So you decided you should have a survival-focused everyday carry bag (AKA edc bag). Then you read articles about what to look for, and weighed the pros and cons of things like tactical bags vs messenger bags.
You thought about whether you needed features like a tablet sleeve or a waterproof main compartment. And then you made the big decision and got yourself something like the Bellroy Classic Backpack, or maybe the Chrome Industries Urban.
The bad news is that you still have to decide what gear to pack. It can be tough to decide what everyday carry essentials you need. After all, your life might depend on it. The good news is we’re here to help you with that.
You don’t want to pack your edc bag so full of stuff that it gets uncomfortable to carry. That’s why it’s important to carry only what’s essential, plus maybe a few extra items.
Basically, you want your everyday backpack contents to serve as your first line of defense should you get into a dangerous situation. But there are all sorts of dangerous situations you can get into, so you need to focus on picking versatile gear.
Let’s take a look at the top 5 items you should definitely pack in your Everyday Carry Bag.
1. Basic Survival Kit
All good everyday carry backpacks always contain a basic survival kit. Think of your basic survival kit as being a bit like your first aid kit. Except instead of healing your wounds, this kit serves to protect you from the elements.
Here are the gear you’ll want to include in this kit:
- A small source of fire (A BIC lighter or survival lighter will do just fine. Just make sure it has fuel).
- A Ferro Rod or Magnesium Fire Starter for when you need a waterproof fire starter.
- A water filter
- A small emergency space blanket
- A water bottle (most everyday carry backpacks have a dedicated water bottle pocket)
- A good knife
- A flashlight with extra batteries
- A compass
- A whistle
- Duct tape
- Free survival gear
2. Basic First Aid Kit
As anyone in the everyday carry community will tell you: a first aid kit is really something everyone should have around at all times, survivalist or not.
Now, it’s difficult to pack a first-aid kit that will prepare you for every type of injury. Even so, a few supplies can really go a long way and should easily fit in your EDC bag.
These supplies include:
- Gauze pads
- Antiseptic cream
- Medical tape
- Pain relievers like Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen or naproxen sodium.
- Small pair of scissors
- Burn cream
Of course, depending on your own medical needs, you may need to pack some extra items in your first aid kit. For example, an Epi-pen if you’re allergic to bees or have a food allergy. Or, you may need to sunscreen if you burn easily.
3. Cell Phone/Communication Device
If you find yourself in an emergency situation, it’s important to be able to call for help.
Of course, cell phone reception only goes so far and cell phone batteries only stay charged for so long.
Many survivalists are also against the idea of carrying a cell phone with their everyday carry items because they somehow think it’s “cheating.”
But if you really want to feel like it’s man vs. nature, you don’t need to have your cell phone turned on at all times.
You should also consider carrying a rechargeable battery pack in your EDC bag in case your other one runs out of juice.
4. Energy Bars
While you may not think you’ll need extra snacks along the way, energy bars can come in handy when you’re in a pinch.
You never know where you’ll end up where food supplies might be short.
Make sure the bars you pack in your edc bag have a high dose of protein to keep you full.
Often times, people are so concerned about protecting themselves from the elements that they forget about protecting themselves from mankind.
It’s always good to have a weapon handy for quick access in case someone tries to attack you.
Your weapon of choice should be one that’s easy to carry and most importantly, one you’re comfortable using. Pepper spray can be a great option, or perhaps an everyday carry knife (even a credit card knife would be useful).
Everyday Carry Bag Contents: Wrap Up
We hope this list makes packing your everyday carry backpack or edc bag easier.
If you have questions about where to find any of these items or how to select the right ones, please drop us a comment below.