There’s a lot of uncertainty in the world today. With the chaos of everyday life in the 21st century, having a reliable set of tools readily accessible at all times can be difficult to do. What sort of items should you carry for an effective everyday carry (EDC) kit? Do you really need to spend a ton of money on your EDC? What if you’re just starting out or you’re on a budget?
Well, the good news is that you can customize your EDC to suit your needs and fit your budget. With more and more people getting into EDC these days, companies have noticed and filled the need for more budget friendly EDC gear. In this post, we’ll discuss the must have tools to add to your everyday carry, with each tool being budget friendly coming in at under $35 per tool.
One of the most useful pieces of gear to start building your EDC kit is a knife. Knives can be used to build better tools, to help escape dangerous situations, and in self-defense. Here are some quality knives to consider adding to your budget EDC:
Something that sets the Opinel No. 7 apart from most EDC knives is that it is built with a beech wood handle, giving it a unique look compared to other tactically designed handles. The look of the handle certainly doesn’t detract from the effectiveness of the Sandvik Stainless Steel blade though. In fact, it complements it! And at less than 4 inches long folded up, the Opinel No. 7 is small enough to be carried anywhere in your pocket.
The feature that we love about this knife is that it is built with a clip on the handle, making it easy to secure to the inside of your pocket. When you’re ready to deploy the blade, you can easily reach for it and know how you’re grabbing the knife each and every time. The 2.16” blade is easily deployable with a knob on the back end of the blade that can easily be pushed up with your thumb for one handed deployment.
Gerber Gear Prybrid Utility Knife
Gerber is a company that is well known for creating high quality EDC and survival gear. The Prybrid Utility Knife is a great example of how one tool can serve many functions. The blade of the knife is deployed by a small switch on the side of the handle and operates just like a box cutter knife. Aside from the blade, there are 8 other tools built into the knife, ranging from a small pry bar to wire strippers, making this one of the most useful knives you can carry.
Much like Gerber, Kershaw is another name brand that creates high quality EDC knives. The Kershaw Shuffle is a great little knife that is built with a clip, just like the CRKT Squid for convenient and secure carrying. The handle is ergonomically shaped to fit naturally in your hand, giving you the most control possible over the knife when the blade is deployed.
Pens aren’t the first thing that come to mind when considering what to add to an EDC kit. There are a lot of use for them though from the practical to the tactical. Practically speaking, pens are useful for writing notes, signing documents, and filling out informational forms in businesses. Tactically speaking, some EDC built pens can function as window breaking tools to help escape during an emergency or as a self-defense weapon. Here are a couple pens we think would be useful for your EDC build:
Fisher Space Pen 400 Series
The dimensions of the Fisher Space Pen make this an ideal EDC item. Weighing in at less than an ounce, you’ll barely feel that it’s there. All closed up, the length is a mere 3.75”. When open, the 5.25” pen is perfectly balanced to create a comfortable and effective writing tool.
Rite in the Rain All-Weather Durable Clicker Pen
Emergency situations don’t happen only when it’s convenient. In fact, when conditions are at their worst is when emergencies happen. Rite in the Rain made it their mission to develop gear that can be useful in any scenario and in any weather. Their pen is built just like their notebooks in that it can effectively be used, regardless of the weather or conditions. The ink won’t run when wet and can still be used up to 35’ below water!
One of the most valuable pieces of gear that you can carry with you is a notebook. Why? Well, the most valuable thing when things go wrong is information. Being able to take note of the environment that you’re in is incredibly helpful when trying to evade or escape a bad situation. Plus, they’re really helpful to have on hand if you need to leave notes for others that you may have been separated from and you have no other way of communicating with. These notebooks are great for including in your EDC.
Field Notes Book Ignition
The Field Notes Book Ignition is a great notebook to carry. Its composition notebook design is sleek and can easily be put into a cargo pocket or backpack without worry of it catching on something. The cover is waterproof, keeping it safe from spills when closed.
Rite in the Rain Pocket Top Spiral
As mentioned before, Rite in the Rain creates gear that can stand up to any sort of weather conditions out there. This little notebook is entirely waterproof and is small enough to be carried just about anywhere. Be careful of the spirals that keep the notebook held together though. They can get caught on things and can unravel your notebook if you’re not paying attention when taking it out or putting it away.
Losing power and the ability to operate in the dark is one of the worse scenarios you can find yourself in. And with the capabilities of hackers and EMPs today, getting hit in the electrical grid is a real threat to our society. Having a flashlight on hand to continue to operate safely in the dark is a must for that reason. Here are a few options for some great budget friendly flashlights to add to your EDC:
Lumintop EDC01 Keychain Flashlight
This great little flashlight comes with a small carabiner that can attach your flashlight to pretty much anything you can hook it onto, including keyrings! The 120 lumens it produces can easily light up whatever you’re trying to see in the dark.
Olight I3T EOS 180
If you’re in need of a bit more light than the Lumintop EDC01, consider picking up this great flashlight. It can produce 60 more lumens than the Lumintop and comes built with a pocket clip to keep it securely in your pocket until you’re ready to use it.
Streamlight MicroStream LED Pen Flashlight
The lightest flashlight on our list is the Streamlight MicroStream. Weighing in at just over an ounce, this ultralight flashlight can be used as a traditional hand flashlight or clipped to a hat to create an impromptu headlamp.
If you need to escape, but there are screws loose on the vehicle or bike that you’re trying to use as your egress tool, you’ll wish that you had something to deal with the loose hardware. Thankfully, you don’t have to carry a tool belt wherever you go. Consider one of these excellent multi-tools that can easily be added to your EDC.
Axwell Mission Multitool Card
One of the best things to carry with you is a tool that can serve many functions. The perfect accessory to a minimalist wallet like the Axwell Wallet is the Axwell Mission Multitool. It fits snuggly inside your Axwell Wallet and comes with over 20 different tools for tons of applications.
Gerber Shard Keychain Tool
The simplicity of this tool is what makes it great. Like the Gerber Prybrid, the Shard Keychain tool comes with a bottle opener and a small pry bar to help pull out nails and open just about any small thing you can think of. It can also be used as a wire stripper and a flathead screwdriver, making it an excellent addition to your EDC key ring.
The Geekey Multi-Tool is designed to be hyper functional while also as discrete as possible. Its normal key shape helps to disguise it so that you don’t draw attention to its many features when not in use. Its stainless-steel design will keep it in good shape for years and years to come, giving you maximum utility of the over 16 tool functions built into this brilliant little tool.
Gerber Gear Dime Mini Multi-Tool Keychain
Gerber does it again with this absolutely stacked multi-tool. The Gear Dime Mini is light and small enough when folded to fit on a key chain or in your pocket. When fully opened, it has tons of useful tools to help out in just about any situation. From plyers to scissors, this multitool can tackle almost any issue you’ll face.
While all of these items are great to get your budget EDC started, remember that if you want something that will last you a lifetime, it’s going to cost more than $35. One piece of gear we believe that you should invest in is your wallet. Wallet construction today is more important than ever, especially with the sort of technology hackers can use to steal your credit card information without even having touched the cards.
Upgrade your wallet to an Axwell Wallet today. Its ultra-slim, lightweight, and indestructible design is built with Mag-Lock replaceable magnetic cover plates that blocks RFID, keeping your credit cards safe from wireless theft. Axwell Wallets can hold between 1 and 12 cards along with cash securely, giving you peace of mind when it comes to protecting some of your most valuable parts of your EDC.
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