What do you carry?

by The Coach

Here is a question for you. What is the MOST important survival equipment that you have? Think about that question for a minute before you read on.

Here is the answer; the most important survival equipment that you have is the equipment that is on you when you need it! You can have everything to live like a king in a TEOTWAWKI situation but if you cannot get to that gear or do not have it when you need it, then it is no good to you.

This article is about what I carry on my person on a daily basis no matter where I go or what I do.

          Let me give you an example. You are at your doctor’s office on the 10th floor. You are in the bathroom and the door is closed. No one else is in the bathroom with you. All of a sudden the electricity goes out. You are in total darkness. Do you have some type of light source so you can exit the bathroom, get to the stair well and get outside without stumbling over something and hurting yourself? The light does not need to last for an extended period of time; an hour or two should do fine. Do you have some type of signaling device to let someone know that where you are?

          I carry an “eGear PICO LED Zipper Lite”. It comes with a clip that I use to clip onto my key chain.  (See photo # 1) This little light puts out a lot of light for its size. It is made of metal and is very durable.

          My wife carries a “Photon Micro-Light” on her key chain. (See photo # 2). You can buy them in a nice little kit depicted in the photo. It comes with a clip that you can attach the light to your key chain. It also comes with a lanyard attached to a clip that clip attaches the light so you can hang the light around your neck. In addition, it comes with a clip that the light attaches to so you can clip the light to your hat or clothing. This light gives many options but is NOT as bright or as durable as the “e Gear” light. This light is made of plastic.

          Notice that both lights have a protective cover over the LED bulb. This is important so that nothing in your pocket breaks the LED bulb which renders the light useless.

          Another item I carry, no matter where I go, is a quality lock blade knife. You get the quality that you pay for.  NOTE: Check your local laws before carrying any knife! There are many quality knives out there. However, I recommend you ONLY carry a knife with a lock blade. The reason for this is if the blade locks in place in some way, it will or should not close and cut your fingers while you are using it. I speak here from experience.

          I carry a small lock blade knife when I am in dress clothes. When I am in blue jeans, I carry a “Leatherman”, “Wave”, multi-tool in a belt  pouch, which it come with. This multi-tool has both a straight edge knife blade and a serrated knife blade. Both blades lock open. This multi-tool gives me many more options than just a knife alone. My wife carries a “Leatherman, mini-tool” on her key chain. It works for her. This little multi-tool has a knife blade along with a few other items.

          But what good is a knife if you dull your knife during usage and you have no way to sharpen it. I carry a Benchmade  mini-size field sharpener. This little knife sharpener fits on my key chain without any problems or excess bulk. It also works very well to sharpen your blade in the field. This little sharpener is approximately 2 inches long and ½ inch tall. It is the smallest, durable, knife sharpener that I could find.

NOTE: This is a FIELD SHARPENER and is NOT designed to give you the fine edge that a “Lansky” knife sharpener is designed to give you at home. This sharpener is designed to give you a workable edge in the field. Follow the instructions that come with the sharpener when you purchase it. It gives you a good working edge not a razor edge. A dull knife is dangerous to you and is almost useless.

          Another item that I carry on my key chain is a military “P-38” can opener. The reason that I carry this little can opener is, can you imagine being in a TEOTWAWKI situation, having all the can food that you could ever want and NOT having a way of opening the can. I guess there are other ways of opening a can but I was in the military during the time they gave you C – Rations to eat. It takes up almost no room on your key chain and is very durable. I guess I could get rid of it when I carry my “Leatherman” multi-tool because it has a can opener in it, but it is just something that I like.

For those of you that like useless information. Do you know how the military got the name “P-38” for its small can opener? It takes 38 punctures with this can opener to open a can of C – rations.

Another thing that I carry in my pocket is a mini “Bic” lighter. In case someone is wandering, NO I do not smoke cigarettes and never have. I like carrying a way to make fire. Carrying a “Bic” lighter has an up and down side. 

On the up side, they are easy to learn how to use. They are easy to start a fire with. They are easy to carry. If you run out of butane, you can use the sparker, used to ignite the butane, to start a fire. DO NOT buy the “Bic” lighters with the PIEZEO igniter. These lighters do not use a spark that you can use when you run out of butane to light a fire.

On the down side, and this has happened to me more than once, if you carry any butane lighter in your pocket, it is very easy for the butane release lever to become slightly depressed and release all of the butane in the lighter. This becomes a problem when you go to start a fire thinking you have a lighter in your pocket that works and it does not. If you carry a butane lighter, check it from time to time and make sure it still works.

A little hint about starting a fire. If you do carry a butane lighter, do not forget that an easy way to start a fire is with the useless paper in your wallet or purse. I am talking about cash register receipts, business cards and even photographs. You would be surprised how many people do not think of this resource.

Photo # 4

One of the products that you can purchase with everything on it is called a “Survival Necklace”. They come with almost everything you need on them. I tried one of them but find them too bulky and a little heavy to wear around my neck on a daily basis. You can buy one over the internet or you can make one up like the one depicted here. If you make your own you can put whatever you think is important to your survival and not what someone else thinks is.

Another small item that I carry is a small titanium whistle. You may wonder why I would carry a whistle. A whistle is an excellent device to let someone know where you are when they cannot see or find you, such as in a building collapse, you run off the road and no one can see your vehicle or for a hundred other reasons.

In my wallet I carry a “Brunton Life Card”. This little device is the size of a credit card. There is a plastic slip case. Contained within the  slip case is a Fresnel Magnifying Lens, 3 plastic cards containing Survival instructions and a 10mm Floating Disk Compass.


One thing that can never be taken away from me is my knowledge. Read and learn as much as you can. Go to as many schools as you have time for and can afford. Knowledge is a good thing.

However, the most important thing that I always have with me is my belief in my lord and savior, Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has gotten me through more situations in my life time than any piece of gear that I own. If you believe in Buda or Allah that is your belief and I respect that.

          The thing to remember is to ALWAYS carry, on your person, a few things that would enhance your survival. The operative word here is always. Since you can carry a limited number of items on you, those items should be of the highest quality made.

          You can find all of the mentioned items in this article through a Goggle search.

          I did not cover handguns or combat knives in this article. That is a topic for other articles.

          I am interested in any items that you carry on a daily basis, besides the ones mentioned in this article, and why. Please list them in the below comments section.

NOTE:    I DO NOT receive ANY compensation from ANY company, for mentioning ANY product, named in ANY of my articles. I write about gear that works for me.

20 survival items ebook cover
Like what you read?

Then you're gonna love my free PDF, 20 common survival items, 20 uncommon survival uses for each. That's 400 total uses for these dirt-cheap little items!

We will not spam you.

13 thoughts on “What do you carry?”

  1. I carry a lot of stuff with me on a daily basis. I always have a huge purse so I can get away with it. I have a tri-fold travel cosmetic bag that I carry with me always. I have it stocked with many of the items you mentioned, but I never thought of the blade sharpener, I will be adding one of those soon!

    In addition to the usual first aid and hygiene products, I would suggest:

    – folding mini scissors
    – spare eyeglasses or repair kit (I couldn’t find my way out of my office without glasses!)
    – mini roll of duct tape

  2. I carry over 40 years in the survival/prepper discipline…other than that: small light, some type of multi-tool, butterfly knife, forever match, paracord bracelet, non digital watch and $100.00 cash. Within 20ft. 72 hour Alice pack, full med bag, two cases of water, auto rescue tote, undisclosed handgun and a cased Uzi.

  3. I carry a quality multi-tool and a mini mag AA LED flashlight at all times. If I’m out of bed they’re on my belt. I should give some thought to adding a few more items, create a sort of Batman utility belt for the non superhuman.

  4. I have two layers of EDC. The first layer is on me all the time even in the house. It consists of a lighter, flashlight, tube of (matches, needles, fish hooks and line), paracord, tactical folder, leatherman, pistol and ammo. When I leave the house, I also carry a small fanny pack containing a second layer of equipment. It contains a small first aid kit, sewing kit, extra zip lock bags, a large black trash bag, Germ-X wipes, small Smith knife sharpener, compass, lighter, flashlight, magnifying glass, magnesium bar with striker and extra ammo.

  5. I always carry a number of things- in dress cloths I have a keychain LED light and a Gerber E-Z Out 425 knife, mini-bic lighter and a TZ-75 9mm. In jeans I carry Klarus XT11 light, Smith&Wesson S.W.A.T.LB knife, the bic and the 9mm. I travel (meaning anytime I’m off the property) with a 72 hour BOB.

  6. it depends on how I am traveling I live in medium sized city if im going to the store nothing but a knife if im going more than a hour away I care BIG hockey bag full of stuff with everything from a to z I mean firestarters ammo shotgun food plastic cold weather gear knives a LOT of stuff

  7. I carry much the same, a sturdy folding knife, lighter, Leatherman :Sidekick” and a mini-mag light. I like the mini-mag (LED) because I can take the cord and lop it around a belt loop and drop the light in my front pocket. It is also adjustable from a spot to a flood light with a twist of the wrist. I have carried a light like this for years including 30+ years in the Marines. The advantage of having it looped around a belt loop is that in case you suddenly need your hands for something else, you can simply drop the light and it will stay attached to you – something that is useful if you are climbing in and out (and off) of vehicles or up, down and around obstacles. In non tactical situations you can simply turn the light on and let it dangle which will throw light around your feet as you walk – a bonus if your carrying stuff in a dark place. It is not as small or lightweight as many pocket flashlights but is sturdy enough to last for years and it uses common AA batteries that can be recharged. I don’t go anywhere without it (church included.) I also have a P-38 on my key-ring and a Life-card in my wallet. I also include as a backup, a “Survival Life” credit card sized multipurpose pocket tool which has several functions including a 4 position wrench and a butterfly screw wrench which my other EDC gear does not (Although the pliers on the Leatherman could work.)
    Thanks for all the good articles. Keep up the good work.

  8. Thanks for all of the feed back.

    I am glad to see that there are people out there that carry items on them.

    To Major Dad and anyone else out there who carry Mini-Mag, AA, flashlights.
    I am not sure that this is legal but I was shown that if you go fishing at night, take and run a cord through the hole in the light, turn it on and lower the light into the water. The O ring in the light makes it water proof and the light in the water attracts fish like crazy. It works well. I just find this light a little large to carry around everyday.

    The Coach

  9. great article and really good comments. My only problem, is how do people carry all that stuff. I typically carry a good lock blade, but that is usually it. I guess I’m behind the curve and need to step up to the plate. Thanks to all of you. I’ll definitely work on this.

  10. In one pocket tool logic knife with light and fero striker. In the other pocket chap stick, mini light, and zippo lighter. On my wrist para cord bracelet and in my wallet multi tool monkey card

  11. Oren. I guess it really depends on how you dress daily. I will say that I live in Florida and my dress almost every day is t-shirt, cargo shorts and sandals. If you look at what I carry above, most of it is in a small fanny pack, but I always have the other things on me, in the cargo pockets and on my belt. One thing I learned quickly was concealing a pistol is difficult down here. I carry a S&W mod 60 in a Galco Summer comfort IWB holster along with a double dump pouch, with my t-shirt outside of my pants. My tactical folder is in my right front pocket, clipped to the opening. I takes practice to figure out what works for you and how you dress. I have carried the fanny pack for almost 30 years now and at times have had to put everything in it. Now lets see just how much flack I get for carrying a revolver. I carried a mod 15 most of my military career and a mod 19 through the police academy and on duty. It is what I am most comfortable with and know it won’t fail me. While I carry 357 mags in the gun, all of my extra ammo is 38 since my wife carries a mod 36.

  12. Not really a pocket item, but for a few dollars I bought one of those 4-way water valve handles from the hardware store to keep in my vehicles BOB. You’ve seen those outdoor faucets that need a tool/key to open. That way if I’m in an urban enviroment, I can quickly get to some residual drinking water from any commercial building’s exterior faucets after the water pressure is gone. There may be enough water still in the buildings plumbing to drain out in an emergency.


Leave a Comment