Our blog at APE Survival has covered full packing lists for bug-out bags, but one topic we thought was lacking is guidance on your everyday carry. Now we've all got our go-kits packed and well, ready to GO, but I want to run you through some of the items I carry with me at all times. It does not mean you've got to carry a full survival kit with you at all times. Your everyday carry contains the pure basics, things you wouldn't leave the house without, and are what you're going to have on you should you ever be separated from your home or your supplies. For those new to survival, figuring out what you need to carry may be a struggle. That's the point of the article today, to give you an insight into what we've got with us, at all times, so you can carry the same.
When an emergency hits, having both cash and credit cards is going to go a long way to keeping you warm and comfortable. Ensure you've got enough cash to buy any general supplies you need, like groceries and fresh water, along with a working credit card for larger purchases. You can buy bus tickets, flights, hotel rooms, and whatever else you need on credit, and many cards even let you pull out cash-advances so you'll never go short in a crisis.
Find yourself a good-quality folding blade. You want something that's heavy-duty enough to aid you in building a makeshift shelter, without being too heavy that it's inconvenient to carry or draws a whole lot of attention. A knife also makes for a great self-defense weapon should you not want to draw your firearm, and is one of the most versatile tools in a grid-down scenario.
This is an obvious one and many of us won't leave the house without it. In addition to being a communication tool that helps you to stay in touch with your friends and family, it's essentially a mini-computer you can use to gather information on a crisis and stay connected. I'd recommend loading in a map-based GPS program that tracks your location without using your data, and I've also got a case that has an in-built charge cord so I can give the battery a boost whenever there's a chance.
In a similar note, buy a quality battery pack and keep it with you so you've always got the ability to charge your phone. Just remember to keep the battery pack charged. There's a ton of different options for these, I'd recommend just finding one that's small and compact enough so it's no trouble to carry with you.
For the longest time I simply used an app on my smartphone, but after being stuck in my office during a power outage I realized it wasn't bright enough, and it drained the battery on my phone far too quick. Instead, I bought the Streamlight ProTac 2AAA. It's far bright enough, while being about the size of a pen, so I can carry it with me without any inconvenience.
Mini survival kit
One thing I always bring with me is my home-made altoid-tin survival kit. I can toss it into a laptop bag and you wouldn't be able to pick me out from a crowd of business-men, but it's always there, just in case. Inside is a small firestarting kit, a length of fishing line and some hooks, along with one course of general antibiotics. In a grid down scenario I've got the ability to get warm, catch fish, and stay healthy, plus the fishing line could also double as cordage should I need it for a shelter.
Now is the perfect time to apply for your concealed carry permit, so you can take a handgun with you at all times. Find a firearm that you're comfortable to carry, and whilst your everyday-carry is probably not going to be your primary handgun, it gives you a means of protecting yourself wherever you go.
While many people don't see the functional aspects of a pair of sunglasses, you won't catch me outside without mine. They protect your eyes from harsh UV rays, and if you buy a pair of ballistic grade sunglasses these can double as eye-protection when you're using your firearm. Do your research, there's plenty of nice-looking sunglasses that are ballistic grade quality.
Another key piece of gear I've always got with me is my strikepen
. Often there's places you go where it's not possible to take a firearm or a knife, yet you still want a self-defense tool. That's where the strikepen comes in. It's basically a solid piece of aluminium that you can use to fend off an attacker, giving you an edge in a fight. Plus, it's a fully functional pen.
For my everyday carry I practice discretion over function. At the moment I'm using a simple laptop bag that blends in with the rest of my colleagues in my office. There's a bunch of pockets inside designed to keep a "business man" organized, but these are currently packed with my survival gear, leaving more than enough space to carry my laptop to and from work. Just like I don't advise bragging about your preps to your neighbors, I like to keep my survival planning as private as possible.
This last step has a dual approach. First, I've got my family, friends and any other important contact information printed on a small set of laminated cards. There's about 10 in there, with addresses, phone numbers and maps to a couple of my supply caches (not all), and a picture of my family. I get it's not very secure, but in a crisis I believe the most important thing is getting to your supplies. Second, I've got similar data stored digitally, along with a whole lot more. It's stored in a USB on my keychain, and I've also uploaded it to the cloud so I can access it from any computer with an internet connection. I've also got a much larger hard disk with everything stored in a safe deposit box at my bank, as a final back-up, just in case. It's not always feasible to carry a bug out kit with you, and the only thing I can guarantee about a crisis is that it's going to be unexpected. By practicing good survival techniques now, and ensuring you've got the basics covered in your everyday carry, you're going to be far more able to face whatever challenge may come. And that's what survival is all about, right?