Everyday Essentials. Top Prepper EDC Recommendations
There are a few items that all people should have on them at all times. For most people it's basic things like keys, a purse or a wallet. Preppers like myself take this a step further. In fact most of us have a list of everyday essentials we carry with us everyday and have coined the phrase EDC or Everyday Carry.
While not everyone’s list looks the same, almost all the survivalists we polled agreed on 12 items being essential to carry everywhere everyday to be prepared for any emergency !
Cell Phone in Waterproof Case With Full Charge
Most of us carry a cell phone around with us at all times and many of us couldn’t imagine life without it. Although being able to post pictures and send a tweet from nearly anywhere is really a luxury, being able to make a phone call in an emergency can be a matter of life or death. A reliable phone with good service in a sturdy, waterproof case can make a huge difference.
RFID Blocking Wallet w/ Critical Info Cards
A wallet is critical for a number of reasons. For starters, a wallet carries important identification items, like your driver’s license. This can be incredibly important if you were to get into an accident and first responders needed to identify you to get in contact with your family.
But, what else should be in your wallet? A copy of your health insurance card and a small card listing any pertinent health information are also good ideas. Cash and a credit card or debit card are also important for food and drinks on the go, or for paying that taxi or bus fare when you just need to get home at the end of the day.
A slim wallet with RFID protection that fits discreetly into pants pockets is the perfect choice for your EDC kit.
Multi-Function Tool w/ Pliers
A good multi-tool can solve problems you can’t even anticipate. From tightening a loose screw to opening a can, a solid multi-tool is critical for day to day use. The best multi-tools have an assortment of useful tools without being too bulky or heavy - this is key!
We like the 12-part Suspension multi-tool from Gerber because it is strong, lightweight, and durable. This multi-tool comes with a selection of blades for fine-tune cutting and heavy-duty saw jobs. The best part of this tool? Definitely the pliers, which are spring loaded and slimmed down to work in the tightest of spots. It even comes with its own nylon sheath for easy carry and can be combined with a number of separate toolkits for added functionality.
Tactical EDC or StrikePen
What is a tactical pen, you ask? Models vary, but it's essentially a heavy-duty metal pen built for self-defense and survival. Many tactical pens come with built-in glass breakers and flashlights, too.
Make sure whatever tactical pen you choose is small enough to fit neatly in your pocket and sleek enough to keep from catching on your clothing or worse tearing your pockets. If American Gunner doesn't work for you; and you’re inclined to spend a little more, Smith & Wesson also makes a great one. It's made with solid aircraft aluminum, so it won't rust or fail when you need it most. This pen is simple with a hard point and screw top, but works great as an EDC and possible self defense tool. Oh, and it writes well, too.
Reliable Pocket Knife w/ Folding Blade
There's no questioning the functionality of a knife. The original EDC carry item, a knife can be used for everything from opening packages to self-defense. A solid folding knife that you can open with one hand is a great go-to for everyday use.
But with so many options out there, how can you be sure that you’re getting the best EDC pocket knife? Our top choice is from Grand Way. Built to last with a 440C stainless steel blade, this knife from Grand Way is great for everyday use. The folding knife has an easy, one-handed spring-assisted deployment and locks securely in place. At the low price point, it's an easy decision to make for beginners.
Paracord Braided into a Bracelet
Paracord has an endless list of uses. Whether you need to replace a shoelace or makeshift a splint for a broken bone, light, and strong paracord will come in handy. However, carrying hundreds of feet of paracord isn't terribly practical. Luckily, there are a number of great paracord bracelets that let you carry around a sizable amount of cord in a sleek and stylish manner.
Be sure to check out our Top Paracord Bracelets for Preppers here for additional options.
Tactical Backpack w/ Hidden Pockets
If you plan to carry some EDC items in a backpack, you’ll want to make sure you get a good pack to put everything in. This great tactical pack is compact, yet comfortable and spacious enough to carry what you need. The pack's quick stash pocket and exterior webbing help keep everything organized, too, so you can access what you need when you need it.
Be sure to check out other tactical backpack options where we review the top 7.
A Bright Lightweight Flashlight
No one wants to be left in the dark and a solid, reliable flashlight can ensure just that. This small, palm-sized tactical flashlight from Fenix (the FX-PD35 Tactical) packs 1000 Lumens of light into a durable frame and is one of the best EDC flashlights on the market.
A digitally regulated output maintains constant brightness in this flashlight and you can switch it between a number of settings. With this super portable flashlight, you’ll never be without light when you need it most. Field tested, the Fenix PD-35 is no joke! Check out our review of the Fenix PD-35.
A Thermal Emergency Blanket
Thermal Blankets are a great way to keep someone warm after an injury or if you get stranded outside. They’re lightweight, compact, and made of advanced aluminum mylar, which is designed to reflect heat in an emergency survival situation. Thermal blankets can help prevent hypothermia and shock by reflecting and retaining most of a user’s body heat.
Waterproof Matches That Ignite in A Storm
A good set of waterproof matches is one of the most important things on your EDC bag list. The ability to create a fire can mean the difference between a very cold night stuck outside and a decent night's sleep. With this set of stormproof matches, you can be sure that you’ll always be able to get a match lit.
They’re kept in a handy waterproof, durable case that floats and keeps contents dry in any conditions. A perfect accompaniment to your EDC bag.
A Bottle of Water Purification Tablets
Dirty water, and the bacteria and viruses it contains, is one of the top killers of people around the world. Although we're lucky in the United States to have relatively clean water supplies in cities and towns, if you're out on a hike or traveling in some countries, you'll want to treat your water before you drink it.
There are many ways to treat your water, but one of the quickest and most convenient is to use a germicidal tablet, like these from Potable Aqua. A Potable Aqua water treatment container holds 50 purification tablets and makes questionable water ready to drink in just 30 minutes.
These tablets are great for hiking and camping trips, natural disasters, traveling, and whenever you might not have access to clean water.
Small Lightweight First Aid Kit
First aid kits are invaluable in an emergency situation. Whether someone is suffering from major trauma and you need lots of bandages or someone just needs a couple of Advil, a well-stocked first aid kit can come in handy in so many different situations.
Create Your Own EDC Checklist
Before you go out and buy any new EDC items you might need, you should take the time to figure out exactly what will be useful in your life and what might be a waste of resources. A good way to think about how you might organize a list of EDC gear is to consider these two groups:
- Items You Carry on Your Person
- These are the items you have on your person (i.e. in your pockets) at all times. Items in this list are absolute essentials that you need readily accessible, regardless of the circumstances. For most of these items, being small, compact, and easily portable is key. If it’s too bulky or too heavy, you won’t want to carry it, so keep this in mind.
- Items You Carry in an EDC Backpack
- Unfortunately, we can’t hold all of our everyday carry items in our pockets or on our person. Thankfully we can always carry a handful of important items around in a backpack so we never have to do without them. Your EDC backpack list should contain a number of key items.
If you think about your EDC kit in these two categories, it can be a bit easier to understand what you might want to have with you at all times.
Another thing to keep in mind when deciding what gear you need is to consider where you spend most of your time. Do you go on a lot of wilderness hikes? Do you work in a busy urban environment where crime is an issue? Or, do you live in a rural community where help may be a long way away? Where you live, work, and recreate will have a big effect on what you choose to carry with you.
Local laws and regulations might also determine what you can and can’t carry with you. Some states and countries don’t allow certain types of firearms or have strict regulations on knife blades, sizes, and action mechanisms. There’s no point in buying a piece of EDC kit if it’s illegal and you’re not allowed to have it.
At the end of the day, what you choose to put in your EDC kit will be determined by your various life circumstances and needs. However, the items listed above are absolute minimums for every day carry and should not be overlooked. They are multi-purpose and invaluable items that can come in handy in nearly any situation you encounter.