The topic of everyday carry is not that popular on many survival blogs. I think the reason is that a lot of people worry too much about EMPs and other large-scale disasters and catastrophes — and too little about personal emergencies.
Yet there are a number of things that can happen to us … from getting mugged to getting stuck in the middle of nowhere because our car stalled. Avoiding all of these and more require not just knowledge and skills but also a number of essential items that you should at least try to carry with you every day.
No. 1. A folding knife
A folding knife fits in your pocket and, besides the infinite numbers of ways in which it can assist you, it has a great advantage: People won’t label you as a prepper for having one.
In fact, no small self-defense weapon (such as pepper spray) will get people to label you as such. You just tell them it’s for protection and they’ll leave you alone.
No. 2. A way to navigate
Whether you get lost in the wilderness or in a big city, you should always have means to find your way back. Leaving EMP events out of the equation, you should at least have GPS maps on your phone. Keep in mind that, even if the phone lines are down, satellites may still be working, showing you your location.
Another thing you should consider in your phone’s maps app is the ability to download them offline.
Lastly, it wouldn’t hurt to add celestial navigation skills to your “mental EDC,” as well as to practice the ability to orient yourself relative to various points of interest.
No. 3. A bandana
Bandanas are amazing survival items that have a huge number of uses. Besides the obvious one — to protect your head from extreme heat — you also can use them to:
- melt snow.
- pre-filter water.
- hold a broken arm as a sling.
- collect foraged food.
No. 4. Lighter
Not just to light a fire and keep yourself warm, but there are other situations it could be useful:
- to melt a zip tie if someone ties you up.
- to start a fire to use as signaling.
- to light your way in absence of a flashlight.
- to open a bottle.
No. 5. A multi-tool
Whether you opt for one of those micro multi-tools made by Leatherman or for one that’s credit-card shaped and fits in your wallet, you can carry with you at least 10 tools to aid in your survival: scissors, tweezers, screwdrivers, a ruler and many more.
No. 6. A “prepped” cell phone
When I say prepped, it should not only have a shock-absorbing case, but it also should be equipped with the apps and information you may need in an emergency. There are plenty of apps related to survival, and let’s not forget a maps application (with the option to download those maps for offline use).
No. 7. A mini-flashlight
I got the tiniest flashlight I could find on the market and attached it on my keyring. Sure, I can always use my phone, but what if I run out of batteries? Redundancy is never a bad thing.
One last thing … don’t let anything stop you from expanding your EDC to your wallet and your pockets. Also, if you carry a laptop with you every day, don’t be shy about adding extra items in the laptop bag.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below: