Everyday Carry Gear List
EDC or Every Day Carry is a term that carries a lot of mileage for outdoor adventurists — hunters, hikers, fishermen, and those of us concerned about the what ifs’. While our motivation for seeking the outdoors may vary from person to person or sport to sport, what remains a constant is the idea that being prepared means going farther, being safer, and truly being able to enjoy adventures. In this be-the-hero blog, we compile a simple list of must have EDC gear that all of us should use as a base list of tools:
1. Dry Box — A dry box offers a waterproof option that helps you keep sensitive equipment and tools dry. These are a good place for matches, cell phones, your wallet, etc. You can find dry boxes in a variety of sizes. A good TIP is to choose one that you can easily carry or attach to your pack with a clip like in the example below:
2. Tactical Flashlight — The market is flooded with tactical flashlight options. A few helpful tips for choosing a good tactical flashlight include durability, lightweight, and long battery life. Rechargeable units are a plus, especially if they pair up with a solar energy bank.
3. Power Bank — Sometimes referred to as an energy bank. These are somewhat confusing to people so we will add a little more detail here. A power bank is either solar-powered or rechargeable. The big difference here is that if you are out in the boondocks and run out of energy, good luck trying to recharge it. The running joke among adventurers is that you just have to plug the thing into the wild currents. The beauty of the solar powered power bank is that they recharge themselves. So the first TIP is to go solar unless you are spelunking, then the rechargeable unit is your best friend.
The trick to picking out a good power bank is to focus on the battery. You need something in the 10,000 mAh – milliamps per hour. Anything less than 3,000 mAh has about one cell phone charge in them before the power is exhausted. The business and special class power banks hit the 10,000 mAh rate and can charge two or more devices before they require recharging themselves. Again, that is the beauty of a solar powered unit – it helps keep itself fully charged and ready for use simply by clipping it to your backpack.
It is one thing to tell you to buy a unit with more mAh but the kicker here is this. When you charge your phone using a power bank it costs energy. Not just the energy that is transferred from the bank to your phone, but about 37 percent of the energy being transferred is lost. That is why the mAh rating is so important for outdoor adventurers. Remember – go solar, opt for a 10,000 mAh battery and one that is waterproof.
4. GPS — Off road off map adventures are tricky and while you may know the way there are times when the way you are going or returning needs to change. Forest fires, snow storms, natural disaster, or even medical emergencies can force you off of the known route and into unfamiliar territory. Make sure that you pair your GPS with your power bank so that it is rechargeable.
5. Utility Tool — These handy little gadgets belong in every pack. You never know when you may need them or when another tool may break or become lost. There are plenty of examples when a single loose bolt or lost screw means disaster. Be prepared.
6. Knife — A good knife is invaluable. A good TIP for choosing the right knife for your adventure is to opt for one that has more than one use. You should also pair your knife choice closely to your outing. A knife used for fishing is different from one a hunter may use.
7. Waterproof Paper and Tactical Pen — These two items are probably the most ignored EDC items of all time. We opt for a tactical pen because it has more than one use and that gives you an advantage. You may need to leave a note that will stand up to the elements. Your car has broken down, become disabled, gone over the embankment and you need to bug-out to find help. Leave a note so whoever investigates your vehicle can point rescuers in the right direction. Being able to communicate without being there is critical.
8. Bear Whistle — Not only handy for letting bears know you are around, but also for signaling help across greater distances. These are light weight, loud and can save your life.
9. Carabiner Clips — There are many uses for these little life savers and it is a good idea to have a few sizes. A good TIP for buying these is to have at least a few the rock climbers use with the screw closed gate.
10. Paracord — A paracord bracelet is also invaluable. They are cheap and they make a difference in all types of situations. If you need to make an emergency shelter, tie poles together to make a carrying litter, or create a tool, paracord is perfect.
This list is simple and it is created with the assumption that people will already carry their cell phone, food, water, etc. The list is designed to use as a base or starter kit from which you can build your adventure. The completed list for a bear hunter is going to be different from that of an alpine skier. That is why we start with the basics and allow you to move outwards from there.