There are a lot of items that you could be carrying as part of your every day carry gear. The difficulty is that you probably don’t have sufficient room to take everything that you’d need in case of crisis. Getting some of these things can be rather inexpensive if you just stay with the basics.
There’s an entire following of people who do budget EDC kits that fit into an Altoids tin. I have one personally, and it’d be pretty awesome if I held it with me if I were stuck someplace, but I find that even though it packs a lot of stuff, it’s a relatively bulky item to pack so I don’t always put it in my pocket. It now sits in a bag as a part of my motorcycle EDC. When I have room, it goes in my on person kit. The kind of EDC bag I’m talking about here today is spread out in different pockets, including on your keychain.
A sound EDC kit will have things you need to get through a situation but be comfortable enough to carry so that you never forget it at home. So what should you carry? Assuming you’ve acquired enough skills to enable you to make due with what you can obtain, you just need several things to help the process a bit. There are a few broad categories to survival equipment:
Since this is an inexpensive EDC kit we’re focusing on, your knife will have to be on the lower end as far as blades go. Your knife is reasonably going to be the most expensive item on the list. You want the thing to work so I would not suggest a £3 piece of rubbish that you find at your local car parts shop. You need something that’ll work when you need it to or there’s no reason to have it in the first place.
A good example is the Smith & Wesson CK105H Ops Knife. It’s usually under £15 and has a rather good reputation. It’s a folding blade with a pocket clip so you can easily carry it.
Unmistakably, being able to light a fire is an immense advantage in a lot of survival situations. Even something as inexpensive and easy to find as a BIC disposable lighter can be a tremendous advantage to keeping warm and purifying water or cooking. These can usually be found for about a pound or even less, or free if someone leaves one behind someplace. You can cut a strip of duct tape and wrap around to add more grip. This BIC is fantastic. They last for ages, don’t leak out their fuel, and they’re just incredibly cheap!
Just like the knife mentioned above, Survival Life currently has a free Everstryke Match that works in virtually any environment.
For a torch, on the cheap end, you can’t knock a Cree 7w flashlight. It’s under £5 and pretty impressive. It’s also little enough to fit in your pocket and takes double A batteries. This thing is super bright too. A must-have for a budget EDC kit.
For shelter, there’s not a lot you can do in your EDC kit. My suggestion is just to get a couple of 84″x52″ space blankets. They’re very cheap and fit in a back pocket no problem. Just remember that these are a one-time use kind of thing and tear pretty quickly.
For cordage, the problem is having it on you at all times. Probably your safest solution is to get some dental floss. If the packaging is too big to carry around, just pull the spool out of it and tie down the end. You can get around 55 yards of cordage his way. Another option is just getting some fishing line. The key is just to find a way to carry it efficiently so it doesn’t take up much room. The best ways I know is just to use a cheap plastic bobbin.
For an EDC kit, you have to stay small. If you’re not going just to eat plants and berries, one of the best value food is fish. Your bugout bag may have a full-on fishing kit in it but you surely can’t wander around with that in your pocket. For a casting line, just use the dental floss or the fishing line from the section above.
It’s good to pack things that serve multiple purposes. You’ll need to have something on the end of the line to keep the bait and grab the fish when they bite. Fish hooks are small and cheap so you might as well just toss a few of them in your kit.