The Ultimate Guide for Creating the Best EDC Checklist
What would John Wick keep in his car?
Would Jack Ryan stow a go bag at the office?
What sort of gadgets would Q Branch prepare for 007’s EDC kit?
EDC, or everyday carry, encompasses all the little items that help us during unforeseen situations. If you’re a super-spy or a professional assassin, your EDC kit might tend toward the violent side. But the basic idea holds up even for those of us without multiple identities and dozens of fake passports.
That means that if your phone dies unexpectedly, your electronic payment options stop working, or you take a tumble on your lunchtime ramble, a good EDC kit should have you covered.
Ideally, a good EDC kit should be personalized for your own unique situations and needs. You probably don’t need John Wick’s bulletproof Italian suit, for example, but you might need his high-end pocket knife.
To help you prepare the perfect EDC kit, we have gathered everything you need to know about crucial EDC items. We also go into detail about who should use an everyday carry kit, and provide you with a list of the best EDC essentials.
Let's dive straight in.
Table of Contents
Who Uses an EDC Kit?
Why Do You Need an EDC Kit?
The Ultimate EDC checklist
Expand Your EDC Kit With Ultimate Survival Items
Who Uses an EDC Kit?
Anyone can benefit from a good everyday carry essentials list.
While the idea originated with lovers of the great outdoors, it can easily be adapted by the most cultured city dweller, as well as the most outdoorsy adventurer. Whatever the case may be, an EDC kit is meant to help anyone get through an unexpected situation. That means that with a well-built kit, you’ll be prepared for any crisis, wherever–and whenever–it comes.
(Image courtesy of The Gear Bunker)
Why Do You Need an EDC Kit?
Be prepared for anything: that’s the basic idea. After all, MacGuyver might have been able to navigate any situation with a broken safety pin and a bit of duct tape, but the rest of us probably need something a bit more robust.
When preparing an EDC kit, your three guiding principles should be safety, preparedness, and efficiency. Let’s take a detailed look at each of these concepts.
Maintaining everyday carry items, accessible at all times, can save your life.
In the United States, there were 2.5 million violent crimes in 2021. This includes 2.3 million assaults, with another 500,000 burglaries. With the right tools, your EDC kit can offer personal protection during situations that are out of our control.
There are other situations where EDC kits come in handy, too, like getting through the everyday challenges of modern life. For example, you may need help if your car breaks down on the side of a little-used back road, or if you find yourself without any cash in an unfamiliar city.
For those of us who prefer Bear Grylls to James Bond, meanwhile, safety concerns might include encounters with wild animals, or adventures in remote locations without access to safe drinking water. During these kinds of survival scenarios, an EDC kit can make all the difference.
“An ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.”
An EDC kit is modern proof of this old maxim. Disasters wait for no one and more often than not, what you have on your person is all you will have to save your life. For instance, car accidents can cause deep lacerations on your limbs, making it a shrewd choice to keep your Individual First Aid Kit (or IFAK) nearby. When you have mere seconds before bleeding out, having immediate access to a CAT tourniquet is the difference between a visit to the hospital ER or the morgue.
The odds are good that you already have everything you need for the perfect EDC kit. With that said, there is an equally strong chance that the necessary ingredients are spread all over your garage, house, workshop, or office. By assembling them all into a single location, you avoid last-second, frantic rummaging through cluttered drawers in a desperate search for the multitool you last saw two years ago.
It is therefore advisable to use the checklist below to gather your EDC kit in advance. This will save you time when you’re faced with an emergency and every second counts.
(Image courtesy of Military Times)
The Ultimate EDC checklist
The ideal everyday carry kit is, of course, informed by the user’s specific needs. With that said, however, there are several EDC essentials that work for nearly everyone.
Use the following list, therefore, as a starting point for your EDC loadout.
Technology is unpredictable at times. You never know, for instance, when your phone might stop working or freeze unexpectedly. On this basis, it is wise to carry a spare phone. That way, you’ll have a backup–if only a basic version–if needs must.
Thankfully, acquiring a spare phone is simple enough, as they can be purchased at virtually any convenience store, including gas stations. And since you don't need access to a fancy smartphone in the event of an emergency, any cell phone works! Just remember that, depending on the type of phone, you might also need a calling card.
It’s also important to pack a charger for your backup phone as well, a (charged up) portable power bank, or even good old fashioned batteries. Note that many simple cell phones (i.e., not smartphones) feature surprisingly long battery life. As such, a spare battery can give you days of emergency use exactly when you need it.
Extra Car Keys
Necessary? Also yes.
By dropping an extra set of car keys in your EDC kit, you’ll ensure that you’re never stranded again.
Just don’t leave your EDC kit with the extra keys in the car.
Keeping a pocket knife as one of your everyday items can ensure your safety during unexpected situations.
Regularly find yourself in challenging outdoor environments? Look for a slightly larger blade. Want something easy to conceal and slip in a pocket? A simple lock-back pocket knife will do the trick, with thousands of high-quality options available.
There are also specialty knives for anyone who regularly enjoys hunting, fishing, or other sports. Likewise, urban-dwelling readers may require knives for a variety of tasks, like cutting open containers and even warding off attackers in close quarters.
Plus, if you’re absolutely dry on tourniquets, you can improvise one as a last resort by cutting off fabric with a knife and then using a hard object to create a windlass to act as a tactical tourniquet, or TQ.
Finally, knives can be used to aid in wound dressings (e.g., cutting bandages, cutting tape, etc.).
A multi-tool, such as an old-school Swiss army knife, is any tool that serves multiple purposes. These nifty little gadgets feature a plethora of different and potentially useful attachments, including mini saws, blades of different lengths, various screwdriver bits, and far more.
Notably, multi-tools come in a huge variety of sizes and shapes, from smaller ones that fit into your pocket to larger versions that function as a portable toolbox.
Pen and Paper
While your phone may be your go-to place to keep notes, you never know when your iPhone or Samsung might fail you. And if you have to resort to a more basic prepaid phone, as previously mentioned, you won’t be able to rely on your trusty Notes app.
It is sensible, therefore, to keep a pen and paper in your EDC kit.
Long days away from home can drain your electronic devices quickly.
As such, a portable charger is the perfect solution to low battery issues. If you regularly spend time off the grid, look for solar-powered chargers with multiple inputs to charge any device simultaneously, such as a smartwatch, phone, or tablet.
These days, most stores and restaurants feature contactless payment, meaning you can sort out the bill with the mere touch of your phone.
Occasionally, however, one may encounter a place that only takes cash. It is worth your while, therefore, to maintain a small stash of cash in your EDC kit. That way, you won’t have to walk away from buying something you really want from a cash-only vendor–or, worse yet, be left without a means to purchase essential goods during an emergency (like a power outage).
First aid kit
If preparedness is the best cure, then the best example of that principle is a first aid kit. Whether you need a cut cleaned or require some butterfly stitches for a moderately deep wound, a mini first aid kit has everything you need to ensure an injury is disinfected and bandaged properly.
Bear in mind: First aid kits often take up more room than other items in your EDC kit. For that reason, it is prudent to start with the first aid elements of your EDC, and build everything else around them.
You can also create a miniature first aid kit, using travel sized items and a smaller cache of bandages.
Expand Your EDC Kit With Ultimate Survival Items
Once you’ve compiled your basic EDC kit, the next step is to invest in survival items. After all, the point of an EDC kit is preparedness, and, as the old adage goes, you never can be too prepared.
To assist you in this goal, we have created a list of the most important survival items to include in your EDC kit.
You never know when you might need a half-face respirator to keep you safe. For instance, a common brush fire or forest fire can lead to hazardous smoke in your locale and beyond, as the recent fires in Central Canada have taught us. Viral threats, too, are an increasingly commonplace concern.
A half-face respirator, like MIRA Safety’s TAPR, is the perfect solution to these kinds of problems. Also known as the tactical air purifying respirator, our half-face respirator offers face protection as well as air filtration.
MIRA Safety’s TAPR
Developed for the Czech Special Forces, our TAPR features a flexible yet functional, shooter-friendly design with ultralight construction, making it easy to store and wear. Plus, the mask can be adapted to seamlessly integrate with a wide range of prevalent helmet systems and communications gear.
Try it out for yourself, and you’ll see why this combat-ready half-face respirator is trusted by active duty military and rescue teams worldwide.
It is always a great idea to stay hydrated. As such, maintaining a hydration canteen as part of your EDC gear is essential, as you never know when you may need a place to store water. You can also include water filters and filtration tablets to ensure clean drinking water off-grid.
To address all these concerns and more, check out MIRA Safety’s nuclear survival kit, which includes a canteen, NBC-77 SOF filter, gas mask of your choosing, drop-leg gas mask pouch, and potassium iodide tablets. With this comprehensive, cost-effective kit, you’ll be prepared to contend with a variety of CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear) threats.
The MIRA Safety Nuclear Survival Kit
So, we’ve piqued your interest with the nuclear survival kit, but you’re not sure which gas mask to choose.
Well, you have two options: our CM-7M military gas mask, or our CM-6M tactical gas mask. While each mask has its own advantages, both provide robust CBRN defence. From industrial chemical spills to open riots, these products have a wide variety of applications, meaning you’ll be glad you included them as a part of your EDC loadout.
The MIRA Safety CM-7M Military Gas Mask
Protective Safety Mask
Of course, not everything in your EDC loadout can be as heavy-duty as a gas mask or filter.
Sometimes, you need a simple protective safety mask. These come in two sizes, adult and child, and are made with comfortable straps, ensuring ease of use.
Protective masks are a great way to keep you and your family safe on an everyday basis, especially during cold and flu seasons.
MIRA Safety Protective Safety Mask
Don’t wait to get started on your go bag. After all, you probably already have the essentials–you just need to put them all in one place and decide on the best location to store them.
So what’s holding you back?
Maybe, for example, you don’t want to lug around a full kit everywhere you go. If so, make multiple versions. You can store your essentials in a small EDC pouch for carrying around on your person, while a larger kit in an EDC backpack can be stored at work.
There are even EDC purses or small satchels that can be left in the car. Take some time to research the different bags available and create specialized kits that are individualized to meet your specific needs.
With a little forethought and survivalist savvy, we’re sure you can achieve the perfect EDC kit.