Everyday carry (EDC) kits are an absolute must for any prepper. Not only are they a good way of making sure that your safety is assured even in tough situations, but carrying one around with you is also an easy, relatively simple thing to do. Inside your kit, you’ll find all the things you might need one any given day, including both the obvious (food, water, a fire-starter, a lighter or flashlight) to the not-so-obvious (bobby pins, paper clips, safety pins).
So, what should be in your EDC kit, specifically? Well, basics for everyone include a flashlight, a first-aid kit, a hat (excellent for different types of weather), sunglasses, a lighter, rain gear (umbrella, foldable poncho), and a whistle. Paracord is also a great idea, since you can use it for a huge variety of survival situations; consider purchasing it in the form a paracord bracelet. Obviously, always keep your absolute necessities—your wallet, credit cards and other cards, car keys, and passes or fares for metros and subways—with you, no matter where you go. Your phone is incredibly important as well, naturally; you never know when you might need its camera or location services (or, if you’re anything like me, to play Pokémon Go).
Don’t forget to keep some food on hand, like trail mix and fruit. And water is always an absolute necessity; you never know when you’re going to become dehydrated. You can also keep a multi-tool inside, such as a Swiss army knife. Another possibility is a multi-tool that’s the size and shape of a credit card, which means that you can slip it efficiently into your wallet. Knives are often necessary, and, if you carry, then your gun will be part of your everyday carry kit. Also, fasteners and clips—like paper clips, safety pins, and bobby pins—can always come in handy, as can wires or magnets. (You can even use a magnet to make a makeshift compass in the wilderness.)
Remember: if you have more space inside your bag, then you can fit more inside it. However, you have to balance this against the fact that such a bag will be heavier to carry. If you’re doing something sedentary all day, such as social or work, and you don’t have to walk a large distance to get there, then a heavy bag might be a serviceable option. However, if you’re doing something more oriented on movement—such as shopping, for example, or a manual job—then a heavy bag might not be a feasible option.
Something else to consider is what the climate is like in your area. Winter gear (tuques, gloves) are an excellent idea for those living in colder climes, while those in hotter climes will favor sunscreen or caps with flaps. Bandanas are excellent in any kind of weather: you can use them as scarves to protect your neck from the cold in winter, or keffiyeh/shemagh to protect your neck and head in very hot climates.
All in all, carrying an EDC kit around with you is a great way of protecting yourself from some of the dangers life can put in your path. It’s also a great way of ensuring that you feel more confident about the world around you. Because, at the end of the day, that’s what being a prepper is all about, isn’t it? Having confidence in the face of whatever dangers life can throw your way.