What's In My Every Day Carry (EDC) Bag? [2023]

EDC Bag Featured Image

After my EDC update for the Spring and Summer season, I had readers ask about what I keep in my EDC bag. After reviewing the bag itself, and the organizers, I though this would be a good time to go into the specific contents. What do I carry in my EDC bag?

The Bag Itself

Well, the first thing to cover in an EDC bag is the bag itself. The bag I use is the Grey Ghost Gear Lightweight Assault Pack Mod 1. I reviewed it earlier this year, and it's been my preferred EDC bag since the start of 2022. It's a simple, lightweight pack, and offers ample space for my gear.

EDC Bag Update, the bag
The GGG LAP Mod 1 (acronym city).

The Lightweight Assault Pack Mod 1 has three internal compartments, where I stow my gear. For ease of discussion, we'll go pocket to pocket.

Front Pocket

In the front pocket, I carry three specific gear items.

EDC Headlamp

The first item I keep in the front pocket is a Black Diamond Cosmo 350 headlamp. This is a rechargeable/AAA battery headlamp, with a max output of 350 lumens. It is lightweight, and I've found it to be extremely useful on a nearly daily basis. With it being easy access, it's quick to find in the dark.

EDC Trauma Kit

Secondly, I keep trauma gear in the front pocket. Inside of a mesh bag, I've got a compression bandage, a CAT tourniquet, and a few packs of coagulant. I generally carry a TQ and bandage on my person too, in my windbreaker, but having more is always good.

EDC Spare Ammo

Finally, I keep a Magpul DAKA pouch, with a spare magazine and spare revolver ammo in it. I travel a fair bit, so having a little bit extra ammo in the EDC bag is a creature comfort. I do change the ammo out, depending on the gun I'm carrying, for the obvious reasons. For the Spring/Summer season, I'm packing a Glock 48 and generally a Smith 442, so I carry the appropriate ammo here.

That's all that I carry in the front pocket. Moving onto the main compartment...

Main Compartment

Much like the front pocket, I carry 3 groups of items in the main pocket.

EDC Fixed Blade Knives

I carry two different fixed blades in my EDC bag. The first one is a lightweight Scandi-ground blade from BPS Knives, and the second a Gerber Prodigy. The BPS acts as my portable "cooking" knife, as I like to bring my own sharp blade when I'm traveling. While not the heaviest use knife, Gerber acts as my beefier, but still fairly lightweight workhorse knife.

EDC First Aid Kit

In my orange Zoid Bag, I keep a first aid kit. This is more of a "booboo" kit, as it contains basic FAK items. Band-aids, tape, gauze, tape, alcohol prep pads, ointments and some minor painkillers are kept inside. There's more than that, but it's a fairly basic FAK.

EDC Toolkit

The last item of the main compartment is my EDC toolkit. This is what it says on the tin, with a few areas of gear within. I've got a Leatherman Wave with extra bits for the drivers as my primary tool. I also keep spare batteries, for both my EDC lights, and the various pieces of gear I carry. I store a spare flashlight, in the form of a Surefire G2X, along with a Garmin Foretrex 601 GPS. Rounding out the kit, I've got a smaller firestarter kit, a roll of electrical tape, a small button compass, a tiny bottle of gun lube, and some ear plugs. All of the items are kept in a green Zoid.

For the last two items, they occupy space on top of the bag, and in the final water bladder pocket.

Back Pocket & Grab Handle

EDC Groundcloth and Gloves

In the back pocket, I keep a small piece of tarp, for use as a ground cloth. This item makes it easy to sit down while hiking, and not end up with a wet butt. It's also pretty handy as a dumping spot to gear onto, if you needed to work on something while infield. The tarp section is very thin, so it fits well into the water bladder pocket of the bag. The gloves are Mechanix Fastfits, which get clipped via carabiner to the grab handle atop the bag.

All Loaded Up

With all of my EDC gear in the bag, the loaded weight is about 9.5lbs. I purposefully keep the back light, for two main reasons.

Firstly, I like having a lighter EDC bag. This pack comes around with me whenever I leave the house, and the likelihood of actually bringing it goes up when the bag weighs less. There's less wear and tear on my shoulders, and tossing the bag around is quite easy.

Secondly, it leaves room for extra gear. Now, that might sound counterintuitive, but I've got a point here. The main compartment is only about half full at any given time. As such, I can toss things in there as needed. I've got space for my laptop, handgun cases, a raincoat, or more in the dead zone that I'm not using in the bag. Expansion space is underrated in an EDC bag.

I recorded a video, going into all of the gear I carry, along with how I pack it.

What's the rationale behind the stuff that I carry?

EDC Bag Rationale

I carry things that I actually need, or use on the daily. I don't pack my bag full of "what-if" items. That leads to more and more gear ending up in the bag, and now it weighs 40lbs because I rationalized needing to carry around a 300ft hank of rope for rappelling. Okay, kind of an exaggeration, but I imagine that you get the point.

I think that everyone should tailor their carry gear to their needs. As an example, my toolkit carries tools the supplies that I've actually needed. A Leatherman and a roll of electrical tape solve most of my EDC tool problems, and the batteries and cables always come in handy. My first aid kit carries supplies that I've needed over the years, and replenish as needed. While exterior-mounted gloves might seem strange, I've used them more times than I can count. Everything in my bag is stuff that I actually use. Every 6 months or so, I rip everything out of my pack, and see if I still want to carry it. Sure, I haven't used my medical supplies, but I know that I still need them.

While I've covered what's in my bag, it's not meant to be a template. As I said above, your EDC bag should be tailored to your needs. What do you put in your EDC bag?

Further Reading

If you are in the EDC mood, check out our other recent EDC articles:


About Paul Whaley 197 Articles
Paul Whaley is a guy with an interest in practical and defensive pistol shooting techniques with an eye for quality gear. He has received training from Holistic Solutions Group, John Johnston of Citizens Defense Research, Darryl Bolke, Cecil Birch, and Chuck Haggard. When not trying to become a better shooter, he can be found enjoying a Resident Evil game or listening to Warren Zevon.

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