Whether you regularly carry survival & preparedness items (gear) on your person, in a carry-bag, or a combination of both, not everyone has the budget for top-of-the-line expensive stuff!

With that in mind, lets come up with a list of EDC items that cost less than $10 each.

EDC or every day carry will depend on what you’re doing, where you’re going, the environment you’ll be in, and all sorts of other factors. So it’s difficult to recommend a one-size-fits-all.

With that said, it’s always a good idea to try and conform to at least a basic set of objectives or categories for a survival kit which in my opinion include (but are not limited to) fire, food, water, shelter, security, tools.

Here are ten ideas. Are they the Top 10? For some, maybe.

We all have our own preferences though:


Folding Knife
While the pocket knife that I carry cost more than $10, you can certainly find them for $10 or less (there are LOTS of them)! For example, here’s a Gerber folder:

Gerber Ripstop Knife, Fine Edge

The benefits of a flashlight are obvious. On my keychain I keep a very small flashlight for any situation where I might need to shed some light. Perhaps surprisingly, the mini Olight (I use this one) can be had for less than $10.

Olight EDC Mini AAA Flashlight

Cordage is always a recommended item for survival. What kind and how much is up to you. You pretty much can’t beat “paracord” as a best choice for general purpose survival-cord due to it’s strength (550 pounds) and very lightweight. There are lots of clever braided paracord products (bracelets, lanyards, and others) designed to be worn (I have a wrist bracelet among other things). Or you can buy a 100′ length:

OUTDOOR Mil-Spec Commercial Grade 550lb Type III Nylon Paracord

Another “must have” for a kit or EDC gear is a method of making fire. An ordinary lighter is cheap and effective under most circumstances. What I have done is purchased a large quantity of lighters (50) which ends up less than $1 each and will keep me covered in the fire category for awhile (among other methods).

Bic Mini Lighters 50ct

A multitool is just that – a tool with multiple uses. They come in a variety of configurations depending on what you like. While a very nice multitool might cost you $50 or more, you can actually find fairly decent multitools for less than $10.

Gerber Vise Pocket Tool

Food Bars
Although a few food energy bars might not hold its form-factor in one’s pocket after awhile, if you do carry a shoulder bag, briefcase, or tech bag every day – you might throw in a handful of these delicious and calorie-satisfying CLIF bars:

CLIF BAR – Energy Bar

Again, while it may be a bit challenging to carry a water bottle on your person, it’s not a problem for an EDC bag. You might consider a re-usable re-fillable water bottle:

NALGENE BPA-Free Water Bottle

Tactical Pen
Since most of us regularly use a writing instrument, a tactical pen will multipurpose into a weapon and a glass breaker for any relevant emergency situation:

Tactical Pen

Mini First Aid Kit
There sure are a lot of options for one’s First Aid Kit. Having a mini kit for your EDC is a great idea. I like the following for it’s small size and metal tin (which can be re-purposed for other things). It will fit easily in your EDC bag:

Coleman Mini First Aid Kit

Pepper Spray
A weapon for self-defense is a crucial tool, and since we’re keeping it under $10 there’s no way to recommend a gun. So lets go with pepper spray. I like the following because of its “jogger” carry handle, its strength, and it is highly reviewed:

SABRE RED Pepper Gel Spray – Police Strength

I’ve got to tell you – there sure are lots of configurations and rationales for what we may decide to carry. By limiting a list to just ten is very difficult. By not subjecting the choice of contents to a hypothetical scenario is very difficult. There will always be additional items you wish you had. Fortunately we can tailor our own EDC to our own requirements! Hopefully this has simply got you thinking about it.

Note: I wanted to include a water filter, but couldn’t find one less than $10. The LifeStraw comes close, but not quite…so I suggested a water bottle instead – which is practical for ordinary times and while we are at work each day.

Related article:
Subtle Inconspicuous Get-Home-Bag For Urban Every Day Carry

Okay, your turn, let’s hear from you. How would you adjust this EDC while keeping each item under 10 bucks if you could?

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