Food Storage Battle: Cans vs. Buckets

food storage plan

More than getting yourself safe, survival means being calamity-ready and making sure that you have stored ample amount of food and water. With a preparedness guide and proper food storage, you can have a lifetime supply of food.  Looking at your food storage options is especially important if:

Looking at your food storage options is especially important if:

  1. You are planning on bugging in or shelter in in place for any period of time
  2. You are planning on caching food and supplies along your bug out route
  3. You have a bug out location where you will be storing food for months or years
dry food storage
There are lots of food storage options, you don’t need to limit yourself to MRE’s. Photo by See-ming Lee via Flickr

Did you know that there are certain types of foods that can definitely last a lifetime? Knowing which foods to include in your food storage list is crucial to survival. Recently, there has been a heated debate over which between cans or food buckets are better to store. With various natural factors to consider such as moisture, sunlight, and even insect infestations, this list is geared toward helping you choose whether cans or food buckets work best for you.

Canned on Cans

Most preppers today think of canned goods as the only way to store food. Accordingly, it seems that canned foods have been an everyday necessity in every American household. Last 2011, a survey by the Canned Food Alliance revealed that 84% of Americans eat meals out of canned foods a couple of times in a month, with 34% having canned food meals thrice a week.

food storage checklist
There are both store bought and DIY options for your food preps. Photo by US Department of Agriculture via Flickr

Canned goods are safe alternatives to fresh or frozen foods while meeting the dietary needs of every consumer and avoiding preservatives. These offer a wider variety for storage purposes and are readily available since they can be purchased in any grocery store. As such, it is no wonder that most Americans living a busy day resolve to eating canned foods.

Bucket It All Up

Most prepper’s storage room is filled with a variety of foods other than canned goods. Since variety and quantity are crucial, preppers tend to go for buckets and pails as an investment for long term bulk food. Unlike canned foods, food buckets could hold rice, grains, beans, dehydrated vegetables, sugar, powdered milk, and even ready-made meals.

food storage buckets
Storing food in buckets has lots of flexibility. Photo via ClintJCL via Flickr

Since both canned goods and food buckets could give you the food you need for your survival, here’s a rundown on the pros and cons of canned foods and food buckets to keep your preparedness guide and food storage secured.

Pros and Cons Of Cans vs Buckets


    • Canned goods are cheap and this is why most people consume these products.
    • Food buckets, since they come in larger sizes, are sold at a higher price. If you count the math, buckets are good for a number of servings, making it better at price. However, you may opt to make your own food bucket which costs less, as long as you take note of the proper food storage techniques and buckets allowed for long-term storage.


    • Most of the canned goods have 3 years shelf-life. However, if exposed to water or a humid temperature, it is reduced to 2 years or less depending on the amount of rust. Rusting around the lid of the can is a sign that the canned good is not fit for eating anymore.
    • On the other hand, food buckets have as long as 15 years of shelf-life. It should be noted, however, for those making their own food buckets that recycling signs such as HDPE#2, LDPE#4, PP#5, or PETE#1 should be present for a bucket to be food grade.
food storage in plastic buckets
An advantage of buckets is that they can store more food in a single container. Photo by Tim Patterson via Flickr

Portability and Convenience

    • Canned goods give you the convenience of eating with just heating or eating it fresh from the can. Canned goods are perfect for on-the-go or carrying in your backpack since it comes in small sizes.
    • Food buckets have a wide variety, grains, beans, and the like. You could buy paint buckets or food storage buckets in your nearest local store and prepare these on your own. However, when it comes to portability, going for food buckets might be a nuisance since it is too heavy to bring around.

Nutrition Value

    • Though canned goods are often labeled as bad for the health compared to fresh produce, it’s really not that bad at all, especially when you are talking about food that lasts for a longer time. Accordingly, canned foods were processed within hours of their harvest to keep their freshness and nutritional value.
    • Food buckets are often dried or dehydrated. As such, it is free from preservatives and the drying or dehydration process keeps its original nutritional value.
food storage canning
Canning is a time-tested way to store excess harvest from your garden. Photo by Sharon Drummond via Flickr


    • Canned goods are mostly drenched in some liquid solution which overpowers the actual taste of the food.
    • Food buckets are able to retain the actual taste of the food, may it be sausage, rice, pasta or beans. Some food buckets available in the market today often come with recipes with all the ingredients included inside. This enables people to have a varied menu for the day.


    • Canned goods do not require preparations as they are readily available in every market or grocery stores.
    • If you choose to make your own food buckets, then it requires time for preparation and the right storage, depending on the food to store. However, food buckets may also be bought in the market or online.

Final Thoughts On Food Storage Planning

Throughout history, people have come up with various ways of keeping and storing food as a crucial step towards being calamity-ready. Two of which, cans and food buckets have been popular today as it is able to store food at a longer length of time. Do take note that variety and balance in food storage is essential.

More than choosing between cans or food buckets, preppers should consume and replace these stored foods as well to keep them in the loop on how these are prepared and to keep their stock new. Assessing your readiness for the calamity right now will benefit you and your family, so check your preparedness guide and keep your food storage filled with cans, or buckets; it’s your choice.

Your Thoughts?

Do you have a favorite food storage method?  Is there anything that someone who is new to storing food should look out for?  Please let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!

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Best Tomahawk Survival Tomahawk

How To Choose The Best Survival Tomahawk For Your Bug Out Bag

Best Tomahawk Survival Tomahawk

If you are building a bug out bag or even a general camping and bushcraft kit, it is worth considering adding a survival tomahawk to your gear.

The tomahawk has a storied history as a reliable tool and the modern day survival tomahawk has evolved rapidly to meet today’s needs.

In this guide, we will discuss this history as well as teach you how to pick the best tomahawk for your needs.

What Can I Use My Survival Tomahawk For?

Given the vast utility of a survival tomahawk, it is a tool that any serious prepper should be looking at. A survival tomahawk is one of the best multipurpose items you can have with you and can effectively carry out a great many tasks including:

  • Chopping wood
  • Kinetic building entry
  • Glass breaking
  • Vehicle rescue
  • Prying
  • Hunting/Butchering
  • Self-defense
  • Piercing/cutting sheet metal
  • Opening of metal, wood, and plastic containers

Few survival tools can offer as many practical uses in such a compact, simple package. One can see why a survival tomahawk is a favorite tool for hunters, police, firefighters, park rangers, farmers, and servicemen.

Best Survival Tomahawk: CRKT Kangee

Best Tomahawk

The CRKT Kangee gets our pick for best survival tomahawk because has a combination of the best characteristics.

It is a compact tool that does not sacrifice cutting power due to its forward weighting and multiple grip options. The fact that it weighs 1.5 lbs means that it will not cause undue fatigue if carried in a bug out bag and can still be swung with ease after a day’s travelling.

The G-10 handle scales come off for cleaning and will last several lifetimes.

The cutting edge design of the CRKT Kangee screams practicality. The sharpened spine is perfect for pushing cuts and the sharp beard makes it ideal for hooking anything just out of reach or for use as a climbing aid.

The tapered spike on the rear side of the Kangee is perfect for piercing tough materials and makes it an even more formidable self defense tool.

Overall the CRKT Kangee is a durable, well-made modern tomahawk that would be a welcome addition to any survival kit or bug out bag.

Best Tactical Tomahawk: Smith and Wesson Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk

best survival tomahawk

The tactical tomahawk space has become crowded as of late and finding the best tactical tomahawk from this crop can be a challenge. You could surely seek a more expensive, flashier option than the Smith & Wesson Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk but you really should not let that distract you.

This tactical tomahawk can be thought of like a tough old grandfather: It will simply get the job done every time. It won’t complain, or give up on you half way. It will do what you ask of it, full stop.

The Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk is extremely well built and makes for an intimidating self-defense option. Its hefty weight of 2.7 lbs and longer than average length (15.9″) will provide the leverage and force required to destroy a lock or silence an enemy’s weapon in a heartbeat.

The thick, full tang construction of the S&W Tomahawk makes this a great tool that can be applied to any hands-on tactical situation.

The fact that it retails around the $50 price point makes it a no-brainer for anyone looking for a reliable tactical tomahawk.

There are many other tactical tomahawks out there that deliver far less for 5 times the price.

Save your money and go with the Smith and Wesson Extraction and Evasion Tomahawk, it is our pick for the best tactical tomahawk.

Best Urban Tomahawk: Gerber Downrange Tomahawk

best tomahawk

The Gerber Downrange Tomahawk is the multitool of breaching tools. It ingeniously combines the cutting power of an ax with the sheer force of a hammer and the leverage of a pry bar.

It is an all-in-one urban survival tool for anyone looking for a compact option for defeating building doors and windows or a fast reaction vehicle extraction tool.

Gerber is renowned for making high quality gear with the practical user in mind. This is clearly a tool that is built to last and the all-in-one design makes it the most versatile breaching tomahawk on the market.

The Gerber Downrange would be a great addition to an urban bug out bag and would be an immense aid in scavenging or rescue efforts.

Solid build quality coupled with extreme versatility earns the Gerber Downrange our pick for best urban tomahawk.

How To Choose The Best Tomahawk

The first thing to consider when looking for the best tomahawk is what you intend to use it for primarily. A survival tomahawk that will be used mainly for chopping and breaching should have different features than one that will be a primary self-defense tool.

Let’s look at the parts of a survival tomahawk and examine what styles are best for which tasks.

Survival Tomahawk

Handle Length

Tomahawks range in length from 8-20 inches.

Determining how long your tomahawk should be will depend on your intended usage.

A longer handle will provide greater leverage when prying and increased force when swinging but will be less compact and heavier.

A smaller handle will enable more effective usage in close quarters and add less volume and weight to a pack.

Here are some applications that are ideally suited for each type of handle:

Long Handle Tomahawk

  • Splitting wood
  • Chopping trees
  • Opening doors
  • Breaking locks
  • Butchering large game
  • Forceful opening of vehicles for rescue
  • Piercing tough materials – kevlar, sheet metal, wood, heavy plastic
  • Prying

Short Handle Tomahawk

  • Long hikes (lightweight and compact)
  • Close quarters self-defense
  • Throwing
  • Precision chopping
  • Evacuating vehicles
  • Butchering small game

Best Tomahawk Length

Back Side

The rear of the tomahawk, also called the poll or butt is traditionally flat or rounded. However, many modern tomahawks offer the option of a spike on the back. Once again choosing what type of poll your tomahawk has will depend on what problems you intend to solve with it.

A bushcraft tomahawk will typically have a flat butt for hammering. If you are looking for the best tactical tomahawk for your kit you are probably going to be seeking a spiked back for effective piercing.

It is worth noting that both a flat but or a spike will effectively break glass. Here are some advantages of each option:

Flat back

  • Hammering
  • Pounding
  • Forcefully opening doors
  • Defeating locks
  • Easier to carry and deploy


  • Piercing
  • Prying
  • Self-defense
  • Intimidation

Cutting Edge

There are many options for the business end of your survival tomahawk. As with every element choosing the best tomahawk for your kit will depend on your intended usage.

Cutting Edge Length

A longer cutting edge will require a larger and heavier ax head. This added weight and edge length will, however, allow for greater force in your swings. This will make splitting wood and chopping doors easier. Many of the best tactical tomahawks have circular cutouts in their cheeks to save weight without sacrificing the cutting edge size. This may be a good option if you want the largest cutting edge without the added fatigue of a big, heavy tomahawk.

A narrower cutting edge will typically be able to pierce deeper with each strike as it will encounter less resistance. This will make a narrower cutting edge better for emergency vehicle extraction and for piercing heavy duty materials.

Spine and Beard Options

If you are looking for the best tactical tomahawk for your kit it is worth mentioning that modern tomahawks come with additional sharp edges beyond the traditional cutting edge.

This is thought to provide a tactical advantage as it opens up additional options for attack and defense when using a tactical tomahawk. Many modern tomahawk makers have started including these options and it is worth considering when finding the best hawk to meet your needs.

Best Tomahawk

The Best Tomahawk: Take Your Pick

As you can see, there are many factors to consider when choosing the best tomahawk for your kit. As with any survival tool you should consider what you are most likely to use your tomahawk for.

A survival tomahawk is an excellent all around choice for their high versatility and compact designs. If you have more specialized tasks in mind like breaching doors, extracting people from vehicles, or serious self-defense you may want to consider a more specialized tool such as a breaching or tactical tomahawk.

Hopefully, our guide here has helped you understand the many qualities that make a good tomahawk such a valuable addition to a bug out bag or survival kit.

To recap, here are our top picks for best tomahawks by category:

Your Thoughts?

Do you have a survival tomahawk that you love? What qualities do you think the best tactical tomahawk should have? Please let us know in the Comments Section below!

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cold weather survival gear

Cold Weather Survival Gear

Having a survival kit packed full of bug out bag essentials is a good start towards coming out alive in any situation.  However if you are likely to have to face a cold weather survival scenario you should consider adding specific cold weather survival gear to your kit to maximize your chances.  If you live in a cold weather climate you may have these items in your BOB at all times.  However if you live somewhere that has seasonal changes in temperature, you should include the addition of supplemental cold weather survival gear into your regular bug out bag updates.

cold weather survival gear

Cold Weather Survival Gear

There are many essential BOB items that are helpful in a winter survival scenario.  The best of these can serve to greatly increase your chances of survival when the mercury is dropping and snow is on the way.  Here are our picks of the best cold weather survival gear that should be a part of any bug out bag in a cold climate:


This will greatly help you when breaking trail through the wilderness, digging a fire pit, or when shelter building.  If you are going to be shoveling snow a flat shovel blade is suggested.  If you will have to be digging into frozen ground a spade or pick end will serve you better.

Broad blade for moving snowSpade tip for digging in frozen ground

Saw or Hatchet

This is a personal choice but bringing one or the other is a smart move.  These tools will help you build a shelter and gather firewood as well as many other important tasks.  A hatchet will be better at smashing ice and splitting wood but a saw generally weighs less and is better at cutting dead wood for fires.

High quality basic hatchetSurvival Chain SawCompact Folding SawHatchet/Saw Combo

High energy/low weight foods

Maximize the space in your BOB by using compact rations that have high calorie values such as MREs, granola or powerbars, energy gels, or nuts.  You will be burning more calories than normal so you need to up your intake to keep pace.

High energy gel - high energy, little weightHigh calories, take up little spaceKeep hydrated, just add water

Fire starting equipment and tinder

Having a fire is a key to keeping warm in a cold weather survival situation, make sure you have a high quality fire starting set.  A magnesium fire starter will last longer than matches and will work better in wet or windy conditions.  Invest in a good one to maximize your odds.

Compact and reliableOne handed firestarterMilitary grade firestarting gel. Better than any tinder.

Container for boiling snow

A metal water bottle or canteen is a great multipurpose survival tool in this regard.  It will serve as a storage container for the water after you have boiled it and will not crack if the water freezes, like a plastic bottle would.

Wide mouth makes it easy to stuff snow insideClassic style, comes with an integrated cup and carry caseInsulated to keep liquids warm

Emergency blanket

This is another great piece of multipurpose cold weather survival gear.  Emergency blankets are relatively inexpensive and in a cold weather survival situation they can be used for wrapping up yourself up to keep in warmth, as a ground cloth to keep you from losing heat to the cold ground and to keep moisture from being absorbed by your clothes, or as a shelter building material.

Compact and inexpensiveUpgraded, heavy duty version of a space blanket with integrated hoodBivvy sack made of emergency blanket material. Put your sleeping bag inside for extra warmth.

Quality waterproof boots

Taking care of your feet is one of the core elements of survival.  Wet shoes from walking through snow can quickly lead to frostbite.  Being immobilized due to this can quickly lead to death.  Having a good pair of warm, waterproof boots will eliminate any issues with your mobility and allow you to survive longer.

High quality warm, waterproof men's bootHigh quality warm, waterproof women's bootAdd on to your boots to give you traction on ice

Brightly colored bandana

Something brightly colored, preferably fluorescent will be visible from great distances against a snowy background.  This can be used for signaling passing cars or planes.  As mentioned in our multipurpose survival gear article, a bandana has many uses and this applies to cold weather survival as well.  As a cold weather survival gear item a bandana can be used for:

  • Collecting and melting snow and ice

  • A Layer of head cover under a hat

  • Wrapping extremities to prevent frostbite

  • Signaling

Bright orange and printed with helpful survival informationBright red and printed with 1st aid infromation

Quality sleeping bag

Having a quality sleeping bag rated to sub-zero temperatures is one of the most important pieces of cold weather survival gear you can have.  It will allow you to rest when you need to in order to recover your energy.  Additionally, keeping warm at night will cause you to burn less calories that would otherwise be spent keeping your temperature up.  We suggest one that is rated to -20 degrees F (about -30 degrees C) for starters.  If you live in a very cold region get one that is rated for even colder to ensure your safety.

High quality bag rated to -20Extreme bag rated down to -40


If you are in an area that usually receives a lot of snow these are a good thing to have.  They will make traversing snow covered ground far easier than breaking trail through snow banks.  Snowshoes can be purchased in many places or you can learn how to make them in the video below:

Basic snowshoesMidrange snowshoesHigh quality top of the range snowshoes


As we have discussed in the past tailoring your bug out bag to your survival scenario is a key to having it be as useful as possible when you need it.  Adding cold weather survival gear to your kit will greatly increase your chances of succeeding in a winter survival situation.  Be sure to pick quality gear, you will not be happy that you saved a few dollars when you are out in the wilderness freezing.  As with any survival tools make sure you take any items you select out and familiarize yourself with using them.  You don’t want a life or death situation to be when you are taking an item out of its original packaging.  Practice your cold weather survival skills and hone the techniques of using your cold weather survival gear for the best results.

Your Thoughts?

Do you have a piece of cold weather survival gear that you would recommend?  Do you have an innovative use for one of the cold weather survival gear items that we mentioned above?  Please let us know in the Comments Section below.

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Guest Post: Top 3 Bug Out Bag Items Most People Forget About

Top 3 Bug Out Bag Items Most People Forget About

When you hear the term, “bug out bag,” most people think of a whole laundry list of items that they believe must be in their bug out bags.

Here are the most common things people add to their bug out bags:

  • Weapons (guns, ammunition, knives, etc)
  • Ammunition
  • Food
  • Water cleaning equipment
  • First aid solutions
  • Shelter equipment
  • Paracord
  • Fire starting equipment

These are all very necessary when it comes to a bug out bag, but I think we’re missing a few key ingredients to a well mannered survival kit.  I’ve been the owner of for the last 5 years, and I believe that every bug out bag needs to contain these three items in addition to the normal survival gear.

Forgotten Bug Out Bag Necessity #1: A Meat Thermometer

I’m an avid hunter and constantly am using my meat thermometer for everything from chicken to wild hog – I never would leave home without one.

In a grid-down, survival situation, you’ll be needing to use this meat thermometer way more often than you would in the comfort of your own home.

Remember: just about all meat can be eaten once it reaches about 165 degrees, but here’s some more information on meat:

  • Fish – 145 degrees
  • Poultry – 165 degrees
  • Ground meat – 165 degrees

Forgotten Bug Out Bag Necessity #2: Remington Oil

Remington Oil (Rem Oil) is a huge necessity in the field – and lots of it.  Not only can you clean your firearms, but you can also maintain your other survival tools.

Remington Oil protects guns, knives, forks, spoons – or any other metal device.

Forgotten Bug Out Bag Necessity #3: Bring Your Papers

During a SHTF situation, you won’t know if there will still be records around.

You might need to prove you own your own property, are married, or anything else.

It’s important to have copies of birth certificates, wedding certificates, tax receipts, land deeds, insurance documents, and other papers during a survival situation. When law and order is re-established, you might need to prove your very existence.


Your Thoughts?

If you thought this post was helpful, please Like, +1, or Share it using the social media buttons at the top of the page!  Can you think of any survival items that are often overlooked?  Please let us know in the Comments Section below, thanks!


Author Bio:

Andy Hallinan is an avid survivalist and owner of the second most trafficked survival blog in North America. Check out more of his stuff at

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EDC List

Every Day Carry List – Assessing Threats and Choosing Your EDC Items

EDC ListHopefully, by now, you’ve devised your bug out plan and have packed your bug out bag using our bug out bag list.

Awesome, you are now better prepared than the overwhelming majority of the populace. But what survival tools should you have in your every day carry kit?

Here we will look at what a survival minded person could have on their every day carry list that would help prepare them to deal with dynamic situations that may arise in everyday life.

What is an Every Day Carry List?

An every day carry list is a set of items that you have with you under most scenarios (at all times if possible) that helps you be prepared at a moment’s notice to deal both daily situations as well as be ready to survive in emergency situations. These items may be designed to aid your survival on their own, or they may be there to help you get to a safe location or back home. It can be made up of a wide variety of items and should be tailored to your lifestyle, locality, and probable threats.

Ideally, the items on an every day carry list will be small both in number and size and will be possible to carry on your person without an extra bag or container to lug around. There are some people however that do choose to carry the items on their every day carry list in a specific EDC bag and others who prefer to consolidate this kit into fewer, more flexible items such as those covered in our 10 Best Multi-Purpose Survival Tools post.

What should be on YOUR Every Day Carry List?

1. Things You Carry With You Already

This is important to review for a couple of reasons. Firstly, they probably reveal some of your basic day-to-day needs which give us insight into what your greater every day carry (EDC) needs may be. Secondly, if you are already carrying an item with you, you would not need to replicate its uses or functions elsewhere. Or perhaps you can modify one of these items to make it a better EDC tool without adding another piece into your EDC kit. Keeping an every day carry list simple and light is key.

  • Wallet – I need my ID and cash daily. I can’t leave home without this.
  • Keys – Can’t leave home without these unless I want to climb through the window to get back in! I am going to add a “Grenade” Survival Kit Key Fob to my keyring, which comes with more paracord and a fire starting kit.
  • Phone – I always have my phone on me to contact loved ones or the authorities in the event of an emergency. To improve this, I am going to load PDFs onto it with critical documents and a map of my local area in case I need to access these while the phone network is unavailable. I am also going to slip a razor blade and a laminated hard copy of that same map in the space between the case and the back of the phone as backups. If you do this, don’t forget to remove the blade before going through a security checkpoint at an airport!
  • Watch – A friend once told me “Never trust someone who doesn’t have a watch.” It is an item that many of us carry every day. Some ways we can supercharge this into an EDC survival tool is to add a compass or use a paracord woven watch band. If you do not want to add a compass, you can learn to use your watch as a navigation tool.

2. Things That Would Help With Frequently Encountered Problems

Do you have problems that you face repeatedly? Is there a potential problem that has a high probability of occurring in your normal day or commute? Is there something that you frequently use that has the potential to break? Having an EDC item that could assist in these situations would make your life easier generally and be of great help when the high potential risks become a reality.

  • Folding Knife – I have to frequently cut cardboard and plastic at work, but this would also be good if I was in a more office based role where I would be dealing with staples or opening letters. You cannot go wrong with the Kershaw Blur Folding Knife with a Partial Serrated Blade that I have been carrying with me for years and it still is razor sharp and can be easily opened with one hand. A small yet powerful addition to an every day carry list. Check out our in-depth article on How To Pick The Best EDC Knife.
  • Flashlight – I am in a dark parking lot daily that this will help out with that. It will also be useful in case of a blackout or a fire. A good LED flashlight (check out our article here on picking the best EDC flashlight) is also powerful enough to signal for help and small enough to fit in a pocket and can also double as a self-defense tool. We love the Fenix PD35.
  • Multitool – A multitool is the jack-of-all-trades of the tools that you can carry with you every day. You can get a full-fledged multitool such as the Leatherman Skeletool or opt for a lower profile tool that has less functionality by carrying a credit card multitool that fits in your wallet.

3. Things That Would Help With Rare and High Consequence Problems

This is a category of items that needs to be risk assessed versus threats in your area. They are meant to cover potential problems that are low probability to occur but if they did, would have a severe consequence. We will go over performing a risk assessment below, but a brief example would be if you ride in a vehicle to work every day. For this activity, there is a very low probability of needing to escape the train, bus, or car but if there was a crash and you needed to exit quickly, there would be severe consequences of not being able to do so. In this case having a glass breaking Tactical Pen or a seatbelt cutter would make a huge difference towards improving your chances of survival. Tools of this nature are what make up this category.

  • Tactical Pen – A Tactical Pen is a high-grade metal pen that can double as a self-defense tool and glass breaking aid. I constantly need a pen at work so carrying this with me will not be adding an unnecessary item that I will rarely use. This is more of an upgrade to meet a daily need with the capability to address the rare but high consequence situation of defending yourself in the event of a personal attack. The Gerber Impromptu is an excellent choice for this although we cover several great options in our Tactical Pen buying guide.
  • Pry tool – This will help me open doors and containers in the event of a car accident or a problem in my workplace or home. There are many options out there for this, the best one I found is the Boker Minibar Blade which excels in function, having both a pry tip and lever tool, but is a bit rough on the wallet. A cheaper option would be the Key Chain Pry Tool by Schrade.
  • Paracord – Paracord is awesome as it is light, strong, and will not rot. It has nearly as many uses as duct tape. I would not be looking to carry around enough to make a rope ladder or anything as complicated as that but having some at my disposal if I need to splint a broken bone or tie an emergency shelter down would be handy. There are a lot of options for paracord bracelets and other wearable items, such as The Friendly Swede Paracord Bracelet as it comes with a metal clasp that doubles as an emergency fire starter.

Our Favorite Every Day Carry Gear

For some more ideas, be sure to check our 10 Best Multi Purpose Survival Tools post for some other versatile EDC items.

How To Assess Risk

Rating the relative risks of threats in your locality is a good way to judge whether an item is worth including in you every day carry list or even your bug out bag contents.

The basic process for this is to judge each threat on two criteria:

  1. Probability – What are the chances of the threat occurring? Is it something that is highly probable (like slipping and falling on ice), which you see once a week or several times per month? Is it low probability (like an earthquake), which you would expect to see maybe once per year or every several years? Is it somewhere in between such as a car accident? Rate the probability of threats occurring realistically from your own experience and what has occurred historically in your locality.
  2. Potential Impact – What would the impact be if the threat actually happened? Would it be mild and easy to overcome? Would it send people to the hospital? Does it have the potential to be deadly?

We have created this Threat Assessment Matrix to help you visualize this concept:

Every Day Carry list Threat Assessment Matrix

This chart is a great tool for determining whether or not to add an item to your every day carry list. Keep it in mind and refer to it when building yours.


As you can see, there are some easy steps you can take to assess your every day carry needs and determine what is appropriate to be put on your every day carry list. Stick to the principles of addressing realistic, probable threats and keeping your items multi purpose and small to be most effective.

Remember when planning your every day carry list, chance favors the well prepared.

If you still haven’t packed your bug out bag, make sure to review our Bug Out Bag List to help you get started ASAP. Your EDC kit and your BOB are key to being prepared for anything and everything!

Want Even MORE Info On Building Your EDC Kit?

If you are looking for even more information on how to build your ultimate EDC kit you can check out my book, The Every Day Carry Guide. It is a comprehensive manual that will teach you:

  • How to be prepared at all times – no matter where you are
  • How to build your first EDC kit from scratch
  • How to refine an existing kit to make it more effective
  • How to pick the best gear to realistically make you more prepared
  • How to assess threats and risks in your every day life


Your Thoughts

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