Everyday Carry

Because of my particular circumstances, I only carry an “Every Day Carry” (EDC) kit. Here it is. Updated June 2023.

First of all, I check this bag monthly. I check consumables, check batteries for corrosion, rotate prescription meds, etc. If there is any question about the viability of anything in your pack, replace it. If you are using this pack, your life is on the line.

Second, I kind of violated my own rule from Get Home or Get Out because I started off with a 5.11 Tactical MOAB 10 sling pack with an 18 liter capacity that has MOLLE and “professional” things hanging off of it that make me look like I know what I am doing.

EDC pack 360

I keep this and everything else in an inconspicuous tote in my vehicle. This bag has the sole purpose of getting me home, even if I have to walk 500 miles. I went with this because it’s a medium-sized single strap backpack. It comes in at a hefty (but not too hefty) weight of 23 pounds. Since it’s a sling pack, this means I can swing it from back-to-front and front-to-back easily. I can access everything in the pack while wearing it. I don’t have to remove it like I would a regular backpack to get at my supplies. The only issue is you have to be careful which arm you use to pick something up from the ground. If you use the wrong arm, it will come around on its own.

EDC pack bladder

This pack has a pouch for a water bladder of up to 2 liters. The bad news is, 5.11 doesn’t sell bladders in that size, so I had to scavenge one from a cheap Camel-Back clone from Bass Pro. I always have a growler full of water, so I can start off with some water in my pack.

So here’s the various subjects of stuff I have:

External Stuff:

EDC clothing

This part is not in the kit, rather within the container the kit is kept. These are protection from being annoyed from minor physical inconveniences. It starts off with a pair of (broken in) hiking boots. You do NOT want to get on a long hike like this with brand new shoes. The laces are 550 paracord, just in case. Two pair of heavy duty wool socks that you can rotate in and out will help prevent blisters and trench foot. If it’s cold, I have a pair of thermal underwear and a Balaclava for my head. A “jungle hat”, a basic set of gloves, a 5.11 MOLLE Packable Poncho, and an Enduracool microfiber cloth that I can soak in water then drape it around my neck and it will absorb my body heat and evaporate it to keep me cool. I also have a basic pair of mechanics gloves and a walking cane that can double as a tent pole. I also have something I just recently added that's not in the picture, mosquito netting meant to go over the hat and head. I hate mosquitoes.

Medical Supplies:

EDC medical

I have a Trauma Pack for major wounds and a camper’s first-aid kit for minor things. Dude Wipes to stave off crotch rot (trench foot for your Little Buddy or Little Lady), QuickClot for trauma, Blister Medic for the feet. The tourniquet is kept up front for easy and quick access. I also have some Hydrocortisone and Neosporin for any itches and/or small cuts to keep them from being infected. EMT shears for cutting things, and last but not least, a baggie with a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and dental picks, just in case of dental things.

EDC meds

I’m on prescription meds, (these are just some OTC meds as an example) so I purchased some “smoothie straws” and pinched one end closed with a pair of pliers, then melted the end with a lighter. I put a set of medications in there, cut the straw to length, then squeezed and sealed the other end. This way my morning/noon/night meds for the day are in one spot. Cut the end off and take them.

EDC medical2

Lastly, we have a travel container for my preferred painkillers and over-the-counter allergy meds. A couple of Chap-Sticks to keep your lips intact, and a small squeeze bottle of SPF 50 sunscreen. [Not shown] I have an external-access small compartment at the very top of the pack, where I keep a spare set of glasses. No bifocals, no special coating, no fancy frame. Just a basic spare pair of glasses.

UPDATE: Anti-diarrheal medications. All it takes is the wrong thing that you eat to start ejecting diarrhea. In a survival situation, diarrhea will be a killer. A severe case can have you eject multiple quarts of body fluids in a short period of time. Diarrhea will dehydrate you, and quickly. And when you get dehydrated, you get stupid. When you become dehydrated, you lose your cognitive ability, which leads to stupid (and fatal) decisions.


EDC food

While I anticipate being able to acquire food along the way, I have a couple of ration bars. I should be able to walk for 5 days on those alone (I need to lose some weight, walking it off is a great way). I have some toilet paper to clean myself after dropping a deuce. While walking, I have a half-dozen “energy shot” packs. You’re supposed to take one 15 minutes before you start, then every 15-30 minutes during. This is basically chocolate cake frosting with electrolytes, caffeine and other stuff to keep you going. Because it’s so thick, be sure to drink a pint or so of water right after you take one.


EDC water

You can live for days and sometimes weeks with no food. No water will severly impair your ability to think and function in a day. I totally upgraded here. I purchased a 2 liter Platypus GravityWorks water system. Scoop unknown water into the dirty bag,  then gravity does its thing and pulls the water through the Platypus or Sawyer water filter and into the clean bag. From there I can refill the bladder in the bag again, plus the 1.5 liter ThermoFlask, and keep another 2 liters in the clean bag itself.

Illumination and heat:

EDC fire

This is for light and fire. I don’t plan on moving around at night, or building a fire to attract attention to myself, but you never know what you might have to do.

The silver tube in the middle is a blow tube to keep my face away from the fire I’m trying to start to help me get kindling going. A ferro rod and striker for sparks and a variety of chemlights. The orange container has a box of strike anywhere “lifeboat matches” (that flare for several seconds) that also has some tinder. The ropes are tinder as well.

The white things in the middle are firestarters. Using the smoothie straws and the same sealing method I described above, I took a cotton ball impregnated with petroleum jelly and jammed it into the straw and sealed it. Cut it open (lengthwise) and squeeze the contents out on what you want to burn, then light.

You extend the rope a couple inches past the black tube, use it to light the fire, then pull the tinder inside the tube to extinguish it and use it later.

I also have a couple of small flashlights that use CR123 batteries, and a headlamp (that has red LEDs, very important at night) that uses AAA batteries. I don’t keep batteries in the lights, as they might corrode and damage the lights. I have enough batteries for 3 sets for each. And just in case I don’t want to start a fire the hard way, a couple of BIC lighters. The longneck ones, so I don’t set my thumb on fire as well as the kindling. I keep them in the original packaging to prevent an accidental button press and losing all of their fuel.


EDC tools

This wouldn’t be a guy’s pack without tools. Starting top left, I have a light duty carabiner with a chainsaw and a pack of cards that show how to some basic knots. A deck of playing cards, for a bit of entertainment when you’re sitting there doing nothing. They are waterproof clear cards, so no worry about getting wet. Play solitaire if you’re alone, or Rummy/Spades if you are with others. A battery with a multi-jack connector to keep the phone charged (if it survived). A second carabiner with a second chainsaw, and some emergency screwdrivers and a whistle. A silcock key. If you notice on commercial buildings, they have hose nipples for garden hoses, but no handle for you to turn the water on and off. This is what you use to get the water flowing and get any water still in the pipes into your containers. A folding knife, a spring-loaded center punch to quickly shatter car windows and similar things, a tactical pen and a note pad with “write when wet” paper. I also have $100 in cash, and another $20 in dollar coins. I figure coin money will be worth more than paper money in such a situation.

On the bottom row is some smoke grenades, a “spork” to eat real food with, two different Gerber multi-tools, and about 10 feet of duct tape, wrapped around an old shoppers card. A useless paracord wrist band (the whistle and compass are useless, paracord is never useless). And off camera is 50 feet of 1100 paracord.



I always know where I am and how to get home, but it never hurts to have some AAA maps and a Military Lensatic compass just in case I have to get off (and stay off) the interstate or major roadways. Having navigated with a magnetic compass on the open ocean with no landmarks, I'm pretty sure can do land navigation.

Shelter and Leftover stuff:

EDC external

First of all, a camo 8’x’8’ tarp and a half-dozen tent stakes. I know how to make a tent with a floor out of this, that I can either tie the apex to a nearby tree branch, or use the walking stick. I also have a 12” “bolt cutters,” which really can’t cut any kind of serious bolt or lock, but I will be able to open a fence with them.

I had a travel hammock in the last kit, but I ditched it because I could be easily spotted, being up in the air and in something that was not colored to match my surrounding flora and fauna.


Yes, I do. More than basic. Semi-serious, you might say. Not fully serious. I’m not going to look for a fight, but I will give a good accounting for myself if I have no other choice.

I highly suggest you look into such accoutrements. Get what you can carry and are accurate with. You won’t have 911 to call for help.

Last words (on this subject):

Don’t copy my kit. Use this as inspiration to build your own that fills your needs. EDC kits are like fingerprints, every kit will be different.

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