Survival items you can carry in your pocket everyday

EDC survival gear
EDC survival gear

Something that’s important to know about survival situations is that they can and will happen when we least expect them to. This means that even if you have a complete backpack of survival gear ready to go, you may not be able to use any of that gear should you be away from it when you find yourself in a life-or-death survival scenario.

Fortunately, there is a remedy for this, and that is to carry small but handy survival items on your person at all times. Even though finding yourself in a survival situation is still likely to catch you off guard, you’ll still be more prepared if you have as many of these items on you as possible:



Money is something that most of us probably carry on us every day already (or at least should carry). Don’t feel content with just the debit or credit card in your pocket. Rather, you need to carry actual cash on you at all times in case of emergencies.

There are a variety of reasons why you may need cash in a survival or disaster scenario. You may need it to barter with someone (such as to gain passage down a road or to trade for a valuable item you need), or if you find yourself in the wilderness, you’ll also need cash to give someone for a ride or to buy food at the nearest convenience store.


Less and less people are carrying flashlights these days due to the fact that most smart phones already come installed with them. Nonetheless, carrying a separate flashlight is still a good idea. You never know what could happen to your phone: it could become lost, damaged, or run out of batteries.


Perhaps one of the most useful tools ever invented is the simple knife. A good folding knife with a sharp blade belongs in any EDC kit, and not just a Swiss Army-style knife. Rather, you want a larger and more durable knife with a serrated blade that will lock into place and can be used for self-defense if you need it to.


Folding knife and compass
Folding knife and compass

When on the market for a pocket knife, actually hold them in your hand and go the most ergonomic handle that you can get. If you don’t actually enjoy holding your knife, then you’re never going to use it. It’s as simple as that.



You may question the need to carry a lighter if you don’t smoke, but the reality is that a lighter (or any fire starting device for that matter) will prove its worth to you in a survival situation. Fire is critical when it comes to survival because it provides you with warmth, light, and the ability to cook, so carrying a reliable fire starting device on your person at all times is essential.


Another piece of essential survival gear is the multi-tool. While not as critical as the knife (arguably), the multi-tool is still important to carry because of the pliers and various other tools (such as a knife blade, screwdriver, can opener, nail filer, saw blade, scissors, and so on) that it comes with. Carrying a good folding knife for self-defense with a multi-tool for utilitarian purposes would be a very wise thing to do.

Paper and Pen


Paper is something that we’re using less and less of thanks to the rapid advancement of technology, but nonetheless, it doesn’t hurt to carry a small pad of paper with a pen in your pockets. As mentioned before, you never know what can happen to your phone, and if the need ever arises to jot something down a simple pocket sized notepad will prove to be extremely valuable. You may need paper to communicate, to jot something down, to sketch a location, to record an event in writing, and so on.

Paracord Bracelet

Paracord is truly wonderful in a survival scenario because of the vast number of applications you can use it for: shelter building, setting traps and snares, making fishing line, replacing your lost shoelaces, tying somebody up, setting up a perimeter or tripwire, fashioning a splint or tourniquet, lashing things to your belt or backpack, and so on.



Paracord bracelets are incredibly cheap and have proven to be quite popular even among ordinary people, so there’s little reason not to keep one wrapped around your wrist.



If there’s one item that we’re all carrying now, it’s undoubtedly the phone. The smart phone is actually an important survival item for a number of purposes, with the biggest one being communication. Should disaster strike, the first thing you need to do is get in touch with each of your family members and round them all up, and this is where a phone will prove to be the most critical.

Purification Tablets

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated in a survival scenario, but you still need to be extremely careful about the water that you collect before you drink it. While the water may look clean on the outside, there could also always be harmful bacteria or pesticides that you can’t see. Fortunately, this is nothing that a purification tablet can’t take care of. Place a purification tablet in the water, wait thirty minutes, and it should be safe to drink.

Purification tablets come in extremely tiny bottles that can easily fit in anyone’s pocket, and it makes for a perfect EDC item.



Last but not least, we come to the watch, and this is yet another item that less and less people are carrying because we can just as easily tell the time on our phones. But again, anything can go wrong with your phone and you shouldn’t take the risk. Being able to tell the time isn’t just a convenience, it could be important to know in a survival situation, so there’s no excuse not to keep a durable and waterproof watch around your wrist.


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nick-oetken is one of the authors writing for Outdoor Revival