EDC Backpack List | Essential Items

My backpack goes everywhere with me. In fact, I look out of place if my backpack isn’t somewhere close. My friends give me a hard time about carrying it everywhere but since I don’t drive it’s the only way to carry gear around. In my Osprey Momentum 30 I can haul roughly 40 dollars worth of groceries home if I have to. The backpack is such a practical piece of gear.

In this post I’m going to cover what what is in my EDC backpack and offer a list of essential gear items everybody needs on the day to day.

The EDC Backpack


The backpack I use is the Osprey Momentum 30. This was a gift to me and turned out to be the perfect EDC bag. It has a 28 Liter capacity and numerous pockets for storage. The size is perfect. Anything less than 28L I’ve found to be too small. You can’t carry as much EDC gear as you would want. Anything bigger than 28L and now you have a cumbersome backpack with too much space. You also look like a backpacker and you don’t blend in as well.

The Momentum 30 has a number of features I like:

  • 28L storage capacity
  • Lots of pockets
  • Compression straps
  • Reflective stripes (more visible at night to cars especially when riding a bike)
  • Padded pocket for laptop and other electronics
  • “airscape” technologythe pack sits away from your back to promote airflow
  • Chest strap
  • Rain cover

I can recommend this pack having used it for many years. Throughout all it has been through it has held up quite nicely with little wear or tear. Too be honest, any 30L Osprey pack is going to be high quality. I suppose you could use any old backpack but for everyday use it simply won’t hold up very long. With a high quality pack I can do anything from camping/hiking trips to making a run to the grocery store.

That’s enough about the pack. Let’s crack straight into the EDC backpack list.

The Essential EDC Backpack List

  • Wallet, smartphone, keys – not much to say here. You are probably already carrying these items everyday and don’t need a laborious explanation as to why.
  • Chargers – Leaving home with a full charge is not enough anymore. If you stay over somewhere you’ll need a charger to have a full charge in the morning. I carry something like this so even if I’m not near an outlet I can still get charged up.
  • Nalgene water bottle – keep yourself hydrated especially during the summer seasons. I like the Nalgene water bottles because they’re lightweight, BPA free, and they don’t become odorous like other bottles do.
  • Protein bars – Just to have a snack if I’m on the bus or possibly stranded somewhere. I prefer Clif Bars but there are lots of options out there.
  • Multi-tool – I can’t tell you how many times I’ve needed a multi-tool and didn’t have one. Great stuff for cracking open boxes, working with the occasional screw, and the pliers have a million different uses. Essential piece of gear. I like the Leatherman Wave.
  • Tactical flashlight – Flashlights like the Fenix PD35 pack in a lot of illumination in a slim profile. They’re strong as an ox and won’t bust when you drop them. They also function as self defense tools because many of them have a serrated edge protecting the light. You can easily blind an attacker and then go in for a quick crack.
  • Knife – a good folding knife finds lots of use especially out in the country. You probably won’t need one in an urban edc backpack unless you’re thinking of self defense or maybe you work with a lot of boxes.
  • Lighter – not just for the smokers. A lighter is an essential survival item too small and light not to consider. It finds many practical uses from lighting pilots, making fire, making friends (who smoke), and lots of other scenarios.
  • Spare socks and underwear – For my current lifestyle I do not have transportation. If I’m across town I may crash at a friends place for the night where I can shower. Not a bad idea for the occasional hook up either.
  • Condoms – Haven’t you heard of the new Gonorrhea super strain?
  • Cash – Carry cash in numerous denominations. If the power goes out nobody can process credit cards. In fact, you still occasionally run into places that only except cash. Taco trucks come to mind. Mmm…tacos.
  • Pen and paper – to take notes on. I know everyone likes their smartphones for this but I still find the pen and paper reigns supreme for jotting down quick bits of info or giving someone directions. Especially if you’re on the phone with someone and you need to take down a note.

The Ultra Enhanced EDC Backpack List

The above EDC list is a great start. With those items you are well prepared for many different types of situations when out and about. I will now present an enhanced list. These items are not required but will certainly round out the pack and give you peace of mind if you find yourself in a real bad situation.

  • Water filter – a water filter like the Sawyer Squeeze is a low profile device to secure clean drinking water wherever you are. For the average Joe carrying one of these around sounds insane. For anybody who’s experienced an extended interruption of power you know how fast the store shelves get completely cleaned out. Scary stuff to run out of water. With a filter you can go to any old local water source and get clean water.
  • Sillcock key – now this is an interesting tool. Go to any school or urban shopping center and you’ll see water faucets without the handles. When the maintenance guy needs to use the water he uses a sillcock key to access the supply. This is one more way you can secure clean drinking water.
  • Shemagh or bandana – A shemagh has a number of tactical and survival applications. Use it to cover your face from dust (burning man type places), use it like a scarf to keep warm, use it as a tourniquet or a sling in medical situations. A truly versatile piece of EDC.
  • Hygeine kit – Travel size toothbrush/toothpaste, chapstick, hand sanitizer, deodorant, etc.


All of the items in the EDC list above fit perfectly into a 30L backpack with lots of room to spare. Most of the items are very lightweight leaving you lots of room to add things you might need wherever you go. I will also add one last little tip – any medications you need should be on you at all times. These are specific to you. You certainly do not want to be stranded without your medication if a condition begins to flare up and you’re away from your medicine cabinet.

Thanks for reading and let me know if I left anything off the list!



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *