Everybody has their version of EDC gear. That’s ‘everyday carry’ to you Moms Demand Action types trolling the site. Of course, the question of what should be in an EDC kit gets as many varying and passionate responses as asking who makes the best pizza. Take, for instance, Kevin Michalowski’s take, above. His list of must-haves includes a light and pepper spray. But wait, no blade? I get that empty, lost feeling if I cross the threshold without my Dragonfly 2 clipped securely to my pocket. So leave aside your gun, holster and ammo as givens. When it comes to additional gear, what won’t you leave home without?

85 Responses to Question of the Day: What are Your EDC Must-Haves?

  1. When it comes to additional gear, what won’t you leave home without?

    My American Express card. ‘Cause Karl Malden said so.

    • Comedian Yakov Smirnoff once said:

      “In America, you have American Express – ‘Don’t leave home without it’… In Russia, we have Russia Express – ‘Don’t leave home’…”

  2. Pretty decent advice IMHO. Whenever I go out I’m usually wearing a 5.11 vest with all kinds of little handy pieces of gear in it. Weighs a bit, but not enough to bother me. Just moved so I can’t exactly carry here yet but when I can I’ll be keeping all this in mind.

  3. EDC is

    Mag lite (full size)
    8″ fixed blade buck knife
    Model 29 in leather shoulder rig
    4 speed clips
    Full med kit with tourniquet
    Plate carrier 90 percent of the time

  4. Being able to exploit the carrying potential of cargo pants, I’ve expanded into wallet, keys, cellphone, multitool, lighter, flashlight, and gun. I need a smaller flashlight for EDC than the one I currently have, and I should also start packing a small first aid kit.

  5. Why are wallets, keys and watches always included with EDC lists? I assume those to be givens.

    Absolute minimum for me is P3AT, Gerber Dime, TI Illumina light

    Most days it’s an LC9s, spare 9 rd mag, CRKT Drifter, collapsible pen, OC spray and cheap Bic lighter, plus the Dime and a light. Phone, wallet, keys and watch are assumed.

    • Thanks for pointing out that flashlight. I’ve been casually looking for a decent AAA battery flashlight for some time. My limited googling all required 2xAAA, and that’s not what I wanted.

      My recent experiments take those button batteries, which are stupid expensive, have failed and come apart in the washing machine (small is as small does), or too easily click on by themselves in my pocket (thus necessitating point 1).

      I am between flashlights right now.

      The Titanium one looks cool, but I think I can survive nicely on the Aluminum one. They’re a bit pricey, but considering my adventures with “cheaper” solutions, not so much if it lasts. Maybe for Christmas. If I ever find myself on a compromised under water drilling rig, I’ll pony up for the titanium once since my wedding ring is gold.

      As far as EDC, I have my phone, wallet, car keys, house keys, office fob (on work days), Fisher Bullet pocket pen, and a nifty little Kershaw Speedsafe knife with a 2″ blade.

      • I generally prefer a tailcap switch, but the TI Illuminati is so small and compact (and bright!), I end up carrying it more than my larger light. I have the aluminum version and it works great.

  6. Wallet, keys, wedding ring, watch, phone, and a COLT brand 1911 (this week). I actively work to carry around a little as possible. Too much junk in my pants pockets gets uncomfortable, and I refuse to wear a Batman-style utility belt festooned with pockets and pouches. A light and a multi-tool are in my car or backpack if I need them.

  7. What I always carry for sure is my cellphone, wallet, and a modern pocket knife clipped to my pocket. I’m going to start carrying a flashlight too, though. Oh yeah, a pen comes in handy too

  8. I’d rather be without my wallet and phone than my pocketknife. I carry my knife around inside my apartment while wearing pajamas.

  9. Since I’m packing (or not packing I should say) for an airline trip to the hell hole called Chicago, thanks for kicking me right square in the nuts with this article. Guess it’ll be a mini light, mini mulitool & a pocket knife.

      • I don’t think Macgyver carried much of anything. Just resourceful with what he found, to get out of a jamb. (thank God for writers and Propmasters)

        As I recall He didn’t like guns……………….. was Macgyvers parents named Michael and Sharon??

  10. It is only coincidence I carry a pocket knife, which could be used as a weapon, just more effective than my keys on a ring.

  11. 1/ Glock 26 or LCP
    2/ Leatherman Wave with pocket clip
    If I’m at work I carry it in a belt pouch with 40 different bits (more compact than you think using the factory 20 peice trays and carrying in the pouch) with a bit extender.

    I have carried it literary every day for 4 years now. I have used it at least 360 days of a 365day period. Opening a box, tightening a tiny screw on sunglasses, cutting wire tangled up in a lawnmower, plies as a backing wrench, improvised hammer, opening beer, pulling stuck casings out of a rifle, picking up hot skillets, getting sandspurs out of boot laces, etc etc etc

    literally everything you can think of if its there you will use it.
    I walk around the house with it and just about shower with it and sleep with it.

  12. Looper reinforced belt, Streamlight 2AA, Kershaw assisted opener (some Academy only model), Leatherman Wave on my belt, emergency cash and card, Bic lighter, and the givens (wallet, phone, watch).

    Note: I never realized how darn useful the flashlight would be until I started carrying one.

  13. Blade, fire, signal, light, tool:
    At a minimum a stand-alone knife I can depend on, a way to light a fire, signal whistle, light, multi-tool

  14. I always have the tiniest Swiss Army knife that is available and I usually have a flashlight if I go into a public building.

  15. For me it’s usually my Glock 19 with StealthGear Onyx IWB holster and some cheap Snap-On folding knife (it gets the job done) unless I’m at work then it’s just the knife (thank you gun-free military bases).

  16. Knife, light, Leatherman Jucie S2 (I named it specifically because there is no other pocket multi-tool as far as I’m concerned), and gun, but sometimes two.

    I really do carry all this stuff everyday- shorts, jeans, suit, doesn’t matter. But, the brands and types change based on my needs and what tickles my fancy at that time.

  17. it’s LCP, SOG flash 1, victorinox cadet and streamlight stylus pro on small days

    glock 19, griptillian tanto, leatherman wave and surefire e2d defender ultra on big days.

  18. ,EDC- (while not at work). OC Kimber 1911, 2 10 rnd. mags, Leatherman Multi tool and Streamlight Stinger F.L., Flip open pocket knife.

  19. Really? This is the best video? He’s gonna shoot his hands of one day! And people seeing this joker handle guns are going to think it’s okay to point a gun at something if you ‘THINK’ its unloaded. Rule#1 Never point a gun at anything you are not willing to destroy! Take an NRA Basic class sometime, you need it!

  20. Wallet, cell, keys, spyderco delica/leatherman skeletool

    RF, I really like that Spyderco Wave but its just a little too big, as when it catches on car seat, in back pocket it bends the clip…then it floats around and the sooper-fast open feature is lost, even if I did practice enough to make it faster than a thumb flip.

    Carrying in front pocket if it gets caught half way out and then opens that is REALLY a bad deal…

  21. Surefire L1 Lumamax
    Blackjack model1 spring assist knife, tanto tip (not a fighting knife)
    Sabre Red keychain OC spray (not on keychain)
    Leatherman Squirt (on keychain)
    ASP Talon Lightweight 21″ baton

    And of course the G19g4 w/big dot sights in a Stealthgear Onyx, 17+16.

  22. Surefire L1 Lumamax
    Blackjack model1 spring assist knife, tanto tip (not a fighting knife)
    Sabre Red keychain OC spray (not on keychain)
    Leatherman Squirt (on keychain)
    ASP Talon Lightweight 21″ baton
    Smartphone
    And of course the G19g4 w/big dot sights in a Stealthgear Onyx, 17+16.

    In the car is a first aid kit, a gunshot trauma kit, a Cold Steel Bushman, a Timberline aviator hatchet, marine fire extinguisher, cord, zip ties, and water.

  23. Cell phone, Gerber muti-tool, Bike multi-tool (when riding), Spyderco Harpy, box-cutter blade clip knife (other pocket), Surefire 6P LED, a few hundred not in my wallet, my sparkling personality…(gag)… And whatever I may or may not be concealing.

    And quite a bit of cat fur stuck to my clothes in various places…(What can I say? She loves me)

  24. What my carry is this week a sig 229, 2 spare mags, pocket knife, 2 tiny flashlights 1 on keys the other a 140lumen uses a AA battery. My back-up revolver & a pair of flex cuffs. Plus an old fashioned bottle opener fora glass bottle coke, and a small 1st aid kit the size of my wallet & a bandana (good for sling, tourniquet or wiping sweat). All will fit into standard dress pants.

  25. Toilet paper pads. toilet paper rolls, extra shorts and more toilet paper, plus pills. Oh, and a gun!
    It’s the shits to be old and a rectal cancer survivor, but could be worse!

  26. EDC=

    Minimum changes if going away from house. Away from house I carry a 10-22 breakdown Including my get me home bag with all sorts of goodies. The bag stays with me pretty much all the time.

    At home and away, I wear a space blanket, 3 9 foot lengths of para cord, 3 ” sheath knife, solar flashlight, fire starter, lg leatherman, 3″ long with a wide blade folding knife. all in/on my shoulder holster rig. Of course one knife and the leatherman are on my belt.

    Yes I home carry as well as CCW my 9mm Shield with 1 mag in gun and two 8 rd spares.

    It’s as prepared as I can be for an OFWG.

    • Ruger should make the 1022 Charger pistol as a breakdown.
      Then could swap to the longer breakdown rifle barrel with the pistol grip receiver ( I think that would still be legal as long as one never put a buttstock on it, especially with the shorter pistol barrel mounted)
      just pondering flexibility…………….

  27. Some random Boker Magnum knife
    wallet with cash, IDs, condom, book of matches and the inside of a ballpoint pen (cut down to fit)
    Streamlight Stylus Pro flashlight
    Galaxy S1 with case
    keys attached to a bottle opener/carabiner with keys and a PNY 16GB Micro Hook Attache thumb drive

    I go to school right now so I usually don’t carry, but when I’m off campus, I either carry a CZ75 PCR with 14+1 rounds of 146 grain HST or a XDs 9 with 7+1. I use a N82 Tactical IWB for both.

    If anyone has any good ideas on how to easily add an extra mag and multitool, I’m open to suggestions. I was thinking maybe a double mag pouch carried in the small of back. I usually wear jeans and an untucked button down shirt.

    • check out the 5.11 stryke pants. They have 2 mag pouches in each cargo pocket and are the pants I’m going to live and die in 🙂

      Heck, I had my mom try on the women’s version and she said it was the most comfortable pair of pants she had ever put on.

  28. No one here carries chapstick? Geez, you’re all a bunch of dry lipped gun enthusiasts? Let me guess, you just lick your smackers when they feel dry?

  29. Leatherman micra and/or buck knife.
    Cash money.
    Chap stick.

    I have a flashlight in my backpack (grad school), two in my car, and I’ve rarely ever used them in a manner where they were vital or even necessary – just conveniant.

    Of course my concealed piece, too~
    If you carry a flaslight – more power to ‘ya. I do carry a tiny 200 calorie snack bar everywhere, being diabetic.

    • Would the cycling energy gells work as a glucose booster? Might hold up better than the energy bar getting crushed-melted…

  30. Doesn’t Mr. Ayoob say its a bad idea to carry pepper spray along with a ballistic solution? Tougher to defend use of the firearm when the prosecutor will say you could have “obviously” used the pepper to stop the attack.

  31. Sounds like TTAG should do a reader EDC contest / photo series with descriptions of WHY.

    For me, my weekday EDC is different than my weekend EDC because bang-bangs are a no-no at my work.

  32. i carry this all of the time except when im dressed up for church. pants switch to hager microfiber and belt switches to 5.11 black dress belt
    5.11 taclite pro pants or 11″ shorts
    5.11 opreator belt 1.75
    Casio gshock watch
    CTR ring- left middle
    ring I made- right ring
    keys- left front pocket
    kershaw brawler (tip down)- right cheek
    wallet- right cheek
    Galaxy s3 in otterbox armor case in walkie talkie holster- right hip
    Terralux tt5 in belt holster- right hip

    When carrying concealed add
    s&w m&p9c in comp tac minotaur iwb- left handed
    spare mag- right slit pocket

  33. Knife- either a cold steel rajah 3 or 5 11 C.U.B karambit depending on whether I’m working out or not
    Light-Inforce 6vt with a 550 cord fob attached
    Wallet
    phone- cheap little pay as you go affair, as soon as I move back stateside, I plan on investing in a decent model
    keys- attached to a valley martial arts key chain. Really simple force multiplier, you just wrap your palm around the handle, slide the shaft between your fingers like it was a push blade and it gives you a little extra push to your punch http://bloodsport.com/product_info.php?cPath=5&products_id=22.
    CRKT tao pen
    firearm- I’m currently working out of a country that doesn’t allow guns. As soon as I get back into polite society, I intend to rectify that.

  34. Off Base
    Gun
    Extra Mag
    Knife
    Fasthawk (sog tomahawk im ready for isis)
    phone
    paper clip for my debit cards
    Chiefs coin
    Coozi

  35. SW Model 442 in a Black Dog Concealment Kydex Holster
    Wallet
    iPhone
    Keys with a Larue Dillo Tool
    Kershaw Emerson Design Knife
    Surefire E2D (older non-LED version)
    81st Training Wing Commanders Challenge Coin presented to me by General Roosevelt Mercer
    1880 Silver Dollar originally given to my great-grandfather so he could take the bus from Indianapolis to Evansville Indiana to join the Navy…when the bus driver found out the reason for the trip he returned the silver dollar to him and paid for the trip himself…the silver dollar was passed on to my grandfather upon his enlistment into the Army during WWII, my father upon his enlistment in the Army during Vietnam, and then to me upon my enlistment in the Air Force in 2000.

  36. On body (besides firearm):
    – Folding knife, Phone, Thumb-drive
    In vehicle:
    – Sub-2000, Bugout Bag, Trauma Bag

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