Why Your Everyday Carry Needs a Reality Check

One of the easiest and most personal forms of prepping is your everyday carry, or EDC. Your EDC says a lot about you as a person and as a prepper, which is why there’s never a single answer for how to build one properly.

Sure, there are tips and tricks for building out your EDC, but at the end of the day it’s all about you and what you might need on a moment’s notice. Trying to build your EDC based on specific advice from someone else can be maddening to say the least, and for anyone who’s tried, you probably know the end result is a mishmash of tools and items that you’re not sure you’ll ever use.

This is why it’s time to give your EDC a reality check. Whether you’ve carried your EDC for a few weeks or a few years, something you carry with you every day could always use a check-up from time to time, so consider this your yearly physical for your EDC.

Instead of giving you specifics, we’re going to look at three key elements to keep in mind when building or refreshing your EDC to make sure it’s both useful and portable.


1. Self-Reliance

The core of a proper EDC is self-reliance. The items you choose to carry with you every day should all serve the end goal of helping you rely on yourself to get out of most situations. This should cover the basics like:

  • Knife
  • Flashlight
  • Bottle opener
  • Cash
  • Multi-tool
  • Lighter/Fire starter

Your list of self-reliant necessities may differ from this, but you get the idea. If you’re building an EDC for the first time, think about what items you could possibly need on any given day. While you can’t plan for everything, especially when talking about items you have to carry on you daily, you can prepare for the majority of needs fairly easily when thinking about self-reliance first.


2. Convenience

Beyond the basics, a good EDC should have items that make your life convenient on a daily basis, too. Convenience items include anything that’s not typically needed for survival, but help you complete your day with a little extra comfort. These items can include:

  • Phone charger
  • Bandana
  • Notebook
  • Pen
  • Headphones
  • Water bottle

Basically, think about the things that you wish you had on an average day, and these are what you should start keeping with you at all times.


3. Personal Items

When you have self-reliance and convenience items figured out, any leftover space in your EDC should include personal items. Personal items can often cross over into the self-reliance and convenience categories, but this should go a little deeper than that. Some personal EDC items to think about include:

  • Watch
  • Mobile phone
  • Chapstick
  • Glasses/Sunglasses
  • Comb
  • Wallet pictures
  • Kindle/Book
  • Tablet
  • Computer

The list here goes on and on. The idea is that even though a typical EDC is all about self-reliance and preparedness, you don’t want to forget the personal touch.

By following this three-part outline, you’ll start to integrate your EDC into your daily life, making it more than a form of prepping, but an integrated piece of your daily routine that’s as familiar as carrying a wallet. When preparedness becomes second nature to you, you truly start being ready for anything.

About the Author:


Brian is a technology nut who loves craft beer. Still a Boy Scout at heart, he believes in always being prepared. Brian believes the most important tools you can have when the SHTF are your brain and the ability to keep a level head, no matter what the situation is.


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2 thoughts on “Why Your Everyday Carry Needs a Reality Check”

  • Chuck Findlay

    I do repair work in a few downtown offices (including a jail / sheriff office) and it's hard to get many of those things inside a gov building. Interesting enough they don't mind if I keep my Swisschamp knife on me?

    Also it's hard to carry a lot of those items in nice street clothes. I end up with full pockets most times.

    But I do keep a full (OK a bit more then full) kit in the van and truck.

    My point is a nice kit like shown above is great, but at times you are forced to trim it down quite a bit.

  • Know Prepare Survive
    Know Prepare Survive August 25, 2016 at 1:21 pm

    Agreed. It's impractical to carry everything on you at all times. I think as long as it's close at hand, you should be alright. Obviously it's not a perfect system but we can't all wear fully loaded cargo pants everywhere!

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