Everyday Carry Gear (EDC) for Survival

Welcome to this week’s edition of the Survive The Coming Collapse Newsletter, sponsored by the SurviveInPlace.com Urban Survival Course. 

I hope you had a great 4th of July.  We had a day of shooting guns, shooting off fireworks, grilling steaks, sitting around a campfire making smores and listening to John Wayne.

One of our family traditions on the 4th of July is to listen to SSgt Barry Sadler’s “Ballad of the Green Beret” and John Wayne’s album, titled, “America.  Why I Love Her.”  I’ve done it since I was a kid we did it again this year.  It’s a little sad to listen to in light of what is happening to our country, but it still makes me proud of America.

America, Why I Love Her


I get emails fairly often asking me what survival gear people should carry on a daily basis. I can’t tell you what will work best for you, but I will tell you what I carry everyday.  These are things that I carry on me–not in a pack or bag of any kind.  My particular mix changes throughout the year and some items come into and go out of favor, depending on whether or not I’ve used them recently.

As a gear-junkie-minimalist, my tendency is to carry any and every cool toy that I have access to, but I end up carrying as little as possible.  I try not to have bulging pockets or have other “tells” that scream out that I’m carrying lots of goodies.

So, here’s what I carry every day on my person and why:

1. A Glock 27 with a spare full size mag. I carry them in a Smart Carry Holster on my right hip with the butt of the gun above my belt.

I use the Smart Carry Holster for several reasons, but one of the most boring/practical ones is that it allows me to sit on a public toilet if I need to.  It doesn’t have any retention, but that has only been a problem for me one time in over 1000 days of wearing it.  When I find a better holster, I’ll switch.

2.  My daily carry knife is the SOG Pentagon Elite I. 

Technically, it has a 4-inch bead blasted partially serrated spear point VG-10 stainless steel blade.  What’s that mean?  It takes and keeps an edge very well, doesn’t need to be oiled, and it’s a great size for a lot of everyday tasks, as well as self-defense, if necessary.

The “spear point” feature that I mentioned means that the last 1/8-1/4 inch of the top of the blade has an edge, which could make it a dagger in some jurisdictions.  I didn’t care much for the “spear point” feature.  Let me rephrase that—I LOVE the spear point, but I don’t care to break the law because of 1/8th of an inch of steel, so I ground it flat and my problem was solved.

The SOG Pentagon Elite I has an opening system called Arc-Lock that is an ambidextrous nub on both sides of the knife that opens the blade a few degrees—enough so that you can flip the blade the rest of the way open.  This “nub” also serves as the blade lock release, so you can disengage the lock and close the blade with a flip of your wrist as well.  The nub is perfectly designed so that it’s small enough to stay out of the way, but big enough that I can easily open and close the blade one handed with gloves on.

One of the other features of the SOG Pentagon Elite I is that it sits in the pocket tip up.  This means that when you’re carrying it in the back of your front pocket, the back of the pocket will keep it from opening.  Since the blade is almost as long as the glass-reinforced nylon handle, even if the knife rotates in your pocket when your scrambling or rolling around, the blade will still stay closed against the pocket.

Tip up in the pocket also means that when you grab it, the orientation is correct for use and you don’t need to flip it around before using it.

The Pentagon Elite I IS relatively pricy.  It’s just over $100 on Amazon and I probably would not have bought it unless someone told me just how incredible the knife is.

3. A Ka-Bar LDK (last ditch knife) around my neck. This is basically a very thick razor with a small, skeletonized handle that goes in a small kydex sheath on my chest, under my shirt. After getting tired of seeing people’s scared faces when I pulled out my folder, I began using this knife for most utility purposes in public a couple of years ago.

4. A Surefire Backup flashlight. This is a TINY pocket sized flashlight that puts out 80-120 lumens and works for both utility and improvised light tactical applications.

5. A “Porsche” stainless steel pen. I LOVE all of the new tactical pens that are out, but my biggest problem with them is that they either look tactical or have a weapons company name/logo on them. My Porsche pen doesn’t scream, “WEAPON!” I have to admit that it does make me look a little snobby to be carrying a $100 pen with “Porsche” written on it, but the upside is that I have never had a problem with it when going through security checks.

One of the most practical reasons why I carry a pen is because I never have to use a “leashed” pen at a grocery store/gas station. Frankly, leashed pens disgust me. I freely admit that this is probably more of an emotional stance than a logical one, but I always assume that they have never been cleaned and have all of the bacteria in the world on them. As long as I’m carrying my own pen, I don’t have to use the leashed ones.

6. Pepper Spray. I used to think that pepper spray was a joke until I went through pepper spray training. Now I carry it with me every day. I realize that it won’t always work on drugged, drunk, or deranged people, but it still has several applications. Carrying a gun is great, but there are several situations where pepper spray is a better tool. A few examples:

A. If you don’t think you could shoot a person with a gun, pepper spray is an alternative.

B. If you encounter a vicious neighbor dog, spraying it could cause a LOT fewer problems than shooting/cutting/striking it. In addition to the legal issues surrounding discharging your firearm, killing your neighbor’s dog will likely cause a lot of strife. Simply using pepper spray could allow you to stop an attack and diffuse the situation without having to tell anyone what you’ve done.

C. If you have a lethal threat, pull your firearm, and the person drops their weapon but doesn’t leave or obey your commands, what do you do? They might be waiting for you to screw up or get close enough so they can attack you, but you can’t shoot them unless they’re posing a threat…pepper spray is a possible solution that could allow you a non-lethal response to buy you submission until the authorities arrive.

D. If you are fleeing a bad guy, you can use pepper spray with limited effectiveness as an area-denial tool. Spray it over your shoulder, on a doorknob, or in a doorway that the bad guy has to go through and it could buy you a few extra seconds.

7. A TINY lock pick set.

And that’s it for most of the year.  In the fall and winter, I carry a fire starter of some sort and a couple of Vaseline soaked cotton balls in a tiny ziplock, but that’s overkill unless you spend as much time in the woods as I do.

When I’m going somewhere where I can’t carry my sidearm but can carry a Taser, I carry a Taser.

I usually wear boots with paracord laces and a 5.11 Tactical belt, but I don’t load myself down very much. Could I carry more? OF COURSE! I carry more/different gear when I’m doing security/medical work. I keep all sorts of medical, survival, and tactical gear in our vehicles. And, I keep food bars and a multi-tool in my computer bag, but I keep the gear on my body to a minimum and always keep my eyes open for improvised medical items and tools that I could use if I needed to.

That last sentence is a key one. The more you train your mind to recognize improvised medical, tactical, and survival tools, the less you actually have to carry with you, which makes your wardrobe choices easier, your load lighter, and allows you to blend in easier. Again, knowledge, skills, and a mind used to improvising will allow you to adapt and overcome many more situations than “stuff” alone.

There are literally dozens of items that many people feel are “must haves” for everyday carry like multi-tools, lighters, zip ties, duct tape, & more. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I choose not to carry those items unless it looks likely that I’ll need to use them.


Unfortunately, not everyplace in the US likes people to be able to defend themselves. I’ll agree with that stance when they issue free 24/7 bodyguards, but until then, I think it’s a pretty stupid stance.  When I go to DC or California, I don’t carry my sidearm, I carry a shorter knife, and I make sure that my OC has the proper labeling on it.

What are your thoughts on my daily gear? What do you carry on a daily basis? Why? Let me know by commenting below.

About David Morris

David Morris is the creator of the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, the Fastest Way To Prepare Course, Urban Survival Playing Cards, Tactical Firearms Training Secrets, and other books, courses, and articles on preparedness, survival, firearms, and other tactical topics. He lives with his wife, 2 boys, and 2 dogs.