What does EDC mean?
EDC stands for Every Day Carry in the prepper life. Originally, a bunch of tactical survivalists coined the phrase to describe the collection of items they carried with them in their pockets on an everyday bases.
These are the items they keep on hand, every day, in case of an urgent emergency. These include a multi-tool knife, a timepiece, a flashlight, a pen, a compass, and so on. That's more than you can fit in ‘fashionable’ skinny jeans pockets these days and no one wants to lug around bulky pockets anyways, so carrying a small backpack or messenger bag may be the next best option.
The EDC bag concept is still evolving in style, size, and purpose.
Why is an EDC Bag Important?
At its most basic function, your everyday carry bag is a collection of essentials you keep in your pockets, purse, duffle, fanny pack, backpack, etc. regularly. They are the items you reach for before leaving the house, the things you feel naked without, and the ones that would throw your entire day off if you didn't have them.
Your daily carry consists of items that you consider to be necessary. This implies that pocket lint, wrinkled-up receipts, gum wrappers, and other disposables may reside in your pocket (hopefully not for long), but they do not count as part of your EDC items. The basic supplies in your bag should have particular characteristics that align with a few distinct concepts of everyday carry practices.
The foundation of the everyday carry concept is utility and preparation. Each item in your EDC bag should have a purpose or perform at least one distinct, beneficial function. Your EDC basic supplies should prepare you for the worst and empower you to accomplish your best, every day.
Choosing the Right Bag
Choosing the correct Every Day Carry Bag is critical to how things will turn out. The majority of people prefer to carry a simple or trendy bag. However, there are certain specific features to look for while selecting your EDC bag like discretion, carrying ease, and if it holds all your desired supplies.
~Non-preppers don't always fully understand why it is important to carry these things but true preppers understand the value in every day life. To prevent questioning, you can keep your first aid kit, glass-breaking tool, and mechanic's gloves in a different pouch than the ‘regular’ daily supplies like your wallet, keys, utility knife, nail file, etc. A decent EDC bag resembles a daily carry-all and includes distinct pockets and sections for storing your emergency essentials while still having easy access to things like you wallet, phone, or laptop.
~On the flip side, if that EDC bag is needed to get you home in a SHTF scenario discretion can mean becoming a Gray Man. Carrying a discrete EDC bag can save your hide without making you the target of looters. If you carry a large, bright, overly-stuffed bag with survival supplies you will draw the attention of those near-by who are looking to take your supplies for themselves.
~Your EDC bag, like all other survival bags, should be muted in color, look average, and conceal all traces of survival gear.
~Easy to Carry
~Your EDC bag should be something you want to carry with you everywhere, not something you put down because it's too bulky or awkward. Bulkier bags, like a tactical bag, may raise suspicion while entering facilities like banks or administrative offices.
~Small backpacks, fanny packs, and purses are among some of the easiest bags to carry while remaining inconspicuous.
~Your EDC Bag should be sizable and big enough to hold all the essentials for you and your family. Consider if you want additional compartments to separate it from your work items, how many supplies you will keep with you, etc. Ensure that your backpack is not just sizeable but also simple and would easily blend into any atmosphere without triggering a second look by passersby.
Your EDC Bag will likely look different than someone else's, depending on the prevailing circumstances. For instance, if your child has food allergies, you should consider including an epi-pen in your bag. At the same time, a farmer's EDC bag may include a spool of wire for quick fence repairs.
Everyone is at liberty to change the contents of their Every Day Carry Bag. Make sure your supplies are useful according to your urban or rural location, everyday demands, and the needs of friends or family.
Consider putting your ‘survival supplies’ in their own separate container or pouch like a cosmetics or toiletries bag to keep them portable; allowing you to change bags as needed.
The following items will help you overcome whatever may happen in your daily life:
~Multi-tool & Knife
~Useful for cutting paracord, open packages, fixing loose screws, or protecting yourself; a decent multi-tool includes a compact, portable package of screwdrivers, bottle openers, files, picks, and blades. The most notable multi-tool is the Swiss Army Knife. Now-a-days some are the size of credit cards and can be carried in your wallet.
~However, when traveling keep in mind what your travel method allows. For instance multi-tools that feature a blade or a ‘saw’ will be confiscated in places like airports, federal buildings, and even amusement parks. So, remember to remove those items from your EDC bag when traveling.
~Knives are among the widest carried tool - ‘ol reliable. Whether a true pocket knife, small and portable within your jeans pockets, or a heavier utility knife that hooks to your belt or the inside of your pocket. Keep something sharp in your EDC bag.
~They are inexpensive and have numerous applications like wrapping an injured wrist or ankle. Tie a red bandana to the back of a large load. Alternatively, you can wave for assistance alongside the freeway. Use as a sanitary towel or for first aid. To cool someone suffering from heat exhaustion, soak in water. Tie up as a headband, sunshade, or da mask. Carry a large bandana if you can, this will open up the usability, like using it to suspend an injured arm.
~Keeping food on hand tackles problems ranging from starving children to insulin shock. But don't just bring anything. It should be stable and edible under extreme temperatures, when crushed or squeezed, and should be shelf stable for at least several months. Dried fruits, nuts, granola bars without chocolate, or protein powder envelopes that you can empty into water bottles are all excellent options.
~Keep this in a spot where it will be difficult to find but not forgotten. An additional $20 can get you out of many sticky situations. Why not simply keep a credit or debit card on hand? Because cash can help you survive a mugging or aid a stranger in need without putting your personal information in danger. Additionally, if the power goes out or a technical snafu happens, you will still be able to purchase what you are wishing to.
~Ideally, you should carry two pairs of gloves. One that protects your hands from the effects of hard work, and another that keeps germs at bay. If you only have one pair, your work gloves will provide a minimum barrier against contaminated blood, but they will not provide you with the protection to prevent infection when performing first aid.
~Hand Sanitizer or Isopropyl Alcohol
~To help prevent infections, clean utensils, clean your hands, remove marker, etc.; hand sanitizer and isopropyl alcohol will always come in handy. Just like a multi-tool, consider your portions when traveling. Flights only allow bottles of liquid under 3 ounces each, anything larger will get taken away by TSA.
~First Aid Kit
~A full trauma pack is not required for your EDC bag. An old prescription container can hold an adequate number of bandages, a gauze pad, and a roll of self-adhesive athletic tape. If you would like it to be a little more equipped, companies like ‘Swiss Safe’ offer compact first aid kits that should discreetly fit in your bag.
~Emergency Contact Numbers
~911 is a simple number to remember. What about your child's doctor, your partners number, the poison control hotline, or even the pets vet? Keep these phone numbers with your EDC Supplies. Making them easily accessible will allow a coworker who finds you unconscious to notify your wife (after calling 9-1-1 first, of course). Keeping these numbers written down will allow you to be able to access them in case your phone dies during an emergency. This affords you the opportunity to use a strangers phone or a payphone, if those dinosaurs still exist in your area.
~Phone Charger or Power Bank
~In these modern times, most of us are addicted to our phones. But what happened if the battery runs out? We feel like we are out of alternatives. As long as you can find an outlet, packing an additional cell charger allows you to re-charge your phone in a pinch. Remember to always carry the cord and the plug portion.
~Additionally, for added preparedness, you can carry a pre-charged power bank. Carrying a portable charger means no searching for an accessible outlet!
~Pen and Paper
~Having a pen and paper is never a bad thing. If lost or your car breaks down, you can leave a note including details like where you are heading, what you were wearing, etc. Paper alone can help in a survival situation. It can also be used as fuel to start an emergency fire.
~Shock kills: and it doesn't take a life-threatening accident to startle someone. Space blankets provide a level of security to in-shock parties and retain heat to warm those stuck out in the cold. These foil blankets fold into small squares to fit in your EDC bag.
~Thanks to LED bulbs, even small penlights now have a lot of power. If your alternator fails on a rural route, a flashlight might assist you in traversing in the dark or signal for help. To ensure it is always useable check the batteries every few months.
~Glass Breaking Tool
~This is a frequently neglected resource. MythBusters investigated claims about flooded cars and discovered that it is impossible to roll a window down due to the water pressure from the outside. However, with the right tool, you can break the window.
~The tactical pen styles are widely popular but are not always permitted everywhere because they can be mistaken for weapons, like a Kubotan Pen. Simple rescue tools are more lawful, often simply including a seatbelt cutter and a glass-breaking tool at the other end.
~A cigarette lighter is the most uncomplicated and portable fire starter. However, there are obviously many other alternatives. Wood Matches, waterproof matches, and the ‘Permanent Match’ are all adequate alternatives. The ‘Permanent Match’ may even be better as it can handle up to or even more than 10,000 strikes, while the average lighter only offers about 3,000 lights before it runs out of fuel.
~Rope or String
~If you need to tie something up; rope, paracord, or survival bracelets come in real handy. You may secure a load, hang a shelter, or immobilize an injured leg. Create a small bundle of rope or cord, tightly wound, to keep in your EDC bag.
~Small Dose of Your Essential Meds
~Always keep a small dose of you and your families’ essential medicines in your EDC bag. This allows you to be prepared to run out the door in an instant and will keep you prepared if errands take longer than expected, or if someone has an allergic reaction.
~Be sure to keep medicines like insulin, and epi-pen, and other daily medications stocked in your EDC. Additionally, keep pain relievers and what not with you too. Did you know you can avert a heart attack with aspirin? Even regular ibuprofen feels like a rescue if you must endure four more hours of annoying pain.
~What About Water?
~Some may advise not to carry water with you because it can be bulky or heavy. However, water is the most important survival essential out there. If you can clip a bottle on the outside of your bag or are willing to carry a bottle in your hand, staying hydrated is always recommended,
~There are however alternatives you can consider if carrying water with you is not preferred. Know your ‘normal’ surroundings like where you can access fresh water when you need to. Whether that is buying a bottle while out or having to find a freshwater river if lost during a hike. If the latter is a possibility, be sure to keep water purification tablets in your EDC bag to prevent sickness from drinking ‘raw’ water.
~As added security keep a few bottles in your vehicle. Even if they become heated in the summer, most plastic water bottles can last up to 2 years in your car before leaching dangerous chemicals into the water.
What if You Live in a Cold Environment?
It is equally vital to prepare for the winter season if you reside in a region with harsh winters. Unfortunately, climate change exacerbates winter and winter storms, causing more severe, frequent, and unpredictable events to occur in various locations.
Winter enjoys putting an EDC enthusiast's armory to the test. Some everyday carry items that will make it easier to get through the chilly months include: hand warmers, scarves, extra socks, a beanie or similar, and earmuffs.
What’s the Difference between an EDC Bag and a Get Home Bag?
At its most basic, your Every Day Carry Bag is the collection of items you keep in your pockets or your backpack regularly. They're the items you reach for before leaving the house. Your daily carry items should consist of items that will help you out in your daily lives, as well as if a fast acting, yet unexpected, emergency occurs like you get in a car accident, hurt your ankle hiking, etc.
A Get Home Bag is an emergency bag that keeps you safe while you are away from home. Consider it a 24-Hour bug out bag. A Get Home Bag is designed to be ultra-portable to assist you for a shorter period than a full-on bug out bag.
It is normally permanently kept in your car or in your office, at least until the routine maintenance needs to be done. The general idea for a GHB is to provide you with enough materials and tools to get you and your family back to your home or to a location where you may get the assistance you need to make it home within that 24-hr period.