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.

6 comments… add one
  • JR Jul 22, 2014, 1:41 pm

    Very interesting, all my stuff is set up in stages, I’ll never leave the house without a few things(sak, watch, wallet, keys, little light) but then I have my EDC bag(my wife calls my murse, and kids call me Indy since it’s a across chest strap, and I like my tan pants and hat) but it has the little things I want on hand if I’m going to be away from house for anything(notepad, pen, multi tool, larger flashlight, mini FAK, mini roll of duct tape, couple of other things) but the next stage is a larger backpack, it has the more important things for a 72hr carry, like (fire starting, larger FAK, sewing kit, snack, raincoat, and room for other stuff) but the unique thing is I put clips on it to attach the small bag also a camelbak, but this way I don’t have to pack everything that’s in the little bag in the larger bag, just attach and go… I also have another bag I converted, I took a Alice frame, but put all molle straps on with a unique extending backpack, but have yet to use(thankfully) I belong to a few forums that have gotten me to this point,,,

    • Mike Jul 22, 2014, 8:57 pm

      The “murse” is hysterical! I’m going to tell my wife about that. I like the ‘stages’ thought though. Makes sense not to be ready for EVERYTHING when all you need to deal with is a simple day trip. I find when I pack for something, one thing leads to another – an that’s bad. I’ve got this constant “you might need this” voice in my head and I end up with a pack in which 90% of its contents won’t be used.

  • Noah Jan 24, 2015, 9:39 pm

    This is great, though a little extensive. The only critique I have is that, no matter who you are or what you do, a pocket knife should always be a daily carry-on. Especially with so many different types of versatile knives, there’s no excuse to not carry something that could save your life. Or make opening a package easier. Lol.

    • Mike Jan 25, 2015, 9:17 pm

      I completely agree! I do have a knife listed in the latter part of the article but I should think about moving it upwards. I realize that a knife is an essential, invaluable piece of carry gear, and yet, most folks don’t carry one. I think everyone should at least have a knife on their key ring. Thanks for chiming in!

  • JR Jan 14, 2016, 1:11 am

    I didn’t even know I posted on here, but I have to agree with Noah, you shouldn’t leave the front door without a knife, doesn’t have to be a one hand opening one, just a simple utility Swiss Army knife, that’s what I carry.. Oh and Mike, thank you for your services!

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