EDC stands for an 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:
- Multi-tool knife, you can use these for so many things
- Hand sanitizer-keep my hands clean from bacteria
- Mirror-if stranded I can flash this to let people find me
- Compass-if stranded I can at least know the direction I am heading
- Whistle-I prefer the ones that are extremely loud to alert people
- Small bills and coin for emergency cash if the power goes down
- Water bottle (with a filter)
- Lip gloss
- Small first aid kit
- Duct tape (small rolls now available)
- Seatbelt cutter
- Flashlight-extra batteries
- Pen and small paper tablet
- Folding knife for protection or other uses
- USB charger for phones and tablets
- Aspirin and Benadryl
- Pepper spray
- Black sharpie
- 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
- Tire gauge
- Window scraper for ice
Necessities for survival:
- Water/Granola bars/Jerky
- 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)
- 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.