Building your own EDC (or EveryDay Carry kit) can be a little bit confusing.
In the past, I would set out to build my perfect EDC, and by the time I was done… it was a full-fledged bug-out bag; worthy of weathering a zombie-apocolypse.
It’s just too easy to get carried away when putting your “perfect” EDC together.
So, to keep it simple, and to avoid wasted time, I built my EDC on paper.
Invariably, I added too many items. But on a piece of paper, it makes it easier to visualize the end product and narrow it down to the items you absolutely need without having to assemble and reassemble your EDC.
Below is a list of categories and items you should have in your EDC, at bare minimum.
- Fire – You always need the ability to start a fire, and since you can grab a reliable lighter for less than two bucks at any gas station and convenience store, you should never be caught without one in your EDC. Most importantly, fire can help you stay warm, and something as simple as car trouble in the cold can leave you exposed to the elements.
- Shelter – Normally we think of shelter as a home or a tent, but it’s really bigger than that. The smallest and most effective option I’ve found is a mylar blanket. They’re cheap, readily available and can keep you from getting hypothermia when you’re exposed to the elements. Mylar reflects 90% of your body heat right back to you and can even save your life if you fall into a frozen creek. This is a must for any EDC kit.
- Self defense – My favorite compact tool for self-defense is a tactical pen. Nearly unheard of just a few years ago, you can now get a tactical pen from any number of online suppliers. Once again, they’re a cheap addition to your EDC, and they’re not just for self-defense. Break through ice, smash a window in a pinch, and of course, you can even write a note to leave rescuers a message as to your whereabouts. Don’t put together and EDC without one of these.
- Cutting tool – While knives can be thrown into the “self-defense” category, they’re most useful for general utility, hacking up sticks for a fire, cutting cordage and even digging a hole if you need to. My advice would be to get a fixed-blade, full-tang knife. Folding knives have a hinge that will let you down when you need it most. You should be able to find a decent, full-tang knife for your EDC for less than $20, and if you’re in a pinch, having one of these is priceless.
- Cordage – Paracord is the only way to go for this. It’s lightweight, strong and is helpful in everything from constructing a shelter to making a makeshift spear or shovel when coupled with a knife and a stick. Don’t leave this item out of your EDC.
This is a very small list for an absolute minimal EDC, but it’s a great list of items that can get you out of all sorts of bad situations.
What else would you add to your EDC kit?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.