Most of us give little thought to the things we need to carry everyday--keys, check; cell phone, check; wallet, check; big-assed purse that you could flatten a bear with, double check. There is a happy medium, however, between bringing EB-BOB (everything but the Bug Out Bag) and bringing nothing that could be used in a survival emergency. Here's how you want to create your EDC pack:
- Bring the basics, of course: keys, wallet, cell phone
- Bring things that you find a need for frequently: small packet of aspirin, pen, business cards, sunglasses, packet of tissue, small notebook, wet wipes, bandaids, floss, pocketknife, USB drive with all of your files backed up on it, etc
- Bring things that you personally find useful: laptop, digital camera, makeup, feminine hygiene products, tablet, firearm, condoms, cell phone charging cord, etc
- Bring things specific to your location/duration of time away from home: lunch/granola bar, bottle of water, umbrella, jacket, small toothbrush/paste, etc.
- Bring things that can be useful in a survival situation: small flashlight, alcohol wipes (good for scrapes, good as a fire starter), lighter (even if you don't smoke), etc.
- Bring cash. Even if you always use your debit/credit card, cash and coins have their uses so it is always a good idea to carry a bit of both.
- Bring something to carry it in: backpack, briefcase, purse, pants pockets, messenger bag, etc
- Remember to make these things as small, lightweight, and easy to carry as possible (ie: you don't need to bring an entire bottle of aspirin when a packet or two will do; you don't need your full-sized .45 when a small, concealable .380 will suffice; you don't need to bring a DSLR camera--unless you are a photographer--when the camera on your cell phone will work for your purposes)
- There is (almost) no reason your EDC kit should weigh 20 pounds!
- There is also no need to buy THE MOST EXPENSIVE ITEMS for this kit unless you a) have a lot of extra money you don't need, b) have used the items in your kit long enough to know for sure that an upgrade is a good investment, or c) can acquire these expensive items cheaply enough that it doesn't dent your wallet too bad
- Finally, there is A LOT of cool EDC gear out there with more being introduced everyday. While it may be tempting to buy every item that comes down the pike, look at your needs logically. Yes, a tactical pen is cool and could be useful in certain situations but the possibility of you needing to stab someone should be quite infinitesimal (I hope). Your money may be better spent on other items (like you food stockpile which we will discuss later).
My EDC is continually being refined. When I used to live in the Pacific Northwest, commuted long distances for work, and would often find myself on an impromptu hike/boat ride/etc, my EDC was different/much more robust than it is now as a retiree who seldom wanders far from home (unless I am hiking which is a whole other kind of kit). A commuter in Boston would have a different EDC set up than a college kid in San Diego. The idea is to bring stuff that is necessary to you followed by a few items that you may never need but would come in handy in an emergency (I never need aspirin but have given lots of it away to others, I carry a small flashlight that I have never needed to use to escape from a dark place but which lights up menus in dark restaurants quite well, my pocketknife has been used more times than anything else I carry, I wouldn't carry a toothbrush but plenty of office workers seem to do this, and carrying a concealed weapon is a whole other blog post but is part of your EDC if you choose to carry).