It’s easy to put ourselves in a frame of mind where we are only thinking about prepping for the big things. Whether that means preparing for an economic collapse or a hurricane, the things we are preparing for, are major events which can cause major disruptions to our lives. We see preparedness as a way of protecting ourselves so that we can survive those problems when they occur.
But problems happen every day. Whether it’s a flat tire on your way to work, tearing your shirt before an important meeting or someone holding up the convenience store you stopped in at for a cup of coffee, problems are there, just waiting for us. In addition, there’s always the risk of one of those major disasters we prepare for, which can strike at any time.
The point is, none of us know what’s coming our way or when it will come. We can’t predict when a personal problem or disaster is going to strike any better than we can predict who will win the Superbowl before the season starts.
Of course, that’s why we are preppers. But even as preppers, we can be a bit idealistic. One way in which we do that is in the survival scenarios that we create. The typical scenario starts with our families at home as if we were waiting for someone to shout “go!”
But the reality is, we are unlikely to be at home when anything more serious than the torn shirt occurs. Our modern life is full of activity, much of which keeps us away from home. We’re out working and our kids are at school. Evenings are filled with activities too, between the kid’s sports, social events and having to run to the store to buy the kids something they have to have for school tomorrow.
With this in mind, it’s important that we expand our preparedness a bit. Specifically, we need to make sure that we have the things we need, even when we’re not at home. That includes having the things we need to take care of daily inconveniences, as well as having basic survival equipment to use in making our way home, in the case of a disaster striking while we’re away.
Many people refer to the part about having survival equipment to get home with as a “get home bag,” but I prefer the term “everyday carry bag” (EDC) The reason for this is that I expand on the idea of a get home bag, adding things to help me with the various daily problems of life. So, my bag is a bit more than just a get home bag. Since I carry it with me everywhere I go, keeping it in the trunk of my car, it’s my everyday carry bag.
Actually, everyday carry is divided into two parts. One is the bag that I just mentioned. The other consists of the things that I carry on my person at all times. Those things ensure that even in the worst of situations, I have some basic things with me to make it through the day.
In reality, we all have an EDC; just most of us don’t think of it that way. Any woman who carries a purse is carrying an EDC, and if you’ve ever seen the closing minutes of the game show “Let’s Make a Deal,” you know that women carry some of the craziest things in their purses. While they are missing out on the part of using it as a get home bag, most have the part of being ready to deal with the day’s problems pretty well covered.
Okay, so what’s in a good EDC? I’m going to talk about this from the point of view of a man, so I don’t have a purse to work with. All I have is what I carry in my pockets, as well as the aforementioned EDC bag I keep in the trunk of my car.
Here’s what’s always in my pockets:
- Wallet, with a minimum of $100, as well as debit cards
- Credit card lock pick set (in wallet)
- Fresnel Lens for magnifying small print and fire starting (in wallet)
- Key chain
- Key chain cigarette lighter for starting fires (on key chain)
- P-38 can opener (on key chain)
- Micro flashlight (on key chain)
- Aluminum vial of anointing oil, which also works for starting fires (on keychain)
- Small carabineer (on key chain)
- Handcuff key (on key chain)
- Folding knife
- Change for phone calls
- Pistol (I have a concealed carry license)
- 2 spare magazines for my pistol
- Tactical light
- Tactical pen
- Small pad of waterproof paper
My Everyday Carry Bag bag, which is in a cross-shoulder tactical bag, includes much more:
- 2 rescue blankets
- 20′ paracord
- 10 yd duct tape
- Rain poncho
- Lifestraw water purifier
- Collapsible water bottle
- Quart-sized plastic bags (4)
- Esbit stove and fuel pellets
- Titanium Spork
- Collapsible stainless steel cup
- P-38 can opener
- Snacks (jerky, granola bars, nuts)
- 2 – 12″ x 24″ heavy duty aluminum foil (for cooking)
- Fishing kit (line, bobbers, weights, and hooks)
- Stormproof lighter
- WetFire Fire starting cubes
- Stormproof matches (in waterproof container)
- BlastMatch Jr.
- Cotton balls in petroleum jelly (great fire starting accelerant)
- Spare batteries
- Sheath knife
- Multi-tool (yes, another one)
- Wire saw
- Signaling mirror
Everyday tools and help
- Phone charger – with cord
- Car cigarette lighter adapter
- Battery for recharging phone
- Hair bands (for use as rubber bands)
- Paper clips & binder clips
- Safety pins
- Pen & pencil
- Waterproof paper
- Copies of my driver’s license and passport
- Emergency contact phone number list (laminated)
- Mini office
- Anti-bacterial hand cleaner
- One-use toothbrushes
- 3 Compressed towels
- Abdominal bandage
- Knuckle bandages
- Adhesive bandage strips
- Cohesive medical tape
- Stretchy gauze
- Insect repellent
- Alcohol wipes
- Antibacterial cream
- Steri-strips (for closing wounds)
- 3 day supply of my personal medications