> TEOTWAWKI Blog: Every Day Carry Bag Series Pt. 1: Introduction



Every Day Carry Bag Series Pt. 1: Introduction

I've been talking about adding useful supplies to your daily carry backpack, briefcase, diaper bag or what have you for years now. I wanted to pass along an update on my personal bag, but got writing and it got really long for just one post. So I'm splitting it up into a series - probably a four parter - that will post up weekly for the next several weeks, on some of my thoughts, practices and experiences with a daily carry bag.

To intro the series, I thought I'd run through the theory behind the every day carry (EDC) bag - what it is in our context and why it is useful.

Basic concept
If you're unfamiliar with the concept of a daily carry bag, it's pretty simple. Most people need to carry a bag of some sort during their day for mundane stuff -- to the office, college classes, out with the kids, to the worksite or where ever. Now the average person will tend to stop after the laptop, cords and a few pens...maybe some snivel gear like headache meds and a few bandaids. Not much to work with.

Here, we're taking that a step further and adding some useful tools and gear to that bag, taking it from hauler of junk to a bag you can live out of, travel with and, if needs be, use to help get you out of harm's way. 

It's not a full fledged, Nazi Zombies are rising, head for the hills "bug out" kind of bag--though with a few additions, it can  become one. It's closer to what most people would consider a get home bag - lighter weight, more minimal gear, designed to support and sustain you for a relatively short period of time. A walk home from work or 24 hours of sustainment are good criteria to work towards.

The contents
Because an EDC bag is a true daily use item, the contents will need to be tailored to what you use on a regular basis. Don't think in a pure survivalist/tactical guru basis - think about what you need to get through your average day. Your got to carry that stuff, too.

Survival/tactical "extras" will need to be worth the weight and bulk to carry with you wherever you go, which helps you quickly pare down to the essentials. Also, because it's a daily use item, you'll need to be able to carry the contents on a regular basis, which can quickly rule out guns, spare magazines and big ol' knives from the daily carry bag of many--legal, work, social and other constraints may come into play here.

For many of us with the survivor mindset, it can be easy to get carried away and start carrying around a week's worth of food or twenty pounds of bush craft gear, but we want to avoid that here. A dedicated bug out bag has its place, and that extra food and wilderness survival gear might be a welcome addition to a vehicle kit. Depending on your circumstances, the firearms, katanas and rocket propelled grenade launchers may be best locked up your daily driver.

With you when you need it
The value of an EDC bag and the equipment it contains is that it's with you throughout your day when a larger pack and other equipment would be left at home or in your vehicle.

Think of the full-sized double stack 1911 left in the safe in favor of a subcompact or pocket pistol--a handgun won't do you much good if it's not with you when trouble strikes. An EDC bag is like that smaller handgun--close by throughout your day. Mine is literally within arms reach for the vast majority of the week. Even when I'm at home, if I need something, I often go to the bag--that's when I know I'm doing it right.

While an EDC bag will, by nature, have some limitations, it can still form a useful core for your preparations. Add a bag or an Action Packer bin of additional supplies in your vehicle and you can cover most of what a larger bug out bag can, too. Or toss your daily bag into a larger pack with additional supplies, and you've got both at hand.

An EDC bag will not work for everyone--a bag left in the car can be more practical for some. If you don't need to or can't carry a backpack or bag with you regularly, then an EDC bag makes less sense. I personally don't carry my bag literally everywhere. It doesn't come with me to run into the grocery store on the weekends. I don't bring it along if I'm going to drive five minutes to visit some friends. But, any time I can find a reasonable excuse to bring it along, I will.

If you haven't invested a bit of time, effort and money into a daily carry bag, you really, really should. This article gives some decent guidance if I do say so myself--it was written back in 2010, but I still largely agree with it.

Next entry we're going to run through my thoughts on bag selection - stay tuned!


  1. Looking forward to the series. I work from home so I haven't had much need for an EDC (or so I thought in the past) but have decided it would be a good idea to have one for when I am away from the house. In particular I want to eventually conceal carry my full size handgun in the bag until I can get something smaller to conceal body carry. For that reason and the other features of the bag, I got a Maxpedition Jumbo Versipack in Khaki recently. Khaki doesn't seem to scream tactical too much. I think it looks a lot like a regular messenger bag but with a bottle holder. I've been carrying it some already. Only a few times with my handgun though since I don't have my CHL yet but in my state I can legally conceal it in the bag in my car. But mainly I've been using it to take my iPad with me when I'm out. Along with some warm gloves, snacks, water, cheap flashlight, and spare ear buds. Pretty sorry EDC, I know :)

    Looking forward to some inspiration on other items to carry. In particular some survival stuff that would come in handy if I'm stranded or need to get home w/o my car.

  2. I carry a Condor sling bag and love it. So far it has survived 6 months doing recovery work in Haiti. 1 year as a wildland fire fighter, on the line, and 3 months in Alabama doing tornado recovery. The best part is the conceal pocket, very easy to access from either side and will hold a full size 1911 no problem.

  3. I carry a Maxpedition Falcon II pack every day. Depending on what I’m doing I can attach other smaller pack on the outside of it to augment its usefulness. An external trauma kit is always attached to one side. Last week I was in the Sierra Madre region and I had my Winkler jungle knife on the outside of it, SERE kit on the inside. I also attach extra magazines to it as well.

  4. Another vote for maxpedition here!The sitka gear slinger is my choice for the EDC bag. It has taken tons of abuse, and weight for about two years now. It goes in and out of the car three times a days. No frays, rips, or boogered up zippers. It fits nicely under the seat in front of you on the airplane and is big enough for my ipad and a glock 27 with a couple of full sized mags . The ability to pull the bag in front of you and work out of it is great. The single gross strap make it look less military too. Interior dividers lend themselves to division of TSA compliant gear and stuff that would make them lose their minds. Would buy another if this one ever fails.

  5. I consider my purse my everyday carry as I don't usually go further than about 5 miles from home. When I do, then obviously I take more with me. I always have a bottle of water in the car even for short trips(28oz Kleen Kanteen). My purse has a small flashlight, pain reliever and allergy meds, clippers, floss(can be used as string),bandaids, mirror(can be used for signalling),antibacterial lotion, tissues,pen, paper, nail clippers and file, cell phone, mints,key ring(has a navy laundry pin for a ring so could become a weapon. I wasn't allowed inside our local courthouse with it recently when I went for jury duty), reading glasses and sunglasses and probably something important I forgot.Inside the car are tools, duct tape, another flashlight, emergency blanket and a bunch of other stuff.
    If I travel further from home then I add more to the car including tools,another blanket, food, more water,etc.