These are usually limited to what can be physically carried on a person or in a small bag or organizer, but the term EDC may sometimes be extended to everyday preparedness items and may be stored in a larger backpack or even a vehicle.
Generally speaking, there are the must-have EDC items that you would store on your body, and then there are the ones you’d carry in a backpack.
Ultimately, EDC items will differ between individuals and there is no go-to list. That being said, most lists will at least feature four or five of the same items, and we’ll be paying attention to these in our list.
A wallet is one of the most obvious EDC items, and, ideally, it’s best to carry cash alongside your bank cards and ID. The reason why it’s worth carrying cash, as well as bank cards, is because you’ll always be prepared, which is at the heart of EDC.
While it might be second nature to pay by card in the city, you don’t want to find yourself stuck in more remote areas unable to buy groceries, gas, or other essentials. Because of this, it’s always a good idea to have your wallet and at least some cash in it.
Cash also means you can leave a tip, and, along with your bank card, it means you give yourself multiple options when it comes to paying for something - especially in the case when a card machine is out of order.
It’s also best to ensure your wallet is as lightweight and compact as possible. Getting rid of any unused cards or receipts is a good way to streamline your wallet, as it’s surprising how much unnecessary junk we can carry around with us.
This is another pretty obvious choice, but think about it: your cell phone contains more than just the ability to communicate - these devices have pretty much everything you need to navigate daily life - from GPS to Google maps, to a notebook, clock, calculator and so much more.
Just don’t forget to pack your charger, as a cellphone without charge is both useless and frustrating - especially when you really need it.
A flashlight is a must-have EDC item because it’s one of those things that you’ll be so glad to have if ever you need it. Depending on your needs or preferences, you can also get different flashlights.
While a flashlight is handy for everyday use when walking the dog at night or looking for your keys in your bag, you can even get a tactical flashlight which can be used for self-defense.
When it comes to an ideal flashlight for EDC purposes, you want something that shines brightly, has an excellent battery and is super lightweight.
Just like a flashlight, a pocket knife is a must-have EDC item. These multi-functioning tools can be used for anything from cutting up food, cutting fabric or packages, and even self-defense. Choose a pocket knife that is lightweight and compact but has a strong blade.
A multi-tool is also a good option as this is a jack of all trades and can prepare you for any unforeseen challenges.
While you can always check the time on your phone, we still recommend wearing an old fashioned wrist watch.
For one, the battery lasts a lot longer than your cell phone’s, and it keeps you from checking your phone too often.
Pad and pen
Again, you could use your phone to make notes, but a pad and pen is a timeless combination that enables you to keep all of your to-do lists, thoughts, contact details, and whatever else in one place.
IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit)
Whether you like to carry an IFAK equipped to deal with serious injuries or a pocket-sized one for patching up small cuts, it’s always a good idea to carry some sort of first aid kit.
IFAK can be ideal for when you’re acting as a first responder (if you’re qualified to) or for taking care of yourself until medics arrive. They can also be handy for carrying general medication to treat headaches.
Again, the size of the kit is up to you, but you can get many impressive IFAKs that are surprisingly extensive yet don’t take up too much space in your backpack or pocket.
A good quality water bottle is a no-brainer, as not only is it good to stay hydrated on a daily basis, but having a supply of water with you can come in very handy in an emergency, for example, if you find yourself stranded or if you need to rinse a wound.
Look for a water bottle that is robust and hard-wearing, and that keeps your water chilled even in warm temperatures.
EDC items are all over the internet, and as we say, lists will differ between individuals. There may even be some items on this list that you deem unnecessary, or perhaps ones that are necessary to you that we’ve missed out.
The main goal of EDC is to be prepared for whatever the day throws at you. It’s also a good idea to ensure your EDC items are of good quality, are hard-wearing, and multi-functional.
While you may already have the latest smartphone or a fancy leather wallet, investing in a robust pocket knife or a compact individual first aid kit could make a huge difference if you find yourself in a situation where you need these things.
It’s also a good idea to keep your weight as low as possible, as you may get fed up with carrying all of these EDC items if they feel unnecessarily cumbersome. Like we said, look for items that are lightweight and compact, that can easily be stored in your pockets or a backpack.
There may be items that you deem unnecessary, like a pad and pen if you frequently rely on your smartphone instead, and if this is the case, feel free to cut your weight by leaving such items out.