Top 10 Everyday Carry Items for Beginners

What is Every Day Carry or Everyday Carry (EDC)?

Everyday or Every Day Carry are items that you carry on your person every day. The main reason for these items is to be prepared for situations where these tools are necessary. They help you solve every day problems and can help you in a SHTF situation.

In this article, I want to cover the basics of what you should carry every day or things to include in your everyday carry (EDC). Seasoned preppers and survivalist will find this list redundant but for the beginner or those just getting into being prepared, these items may be a lifesaver.

What do You Every Day Carry (EDC)?

Sam’s Club

I chose items that I think are the most likely to get used and can be handy in a plethora of situations. I am going to forgo the obvious items such as your wallet, keys, and cellphone, but they should always be with you as well. This list is a general list that should apply to most basic preps, some preppers will find variants or other items that may fit better in their specialty.

When you get to a point where you are ready to get gear for your EDC, you do not want to skimp on cheap alternatives. Make sure you buy quality because these may save you a headache someday. On the other hand, if you skimp, they may cause you a headache.

Sharp Knife

One of the most important tools you can have is a knife. The possibilities are endless for how this can be used. Here are some of the obvious reasons for carrying a knife: self-defense, building a fire (with a magnesium rod), first aid, food preparation, punching holes, carving, prying, digging (one great reason to spend a little and get a strong, sharp knife) and creating tinder for your fire (batoning). Moreover, it’s just nice to have and can instill a feeling of confidence in an SHTF situation.


Cash can be a lifesaver in a disaster situation, cash may be the only way to get goods if the power goes down. Depending on where you are, some businesses still won’t take credit cards and no business can take a credit card if the power is out. In a pinch, some vending machines will only take cash or coins. Cash is king, it may be just what you need to buy your way out of a tight situation.


This one is kind of obvious, but the big ones may be power outages, car trouble, or blinding your assailant. I recommend at least two forms of light, a nice bright tactical light, and a smaller keyring light.

Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)

A first aid kit is a big plus to have with you even in good times. You never know when you may need band-aids or antibiotics for cuts and scrapes. But it doesn’t have to stop there, aspirin, ibuprofen, antacids, splints, tourniquets, and other medical supplies are a preppers friend.

Water Bottle

Water is an important part of life so having a water bottle to collect water in an emergency is paramount. I recommend a stainless-steel water bottle in case you may need to boil the water to kill contaminants.


Paracord is another great item to have in your EDC. Versatile and strong, it can be used to repair straps, secure things, shoelaces or in case your belt breaks and you need something to help hold your pants! There are endless possibilities for the uses of paracord, so it made the list without hesitation. Further, it is affordable, and light so carry a lot.


A way to start a fire may mean the difference between life and death. Fire can heat you in cold weather, cook food or boil water for drinking. Along with your matches or lighter, I recommend you keep a waterproof container with fire starting tinder in case you need to start a fire in wet conditions.


How can you beat a whole toolbox in a small foldable package? This is another tool that is worth its weight in gold when it is needed. Most multi-tools contain a knife, pliers, file, screwdrivers, and many other tools. This should probably be further up on the list but for now, I put it here.

Tactical Pen and Write Anywhere Paper

Technically, there are two things, but they go hand in hand. A tactical pen is not just for writing, many of these little tools can be used as self-defense or breaking your car window in an emergency. I recommend a “write anywhere pad” of paper, so you can write in the rain.

Watch with Compass

You need to know the time and you need to know what direction you are heading. It may seem like a compass is overkill but the route to where you are going doesn’t always lead you down the highway. You may find you have to cross rivers, creeks, and thickly wooded areas. In fact, in an SHTF it may be best to avoid the highways and take a more secluded trek home.

While this list only covers ten things that I recommend for EDC, there are a lot more tools and gear that I carry in our Get Home Bag (GHB) or our car bag. I will cover a more detailed get home bag (GHB) in a later article. But for now, I recommend you carry these items. When the time comes that you need one of these and you left home without them, remember, I told you so!