What are Your EDC Must-Haves?

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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 Benchmade Mini Osborne clipped securely in my pocket.

So set aside your gun, holster, and ammo. They’re givens. When it comes to additional must-have everyday carry gear, what won’t you leave home without?


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  1. Gen 2 Glock 19, four loaded Glock 17 magazines, Ruger SP101 snubby , two Spyderco civilian knives, one Leatherman Wave, one pair of brass knuckles, one Surefire 6p that has been modified, extra battery for the Surefire. one pair of handcuffs.

      • lol, yes, seriously.

        I carry a gun, 2 knives, a multi tool, a flashlight, 2 headlights, wallet, keys, cell phone, asthma inhaler, spacer, emergency fire kit, tape measure, 1 spare mag, and probably some other stuff I forgot. No handcuffs though. I was never a cop and don’t want to be.

        On the spare mags, John Correia has revealed that in over 40,000 real world defense incidents he has watched actual video of he has never seen a non LEO need a reload.

        Pepper spray can be a problem if you are asthmatic or have other pulmonary problems. Note that I am not concerned with the bad guy having a problem, just the defender.

        There used to be a series on here where people submitted pics of their EDC for sh!t$ and giggles and to give others a chance to make fun of us.

        Oh, here we go, these were mine



        Things that have changed, I used to rotate through a bunch of handguns, but since I fell in love with the G43X and G48 I pretty much just carry those. In fact I am really thinking of selling the XD Mod2, XDS, and Kahr CW9. I went to down to one spare mag instead of 2 based on John Correia’s data.

        The rest is basically the same. And apparently I did not learn anything from the last two posts of it all because here I am sharing again 😉

  2. A knife. I can’t stand being without a knife anywhere. I always end up needing to cut something. Also quite useful for self defense because in this day and age it seems most people are not prepared to get stabbed.

    • Ditto. I’m retired now but I used my knife daily and I still feel naked on the rare occasion when I can’t carry it.

    • I just used my knife again earlier today while on a mountain hike.

      For me, it’s my gat, one spare mag (let’s be realistic here and admit if you need more than 20 rds, you’re in deep poodoo anyway), a light, a blade, a mini multitool, and cash.

  3. “When it comes to additional must-have everyday carry gear, what won’t you leave home without?”

    oh, the usual stuff…wallet, car keys, phone, shoes, hope and prayer to come back safe, claymore mines, grenades….

    • …and for firearms in addition to the Glock 22 and 5 mags of ammo for normal EDC, due to a recent incident, there is now an AR in the car with ten 30 round magazines. All this thanks to left wing liberal policies that let’s known violent recidivist criminal predators roam freely among the prey with a law enforced guarantee of easy defenseless prey for them.

        • I may be wrong but I would have challenged the bitch. I’m talking about the banger eyeing the open carry not the idiot that actually went after the gun. I would have pistol whipped that bastard.

      • Packing them gunms around is just something your going to give the cops when they pull you over for having a non functional turn signal.
        Oh you’ll get them back after you go to jail and pay the fine ,or do the time, to the end, then maybe you wont get them back at all.
        Good guys go first.
        Compliant,they are.
        The Bureau of We Fcked You In The Ass Again did a survey, the Law abiding are compliant, they step out of the car to get handcuffed, bad guys kinda go blamity blam blam and a fck u too.

    • .40 cal,

      M19, a Stryker to commute in, trauma team with a MASH set-up . . .

      One thing I always consider about “EDC” is . . . what am I likely to need, and what can I comfortably carry?

      I think EDC SHOULD be tailored to (i) the person carrying, (ii) where they are carrying, and the situation, (iii) budget, and (iv) discretion (i.e., tell me how you’re going to “conceal” your Beretta M9, Champ).

      • Even though I had to hold lunch down watching j. behar…Everyone who owns a firearm or does not own a firearm needs to see the video. Thanks for the link, it’s already being shared.

      • At 6:58 in : “…so if more black people get guns, you’re going to see bigger gun control laws, watch.”

        ‘The View’ host Joy Behar.

        As I stated a few days back, they actually believe that crap… 😉

        • MORE. Are there any (in big city) that aren’t packing a (stolen) gat? Shooting stats would not seem so. Despite many many laws against such.

        • No it’s TRUE. I have a close aquatence that told me months back that when Black people started buying more AR’s they would outlaw AR’s . That was months before theBiden spouted off.
          Cops dont like seeing white people with gunms but their terrified of blacks with gunms. Why mercy sakes alive we should have a law against that.

  4. Gun. Light. Knife.
    Used to carry a notepad when I was working, not real need now. I’m still a note taker though.

    The rest is in the bag and/or the truck. Couple bags ready to rock n roll at a moments notice and just enough safety/warm weather/survival gear to get me home through the woods unnoticed if need be. I don’t carry a TQ on me. I don’t wear cargo pants ffs. And those little string TQ things you instawhores carry – are fucking useless.

    Butt wipes. Always gotta have butt wipes living rural. Ya just never know.

    • Your list is a near perfect match to my list.

      I also carry a decent amount of cash around, just in case. (So far no one else has mentioned carrying any cash with them.)

    • ^ Montana,
      “…Butt wipes…” for the win !!!

      Live in SW Fla; been thru a bunch of hurricanes… no electric for weeks.
      You NEED butt wipes. They are not a “want” or a convenience.
      BWs are on par w/ figuring out that you need to have lots of 12w solar yard lights.
      Easiest way to light yer home at night. Each kid had their own. Turned a crappy time into an adventure. (Kind of…) LoL

      BTW~ Large pack of butt wipes in the go bag.

      • Yea got em in all bags. Got a pack in the truck, got a couple smaller packs in the backpack. When I was working I would carry them in my cargo pockets (really had no choice, I had to wear cargo’s to hold everything work related like gloves and such). TP in public places sucks and I’m not having an itchy butthole all day. Disgusting.

        • Carry wet ones, smaller packaging (just stick a few in a sandwich baggy), use with the “scratchy” tp works, cleans, feels good…

  5. Wallet, dual mag pocket holster, lockblade knife, smartphone, lip balm, microfiber glasses cloth, sunglasses, KORE essentials belt, Tilly hat.

    I’ve got more stuff but it isn’t carried every day. I don’t even carry keys most days.

    • lol

      I have some very nice knives. I carry a “mid grade” one. It’s not about cost for me, it’s about the design. I have specific things I look for in a pocket clip, blade finish, blade steel (usually) and a couple other things. I will break those requirements for the right knife. Like my OTF’s that are my “dress” knives.

    • It’s funny, in the kitchen or on the job site, I’m cheap as heck with knives. For a daily? No reason it can’t be nice if you aren’t working it to death. I haven’t lost a knife yet.

      • Yea same. It depends on the reason you are carrying it. I’ll carry a $40 throw away if I know its going to get beat up. If I know I’m just going to the grocery store and out around town, I’ll carry my hinderer or something nice. Why not?

        • My lockblade was only $40.00 but my kitchen knife set was quite costly all German surgical steel, (paring knife alone was $39.00) Chefs knife was $149.00 four others in the same range… I cook a lot and use those knives daily, need quality stuff in the kitchen…

  6. A small plastic pill case with my migraine medication, aspirin and ibuprofen. Money, bandaids and “business” cards in wallet. They include a picture of me doing what I do on one side, and in uniform on the other. A friendly way to introduce yourself.
    In addition to a recently well and carefully sharpened knife, I will carry a slide-opening “Point And Shoot” (Nikon Coolpix S2 or Sony DSX-100V) camera with a freshly charged battery and a known good (empty and formatted) memory card. The “push the on button” types are worthless (Thanx Bill Gates, You Moron!)
    Whatever camera you pick, it has to wake up shooting!
    If you get any juicy shots, switch the memory card out quick for an old one. There’s always somebody ready to “detain” that thing…and you’ll never see your pix again.
    And NO, I am not a LEO, and I never carry in Shallowfornia.
    Don’t ask what I keep in the car unless you brought a lunch.

    • I hope it isn’t gas station sushi and absolutely agree on the memory card. One to shove where the sun don’t shine and another for LEO’s.
      Can you imagine how soon we would have found out who killed Kennedy if someone had thought of that?

    • You had better have your pills in the right containers so marked. The arresting officer could or will cite you for a schedule 2,3, or 1 violation. That’s a felony. You’ve also got be be careful about what pills you carry in quantity, for instance a half full bottle of 90 script Darvon mixed with Qualudes is probably going to get you a field sobriety test. And its against The LAW to mislable pills anyway.

      • Lol I don’t think anyone prescribes those anymore. You’ll be fine as long as you don’t have a taillight out. Cops seem to worry more about that than drugs these days.

        • Having done numerous ride alongs with LE over the years. I can tell you that having a tail light/headlight out, no license plate light and headlights not turned on are the largest precursors for being pulled over by LE. It’s an open invitation for doing so, to check for other violations and crimes. Especially in sketchy neighborhoods.

        • If your taillight isn’t out, Officer Friendly can arrange that it becomes out. Having worked in court 25 years in Kallyforniadia I can assure that has happened on way more than one occasion, They don’t even think it is wrong. That’s the stunner. Had a discussion with a cop I considered to be a square shooter. Turns out he vehemently believes it is okay to perjure himself on the witness stand in order to provide probably cause. Needless to say I was flabbergasted. You can count on the cops lying on the stand. You can count on the judge believing the most outlandish tales providing probably cause.

          If you carry cash, and i advise it, make sure there are lots of small bills. Your gasoline bill came to $67 and you only have $20s, it is going to cost you $80. “Sorry, man, everybody’s been giving me twenties all day. can’t break a twenty.” You going to stick up the gas guy for $13? Unless the electricity is out which means you are out of luck anyway, he’s already got your license plate on his cameras.

      • My wife always carries scheduled pain relievers with her in a small container, due to medical issues from a brain aneurysm. She also carries the current prescription paperwork that comes with each new one in her wallet. Carrying the actual bottle is to cumbersome in most cases.

      • Just keep a couple pounds of fentanyl in you glove box, cops will think you work for a Cartel and send you on your way…

        • I like to keep it in powder form so when they open it up maskless they get a good trip.
          *casually grabs waxed paper full of it, folds it back up and walks off.

  7. EDC depends on where I am. If I am at home, I carry a firearm, a flashlight, spare mag and a folding knife.

    When I am working, I can go to any of the 50 States and DC. That places having a firearm out of the equation. Then I have a folding knife and flashlight. The knife is not “legal” in a lot of places. Since I can say I work construction gives me some latitude leaving jobs sites. Oops, I forgot that was in my pocket.

  8. Ok I’ll bite. Full size S&W M&P 9mm IWB Alien gear holster with a 17 rnd spare mag in the pocket sans anything holding it. Bench Made Mel Pardue Automatic.

      • Well, you’d have to update the gold and currency stash. Back in 1964, gold was about $35/troy oz. These days it’s pushing $2000/oz. So to get the same buying power now, you’d need approx $6000 worth of .9999 gold (preferably in 1/10 oz. coins). And I wouldn’t bother with some national currency (rubles in Maj. Wongs day), but get 1oz .9999 silver bars instead. 🙂 The rest of the kit is good to go.

    • Meanwhile, my state is going in the opposite direction. Even worse, my state is going to pass something like a dozen new laws which infringe on the Second Amendment and my state constitution. Once that happens, my state will be pretty awful–right on the heels of California, Illinois, and New Jersey with respect to gun laws.

  9. It’s going to vary by circumstances but the one thing that is absolute is a folding knife (Buck110 in recent years).

  10. The article thumbnail shows the EDC blade I currently carry, the Gerber Paratrooper. The blade is soft, but sharpens quickly. It seems to dull even faster.

    But hey, it was 20 bucks, and I’ve gotten tired of losing 4 100+ dollar Spydercos over the years (since 1989).

    Current load out is Ruger LCR in .357 in a ‘Sneaky Pete’ in my front pocket. Back left pocket is my NAA .22…

    • “The blade is soft, but sharpens quickly. It seems to dull even faster.”

      Seriously Geoff…
      Good blades sharpen slowly, bad blades sharpen quickly.
      Pick a good blade and smile.

      • “Pick a good blade and smile.”

        I won’t cry if I lose a crappy 20-dollar blade… 🙁

      • “how is it that you can lose four 100+ dollar Spyderco knives… but hang onto a $20.00 knife?”

        As God is my witness, that was my exact thought when I lost that Delica. 2 Harpys, one Endura (?) and that Delica.

        The next day at Wal-Mart I bought 3 crappy 1-dollar folders, and to this day I still have all 3.

        2 months ago, I bought the Gerber…

      • You always lose the ones you love. But I am with Geoff. My pocket knives tend to be $25 Kershaws with assisted opening. I have a Buck with much better steel, but it is hard to open one handed (just a thumb stud) and it is a lock back that I managed to unlock one too many times.

    • Geoff PR,

      I have never owned an expensive pocket knife–expecting that I would loose it. So I carry a $15 folding knife that has served me surprisingly well. It sharpens reasonably easy/well and holds an edge fairly well–at least for being a $15 knife.

  11. I knew an old guy that whenever was about to leave would pat his pants pockets and shirt pockets and say “Do I have everything? Spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch?”

  12. Absolutely always have a pepper gel thing & a knife unless a federal area or cop station. Sometimes a micro pistol in a Nemesis holster. Always a car gat in a case…

    • Do not put to much faith in the pepper gell, believe me when I say it will not stop a determined aggressor.
      I have as few stories of pepper spray failures.

  13. A Kershaw (sharpened regularly because it seems to get used every day), a wallet (usually no cash), keys, and a cell phone. So far no need to carry in my little town, one of the benefits of living 200 miles from the closest megalopolis. YMMV.

    • I recently started carrying in cas at least $300. That’s about what it takes to pay off a fine from this corrupt law enforcement we have in this town. I found out that in this town you will go to county jail for failure to use you turn signal when pulling into someone’s driveway. The officer assured me he wast being a dick as he loosely applied the handcuffs

  14. Knife,flashlight, wristwatch, cheaters. Phone in the glovebox, but not in my pocket. I’m married now, so I don’t carry, because the sweet release of death can’t come soon enough.

    • “because the sweet release of death can’t come soon enough.”

      I almost never literally LOL, but I did when I read that! 😉

    • because the sweet release of death can’t come soon enough.

      Be careful what you articulate… Guy made a similar comment (said the biggest mistake he made at his wedding was saying “I do”) on Family Feud three months ago… He was just arrested and charged with first degree murder after his wife was found dead from gunshot wounds in her home a couple of weeks ago…

  15. I like my folding scalpel, Samoir S13 in my case, but there are tons of others. it’s light and tiny enough to fit in a watch pocket or corner of a pocket. It’s like a midget Havalon that takes #60 or a number of smaller blades. Does a great job with all the everyday cutting things you’d do with a knife (not good for prying), and you can swap for a sharp blade when it dulls. If I ever have to go through an unplanned security check, like at an ER, I can leave the blade and keep the handle.

    • I have never been in an ER where they have security checks. My father used to work at Cook County Hospital (now Stoeger Memorial), but for one the bangers didn’t want to mess there because all the gangs needed its services, and second the place was crawling with Chicago PD. No idea what it is like around there now, it’s been probably 45 years since I was last there.

  16. Gerber Dime Tool, Case knife, Bic lighter, phone, keychain with 511 keychain light, comb, lip balm, Sig P365, and wallet.

  17. SA Ronin EMP4 in a Vedder LightTuck, CRKT Caligo folder, Leatherman Skeletool, POM spray, Fenix PD35 light, US Lawshield card, Concealed Pistol License, NRA RSO card, driver’s license, POK (has a tourniquet, gloves, IFAK and extra gauze) … I keep a POK on my range bag and in my car. I carry on a Kore Essentials tactical belt. I generally wear Merrell boots, although not always. Tag Heuer Carrera watch, Oakley SI TBL sunglasses. I have all of that from the time I get out of the shower until I undress for bed. Then I transition to night stand gear: Kimber Custom 1911, Fenix PD35 light, Ruger AR556 MPR 16”.

  18. “… because the sweet release of death can’t come soon enough.…”

    Chuckled enough at your comment that my Bride asked “what(was that all about)?”

    “Just a comment I read on the net”

    Well played with that one!!!!

    I still carry though.

  19. Wallet, a couple knives. 1 being a flea market liner lock that has been a surprisingly decent quality blade. Although the crap rubber materiel on the handle fell off after about 6 months of use. Other knife is a fixed blade about 6 inches in blade length in a belt sheath. Depending on what I have in mind for the day, going to town or just staying out here on the farm, either a gunbelt and revolver or a 1911 in an IWB holster. Spare mag or speed loader again depending on which sidearm. Light, lighter, waterproof matches in a small case. keys for vehicles etc.
    IFAK in a small belt pouch. Not the crap sold in stores or online but a handful of items I might actually need. A few butt wipes, disinfectant wipes and alcohol swabs. Medium and large bandages, length of rubber tubing that can be used for a tourniquet if needs be. And about 6 feet of duct tape. Always a pen and small notebook. Sometimes my cell phone, but I usually forget the dang phone on the kitchen counter. Never got in the habit of carrying a cell.

  20. This depends on how you define “EDC”.

    Every day? Knowing how to handle yourself because there are days you’ll be forced to go places where you don’t get to have a “weapon”. Shit, I frequent places I can’t even carry a set of keys or a flashlight because large electromagnets, and 20 Tesla+ is like Wu Tang Clan, it ain’t nothin’ to fuck with.

    At least part of the vast majority of days? Add a light, keys, phone.

    Most days or part of them? Add a knife.

    All the other days and parts of most days, add a gun and a spare mag.

    Less-lethal is what knowing how to fight is for IMHO.

  21. My EDC must haves is a pocket knife ,a gunm , six bullets in my other pocket and string to drag the gunm with.
    Somtimes I dont carry the extra six bullets or knife because somtimes I dont wear pants.
    So I guess s human could say if you leave out the pants your just dragging a gunm on a string.
    My Every day carry is really a drag.

  22. On person: loaded P365, Spyderco Ladybug, IPhone, wallet w/cash and debit card and normal ID and CCW in 4 states. When wearing coat I’ll have a focusable Cree light.

    In vehicle I have extra loaded Sig mags, 1 additional box of 115 gr Critical Defense, Surefire G2 w/extra batteries, another folding knife as well as a decent sheath knife, various tools for a large variety of purposes and a properly scoped Steyr Scout and 50 rounds of 168 gr BTHP match ammo. Also some bottled water, a blanket and a few breakfast bars.

    During hunting season there is usually a shotgun and shells as well. And I never leave home without my brains and wits.

  23. Other than a Sig P365 with a 12-round extended grip in a C&G IWL holster with a spare 15-round mag: Samsung Galaxy S20+, Gerber Armbar Drive (the single most live-withable and minimalist multi-tool I’ve ever used…with a better steel blade and a lock for the bit driver, it’d be perfect and worth three times as much to me), Streamlight Microstream (the coyote tan one that’s on its high setting at first click), work keys and personal keys on separate s-biners, and a standard tri-fold leather wallet. I usually wear a Scotty Vest on which I can carry anything from a laptop/tablet to tools to water as needed.

    I’m thinking of adding a small can of pepper spray for a less-lethal alternative. I’m also considering splitting my wallet into a smaller one for less important/difficult to replace items for public use and as a crook distractant and a less conspicuous means for carrying my more important cards/cash/docs, maybe around the ankle or something. I’m still considering that one.

    I don’t consider them actual EDC equipment in terms of keeping it on me at all times, but I keep a number of kits (mini-tool, sockets, back-up power, medical/first aid/boo-boo) in a MOAB 6 pack that I carry back and forth between the office and vehicle and an IFAK/trauma kit in the truck in a Jumbo Versipack messenger bag. I do keep a spare tourniquet in the 5.11 bag.

  24. Why does TAG keep rehashing the same worn out subject or varaitions of “EDC: what are you packing?” Maybe it’s a quest to find the keyboard commando wih the biggest and most obsurd “packing list”. Bulging cargo pockets and field marching pack might be worse then the Safari/fishing vest for blending in. Lol

  25. …hmmmmmm letseeeeeee….
    For the ‘actual’ EDC shite I carry the S&W.M&P9 2.0 in a crossbreed IWB w/ attached mag holder and an xtra 17 rd mag, a ‘z-hunter’ little ‘Fist’ knife ( don’t use her much but I keep it sharp), a S&W spring load folder (nice knife), a sm. Ouch pouch (home made: Quik clot (not the powder the strips, Israeli bandage, TQ 1″ wide, sm. can OC gel spray in holster, Tag watch, Knuckles (not brass w/ paracord wrapped around grip, thin wallet, Assorted Paracord bracelets (I make ’em) cash in separate pocket (around $250) USCCA card, TG (Tac.Gear flash (cheap)w/ ‘thinghy’pokey points on the end (lumen’s? who knows) Samsung phone w/ dinky light/ in a waterproof case (really waterproof?) takes good pic’s J.I.C…. I’m in Carhartt Jeans, 5.11boots and a flannel usually. assorted gubment insulting tee’s … nothing special but works for me.

    My truck: Xterra: nobbly tires ‘spensive after market suspension/ slight lift kit , Light bar and fog’s. Wicked push bar (front), Jon Wick Lic. plate, Hold a lot of crap wire roof rack. lock box w/ Taurus G3c under seat, family has her own w/ her carry, Anderson AR in back tire well (6) AR mag’s and (6) mags for M&P in a CondorRecon chest rig w/ CRKT fixed blade knife on shoulder, (2) rolls TP in ‘netting’ in back (6) more in tire well, Klean Freak wipes in their container (Klean/dry butt: Mandatory), Lg. rechargeable spot, (2) sm. solar panels for everything, (Machine Guns in the headlights, Ejector seat :passenger only (don’t tell her) ;c) 5.11 pack loaded w/ lot’s a boolits for all ,(2) changes of clothes , room for lotsa luggage (her) (6) pk. underwear/and socks unopened , btl. water/ (2) wks. survive food, and roof mounted spare, dog bed (cookies/treats, water bowl: his) and other shit….

  26. My EDC changed as I no longer live in the town of 150,000 I used to. Now, I live in a small rural farming/ranching hamlet with less than 300 residents. Town’s so quiet,, we see a Deputy drive through once a day.. So I’ve given up carrying what I used to. Now I carry my Walther PPQ M2 in .40 S&W, one spare 13 rnd mag, a knife and multitool. Streamlight Nano on the keys, and I still carry a TQ and 4″ Pressure Bandage in an ankle holster.
    In my vehicle, I keep a bit more. An AR Pistol in .300 AAC and 4 30 rnd mags. It’s nearly impossible to find unless you knew where to look, and the trick to open it. Bigger Trauma Kit, GHB, food, water, extra cash and a preloaded debit card. I’m a HAMer, so I have my mobile unit and a handheld in there as well. Buttwipes too. both pocket/travel packs and a Full size container. I started suffering from hemorrhoids in my early 40’s and quickly discover Buttwipes were the best way to reduce that problem, so I buy them by the case.
    The next bigger town of about 1200 has a small grocery store, it’s about a 20 minute drive, and it’s also where the Grandkids go to school, so I drive them there and back 4 days a week. They could go by bus, but they’s be among the first picked up and last dropped off and would add 2 hours to their school day, so I take them.
    Even though the extra driving is a pain in the patoot, life is so much easier than it was when we lived in a bigger town. Practically Zero Crime, and everyone keeps an eye out on each other. My anxiety and paranoia went down so much, my doctor reduced my blood pressure meds.

  27. “So set aside your gun, holster, and ammo. They’re givens. When it comes to additional must-have everyday carry gear, what won’t you leave home without?”

    watch, wallet, slip joint pocket knife (Buck 704), Zippo, pipe, tobacco pouch, pipe tool, truck keys.

    No, phone, bug, buk, oc, baton, body armor, torniquet, flash light, or any other prepper, commando, go to war bs.


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