There are essential items you should carry with you at all times in the event of an emergency or simply an unexpected happening. These items can include lip balm, a list of emergency phone numbers, a small flashlight, medication or a notepad. This guide will outline the basic everyday carry items you should consider taking with you wherever you go.
Why You Should Pack Everyday Carry Items
It is not just a mother’s responsibility to carry all the essentials in her Mary Poppins-like purse. With trends in messenger bag-, sling bag- and backpack-carrying on the rise, there is no excuse for not carrying the universal and versatile items you need. An everyday carry item is one that you would regret not having in case something goes wrong, such as an LED flashlight.
The items you need in an everyday carry kit can change with your situation or mode of transportation. For example, the items you need to carry while you travel oversees will be different than those you need while at your local mall.
The bag you use should be comfortable enough to carry for a while, especially if it is heavy. Another consideration for your bag is maneuverability and how easy it is for you to carry. While a roller bag may be great for using at an airport, for example, it is not the ideal bag for using while on a hike. Your bag should also have enough space for everything you want to carry. The size of a bag and its pockets are another important factor: the largest thing you need to carry should fit in your bag with ease. Size is particularly important if you are a student and carry heavy books and awkward shaped supplies. Durability and ease of use are additional consideration for selecting a bag. You should use a bag that makes it easy to find what you need, not one that makes your life harder.
The Essential Everyday Carry Items You Need
- First Aid: It is a good idea to pack at least gauze, surgical tape, tweezers, alcohol prep pads and adhesive bandages. It also pays to pack over-the-counter painkillers, like ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Additionally, consider packing antibacterial hand wipes or gel; use these if you find yourself in a restroom without soap or are around sick people.
- Light: Always carry a flashlight in your bag. The best type of light to carry is an LED flashlight, which come in small keychain-size styles or handheld styles that are the size of your palm. Use an LED flashlight to make yourself more visible while walking in the dark, to illuminate your path, or to help you find things in your car trunk.
- Tools: A pocketknife or small multi tool has endless uses. You can use them to open boxes or the stubborn plastic packaging that comes around products you just purchased. The tweezers in such tools can help remove splinters and the screwdriver comes in handy when you need to make an emergency repair, like tighten the screws on your eyeglass frames. Some knives and pocket tools even come with a flashlight on them, which can help save space. Other tools that come in handy include a compass, a rain jacket that converts into a small package and a water filter that looks like a straw.
- Writing Tools: A small notebook, mechanical pencil or a pen come in handy in endless situations. Use writing tools to jot down reminders, license plate numbers, directions, and contact information.
- Defense Items: A tactical flashlight serves as a good defense tool because of the fact that it can thwart the element of surprise an attacker may want and serve as a club. A small canister of pepper spray can also come in handy. Avoid using a knife or firearm as defensive tools if you do not know how to use them because an attacker can use them against you.
- Entertainment Items: Save yourself from boredom by packing a book, playing cards or another type of small game.
With the right everyday carry items and forethought, you can be prepared for almost any situation.
[ photo by: Paul Jerry ]