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Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Putting Together Your EDC Bag

Hopefully by now you have gone out and bought yourself an EDC bag.  If not, you should backtrack to my previous post, “What is an EDC bag and why should I have one” before continuing on.  At this point it is time to start getting all of your gear together and organizing it.  Yes this sounds like it can be a daunting task especially when trying to figure out which items you really need and which ones should be grouped together.  This article isn’t about keeping a few items that can fit into your pocket such as a knife, a few band aids and a cell phone – it’s about having all of the “essentials” on hand so that you are fully prepared for any situation that might arise.  If you really think a pocket sized kit is all you will need then I hope the only thing that happens is you fall off your bike because you were looking back at a hot chick and scraped your knee.

When you look at the list of items below I know you will probably think to yourself, “how am I supposed to put all this in my EDC bag ?”.  The amount of stuff you can carry will depend on the bag that you purchased, however, the main idea here is to still keep everything as compact as possible.  Many of these items are small and hardly take any room.  There may be some things that you will find you may not need while other items may be available in smaller sizes or formats that can do the same job just as effectively.

To help simplify things we will start by breaking everything down into categories.  Remember that we’re only trying to stock the bare necessities here, not create a complete survival bag.  The items I’ve listed below are just general suggestions.  You will need to determine exactly what you think will be needed to accommodate your bag.

Clothing and Apparel:Hiking Boots

You should keep a complete spare change of clothing in your bag as keeping yourself dry is very important.  Modify the type of items listed here to suit your location and and environment.

  • Pair of underwear and socks (add long-johns if you live in a colder climate)
  • Pair of jeans or pants made of high strength material
  • Pair of gloves and hat or bandana
  • T-shirt and sweater
  • Rain poncho
  • Dust mask
  • Add anything else that you would need for your location and climate but remember to keep everything as compact as possible.

Food and Water:Water

Having clean drinkable water should be your top priority with food following right behind.  If possible, get yourself a water bottle that has a filter built into it so in the case that you need to collect water from a nearby river or stream it will filter out most of the harmful bacteria.  Remember though, it’s always your safest bet to boil the water before you drink it regardless of where you found it.

  • Water bottle, canteen or survival straw with built in water filter (always keep it pre-filled with fresh clean water)
  • Water purification tablets
  • A few MRE’s (ready to eat meals)
  • A few packages of oatmeal, granola bars or high energy protein bars
  • Mixed dried fruit and nuts
  • Hard candies
  • P-38 can opener (in case you come across some cans of food along the way)

First Aid & Medical:First Aid Kit

A first aid kit is another critical component to your EDC bag.  While a pocket sized kit could do the trick you should keep in mind that it’s always better to put together your own kit rather than buying one that’s pre-made because not one kit that you purchase will be tailored to your exact medical needs.  If you choose to build your own kit you should know that many of these items can be found at the dollar store for a fraction of the cost.  Below are some standard items that you should include in your kit if you decide to put it together yourself.  Remove or add items to suit your needs.

  • Band aids – different sizes
  • Butterfly band aids
  • Gauze pads
  • Arm wrap (in case of a sprain or fracture)
  • Medical tape
  • Rubbing alcohol (to sterilize)
  • Peroxide (to disinfect the wound)
  • Polysporin (to help heal wounds and infections)
  • Puffers, Epee Pen, etc..
  • Suture kit
  • Any prescription and non-prescription medication you may require
  • Quick Clot or cayenne pepper (cayenne pepper will thicken the blood and help slow or stop the bleeding)
  • Tweezers
  • First aid manual

Navigation, Signaling and Lighting:Compass and Map

Regardless of where you live you should add a map of your local area into your pack in case you need to take a different unfamiliar route in order to get home or to a safer place.

  • A quality map compass
  • Map of local area and state/province
  • Whistle
  • Signal mirror
  • Glow sticks
  • LED flashlight or headlamp and extra batteries (store batteries separately)
  • Cell phone (preferably a smartphone)

Fire and Heat:Fire and Heat

Aside from having clean drinkable water at the top of your list, keeping yourself warm and dry is also extremely important and being able to make a fire is extremely important.  Hypothermia can set in faster than you think so keep this in consideration when adding any of these items to your bag.  You will want to be able to make a fire in any type of weather so I personally would go with a magnesium fire starter.

  • Waterproof strike anywhere matches, Windproof lighter, Magnesium fire starter or flint and steel
  • Hand and foot warmers (if you live in a colder area)
  • Emergency candles
  • Space blanket (can also be used to create a shelter)



You may come across a time or place where you will need to have the cover of shelter perhaps to ride out the night or to protect yourself from the elements.  Carrying an actual tent or other shelter with you wouldn’t make sense as they would be too bulky and wouldn’t fit in your EDC bag anyway.  Instead, you will probably have to improvise and make one out of available materials.  Here are a few items that can help you to make one:

  • Small tarp (can be used as a wall or roof for your shelter)
  • Large black garbage bags
  • Rain poncho
  • Paracord (to tie and hold together your shelter)

Protection:Fixed Blade Buck Knife

People do crazy things when under pressure and stress, especially during the after affects of a severe natural disaster or when society has broken down.  Besides yourself, everyone else will be in full survival mode and being able to protect yourself will be crucial.  Here are a few items that you should consider putting in your EDC bag:

  • Pepper or bear spray
  • Pocket knife (preferably a quality knife with a fixed blade)
  • Hand gun with spare bullets
  • Taser gun

Tools and other misc items:Gerber Suspension

Aside from some of the items above, here are a few more which you will want to have on hand and will find to be very useful in many scenarios.

  • 50 feet of 550lb paracord
  • Pen and pad of paper
  • Adjustable wrench (to turn off gas valves, tons of other uses)
  • Multi-tool
  • Cable ties
  • Small mini screw driver with bits (to fix eye glasses or other small items)
  • Small hose (you might have to siphon gas) – has many other uses
  • Roll of quarters (for pay phones) and at least $100 – $200 in small bills (you never know when you’ll need to make an emergency purchase or have to buy your way out of trouble

Lastly, you will need to make sure that all of your supplies stay dry.  I previously wrote an article on different ways to “waterproof your backpack” and it’s contents.  Although I used backpacks as an example you can still use the same ideas for your EDC bag.  Click here to read it.

Best of luck with building your EDC bag and let us know what you put in yours in the comments below!

This article was written by INCH Survival and can be viewed here:


What Are Your Prepping Blind Spots?

The cooler temperatures in the air remind me of the approach of winter and with it many of the things I take pleasure in. Colder days give me excuses to wear my big warm coats that have been stuck in a plastic bin all year. I get to break out a completely new set of hats to keep my head warm and my closet has undergone a revival, albeit a pretty pitiful one where my short-sleeved shirts are now replaced by warmer garments. Hunting season preparations are well underway and this weekend I will be sighting in all of my rifles.

The cooler weather seems to have sent the flies and mosquitoes packing with spiders now seemingly the only holdouts. I watch their webs from my windows because obviously that is the only place they can set up house but they too will disappear soon. Everything has a cycle.

This is also the time of year where the subject of prepping seems to start falling off the radar for most people. This year I think it has been even more pronounced because the perfect storm of predicted events in September never materialized. The blood moons, the Shemitah, the stock market, UN speeches all culminated in… not so much.

Michael Snyder calls this the calm before the storm in a recent article and I am inclined to believe him. I didn’t get too wrapped up in the predictions of September, but I take a long-term view of prepping on my best days. I don’t look for anything to happen when we are all looking. When the eyes of the world are watching for the big one, they rarely ever happen do they? It is much more interesting to surprise people and I think we are still in for a big surprise some day down the road.

Check your prepping blind spots

I was thinking about this cyclical phenomenon that we go through in prepper circles of the buzz about the next event creating fervor then silence when nothing happens. The news events are probably exacerbating this somewhat this time around, but if you ignore the huge migrant crisis in Europe and don’t get bogged down into politics too deeply at this point, there seems to be nothing to worry about on the surface. It is times like these that I am reminded that as a Prepper I need to be checking my blind spot.

You probably know what I mean when I refer to blind spot. It is most commonly discussed in the context of driving your car and it is the space you can’t see between what your side mirror shows and your peripheral vision. Normally, this is where the big sedan is lurking and if you only check your mirror, you might miss it and in the process of going around the slow poke in front of you, smash right into that car in the other lane. This is a danger to you as well as the other driver on the road.

The blind spot for preppers manifests itself in a similar fashion. We are happily driving along down the road of life and we react to the threats we can see in front of us. We keep an eye on the threats behind us and to our rear, but if we get complacent and don’t keep looking around, disaster can be waiting for us in our blind spot. If we don’t see an immediate threat (Y2K, Global Warming, Global Cooling, Acid Rain, Nuclear War, Mayan Calendar, Shemitah, blood moon, Stay Puft marshmallow man) in front of us we think everything is OK. Once the “threat” has passed it is in our rear view mirror and we think we are in the clear.

What are some of your prepping blind spots?

After Y2K, there was a lot of prepper “embarrassment” for lack of a better word. We certainly didn’t have the non-stop abuse factory that can be the comments section on social media now, but when nothing happened, a lot of preppers felt duped. Even without dozens of trolls talking about how stupid they looked for prepping, preppers felt silly for buying survival gear and stocking up on food only to wake up on January 1st, 2000 and find that the world was still spinning. I hadn’t really gotten into prepping at that time and my only real investment was s few jugs of water and some Mexican Veladoras that I picked up at my grocery store because I thought they would burn a long time. Our canned food was eaten and the water made it into the rotation. I still have the candles.

And every other event that we are supposed to be worried about is largely the same. Preppers will get extremely animated and stressed about the next upcoming event. Prepping blogs like this one will be inundated with requests for more information, there will be articles about preppers and their motivation for prepping in newspapers and online articles and when the event passes. Crickets.

I do know that we have a large amount of regular readers who are here every day – when nothing is going wrong just as they are here when some tragedy has struck. I am not talking about you, but I would say the majority of people who are interested in Prepping when it is convenient might be missing some large objects if they only focus on prepping when there is the potential for disaster in the news.

I have enough X to last me forever – Stocking up is a given for most preppers. We stock up on the items we need to live out of concern that we won’t be able to purchase them after some disaster. But simply stocking up on a few cases of water and some toilet paper does not a prepper make. Anything and everything you have will run out at some point. You can’t just go on an extreme Sam’s club trip and expect to be prepared for everything.

My Bug Out Bag is all I need to escape anything – Bug out bags are a very important survival tool. Properly sourced with the right essentials by someone who can carry that gear the distance and who knows how to use the contents, makes the bug out bag a huge advantage if you are forced to leave your home. However, just because you have a well-stocked bug out bag, that doesn’t make you invincible. It is an important step, but you shouldn’t just sit back when you have yours completed.

Want a compelling vision of what life without electricity looks like? Read One second after.

Want a compelling vision of what life without electricity looks like? Read One second after.

We will defend our castle from all zombie bikers/ I will be able to stay in my home forever – I am a huge believer in Sheltering in place as opposed to bugging out – provided my situation at home does not warrant I leave for safety. I believe there are many advantages to being in a known location, but I can’t believe that I will always be able to stay in that house. My plans and preps need to continue to evolve to account for different scenarios that might force me to grab that bug out bag and hit the road.

Living without power won’t affect me – I have been guilty myself of downplaying the importance of electricity. How hard can it be? I go camping all the time and there is no power, right? A world without power would be hell for a long time and to simply think it would be like camping is missing a much larger reality. I recommend reading One Second After if you don’t appreciate the potential of life without an electric grid.

There are many more and I bet each of you can identify your own prepping blind spots. What do you conveniently ignore or put out of your mind until the next forecast of extreme weather? I think one thing we can try to keep is a constant but low-level vigilance. I try not to get too wrapped up in the day-to-day news, but I think that one reason is that I am somewhat prepared for a lot of different contingencies. I have spent years stocking up on supplies, coordinating plans with friends and learning as much as I can. I feel I am half-way down the road. I can see a lot of old events in my rear view mirror but I know that if I get complacent, I could end up in the ditch. Keep your eyes on the road because as we speed through life, what is ahead can change quickly.

What do you forget until there is rioting in your city? What are your prepping blind spots?


What Are Your Prepping Blind Spots? was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:


Survival Basics – Prepping for An Unexpected Power Outage

You don’t have to be a prepper to realize that power outages can happen anytime, to anybody, and anywhere.  Some outages are planned, some are the result of Mother Nature kicking up a storm, and some are the unexpected result of a natural or man-made crisis.  More recently, the threat of a cyber-attack or terrorist invoked EMP has been added to the mix, and most assuredly, if that were to happen, we will be without power for an extended time.

The bottom line is this: the delicacy of our grid is such that nearly any disruption can cause a sudden and unexpected power outage.

Whatever the reason, there are various measures you should take now to ensure both your comfort and safety when the power blows unexpectedly.  The good news is that prepper or not, most people already have the most basic power outage survival items on hand:

  • Flashlights
  • Batteries
  • Candles
  • Matches
  • Blankets

Unless you have been living in a cocoon in Siberia, chances are that these items have already been set aside in your household so that they will be readily available when the lights blink off.  For a 3- or 4-hour outage, you will be just fine with these basic supplies.

But what if the power is lost for a longer period of time? How will you cook your food?  How will you keep warm?  How will you ensure your safety and security in the dark?  These are just a few of the issues you will face if there is an unexpected and extended power outage.  Add infants, the elderly, or the infirm to the mix unless you have planned ahead, you will have a big problem and potential catastrophe on your hands.

Preparing in Advance For a Power Outage

Today I get back to survival basics and offer suggestions and ideas for prepping for an unexpected power outage. My goal is to get those wheels in your brain cranking, and to provide you with a list of suggestions that can be implemented in stages as your needs and budget allow.

1.  Store foods that require very little in terms of warming or cooking.  These foods should be items that your family normally eats.  Suggestions?  Canned meats, peanut butter, crackers, canned fruits and veggies granola bars, and cold cereals.  If you are a coffee drinker, include some instant coffee as well.

The list is endless but let me caution you: if you gag at the thought of cold ravioli out of a can now, you will also gag if you have to eat it in an emergency, power outage situation.  Don’t be silly.  Store foods that are meant to be eaten cold or at room temperature, or, if not, try sampling them in advance just to be sure.  This may sound crazy but cold baked beans out of a can are actually quite good! Don’t forget the manual can opener and some disposable plates and utensils.

2.  Acquire one or more alternate cooking sources.  You can cook outdoors using a fire pit, charcoal or propane barbeque, camp stove or even a DIY rocket stove.

We are lucky in that we have a propane cooktop in our kitchen that can easily be lit with a match.  In addition, we have a Volcano Collapsible Cook Stove, an EcoZoom rocket stove, and three Solo Stoves. These devices provide options when it comes to using fuel not the least of which is biomass.  We also have a  cast iron fire pit that is set up for cooking, a couple of butane stoves, a gas grill, and a Sun Oven.


If propane is your fuel of choice, you will find lots of information and useful tips in the series Propane For Preppers, The Five Part Series.


Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and can be viewed here:


If You Could Only Have One Survival Item …

Occasionally I am honored with a request from someone writing an article on preparedness or survival,  asking for my opinion on a question they have. In the past, these requests have come from other bloggers who are just starting out or people creating infographics, even newspapers and magazines. The questions are all slightly different but a common theme has emerged over the years that seem to try to distil your odds of survival down to some reliance on one tool or one set of tools.

The question usually goes something like “How much gear do you need for survival? Not as a well-stocked prepper, but as a survivalist … what is too much /too little?” Another version is along the lines of “If you could only have one survival item, what would it be?”

I have seen this as the subject of countless articles on Prepper websites and forum posts over the years. To be perfectly frank, a couple of my posts have ventured into this territory slightly but I think with a different intent that I will get to in a minute. The point I felt like discussing today is this. If you are looking for a simple list of 5 things you need for survival, you might be going about getting prepared or even preparing for survival the wrong way and in the end that could be your downfall no matter what you have in your bug out bag.

What if you could only have one survival item?

Unless you are new to prepping, you have probably read many prepping articles. If that describes you, then I am sure you have seen these questions posed in lots of different ways too. I think it is far too easy to spout off with items like a knife, lighter, water bottle, tarp and duct tape. I completely agree that those would give you the ability to set something on fire, cut something and carry liquid. It could allow you to repair items or build a shelter. But those items alone do not guarantee survival. I would imagine that if you put some people in a survival situation with those five survival items, they would die just as quickly as if they had nothing. The interesting tangent is that other people with none of these items in their possession might live perfectly fine. The point is that those survival tools don’t have much to do with your survival and the dependence on a list of things that will save you isn’t where you should be focusing your effort.SurvivalGear1

But you may say, “Well I know how to use all of those things to survive.” OK, great. What about something to eat? What about shelter, outside of something over your head? What about security? What if you are in a desert and there is no water? What if you lived in a rural area and there was a drought or a disease pandemic, or mobs of people looting? What if the lighter or the wood you are trying to light is wet? What if you are a month from home on foot? In the dead of winter? With three feet of snow on the ground? And an injured leg?

I guess you would use your knife to kill a bison if you could find it, skin it and make clothes out of the pelts while you are cooking hundreds of pounds of meat over the fire you lit with your fire plough, drinking bison juice out of the water pouch you fashioned from a bison stomach.

What do you really need to survive?

Without getting too hung up on labels, I think people who call themselves “survivalist” seem to think that the only survival scenario they will be faced with always involves being dropped on a deserted island or rugged forest somewhere. The vision is something like a Les Stroud or Bear Grylls TV episode but I don’t think that is anywhere near a probable reality. Can you survive? Maybe under the right conditions, but Survival isn’t just being able to build a fire. Just because you can make a shelter with a tarp, that doesn’t mean you will survive. You can whittle all the sharp sticks you want and build fires all day long with nothing more than some belly button lint and you could still die!

Preppers are the same way sometimes. We look for checklists of gear that we can get like Dave Canterbury’s 10 C’s of survival and think that once we have those in our possession, it’s smooth sailing from there. Those 10 things can work if you know how to use them and the circumstances you find yourself in allow you to use those items for survival in a way that will actually benefit you.

I am not saying that to survive you should have a 70 pound bug out bag with every prepping supply you can think of. There has to be a middle ground, a lot of luck and resourcefulness to scavenge what you can along the way. I don’t believe in any magical bag that will have everything you ever need in every situation to get through any crisis. I also don’t believe that all you need to survive is a knife, a tarp and a way to make fire.

Thinking about Survival differently

To try to bring this back around to my first point. Gear all by itself won’t save you. I also don’t believe that skills all by themselves will guarantee survival either. We usually say “Skills over stuff” and that is true in many senses. On the other hand, stuff can really make your life easier and could allow you just as much survival with the right set of circumstances. One person could know how to make a fire bough to create fire. Another person could have lighters or a fire steel. Both could survive. It is only when we talk about what you have (when you actually need it), your personal resourcefulness and the nature or duration of the crisis that things differ.

The best I think we can try to do is prepare for a wide range of potential scenarios but acquiring gear and learning skills in and of themselves isn’t the only thing that will affect your chances of survival. You might have a warehouse of prepper gear but find yourself in another country on business when SHTF. Your stuff in that warehouse you call your basement might be worthless to you when you really need it.

You could also know how to make a fire with a couple of pieces of wood and your bare hands, but starve because there is no food. Even skills to some extent are just stuff too. Without the right ingredients to go along with that stuff your survival isn’t guaranteed.

Gear is good when it is practically applied in the right way, during the right situation. Skills can go with you everywhere but they usually need the same things. The right application and opportunity.

Prepping is much more mental exercise in my opinion than acquisition of things. Yes, acquiring gear is something I believe is valuable in some situations. I have purchased more than my fair share of “stuff” but I try to think through situations more so than acquire gear to deal with them. Prepping should be about options and redundancy of thought as well as tools. We should try to think of many ways to accomplish survival. Don’t just buy the top 5 survival items, stick them in a bag and expect to live. Think about living first. How can you use your environment to survive? How can you use what is around you? This could be gear, skills or bald-faced improvisation to get around a problem you have? Could an abandoned car offer survival opportunities? Yes for someone who is thinking outside the box. Duct tape anyone?

Don’t let your focus be limited by the one survival item theory. You are the only survival item you need. You just need to figure out all the ways you can use yourself.

If You Could Only Have One Survival Item … was written by Pat Henry with Prepper Journal and can be viewed here:


The 10 Personality Traits of Successful Survivalists

Have you ever noticed that most preppers have a lot in common? There are certain personality traits that seem to be present in nearly every single prepper and survivalist I have met, and the more prevalent these traits, the more successful they are at prepping and survival.

We do a lot of talking about what preppers do wrong, and about those mistakes and oversights that can get you killed, but today I want to focus on the positive: those core traits that will see you through the ups and downs of life, whether it’s in the midst of a major disaster or a daily inconvenience.

Today I’d like to share with you my take on ten things that preppers get right.  I list them in no particular order although I tend to think the first and last might be the most important.

10 Traits of the Successful Prepper

1.  The Will to Live

Preppers approach long term survival with gusto.  As busy as they might be with job and family obligations, they are laser-focused on ensuring that they will be safe for the long term.  They want to live and want to enjoy the bounty of life itself.  To that end, they are prepared to endure hardships and are prepared to defend what is theirs.  They want to live, no matter what, and want to be productive members of society.

2.  Thirst for Knowledge

There is always something new to learn and to keep the prepper’s brain engaged.  There is never a time when they say “enough”.  As difficult as it may be at times to deal with the reality of our world, preppers seek knowledge and truth. They relentlessly pursue just one more skill and one more fact that will help them prevail if their world goes to heck.

3.  Belief in Family Values

The family as a social unit is important, whether it is a family of two or a family of twenty.  Preppers know that and embrace and protect the family unit because it provides a sense of belonging, as well as an environment for honesty and respect.  However the family unit is defined (and each of us may define “family” in different terms), the core ideals remain the same: responsibility, accountability, and love.

4.  The MacGyver Instinct

Every prepper is a handyman.  We fix stuff.  We make things work by cobbling together odd bits and pieces into something newly purposed.  We throw away nothing, lest it have some useful purpose down the road.  We strive to jerry-rig our way out of just about anything, sometimes with only some paracord and duct tape.  The words “I can’t make it work” do not exist in the Prepper’s vocabulary.

5.  Compassion for Others

Wikipedia defines compassion as “the emotion that we feel in response to the suffering of others that motivates a desire to help”. The so-called survivalists of old were stereotyped as loners.  These days, most preppers understand the value of being around others and feel a strong emotional connection to helping those that are unable to help themselves.

This is not to say that we as a group are a bunch of bleeding hearts that will give away our hard-earned preps to anyone who comes asking.  Quite the contrary.  What it does mean is that we show compassion for those that are disabled, elderly, ill, or simply lack the financial means to do more than a modicum of preparations.  From these individuals we will seek knowledge and skills rather than physical possessions.

Of course, your compassion must be tempered with common sense. In an all-out disaster (and heck, sometimes it doesn’t even take a major event) some people will try to take advantage – brutal advantage – of your willingness to help. Use extreme caution when assisting others. Even people you feel you know can turn ugly in desperate circumstances.

Read more here…

This article was written by Gaye Levy from Backdoor Survival

Gaye Levy started Backdoor Survival so that she could share her angst and concern about our deteriorating economy and its impact on ordinary, middle-class folks. She also wanted to become a prepper of the highest order and to share her knowledge as she learned it along the way. On Backdoor Survival you will find survival and preparedness tools and tips for creating a self-reliant lifestyle through thoughtful prepping and optimism.

To read more from Gaye, visit her website, Backdoor Survival. You can also follow Gaye on FacebookTwitterGoogle+ and Pinterest or purchase her eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage on Amazon.com.

This article was written by Gaye Levy and can be viewed here: