When we think about everyday carry items we usually think about what we put in our pockets every day. The reason I titled this article “Everyday Carry (EDC) for Preppers From Head to Toe” is because there is much more that goes into EDC items than a flashlight and a pocket knife.
These prepping supplies and EDC supplies are important though. As they say, a carpenter is only as good as his tools. Anyone can go out and buy the best “tools of the trade” but if they don’t know how to use them, the house they build might not look like a house at all.
I will be going over some ideas and supplies for every day carry items in this article, but I wanted to start off by talking about knowledge and skills first. Most of the items we carry everyday are stored in our head, not in our pockets, purse, or wallet.
SPP200 Everyday Carry (EDC) for Preppers
While there are a few supplies listed below, not everything we everyday carry needs to fit in our pockets. These days there is no shortage of options, and no shortage of places to learn about personal safety and security.
Have a look at our article about the most important prepping gear to get a better idea about essential survival supplies.
Knowledge and Skill
Having these everyday carry supplies is only the first step. We also need to understand how we might use them, and why we might need them. Owning a gun requires safety education, maintenance and understanding when, why, and how you might use it.
While having a pocket knife doesn’t require the skill and training a gun does, we still need to know which one will suit our needs. Wearing a paracord bracelet is pretty pointless if you can’t tie a few different knots. Having a ferro rod if you can’t get a spark is also pointless.
Understanding when, why and how you might use an item will give you a better idea about the everyday carry items you might need. It will also give you a better idea how to handle a situation when those tools and supplies aren’t available.
The best way to handle any dangerous situation that might come is to stay out of it in the first place. Pay attention to what you do that might make you an easy target, and pay attention to what people around you are doing.
It is important to have these everyday carry supplies, but our goal should be to never need to use them. Sometimes the circumstances are unavoidable, and situations like these are why EDC items are so important.
There is no shortage of items you can carry to help you with self-defense. I’ll list a few below, but keep in mind, these tools shouldn’t be an alternative to knowing how to defend yourself, they are tools that might give you better odds.
This doesn’t mean you need to be Bruce Lee or Chuck Norris (wouldn’t that be awesome!) but we should learn as much as we can about basic self-defense. Criminals are cowards and opportunists, so like the saying goes…
“You don’t need to be faster than the bear. You just need to be faster than the person next to you”.
Demonstrating confidence and awareness might make that person wanting to do us harm think twice. If you can get them to think that you are not as easy a target as they thought, they might rethink their plans.
Personal Defense EDC Ideas
On Your Body (Typical EDC)
Typically when we think about everyday carry items we think about what we should put in our pockets everyday. Everyday carry items for preppers should include more than a flashlight, pocket knife and some paracord. Preppers are genius about finding ways to carry survival items, while still remaining the gray man.
Women seem to have the advantage here because a purse can hold more than a wallet. While I’m not opposed to a Fanny Pack or a Murse (Man Purse), I’m just not the type of guy that could pull it off. There are other options though, for both men and women, you just need to think outside the box.
Hats: With a little sewing skill and some ingenuity you could add a few secret compartments in your hat. There are also a couple of options online like this one from WazooSurvivalGear.
Clothes: I love cargo pants because there are so many pockets, but they are a little obvious. ScotteVest makes quite a few clothing options with hidden compartments.
Purse/Pack: If I were to get a “Man Purse” it would probably look something like this. Purses and Go bags give you the ability to carry more than just the basics. Something that looks like a laptop bag probably wouldn’t stick out too much these days.
Wallet: While space is limited in a wallet we should always have some extra cash on hand, and important information. Along with that there are a few other items like a credit card knife or freznel lens that would fit in a wallet.
Shoes: You might not be able to do it with “fancy shoes” but why not use paracord for work boots, hiking boots, or tennis shoes. I use Titan SurvivorCord in my shoes because it has fishing line, waxed jute and a copper wire inside.
Belt: A belt is not just to hold your pants up when your pockets are full. It could be a full on paracord belt like the Preppinstein Designs belt, or just a belt you can attach stuff to like a holster, multi tool or knife.
The EDC Basics
There are quite a few articles about the everyday carry basics, and people love to share what their EDC items include (me as well). Here is a short list of what I think that should include.
Extra Cash: There are many reasons why the grid would go down, and if this happens our money in the bank is useless. How much you carry is up to you, but I suggest at least $20 in small bills.
Pen (And Paper): You never know when you might need to leave information for someone else, or write something down for yourself. Using a pen and paper is easier than carving something into your dashboard.
Cell Phone: These days your cell phone is probably no further than arms reach away, so this might be an easy one. Even if there is no cell service, we might be able to text. We also have important information stored on our phones.
Important Info: Because we have everyone’s phone number in our cell phone, we probably don’t know their actual phone number. Have emergency contact info in your wallet, and also important medical information.
Flashlight: This is one of those “you’ll wish you had it” items. They offer more flexibility than using a lighter, and some can be used as a weapon.
Pocket Knife: Having a cutting tool is important for a number of reasons. You might only use it for opening packages these days, but you’ll be glad you have it in a survival situation.
Multi Tool: If you don’t already have a good multi tool, believe me, you will use it more than you think. You don’t need the best multi tool out there, but don’t go cheap. I have this Leatherman and I love it.
Fire Making: This goes without saying, but having a couple ways to start a fire are must have EDC items. Always carry a Bic lighter on you, and have at least one more option on top of that.
Self Defense: I talked about self defense above, so I won’t go into detail here. Most of the tools listed above can be used for self defense as well. The ability to conceal carry is best for self defense by far.
In Your Automobile
If you define everyday carry by what you can carry in your pockets, items in your car probably don’t make the list. In my opinion they should. We use our automobiles for everything we do, and they are always within walking distance of us.
Our cars also give you more storage space, and act as a staging point depending on which environment we are heading into. These days if you took all of your EDC supplies into a courthouse or airport, you might get the dreaded “domestic terrorist” label. Other situations might afford you the option of carrying more than just the basics.
All of this is why maintaining your automobile is so important. The easiest way of getting from point A to point B is on 4 wheels. If our vehicle breaks down, you will be left with the choice of what to take, and what to leave behind.
Here are a few items you can store in your car, but would be a an inconvenience to carry around with you everywhere you go.
Tools: I try to have all the tools I might need for small repairs in my truck. This includes a 40 piece socket set, screwdrivers, plyers, and some Duct Tape just to name a few.
Even if you don’t know how to use these tools, they are important to have. You might run into a problem that someone else might be able to fix… as long as you have the tools to do it.
Bug Out Bags: You can have the best bug out bag setup in the world, but if it sits at home it is useless. My bug out bag spends far more time on my backseat than on my back, but if I need it, I know it’s there.
Car (Road) Kits: First and foremost make sure you have a car jack, lug wrench, and a spare tire. I have purchased a few used cars in my day, and I’d say 90% of them don’t have a jack or a lug wrench in them.
Along with that, make sure you have an emergency car kit. This car kit here is a great ready to go kit. As preppers we are constantly adding/removing/tailoring our kits, so make sure and add/remove/tailor these kits to fit your needs.
Clothing: Most cars have plenty of storage space, so why not have some extra clothes and blankets in the trunk. Along with clothes you should have gloves, walking shoes, extra socks etc.
Shelter: In my truck I have 2 tarps, 2 survival blankets, duct tape and paracord to make shelter if the need arises. Overkill? possibly. But better safe than sorry I say.
Food & Water: It’s not only important to have a little food and water in your car, it’s also important to check and rotate it every once in a while. Extreme temperature changes can affect certain foods, and water can freeze and expand, causing a big mess when it thaws.
First Aid Supplies: Whether it’s a big emergency or something small, first aid supplies are always important. We use our cars to take us everywhere, and having some first aid supplies might become useful if we become injured, or to help someone else.
Preparedness Supplies at Work
The average person spends 8 hours a day at work, so it only makes sense to have some preparedness supplies there. Where and how you store these supplies depends on your job. Some people have desks, some have lockers, and some are very limited. If you have space available to stash some food, water and other preparedness supplies, why not use it.
To get a better understanding of what preparedness supplies you might need you need to have a good understanding of your surroundings. This means the people around you, the tools available to you, and even knowing the escape routes.
Supplies at Home
Items stored at home aren’t necessarily EDC items, but I want to cover them none the less. We have a tendency of letting our guard down when we get home because it is our “safe place”. This is all well and good, but we need to make sure it truly is our “safe place”.
Have some defense items stashed around the house and strategically located. Having a baseball bat parked by the front door, a firearm on your hip or a fat can of mace on your nightstand might give you an edge if needed.
Hypothetical Scenario: Lets say someone was holding you hostage in your house (robbing you) and told you to stay seated at the table until they were done. If you had a can of mace taped under that table you might be able to use it when they weren’t expecting it and get away.
You might be thinking that this goes WAY beyond everyday carry items, but the whole point of this article is to not limit ourselves to what we can put in our pockets. We can have all the supplies in the world, but if they are not readily available, they are useless.
If we take advantage of every opportunity we have, we are less likely to get caught with our pants down in a survival situation…especially if we have a belt.