EDC Bag: Survival Gear Checklist


The EDC Bag Survival Gear Checklist

The EDC Bag (Every Day Carry Bag) is a day bag filled with the gear you carry every day. These packs are just an inconspicuous day pack like everyone carries around in the city…the main difference for survivalists is ours have survival gear in them. In case you don’t know, a day bag (or pack) is a lightweight small pack that is taken with you wherever you go.

The EDC Bag

The EDC Bag can be a tactical bag like this one…or any old bag you want.

Think of the fanny pack, the messenger bag, or any other small backpack that can carry your daily needs. Now think of that being filled with some basic survival gear. These packs are generally for helping you get home in a crisis.

The survival gear checklist for an EDC bag should include the basics for survival. You could go with the bare minimum of survival gear; but including the basics won’t hurt either. That way when you face a crisis, you will be better prepared.

Some suggested items to include in your EDC Bag:


This is very important, especially in climates that get cold.

  • A simple space blanket or Bivy Sack will protect you from the wind and cold and could very well save your life when it is frigid outside. Both are lightweight and don’t take up much space. Because it takes up the least room, the space blanket is a better fit for the butt pack, if that is your pack of choice.
  •  Add a poncho to make into a lean-to shelter to protect against wind and rain.
  • Some 550 Paracord will help a lot when building your shelter.
  • Duct tape will help repair it.

Food and Water:

  • Pack some food bars or something similar.
  • Include some water purification tablets.
  • A canteen or Nalgene water bottle filled with water.
  • A P-38 can opener for when you get lucky and find some cans of food.
  • A spork will come in very handy too.
  • Some snare wire to help you catch a protein meal.
  • A Yo-Yo fishing reel to catch some fish.

First Aid:

  • Include a basic pocket-sized first aid kit inside your bag. There are several soft sided first aid kits available for purchase, or you can put your own kit together.
  • If you are putting your own kit together then first figure your needs, and how big of a kit you can include in your bag.
  • In an Altoids tin you can put several Band-Aids, a couple of antiseptic wipes, a few pills such as Tylenol, and still have a little room to spare.


  • You need a good led flashlight. I prefer the magnificent Fenix PD31.
  • Headlamps are also a good choice and come in very handy when you need your hands free to work on something in the dark. Sure you can hold a flashlight in your teeth, but you will be much quicker and more efficient with a headlamp. Besides, you look silly with a flashlight in your mouth with drool dripping from your chin!
  • Don’t forget extra batteries.
  • A couple of 12 hr lightsticks will be another smart addition to your kit.

Fire Starter:

  • Always have a way to start a fire. Many people always carry a lighter with them.
  •  Other good fire-starters are waterproof matches, and a Firesteel.
  • A candle, or a few solid fuel tablets will help you establish the fire in damp situations.


If the power goes out, the credit card machines won’t work. I suggest $100-$200 cash.

If you really want to be ready for a SHTF scenario…for instance in case the economy collapses…you can have a small stash of pre 1965 US silver coins in your bag. The dimes, quarters, and half-dollars made in the USA before 1965  are 90% silver and should be very valuable if paper money loses its value.

Knife and/or Multitool:

I like to carry both a surival knife and a multitool because some jobs need a bigger blade and others just need the tools.

Check out this video that does a good job of covering  the basics of building an EDC Bag:

If you have never carried or put together an EDC Bag then the time to do so is now. They are lightweight and have just enough gear in them to help you get home in a crisis. Every EDC Bag that I have ever seen is constantly evolving though…they change and adopt to the needs of the owner. I suggest you start small and work your way up…and have fun with the process!

Images courtesy of: Mr Bill

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