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Building the Ultimate EDC Kit

Chris Ruiz of The Bug Out Bag Guide created an ultimate guide exclusively for Authorized Boots readers on how to build an EDC kit

Building the Ultimate EDC Kit: as a blogger in the prepping community, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to build the best Every Day Carry (EDC) kit. If you think about it, this makes perfect sense: An EDC kit is the most frequently used survival tool and something a prepper will have on their person at all times. While a bug-out bag may sit stored away until it’s needed, an EDC kit is constantly by your side and used every day.

Ensuring you have one that is properly packed is one of the most important steps you’ll take in your survival preparedness journey. In this article, I’m going to share with you the tips and tricks I’ve learned from trial and error on how to assemble the ultimate EDC kit, so you’ll be able to build one from the get-go that will best serve your needs. 

What is an EDC Kit?

In its simplest form, an EDC kit is essentially anything you carry with you at all times. In effect, we all carry an EDC kit without even trying, as most of us ensure essentials such as our wallet, keys and phone are on us at all times. A truly optimized EDC kit will include the following:

Items you carry with you already

Items that would help with frequently encountered challenges

Items that would help with rare threats that have serious consequences

The best way to determine what challenges and threats you are likely to encounter is to perform a risk assessment.

Assessing Risk

The best way to assess the risk of particular challenges and threats, and whether or not you should be prepared to address them, is to compare probability and potential impact. For each potential problem or threat you may encounter, consider its probability of occurrence and the potential impact it might have. For instance, walking through a dark parking lot at night might be a daily activity for you, so it’s probability is high; while the potential impact is more of an inconvenience (stumbling in the dark) than a truly disastrous consequence, due to the frequency in which you will encounter this problem, adding a flashlight to your EDC kit is a prudent measure. Lastly, make sure you pack a para-cord bracelet to the mix. 

Conversely, the threat of a terrorist attack has an extremely low probability of occurrence, but brings disastrous consequences, especially for those in highly populated areas; due to the severity of the potential impact, packing some sort of precautionary tool in your EDC kit is prudent.

Preparing Your EDC Kit

After carefully identifying what challenges and threats you are likely to face and assessing their various risk factors, the next step is to choose your EDC gear. The first gear you will want to look at is what you carry on you already and whether or not those items help address some of your identified challenges and threats. If you look closely, you can find ways to optimize the items you already carry and make room for additional gear. For instance, take a look at your keyring - do you still carry keys to old apartments or storage lockers you no longer use? If so, get rid of the unnecessary bulk. Similarly, take a look through your wallet and determine which items, such as rarely-used loyalty cards, can be removed to make room for more useful tools.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy when it comes to preparing your EDC kit. What you include should be a result of careful consideration of your own circumstances, not based on what someone else carries. However, if you need some inspiration, the following are my top suggestions for gear to carry in an optimized EDC kit:

Items you carry with you already

Wallet: For everyday activity, a wallet containing your cash and ID is essential; to better prepare yourself, consider adding a credit card-sized multitool, allowing you to carry around many useful tools in a compact space

Keys: Without your keys, you won’t be going far! To better utilize space, consider adding a survival key fob to your keyring, such as one with paracord or fire-starting capabilities

Phone: No one leaves home without their mobile, but in the case of a network outage, a phone becomes useless; use the space between your phone and its case to store PDFs copies of important maps you may need in an emergency

Watch: A great way to ‘supercharge’ a normal watch into a survival tool is to replace the band with one made from paracord, an item as versatile and useful as duct tape

Items that would help with frequently encountered challenges

• Folding Knife: A great tool to have on-hand for regular activities such as opening boxes as well as for self-defense purposes. 

• Flashlight: An essential addition for anyone who frequently finds themselves in secluded places, such as parking lots, late at night

Here's our suggestion of top tactical survival flashlights and shortwave radios

What would also help is a reliable set of combat boots that protect your ankles and help you endure weather circumstances

Here's a resource guide to survival tips and tricks to help you in the wild

Items that would help with rare threats that have serious consequences

Tactical Pen: While a pen is certainly a useful everyday item, a tactical pen provides the added benefits of acting as a self-defense and glass-breaking tool

Glass Breaker and Seatbelt Cutter: A must for anyone who commutes or spends a great deal of time in their car

Pry Tool: A must-have item on-hand for when you will need to open doors or containers in the event of an accident or emergency

More Paracord: Every bit as versatile as duct tape, you can never carry too much paracord; there are myriad uses for paracord and it is light, durable, and will not rot

Multitool: A tool that combines several useful items into one package that is compact and easy to carry will greatly enhance the portability and usability of your EDC kit

For preventitive measures, we recommend investing in a good pair of hunting binoculars to allow you to see from a distance. It wil help with securing food, finding safe areas to set up for the night, and planning the next move. 

Reviewing and Updating Your EDC Kit

After investing the time to thoroughly research possible challenges and threats and choosing the best possible items for your EDC kit, don’t let that effort go to waste by simply ‘forgetting’ about your items in your kit until you need them. Review your situational factors and the items you carry on a regular basis (rule of thumb is every six months).

Make sure the items you carry are still relevant to your needs and check to ensure the items are still in working order and that those requiring power or batteries are fully charged. Should your circumstances change, such as through the birth of a child or moving to another area, reassess your items carefully.

Check this out: The Everyday Carry Survival Kit

About The Author

Chris Ruiz is a lifelong outdoorsman and has been interested in survival tactics and practices for many years. He currently helps people prepare for unforeseen disasters at The Bug Out Bag Guide. For more information on disaster preparedness, emergency planning, survival skills, every day carry, or picking bug out gear, please visit:

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