water out is is distilled. A neat trick when desperate for drinkable water.

    Reply
    • November 18, 2018 at 10:42 pm
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      I love the idea of a bandanna! Thank you for this, Frank.

      Reply
    • November 19, 2018 at 12:32 pm
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      Hi Frank, great comment, I Love it! I’m adding the bandanna right now!!! Thank you! Linda

      Reply
    • November 23, 2018 at 5:29 pm
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      Frank,
      I carry several bandanas. One has a list of the 10 C’s by Dave Canterbury
      1. Cutting Tool.
      2. Combustion Device. …
      3. Cover.
      4. Container
      5. Cordage
      6. Cotton Bandannas.
      7. Cargo Tape
      8. Compass.
      9. Cloth Sail Needle
      10. Candling device
      Here is a list with more detail: https://blog.ucogear.com/the-10-cs-with-dave-canterbury/
      My other bandana is Bright Fluorescent / Blaze / Hunter Orange and makes a great signaling device.
      On the subject of signaling, if you are using the whistle to attract help, at least in a rural / wilderness situation, you should blow three short blasts and then pause, followed by three short blasts, and pause, and so on. This is how you signal that you need help; but, you should also be aware and listen for those same three blasts, indicating someone else is in need of help. The three is important and if you are lost an signaling for help, that number three comes into play again. Three small campfires arranged in a triangle can be seen from a distance or from an airborne SAR team, and means the same thing as would 3 brightly colored bandanas laid in a triangle.

      Reply
  • November 22, 2018 at 9:51 pm
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    Hi Linda,
    When you state:

    EDC stands for everyday carry bag,

    I personally leave out the bag part. We do have bags in our vehicles that are a permanent part of the vehicle kit, along with a large Rubbermaid tub containing extra oil, windshield wiper fluid, and jumper cables or a lithium battery bank jumper pack, plus wool blankets, space blankets, tarps and#10 can candle car heater. The bags we use are the UTG Ranger Field Bag 36x17x12″; but, these are not the EDC, since EDC means to me, that you carry it every day, on your person at all times.
    My EDC is packed and ready to go at all times, since it’s contained in one of two ”5.11 Tactical Vests” like this one: https://www.511tactical.com/511-tactical-vest.html . I have two, one with a lighter summer material and the other with a heavier canvass for more insulation in cold weather.
    In the various pockets I have glasses & sunglasses, wallet, keys, change, and a whistle on a lanyard, all clipped to one of the pockets equipped for that purpose. I keep several flame starting items from butane lighter to Swedish fire steel to a fully charged plasma lighter. I also use the vest as a cover garment for carrying my firearm and have extra loaded magazines tucked in one of the pockets. I always have one of my cell phones and one of my 2-way radios (HT’s or Handy Talkies in ham radio parlance), again with fully charged batteries.
    Like a woman’s purse, I can carry all of the essentials and can grab them all in one shot on the way out the door; but, unlike a purse or bag, I don’t have to carry or worry about dropping it.
    If people ask me about the loaded vest & radios, I tell them it’s my version of my wife’s purse; but, they often ask if I’m a photographer or going fishing, so at least in our rural community, I don’t really raise any red flags.

    We have all heard about cars being stranded on the side of the road or at a complete standstill on the highway. We wouldn’t have our 72-hour kits with us 24/7 on most regular days, so this is why I like to talk about these. These are not designed for long-term survival, but it would at least get you through some minor glitches in everyday situations.

    In my parlance these are the “car kit”, “vehicle kit”, or “GO kit” and travel with you always in the vehicles, in our case the UTG bags and the Rubbermaid tubs.

    When we leave home we usually grab our phone, wallet, and keys to the car, house and work keys. I have friends that carry their concealed weapons in these as well. You would never know that, but they do it for security.

    You hit the nail on the head and why my vest fits the bill.

    When you lit the “Items I carry in my Everyday Carry Bag:”, it’s a good list.

    Multi-tool knife, you can use these for so many things
    Mine fits in a nylon sheath on my belt and goes on in the morning when I put on my pants and fasten the belt.
    Hand sanitizer-keep my hands clean from bacteria
    Individual packets in the FAK in the Vest; but, since this can really dry out the skin, some lotion for that problem>
    Mirror-if stranded I can flash this to let people find me
    I have a mirror; but, also carry a LED tactical flashlight. These are available everywhere and inexpensive.
    Compass-if stranded I can at least know the direction I am heading
    I carry one of these, and know how to walk a waypoint straight line course with it.
    Whistle-I prefer the ones that are extremely loud to alert people
    Mine is loud; but, also made from bright orange plastic and on a lanyard. Should you drop it, the orange is easier to see, and the plastic, unlike metal, won’t freeze to your lips in cold weather.
    Small bills and coin for emergency cash if the power goes down
    Cash in the wallet and coins in the pocket with the keys and lighters.
    Water bottle (with a filter)
    In the car kit and a filter straw in the vest.
    Lip gloss
    Chapstick, since the wife sees that everyone gets a new one in their Christmas stocking every year.
    Small first aid kit
    We start with the one from Dollar Tree & add to the contents in the nice plastic case.
    Duct tape (small rolls now available)
    Usually in the car kit and not the vest.
    Seatbelt cutter
    I carry a rescue knife that can break glass and cut belts, and we carry a Resqme: The Original Keychain Car Escape Tool on our keychains.
    Flashlight-extra batteries
    Carried in a vest pocket and connected with Velcro so I can’t lose it. We use the 18650 rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries and keep a dozen of them in chargers, ready to swap out when needed.
    Pen and small paper tablet
    This an a pencil, since in bitter cold weather, pens can freeze. Mine is a mechanical pencil so I don’t have to worry about sharpening it.
    Folding knife for protection or other uses
    Clipped into my pants pocket. That knife and my handgun are with me as I type this.
    USB charger for phones and tablets
    These are OK when you have power, even in a vehicle; but, a lithium battery power bank is portable and can do the same. Some versions can charge your phone or tablet AND jump start your vehicle.
    Aspirin and Benadryl
    Yep and some antacid & ANSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen.
    Pepper spray
    I prefer Saber Red Pepper Gel since it’s sticky and hard to clean off, giving you more time to respond.
    Black sharpie
    CERT training at work here? LOL
    Solar cell phone charger
    I have some of these with the built in lithium battery bank that seem to work well. You can lay it out during the day and still charge the phone after dark with the stored energy.

    Other EDC Items To Consider:

    This is a pretty good list that everyone should already have; but, I’ll only add one comment:
    Tire gauge
    12 VDC air compressor or other tire inflator.

    Here are some details on my Tactical Vest:
    • 17 total pockets, including:
    • Dual covert CCW pockets at the chest
    • Low left AR magazine pockets
    • Twin hydration pockets at the rear
    • 360 degree wraparound pocket
    • Tablet pocket
    • Shoulder design maximizes weight distribution
    • Reinforced half-collar
    • Integrated D-ring secures your keys
    • Quad-stitched reinforcements
    • Extensive bartacking at major stress points
    • YKK® zipper hardware
    • Prym® snaps
    The 5.11 Tactical Vest is this one: https://www.511tactical.com/511-tactical-vest.html

    Reply
      • November 23, 2018 at 10:31 pm
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        Linda,
        That list was just the list of features for my EDC vest. I’ve been doing this a long time, and sometimes you just see an item, like the vest, that you just know you need for a particular function you are trying to fill. The rolling toolbox where I keep my main FAK was similar. I saw it and its features, and just had to have it. I suspect that with your preparedness mindset, you’ll often do the same thing, even for small, seemingly insignificant items.

        Reply
        • November 24, 2018 at 11:27 am
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          Hi Ohio Prepper, it’s so funny because whenever I see something, I almost immediately think how can I use that for an emergency!!! So true!! Linda

          Reply
          • November 24, 2018 at 2:03 pm
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            Linda,

            it’s so funny because whenever I see something, I almost immediately think how can I use that for an emergency!!! So true!! Linda

            That’s good to hear. My parents grew up during the depression and by today’s standards would have been called preppers. Back then (50’s & 60’s) it was just frugal living and we didn’t waste anything. Even wax paper and aluminum foil were washed and reused.
            As a certified instructor in numerous disciplines, the primary thing we teach is that an instructor has to produce a change in Knowledge, Skills, and Attitude in a student, with Attitude often being the most important. For preparedness that attitude is the ”Self reliance mindset “ where we look at the world just a little different than our non self reliant counterparts. As you probably understand, that means that sometimes everyday items can fulfill a need in our minds eye, and when you have that mindset, the lifestyle works very fluidly with little extra mental effort.

          • November 24, 2018 at 4:11 pm
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            Great comment, let’s hope the world listens. They better, we can not take care of everyone. And the government will not be coddling anyone! We must have a Self-reliance mindset.Linda

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