As a military member, you know that “everyday carry” (or EDC for short) describes the things you bring with you on the daily. If you’ve ever found yourself without an EDC item that would’ve been useful, this list of everyday carry items is for you!
The best EDC must-haves are compact and lightweight. (Bonus points if they’re multi-purpose!) What should be part of your EDC kit? Here’s our list of items to have on hand, and some sweet military discounts to boot!
Everyday Carry Items List
You might get the idea that EDC is for survival, outdoor, or military situations, but that’s not strictly true. The items on this list come in handy for carrying every day, no matter your situation, and not just for deployment, camping, or outdoor adventures.
Keychain and keys
First things first, you need a keychain – but not just any keychain. Pick a keychain that does double duty. Look for one that’s also a strong carabiner, mini pry tool, magnet, USB cable, mini thumb drive, glow-in-the-dark fob to help find your keys in the dark, or some other tool you use a lot.
Wallet and Keycase Bundle. 15% Off for US and Canadian Military!
Fat, folding wallets are out, and slim, streamlined wallets are in. The best EDC wallets don’t have space for change, but they keep cards and cash safe and take up very little room in your pocket. If you’re outdoors a lot, choose a waterproof wallet.
Wireless Portable Cell Phone Battery
Let’s be real, along with your keys, your cell is probably the one thing you don’t leave home without. But a cell phone that isn’t charged is nothing more than an expensive brick, right? A wireless portable battery can give you a quick charge to get you through the day.
25W Wireless Portable Battery. Up to 30% Off for Military and Veterans!
Any watch that’s accurate and durable works. Some other things to look for in an EDC watch, depending on your needs, include an interchangeable strap, luminosity, GPS functionality, compass, and altimeter.
Galaxy Watch5 Pro. Up to 30% Off for Military and Veterans!
Medical Alert Bracelet
Anyone can benefit from wearing a medical alert bracelet for the purposes of having ID on them in case of an emergency. But these life-saving bracelets are especially important for people who have a condition that could affect their medical care, such as diabetes, epilepsy, asthma, or severe allergies.
Speaking of medical care, a tiny tube for medications is an often-overlooked but very useful EDC item. Discreetly bring along pain relievers, allergy pills, or prescription meds wherever you go.
Ezy Dose Ultra-Light Pill Fob
The best EDC flashlight is small, durable, and long-lasting. Don’t evaluate a flashlight on its max brightness alone; look for a flashlight with moonlight (low-light) mode, red light mode, and automatic strobe or SOS mode, too. An auto flashing mode is useful for increasing visibility when walking or biking at night, and moonlight mode is perfect when you just need a little light and don’t want to bother other people or draw attention to yourself.
Kobalt Virtually Indestructible Waterproof 350-Lumen 3 Modes LED Flashlight. 10% Off for Military!
The great thing about multitools is that there are so many different kinds on the market, you can find one with just the tools you’ll use most, like a blade, pliers, file, corkscrew, can opener, screwdriver head, and much more. If you don’t want to add too much weight and bulk, get a credit card-sized multitool and slip it in your wallet. If you tend to use tools a lot in your everyday life, get a larger multitool with pliers.
Leatherman 17-Piece Full Size Multi-Tool. 10% Off for Military!
9. Pocket Knife
A typical EDC knife folds so you can safely keep it in your pocket and has a blade around 3 inches long. (This matters because of knife laws.) This is a good size for carrying out basic indoor and outdoor tasks like breaking down boxes, cutting lines and cords, opening packages, puncturing, creating holes, and so on. A good blade on your multitool can serve the same purpose.
Gerber 3-in Stainless Steel Drop Point Blade Pocket Knife. 10% Off for Military!
10. Pen and Paper
Pick a small, durable pen for everyday carry. Depending on your lifestyle, you might want an EDC pen that’s waterproof or that doubles as a weapon (aka a tactical pen), flashlight, or keychain. If you don’t have room for a small notepad, rip off a couple pages to tuck in your wallet if you need to take or leave a note.
A basic bandana folds small and takes up little room but has so many uses. Mop up sweat, use as a makeshift mask over your nose and mouth, filter coffee in a pinch, tie up small items inside for carrying, keep the sun off your neck, tie something to your bag with it, cover your eyes while sleeping, wipe up spills – and that’s just the start.
A mini lighter has a huge variety of uses. Even if you don’t smoke, carrying a lighter can make you a hero when someone asks, “Got a light?” You can also light a camp stove or fire with it, sterilize something in a pinch, burn and seal loose threads (carefully!), and even test the direction of the wind based on how the flame is moving.
Where do you put all your EDC items now that you’ve gathered them? In a small, durable bag, of course. Depending on the size of your items, you might fit most or all into a slim pouch that can fit easily in a jacket or vest pocket. For bulkier items, a bag with a strap for carrying on your waist, back, or across your body will work better.
Topo Designs Accessory Bag. 20% Off for Military!
Bonus: These everyday household items take up almost no room in your bag but can come in extremely handy:
- Strong black thread on a needle
- Safety pins
- Paper clips
- Rubber bands
- Mini tube of superglue
- Length of self-amalgamating tape
- Travel-sized stain stick