If you are new to Prepping, you may not be familiar with the term Everyday Carry, or EDC. EDC describes something that you keep on your person every day. You carry it every day, hence Everyday Carry.
With some help from my friend Steve, who is a prepper, homesteader, officer of the law, and just an all around good guy, I’m going to share how to make an easy DIY EDC Kit.
What Is An Everyday Carry?
As I just mentioned, EDC is something you carry on you every day. For instance, say you are an asthmatic and carry an inhaler everywhere you go. Your inhaler is a part of your EDC.
Other things that could be considered as a part of your EDC are things such as car keys, your wallet, or even your cell phone.
Although those items are an essential part of your everyday carry, we’re going to focus on the items that you would need for survival in an emergency situation.
What Should You Have For Everyday Carry?
Ideally, your EDC will include whatever you need to survive.
If you have severe allergies, include an epi pen, if there is a prescription you need that helps sustain you, include that in your EDC.
Other things you may want to consider are items that would help you survive in emergency situations. I’ll share what I include in my everyday carry below.
What Is The Most Basic EDC?
While most premade EDC kits have several useful items, many are overpriced, bulky, and impractical to carry everywhere you go.
Ideally, you will be able to place your EDC kit in your pocket, purse, or somewhere on your person.
Suggested Items For Basic DIY EDC Kits:
- Multi-tool (knife, saw, screwdriver, file, scissors, can opener).
- Paracord. Paracord can be used in the pouch itself or can be added as an accessory.
- Compass (Some paracord bracelets have a built in compass).
- Life-saving prescription(s).
- Water treatment.
Survival Rule of 3
There are survival rules of three that apply to most humans.
- You can survive three minutes without air.
- 3 Hours Without Shelter in harsh environments.
- Three Days Without Water.
- You Can Survive Three Weeks Without Food (if you have water and shelter).
For the purpose of survival, keep these rules in mind when making your own EDC and include items that would help you in each situation.
5 Priorities of Survival
A major event happens that changes “the world as we know it.” It’s not enough to have the right tools but one needs to know how to use them.
If you have a ferro rod in your EDC but have never started a fire, practice with one until you become proficient.
If you’ve never set a trap and caught wild game to eat, now is the time to practice.
In the middle of an emergency or serious situation it is not the time to learn these basic skills. Knowledge and experience can mean life or death.
5 Basic Survival Skills;
- Fire. Learn how to start a fire with items you find in nature.
- Shelter. Practice making basic shelters from trees, brush, even found items on the side of the road.
- Signal For Help. S.O.S., smoke signals, even rocks on the sand spelling ‘HELP”.
- Food and Water. Learn how to filter water, what water is safer than others, and how to purify it for drinking. Practice setting snares and traps for food. Take a local wild edible class.
- First Aid. Basic first aid courses can be found online or you can ask your local fire department if they offer courses to the public.
What Is The Best Daily Carry?
The best daily carry is one you can make yourself and customize to suit your needs. A good EDC should be compact, light, and easy to carry anywhere you go.
When You Might Need Your Everyday Carry
Imagine you are 200 miles from home on a business trip, and you could not take a GHB (Get Home Bag) with you.
Or going for a hike when the SHTF, or a natural disaster and your preps nowhere in sight.
You are forced to walk home with only the items in your pockets.
A person in pretty good shape can walk about 15 miles a day.
That makes it about 2 weeks to get home.
I would need something to help me get food and water to make the trip.
My defense would be covered with a pistol, large folding knife and spare magazine. I don’t leave home without them, and neither should you.
DIY EDC (Everyday Carry) Kit
I started to develop this kit a while back. My first prototype had a round plastic “ice breakers” mint box for a container.
The problem with the container was that it was less than 3 inches in diameter.
The smallest ferro rod that I could find was 3 inches and most folding knives smaller than 3 inches weren’t good for much.
The larger size was still able to be carried in a pocket and held a few more items.
The thought behind this EDC kit was having something available to let me survive for a couple weeks if I needed to get back home.
So I’ve been perfecting my everyday carry kit.
My DIY Everyday Carry kit has:
- 10 fish hooks.
- 10 removable split shots.
- 33 feet of braided fish line.
- 3 snares.
- Quality mini magnifying glass.
- Ferro Rod.
- Mini bic lighter.
- GI can opener.
- A 12′ piece of wire.
- 4 water purification tablets.
- 8 ibuprofen.
- 4 caffeine pills.
- A couple bandaids.
- All in a 3 ¼” inch diameter by 1 inch screw top aluminum tin.
DIY EveryDay Carry Kit Explained
Ideally, you would design your everyday carry to suit your needs. You may not be located near water to fish so hooks and split shot wouldn’t make sense for you. However, this is why I’ve included each of these items in my EDC.
Hooks, Line, Sinkers For Your EDC
The fish hooks, sinkers and line will allow me to fish on my way back.
The braided fishing line is a 65# test line. Trotlines could be set out for longer stops on the journey home and hopefully I could catch fish while I slept.
Snare can be set if I am in one place for any length of time to catch wild game for food.
3 ways to make fire
- The magnifying glass.
- Ferro Rod.
- Mini Bic.
I’ve carried bic lighters forever. Other than running out of fuel I’ve never had one fail. It doesn’t hurt to have options though with something as vital as fire.
You’ll note that I listed a quality magnifying glass. I need one for reading and close work too. Cheap magnifiers just don’t cut it.
Pain Meds For Your EDC
Ibuprofen will help with some of the pain from the long walk or any injuries.
Add Caffeine Pills To Your Everyday Carry
Caffeine pills will give me a boost when needed. In addition to an energy boost ,they can aid in keeping you alert or awake when you’re drowsy and need to keep watch.
Water Pills For Survival
The water purification tabs will give me a gallon of drinking water. That’s a start until I begin boiling water.
As I’m walking home I’m looking for things that will help me on my trip. A couple old soda bottles could become my new canteens.
A large beer can will become my new cooking pot with the help of the GI can opener and 12” piece of wire.
A large piece of plastic could become my tent or poncho. Always think outside of the box. Never quit.
I still think I could squeeze in a few more things in my EDC kit. It will continue to develop as time goes on.
Prepping At Home
If you are just getting into prepping and don’t know where to start, we offer an Ultimate Prepper’s Guide for Beginners. It covers all the basics for your home.
This article was a guest post and collaboration with my good friend, Steve Detmer.
Steve and his wife, Mary Lou, live on a micro-homestead in Northern Michigan. They are avid preppers and homesteaders with a vast amount of knowledge to share.