Everyday carry (EDC) is a key concept in preparedness and survival. In short, EDC are items that you carry everyday so you are prepared to handle all situations. A good EDC kit should be one of the first steps towards being ready for a crisis.
The entire point of EDC is to carry what you need to survive emergency situations. Ideally, this is done without calling attention to the fact that you are more prepared than anyone else.
Women have a certain advantage when it comes to everyday carry, because many already has a habit of carrying a purse of some kind. As we’ve established before, a purse is a great place to carry your EDC tools because it’s something you carry with you everywhere.
It’s also perfectly natural for a woman to be seen carrying a large purse. This is not something that would attract unwanted attention and suspicion from other people.
In this article, we will discuss what EDC items should be stored inside your purse so that you can react to any situation. We’ll also briefly discuss how to pick the best purse to keep your EDC gear protected, organized, and accessible.
Analyze your EDC Needs First
As we always say, when packing your EDC gear, stop for a second and think, what situations would you face in your daily life and what would be needed. By first analyzing your needs, circumstances, and constraints, you’ll be able to prepare a better EDC strategy.
If you fail to analyze what items you need, you run the risk of overpacking and carrying too much gear. Having too much tools can make it hard for you to move fast and flexibly. Besides, the added weight will surely slow you down and sap a lot of energy.
However, if you fail to account for plausible situations, you can also carry too few items. That means you can’t react well to the many situations that might happen daily. If you can’t react to it with your current gear, than that means that your EDC gear is useless.
To counteract this, when thinking of preparing your EDC kit, always think of bringing the least amount of tools that can do the most amount of work. This usually means buying multi tools or tools that can do multiple things well while also being light and compact.
If you’re still conflicted, try imagining your daily activities, recall what items you usually use or would like to have during those situations. Those items should compose the core of your EDC kit. After that, think of slightly less plausible scenarios and what you’d like to have in those situations. These are going to be your extension tools supplementing your core items.
What you Should Carry Inside your Purse
Well done, you’ve analyzed what you need and what situations you’re likely to face. The next step is to analyze the purse you’re currently using. If it’s a large purse, you can carry more items compared to when you’re using a smaller more compact purse.
After analyzing your needs and your purse specifications, now we can talk about what you should carry inside said purse. Generally, these are the things that you need to carry everywhere as your EDC gear
- Communication & Signage
- Food & water
- Health & Hygiene
There isn’t any clear cut guide on what you should bring inside your purse, it depends on your needs and circumstances. However, when carrying items inside your purse, one of the most important things to consider is how lightweight and compact the item is.
The USDA states that a handbag’s ideal weight is just around 2.2 pounds. However, many women carry purses that weigh in at five pounds or more, with the average being somewhere around 5.2 pounds. The recommended guideline for handbag weight according to many chiropractors is no more than 10% of your body weight.
For women, the weight of a purse has been proven to negatively impact your posture, neck, and shoulder pain. If you’re feeling pain or discomfort, reduce the weight of your EDC bag until you can carry it comfortably
Because of this, try to carry smaller and lighter items that do a lot of things. When thinking of purse EDC for women, light and multipurpose is the name of the game.
Communication & Signage
During a disaster situation, maintaining communication with civilization or your loved ones are of the utmost importance. Having great communication can mean the difference between you being rescued and being lost or even worse.
Usually, people use their smartphones for communication purposes, for most situations, this is good enough. A smartphone is very versatile, compact, and can do a lot of things besides just calling and texting. To improve on this, you should also buy a spare battery or a power bank to increase it’s longevity.
Having another form of communication is also very important in survival situations. Women usually bring a small mirror for make up, this can also be used as a communication tool. This is done by reflecting light to an observer so that your position is visible.
Bringing an emergency whistle can also come in handy to catch the attention of other survivors or the rescue team. This is especially important if you lack the strength to scream out for help.
Flashlights are also very important to have inside your purse. Besides communication and signaling purposes, it can also provide illumination when it gets dark outside. For this, you should choose a compact flashlight, these are usually smaller than tactical flashlights that are designed for home defense.
While having a flare is very handy and quite important, we don’t recommend you to carry one inside your purse. For starters, they’re usually heavy and they only do one thing, to raise attention to you during survival situation. Placing them in your bug out bag or on your car’s EDC stash is a better option.
Items that help you during self defense situations are also very important to have on your purse. These items can protect you from potential robberies and kidnappings. They might also save you from an attempt on you or your loved ones lives.
Pepper spray is undoubtedly the staple in self defense items. A little spray can incapacitate a large assailant in seconds and force them to stagger back. This gives you plenty of time to neutralize the assailant, call for help, or to quickly run for your life.
Tasers are also a great choice for self defense against aggressive assailants. Most people will drop quickly when being tasered due to the shock and pain. However, a lot of people can shrug off the effects of a taser and still attack you. Usually, this rings true for fatter people and people that wear thick clothing because it may interfere with the electrodes.
Tactical pen and other non-lethal self defense tools are also effective if that’s more your style. However, it’s harder to use compared to a pepper spray and a taser. With those two, you can just click a button and most assailants will drop down and stop attacking.
With a tactical pen or other self defense weapons, you need to have exceptional skill when handling them. If not, you won’t cause enough damage to stop the attacker and make them think twice before attacking you again.
If you hold a license to conceal carry a gun, it’s not a good idea to have it inside your purse. Look for a concealed carry jacket or a handgun carrying belt instead. They have better accessibility so you can pull out your gun in a split second to react to anything.
Utility items are very important to carry everywhere you go, they’re considered one of the ultimate EDC’s. This is because they bring a lot of utility and will help you in most situations.
One of the best utility tools to carry in your purse is a compact multi tool like a swiss army knife. This gear packs a lot of function into a small package that is also lightweight. Two very important features for tools that you’ll carry everywhere on your purse.
Another nice utility tool is a credit card shaped multi tool. This is even smaller than a swiss army knife and is usually placed inside your purse’s cardholder pouch. However, know that these kind of multi tool usually has a sharp edge that might puncture your purse. Keep that in mind when placing one inside your purse.
Having a writing tool ready inside your purse is indispensable. You never know when you need to write something out or mark something. Because of that, it’s recommended to bring at least one high quality writing tool that you can depend on. This can either be a marker or a pen, depending on your needs and situation.
Having a fire starting kit is also handy if you frequently travel to remote areas. You never know when you’ll need to create a fire. For this purpose, a fire steel or a windproof match is important to have. They’re also really small so it can fit anywhere in your purse.
Even if you never leave the city, having a regular match at hand is also very useful. At the very least they’re a versatile source of warmth and light. At most, you can use the heat and fire to sterilize tools, cauterize wounds, and so much more.
Emergency blankets are also a good idea to have if you frequently travel only with your purse. These are quite large so they might be better placed inside your car’s trunk or on your bug out bag. However, if you frequently travel far from those, it’s a good idea to carry a few on your purse.
These blankets can help you survive when you’re stranded outside. They provide warmth and shelter against the elements. However, keep in mind that the size and weight of these blankets may force you to become more creative in organizing your EDC purse.
Last but not least, bring a small umbrella in your purse for the rainy days. Having an umbrella can be the difference between you being soaking wet or dry during a drizzle. If you’re not the type of person to use an umbrella, pick up an EDC jacket instead that’s also waterproof. It does the same job, it keeps you dry when it’s wet outside.
Food & Water
Having a small amount of food and water ready on your purse is also very important. These can help sustain you during disaster scenarios or simply sate your hunger during a long traffic jam.
Because the space in your purse is limited, it’s recommended to bring compact and lightweight foods. Packaged foods such as granola bars, biscuits, or food gels are a good choice because they’re filling yet very light. Refrain from bringing large canned food such as tuna or even MRE’s. Save them inside your bug out bag or on your vehicle’s EDC stash.
For water needs, you can bring a small bottle of water or a small and compact tumbler. Don’t carry too much water inside your purse because they’re quite heavy and will weigh you down. Instead, explore the possibility of bringing a portable water filtration system such as a life straw. These systems can provide you with ample drinking water as long as there is a source of water.
However, note that a water filtration system might be quite heavy itself. Because of that, it might be better to store it inside your car’s trunk rather than on your purse. For emergency purposes, a several water purification tablets and a clean empty bottle can also provide you with a relatively safe water to drink.
Health & Hygiene
Carrying items for your health and general hygiene is also very important in a women’s EDC purse. These items should be able to help you patch wounds, keep your body healthy, and maintain your general hygiene.
It’s very important for a woman to carry a high quality compact first aid kit in their EDC purse. These can save your life when injured and are the first line of defense against many injuries. If you can’t create your own kit, buy a pre-packed one from Amazon, your local retailer, or a clinic.
A great first aid kit should consist of several band aids, Neosporin, pain killers, and a sanitizing agent. You should also add more items depending on your needs and circumstances. Petroleum jelly is also a good idea, you can carry it in the form of Vaseline or Vicks VapoRub. However, take care not to carry too much stuff in your purse. Store your complete first aid kit on your bug out bag, work desk, on your vehicle, or on your house.
Sunscreen and moisturizer is also an important item to bring, more so if you have a sensitive skin. If you’re active outdoors, bring lots of sunscreen to reapply throughout the day. It’s really helpful to shield your skin from deadly UV radiation.
Bringing a small personal care travel pack is also recommended. These usually contain a toothpaste, toothbrush, and dental floss in a small and compact package.
Nowadays, having a mask is almost mandatory if you’re outside due to Covid-19. But, a mask is also very important to shield yourself from dust or other pollutants. These are important if you’re going south or to areas that are windy, dusty, and has high air pollution. Because of that, keep several N95 masks in your purse at all times just in case.
How to Choose the Best EDC Purse for a Women
Now that you know what items you should pack inside your EDC purse, let’s discuss a little about what makes a great purse. For starters, here are 3 things that you should look out for: durability, carrying capacity & pockets, and weight.
Durability is a core criteria when choosing bags and places to store your EDC, the same goes with a purse. Carefully consider the build and material quality of the purse. Purses with better items and workmanship will hold up to the wear and tear of daily use better compared to cheap ones.
You should also check the materials that are used to create your purse. If you’re active outdoors in area where it rains, try to find a waterproof purse.
The strength of the strap is also quite important. Having a strong strap will allow you to carry more items inside your EDC purse without worrying it will snap. However, keep in mind that even though the strap won’t snap, your shoulder and back might if it’s too heavy.
Pay attention to the zipper of your purse. If it’s a low quality one, be careful when quickly opening/closing it during critical situations. It might get stuck and prevent you from accessing your EDC gear. Low quality zippers might also fail in extreme situations such as when it’s really cold or hot outside. Because of that, try to find a purse that uses high quality zippers.
Carrying Capacity & Pockets
Carrying capacity is also important when judging the quality of an EDC purse. Purses with higher carrying capacity simply allows you to carry more items and be prepared for a lot of scenario.
However, these kind of purses are usually quite bulky and heavy. Because of that, refrain from buying them if you don’t need to carry a lot of tools. You should also avoid them if you don’t like to carry heavy and bulky purses.
Having the largest and most spacious purse won’t do a thing if you can’t find your gear. Because of that, organizing your purse is also very important. This is where having a lot of pockets come in handy, they help you store and organize items really well.
Some purses even have additional O-rings, webbed loops, or other kinds of attachment points. These are great for storing frequently used items within arms length.
Weight is one of the key factors when creating and carrying an EDC kit. The nature of EDC requires that you carry those items everywhere you go. Packing those items inside a lightweight bag enables you to keep your EDC purse comfortable for daily use. This also helps you avoid the negative impacts that a heavy bag can have on the body such as cramps.
Experts recommend that rather than a purse, it’s better for your health and posture to wear a cross body bag when carrying heavy loads. These kinds of bags more evenly distributes the weight across a broader area of the body and prevents fatigue.
If a cross body bag or backpack doesn’t make sense for you, distribute the weight of your EDC by wearing some items rather than carrying them all in a purse.
For those that carry a purse, it’s important to set the purse down whenever possible or switch shoulders. This is important so that you can give your muscles a rest from carrying all the weight. When it becomes uncomfortable, just stop and take a break, or even better, re-pack your EDC gear to be lighter!