EDC Kit on a Budget

EDC Kit on a Budget

Budget EDC

Alright, hopefully you’ve all seen our blog on EDC (Every Day Carry) items. If not, you can read it here (EDC Kit List)
Today we are going to build an affordable EDC kit. Here we go!

-Ok, a backpack/messenger bag is optional but might be handy for carrying your other daily items. MamaTactics carries hers in her purse. I put mine in a 5.11 Z.A.P. 6 bag ( Z.A.P. 6 ) I got a killer deal on mine or it would have been out of my price range. Here are a couple small bags that might interest you: 


  I like the Everest because of its medium size and availability in 8 colors. This allows those who don’t want to tacticool, to maintain a low profile. 



Red Rock Sling Bag



Condor Messenger Bag.

3. Condor Messenger


UTG Multi-Function Messenger Bag



-Now, you’re going to want something to keep the actual EDC kit in. Ideally, this will fit in a large cargo pocket but you you can put a carabiner on it and clip it to your belt loop or another bag. I keep a tiny LED light clipped to the bag so I can see into it in the dark ( Nitecore Rechargeable LED ). Here are a few options for that task:
1. CLC Zippered Pouch Set


2. Condor Pocket Pouch


Condor pictured

3. Maxpedition EDC Organizer

-You should have a small Multi-Tool. Really, you should have a full sized one, as well, but this isn’t easy to carry for a lot of people.
1. Gerber Dime


Leatherman Squirt PS4

2. Leatherman Squirt


SOG PowerDuo (full size but with a good pocket knife blade. Double duty)


-Ok, you got a day pack (optional), your EDC pouch, and a Multitool… Now let’s get to the next bright idea. Small but bright flashlights are becoming more common. The trick is in finding a quality light that has good runtime (in low mode). I have a rule – I won’t buy a light that won’t run 24hrs on low. I don’t care how many lumens it puts out. Get used to using a light in the lowest setting that works for the situation. You’ll get MUCH better battery life that way. Here it goes:

Nitecore MT06 Penlight

Nitecore Penlight


Olight S1A Baton  (I carry this AA size light) 


Olight S1A Flashlight


SolarForce Z2 (this is MamaTactics’ light)

SolarForce Z2


Fenix E12

Good output and great runtime in a pocket sized light with a tail switch. 



Olight i3s EOS

I love this little $20 light. Mine has survived several, ummmm, mistakes. Like a trip through the clothes washer….and dryer….more than once. It can run up to 60 hours on a single AAA battery. 

Olight i3s 

-Pocket knives… I hope you already carry one. It really doesn’t belong in your EDC pouch. It should be seconds away from being ready to use. That being said, ladies fashion (and maybe those boys in skinny jeans) can make it difficult. Here are some affordable options. I lean towards good blade steel and build quality.

CRKT M-16 Tanto – This is such a great knife and a great seller for CRKT. They’ve kept this design for many years now. 



Schrade SCH205 – I really didn’t want to like this knife but I promised to give it a try. Carried it every day for about 3 months. There’s a good reason this $25 knife made my list. This is a great work knife. 

Schrade SCH205 


Kershaw OSO Sweet Assisted Opening – This is one of the best rated knives in the sub-$25 category and it’s an assisted opener!

Kershaw OSO Sweet


Ka-Bar Dozier Lockback – With a rating of 4.7 out of 5, this classic style lock back is hard to beat. So is the $20 price tag.   




-Shelter is something you hope you never need to find but it’s the most crucial aspect of preparedness. Well ok, breathing is more important… Exposure will kill you faster than dehydration. A basic space blanket is compact and fairly effective. Just remember to dress for the weather. Layers will save you.

Mylar Blanket – Not much to say here. Small, light, and they work. 4 for $5? Yeah. 

-Water Purification Tablets – like shelter, you won’t last long without water. You also don’t want to get sick during a disaster. I prefer a good filter but it won’t fit in your pocket so easily. If you can scavenge the means to boil water, do it. In lieu of boiling, tablets are a very compact solution. Put a couple in your EDC.

1.  MSR AquaTabs
Potable Aqua Tablets – None of them taste very good but they’ll kill the germs. 



3. Aquamira Tablets

-First aid – depending on the disaster and terrain, the potential for injury will be increased. My only recommendation is that you get a small first aid kit and add a couple life saving essentials to it. First, add a small tourniquet ( Mini Tourniquet ) or, if you have room, get a full CAT tourniquet 

CAT Tourniquet 
Add a small tube of super glue. Yes, it really works… Also, your EDC should include a small Sharpie marker. Not just for leaving notes and writing on bathroom walls, but to mark the time that a tourniquet was applied. This is crucial information for medical professionals. Drop a couple scalpel blades in there and you’re pretty set.

Adventure Medical Ultralight .3 (best in class) This one comes with a decent tourniquet.  


1. Ultralight .3


Sawyer Safety Pouch FAK

Sawyer FAK Pouch


Sawyer Pocket First Aid Kit

2. Sawyer Pocket FAK


Coleman First Aid Tin

3. Coleman FAK Tin


On The Go First Aid Kit




Bacon bandages (just because)

4.5…. Mmmmm, Bacon 

-Fire starting gear. The ability to make a fire may be crucial to your survival. Even if you are lost, it will act as an incredible signal.

You should carry 2 types of firestarting systems. Choose from , Waterproof Matches, Butane Lighter, Ferro-cerium rod/Magnesium. Keep some tinder handy as well.


UST Sparkie – Easy, one handed operation 


Firesteel – Your basic Ferro Rod

2. FireSteel


UCO Waterproof matches in WP holder

3. WP Matches


WetFire Tinder – Yep, that little solid fuel fire starter is burning in a puddle of water. 

4. WetFire


TinderQuik – This fibrous tinder lights fast and easy, even wet. 

5. TinderQuick


-Here are some other recommended items:

Duct tape… Yep, good old fashioned Stick ‘n Fix. They sell small diameter rolls for this or you could take some and wrap it around your mini Sharpie.

Mini Duct Tape


A small can opener. Because!
P-38 AND P-51 Set


Cable saw – small, light, and makes building an emergency shelter easier. 
Cable Saw


Signal mirror – Because they work. Practice first… 

Signal Mirror

Rescue whistle – because it’s louder than you can yell for help… 

UST JetScream

Pen or pencil with some paper for leaving/taking notes.


I hope you found this helpful. Play with this kit. Get it pared down to something you can manage. My kit doesn’t contain ALL of these items. Mostly because I have alternatives or skills that make some items redundant for an EDC sized kit. Think about what you may REALLY need.

Remember, when it hits the fan…
WHAT you HAVE is ALL you’ve GOT!


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