Saturday, March 14, 2015

My low-budget EDC (Every Day Carry)

I'm not a survivalist or "prepper" by any means, but I've always been interested in stories of survival, and I believe in the Boy Scout motto, "Be prepared". When the whole "EDC" (every day carry) trend started, back in 2007 (see the Google Trends report), it resonated with me, and I created my own little kit.

The standard EDC, which tends towards fancy knives and expensive notepads, would work great for a zombie apocalypse. Mine is very basic, and mostly has the tried and true items that I actually need regularly. I have it in a separate see-through plastic container, so I can move it as needed (office bag, day pack, travel bag, etc.). Since everything is easily visible from the outside, I don't need to be so concerned about organizing it properly.

And here's what I have inside.

1. String - I used this just once, a few years ago. I got a farewell gift of two monstrously huge coffee table books when I left my job at the UN. I was biking to work, and my work bag wasn't large enough. I used some string to tie the books to my bike rack, and made it all the way home. An EDC triumph!
2. Large Binder Clip
3. Small plastic bags
4. Band Aids - always good if you have kids, even if it's more to just not see the blood anymore. You can make friends on the playground with them, too, when other kids get hurt.
5. Sun lotion - Always good to have a little container on hand.  The container itself is from Daiso, the Japanese dollar store, they have a huge selection of tiny containers.
6. Gum - My kids always like to have some. I sometimes have a little container of tic-tacs or Skittles, which I used to call "walking pills" when the kids were getting tired of walking around on our trips.
7. Cash, whistle, earplugs, needle/thread - The cash, I've used on numerous occasions where I only had my credit card on hand. The rest of it - not very much.
8. Hand sanitizer - useful on planes and while traveling
9. Flashlight - this little flashlight, the Pak-Lite 9V LED, lasts forever! I use it most frequently when traveling, and reading at night with my Kindle, which is not backlit.
10. Tissues
11. Hairband - keeps me cooler when walking
12. Twist Ties
13. Safety Pin 
14. Vaseline
15. Medium size plastic bags 
16. Small pocket knife - I wouldn't want to carry a large, heavy pocket knife around, but a small one is great
17. Spare tampons
18. Large size plastic bag -  This is just a folded up bag from Target. I love them, they're very durable. I end up using it a lot.
19. Mini lighter - If I'm ever in a situation where I'm stuck in the wilderness and need to make a fire, I'll be prepared! I haven't yet, though.  
20. Compass - Sometimes when traveling, a compass can be handy.
21. Roll of dental floss - I've used this for some spare string occasionally
22. Single-use eye drops - I tend to have dry eyes, so I like to have some of these around
23. Ibuprofin - no need to suffer from headache
24. Sheets of paper
25. Pencil stub

In addition to these items, I always carry my smartphone, wallet, and keys.

So in looking through these items with a critical eye - honestly, there's a lot I haven't used much, if at all. But they're mostly extremely light, so I'll keep on carrying them. And it gives me a big thrill when I can solve a problem with something that I have with me. 


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