5 Ways to Maximize the Usefulness of Your Pocket Every Day Carry Gear

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 5 Ways to Maximize the Usefulness of Your Pocket Every Day Carry Gear

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In these difficult times, car theft, burglaries, or even a martial law situation can create a situation where you cannot get to your bug out bag or your safe location.   Aside from that, there are some other items that you must have on you at all times so that you can manage a wide range of crisis situations.   Unfortunately, when it comes to creating the perfect Every Day Carry or “EDC” gear list, you can wind up with far too many items to be practical.  If you want to get the most usefulness out of your EDC without carrying excess weight or too much stuff around, you can use these five tips to help with your choices.

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Make Smaller Packets of Essential Supplies


Consider a situation where you have a first aid kit and several essential oils, plus seeds for growing important herbs in your bug out bag.  Instead of devoting all of this weight to the same materials in your EDC, you can shorten it down using some simple changes to your storage methods.  Use plastic straws to make mini packets of essential oils and other important first aid medications.  Remember, even a single drop of an essential oil can go a long way, as can many other medical supplies.   Even if you cannot carry around 15 bottles of essential oil in your pocket, chances are you can slip 15 straw packets that are about an inch long into a small hard case about the size of your wallet.   Just make sure that you seal multiple sections into each straw so that you can cut each one open as you need it and still have some left over.  You can also use this method for any number of liquids and powders including electrolytes, salt, pepper, lubricating oils, and anything else that can be useful in even small quantities.  


Use Multi-Purpose and Foldable or Mini Items


Would you like to be able to fit a knife, a screwdriver, fire starter kit, fishing gear, saw, and a wrench into something the size of a business card holder?  With mini, multi-purpose tools, you can achieve this goal for less than $10.00.  You can choose from 5-in-one, or as high as 13-in-one tools that also include a small LED light.  Simply add a pocket sized magnifier to the case, and you will also have a fire starter on sunny days.  


Insofar as fishing gear, once again keeping things simple will give you multi-purpose materials that can be used for many things. In this case, get a spool of fishing line, some hooks, and a few metal nuts. You can always use the fishing line for tying things together, or use the nuts for fasteners as well as anchors for your fishing line.  If you can find an old rabbit ear antenna, or some other folding stick, you should be able to catch smaller sized fish.


One of the hardest things to manage in a pocket EDC is water.  While it is not practical to carry more than a bottle or two in a fanny pack, you can still carry foldable plastic water containers that will enable you to get water from just about any source.  Make sure that the plastic is as clear as possible so that you can let the bag of water sit out in the sun.  As long as the UV rays can reach into the bottle, they will kill off any disease bearing organisms in just a few hours.  


Legacy Food Storage

Carry Only What You Know You Can Use


While you may feel like keepsakes are important, everything in your EDC must have tangible value.   For example, if you are going to carry your smart phone along, you should also have a solar powered charger for it, or know how to generate enough power using things  you can scavenge as you travel.  Never forget that if you do choose an electronic device as part of your EDC, it may need to be discarded eventually, yet may still be very useful in the early days of the crisis.  Just remember not to become dependent on electronic devices, or make sure that you can repair them and provide enough power to operate them.  Since memory chips for smart phones and tablets take up very little space, you can always keep them with you in an EMP proof bag.  At the very least, if your own smart phone or tablet breaks down, you may still be able to read the files on another device if it becomes available.  Do not forget to include a suitable adapter that can be used to convert  the chip to be read through a USB port.


There is no question that sentimental items can inspire you, give you hope, and keep you going during tough times. Unfortunately, if those sentimental items happen to be jewelry, or anything that looks expensive, they can also make you the victim of a crime.  If you must bring along something of this nature, make sure it is sewn into the hems of your garments, or that you can take it off and hide it with your other gear.  Insofar as photos and reading material, it is best to store digital copies of them on a memory chip that can be read by your smart phone.  Don’t forget to make sure that you don’t take up too much space that might be useful for storing away survival related instructions.


Practice With Your EDC Gear


If you have never built a solar cooker using aluminum foil and a box, or built a foxhole radio, it may not make much sense to fold up a batch of aluminum foil or other simple supplies for your pocket EDC.  One of the best ways to choose EDC gear is to actually practice so that you know what to do in any situation. For example, if you know how to build a solar cooker, but don’t have a box, you will still be able to improvise using a hole in the ground.  The more you practice, the easier it will be to succeed and innovate as needed.


Practicing with your EDC gear also gives you a chance to test out the durability of the items you have onhand.  For example, if you bought a 5-in-one credit card sized multi-tool, you will find out pretty quickly if the knife part is sharp enough, or if the LED flashlight works as well as you need it to.  If you find out that some items don’t work as well as needed, then you can replace them or modify them to work better.  


Keep Up with Repairs and Replacements


Most people don’t think much about repairs and replacements for items that form part of the EDC.  That being said, take a picture of a new keychain fob, and then compare it to how it looks a year later. Did you notice all those scratches and dings?  While your pocket may seem like a perfectly safe place, it can also be very hard on any number of tools or bits of metal that rub together in your pocket.  If you happen to like a particular tool, buy several of them so that you can replace them as needed.


While essential oils and various medicines are very useful, they can also lose their potency over time. This problem is especially noticeable in essential oils that are made from plants whose compounds destabilize quickly.  Be sure to put a date on each packet so that you know when it needs to be replaced.  Remember, you cannot simply refill from the original bottle of essential oil, or from the same batch. You will either need to make new essential oil from fresh herbs, or you will need to buy a new bottle of quality oils.  


If you have flashlights, a cell phone, or other electronic gear in your EDC, always make sure that the batteries are fully charged.  Depending on the size of the batteries, you may also want to keep at least one set of fresh spares onhand.  That being said, it would be better to have a functional mini solar charger on hand for the devices than extra batteries.  


Never give up on finding ways to pack as many useful things into your EDC as you can manage.  As long as you know that you will never be separated from this gear, there is every chance that it can be used to save your life and enable you to get a new start once you find a safe place.  Given that there are new materials being developed every day that allow for the development of sturdier items in smaller sizes, it is entirely possible that you will be able to upgrade to even better tools in the future.  As long as you continue to use your  EDC and keep up with the latest trends, you may be truly amazed at useful this gear will be.  


* Another Scott Hughes Original for Freedom Prepper!


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**Feature image by Wilson Combat.

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