Everyday carry is something that I beleive is, or at least should be an essential part of being a survivalist. What is everyday carry? It is those few items that you carry around with you at all times that will help you survive an immediate situation, so you can get back to your car and back to your bug out bag.
Everyday carry is not a bug out bag, nor is it an inch bag. Generally for everyday carry you only have a few items. Perhaps ten at most, and so you have to whittle the list down to a few very small, easily carried items, that can also help cover the basics.
Now the first thing that has to be covered in everyday carry is how much should be carried and where is it carried? For female survivalists, this actually turns out to be rather easy. Most women carry a purse with them, and this makes a great place to take all our everyday carry items with us. For those women who have purses that are large oversized tote bags, they can practically fit an entire bug out bag inside of these purses. I however use a much smaller purse than that, but I still find it extremely useful for my everyday carry items.
For all the male survivalists out there, it can be a little more difficult, because you don't see men walking around with purses. Therefore they have to resort to other places to put a few things. For very small, thin things, such as bandaids, a wallet is the perfect place. Other small items like a small knife, or lighter, can go into pockets. I even have a friend who has a small flashlight in a holster that he keeps looped on his belt at all times. So as you can see, while a purse is convienent, it is certainly not the only way that every day survivalist carry can be done.
As for the items I carry with me, I try to cover the survival basics. So food, water, shelter, and warmth. Now keep in mind, everyday carry is for extremely short term survival, just until you can make it to a better position for survival, and hopefully reach a bug out bag or survival cache. Therefore for food I generally keep a granola and a few peices of hard candy in my purse. The granola bar has nuts and grains for some good solid energy, and the hard candy for a quick burst of energy from the sugar. The other thing I keep as well is an energy shot. Now I am not an advocate of energy drinks, shots, pills or anything else, especially not in daily life. I have never even used one before. However in the event of an emergency, when the need for energy might be the difference between life or death, these kinds of things could definatly come in handy. Not only that but if you haven't used them regularily in daily life, they should have a much more significant effect. At the same time, if one of these energy drinks is something you want to have for survival, it also might be wise to try one out at some point to make sure you don't have any kinds of bad reactions to it, just to be safe.
Now, water is also a basic need. This is something that I have found harder to keep around in basic carry, mostly because water bottles tend to be more clunky. For a tote purse, a water bottle would certainly be easier to carry, but for smaller purses and for the men out there, a water bottle isn't really something that is all that easy just to carry around. Something which I am looking into however is the possibility of a collapsable water bottle. Because they collapse they can become relatively small, and therefore might have the ability to be something that can be included into every day carry, to be filled up if needed.
Shelter is something that is hard to just carry around with you. The closest I have gotten is carrying around an emergency mylar blanket, which could be used similar to a tarp to create a little bit of shelter. In its packaging it folds up very small, possibly even small enough to go into a larger type of wallet. Another possibility that I have been looking into recently is an emergency tube tent. As of yet I have not gotten a hold of one so I am not quite sure how big they are, but if they are similar in size to an emergency blanket, then it could also be a great survival item to have in everyday carry.
The last basic need I try and cover in my every day carry is warmth. For this I keep a couple of different things. The first is a pair of gloves, for obvious reasons. I live in a colder climate and if its cold out, it helps protect your hands from everything from just getting numb to frostbite. If you don't have to deal with it, why would you? The second thing I keep is hand warmers. They are easy to find, especially in winter. I have seen them everywhere from your basic convience store to the grocery store. They are similar in nature to a chemical cold pack, except they do the opposite. They warm up. The third thing I keep for warmth in every day carry is a source of fire. With me, its actually two things. I keep a lighter, and a box of matches.
So this covers the basics of my every day carry. As I continue to learn the survivalist lifestyle, I am sure that this list will evolve and change. I will try and post some pictures soon of my everyday carry, and I would love to hear about what other people take with them every day. I am always looking for good ideas, and I love to hear and see about what other people are doing as well. An update on my bug out bag will be coming next!