The everyday carry bag is the next step beyond what you carry on your pockets. The bag itself is not important. It could be any bag of any size that you want to carry. The size of the bag is limited to your imagination or restrictions like the method of travel, location, and environment. All of these factors will be the deciding factors on what you can carry and what you need to carry.
First, we need to discuss the philosophy behind carrying an everyday bag. There are two major questions you have to take into consideration.
1). What do you need to carry with you to get through your daily life?
2). What do you want to carry with you for your daily life?
What do you need to carry with you to get through your daily life?
I am a stay at home dad. I really do not need anything to get through my daily life. I, however, do need my notebooks and pens because I write all of the time and I usually have a book with me. I do read a ton on either Kindle or PDF but, I still keep a book with me just in case my electronics die or are damaged. These are the basic items that I consider a need for me in my situation.
What do you want to carry with you for your daily life?
I choose to carry enough supplies to last me 24 hours. During the colder months of the year, this is more important to me. It also means that when I have my entire family with me, like during the summer months I switch to a larger EDC bag. During my daily excursions around town and in my local area is usually a smaller haversack.
Items that I carry break down into two categories. Survival use, and Daily use.
These are items that I consider important enough to might not have any daily use but, in the event that I do need them, they would be the most important things I could have.
Here are the basic types of items I choose to carry.
Fire kit. My basic fire making supplies I do carry in my bag are the main tinder sources. Around my local area there usually isn’t any problems located natural sources of dry tinder but, during certain times of the year, we get enough rain to make it difficult to find dry tinder sources.
I also carry at least two ignition sources. One of them is always a match case. In it, I keep a selection of stormproof matches, regular strike on box matches, and strike anywhere matches. A lot of people have chosen to ignore this 100+-year-old fire making tool. I find that they work nearly 100% of the time. The storm proof matches will work even in the harshest of conditions.
The second ignition source I carry is a Bic lighter. I do not want to rely on a sparking device when I have to make a fire. That is why I carry a lighter. It will work nearly 100% of the time. There are certain times that a lighter will not work but, those are so few and far between I do not worry about them.
Navigation. I know the area like the back of my hand but, even I am not beyond getting lost from time to time. Having a good map and compass is paramount to being able to land navigate in any situation.
Water Purification. In my area water is everywhere. You can’t walk twenty minutes in any direction without hitting some sort of a water source. I carry a Sawyer water filter in my kit. This way I can use any number of bottles to purify whatever water I find.
My two traveler’s notebooks are the first two items that I need in daily life. I have most of my business and personal life running from these two items. I also have my pens and writing supplies.
Medical supplies. These are the most important items that you can afford to carry. You can carry a basic boo boo kit to handle day to day cuts and scrapes and then you need to carry items to handle trauma. In this day and age, you never know when a medical emergency will sprout its head. If you have supplies on your person or in your bag you can provide care for people before even first responders can get there.
Optional items I carry. A fixed blade knife. This can be very important in bushcrafting tasks, daily life, and even in survival situations. It is one of the most important survival tools that you could have.
Ferro rod/Fire Steel. These items to me are the last resort when making a fire in an emergency. They are a great resource to have if you do not have any other means of fire making. They have benefits and downfalls just like any other means of making fire. I do not rely on them as a primary means of making fire but, I do rely on them as a solid back up.
Stainless steel water bottle. I carry this one on most days. However, it is not always a stainless steel water bottle. During the summer months, I usually carry a vacuum sealed cup or bottle. That way I can keep a drink hot or cold. If I have a stainless steel bottle then I can purify water simply by boiling it. You can not do this with the other bottles that I carry. I can still carry water with me and that is what their purpose is.
These items are not the end all be all of the items that you could or should carry. These are simply the types of items that I choose to carry and that I make a priority to have on me anytime that I leave the house.
Here is the basic information, You decide the outcome!