Things I EDC (Everyday Carry), 2010

Sometimes, when I pull out something weird from my pockets, people ask me what kind of things I carry. Now, wonder no more – because this post will give you insight to the items I carry with me daily.
All items

Note: This list is outdated, and what I carry now is pretty different. Take a look at what I carry when hiking (not strictly EDC though).

Sometimes, when I pull out something weird from my pockets, people ask me what kind of things I carry. Now, wonder no more – because this post will give you insight to the items I carry with me daily. The term EDC (Every Day Carry) is often used to describe these kind of items, and you can google it to find out what kind of things people carry.

The items I personally carry are finely honed over years of carrying items, and so they may not be the best for other people. I continually change the items I carry, so what I will list is only effective at this current time. You can divide my EDC items into 2 categories:

1) Items I carry on myself
2) Items I carry in my backpack

Items I carry on myself

I generally try to conceal these items, as I don’t want to look like a person gone crazy – so when I am carrying these things, you probably wouldn’t even know, until I started taking things out of my pockets! These items tend to be small, and consist of things which have come in useful over time.

Here is a picture of all my on-person EDC items:
All items

From left to right:

[Top row]

  • Packet of tissues. This probably doesn’t need to be explained, it comes in handy all the time.
  • Phone. Again, doesn’t need to be explained.
  • Flashlight (Liteflux LF2XT). This one goes around my neck on a paracord lanyard, and is one of my favorite flashlights – it is fully programmable (various brightness levels which can be set), waterproof, and brighter than most of those big Maglights.
  • Concealed waist pouch. When I wear this, it is completely unnoticeable, which is great! Items inside shown later.
  • Flashlight (4Sevens Quark AA Tactical). My “main duty” flashlight, goes from really dim to really bright. It is tied to my waist pouch using a very useful quick release knot (The slipped lap knot), which prevents it from falling out, but at the same time provides quick & easy access. It is also clipped to my pants.
  • Swiss army Deluxe Tinker knife. This particular one comes with pliers in the middle.
  • Secondary wallet, with various items to be explained later.

[2nd row]

  • Wallet, which contains various items which will be shown later.
  • Keychain, which will be explained later.

[Not in picture] Clip-on sunglasses.

Concealable pouch

This contains items which will probably confuse you as to why I carry such random stuff, but here goes. It consists of a large back compartment, a medium middle compartment, and 2 small front (left and right) compartments. On the left and right are carabiners, to which are attached the swiss army knife, flashlight (Quark AA) and wallet (using nylon) [and not in picture, a 1 meter tape measure].

In the back compartment, from left to right:

  • A small 2 pronged fork. I have taped up the top to ensure it doesn’t poke anything
  • A small plastic spoon. I used to have a steel one, but it started rusting, and it was a bit heavy.
  • Comb. Self explanatory.
  • Extra ziplock bag (4″x6″). I’ve used this to store various items (I just used it to pack some leftover peanuts from a restaurant), as well as a waterproof container for my phone if it is raining.
  • Some tissues in a ziplock.
  • Guitar pick. It’s a Dunlop gator .71mm for strumming
  • Nylon fishing line
  • [Not in picture – several feet of copper wire]
  • Several rubber bands in a small ziplock
  • Foam earplugs (for nighttime use) in a ziplock
  • A twisty tie

In the middle compartment, left to right:

  • A small contact card with my details on it
  • Some paper and cotton buds in a ziplock
  • Extra plastic bag
  • A sealed plastic bag containing a surgical mask and star charts

In the front left compartment, left to right:

  • A tripled ziplocked bag (to keep out humidity) containing various meds like:
    • Carbon pills
    • Panadol/Tylenol
    • Piriton (antihistamine)
    • Buscopan
  • A ziplock bag containing:
    • A small lens (works as a magnifying lens)
    • 2 bandages
    • [not visible] some spare cash
  • A lighter
  • Small marker pen

In the front right compartment, left to right:

  • A signalling mirror in a ziplock, for use as a regular mirror as well as emergency signalling
  • A ziplock bag containing:
    • 2 rolls of masking tape
    • 1 roll of scotch tape
    • Nail clipper
    • Small and powerful magnet
    • Several paper clips
    • Several safety pins
  • A small vial of hand sanitizer (77% ethanol – also useful for cleaning)

Secondary wallet

I may not always carry this, depending on if I have enough pockets. Has 3 compartments, and contains the following, left to right, top to bottom:
[Top row]

  • Small plastic bag in small ziplock
  • One sad looking bandage
  • Some fishing line

[Middle row]

  • Chapstick (lip balm) for dry weather
  • 2 rubber bands
  • Err, silica gel to absorb humidity. I think it’s no longer working.
  • 2 batteries – A rechargeable Ni-Mh AA (Eneloop) and an Energizer Lithium AAA. (Sometimes, I carry a 3rd lithium ion battery)
  • A small black pen
  • Triple ziplock containing:
    • Safety pins
    • Rolled masking tape
    • Panadol/Tylenol and piriton (antihistamine)

[Bottom row]

  • Ziplock containing some paper, alcohol wipe and bandage
  • 2 toothpicks


Besides the usual (some cards, id, cash, emergency contacts), I carry:

  • A ziplock containing an alcohol wipe, band aid, and a personal card
  • Picture of my college CF (HRAACF)
  • Some paper
  • A homemade chart of [music] notes and their frequencies, as well as my flashlight (Liteflux LF2XT) operation manual cheatsheet
  • Band-aid
  • A homemade chart containing various knots, in case I forget how to tie them


Besides my keys:

That ends the list of all the things I carry with me at all times. I am, of course, missing some items which I wouldn’t mind adding, and some items which I should add. But I’m already at the limit of what I can carry without it becoming noticeable.

In general, if I were to recommend some items which EVERYONE should ALWAYS have, it would be these:

  • Tissue – I shouldn’t need to mention why
  • Small flashlight – Something which most people lack, but I have been in situations when the power went out, and I would have been trapped in a building if not for this. (Actually, it was because I got trapped in a dark building that I started to carry one) If you frequent the underground or buildings with sealed stairwells, THIS IS EXTREMELY IMPORTANT! Your cellphone screen does not count. You can get a simple coin flashlight for just $1 in most places, and it could save your life!
  • Whistle – If you get trapped, or if you are in a place out of sight
  • Small utility knife, if you can

Items I carry in my backpack

On longer trips or car trips, I will take my backpack with me. Now, this is where the ridiculousness starts, with the crazy amount of things I have in my backpack. Over time, I will probably streamline things a bit more, and take out some things which I don’t need.

Here’s my backpack:

It has 4 compartments and 2 side pockets.
Shown are the items in the side pockets: A small water bottle, emergency poncho, and emergency [mylar] “space” blanket.

The 1st back compartment is usually empty, and contains whatever I may need to carry. However, it does contain this flashlight:

which may look like your average Maglite 2D. However, looks can be deceiving – it is actually a VERY heavily modified maglite which puts out more lights than your car headlamps and can shine up to 200 meters away! It can even start newspaper on fire if you try…

The 2nd back compartment is also relatively empty for whatever goods I may need to place inside. However, it does contain these items:

  • Pack of tissue
  • In-Ear headphones (Etymotic er4p)
  • Spare socks & spare t-shirt, for emergencies if I need to change (both inside a plastic bag)

Here is where things get crazy:

3rd compartment (near the front):

This compartment contains several sub compartments, but I will just show everything in the 3rd compartment:
From left to right:
[Top row]

  • Umbrella
  • Ziplock containing notepad and pen
  • A couple meters of nylon rope (waiting to change this to paracord)
  • Small philips screwdriver
  • Large philips screwdriver
  • Long tipped pliers
  • Red decorative string in ziplock

[Middle row]

  • A couple CDs used for troubleshooting computers
  • Small swiss army knife
  • Lighter
  • Double sealed, small tube of superglue
  • Short stick of hot glue
  • Self winding Mini-USB cord
  • Ziplock containing contact treatment (for electrical contacts) – DeOxit Red & Gold
  • Ziplock containing 2 Energizer Lithium AAAs

[Bottom row]

  • Big plastic bag
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Mini Card reader – a very popular item!
  • 3.5mm -> 6.5mm TRS converter (for headphones etc)

[Not in picture] 4GB USB flash drive

4th (front) compartment:
Left to right:
[Top row]

  • Metal chopsticks. They’ve come in more useful than chopsticks before, as they’re strong
  • Big ziplock containing:
    • Syringe
    • Surgical Gloves
    • Surgical Masks (2x)
    • Various 1st aid items such as:
      • Cotton buds
      • Antiseptic wipes
      • Bandages
      • Various pills
  • Tissue in ziplock
  • Ziplock containing various vials of:
    • Heavy grease/lubricant
    • Lighter fluid
    • Cleaning Alcohol (Isopropyl)
    • Detergent
    • Light oil
  • Toothbrush & Toothpaste

[Middle row]

  • Sealed bag of pemmican (Ground beef jerky & rendered beef fat) – Courtesy Shannon Wong who made this batch!
  • Two cereal bars
  • Small spray can containing water
  • Ziplock containing fork & spoon, teabags and aluminum foil

[Bottom row]

  • Tin can, in which I keep the remaining items on the bottom row. The tin can comes in useful as a bowl/cup, and it can also be put on a fire if needed (I did cook an egg in it once)
  • Ziplock containing roll of duct tape and masking tape
  • Ziplock containing soap
  • Ziplock containing eyemask