Your everyday carry (EDC) can say a lot about you. Not only will a given loadout reflect the training and experience level of the person carrying it, but it also provides a bit of insight into its owner’s personality. While it would be nice to have a fully stocked bug-out bag everywhere you travel, it’s impractical, and you’ll have to be selective about what you grab when you walk out the door.
It’s possible you’ve never intentionally reflected on your own carry items, but if you’re reading this article right now, there’s a better-than-even chance that you have. After all, unless you’re psychic, you don’t usually know when a flat tire might strike, let alone a crippling storm. Having the right gear on you is key.

With that in mind, we bring you the everyday-carry loadouts of a handful of professionals — some of whom you might recognize as regular contributors to our magazine. Combined, they bring a wealth of wisdom and almost a century of survival experience. It would behoove you to examine their daily loadouts and corresponding explanations for why they’ve chosen said gear, then contrast it with your own EDC. Consider your own individual requirements and circumstances. Then divine accordingly.

Jim Cobb


Professional Background
Disaster-readiness consultant, private investigator, writer

Survival Weekly, Disaster Prep Consultants


Survivalism Background
“Active prepper/survivalist for about 30 years”

EDC Philosophy
“We each have unique needs, skillsets, and circumstances. Over time, you’ll find what works for you and what doesn’t. Reading the loadout lists for others is an excellent start, but you need to move beyond that and start experimenting with different options. Carrying a giant multitool that weighs as much as boat anchor, and then finding you’ve only ever needed to use the knife blade is a clue you might want to adjust your EDC.”


Steel Will Apostate
“The knife is on the large side but still rides in the pocket just fine. The action is smooth, and the blade keeps an edge. Prior to acquiring the Apostate, I carried a Kershaw Thermite for about a year and have no complaints about that knife, either.”

Streamlight ProTac 1AAA
“As a private investigator, I frequently find myself having to walk into dark buildings, which can be a bit nerve-wracking. The ProTac is small enough to fit into my pants pocket without discomfort and yet bright enough to help me see anything coming my way.”

Zebra F-701
“As a writer, pens are a necessity for me. This stainless steel pen writes like a dream, is refillable, and is solid enough to be a last ditch self-defense weapon.”

Michael Kors MK8088
“My father collects watches, and he’s passed on to me a few very nice ones. This chronograph is my favorite. It isn’t a Rolex Submariner, but it’ll do.”

Wazoo Bushcraft Necklace
“The ability to create fire when necessary is a critical skill. This necklace has a small ferrocerium rod and striker, which means I can go anywhere with a discreet fire-starter without potential hassles from security personnel asking me what a keychain ferro rod is for. The necklace looks nice, too.”

Tim MacWelch


Professional Background
Founder and head instructor of Advanced Survival Training, author

Advanced Survival Training


Survivalism Background
“I have been a professional survival instructor for more than 20 years and have written three New York Times best-selling survival manuals. Saying that I’m obsessed with survivalism is a gross understatement. I eat, sleep, drink, and breathe survival. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to say that survival is my life.”

EDC Philosophy
“Everyday carry separates the talkers from the doers. We meet the talkers at every survival expo, class, and prepper event. The talkers talk a big game, but at the end of the day, preparedness is just a hobby to them (or worse, a form of entertainment). The doers walk the talk. The doers carry EDC gear because they’re serious about preparedness and because they want to be ready for the unknown — every single day. My philosophy is dead simple: Be a doer, not a talker. Carry the stuff you need to do what is required when the time comes to take care of yourself and those around you.”


SOG Dark Energy 214
“Want to blind a bad guy? Or smash his eye socket? I love this flashlight because it’s a palm-sized cylinder full of sunlight with many more features than you would expect from such a petite package. The housing is aggressively checkered with a rough texture for great grip, wet or dry, with gloves or bare handed. The full beam produces 214 lumens with two half-click options: 40-percent power and a mesmerizing strobe feature.”

Springfield XD-9
“Picking your favorite handgun is a bit like deciding on blondes, brunettes, or redheads. At the end of it all, you simply like what you like. I’m fan of the XD-9 because it performs better for me than comparable 9mm’s, and I’ve found it to be small enough for concealed carry, but still large enough for a good fit in my hand. By the way, brunettes is the correct answer.”

BIC lighter
“Fire is life. And few things light a fire like another fire. Rather than trusting my fate to a finicky ferrocerium rod, I’d rather have the reliable flame of an EDC staple like a BIC lighter. I prefer a brightly colored lighter, so I can find it in the event that I drop it. This steadfast lighter lets me make fires at will, and it serves as a backup light source.”

CRKT Shenanigan
“For playing in the woods, I prefer a fixed blade bushcraft knife, like a Mora. But for walking around town, I’ve long been a fan of the quality, engineering, and style of CRKT folders. Ken Onion’s Shenanigan is my top pick for EDC. The tanto point, partial serrations, and great grip give me the ability to perform many tasks with great retention.”

Sharpie Permanent Marker
“What? A marker? Yep. A trustworthy permanent marker can be vital for signaling and communication on all kinds of surfaces. I can even write my SSN on my limbs if things get really bad! But there’s an unexpected terminal use for markers like this. Light the felt tip with an open flame, and the Sharpie will burn like a little candle for a minute or two. This could help get a fire going in wet weather, especially if your lighter is almost out of fluid or you’re down to your last match.”

Chelsea Nied


Professional Background
Founder of The Responder News, emergency-management professional

The Responder News

Military/Law Enforcement Experience
United States Air Force (Airman First Class)


Survivalism Background
“I’m an emergency-management professional with 26 years of combined experience in public affairs, wildland firefighting, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), as well as a serving as a disaster services instructor with the American Red Cross. I’ve had a long career of high-speed, low-drag disaster, and wildland fire response, which includes surviving a nasty 7.9 earthquake while stationed at Clark Air Force Base in 1990.”

EDC Philosophy
“I carry very little gear on my person, reflecting my practical-tactical personality and basic ethos. I don’t like to “rattle” when hiking, walking, or moving. I don’t own a purse or have tons of crap on my keys either. I get a lot done with my EDC items; from personal protection to downloading critical disaster/incident information. Plus, the more you carry, the more you risk losing stuff on day treks or everyday adventures. Keep your carry gear simple, high quality, critical, and reliable.”


“Easily the most critical tool, because I need to know disaster and incident news as soon as possible. Fast intelligence dictates everything.”

Native Eyewear Silencer/Moss
“I love the air ports on top of the frame, the snug fit, and the excellent lifetime replacement option. Plus, the polarized lenses help me fish better!”

Gerber Crucial
“Multitools are absolutely essential for everything from the mundane to the disastrous; you can open beer bottles or tighten small hardware, just to name two of many tasks.”

Kel-Tec P-11
“This handgun’s point of aim is solid, and it conceals easily, fits my hand perfectly, and is very reliable for personal protection.”

Mec-Gar 10-Round Magazine
“This compact little magazine never fails to feed and carries plenty of rounds for personal protection reasons.”

Jared Wihongi


Professional Background
CQC instructor, reserve SWAT officer, tactical consultant for Browning Black Label

Survival Edge Tactical Systems Inc., Cottonwood Heights Police Department, and the Pekiti-Tirsia Tactical Association

Military/Law Enforcement Experience
Former member of the Salt Lake City Police Department and South Salt Lake Police Department


Survivalism Background
“I’m a specialist in urban survival in hostile environments, foreign and domestic. I regularly teach Personal Protective Countermeasures and Sole Operator Survival courses for U.S. Special Operations Command assets.”

EDC Philosophy
“When teaching concealed firearm permit classes, I’m often asked, ‘What’s the ideal concealed carry gun?’ My first answer is, ‘How realistic is it that you’ll actually carry your chosen firearm with you most of the time?’ A $200 .22-caliber handgun on your person in a defensive situation is more valuable than a $2,000 1911 at home in your safe. I try to meet the same criterion with all my EDC gear: How likely am I to carry those items with me most of the time? Because of this, I’m partial to defensive weapons that have multiple functions for everyday tasks, such as a knife, a pen, and a light.”


Browning Black Label Speed Dial
“I helped Browning design this knife based on some of my ideas for an ideal EDC knife, using the patented Krudo Snag feature that allows for the blade to open while being drawn from the pocket or waistband. The design uses a karambit-style ring, which allows for easy index and the ability to get it out, open, and into a defensive grip with minimal motion and grip changing.”

Glock 43
“I quickly replaced my Glock 26 when Glock released the 43. Its slim profile makes it easy and comfortable to conceal, especially in my preferred appendix carry position. The ergonomics enhance my ability to shoot a smaller gun with increased accuracy.”

G-Shock Master of G
“Last year alone, I worked in 18 different time zones, from some of the world’s biggest cities to small islands in the most remote corners of the globe. Through it all, this watch has become a trusted travel companion. Among other features, it provides me with multi-band atomic timekeeping, is solar powered, and has a compass, barometer, thermometer, and world time. It’s waterproof to 200 meters and is virtually indestructible.”

Browning Hells Canyon Speed Alpha Max
“Small and easy to carry, the Alpha Max packs a 315-lumen punch, utilizing a AA battery that’s easy to find in any country. It comes standard with a rechargeable battery and includes low-lumen and green-light modes to preserve night vision and battery life. It can be used as a solid impact weapon without having the telltale strike bezels that can attract unwanted attention.”

Browning Black Label Tactical Pen
“Tactical pens can be great defensive tools in a pinch, and I’m partial to those that still have function, but don’t look like weapons, and thus are less likely to be flagged at a security checkpoint. The Browning Tactical Pen meets those criteria.”

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