An everyday carry (EDC) is an essential survival kit that all preppers will need for emergency situations. Sometimes conflated with a “get home” bag,” an EDC bag contains the items that are necessary to handle minor inconveniences, including problems you might encounter during the first several hours after SHTF.
It’s different from a bug-out bag (BOB), which is usually stored at a fixed location like your home or bug-out vehicle. An EDC bag is something you can keep nearby at all times. It’s usually meant to get you safely to your home or wherever your BOB is.
One important principle behind the best EDC bags is the “gray man” concept. A gray man is a person who does not draw attention to himself, who can move through a populous area without anyone taking special notice of him. When applied to an everyday carry, the gray man concept requires that an EDC bag is packed with the essentials without looking like a survival kit.
Ordinary bag — True to the gray man principle, your bag should look like any other briefcase, laptop bag or backpack that you might see someone carrying on the streets. Your ability to blend in rests mainly on the look of your EDC bag.
Extra cash — Even if you pay through credit cards, you’ll need to keep extra cash in case of an emergency.
Pocket knife — This item has a lot of survival uses. You can use it to collect tinder, fashion a tent, carve tools and defend yourself from attackers, among many other things.
Tourniquet and band-aids — Not all first-aid items will fit in an EDC bag because it’s more compact than a BOB. Pack only the most important items, namely a tourniquet and band-aids. These are the handiest should you sustain some wounds.
Nutrition bars — Pack energy bars to stave off hunger and keep yourself energized.
Pen — This seemingly harmless item can turn dangerous very fast once you learn to harness the ballpoint pen’s many survival uses. You can use a pen as a weapon, straw, measuring tool and fastener, among other things.
Solar battery charger — A charger that uses solar energy will be handy should your phone run out of charge.
Lighter — The easiest way to make a fire is to use a lighter.
Water bottle — Keep a jug or any kind of water container to avoid getting thirsty. You can always refill your water bottle with clean water.
Headlamp — A headlamp is better than a flashlight because it’s hands-free. You can do things like starting a fire in the dark without hassle.
Multi-tool — A multi-purpose tool has many survival applications, such as making fish hooks out of wire and cutting a length of rope.
Take note that you don’t have to cram all of these items inside your EDC bag. Things like a pen and pocket knife can be kept in your pocket or holster. Also, allot space for items that are specific to your needs. If you have a medical condition, you’re likely taking medications. Don’t forget to add these to your kit. (Related: Survival medicine: How to stop bleeding injuries.)
An EDC bag equips you with the ability to properly respond to emergency situations, especially those that you might face the minute SHTF happens. Prep an EDC bag now and make sure it satisfies the gray man rule.