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The Everyday Carry

Putting together an EDC Bag isn't hard, but it does take thinking and forethought. An Everyday Carry Bag is something that you'll be carrying around everyday, and if done correctly, will have at least 80% of the things that you'll need at any time during the day. There are many different approaches to putting together an EDC Bag, and the one that I'm going to show you is just one way you could do it.

First Things First - Don't buy your EDC Bag first. A well planned EDC starts with the things that you'll actually have to carry. We're going a bit beyond what might fit in your pockets or on your person here, but keep in mind that this bag should be well stocked.

Second, How are you going to carry? Once you've assembled the items that you want to carry, how will you carry them? What's preferrable for you? Do you rather have a belt pouch or over the shoulder carry? Personally, I've found that using Molle Pouches is great for carrying stuff, but they're cumbersome to attach to the belt as the straps have to loop inside the belt, and they're not quick to put on or take of by any means. 

The Function of Everyday Carry

Again, there are many reasons and ideas behind carrying an EDC, and I'm not saying that this way is any better than any other you might read, but it's what works for me and if you can get any ideas from it, then I'm glad.

I consider a useful everyday carry to serve three main functions:

  1. Cater to your basic needs - The everyday carry should have exactly what you might need on a daily basis, and so, I've put many things into mine that are used during the course of any given day. In the bag dump, you'll find that I have put items such as a P38 can opener in because the can opener at work keeps disappearing. I also have a small tin of mints (Altoid Smalls, to be exact) Nail clippers, tweezers, toothbrush and toothpaste (travel size) and many other things. There's also a rain poncho and mylar emergency blanket if things ever get severe, and flashlight for nighttime use or power outages.

  2. Medical Needs - I carry a basic medical kit that I've pieced together. There's Bandaids, gauze pads, triple antibiotic ointment and surgical tape to start, but I also carry ibuprofen, aspirin, day/night-quil gel tabs, TUMS, cough drops and a few other types of pills needed if a cold, fever or allergy attack should strike.

  3. Basic Tool Set - Starting with the multi-tool, I have tools for small jobs in one single tool. I also carry zip ties, duct tape, safety pins and a few other things that make getting the job done a little easier.

Basic Needs In The EDC Bag

I thought quite a bit about this, drawing on daily experiences and things that I wish I'd had over the years. I decided that having personal hygiene products would be a good start, so that's where the travel toothbrush and toothpaste came from. I also have a travel size deodorant, nail clippers, file and tweezers in the bag. I have mints to take care of the bad breath after lunches, and chapstick.

Other than just having one for the sake of having it, I keep a lighter for sure fire in the bag along with some tinder. Since I live in an urban environment, starting a fire is probably not going to be much of an issue, but it's there, just in case. There's also a small signal mirror and emergency whistle in the bag. Like the lighter and tinder, there was no real purpose to have them, but they're there just in case.

I collect flashlights, and have a particular interest in them. I decided that I'd put in a high power tactical flashlight when I needed a lot of light, and a low power, but long lasting option too. This comes in the form of a cheap 2200mAh portable cell phone charger with a small 5 lumen LED light. With the power capacity, the LED light will burn well over 60 hours on a single charge meeting my need for a long lasting light source. I finally decided to carry a small AAA light with a 8 hour run time so that I could have a balance of both light and longevity -- not to mention the fact it's easy to find AAA batteries in stores and to stock up on them (I currently use rechargeables, but also have 24 AAA disposable cells in stock at home). The Tactical light runs on 18650s or (R)CR123 cells, and they're harder (and more expensive) to get. The portable charger needs power to recharge, and if there's an extended power outage, it will be useless after a week or so.

During winters, I carry a minimum of two 8-hour hand warmers, surgical gloves and knit gloves. The surgical gloves are worn under the knit gloves to keep the hands dry if needed for extended periods of time (like getting a stuck car out of a snowbank). The hand warmers of course, keep the hands and toes warm, and have been used even under normal conditions when sledding with my kids out in the snow.

During summers, I'll carry a small travel size sunblock, insect repellent (98% DEET), bite and sting cream and a Coghlan's Double Mosquito Net when hiking or picnicking with the family.

Medical Needs In The EDC Bag

With four kids that ride bikes every day during the summer, having Bandaids, Triple Antibiotic Ointment (Neosporin) and gauze pads are essential. I have this basic first aid kit in every bag I carry, the car and in a pouch on my bicycle. I also carry an assortment of over the counter medications -- Ibuprofin, Asprin, Dayquil & Nyquil gel caps, antihistamine, cold and cough medications (during the winter), and finally antacids and laxatives.

Tools In The EDC Bag

I find that I don't really need many tools in my EDC. I don't do a lot of repair work, and the most I've really used them for are quick fixes around the house, or tightening something on one of the kid's bikes during a bike ride. I do carry a multitool with me that has a knife, can opener, flat head & phillips head screwdriver and of course, the pliers. I also carry a pocket knife on my person, so the knife on the multitool doesn't see much use. I carry a bunch of zip ties which do come in handy a lot, duct tape and electrical tape are also essentials. Other than that, I really don't carry any other tools.

Miscellaneous Items In The EDC

A Pen with a fisher space pen cartridge and "Rite In The Rain" 3"X5" notebook are two items that just didn't fit in a category, so I've put them here. I take a lot of notes because I have a reasonably bad memory (according to my wife, that is - LOL) so I always make sure that I have a notebook and pen with me. I also use Moleskine cahier notebooks that I carry on my person, and I usually make my notes in those rather than the RITW notebook, but it's there when I need it.

16GB Pendrive and 16GB MicroSD Card with Adapter -- I don't want to be in a situation where I max out the phone's memory or need to transfer files and don't have anything to do it. I keep one of each in the EDC Bag just in case.

Micro USB Charging cables, 1x 6" cable and 1x 10 foot cable -- The six inch charger came with the portable battery charger mentioned above and I purchased the 10 foot separately. I've used the 10 foot more often, in my laptop, wall chargers and in the car charger as well.

Extra Batteries - I carry 2x AAA, 2x 10440, 1X 18650 and 1x 2032 coin cell (for the car remote). Pretty self explanatory, but I once was caught locked out of my car with a dead battery. That's why I carry the 2032 cell. The AAA flashlight is a Streamlight Microstream, capable of running either the 1.5v AAA cell or a 3.7v 10440 cell that puts out double the light the AAA battery does, but only offers 20 minutes runtime on the 10440 due to its high output.

The Last Thing Is The EDC Bag Itself

I consider an EDC Bag as part of the EDC itself. I've used many different types of pouches and bags, and realized that I don't like the belt pouch style because after I put stuff in them, they become cumbersome and heavy. I prefer an over the shoulder setup, and using a belt pack with a strap that's long enough to go over the shoulder works perfectly for me.

After doing some shopping around, I chose the Outdoor Products Echo waistpack. It's roughly 9 inches wide by 6.5 inches tall and 6 inches deep when filled with EDC Gear. While the pack isn't water proof, there is some level of water resistance, but I also do carry a plastic shopping bag in the main compartment that I can easily wrap the bag into if caught in a downpour.

There's three padded compartments - A small one on the front, big enough for the rain poncho, emergency blanket and the 18650 battery. The top loading front compartment carries the bulk of the medical supplies and miscellaneous items, and finally the main pocket carries the basic needs items. There's still a bit of room to add more stuff if needed too. There are small straps on either side of the front of the bag that are great for hanging keys or small keychain tools if desired, and there's two side mesh pockets. In one I put the tactical flashlight, and the other has my MultiTool for easy access. The strap is long enough to convert the waist pack into a shoulder pack, so I wear it that way. "Fanny Pack" is such an ugly term anyway.

Since the pack is a waist pack by design, it does wear a bit funny when used as a shoulder bag. The front of the bag has a natural tendency to face downwards but it's something I just got used to over time, and I don't really notice it anymore.

From The Blog

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    bleedoutIf you've been into Everyday Carry, prepping or survival for a while, you've probably seen or heard that you should put maxi pads, tampons or diapers into your bag for stopping blood in a critical situation. If you've seen these types of claims, then you need to know why it's actually not a good idea to put a maxi pad in your EDC for emergency bleeding control.

    Rather, spend the money on getting an actual trauma kit. They're not that expensive and you'll have the right equipment if you do find yourself in a situation where you have to stop hemorrahaging.

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  • How To Put Together An Everyday Carry

    EDC pouches and modulesThere are quite a few levels of everyday carry, and while just carrying your keys, wallet, watch and phone is one of the most minimalistic, I usually have a set of items with me that can make life easier and better whether I'm at the office, on the commute or even out for the evening. Most people don't realize that an Everyday Carry doesn't have to just be one set of items that go everywhere, but rather it can be different "kits" for different situations. Let me explain...

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  • Repurpose Beef Jerky Bags For Water Storage

    beef jerky bag water storageBeef Jerky is one of my favorite snacks. If it weren't so darn expensive, I'd be eating a lot more. Funny thing is that those bags that the Jerky comes it are completely waterproof! Most of the beef jerky bags also have a Ziploc enclosure to reseal the bag if you don't eat all the jerky (like that EVER happens). The seals on the side are really good as well, making the beef jerky bag the perfect bag when you have nothing else, and want or need to carry water.

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  • Cyalume ChemLights - Is Carrying Glow Sticks Worth It?

    military cyalume chemlightsCyalume Chemlights, more popularly known as Glow Sticks, can be a help in the dark, chasing away your kid's nightmares, and lighting up jack-o-lanterns in a safe, stable way, but chemlights can also be found in military load outs, bug out bags, prepper gear and of course, everyday carry pouches. The question is whether it's worth it to carry Cyalume Glow Sticks as a light source, or not?

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Latest Reviews

  • Pokka Pens Are The Perfect Pocket Pens for Everyday Carry

    everyday carry pokka pen reviewPokka Pens are ballpoint pens that conveniently fit into your pocket when not in use. I got my order of Pokka pens just a couple weeks ago, and I have absolutely fell in love with them. Their small size makes it easy to carry a pen in your pocket, Everyday Carry pouch, backpack or purse, and they perform very closely to the feel of a Bic Crystal, those old clear Bic pens that used to sit by your grandparent's rotary phone.

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  • Whirl-Pak 1 Liter Bags For Water Storage and Portability In Your EDC

    Nasco Whirl Pak 1 Litre Water Bag ReviewWhirl-Pak Bags are the ideal, low-profile solution to water portability problems with your everyday carry gear. Whirl Pak 1 liter bags fold down to almost nothing, so you can take a bunch with you to gather and save water when needed. While the bags, made by Nasco, are seen more commonly in bug out bags and prepper gear, it never hurts to have a couple with you, even if there isn't a water emergency. Having a Whirl-pak bag means being able to carry water with you, even if it's only because you think you're going to get thirsty on your commute home. A six-bag pack can be found on Amazon for $10.

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  • Maxpedition Daily Essentials (DEP) Everyday Carry Pouch

    thumb Maxpedition Daily Essentials DEP Everyday Carry Pouch frontIf you're going to carry an everyday carry pouch, the Maxpedition Daily Essentials Pouch (DEP) is about as manly as you can get. Large enough for a 7 inch tablet with enough depth for just about all your EDC gear, the Maxpedition Daily Essentials Pouch is a perfect way to carry those daily essentials.

    It has two generously large pouches, and comes in tan, gray and black, and has the quality you'd expect from Maxpedition.

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  • Nebo Lil Larry 6373 Work Light 250 Lumens White/Red LED

    thumb NEBO LiL Larry Work LightOK, so I was saving the second Nebo work light for today's review. Yesterday, I reviewed the Nebo LEO 220 Lumens flashlight and this little flashlight is of similar design. Although it doesn't have the spotlight head that the LEO has, the Lil Larry (Stock# 6373) has it's own set of really cool features.

    As the title says, it's a 250 lumen work light, but has a low mode putting out about 100 lumens, and a red LED emergency flasher mode that blinks twice a second. The flashlight costs around $18 on Amazon, and is the perfect work light for your home, car or everyday carry bag.

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Latest Bag Dumps

  • Pocket Dump: M/26/Music Event Production, IT Technician, DJ

    M 26 Music Event Production IT Technician DJReddit user,burniemcburn, works in the music industry in event audio technician and DJ when the chance arises. He's laid out his gear for us to peek at, and it's a very nice layout indeed. Of course The Shure SE-215 IEMs are no surprise, and the three adaptors are there when the need arises.

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  • US Marine's Everyday Carry [Blackscout Survival]

    thumb Chance Sanders EDC coverI like watching the BlackScout Survival videos on YouTube. Most of the time, I'll watch them at night when I'm laying in bed trying to get to sleep, but earlier today, one of particular interest was published, "A Marine's EDC", and I had to watch it during my lunch.

    US Marine Chance Sanders (The Broken Arrow Survival School - FB Page) takes a few moments to show us what's in his Everyday Carry. Thank you to BSS for putting up a really nice video!

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  • Senior Computer Engineering Student EDC [20/M]

    thumb senior computer engineering student edc El IsoReddit user, El Iso, posted a very nice EDC. With the two knives, lighter, flashlight and a few other items, we'd say this senior computer engineering student has what it takes to make the grade... at least his everyday carry does.

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  • US Army Compass Pouch LC-1 Coat & Belt Everyday Carry

    thumb US Army Compass Pouch EDC 10A couple days ago I stopped in Joe's Army Navy over in Royal Oak, MI. I wasn't looking for anything in particular, but as always, I walked out with some items. One of the items was a Compass Pouch (LC-1). I had a few of these a while ago, and I really liked them to keep small items in. With this one, I decided that I'd use it as a very small Pocket Everyday Carry that holds a few OTC Meds and First Aid. Due to it's small 4"x4"x1.5" capacity, it's perfect, and these compass pouches like mine, usually come with an Alice Clip that was the Molle System's predecessor. I like this little clip because it's easy to clip the pouch to my belt if needed. Let's take a look inside to see what I've put in it.

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Every Day Carry

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Your Everyday Carry

Your Everyday Carry (or EDC for short), is exactly what it sounds like: The things you carry every day to make life easier, convenient and better. Everyday Carry has grown in popularity over the last few years, and there is a whole line of Everyday Carry gear available from well known manufacturers. These items range from EDC Bags to Knives and even pens and paper.

New To EDC? Start Here.

pocket dump It all begins with thinking about the things you carry every day already. Chances are you grab keys, phone, wallet and maybe a watch on your way out the door. Everyone has things that they carry every day, it's just that most people don't think about it because it has become a habit.

 

EDC Bag Dump Now, Consider the things that you might want to have with you at all times. Snacks, Flashlight and Pocket Knives or Multi-tools are some of the most common. These are things that at any given moment during the day, you stop and think "If I had that, it would be easier...".

 

messenger bag Next, Think about the place you'll want to put your stuff. An EDC Bag is nothing more than carry-all that fits your individual personality, style and carrying capabilities. Some people carry backpacks while others prefer messenger bags, and then there's those who prefer belt pouches just to carry the essentials. Whatever your style, it all begins with a bag or pouch to carry your EDC.

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About The Everyday Carry

The Everyday Carry caters to Preppers and Individuals that have an interest in Everyday Carry. This is not a Survivalist or Disaster Preparedness website. If you are interested in what to carry everyday to make your (and your family's) life better, than this is the correct place to be. An Everyday Carry is simply the items that you carry everyday, and there is a general interest in what others carry in their backpacks, messenger bags, tactical pouches and on their person.

What's In Your Everyday Carry?

Share what you carry every day with others to give ideas and help them become better prepared for everyday life.

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