Everyday Carry Gear – A guide to what you need and what you want


What is Everyday Carry Gear (ECG)?

According to Wikipedia, this gear is a person’s selection of items they will carry with them for most situations on a daily basis.  I feel like the term “everyday carry gear” is a bit more relative than that however.  For example,  what a career firefighter may consider and carry as everyday gear might vastly differ from what an Accountant carries.  The reason?  Experiences.  For some, a cell phone and pen are all that are taken with on a daily basis.  For others, it’s a knife and watch.  Read on and decide what your ideal everyday carry gear inventory looks like.  Rob Robideau wrote an excellent book on this subject called “Practical Guide to Everyday Carry Gear”.  It’s definitely worth a read.

Why do we need this stuff anyway?

The term “survival” doesn’t always have to bear an image of Les Stroud fashioning a canoe out of an old tree trunk and pair of boots!  The fact is, we all rely on a select group of items to get through each day.  Whether you are a wall street banker, arborist or mountain rescue personnel – you’ve got a few items you can’t live without.

Everyday carry gear that applies to most people

I’m going to outline examples of the most common carry gear.  Some of these may not apply to you and, some may become purposeful in your years to come – who knows?everyday-carry-gear


We’ve all got keys, some more than others.  Keys let us in places and I’m almost certain that 99% of my readers have keys on their everyday carry gear roster.  We can’t get anywhere without them, especially by car!

Cell phone

Here’s an easy one.  No matter who you are, chances are you have a cell phone and, if you have a cell phone then the chances are you never leave home without it.  A cell phone is a wonderful example of carry gear that nearly all people have.


This one’s hit or miss.  Personally, I don’t have a watch and there’s a simple reason for that.  It’s because I use my cell phone for time keeping purposes.  However, there are things a watch can do which a cell phone cannot, for example, there’s a method aviators use to find south using their watch.  Here’s an article on Lifehacker which shows this technique.

Pen / Pencil

A pen and pencil are obvious needs but few people carry them on their person.  I know most of you have a writing utensil in your vehicle but how many of you carry one of these in your pocket?  I’m reminded of Lewis Skolnick in Revenge of the Nerds had a pocket protector filled with pens and pencils.  That was one prepared dude!


I’m willing to wager that most people have a flashlight everywhere they go.  For example, I’ve got a flashlight on my key-ring, in my car and, my iPhone has a handy dandy little app that turns the camera flash into a flashlight – and a damn bright one too!  Be sure to check out our article on three high end flashlight brands and their most popular models!

These are items which are nice to have but more rare in carry gear

  • Compass
  • Multi-tool – I much prefer SOG multi-tools over any other
  • Knife
  • Pistol
  • Para-cord Bracelet
  • Scissors
  • Batteries
  • USB Thumb Drive
  • Carabiner
  • Headache Pills
  • Measuring device such as a measuring tape
  • String

The list goes on and on and one from there.

Just remember that EVERYONE has Everyday Carry Gear.  Each piece is important in a different way to different people and what’s right from one may be too little or too much for others but nonetheless, we all need and rely on it.

What is in your arsenal of carry gear?

Leave your comments below!


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Meet the Author

I'm a former US Marine, full-time father and husband, and part-time survivalist. I like old things, like music, furniture and time-tested survival technique, but there's always a place in my heart for new technology such as weapons and sleeping bag fill. I'm here to share my knowledge and experience, and I hope you'll share yours as well.