Everyday Carry (EDC) Guide, Gear List, and Checklist
This is a dynamic everyday carry guide curated by all of our authors for preppers both new and experienced. It is constantly being updated with up-to-date and accurate information, so please check back frequently for updates.
Every day carry encompasses all the items you carry on your person every day. It is less of a kit and more of a daily loadout. EDC (Everyday Carry) is popular far beyond prepping and survival- many people try to optimize what they carry with them for every single day of their lives. It can include pouches, multi-tools, and CCW or just be your keys and wallet.
EDC also includes the clothes you choose to wear. Versatility, weight, size, and functionality are all important for EDC gear.
Contents (Jump to a Section)
Everyday Carry Essentials
The everyday carry essentials with our recommended gear for each area. Outfitting yourself in most of these will give you the resources to tackle emergencies, disasters, or just every day life without notice.
Carried EDC Essentials
- Keys: Attach to your keychain tools.
- Wallet: Magpul DAKA Essential – One that is functional, durable, and either versatile or low-profile depending on your EDC approach. (See why the DAKA beats the others in our wallet review roundup)
- ID: Quickly prove your identity.
- Cash Stash: Don’t keep all your cash in one spot. Find out more about EDC cash stashes.
- EDC Multitool: Gerber Dime – Make yourself endlessly useful even when there aren’t disasters! (See why this is our top EDC multitool)
- Folding Knife: OKC Rat 1 – The quintessential survival folding knife. (See why this is the best value in survival folding knives)
- Cell Phone: A smartphone loaded with survival apps.
- Cell Phone Charger: Paired with your phone above.
- Steel Water Bottle: Nalgene Stainless 38oz (See why this is the best survival water bottle)
- Lighter: Ronson Jetlite (See why this is our favorite lighter)
- EDC Flashlight: Olight i3T EOS Flashlight (See why this is the best EDC Flashlight)
- Rainproof Pen: Rite in the Rain EDC Pen – take notes in any conditions (see why this is the best survival pen)
- Rainproof Paper: Rite in the Rain Notebook
- Mini First Aid Kit: A small, portable First Aid Kit.
- Prescription Medication: Store your prescription medicine in a water and air-tight portable container.
- Protein Bars: Clif Bars or your favorite protein/energy bar.
- Feminine Hygiene Supplies: Keep supplies nearby.
Worn EDC Essentials
- Work Gloves: Mechanix FastFit Covert Gloves (See why these are the best-reviewed survival gloves)
- Socks: Darn Tough Light Hiker (See why these are the best survival socks)
- Shirt: Carhartt Midweight Crew (See why this is the best survival shirt)
- Underwear: Some clean ones.
- Pants: TRU-SPEC Tactical Pants (See why these are our best budget pants)
- Ball Cap: Condor Tactical Cap (See why this is the best survival ball cap)
- Bandana: Colter Co. Reflective Bandana (See why this is the best survival bandana)
- Boots/Shoes: Sturdy hiking shoes or boots.
Suggested Additions for Your EDC Loadout
This gear may not be essential by definition, but adding any of these to your EDC will improve your loadout’s versatility for even more situations.
- EDC Backpack: A bag will allow you to carry much more equipment and gear wherever you go.
- Belt: 5.11 TDU Belt – You may be wearing one anyway, but adding a belt to your outfit can be useful for emergencies. (See why this one is the best survival belt).
- Jacket: 5.11 Bristol Parka – Lightweight but extremely versatile for a wide range of conditions (See why we recommend this in our survival jacket review).
- Poncho: Arcturus Rain Poncho – Staying dry is important during an emergency. (See why this is the best survival poncho)
- Sunglasses: Whether driving or just outside, sunglasses come in handy.
- Survival Mirror: UST Micro Mirror (see why this survival mirror is the best EDC option)
- Power Bank: Portable battery packs have come way down in cost and are very versatile.
- Whistle: SOL Slim Rescue Howler – Whistles make getting attention easy (see why this whistle is the best in a close race).
- Concealed Carry Handgun: Your preferred CCW that you are trained on (see ours here).
- CCW Holster: Alien Gear Concealed Carry Holsters – Get a holster in the profile you want from the best brand.
- Ammunition: PSA Ammo Deals – Get ammo for your CCW at huge discounts.
- Pepper Spray: Sabre 3-in-1 Pepper Spray – A great non-lethal weapon for personal protection. (See how this tested as the best pepper spray)
- Purification Tablets: A few Aquatabs (see why these are our favorite purification tablets for EDC)
- Water Filter: Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System (see why the Mini is the best-reviewed water filter)
- Water: If using an EDC Backpack, keep your steel water bottle full.
- Ration Bars: Millennium Bars (see why this is the best survival food bar)
- Camp Utensils: Stainless Hobo Cutlery Set
- Military Can Opener: P-51 Shelby Opener (see why this is the best portable can opener)
- Batteries: Tenergy Premium Pro Rechargeable Batteries – Stocking up on standard batteries is smart, but rechargeables are clutch for emergencies and survival. (See why these ones tested as the best rechargeable batteries for disasters and survival)
- EDC Sewing Kit: Singer 27pc Sewing Kit – Repairing textiles and other gear can extend their useful life. (See why this is our favorite EDC sewing kit)
- Paracord: TOUGH-GRID Paracord (See why this is our preferred paracord)
- Carabiner: 3″ Aluminum D-Ring
- Duct Tape: Gorilla Tape 35 Yard Roll (See why this is the best duct tape for survival)
- EDC Magnifying Glass: Credit Card Fresnel Lens – Start fires and read maps more easily. (See why this is our favorite EDC magnifying glass)
- Ferro Rod: Bayite Toggle Hole Ferro Rods (see why this is our favorite EDC ferro rod)
- Tinder/Fatwood: TinderQuik – start fires easier (check out the other best tinder and fatwood we tested)
- Waterproof Matches: UCO Stormproof Match Kit (see why these matches are the best)
- GPS Watch: Garmin Instinct 2– Pick your favorite GPS watch (see why this is our best-reviewed survival watch).
- USB Drive: Load a USB drive with your favorite survival manuals and maps of the area.
- Sun Screen: Your favorite brand with high SPF.
- Bug Spray: Repel 100 (see why science says this is the best repellent)
- Hand Sanitizer: During a pandemic, this is an essential EDC item.
Extra Supplies for your EDC Kit
Essentials and suggested additions have been covered, so this is the area will you will find everything else that could be useful to have on you every day. These extra supplies will help you in very specific situations, are less versatile, and may take up a lot of space. Even still, they could be the difference makers in an emergency- so it could pay off to consider adding these.
- EDC Pouch: PJ13 Leather Sheath – Carry more and keep it accessible with an EDC pouch.
- Scarf/Shemaugh: Free Soldier Shemagh – Stay covered in any environment (here are the best-reviewed shemaghs)
- Compressed Towels: Lightload Towels (see why these are the best EDC towels)
- Handwarmers: HotHands
- HAM Radio: Baofeng UV-5R5
- CB Radio: Uniden PRO401HH – HAM may get all the attention, but CB can be an alternative choice that doesn’t require a license.
- Pocket Sharpener: Fallkniven DC3 – Small but effective diamond sharpener (check out our other option in our sharpener roundup)
- Ammo Pouch: Accessible ammo can be a priority depending on your situation.
- Handcuff Key: Streamlight CuffMate
- EDC Fishing Kit: Readyman Fishing Card – Be ready to fish right from your wallet. (here are some other fishing kit options)
- Beef Jerky: Pick your favorite brand and flavor.
- Condiments: Make anything edible (like an MRE!) by dousing it in your favorite condiment. Check out our suggested condiment stockpile list.
- Multi-Vitamins: Make sure your diet completes all of your body’s nutrient requirements.
- Fishing/Hunting License: It’s not a bad idea to keep licenses on you.
- Compass: Brunton TruArc – Stay on track and navigate with maps. (see why this is the best survival compass)
- Local Maps: Print copies of local maps. Here’s how you download them for free.
- Ranger Beads: Matte Ranger Beads – Teach yourself to pace count with ranger beads. (see why these beat the other ranger beads)
- Playing Cards: Wilderness Survival Cards – Don’t forget the importance of entertainment and games. These cards are our favorite from our survival card review.
- Toothbrush: Travel Toothbrush
- Toothpaste: Colgate Travel Toothpaste
- Floss: Floss is versatile and surprisingly strong!
- Wet Wipes: Surviveware Biodegradable Wipes
- Zip Ties: Gardner Bender HD Zip Ties (See how these tested as the best survival zip ties)
- Oil Lubricant: Super Lube – There are over 2,000 uses for lubricant, and it’s a must-have for any tool kit.
- Garbage Bags: Glad FlexForcePlus– Use them for trash, or plenty of other survival uses with these unique double-walled flexible bags. (See why these are the best trash bags)
- Super Glue: Gorilla Super Glue Gel – For when you want something to stay and never move again. (see why this is the best super glue)
- Pencil Sharpener: Twin Sharpener– A great tool to create wood shavings for fire starting. Or sharpening pencils.
The Definitive Everyday Carry Checklist
A perfect EDC loadout doesn’t exist- what is right for you depends on your situation and risk tolerance. That said, we have as close to perfect of a starting point for you: our definitive EDC checklist.
Our checklist is available as both a pdf download and as a Google Sheet/Excel file where you can check off items yourself, and even add and subtract items from the checklist.
Everyday Carry Printable PDF Checklist
If you are looking for the simplest way to print and use the checklist above, download our printable PDF version. It is one page long on 8.5″ x 11″ paper if you reduce the margins to 0.5″. This EDC PDF makes gathering and tracking your EDC gear extremely easy. Once you open the every day carry PDF checklist in your browser, you can either print it directly or save it through your browser.
Everyday Carry Excel / Google Sheet Checklist
If you are looking for a comprehensive way to track your EDC loadout, open our Excel / Google Sheet version. The sheet is sharable, and you just need to copy it to your own Google Sheet account or download it to excel to edit it. We also keep links to our reviews for each category linked to simplify shopping for any equipment you may find yourself missing.
The Next Step
EDC adds tons of versatile functionality to your everyday life. You’ll find yourself using many of the tools you added very often. Now we’re going to pivot and move on to the items you won’t use often at all.
Specialized kits are designed for people in specific situations. Not everyone needs every type of specialized kit. Knowing your capabilities and threats will help you as we move on to the next section: Specialized Kits.
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