Best Everyday Carry Review and Buying Guide

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It’s better to be called paranoid than stay unprepared and know nothing about the best everyday carry necessities. What gear should one compile in the backpack alongside a steel folding knife, a phone, and a wallet? Maybe you can take a revolver or a saw tool? Let’s find out in this article.

People often look at the survivalists as crazy. Full pocket and a backpack of things, instruments, tools, and looks like a paranoid guy. But who will they run to in case of the slightest emergency? That is right, to us, to prepared weird men and women.

If you know what EDC is, then you definitely belong to our fellowship. This acronym hides what helps us to be prepared, overcome difficulties, and adapt to any situation. This is Everyday Carry.

True survivalists will not leave home without their EDC essentials. It might look silly at times, but think about who will look dumber in an emergency — an unprepared person or a guy who can handle any situation?

EDC gear is a set of basic tools that can come in handy in various casual and emergencies. These are small and multifunctional elements that everyone would like to have regularly.

Main Item In A Backpack

This argument is straightforward and explains the whole concept. This is not some secret knowledge available only to privileged ones. This is what everyone on planet Earth understands.

Just 2 words that will explain all our preparation.


You can never be 100% sure of anything. Why? Because shit happens in this world.

The most thoughtful plans collapse, and something sudden happens.

Is someone planning to lose the keys? Hardly.

Are the tourists planning to get lost in the forest? I do not think so.

Is the traveler planning to be robbed in the center of an unfamiliar city? I doubt it very much.

But can people imagine such an outcome of events? Yes, they can. We can think ahead of time that trouble might happen and have a plan and carry tools.

If you look at the definition of EDC, you can find out that it is the daily carrying of some tools or even supplies that can help you and make solving problems easier. These problems can be both urgent and completely mundane.

But many people will say that this is not all. EDC is more than that, it is a way of thinking that you follow every day, and a collection of equipment is just a part of that.

Everyday Carry EDC

If you leave home in modern society, you take your everyday carry with you. You carry your car and house keys, credit cards, ID cards, cell phones.

Add a few more tools to that, and you have EDC essentials.

Nevertheless, without basic items, a person cannot do absolutely anything. We are not as well equipped as the animals, so we need a ton of extra tools to survive.

Without car keys, we will not get where we want to go. And many women going home in the evening squeeze them in their hands to fight off in case of an attack.

Without credit cards or cash, we will not be able to get ourselves any food or any additional benefits. That is how the civilized world is functioning.

These and other items facilitate our daily existence, help us in our daily activities. Without them, we are literally like no hands.

Most of our staff is kept in our house, so we put ourselves in danger every time we leave it. Of course, you do not need to lock yourself in four walls, but you need to be prepared for at least some of the emergencies. Troubles do not warn in advance that they will come. They just happen, and that is it.

We carry our everyday carry in the pocket for such sudden occasions. We do not require all these tools every time, but the moment they come in handy will fully justify wearing them daily. You will thank yourself when the world collapses.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Making Your Everyday Carry

Many, especially newbies, make mistakes when preparing or using EDC essentials. I want to keep you safe from them, so read below for the most common mistakes. And do n0t do them, ok?

1. Rely on Battery-Powered Brand Devices

Such products have the ability to discharge. Therefore, it is necessary either to have alternatives that do not require electricity, like a compass instead of GPS, or to have a backup method of recharging.

By the way, pay attention to this tactical flashlight and some of my favorites.

2. Carrying Too Much in A Backpack

I am repeating, but it is important nonetheless. Go for the lightest and smallest gear, and then you will not be tempted to leave it at home. A person who carries weight in the pocket is unlikely to be happy.

3. Not Checking Your Gear

Buying is not all you have to do. Learn to use your piece of equipment clearly and competently. Otherwise, all this is simply useless.

It is idiotic to buy a fancy pocket knife and not even know how to open it. But thanks to the skills, you can achieve much more.

4. Save on Purchases

Do not do this. Just remember not to save on life-saving gear. After all, everything breaks down at the most inopportune moment. If it is of poor quality, then there is a greater chance that it will break. Do not put yourself at unnecessary risks. Better to buy fewer products, save up and gradually replenish your stocks with all the everyday essential gear you desire.

5. Not Caring About EDC

Remember that if you do not clean and care for your essentials, they will deteriorate. Even stainless steel requires periodic maintenance.

Best EDC Gear

I will say right away that there is no universal set of everyday essentials suitable for any person in any region and situation. Your choice is highly dependent on many factors, and it is recommended that you answer the following questions before creating your EDC kit:

  • Which area do you live in? Is it a city or a rural area?
  • What time of year and climate?
  • Are there any restrictions on wearing anything?
  • Do you know how to handle this piece of equipment?
  • What are you planning to wear?

6 Tips For Everyday Carry

These are universal tips to follow regardless of how you answered the questions above.

1. Choose Multi-Tools

This advice applies to all survival pieces. The more needs they can cover, the more applications you can find for them, the better. You can call this rule of the Swiss Army Knife.

You should pay attention to compass combos, watch, paracord, and every multi-tool you can find in addition to the swiss knife.

2. You Should Be Comfortable

If the item is inconvenient to use or has a strange size, you are unlikely to wear it every day. Even if you try, you will most likely abandon this idea very soon. This does not mean that such tools are not needed. You can purchase them as part of the extended EDC list.

3. Size Matters

You will not carry anything heavy and bulky with you every day. Nobody will. There is even nothing to explain.

4. Not Only Pocket

You can still put your ID and keys in your jeans pocket, but a flashlight, knife, and bottle opener are unlikely to fit.

It is worth considering where else to put the EDC essentials. The best options are belt bags, leg bands, cargo pockets.

5. EDC Essentials Are Not a Bug Out Bag

It is easy to confuse these concepts, but they are different.

The Bug Out Bag is a complete set of survival tools that you can grab when there is an emergency when you need to go to your shelter. You will not always carry your bag with you (although you can throw it in the car).

Everyday carry is a concise list of only the most basic supplies that you can take anytime and anywhere.

6. Prohibited Ones

Remember that weapons and knives cannot be carried everywhere. Government offices, train stations, airports — there are bans in many of these places.

But you may be thinking about not such effective but legal self-defense objects, for instance, a survival pen.

What You Should Pay Attention To In Everyday Carry

The best way to analyze something and choose is to ask questions and answer them yourself. You should consider these points when choosing your EDC essentials.

  • How functional is this tool?

You do not need to take a bunch of cutting tools, and it is better to take one multi-tool. You will save space, and you will not have to carry around a whole suitcase full of knives, scissors, and God knows what else.

  • Will this thing help you in your survival?

There are things that help us maintain our usual comfort level or use out of habit, but which can be dispensed with. To name one, a spoon. Yes, it is convenient to eat soup, but you can drink it or find another way if there is an absolute necessity. You will not die without a spoon. But if a banking collapse happens and all stores stop accepting credit cards, then you will have a hard time without cash.

  • Is this everyday carry gear quality?

You should not save on things that you will carry with you all the time. This is the moment when it is better to overpay for quality and buy less than to acquire a ton of useless junk that can break in any situation.

  • Will this tool come in handy in the setting you are in?

It is certain that you will need different sets of EDC essentials for walking in the African savannah and New York.

Read more about urban survival to know what to prepare for a big city.

  • Is there a warranty?

If all your gear has a good guarantee, you can test it before taking it with you.

Imagine that your folding knife gets stuck and does not open at the most crucial moment.

  • Is this the lightest tool possible?

If there is something smaller on the market, go for that. If there is something more compact, choose that. No one wants to lug around pounds of items.

Exercises To Improve Your Everyday Carry Skills

To succeed in the EDC setup skill, you need to practice. Here are our 6 exercises to help you master this skill.

1. Choose Clothes With Lots of Pockets And Compartments

Jackets with inside and outside pockets, pants, vests. The bigger, the better. Buy clothes and bags of appropriate design.

2. Group Small Objects

Some items are so small that they can be easily lost, and at the right time, you may not find them in your jacket. It is better to group such items in one place, for example, in tin containers.

I like Altoids containers. They have several advantages:

  • compactness;
  • a light-weight;
  • reliable cover.

3. Keep Everyday Essentials Collected

Let them always lie in one place for you to go out. So you will not forget in a hurry your driver’s license or keys. You do not need to worry about forgetting something. Everything is already assembled and ready to use.

We recommend making several sets. One for literally every day, and the other is more advanced.

4. Do Not Rely On Your Smartphone

Now, there are many great apps for the phone, ranging from compass and maps to apps about knotting or animal tracks.

But it will not help you in any way if your phone died. Or if the signal is lost. Or you crashed your phone.

Therefore, you should not rely too much on it.

5. Buy a Backpack


There are usually enough pockets on clothes for everyday carry, but the extended EDC requires an additional carrier.

Buy a small tactical backpack. You can carry it with you or leave it in the car. There are now a lot of backpacks that will look appropriate almost everywhere.


6. Classify EDC Essentials

To compile a shortened and expanded lists of everyday carry gear, you can enter classification relying on three main features:

  • Frequency of use
  • Compactness
  • Importance or usefulness

Now you need to consider each subject according to these indicators and assign it a certain number.

I often use this classification:

Frequency of use:

  • Very often — 1
  • Rarely — 2


  • Light and small — 1
  • Heavy and bulky — 2


  • High — 1
  • Low — 2


The next step is to categorize all of the tools, such as cutting items, tying stuff, and so on. You will be able to prioritize everyday essentials in each category.

Multiply each of the 3 indicators with each other and get a figure for each tool. The lower the number, the more priority this item is on your list.

If it still sounds too confusing, read on below. I will give you some examples, starting with the survival knife.

In the category of the frequency of use, I will assign it 2, in the compactness too. But in terms of utility, I will give it 1.

2 * 2 * 2 = 4

Let’s consider the second item in the same category, a multi-functional tool.


I will assign all 1’s to it because it has many more uses, it is very light and compact, and its level of usefulness is very high.

1 * 1 * 1 = 1

So we clearly understand that it is worth choosing the second object. For your extended list, you can take a knife too. But for everyday life, multitool will be enough.

This way will help you make a choice and categorize everything.

Skills and Gear Are Everything

EDC essentials are great, but with the right skills, you can do it without them. But without skills, even the most sophisticated pieces of equipment will turn out to be a heap of garbage.

Practice, acquire new skills. True EDC fans never stop learning new subjects.

Make a fire without matches? Easy!

Open a bottle without a bottle opener? Of course!

Thanks to the skills, we can do more, faster and better.

Survival skills with EDC essentials, and you will be ready for anything.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQ

What is EDC gear?

It is the everyday carry of the most needed and important essentials. These include special survival options and must-haves like wallet, cash, credit card, cell phone, and driver’s license. It is any stuff without which functioning outside the home would be more difficult. Survivors add to this standard list other gear like a flashlight, multi-tool, self-defense pen, pliers, and so on. EDC essentials are your insurance policy for “shit happens” situations.

What are must-have EDC items?

First of all, EDC essentials are something without which a modern person does not go out:

  • cell phone;
  • keys;
  • driver’s license and ID;
  • wallet with cash or cards.

Experienced people add tools like:

  • bottle opener;
  • stainless steel pocket knives;
  • pocket notebook and pen;
  • flashlight;
  • pry bar;
  • multi-tools.

In fact, your collection of everyday carry very much depends on where you are, what the weather is outside, what you do, what the restrictions are.

How to carry EDC gear?

Everyday carry should not take up much space and should ideally fit into a pants pocket. There are also other ways to carry your EDC essentials. If everything does not fit in your pocket, you can use a belt bag or backpack. We recommend planning your shortened collection of EDC essentials so that you do not need additional wearing options. Choose the smallest and lightest pocket tools and clothes with many pockets.


A former USA Army sergeant and a highly educated survivalist and prepper with a degree and interest in Engineering and Electronics, Mike Millerson applies his extensive expertise in survivalism, homesteading, backpacking, hiking and hunting, spreading his deep knowledge about handling emergencies and prepping for them reasonably and effectively.




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