Everyday Carry: Escape and Evasion (E&E) Bag Gear List

Each item you select to include within your E&E bag should be carefully chosen to meet your environmental requirements, be suitable for the size limitations of the bag you have selected, and most importantly, complement your skills and ability. 

This isn’t an easy task to accomplish, especially as gear curation typically comes with years of experience as you learn what gear is useful in certain situations.

But, the items explored here can be a great starting point to get you going before you have the knowledge to truly customize your E&E bag.

We’ll start by looking at the gear you should have prepared to get you out of life’s little emergencies and then move on to the gear you need during an emergency.

Then we’ll cover the items that can get you out of a bind before finally discussing the one single piece of gear you should never leave home without.


Documentation is an essential element for travel and resolving legal issues.

While carrying documentation to be able to prove who you are is a great first step, it is also valuable to be able to prove your relationship to other people and ownership of your property. 

Paper Copies

Photocopies of your documents are a great way to keep documents on your person.

They’re incredibly low weight, can be produced for only a couple of cents, and allow for instant access when you need them during an emergency. 

The biggest issue with physical documents is that they are relatively insecure and also prone to damage.

While this can be somewhat mitigated with protective wallets, if someone has unauthorized access to your bag, there is nothing to stop them from stealing your information.

Nite Ize Waterproof Travel Pouch 

Nite Ize is known for making some of the best gear on the market at affordable prices.

Their waterproof pouches are ideal for storing essential documents or electronics securely in a discrete pocket that can be hidden around your bag or person and keep your gear safe.  

Unlike other waterproof pouches, their zippers offer convenient and rapid access to documents when you need them while still ensuring your items are kept safe no matter the situation.

Nite Ize RunOff Waterproof Travel Pouch with TRU Zip - Dry Pouch for Phone & Travel Necessities - Touchscreen Friendly Waterproof Pouch with Reliable Zipper - Charcoal, Small
  • Waterproof Zipper for Pouch: The TRU Zip zipper design is silent, toothless, waterproof, and dustproof; can be submerged in 1 meter of water for up to 30 minutes
  • Touchscreen Friendly Pouch for Cell Phone: The transparent window allows you to interact with your device while keeping track of your dry pouch contents
  • Low-Profile Travel Accessories: The flat, slim pouch slides into bags, carry-ons, and backpack compartments without adding bulk; use when hiking, biking, boating, or traveling
  • Easily Access Travel Necessities: Organize and access your phone, wallet items, boarding passes, and more with ease while protecting them from liquids while traveling
  • About Nite Ize: Our inventor-driven products organize your life, protect your gear, light your way, and creatively solve everyday problems

Magpul DAKA

While Magpul is primarily known for their magazines, they also make a range of EDC items including the DAKA series.

These small pouches offer a high degree of water resistance with a clear and convenient window into the pouch to ensure you can always find your gear when you need it. 

The DAKA series of pouches may not be enough to survive full submersion into the water, they are strong enough to keep your documents dry even in heavy rain.

This means for those of us just looking for general protection (against other gear in your bag), they’re one of the best options on the market right now.

Magpul DAKA Window Pouch Zippered Tactical Range Tool and Gear Bag, Flat Dark Earth, Large
  • Made from polymer-infused textiles with an anti-slip texture that are RF welded on all seams and use a genuine YKK Aqua Guard water resistant zipper; 550 Para cord with heat shrink tubing for enhanced grip, even with gloves
  • Translucent window to make organizing your accessories even easier; Carabineer attachment points and a paint pen dot matrix debossed into body for identification marking
  • At home in hard use applications such as storing tools or reloaded ammunition, as well as lighter duty use such as organizing your personal electronics accessories
  • Water-resistant and will keep your items dry in most wet environments; Chemical resistant and non-hygroscopic
  • Small: 6" x 9"; Medium: 7" x 12"; Large: 9" x 13"

Digital Copies (Flash Drives and Micro SD Cards)

While digital copies trade off some of the convenience of paper copies, they dramatically increase the security of your documents with high levels of encryption and password protection. 

They are much more resistant to damage, with various levels of protection.

Corsair Survivor

Rugged flash drives are hard to come by, but fortunately, with the Corsair Survivor available on the market, there isn’t much need for any competition.

The drive offers a rugged enclosure to withstand high-force impacts and an unbeatable level of water protection.

The case looks intimidating and for the vast majority of cases, will hold up incredibly well, however it is important to note the internals of this device are not reinforced to the same extent.

Like most other electronics on the market, dropping this drive from a sufficient height may be enough to break solder joints within the drive itself.

It’ll be enough to survive a fall from your pocket, just don’t go throwing it from high buildings.

Corsair Flash Survivor Stealth 64GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive, Black (CMFSS3B-64GB)
  • Compatible devices: Support for Microsoft Windows, Mac OS X and Linux, with no driver or software installation necessary
  • English (Publication Language)

Apricorn Aegis Secure Key

Keeping your data safe from the environment is only half of the challenge, and it is important to take steps to protect it from unwanted third parties.

If you plan to keep confidential information on your drives, such as copies of your passports or social security card, you need to ensure other people cannot simply plug the drive in and steal your information.

While it is possible to do this through a computer’s operating system, the Apricorn Secure Key has hardware-level protection built-in, meaning without the correct passcode being entered on the device, your information is inaccessible.

While similar drives are available, very few can stand up to the quality of the Aegis, although you will, unfortunately, be paying extra for the dramatic increase in design and security. 

Apricorn 1TB Aegis Secure Key FIPS 140-2 Level 3 Validated 256-bit Encryption USB 3.0 Flash Drive (ASK3-1TB)
  • FIPS 140-2 level 3 Validated
  • Aegis Configurator compatible
  • Separate Admin and User Mode
  • Software-Free Setup and Operation
  • Onboard keypad PIN authenticated

Digital Copies (Cloud Storage)

Finally, options such as Google Drive and DropBox offer some of the most secure storage methods out there as files are not stored locally, however, they are much harder to access, often requiring a secondary device to authenticate your access.

It is also worth expanding on the types of documents that should be stored within an E&E bag, we do this in the main book however there is an incredibly expansive list that can be explored including:

  • ID and travel documents (visas etc)
  • Financial documents and rental agreements
  • Medical documents 
  • Pet information (such as vaccine records)
  • Marriage, Birth, and Death certificates


We rely on communicating with those around us countless times throughout our everyday lives; however, this becomes even more important when SHTF and our situation are constantly evolving. 

Many of us already carry extremely powerful communication devices in our pockets throughout the day; however, during times of uncertainty, these devices may prove to be unreliable. 

Whether it be poor battery performance, or attacks on infrastructure that completely knocks out signal towers, having alternative means of communication in your E&E bag can make all the difference. 

Back-ups to your traditional cell phone provide you the means to communicate without relying on standard infrastructure to better communicate with your family, coordinate with teammates, and most importantly build an accurate picture of the chaos unfolding around you. 


For many of us, a cell phone is already an integral part of our communications system and during an emergency should be one of the first tools you reach for.

Their ease of use means even in high-stress environments, many people will still be able to easily navigate a phone’s operating system and get in contact with those that matter. 

Add in their ability to make calls to emergency numbers without unlocking the phone and they are one of the most powerful communications devices you could have.

With that said, cell phones do have some limitations that may lead them to fail during an emergency. 

Modern smartphones are relatively fragile meaning during a disaster, they are at risk of becoming damaged and unusable but they are also heavily dependent on infrastructure. 

Cell phone towers can be knocked out relatively easily meaning even with a fully functioning phone, you may still not be able to successfully get out those important phone calls. 

This matter only becomes more complicated as emergency services may intentionally jam cell phone signals, such as was seen during the Boston bombing, in an attempt to prevent auxiliary explosives from being detonated.


There are plenty of reasons to choose an iPhone over any other android device available, however, for our purposes, their ease of use and security make them especially useful in your everyday carry.

As Apple locks down most of their operating system, they are much less vulnerable to digital attacks and while it does allow Apple essentially fully unaudited access to your device, it goes a long way to prevent other third parties from accessing your information.  

Additionally, they are one of the few companies to place accessibility at the forefront of their design, meaning even under high-pressure environments, you should still be able to easily navigate their phones to place a vital phone call out to those you love.

Apple iPhone 12 Pro Max (512GB, Graphite) [Locked] + Carrier Subscription
  • OFFER INCLUDES: An Apple iPhone and a wireless plan with unlimited data/talk/text
  • WIRELESS PLAN: Unlimited talk, text, and data with mobile hotspot, nationwide coverage, and international reach. No long-term contract required.
  • PROGRAM DETAILS: When you add this offer to cart, it will reflect 3 items: the iPhone, SIM kit, and carrier subscription
  • Ceramic Shield, tougher than any smartphone glass
  • A14 Bionic chip, the fastest chip ever in a smartphone

Samsung Galaxy

While Android is arguably a less secure operating system as their platform is almost entirely open-sourced, this does allow a much higher level of customizability and compatibility.  

Android platforms make it much easier to design apps for meaning no matter what you are looking to get out of a phone, there should be some way to accomplish this on your android phone.

Almost any Android phone will do this for you, but Samsung stands out in particular by producing some of the highest quality phones available with some very impressive features.

Most notably, their two-way wireless charging will help ensure no matter the situation, you can help get more out of your digital devices even without direct access to a socket.

SAMSUNG Galaxy Z Flip 3 5G Cell Phone, Factory Unlocked Android Smartphone, 128GB, Flex Mode, Super Steady Camera, Ultra Compact, US Version, Lavender
  • FLEX YOUR BEST ANGLE: With Flex Mode, just unfold your mobile phone’s screen to your best angle for hands-free pics and video calls; Choose what you want to capture, set it down, stand back and shoot your best shot.Form_factor : Flip
  • A CAMERA THAT GOES STEADY: Thanks to Samsung Galaxy Z Flip3’s Super Steady feature, you can just set it down and strike a pose for picture perfect selfies
  • ULTRA COMPACT, ULTRA COOL: Show off your style game without the tradeoffs; With a compact design that unfolds, you don’t have to compromise screen size for your favorite outfit
  • ARRAY OF COLORS: Whether you’re into sophisticated neutrals or vibrant tones, you’ll turn heads with every take; Complete your look with statement-making color choices of Phantom Black, Lavender, Green, or Cream
  • FAST CHARGING FOR FAST LIVING: Galaxy Z Flip3 smart phone charges fast so that all your moments last; There's a right time for downtime and a low battery signal, isn't it


The fight over Samsung and Apple will likely wage on for as long as we have cell phones, but if you are looking for more out of your device at a lower cost, it may be worth taking a look at the Unihertz line of devices. 

These unique phones are built to fit a very specific set of niches in the phone market, offering near-indestructible smartphones.

This is particularly true with the Unihertz Titan and Unihertz Atom.

The Atom is an incredibly impressive phone, small enough to fit in the watch pocket of your jeans but for end-of-the-world scenarios, the Titan cannot be beaten.

The Titan includes a 6000mAh battery ensuring multiple days of usage, and perhaps more impressively, a physical keyboard that works both in and out of water.

This means no matter whether your hands are caked in mud or in thick leather gloves, you still have access to all the essential functions of your phone at only a third of the cost of modern flagship smartphones.

Unihertz Titan 6GB+128GB, Rugged QWERTY Smartphone, Android 10 Unlocked Smart Phone, Black (Support T-Mobile & Verizon only)
  • US Carrier support T-Mobile & Verizon only
  • Verizon: please check our forum/facebook or contact customer support about how to set it in Verizon network
  • Please check size/weight/specifications carefully before you purchase
  • The QWERTY 4G Rugged Smartphone 6000mAh Large Battery IP67 Waterproof Octa-Core Processor Android 10 NFC
  • IP67 Certified Rugged Outdoor Smartphone Dual Sim Card Fingerprint & Face Unlock Fast Charging & Wireless Charging Full QWERTY Keyboard & Touchscreen Display

Satellite phone

While many of us may not have direct experience using satellite phones, and may only be aware of them through their use in movies and TV shows, they are one of the most powerful alternatives to a cell phone you can carry.

Almost all models include an incredibly easy-to-use interface, reminiscent of older brick-style cell phones that makes getting out a call as simple as a few button presses. 

What sets these devices apart from traditional cell phones is their reliance on a global satellite network, as opposed to more traditional cell towers. 

This means short of an EMP attack, as long as you have a direct line of sight with an overhead satellite, you should always be able to make a call no matter where you are in the world.

These devices are relatively expensive, requiring monthly subscription plans to keep your number operational, but allow calls to be made to both other satellite phones and traditional cell phones, meaning they truly cannot be beaten when your primary phone goes dark.


The BlueCosmo is arguably one of the best satellite phones currently out there offering an extremely tactile keyboard that works well with wet or gloved hands and a bright screen, meaning even in direct sunlight, the phone can be used incredibly easily.

This package in particular is one step above the rest, including an external antenna allowing your device to be used reliably in a car or building, not to mention a range of other accessories there to help you get more out of your device.

At over $1000, you should expect the best and fortunately, BlueCosmo can go above and beyond with this all-in-one load out.

BlueCosmo Iridium Extreme Satellite Phone Bundle - Only Truly Global Satellite Phone - Voice, SMS Text Messaging, GPS Tracking, Emergency SOS - Prepaid SIM Card Included - Online Activation - 24/7
  • BLUECOSMO PREPAID SIM INCLUDED: Easily purchase and load Prepaid Airtime from BlueCosmo. No hidden fees. No activation charges. Visit the BlueCosmo website to easily purchase Prepaid minutes or extensions. Global minutes can roll-over if additional prepaid minutes are purchased and added prior to expiration. Outgoing SMS messages & tracking updates 1/10th minute charge, incoming SMS messages are free.
  • GLOBAL COVERAGE: NO ROAMING CHARGES Make and receive voice calls, SMS, track your position with GPS or request help with the emergency SOS button from anywhere on the globe. Powered by a sophisticated global constellation of 66 cross-linked Low Earth Orbit (LEO) satellites, the Iridium network provides high-quality voice and data connections over the planet’s entire surface, including across oceans, airways and polar regions. Iridium is the only truly global satellite phone service.
  • EVERYTHING YOU NEED WITH 18 MONTH WARRANTY: Iridium Extreme 9575 satellite phone handset, Lithium-ion battery, AC wall charger with international plugs, Automobile DC charger(CLA), Holster with belt clip, Hands free earpiece, Power & USB adapter, Power USB & External antenna adapter w/ TNC connector, Auxiliary magnetic mount antenna w/ 5' cable, USB cable, Quick start guide, User Guide, SIM card & 18 MONTH WARRANTY exclusively from BlueCosmo.
  • MILITARY-GRADE TOUGHNESS: The Iridium Extreme meets US Military Standards 810F for resistance to: Dust, Shock, Vibration, Blowing Rain (and more). Highest Ingress (IP) Rating of all satellite phones at IP65. Includes a speakerphone and wind resistant microphone. A diamond tread, tapered grip gives it superior in-hand ergonomics.
  • WORLD CLASS SUPPORT AND SERVICE: When you purchase your Iridium Extreme satellite phone from BlueCosmo, you get a team of professionals who have been deploying satellite communications around the world for the most demanding customers since 2003. Our Iridium service options can fit any budget and we can get you up and running for all your critical satcom needs.

Iridium 9505A

New satellite phones are expensive, there’s no denying that.

Fortunately, owners of these devices often take excellent care of them meaning there is a booming used market of high-quality and reliable phones available for those of us not looking to break the bank.

The Iridium 9505A is just one example of an older model of satellite phone that can be found at a fraction of newer models while still packing almost all of the features you can expect.

From simple phone calls to text and even internet access, if you want a sat phone to keep in your E&E bag, a pre-owned device may just be perfect for your needs. 


Phone calls give people the peace of mind they so desperately want during an emergency.

Being able to hear a loved one’s voice is a huge morale booster at the best of times but especially during an emergency.

Having said that, if all you are looking for is to let someone know that you are okay or send information (such as your location) to someone in your party, the SpotX may just be the tool for you.

Unlike other satellite phones, the SpotX is limited to only sending text messages over a satellite network but because of its reduced functionality, is also available at a much lower cost.

At only $200, the SpotX is a great option for those of us looking to have the reliability of a satellite phone without breaking the bank for the features of a modern cell phone.

No products found.

Garmin InReach

Taking the theory being the SpotX one step further, the Garmin InReach is there to allow you to quickly send an “I’m okay” message to your friends and family.

These messages are first pre-programmed through your smartphone before being activated and sent by a simple press of a button on the device itself.

While it is more expensive than the SpotX, the compact form factor of this device, paired with its incredible build quality may be an excellent option for those of us who have come to know and love the name Garmin.

Garmin 010-01879-00 InReach Mini, Lightweight and Compact Satellite Communicator, Orange
  • Small, rugged, lightweight satellite communicator enables 2 way text messaging using the 100 percentage global Iridium network (satellite subscription required).Special Feature:Bluetooth.
  • Trigger an interactive SOS to the 24/7 search and rescue monitoring center (satellite subscription required). Display size-0.9 x 0.9 inch
  • Access downloadable maps, U.S. NOAA charts, color aerial imagery and more by using the free Garmin Earthmate app and compatible devices
  • Optional inReach weather forecast service provides detailed updates directly to your inReach Mini or paired device, basic and premium weather packages available
  • Send and receive inReach messages through compatible Garmin devices, including connected wearables and handhelds. Display resolution: 128 x 128 pixels

Ham radio

Satellite phones offer the convenience of a cell phone with dramatically improved reliability; however, it still relies somewhat on prebuilt infrastructure. 

A great alternative to these devices is HAM radio, which allows you to broadcast and receive radio signals directly from your device.

It really is as simple as tuning to a pre-agreed broadcast frequency and going hot.

Using a HAM radio in America does require licensing through the FCC; however, these licenses can be obtained online and ensure that you are comfortable with how to use these devices so that when the time comes, you are never at risk of freezing up and forgetting how they work.

Baofeng UV-5R

Any conversation regarding beginner HAM radios is almost certainly going to include the Baofeng UV-5R, and for good reason.

They are without a doubt one of the most cost-effective models out there without skimping on any of the features you can come to expect from higher models.  

What makes the UV-5R truly special compared to some other HAM radios out there is its ability to grow with you as an operator.

As you become more confident in communicating with the device, the UV-5R offers support for third-party antennas and battery packs almost completely eliminating any range restrictions you may face with other radios.

Additionally, where it is so universally loved by the radio community, there is no shortage of compatible accessories out there for this device meaning no matter what you are looking for in a HAM radio, the UV-5R is likely guaranteed to meet your needs and then some.

BaoFeng UV-5R 8 Watt Ham Radio BaoFeng Radio with Extra 1800mAh Battery and 771 Antenna Dual Band Ham Radio Handheld Includes Full Kit Walkie Talkie
  • [Classic BaoFeng UV-5R Bundle]: All you need is in one box! This great value set included 2pcs 1800mAh Batteries(One for use, One for backup), Longer Antenna(TD-771 High Gain Antenna that perform 30% better), extra Speaker Mic(Loud and clear sound quality) and Programming Cable(for you to customize your radio). Suitable for new users who want to get their first ham radio.
  • [Double Batteries]: Extra battery for your radio, One for use One for backup. Each battery have up to 36 hours standby time. Another battery provide you Non-Stop communication experience, no need to worry about suddenly running out of power on the road.
  • [High Gain Long Antenna]: This bundle comes with an extra antenna. Adding a TD-771 high gain antenna on your ham radio can greatly expands the signal transmission distance and enhances signal reception. This also helps you to hit the repeater further away to reach a longer communication distance.
  • [CHIRP & Keypad Programming]: You can use the CH340 Programming Cable included to program the 128 Channels in your radio with 105 CTCSS/50 DCS via Keypad or CHIRP. We also provide In-Depth Programming Guide to walk you through your first programming. Adding privacy code to your channels can reduce interference from irrelevant signal.
  • [Wide Compatibility]: BaoFeng uv-5r ham radio covers most commonly used frequency range, makes it compatible with many other ham radio handheld such as the baofeng bf-f8hp and baofeng uv-82 series.


Portable radios such as the UV-5R are great for on-the-go, but if you are looking for a more powerful device, it may be worth considering a home-based HAM radio.

BTECH offers this solution with an incredibly clear and easy-to-use user interface that makes broadcasting as easy as placing a traditional phone call.

This may seem like a strange consideration to include in an E&E bag however it is worth considering as even with all the power-packed inside the UV-25X4, it remains an incredibly compact unit that will take up very little room within your bag.

While it will not allow you to switch on the radio without an external battery source, during an emergency, there should be nothing to stop you from hooking up a car battery you have sourced on the road and broadcasting with significantly more power than can be achieved with the UV-5R.  

The combination of these two devices makes for an incredibly reliable broadcast option.

BTECH UV-25X4 (Second Gen.) Mini Mobile 25 Watt Tri Band Base, Mobile Radio: VHF, 1.255M, UHF Amateur (Ham)
  • Enhanced Audio I/O Support: The UV-25X4 features upgraded audio input/output capabilities through its RJ45 microphone port and includes a K1 audio adapter. The widely compatible K1 accessory jack allows access to a vast range of aftermarket audio accessories, tailoring your radio experience to your preferences.
  • Effortless Installation and Adaptable Use: The UV-25X4 comes with all necessary mounting hardware for smooth integration into any vehicle. Easily convert it into a home or office base station with the optional RPS-30M power supply (sold separately).
  • Suggested Accessories for Peak Performance: Optimize your UV-25X4 experience with the Nagoya TB-320A Tri-Band Antenna for easy installation and the PC04 FTDI Cable for seamless computer programming.
  • Triple-Band Functionality: Operate the UV-25X4 as multiple radios in one, using 144 MHz, 220 MHz, or 430 MHz as the primary TX/RX band, while simultaneously monitoring up to 3 other frequencies or channels. Configure your device for VHF-VHF, VHF-UHF, or UHF-UHF operation according to your needs.
  • All-Inclusive Kit: Your purchase includes the BTECH UV-25X4, RJ45 to K1 Audio Adapter, Speaker Mic, DC Cable, Radio & Mic Brackets, Mounting Hardware, and a User Guide to help you get started with your advanced radio experience.

FengBros Custom Radios

It is hard to recommend any other device besides the UV-5R.

For the vast majority of users, you likely won’t need another device, no matter what your level of proficiency with HAM radio, and it’s for that reason we’re not going to recommend another radio device.  

Instead, we’ll recommend a company within the HAM radio community that deserves a lot more attention than they are currently receiving.

The people over at FengBros offer a range of HAM radio devices with incredibly detailed custom paint jobs to truly make the radio your own. 

Either choose from one of their prepainted devices or get in touch and see if they can work on sourcing a custom radio to better match your gear.  

There’s nothing to stop you from disassembling the radio yourself to paint the device, but for the quality of gear they offer, not to mention the wide range of accessories available on their site, it is worth taking the time to check them out.

Signal Mirror

Technology is one way you can make your urban E&E bag truly powerful; however, given its unreliability at times, it is also worth including analog means of communication for the times when it truly matters. 

Signal mirrors are one of the most affordable tools you can carry for this purpose, and while they work incredibly well for grabbing the attention of rescuers (or even distracting potential hostiles), they go far beyond this simple task.

With just a small amount of training, signal mirrors can even be used to send more complex messages and instructions through the use of morse code. 

These will never be as convenient as texting or calling a teammate on your cell phone or ham radio, but when all else fails, it may just be worth reaching for your trusty signal mirror.

UST StarFlash Micro

A signal mirror is an incredibly powerful tool to keep in your bag, but the chances are it will not be the first tool you reach for.

That’s why it makes sense to opt for a compact tool such as the StarFlash Micro from UST.  

It is small enough to disappear into almost any kit you could be building, while also remaining strong enough to survive being thrown around in a bag without any form of protection.

The large star opening in the center of the mirror ensures ease of use when lining up your signal target which ultimately gives it the edge over many other compact signal mirrors on the market.  

At only $6, it’s hard to go wrong with such a simple and effective means of communication.

UST StarFlash Micro Signal Mirror with Compact, Lightweight Design, Targeting Star and Lanyard for Hiking, Camping, Backpacking and Emergency Situations , 1.5 x 2-Inch
  • Dimensions: 2” H x 1.5” W x .1” D and weighs 0.5 oz
  • Ease of use: Ultralight signal mirror with built-in precision aiming system making it ideal for any survival kit
  • Versatility: Features a mirrored surface with vacuum deposition metallization and a targeting star with retro-reflective fabric
  • Durable: Virtually unbreakable mirror works in overcast conditions or night using moonlight
  • Convenient: Includes a lanyard for a secure grip while in use or to ensure a solid grip on a backpack or other outdoor gear

SOL Rescue Mirror

SOL is known for making quality gear for emergencies and their rescue mirror is no different.

Its larger size is a huge benefit compared to other options on the market and when paired with the clear and understandable instructions on the back of the mirror, means it truly is a tool almost anyone can pick up and successfully use on their first attempt.

It, unfortunately, does come at a higher price than other options such as the UST, but for that extra cost, you are buying a name you truly can trust with your life.

S.O.L. Survive Outdoors Longer SOL Rescue Flash Floating Mirror
  • Be Seen Signal is visible from miles away.
  • Target Rescuers The retro-reflective aiming aid enables you to aim your signal.
  • Floats Floats for reliable use on water.
  • Attach to Gear Attach with a loop to your gear or PFD.
  • Lightweight & Unbreakable Carry it with you anywhere with its lightweight and shatterproof construction.

RothCo Dog Tag Signal Mirror

If size truly is a consideration for you and you can’t justify a larger signal mirror, the RothCo Dog Tag may just be the best option for you.

While being smaller than the StarFlash, it still remains incredibly functional and can easily be carried around your neck or on a set of keys.  

It’s a great option for ensuring when the worst happens, even if you are without all of your gear, you still have at least some basic tools on you to call for assistance.  

Its quality may not hold up when compared against the SOL Signal Mirror but again at $6, it’s a fantastic option.

Just be sure to get some dog tag silencers to help better protect the mirror when being thrown around on your neck.

Rothco Dog Tag Signal Mirror
  • Quality tested and ensured for maximum durability
  • Designed with only the toughest, roughest users in mind
  • Comfort and performance come hand in hand with rothco

Mini Flare

When all else fails and you are not worried about getting a complex message to other survivors, but rather simply attract their attention, a mini-flare may be for you. 

These small flammable sticks are designed to quickly ignite to help you generate a fire either on the ground or in the air. 

What sets these flares apart from other signaling methods, such as the signal mirror or even smoke signals, is that they will function well in almost any environment (including rain and snow) and can be deployed in a matter of seconds. 

While they may not be applicable in every urban disaster, the ability to quickly and easily draw the attention of emergency services truly cannot be understated, especially when these tools come in such compact and affordable packages.

Orion Fire Pit Pro

Orion is one of the best providers of flares out there and their Fire Pit Pro is only just one example of this.

Unlike other flares on the market, it is considerably smaller and therefore can be more easily integrated into your emergency kit while giving you all of the convenience of a larger road flare.

Orion Safety - Fire Pit Pro - Fire Starter for Campfires, Bonfires & Fire Pits - Ignites Damp Wood & Burns up to 7 Minutes - Eco-Friendly - Self-Contained, Waterproof & Windproof Ignition - 12 Pack
  • FIRE STARTER AND SAFETY FLARE - This versatile product can function as both a fire starter and signal flare! It can quickly start campfires and bonfires, or it can act as a signal flare for emergency situations.
  • LIGHTS EVERY TIME - The ignition is self-contained and does not require butane, matches, or a lighter to ignite properly. Simply scratch the ignition surface on the top of the flare with the removed flare cap, then set the flare onto the wood in your campfire pit - no matches or lighters needed
  • LIGHTS DAMP WOOD - The Fire Pit Pro really is the ultimate outdoor fire starter. It burns at over 2000 degrees Fahrenheit for up to 7 minutes and easily lights damp wood!
  • ECO FRIENDLY - The method in creating the fire starter is eco friendly and does not contain any perchlorate chemicals. Perchlorate is harmful to humans and is often used as an oxidizing agent
  • WINDPROOF AND WATERPROOF IGNITION - This fire starter will light in extreme conditions, including high winds and rain. If you need a premium fire starter or signal flare that will perform in the harshest of conditions, then this is the one for you.

Coastal Alert Launcher

When getting the attention of rescuers truly matters, the Coastal Alert Launcher is there.  

Capable of launching a flare 500 feet into the air, the Alert Launcher kit includes everything you need to give away your position whether at land or sea.

Unlike some other launchers, these are capable of working day or night and with the launcher being just smaller than a traditional handgun, it is sure to fit into almost any bag you are building.

Battery Powered Coastal Alert Launcher KIT


Traditional road flares work amazingly well, however, if you are concerned about their legality, the WAGAN LED flare may just be the option for you.

These reusable flares come in packs of three and can simply be turned on and placed in an area with a high field of view to gain the attention of rescuers.

The reliance on electronics to get these to work means it is questionable how reliable these devices may be in extreme environments but for low-level emergencies, such as a broken-down car, make them a much safer option for giving away your position. 

Wagan EL2639-3 FRED Flashing Roadside Emergency Disc LED Flare 9 Flash Modes for Roadside Security, Warning Flashing with Magnet and Hook for Vehicles and Boats
  • - 【3 PACK WITH CARRY BAG 】- 3 pieces are included in this set, which also includes a convenient carrying bag
  • -【9 DIFFERENT FLASHING MODE + ONE WORK LIGHT】- Spotlight, double blink, double pulse, single blink, rotate, SOS rescue (morse code), alternate, solid-on high, solid-on low
  • - 【ALL AROUND SAFETY DAY OR NIGHT】: IP55 waterproof, floats, and submersible up to 1m for 30 minutes. Shatterproof, crush proof and rainproof and Non-flame producing flare
  • - 【HOOK AND STRONG MAGNETIZED BASE】- Equip strong magnets, double metal hooks, and requires 3 AA batteries (included)
  • - 【MORE ABOUT THIS FRED LIGHT】- 15 LEDs total; runs up to 38 hours; 3 AAA batteries are included

External Battery Bank

Finally, it’s important to understand that even if your devices remain operational during an emergency, you are still at risk of the normal inconveniences that get in the way of using our technologies. 

Even with perfectly working devices, there is always the risk of a battery running out during critical times, so it is important to have a reliable means of charging your device. 

Various chargers are available well beyond wall chargers meaning almost anywhere in the worst, you should always have some means of getting juice to your device with just a small amount of planning.

WinLove Solar Charger

For a permanent charging solution, a solar charger is always going to be the best option for you.

The WinLove solar charger pairs both the power of a traditional USB charger and the convenience of a solar charger into one neat package so no matter how long you are out in the elements, it is likely you will always be able to keep your electronics charged and usable.

No products found.

Omni 20+ 

When power truly matters, look no further than the Omni 20+.

This 20000mAh charger is built like a tank and provides you with the option to charge phones, radios, and even laptops multiple times without even breaking a sweat.

Despite all the power built into the battery, it is still light enough and slim enough to disappear into most daypacks and while we wish it didn’t come with such a heavy price tag (at $200), is well worth every penny you spend on it.

Omni 20+ 20000mah Laptop Power Bank Portable Charger | AC/DC/USB-C/Wireless Battery Backup for Laptops:MacBook Pro/Dell/Surface | Cameras:Canon/Nikon/DSLR/DJI Drones | Smart Devices:iPhone/Samsung
  • 【Power Hub For All Your Smart Devices】From laptops to cameras, drones, and smartphones, Omnicharge can keep all your devices charged up. Compact and functional.
  • 【Extensive Features】All-In-One power solution with high powered AC, USB-C PD for laptops, Wireless charging, QC 3.0 USB-A, Adjustable DC power, pass-through charging and solar charging.
  • 【High Powered, Fast Charging】70wh (20000mah) battery capacity. Charge safe and fast with high charging efficiency. 100 watt AC and DC, 60 watt USB-C PD, powers most smart devices including MacBook Pro and Surface Pro.
  • 【Carry Less, Power More】Carry one cable to charge your laptop using USB-C or DC output while charging your Qi-compatible smartphone wirelessly, leave your bulky chargers at home
  • 【Accessories】The Omni 20+ includes a 60W USB-C charging cable. NOT INCLUDED: Fast charger and DC cables for DJI Drones, Surface, and other PC laptops sold separately.

Anker PowerCore Slim

Anker is, without doubt, the best manufacturer of power banks out there, and the PowerCore Slim is guaranteed to give you the extra juice you need to get you through an emergency.

It supports both USB-A and USB-C charging, so no matter what phone or connector

 you use, it is likely going to meet your needs and with a name like Anker behind it, is going to be able to withstand even the toughest conditions.

Anker Portable Charger, Power Bank, 10,000 mAh Battery Pack with PowerIQ Charging Technology and USB-C (Input Only) for iPhone 15/15 Plus/15 Pro/15 Pro Max, iPhone 14/13 Series, Samsung Galaxy
  • Quality Throughout:Built adventure-tier touch with superior durability and scratch resistance, PowerCore Slim 10000 is premium both inside and out.
  • Slim Size, Big Power:One of the slimmest and lightest 10,000mAh portable chargers on the market. Provides 2.25 charges for iPhone 12, 1.6 charges for Galaxy S20 and 1.2 charges for iPad mini 5.The two input ports may not be used at the same time. The USB-C input port has no output function.
  • Versatile Charging: Anker's exclusive PowerIQ and VoltageBoost technology combine to detect and deliver a tailored charge up to 12W, while the trickle-charging mode is the best way to charge low-power devices.
  • Superior Safety:Anker’s comprehensive MultiProtect safety system includes overcharge protection, short circuit protection, temperature control, and more.
  • What You Get: PowerCore Slim 10000 portable charger, Micro USB cable (to charge the power bank, USB-C cable and Lightning cable not included), welcome guide, 18-month warranty, and friendly customer service


An Urban E&E bag is designed to not only keep you alive but also to help you escape an urban disaster and get you back to your family. 

While many of us may assume that we are familiar with the layout of the city we live in, during a disaster the conditions we operate in are constantly evolving. 

Roads become damaged or destroyed and checkpoints may be established to help contain a disaster. This ultimately means the city layout we know during peacetime may be dramatically different when disaster happens. 


One of the most important navigational tools you can have within your E&E bag comes in the form of physical paper maps.

While many of us rely on our cell phones to navigate the busy streets of our urban jungle, as we’ve previously discussed these cannot be 100% trusted during an emergency.

Physical maps of your local area ensure that no matter what happens to your technology you are still able to easily find your way out of the city.

You may choose to purchase maps, such as from your local travel agents or transport station; however, there is nothing wrong with simply printing maps from google. 

If you choose to go with this route, it’s often worth laminating the documents with either a traditional office laminator or packing tape.

This will not only help the maps survive harsh environments but also allows you to easily mark the maps with routes, roadblocks, and destinations.

For the cost of a few sheets of paper, there truly isn’t any reason why these amazing navigational aids shouldn’t be carried in almost any bag you choose to carry.


National Geographic Road Atlas 2024: Adventure Edition [United States, Canada, Mexico]
  • Road Atlas - Adventure Edition
  • National Geographic Maps (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 144 Pages - 07/10/2023 (Publication Date) - National Geographic Maps (Publisher)


If you’re looking for the convenience of a modern smartphone with the reliability of a paper map, you may also choose to include a GPS device. 

Many of these devices are built to withstand even the toughest conditions and as they lose the additional features of modern smartphones can often last days on only a single charge. 

They aren’t perfect devices, requiring a satellite connection to determine your location but as long as you can see the sky, these devices make for an excellent choice when you need accurate directions out of a danger zone.

Garmin Foretrex 701

There are a huge number of GPS options out there, however, for emergencies, the Garmin Foretrex 701 stands out on top for its ease of use and accessibility.

Its ability to be mounted on your wrist or bag strap means no matter what you are doing, you always have access to basic navigational tools such as waypoint marking or a compass while its 2” display helps give this GPS unbeatable battery life.

Considering you likely already have a huge number of navigational tools built into your smartphone, it is still questionable whether a dedicated GPS unit is necessary.

However, the Foretrex line-up remains one of the most affordable series on the market without skimping on any of the critical features needed to get you from A to B.

Garmin 010-01772-00 Foretrex 601, 2 inches
  • Durable, constructed to military standards (MIL STD 810G); night vision goggle compatible.Control Method:Voice.Special Feature:Bluetooth.
  • Works with GPS, GLONASS and galileo satellite systems to provide accurate positioning
  • Know where you are with navigation sensors, including 3 axis Accelerometer, 3 axis compass and a Barometric altimeter; smart notifications¹ allow your Device to receive emails, texts and alerts
  • Battery life exceeds 48 hours in navigation mode, up to 1 week in UltraTrac mode and up to 1 month in watch mode
  • NOTE:Kindly refer to the user manual provided as a PDF manual in the product description sectio


No matter what navigational means you choose to carry (whether it be your phone, a GPS, or a physical map) it’s often worth including some form of a compass within your kit to help you keep your bearings. 

Used correctly, a compass will better help you navigate and stay on a fixed path meaning you can go for longer without needing to stop and check your maps and ultimately get out of danger more quickly. 

Various types of compasses are available ranging from tiny button compasses that can be thrown in a pocket or mounted to a strap to watches with built-in compasses. 

No matter what you choose to carry it is important to understand how they work.

Strong magnets and magnetic radiation (such as that generated from EMP blasts) can rapidly throw off the accuracy of your compass. 

Even with this potential risk of failure, for how affordable a good compass is, it only makes sense to add one to your kit to make your navigational tools only that more powerful.

Suunto Clipper

The Suunto clipper is one of the most heavily recommended wrist compasses out there, both renowned for its reliability and convenience. 

Simply attach it to the strap of your bag and wristwatch and you can easily get your bearings and keep moving forward.

Its easy-to-read display means you will never need to slow down when on the road and at only $20 should be a basic part of almost anyone’s everyday kit.

SUUNTO Clipper Compass, Micro Compass Attaches to Strap, Sleeve or Map Edge
  • Micro Compass: This super compact compass easily attaches to your sleeve, watch strap, backpack strap, or map edge so you can free up your hands; It's also great for underwater navigation
  • Balanced For Northern Hemisphere: This liquid filled jewel bearing compass has luminescent markings so it's operable in low light; The direction is on a rotating bezel in 10 degree increments
  • Stay On Course: Made in Finland, Suunto mechanical compasses help you safely and accurately navigate the great outdoors; Great for Alpine skiing, hiking, trekking, mountain biking, trail running and more
  • Pioneering Exploration: Combining advanced engineering and thoughtful design with ultra durable materials, our adventure ready compasses are fast, stable, and simple to use; No batteries required
  • Authentic Heritage: Founded in 1936, Suunto brings over 80 years of high quality heritage craftsmanship, relentless accuracy, and pioneering innovation to our watches, compasses, and dive products

MechArmy CMP2

If you are looking for an upgrade in build quality over the Suunto Clipper, the CMP2 from MechArmy is the solution for you.

It is available in a copper, steel, or titanium casing that is unlikely to fail in almost any environment.

While you lose the convenience of having this strapped to your wrist, it can still be easily attached to a lanyard to ensure you always have the means to get your bearings.

Mecarmy Pocket Keychain Compass, Hiking Survival Compass, Mini Compass Pendant Gifts for Teenage Boys Graduation,Waterproof IPX5 Hiking Compass (Sandblasted)
  • 【Compact and Waterproof】-Our MecArmy survival compass is not only small and portable but also waterproof, ensuring reliable performance in any weather condition. Whether you're hiking in the rain or trekking through a stream, this pocket compass is built to withstand the elements.
  • 【Glow-in-the-Dark Feature】-Equipped with a luminous dial, this compass hiking offers enhanced visibility in low-light situations. Whether you're navigating through the wilderness at night or camping under the stars, trust in our navigation compass to guide you safely.
  • 【Versatile Gift Option】- Looking for a meaningful gift? Our compass charm is the perfect choice for both men and women, teenage boys and kids, making it an ideal present for graduations, first communions, confirmations, and other special occasions. Perfect as baptism gifts, catholic gifts, Christian gifts, christening gifts, housewarming gifts, Christmas gifts and birthday gifts. It's a timeless symbol of guidance and direction for life's journey.
  • 【Accurate Navigation】- With precise readings and a reliable needle, our compass hiking survival ensures you stay on course during all your outdoor adventures. From hiking and backpacking to geocaching, camping, hunting, climbing, mountaineering, road trips, traveling, and wilderness survival, trust in our hiking compass to lead the way.
  • 【For Outdoor Enthusiasts】- Whether you're an avid hiker, a camping enthusiast, or a wilderness explorer, our mini compass for keychain is an essential tool for your outdoor kit. It's also perfect for adventurers of all ages, survivalists, scouts, and anyone who loves spending time in nature. Whether you're navigating rugged terrain or urban landscapes, this orienteering compass will help you find your way with confidence.


When we talk about navigation, many of us will often think about the tools we can use to guide ourselves out of an area and back to safety, but navigation can be so much more than that. 

Chemlights are just one example of the types of tools you can use to help mark the way for others, leaving a trail of chem lights for other survivors to follow out of a building. 

Additionally, chemlights are an excellent source of light during emergencies, providing just enough to read maps with but without being bright enough to instantly give away your position. 

While they may not be as perfect as something such as a flashlight with a red lens or bulb when all else fails they’re an excellent option to reach for. 

Mini chemlights are another great alternative to carry. They are small, compact, and can be a lo-vis (reduced vis) option to their big brothers.

Cyalume Chemlight (Green)

In the darkness, compared to other chemlights on the market, a green chemlight is an excellent way of attracting the attention of rescuers.

As natural hunters, humans have evolved to be able to more accurately detect the color green meaning there is a much higher chance of your light source being detected and help arriving.  

With a 12 hour run time, the Cyalume Chemlight is an excellent option to either leave outside a camp or on your trail.

Unlike some other options available, all Cyalume chemlights are individually packed to increase their shelf life and more importantly are some of the most reliable ones we’ve been able to experiment with.

Cyalume Military Grade Green Glow Sticks - Premium Bright 6” ChemLight Emergency Glow Sticks with 12 Hour Duration (Bulk Pack of 10 Chem Lights)
  • PATENTED LONG-LASTING LIGHT STICK FORMULATION - Cyalume ChemLight provides 360 degrees of high light output for up to 12 hours to illuminate the night during power outages, blackouts, and any time electric light isn’t an option.
  • CHEMICAL LIGHT USED BY THE MILITARY - ChemLight military grade light sticks are standard issue for all military personnel, so you know there’s no better alternative available.
  • WATERPROOF, NON-FLAMMABLE, NON-TOXIC TACTICAL GLOW STICKS - Cyalume ChemLights are safe to use in confined spaces or underwater, making them essential survival supplies to keep inside your home, car, disaster preparedness kit, or bomb shelter.
  • DURABLE CHEMICAL LIGHT - ChemLight survival glow sticks are made in the USA and designed to meet the needs of law enforcement officers, army and military members, hunters, campers, official doomsday preppers, or anyone looking for a reliable emergency glow stick solution.
  • GLOW STICKS BULK PACK - Pack of 10 plastic 6-inch ChemLights activated with a simple bend, snap, and shake to immediately cover your surrounding area with a functional light.

Cyalume Chemlight (Red)

For being found, a green light source is an excellent choice however if you need emergency lighting but wish to improve your chances of being undetected, a red chemlight makes significantly more sense.  

Not only is the color red less noticeable in low light environments, but it does not harm your night vision capabilities as significantly as other colors available.

This means if you set up camp for the night and then need to suddenly leave, your eyes will take less time to adjust to the darkness and allow you to more rapidly spring into action.  

Another huge benefit of these red chemlights from Cyalume is that they can be sourced for nearly half the cost of other color options, making it significantly easier to incorporate these lights into almost any kit you could be building with some extra to spare.

Cyalume 9-00721 Snap Light Stick, 6", Red (Pack of 20)
  • Snap Light industrial grade red light stick for providing illumination for up to 12 hours
  • Measures 6" long and provides 360 degrees of illumination
  • Hook and hole top for hanging or attaching the light
  • Chemiluminescent substance is non-toxic and plastic body is phthalate free for safety
  • Five-year shelf life from date of manufacture for a maintenance-free alternative to other lighting

Mini Chemlight

Large chemlights are great for more permanent light sources, such as at a camp, but if you need an emergency light source (such as for when your primary flashlight dies), a mini-chemlight may just be the tool for you.  

These mini-chemlights have a dramatically reduced run-time compared to the standard size chemlights available from Cyalume while still offering the same brightness you need to accomplish basic tasks in the dark.

GiftExpress 100 Pcs Small Green Glow Sticks/Mini Glow Sticks/Fishing Floats Perfect for Stuffing Easter Egg/Zombie Party/Easter Egg Hunt/Halloween Decoration
  • Package includes 100 glow sticks, each glow stick is approx. 1.7 inch long.
  • Superior quality, glow brightly up to 10+ hours.
  • Perfect for Easter night egg hunts, these glow in the dark sticks are 1.7" long, it's easy to fill in any size of eggs.
  • Perfect for fishing floats for night fishing, Halloween glow in the dark parties, carnival party decorations, Camping, outdoor activities.
  • EASY TO USE: Simply snap the stick and shake will to make it glow brightly. Each glow stick one time use only.


Finally, as we’ve hinted at before, it’s worth bringing something reliable you can write with.

Ballpoint pens work incredibly well for writing on paper, but it is still worth including some heavy-duty markers in your bag. 

If your maps are laminated, these work incredibly well to help keep your map up to date with discoveries you make along the way but even without a laminated map, a strong marker makes it incredibly easy to make your own map to keep a general sense of directions. 

Markers have a slight advantage when compared to other writing options as they are typically more suited to writing on a much wider range of materials and the thicker line weight makes them much easier to read at a glance. 


For their ability to write on a huge range of surfaces, there is no doubt Sharpie is one of the best names out there.

Whether it be wood, metal, plastic, or paper, Sharpie truly does put the permanent in permanent market.  

Not only do they come in a huge range of sizes, meaning no matter what the size of your E&E bag, there should be an option to meet your needs, but their rugged construction also makes them an excellent impact weapon as a last-ditch option.  

It’s almost a guarantee you have at least one of these markers lying around at home so when you are building your E&E bag, it’s worth throwing an extra one in just for the amazing convenience they offer.

SHARPIE Twin Tip Permanent Markers, Fine and Ultra Fine, Black, 4 Count
  • Proudly permanent ink marks on paper, plastic, metal, and most other surfaces
  • Intensely brilliant colors create eye-popping, vibrant impressions
  • Remarkably resilient ink dries quickly and resists fading and water; AP certified
  • Endlessly versatile twin tip with both bold fine and precise ultra fine tips
  • Includes 4 Black Sharpie permanent markers

Space Pen

For a pen you can truly rely on, it’s hard to beat the world-renowned Space Pen.

Unlike other ball-point pens, the cartridges found in these pens are pressurized with a special oil additive to allow you to write in almost any orientation and more importantly on any surface.

Their unique two-part construction allows the pen to be incredibly compact before forming a traditional full-length pen.

There is no doubt that compared to other options available, these pens are considerably more expensive (starting at around $25) but for a pen that is guaranteed to last you a lifetime, it is well worth the investment.

Fisher Space Pen Raw Brass Bullet Pen (400-RAW)
  • Writes at any angle, even in Zero Gravity. Simply the most versatile pen ever made.
  • Writes in extreme temperatures from -30F to 250F
  • Each Fisher Space Pen is precision assembled and hand tested in the USA. Each carries an unconditional lifetime guarantee.
  • This pen casing is RAW UNFINISHED BRASS. Over time each pen will develop a unique patina as it responds to the environment, owner's body chemistry, and the way he or she handles their pen.
  • Open the Bullet measures 5.3 inches with a closed length of 3.7 inches and a diameter .3 inches
  • HB Pencil 

Fancy pens and permanent markers give you a convenience that cannot be beaten in our modern world but for reliability, it is always worth including a few traditional pencils within your kit.

There is no risk of running out of ink during an emergency and as long as you have access to a knife, you are always promised a sharp and usable tip that you can write with.

There are limitations on the type of surfaces you can write on, but for maps, simple notes, or even directly on walls, a traditional pencil is incredibly versatile and earns its place within your E&E kit.

ARTEZA HB Pencils #2, Pack of 48, Wood-Cased Graphite Pencils in Bulk, Pre-Sharpened, Office and School Supplies for Exams, Classrooms, Students
  • Box of 48 Count #2 Pencils With Latex-free Erasers: Our Arteza Pencils are a go-to both for an office and a school maintaining their classroom supplies. They're certified nontoxic and safe for use by all ages.
  • Satin Matte Coating for a Comfortable Grip: Each pencil is finished in a special coating, giving them a comfortable grip. These number 2 pencils are hexagonal in shape to fit nicely in your hand when writing, scribbling, or doodling.
  • This set of pre-sharpened pencils features break-resistant cores to ensure easy and even sharpening. The hard lead will not smear nor smudge, and works both for scantron tests and rough drafts.
  • Designed and Created by Artists: Here at Arteza, we are passionate about creating products that inspire. For us, art is an expression of the human experience. That’s why we work to make our art supplies accessible to all people.
  • Office Supplies of All Kinds: Arteza was built on providing quality stationery, home office, and classroom supplies for everyone. Find tons of office organization tools and school accessories to help you clear out your desk storage space and prepare for a productive day.


One of the most important sections that will make up your E&E bag comes in the form of tools you carry.

While you might not reach for these as frequently as some of the other items in your bag, such as a map or cell phone, they are critical in dealing with contingencies that arise during an emergency. 

The tools you carry will be largely dependent on your environment, the situations you expect yourself to face, and your skillsets; however, the following items are a great start to deal with the vast majority of challenges you may face in most urban disasters.


A good flashlight should be the staple of almost any EDC you are building, but they become even more important during emergencies when power may be lost and your flashlight becomes your only light source.

We recommend looking for a light source that provides some form of a red light filter as this can help preserve your natural night vision but also aids in minimizing your risk of detection, although these can also be improvised relatively easily with some cheap pieces of red film.

Additionally, it’s important to note that many flashlights not only serve as an excellent auxiliary source of light but as a modest self-defense tool. 

Many “tactical” flashlights are now available that include some form of knurling around the lens, meaning in a pinch they can quickly double as a blunt impact weapon to create distance and get an attacker off of you. 

Surefire EDCL2-T

Without question, SureFire makes some of the best lights on the market.

They offer excellent build quality, run time and lumen count to withstand everything you could face both in your daily life and in an emergency.  

Unlike some other lights from SureFire, the EDCL2-T is a perfect size to easily slip into your pocket as well as your pack meaning no matter how you wish to carry your flashlight, the EDCL2-T can meet your needs.

You will pay a premium for a SureFire light, at almost $150, however for the quality you receive in this small package, it undoubtedly justifies its high price point.

SureFire EDCL2-T Handhelds/Everyday Carry Light, Black, 1,200 Lumen, Pack of 1
  • Virtually indestructible LED emitter Regulated to maximize output and runtime
  • Two output levels - 1, 200 lumen high for maximum light, 5 lumen low for extended runtime
  • Fully press tailcap switch for high output, and slightly press tailcap switch for low; twist for constant on
  • TIR lens produces focused beam with sufficient Surround light for peripheral vision
  • Two-way Clip permits light to be carried bezel up or down

Streamlight ProTac 2L-X

If you are looking for something near the quality of a SureFire light at a reduced price point, the Streamlight ProTac 2 is just the tool for you.

The ProTac 2 offers almost all the benefits of the EDCL2-T, such as its compact size and reversible pocket clip while coming in at only a third of the cost.

To sweeten the deal further, the ProTac series is capable of running on three types of battery cells (AA, AAA, and CR123). Meaning, no matter where you are in the world, you are likely to be able to keep this light juiced up and ready to use at a moment’s notice.

Streamlight 88062 ProTac 2L-X 500-Lumen EDC High Performance Multi-Fuel LED Tactical Flashlight, Includes CR123A Batteries, Holster, and Clip, Rechargeable, Durable, Black
  • Multi-Fuel Innovation: uses two CR123A batteries (included) and Streamlight’s SL-B26 protected Li-Ion USB rechargeable battery pack (not included)
  • High for maximum illumination; 500 lumens; 165m beam; runs 2.75 hours with included CR123A batteries; push-button tactical tail switch allows one-handed operation of momentary, variable intensity, or strobe mode
  • Streamlight's TEN-TAP Programming; three user selectable programs; 1) high/strobe/low; 2) high only; 3) low/high
  • Durable, anodized aluminum construction; includes removable pocket clip and nylon holster
  • IPX7 waterproof to 1m for 30 minutes; 2m impact resistance tested

Olight Warrior Mini 2

Olight has received its fair share of criticism over the years, however, their newer models have made great attempts to address many of the complaints levied at them.

The Warrior Mini 2 is a perfect example of this, with dramatic improvements over the Warrior Mini 1 such as proximity sensors to prevent overheating when placed against a surface.

Unlike other lights on this list, the WM2 sets itself apart by offering multiple means of turning on the light with both a side button and tail cap allowing you to quickly change grips for different situations while retaining almost all of the functionality of your light.

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Petzl Zipka

Hands-free lighting is critical during emergencies as you attempt to navigate complex hallways or roads while still being able to address situations as they occur.

Medical emergencies are a great example of this as it is substantially easier to treat a wound with both hands free.  

Petzl is, without doubt, the best brand of headlight you could purchase, used by militaries across the world and the Zipka is just one example of this.

Its compact size allows it to quickly be stashed in a pocket while still offering an incredibly bright lumen count, and thanks to its self-retracting headband, you no longer need to worry about an elastic strap getting hung up on your gear.

Its easy-to-use interface means light can be achieved at the push of a button making it an ideal candidate for emergencies.

Petzl - ZIPKA Headlamp, 200 lumens, Ultra-Compact Headlamp, Black
  • BRILLIANT BEAMS: The ZIPKA has a wide beam and is compact for comfort. Ideal for activities that are at close range.
  • FIND YOUR FIT: Features an exclusive retractable cord system. You can wear it on your head, your wrist, or even attach it to your tent pole.
  • DON'T GET CAUGHT IN THE DARK: With its longest burn time at 240 hours, the ZIPKA will power your all-night adventures.
  • NEXT LEVEL NIGHT VISION: The three different lighting modes (proximity, movement, and distance) plus the option of red or white light will have you ready for anything the night brings.
  • CHARGE IT UP: Every ZIPKA includes three standard batteries, and is also compatible with the CORE rechargeable battery (sold separately).

Petzl e+LITE

If functionality is more important to you than an easy-to-use interface, the e+LITE is the tool for you.  

Much like the Zipka, the e+LITE is incredibly compact (although loses the self-retracting headband) yet includes a range of different light options including red light, for low light environments and various strobe settings to help you get the attention of rescuers.

In place of a simple one-click button, the e+LITE instead opts for a dial that can be used to select your desired light setting.

This does make it more challenging to find the correct setting when you need it, however, to make up for this Petzl has placed the two most commonly used light settings directly next to the off position.

At around $30, it is an excellent addition to a primary flashlight although its relatively limited output means for most people, it may not be able to meet all your needs as a dedicated light.

Petzl - e+LITE 50 Lumens, Battery Powered Flashlight, Water Resistant, Portable, Durable, Bright White Lighting, Red LED Emergency Beam, 10 Year Storage Life
  • LONG LIFE: ready to go at anytime. Headlamp can be stored with batteries for up to 10 years
  • PORTABLE: less than 5cm in length and weighing only 27g, this headlamp is the ideal size to pack for emergencies
  • DURABLE: water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and resilient in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees Celcius to +60 degrees Celcius
  • MOVE WITH EASE: bright white lighting allows user to move around easily in the dark
  • EMERGENCY BEAM: headlamp offers a red LED beam which allows user to be seen from a distance of up to 300 meters for 30 hours

Streamlight MicroStream

The lights we’ve looked at so far look to pack as much as they possibly can into a compact package, offering multiple light modes and switches however if you are just looking for a simple light to meet your needs, you need look no further than the Streamlight Microstream.

This compact light is limited to only one mode, activated by the tail cap switch however this is not necessarily a drawback.

In high-stress environments, being able to turn your light on and know exactly what you are getting can make life substantially easier.

It offers a reversible carry clip allowing it to be easily placed in your pocket or even worn on the bill of a hat as a means of hands-free lighting, and at the cost of arond $20 on sale makes for an excellent inclusion in your E&E bag or even everyday carry kit.

Petzl - e+LITE 50 Lumens, Battery Powered Flashlight, Water Resistant, Portable, Durable, Bright White Lighting, Red LED Emergency Beam, 10 Year Storage Life
  • LONG LIFE: ready to go at anytime. Headlamp can be stored with batteries for up to 10 years
  • PORTABLE: less than 5cm in length and weighing only 27g, this headlamp is the ideal size to pack for emergencies
  • DURABLE: water resistant up to 1 meter for 30 minutes and resilient in temperatures ranging from -30 degrees Celcius to +60 degrees Celcius
  • MOVE WITH EASE: bright white lighting allows user to move around easily in the dark
  • EMERGENCY BEAM: headlamp offers a red LED beam which allows user to be seen from a distance of up to 300 meters for 30 hours

Multitool / Knife

During your ordinary day, there will undoubtedly be times where you find yourself reaching for a knife. 

This need only increases during emergencies as you find yourself improvising gear, cutting away clothing, or defending yourself during a fight (bad day for sure), just to name a few. 

This highlights why it is so important to choose a reliable and functional knife to carry either in your E&E bag or EDC however while a traditional folding knife is common in these kinds of kits we’re going to recommend you go with a multitool.

While these are less effective in a self-defense role, the functionality offered by them truly cannot be beaten during an emergency. They essentially offer a decent tool kit in a package that can neatly be slipped into your pocket or bag. 

Leatherman Wave Plus

For the average American, the Leatherman Wave Plus is by far the best multitool you can carry, both in terms of functionality and integration.  

Its size makes it ideal to slip easily into a pocket while still being loaded with features that you are almost bound to reach for on a near-daily basis.  Whether it be the outside-accessible blades, extremely reliable pliers, or amazing diamond file to help touch up your primary blade, it’s hard to beat the toolset included on the Wave plus.

While its small size can lead people to underestimate the Wave, it has no problem standing its own against larger toolsets such as the Leatherman Surge.  Some improvements could be made, such as to the blade steel but fortunately, Leatherman has taken care of these issues in the form of the Leatherman Charge series. 

This means no matter what you are looking for in a tool, Leatherman is almost guaranteed to have something to meet your needs.

LEATHERMAN, Wave+, 18-in-1 Full-Size, Versatile Multi-tool for DIY, Home, Garden, Outdoors or Everyday Carry (EDC), Stainless Steel
  • A Leatherman for Everyone: For the last 40 years, Leatherman has been empowering millions to conquer the expected & unexpected, transforming everyday challenges into triumphant moments
  • Engineered to Withstand: From our Portland, Oregon factory and backed by our 25-year warranty, our multi-tools are built to last a lifetime, embodying the innovation & perseverance of our founder, Tim Leatherman
  • Our Best-Selling All-Rounder: From household fixes & DIY pursuits to gardening and exploring the outdoors, Wave+ helps you do it all; Weighing just 8.5 ounces, this pocket-sized tool is perfect for everyday carry
  • A DIY Must-Have: This multi-tool empowers you to DIY like a pro; Includes tools like a saw, easy-to-use spring-action scissors, a ruler & more to help you conquer any DIY project, big or small
  • Ready for Anything: A fresh upgrade to our most popular multitool; Now includes premium replaceable wire cutters, so you can keep using this professional-grade multi-tool for years to come

Leatherman Super Tool 300

If the Wave / Charge series of multi-tools are failing to meet your needs, a great alternative also from leatherman may come in the form of the Supertool 300M.  

Although designed as a military-focused multitool, they offer a slightly larger option of tools (such as a pry bar, awl, and threaded barrel for weapons cleaning) that come in extremely helpful in a pinch.  The increased size leaves the ST300M more suitable for more intensive tasks offering you a complete tool kit in your pocket.  

Unfortunately, the 300 series of tools does lack any outside-accessible tools, however, if you are willing to take the extra few seconds to access your tools, the ST300M is truly a tool that will last you a lifetime.

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Gerber Center Drive

Leatherman is known for being a jack of all trades, and for the number of tools included in a Leatherman, they work extremely well. If instead, you would rather have a fewer number of tools that excel far beyond what Leatherman can offer, it is worth taking a look at the Geber Center Drive.  

Built for heavy work, the Center Drive places its focus on its pliers, knife and as the name suggests, unique screwdriver.  All three of these tools can be opened from the outside of the multi-tool in a matter of seconds, while still packing a few smaller internal tools held within the handles.  

It is arguably nicer to have more tools packed in your multi-tool but if you constantly run into the same problems daily and are looking for a tool instead of a problem solver, the Gerber CD may just be the tool for you.

Gerber Gear Center-Drive Multitool Bit Set with Pliers, Knife & More - Silver Tool, Coyote Brown Sheath
  • Gerber Multitool: Includes 1 16-piece multitool, a 12-piece standard bit set and a sheath
  • EDC Multitool: This multitool bit set offers a 3.2-inch center axis driver that aligns like a screwdriver for maximum torque
  • High-Quality Pliers: Spring-loaded pliers are easy EDC with one-thumb opening sliding jaws
  • EDC Gear: This Gerber toolset has basic EDC tools like a 3.25-inch blade, pry bar, wire cutters, bottle opener and more
  • Gerber Guarantee: As a testament to our unrelenting commitment to quality and service, Gerber is proud to offer a limited lifetime warranty on all products

SERE Tools

An E&E bag is ultimately designed to help you navigate your way out of a city during an emergency, and one of the biggest potential problems you may face during this escape comes in the form of locks. 

SERE tools, such as lock picks, are one of the most powerful tools you can keep in your bag during these events quite literally opening doors that may never otherwise be possible otherwise. 

Add in the potential that you may be illegally restrained during human disasters, such as hostage situations and active shooter events and it becomes that much clearer why these kinds of tools belong in your bag.

Unlike other options in this guide, SERE items require a time commitment to be able to use them effectively, but as long as you are patient and willing to learn, these kinds of tools are by far one of the most powerful options you could keep in your bag. 

Sparrows Ranger

Good lockpicks are hard to find, especially considering the number of Chinese novelty picks available on sites like Amazon.

To address this, it’s worth going with a brand highly respected within the lock picking community such as Sparrows.

The Sparrows Ranger is one of the best kits you could possibly look at adding to your E&E kit built to address a huge number of lock types and entry methods.

While it does include a traditional pick set, made up of hook and rake style picks, it also includes more rapid entry tools such as quick shims for bypassing padlocks and a collection of jigglers.  

When you’re on the move and cannot predict the type of locks you are likely to encounter, the Ranger kit is almost certainly going to have at least one option to help you address the issue and keep moving forward.

Bogota Picks

If you have experience with lock picking and are simply looking to bypass traditional keyways, or are operating in clandestine environments where lockpicks may be restricted, the Bogota picks make for an ideal option.  

These picks are small enough to easily conceal in a shoe or even the brim of your hat while remaining incredibly functional. 

Made of titanium, the Bogotas make quick work of standard pinned locks you are likely to find throughout a city or suburbia.

Carrying a full-fledged lockpicking set is always going to be more convenient, but if you are just looking to get out of the occasional bind and need a tool you can rely on when the time comes, it is hard to get much better than the Bogota.

Covert Instruments Covert Companion

We’ve talked about the functionality of the Sparrows Ranger, and the compact size of the Bogata picks however if you want both a compact and functional tool, then look no further than the Covert Companion from Covert Instruments.

Built on a Keysmart platform, the Covert Companion offers 20 different styles of entry tools ranging from travelers hooks to traditional hooks meaning no matter what lock you come across, there will be a tool for you.  

It is small enough to be easily placed on a set of keys or even worn around your neck, so there is almost no excuse to slip the CI into your pack, wherever you are in the world.

Repair Kit (Duct tape, paracord, CA glue) 

During emergencies, things tend to go sideways incredibly quickly with almost no indications before it happens. 

One of the most common examples of this is your gear breaking. Tools fail, bag straps break, and essential pieces of equipment may just come out of your bag completely non-functional.

Having the ability to repair these kinds of situations as they occur is an amazing skill that will not only help to serve you during an emergency but also in your day-to-day life. 

While it is possible to improvise repairs in the wild, it becomes much easier if you can come prepared with just a few basic items to patch, fix and bind gear when the time comes.

Gorilla Tape 

There is only a handful of problems tape can’t fix and the options from Gorilla may just be some of the best in the world.

Built to be stronger than Duct Tape, the versatility of this tool earns its place in your emergency bag. 

Whether you are making a shelter, repairing your gear, or even restraining an attacker, having at least some length of tape is one of the easiest ways you can guarantee that no matter what problem you face, you are always able to continue your mission towards safety.

Gorilla All Weather Outdoor Waterproof Duct Tape, UV and Temperature Resistant, 1.88" x 25 yd, Black, (Pack of 1)
  • Gorilla All Weather Waterproof Duct Tape is designed for outdoor repairs that need to stand up to extreme weather conditions with a permanent bond
  • Made with an incredibly strong, permanent, butyl adhesive and a weather resistant shell, this tape withstands even extreme weather conditions
  • Works in hot and cold temperatures with a service temperature range of -40° F to 200° F; Application temperature above 40° F
  • Gorilla All Weather Waterproof Duct Tape's low tack, strong adhesive resists drying, cracking, and peeling caused by sunlight, heat, cold, and moisture
  • Gorilla All Weather Waterproof Duct Tape can be used on tarps, roofs, plastic sheeting, vents, RV's, automotive and much, much more

Golberg Paracord

While tape is a great problem solver, there are a few scenarios where it is better to carry a strong rope.  Paracord is by far the best option for this, offering an incredible 550lbs of tensile strength.

This is an area where you need to be careful to buy the right brand as many offered on Amazon claim to be Paracord but are unable to live up to the 550 lbs. rating, however with a name like Golberg, you can trust this cordage for almost any emergency you could face.

GOLBERG G MIL-SPEC-C-5040-H Authentic Mil-Spec 550 Paracord - 550 Lb Type III 7 Strand 5/32 Inch Parachute Rope - 100% Nylon
  • GOLBERG'S MIL-SPEC-C-5040-H is perfect for the outdoors, camping, fishing, and hiking uses to name a few! We know you need paracord that's as tough as you are and will stand up to any heavy-duty task you give it without losing shape.
  • GREAT TO HAVE ON HAND for when you least expect it. You can keep this in a hiking bag, in your home, garage, tool box, shed, fishing boat, use it as shoe laces, or make a bracelet. Also useful for fishing, sewing, perimeter, shelter, repairs, and more.
  • STRONG CORD trusted by outdoor enthusiasts of all levels with its seven 3-ply woven yarn design inside for maximum strength. With a minimum tensile strength of 550 lb, you can count on this cord when you need it most.
  • WRAPPED IN A FASTENER to help keep cord organized and free from knots. This fastener can also be used for wrapping other USB or electrical cords together, keeping cables organized in your home, garage, bag, and more.
  • MADE IN THE USA by an American-owned company.

Loctite Gel Minis

Tape and rope will solve almost 90% of your repair emergencies, but for those fine detail problems (such as with electronics) it is worth including some form of cyanoacrylate gel.  

CA glue can be purchased in incredibly small packets, yet don’t let their small size fool you as they remain incredibly. 

Not only can CA glue be used to repair equipment, such as cases, but it is also non-toxic, making it an extremely powerful way to close up wounds when all other options are out of the question.

At only a couple of dollars, CA glue is by far one of the most powerful tools you could have at your disposal in both times of peace and during emergencies.

Loctite 1906107 Ultra Gel Minis, Clear, 3-0.03 Oz. Squeeze Tubes Per Pack, 1 Pack
  • Rubber toughened formula
  • Gel formulation
  • No mess, no drip formula; Ideal for vertical applications
  • Dries transparent
  • Sets in seconds


In man-made disasters, such as bombings and active shooter events, your bag should be designed to protect yourself. It’s obvious why, as these kinds of people intent on doing the maximum damage to society frequently target innocent individuals for the pure satisfaction of committing evil. 

Even with that said, disasters come in all shapes and sizes, with many of them arising from natural events such as earthquakes, and fires. No matter what the cause of the disaster, such events always tend to bring out the worst of mankind. 

As people panic, their instincts of fight or flight take over meaning you must always be prepared to protect yourself. 

Much like the tools you can carry, this section of your bag is entirely dependent on the area you are operating in, but no matter where you find yourself in the world, there are always some tools available to help you protect yourself and the ones you love.


Without question, a firearm is one of the best tools you could carry for self-defense and security. Simply put it is a force multiplier that can quickly and effectively end threats against your life. 

If you legally can, there is no question a firearm belongs in your bag. 

The biggest problem with this statement is the legality of your decision to include a firearm. In certain countries, this is simply an impossibility, but even in the United States, many places may limit what you may bring into a building (particularly federal buildings).

To make this issue even more complicated, there may be times we have to leave our E&E bag unattended. This is a horrible idea if you are off body carrying a firearm.

Instead, you may choose to carry a pistol concealed on your person and pack essential firearms-related gear into your E&E bag (such as magazines and holsters). 

Hi Carrying in this manner ensures your weapon is safe and accessible at all times, but that when things go sideways, you have the necessary gear accessible to deal with whatever threat you may face.

Glock 43

Whether you are a first-time gun owner or have been carrying for years, Glock is unquestionably one of the best you can own.  For their ease of use, comfort to shoot, or reliability, there is no doubt they are one of the best on the market.  

Sig P365

If Glock is not your style the Sig Sauer P365 is arguably the next best sub-compact pistol you can carry, offering an extremely comfortable grip and reliability that cannot be beaten.  

While Sig has had its share of problems over the years, its newer models are heavily regarded for their reliability and ease of use. 

They fit comfortably in almost any hand and due to their compact size, can be carried in almost any position without printing while remaining incredibly effective in a gunfight.

Kimber Micro Nine

For those of you looking for something more premium to carry, the Kimber Micro 9 is truly a work of art.  Based on the 1911 platform, the Micro 9 can disappear on your person and be ready for action at a moment’s notice.

The one primary drawback of this weapon is that it does have a manual safety, which may be off-putting to some people. However, for those who like the added insurance, the KM9 cannot be beaten in quality.

S&W 637

Magazine-fed pistols are amazing for their ability to quickly put lead downrange, however, they are prone to problems feeding, especially in dirty environments. 

While this is much less of a concern than when they were first introduced, if this is truly a concern for you during an emergency, a revolver (such as the S&W 637) may make more sense.

As revolvers have much fewer moving parts, they can more reliably operate and most importantly can be more easily be cleaned and maintained in the field. 

This does come at a significant cost to capacity and reload speed, but if you are looking for a weapon built to survive the apocalypse, a revolver is just the tool for you.

The 637 from Smith and Wesson is built to exceptionally high standards and with their relatively unique J frame construction, can be concealed incredibly easily. 

While it’s true revolvers may not be for everyone and certainly have their drawbacks, for those comfortable shooting them, it’s hard to go wrong with a 637.


Even in the event you are able to reliably carry a firearm on your person, it is also worth including some form of a knife on your person. 

Not only can they often be deployed much easier than a concealed firearm, but short of having your knife taken from you or snapping during a fight are much more reliably.

As Clint Smith from Thunder Ranch has often said, “Your knife will never run out of ammo”.

Choosing the right knife for a fight is a challenge with so many different styles and sizes, and just like firearms, you do run the risk of running into legal issues if you carry select knives in the wrong locations. 

Ultimately, however, knives are a much more accessible option for people all around the world and if in the right hands, can prove just as effective as a firearm.

The one important thing to remember when fighting with a knife, however, is that your goal should be to create distance. Unlike a firearm, you are rarely looking for a killing wound with a knife. 

Instead, you should aim to get an attacker off of you to either create an opportunity for you to run or transition to a more effective tool (such as a firearm) depending on the situation you find yourself in.

Benchmade Adamas Mini

Many of us already carry an everyday carry knife built for light tasks, such as opening boxes or cutting food, but when you need a knife you can trust with your life, the Benchmade Adamas is there.  

This titan of a knife is built to survive the very worst and gladly accepts almost anything you can throw at it. 

Although it is a folder, it is more than capable of almost any task you could ask of it, whether that be batoning, prying, or chopping.  

The knife is built like a tank, and could likely withstand being run over by one, and while it may not fit comfortably in everyone’s pocket, is more than at home in a dedicated E&E bag.

Spyderco Para Military 3

For a more general-purpose knife, the Spyderco ParaMilitary 3 is the best in its class. 

Its high-quality blade steel allows it to go weeks without sharpening, even with relatively heavy use yet disappears into a pocket in a matter of seconds.

While its blade shape makes it a relatively weak blade for self-defense situations, the rear liner lock gives the blade an incredibly firm lock up for the more demanding tasks.  

Ultimately. for the price, it is hard to find a better knife out there for the vast majority of problems you are looking to solve with a folding blade.

Spyderco Para 3 Lightweight Signature Folding Utility Pocket Knife with 2.92" Black Stainless Steel Blade and FRN Handle - Everyday Carry - PlainEdge - C223PBBK
  • The New EDC: The Para 3 distills all the features of that best-in-class folding knife into a more compact, carry-friendly package. Ounce for once one of the most capable folding knives ever made, the Para 3 is destined to be a classic.
  • Superior Quality: Machined from premium CTS BD1N, a nitrogen-enriched high-carbon chromium steel, the Para 3 offers superior balance, edge retention, and low-friction cutting performance.
  • Pocket-Friendly: It features a lightweight, open-backed construction style and its Stainless Steel liners are nested into the FRN Handle. This reduces handle thickness and provides excellent support for the knife's Compression Lock.
  • Reliable High Performance: The Para 3 traces its history all the way back 2004 to the introduction of the Para Military design. It offers the same proven reliability and cutting performance, but in a more compact, easy-to-carry design.
  • Easy-to-Use Lock: Located in the spine of the handle, the Compression Lock's high-strength mechanism locks the blade securely open during use, yet allows it to be closed easily and safely with only one hand.

Gerber Covert Knife

Knives are tools, however, as a last-ditch option, there is nothing to stop them from being used as a self-defense option. In this case, the Gerber Covert is an excellent option. 

Its dagger-like blade allows it to easily penetrate, while still remaining functional in more typical applications.  

What sets this blade apart from other recommendations we have is its assisted opening mechanism. 

That’s not to say the other knives are slow to open by any means, however being able to deploy this blade in less than a second, truly could make all the difference in an emergency. 

Gerber Gear Mini Covert FAST Pocket Knife - 2.9" Clip Folding Knife - Tactical Gear and Equipment - Black
  • QUALITY CRAFTED: Features a corrosion-resistant drop point blade with a partially serrated edge, lightweight stainless steel G-10 handle, push button lock safety function, dual thumbstuds, spring-assisted technology, and pocket clip
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made with a titanium nitride-coated stainless steel blade that will stand the test of time and conveniently travel with you; Folds compactly to fit in a pocket
  • INNOVATIVE DESIGN: Tactical knife with dual thumbstuds and Gerber's FAST spring-assisted opening technology for one-handed deployment; Stainless steel G-10 handle offers a comfortable and stable feel in hand; Knife locks securely with push button safety function when not in use
  • HUNTING AND CAMPING ACCESSORIES: Great for any hunter, tradesman, and the everyday carry; Perfect addition to camping essentials, toolbox, work wear, and fishing and hiking gear
  • CONVENIENT SIZE: 2.9" blade length; 6.85" open length; 3.2 oz weight; Backed by the Gerber Guarantee, a limited lifetime warranty

Emerson NSAR

As we’ve said, knives are tools and if you wish to truly embrace this idea, the Emerson NSAR is just the knife for you.  

It lacks any real ability to be used in a knife fight with its blunted tip, however, to make up for this drawback offers a rescue hook and partially serrated blade. 

This makes it ideal for use in rescue applications, such as cutting through seatbelts or clothing. 

It may not be the perfect knife for everyone, but during an emergency, it makes an excellent addition to your kit, especially when housed with medical gear.


Knives and firearms are without question the most effective means of fighting you can have, but even during emergencies, the use of lethal force presents a huge number of legal issues that you must bear the consequences of.

For this reason, it is important to include non-lethal options within your E&E bag. These do not guarantee your safety during a fight, but may just give you enough of a chance to get away from a would-be attacker to make it to safety.

More importantly, these items are much easier to carry in a wider number of locations as they are not seen as a deadly threat. This in places that you may be without your firearm you are still not completely unarmed and are better able to defend yourself should the time ever come.

Sabre Red Pepper Spray

The goal with any non-lethal defense method should primarily be to disorientate your attacker to create distance between yourself and a threat. 

Pepper spray excels in this role as it burns the eyes and olfactory senses, temporarily disabling your attacker so you can break contact.  

Sabre Red is ideal for this purpose as it is loaded with OC spray to slow your attacker down. 

Not only is it effective on an attacker, but Sabre goes one step above their competition by using a special gel spray which is less likely to be caught by the wind and be blown into your face. 

It’s an excellent tool for emergencies or more simple situations, such as just feeling safer during a run.

SABRE Pepper Gel with Fast Flip Top, Maximum Strength OC Spray, Snap Clip for Easy Carry and Fast Access, Finger Grip for More Accurate and Faster Aim, UV Marking Dye, 0.54 fl oz, Easy to Use Safety
  • TRUST THE PROFESSIONALS: SABRE is the #1 Pepper Spray brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide, including New York PD, Chicago PD, and U.S. Marshals; Made in the USA
  • 3X LONGER SPRAY TIME: SABRE provides up to 10 second total spray time vs. competition with as few as 3 seconds spray time. Defends against multiple attackers. Backed by our industry exclusive in-house HPLC lab, guaranteeing maximum strength in each canister
  • 42% OF CRIMES ARE COMMITTED BY MULTIPLE ASSAILANTS: This pepper gel has a 10 second spray time for protection against multiple threats. Gel does not atomize like traditional pepper spray and deploys in a stream while virtually eliminating wind blowback
  • FAST FLIP TOP SAFETY IS QUICKER AND EASIER TO USE: The Finger Grip provides better control and aim when seconds count! Included Snap-Clip Keychain is Easy To Attach - Keys, Bags, Purse for Instant Access
  • TRAINING VIDEOS TO MAXIMIZE YOUR SAFETY: In addition to your pepper spray, packaging includes links to free SABRE Pepper Spray training videos and safety tips to help maximize your personal safety

Byrna Self-Defense Pistol

If you have already put in years of training becoming proficient with the use of a pistol for self-defense, the Byrna may make more sense as a non-lethal tool for protecting yourself.

Built to mimic a compact frame pistol, the Byrna shoots .68 caliber projectiles powered by a CO2 cartridge with enough force to easily slow an attacker down without causing long-lasting harm. 

It’s essentially a compact bean bag gun that can be carried and deployed like a standard pistol.

It’s not a perfect tool and by no means replaces an actual firearm but when lethal force may not be an option for you makes for an excellent option.

Byrna SD [Self Defense] Pepper Ultimate Bundle - Pepper Spray, Non Lethal, Home and Personal Defense | Proudly Assembled in The USA (Black)
  • WE MADE THE POPULAR BYRNA HD SERIES BETTER: Introducing the new Byrna SD. Reengineered with a performance straight trigger, sticky ergonomic honeycomb grip, and improved sights for faster target acquisition. It is time to level up.
  • THE UN-GUN: Looks like a gun, performs like a gun, but designed to be non lethal.
  • WHAT'S IN THE BOX: Byrna SD Launcher, Pepper Ammunition (5 ct.), Eco-Kinetic Training Ammunition (5 ct.), Kinetic Training / Self Defense Ammunition (5 ct.), 8g CO2 Canisters (7 ct.), Additional (50 ct.) Bag Kinetic Training / Self Defense Ammunition
  • NO BACKGROUND CHECKS OR PERMITS: No background checks or permits required to own and carry the Byrna SD. Must be 18 or older to purchase.
  • SELF DEFENSE FROM A SAFE DISTANCE: The Byrna SD Pepper Spray Launcher has an effective range of up to 60 ft with an average projectile speed of 300 feet per second.

NPE Defenses

Lethal and non-lethal options are great tools to have in your arsenal to help keep you safe; however, it is important to understand that in some locations, these options may be completely unavailable. 

Airports are just one great example of this where their high security means that any item that could theoretically be used in an attack is banned.

These kinds of environments are considered non-permissive environments and refer to any location where being armed and dangerous could land you in serious legal trouble. 

Fortunately, these environments have been a challenge for years meaning for your average gray man in the modern world, there is a huge wealth of tools out there to help keep you safe. 

Most commonly, this is achieved by giving the tool another function such as a flashlight or pen but there are various other options out there designed to simply be more concealable so they can be better hidden and carried into restricted areas.

Gerber Impromptu Pen

The Gerber Impromptu Pen is one of the best tools you can carry to defend yourself when all other items are out of the question.

The unique pattern lining the pen offers an excellent grip to prevent it from sliding when deployed against an attacker, while still offering a comfortable position when used as a writing instrument.

To top it off, the Impromptu offers a glass breaker allowing it to be used as a rescue tool should the time ever come.  

While there are arguably some more discreet tactical pens out there, for an effective self-defense option, the Impromptu is truly hard to beat.

Gerber Gear Impromptu Tactical Pen - Self Defense Tactical Gear with Glass Breaker Tip and Pocket Clip - Black
  • MULTI-USE TACTICAL PEN: Features push button mechanism for ball point deployment and tempered steel glass-breaker tip for getting out of trouble
  • SURVIVAL GEAR AND EQUIPMENT: Made from machined steel body with Cerakote that will stand the test of time and conveniently travel with you with a stainless steel pocket clip
  • EVERYDAY DESIGN: Fits easily into your pocket and daily routine at work, school, or the office; The "Rite in the Rain" ink cartridge works in all conditions, indoors and outdoors
  • WORKSITE AND CAMPING ACCESSORIES: Great for any hunter, tradesman, and the everyday carry; Perfect addition to camping essentials, backpacking gear, your toolbox, work wear, and fishing and hiking gear
  • CONVENIENT SIZE: 5.59" overall length; 2.4 oz weight; Backed by the Gerber Guarantee, a limited lifetime warranty

Black Triangle G10 Blades

If you are confident in your ability to conceal a weapon on your person but are simply looking for a way to bypass digital means of detection such as metal detectors, the Black Triangle lineup of G10 tools have the answer for you.  

As G10 lacks any magnetic signature, it can easily pass through these scanners without any concern of being detected while still being strong enough to withstand the forces associated with a self-defense event.

These tools do come at a premium price, averaging just over $100, however for those of us in the right situation where we frequently have to go through security checkpoints, fill a niche within the knife community that most other competition fails to come close to.

Door wedges / Door Alarms

Your E&E bag should contain the means necessary to defend yourself during a fight however you should also aim to keep some tools available to keep you out of a fight. 

One of the easiest ways to do this is by having some means to reinforce a door to provide yourself with some form of saferoom. 

While these can be improvised relatively easily on the fly, door wedges take up virtually no space and are often far superior to an improvised solution.

Not only do door wedges help keep attackers out, but many options on the market include alarms built in that can detect the impact of an attack on your door to help get your attention and ready yourself for an attack. 

While alarms for this purpose can be improvised extremely cheaply, having the convenience of an all-in-one package cannot be understated.

Super Grip Deadbolt Strap

Deadbolts can be easily deactivated either through the implementation of an under-the-door tool that hooks onto the deadbolt or from the outside with a key or picking attack.  

The deadbolt strap is designed to completely lockout this lock by fixing the switch in place, essentially meaning once you are locked inside a room even those with authorized access (such as hotel staff) are locked out until the strap is removed.

It takes some time to be able to use it proficiently, and as it is only reinforced with velcro may not offer you strong protection against brute force attacks but if you are looking to slow down an attacker, it makes an excellent tool that can be thrown in almost any bag.

Super Grip Lock Deadbolt Strap Accessory and Portable Travel Lock
  • SUPER GRIP LOCK: Stop intruders from unlocking your door at home or when traveling. It works on most deadbolts used in homes, apartments, hotels and motels. Rent or stay in a hotel or motel strangers already have your key. Protect yourself and help reduce crime.
  • MANY USES: It works on most deadbolts used in homes, apartments, hotels and motels.
  • USE WHILE TRAVELING: If you rent or stay in a hotel or motel strangers already have your key. Protect yourself and help reduce crime.
  • STOP BUMP KEYS: Bump keys sold online open locked doors nearly as fast as a working key. Super Grip Lock makes deadbolts key andpick proof it also stops lock picks, passkeys, pass cards and duplicate keys from unlocking your door.
  • HOW IT WORKS: Stand at your door and hold the deadbolt handle in the locked position, no one can unlock your door, Super Grip Lock does that job for you. No one can unlock your door when properly attached even if the intruder has your key. Attach and wrap as printed and directed on the strap.

UnderDoor Wedge

A strong under-the-door wedge works exceptionally well to slow down a brute force attack and help keep a door sealed. 

While it’s true there are better ways to reinforce a door, a simple wedge is easily pocketable and goes a long way to stop unwanted access to your room.

The UnderDoor Wedge from Law Industries is arguably one of the best on the market as its toothed design provides a better grip to both the door and floor, offering you even more protection however for their low cost and efficiency, almost any door wedge you purchase is going to help offer you some form of defense.

Image of Defensive Door Wedges Mk II

Saber Safety Alarm

While it is always worth reinforcing your door to keep unwanted third parties out, it is also worth integrating some form of alarm into your kit to know when someone attempts to breach an entryway.  

Many companies now make door wedges with integrated alarms, however, for most people, a simple electronic rape alarm may be a better option.

These can be velcroed to a door frame and then hooked to the door handle, causing the alarm to sound whenever the door is opened. 

Sabre again makes some of the best on the market with an unbeatable decibel rating and long battery life for a low cost.

SABRE Personal Alarm With Key Ring, 120dB Alarm, Audible Up To 1,280 Feet (390 Meters), Simple Operation, Reusable, Black
  • PERSONAL PROTECTION YOU CAN TRUST: SABRE is the 1 pepper spray brand trusted by police & consumers & a leader in the personal safety category
  • ATTENTION GRABBING ALARM: Ear-piercing 120dB siren is audible up to 1,280 feet (390 meters); Helps deter an attacker by attracting attention from those nearby so you can escape to safety
  • EASY OPERATION: Simply pull the key ring to remove the pin to sound the alarm. Replace the pin to turn the alarm off. Reuse your personal alarm multiple times and no need to recharge thanks to the long-lasting battery. Great for women, children, elderly, and runners.
  • COMPACT AND EASY TO CARRY: Compact design is discreet so it’s not obvious to others that you’re carrying a personal alarm Built-in key ring attaches to keys and bags so it’s easy to carry everywhere
  • STAY SAFE WITH FREE SAFETY TRAINING: Feel secure with every SABRE product; Packaging includes links to free training videos so that, in the face of danger, you are better prepared to use your SABRE Personal Safety Alarm

Zip Ties

We’ve talked about how to win a fight and how to prevent a fight, but after you have won a fight (assuming the person is not deceased) you’ll want some means to restrain an individual and prevent any later attacks.

Ropes and handcuffs can work in this role exceptionally well, but for their lightweight and ease of use, it is arguably better to consider adding zip ties to your kit.

These won’t be enough to keep someone restrained forever, and as we’ve discussed in our SERE section can be defeated relatively easily with the right tools, but creating distance between yourself and an attacker is an exceptional tool that cannot be beaten. 

Flex cuffs are built with this purpose in mind and often include metal reinforcement to limit how easily the zip ties can be cut, but for your average criminal, a heavy-duty set of zip ties adjusted correctly behind their back should be more than sufficient for the outcome we are looking to obtain.

Vamrome flex cuffs 

A strong set of flex cuffs make for an ideal way of detaining someone. 

They offer a much stronger method of detention as opposed to a simple binding made of duct tape, however, can be more easily carried and concealed than metal handcuffs.

The Vamrome flex cuffs can be easily sourced from sites such as Amazon and make for an excellent addition to your kit.

Unlike other methods of detention, these are a one-use item as they have to be cut off a subject after being placed around the wrists however for emergencies some are extremely useful.

Length: 35.4” Flex Cuffs, 10Pcs Heavy Duty Zip Tie Handcuffs Restraint Disposable Police Nylon Double Cuffs with UV & Heat Resistant, 250 lbs Tensile Strength - Black
  • 【Ultra Toughness】- These heavy duty zip tie handcuffs are made with high quality NYLON 66 material that is serviceable under most kinds of situations. Ultra toughness allows you to twist it however you like, and finally it will stay as it is. Reliable UL/ROHS certificate allow you to use with full confidence
  • 【Self-Locking Nylon Handcuff】- The rack tie at both sides work perfectly with the lock catches due to precise mould and manufacturing process. It comes with up to 250 lbs of restraint, which ensures 100% secure restraint locking. It resists UV and heat greatly as well
  • 【Ideal Emergency Alternative】- In some emergency situations you may not be able to carry a great amount of heavy steel handcuffs. And these cable tie handcuffs are perfect alternatives that ensure easy transfer and strong restraint locking that you need exactly, due to the lightness, portability and toughness
  • 【Ready In Any Minutes】- It has extra small teeth at both ends, which allows you to pre-set the handcuff for quick locking and be ready for emergency situations. Under the pre-set status, just pull the ties out of lock catches with little force to make it return flat and straight, for easy collection and storage
  • 【MultiPurpose】- Our ziptie handcuffs are applicable to kinds of purpose such as security guards, law enforcement, police, military forces, concerned citizens, plants repairing... Make a great use of these disposable nylon handcuffs in your daily life or work

Kingrol Steel Zip Ties

While flex cuffs offer a great way of detention, there is nothing to stop you from using a normal set of zip ties to bind an attacker. 

Add in the repair abilities of traditional zip ties and it makes sense why they belong in your kit.

We recommend the Kingrol steel zip ties in this application as they are considerably stronger than other zip ties on the market, benefiting you both from a repair and security perspective while still remaining relatively affordable.

If the metal signature is a concern for you, a standard set of zip ties from your local hardware store will make a suitable replacement however if you have the option, the upgrade to a steel material will undoubtedly be much appreciated.

Kingrol 200pcs 11.8 Inch Stainless Steel Self-Locking Cable Zip Ties, Multi-Purpose Metal Wire Ties for Home Office Garden Garage Workshop
  • Premium Quality - Made of 304 stainless steel, rounded edges with smooth surfaces to protect cables and hands.
  • Heavy Duty - Designed with an easy to install, low profile, self-locking ball bearing head, allows strong support for bundling application.
  • Indoor or Outdoor Use - UV resistant, antioxidative, flame retardant, heat resistant up to 1000 F, can be installed indoors, outdoors, or underground.
  • Strong & Durable - Superior strength, the steel cable ties are rated for up to 200 lbs. Measures 11.8" x 0.18" x 0.01" / 300 x 4.6 x 0.25 mm (L*W*T).
  • Wide Range of Uses - 200pcs cable ties provide ample supply for mine, ship, petroleum, electricity, computer wire harness, etc.


Almost all items within your E&E bag can be improvised on the fly, with one very important exception.

Your life may very well depend on the medical equipment you choose to carry so this is one section where it only makes sense to invest quality gear you can truly depend on. 

While first aid items are obvious items to include in your bag to deal with a range of medical emergencies from simple scrapes and cuts, all the way to gunshot wounds and broken bones, it is also important to consider gear to keep you healthy.

Protective equipment is intended to help keep you safe and ultimately help keep you from ever having to reach into your IFAK. 


A basic individual first aid kit (IFAK) is one of the best medical items you can keep in your E&E bag.

These kits are built to treat yourself with a range of injuries from burns and blunt force trauma to simple scrapes and cuts. 

The exact scope of these kits is largely up to your discretion, and while there’s nothing wrong with building your own, there is a wide range of premade kits available online built with everything you could need from high-quality suppliers. 

The important thing to remember with these kits is that they are primarily designed to treat yourself.

If you are expecting to travel in a larger party or help those around you, it may be worth looking at incorporating more supplies however with each item you add comes bulk and weight.

Warrior Poet Society Ankle Med-Kit

The most important medical gear is the gear you have on you, and the Ankle Med-kit ensures that no matter where you are in the world, your gear is always accessible.

The kit includes most of the basic items you could need to deal with extreme trauma, such as a gun-shot wound or blunt force injury, however, what truly sets it apart is its carry style.

WPS has developed an extremely comfortable and breathable ankle holster that easily disappears under the cuff of your pants.  It is relatively expensive for a medical kit, at almost $130, however, for medical gear, you can rely on and always access is well worth the price.

Eagle IFAK

The Eagle IFAK comes in a larger package than our other recommendations, but again includes all the possible medical gear you could need during a serious emergency in an extremely convenient package.  

The small MOLLE compatible pouch easily rips open giving you immediate access to your gear when it is needed, while also serving to keep it organized. 

For what you are getting, it is pricey but Eagle is a name you can trust so the added cost is justified when you truly are relying on this gear with your life.

Eagle IFAK w/ Molle, Combat Tourniquet, Hyfin Chest Seal & Free 6.25" NAR EMT Shears (Multicam)
  • The Basic Life Support (BLS) Eagle IFAK w/ FREE Shears is a compact, versatile individual first aid kit that offers both MOLLE/PALS – style connectors to attach to the assault vest/body armor and an upper or lower mounted 2.25” belt loop attachment to secure the kit in the high or low position on your duty/pistol belt, all in one carrying platform.

ITS Trauma Kit

Imminent Threat Solutions (ITS) build gear for the real world and their pocketable Trauma Kit is just one example of this.  

Like all our other recommendations, all the gear you could possibly want is included in this kit however unlike the other options out there, this kit is designed to easily fit into a cargo pocket.  

As the gear is vacuumed sealed, it does take slightly longer to deploy in an emergency however this drawback is off-set as the vacuum seal does guarantee your gear will last longer and more importantly be protected from the environment.

Particulate Mask

Almost any disaster brings with it smoke, debris, and potentially gas that are harmful when inhaled. This may be from an explosion, fire, or structural damage.

Keeping this out of your airways is a challenge; however, a particulate mask can go a long way to help keep your lungs safe and functioning normally.

Of all the masks you can choose to carry, an N95 or KN95 mask are some of the best out there and can even help to mitigate exposure to airborne pathogens. 

These aren’t perfect, but assuming you can effectively seal the mask around your face, they should help buy you enough time to get out of immediate danger and into fresh air.

3M Personal Protective Equipment Particulate Respirator 8210, N95, Smoke, Dust, Grinding, Sanding, Sawing, Sweeping, 20/Pack
  • NIOSH APPROVED: For at least 95 percent filtration efficiency against certain non-oil based particles
  • COMPATIBLE: With a variety of protective eyewear and hearing protection
  • ADJUSTABLE NOSECLIP: Reduces potential for eyewear fogging and helps provide a custom and secure seal
  • TWO-STRAP DESIGN: With welded dual point attachement that helps provide a secure fit.
  • APPLICATIONS: Gringing, sanding, sweeping, bagging, and other dusty operations.

N95 Mask

N95 masks, in addition to N95K masks, are some of the most portable protection tools you can carry. 

When sealed correctly around your face, they offer one of the highest levels of protection you can find from smoke, particulates, and even viruses.

These masks can be hard to find, especially as online companies online are willing to miscategorize their masks, however, if you can find a reputable distributor (such as 3M), they are truly deserving of a place in your E&E kit.

Unlike larger respirators, they can fold completely flat and disappear into almost any pocket and more importantly do not appear intimidating to those around you. 

Parcil Full Face Respirator 

For the highest level of protection, a full-face respirator cannot be beaten. 

These offer a much greater seal around your face to keep unfiltered air from leaking into your mask. 

Not only do these styles of masks protect your lungs, but they also offer incredible protection to your nose and eyes that is hard to match.

The Parcil respirator offers two PA3 replaceable filters, guaranteeing you clean and breathable air however what sets this mask apart from other respirators is its large visor. 

This is critical during an emergency when situational awareness is key, and even allows you to reliably operate your firearm to accurately send lead downrange and respond to threats as they appear.

New filters can be purchased for $40 directly from Amazon and with a year of customer support, makes this mask one of the most affordable respirators you could include in your E&E kit.

3M Half-Face Respirator

Finally, the 6300 half-face respirator offers the breathability of a full-face mask with much of the convenience found with a smaller N95 mask.   

They are incredibly affordable at just under $20 (not including filters) and with a name like 3M behind it, are almost certainly going to hold up to even some of the worst possible conditions.

From our experience, the 3M respirator can form an extremely strong seal around your face while remaining comfortable even when worn for extended periods of time. 

You won’t forget that you’re wearing a respirator, but it’s unlikely to ever get in your way when responding to an emergency.

3M Half Facepiece Reusable Respirator 6300, Gases, Vapors, Dust, Paint, Cleaning, Grinding, Sawing, Sanding, Welding, Large
  • NIOSH-APPROVED: NIOSH, a USA federal government regulatory agency, has tested and approved the 6300 with 3M cartridges, filters or supplied air systems to help reduce inhaling certain airborne contaminants
  • COMFORTABLE: Soft, lightweight facepiece with easy-to-adjust head straps for a customized fit
  • DURABLE AND REUSABLE: Respirator can be disassembled, cleaned, and reused. Supplied with reclosable storage bag
  • FOR USE WITH BAYONET CONNECTION CARTRIDGES & FILTERS: Use with 3M 6000 Series Gas/Vapor Cartridges to help filter a broad range of gases and vapors and 3M Particle Filters 2000, 2200, 7000, or 5000 Series to filter certain particulates
  • USE WITH OTHER PPE: Adjustment points located on facepiece for improved compatibility with other personal protection equipment


An N95 mask is one of the most powerful tools you can carry to keep debris out of your lungs; however, they only do one job. Instead, you may choose to carry a bandana or shemagh. 

These large fabric squares can be used in almost a countless number of ways to help keep you safe, ranging from limiting sun exposure to an improvised mask or even a bag. 

It does take some practice to understand exactly how they can be used most effectively, but considering their low price and versatility, they’re a great piece of gear to include in almost any bag you could be building.

Buff Sleeve

A Buff Sleeve offers many of the same protections as other face-covering however comes in an incredibly small package that can be easily tied to your wrist or gear and deployed in seconds.  

It does have some basic filtration capability to help keep larger debris and smoke out of your airway, however, what truly makes this face-covering so deserving of your money is its versatility. 

From a face mask to a watch cap or even a balaclava, there is not much this covering cannot do.

To sweeten the deal, Buffs come in a huge number of color options and patterns so no matter where you are operating in the world, they are almost guaranteed to give you some option to help you blend in either with the local environment or populace.

BUFF CoolNet UV Neck Gaiter, UPF 50 Sun Protection, Breathable, Cooling Bandana, Versatile, Quick Dry Face Mask, Black, Adult Size
  • MULTI-FUNCTIONAL: Wear 12 different ways, made of 95% recycled polyester, one size fits most adults
  • UPF 50 PROTECTION: Enjoy sunny days worry-free with our neckwear offering superior defense against harmful UV rays, meets criteria by The Skin Cancer Foundation for peace of mind
  • STAY COOL & FRESH: Created with Polygiene and HeiQ technology for odor management and optimal body temperature regulation, keeping you fresh for any activity
  • LIGHT & COMFORTABLE: Our product stretches with you, feels light, and dries quickly for total comfort and freedom during your outdoor activities
  • FORCE FOR GOOD: We care for the well-being of the planet and the people on it, over 41 million plastic bottles have been recycled into BUFF products, Certified B Corp

Free Soldier Shemagh

Shemaghs have been worn throughout the world as a way to keep the sun off your skin and sand out of your face. 

The Free Soldier Shemagh is by far one of the most affordable ones on the market right now, yet again offering incredible quality that is honestly hard to beat even with $30 options.

Much like the Buff, their versatility cannot be understated as they can be worn in a huge variety of ways while also excelling in other roles such as in the medical field as a sling or even a hobo-sack for storing any supplies you happen to find on the road.

Their added size compared to the buff is arguably their biggest weakness, second only to the fact that they are not commonly seen within the western world but during an emergency, they remain incredibly useful and worthy of a spot in your emergency kit.

FREE SOLDIER Scarf Military Shemagh Tactical Desert Keffiyeh Head Neck Scarf Arab Wrap with Tassel 43x43 inches (Amber Brown)
  • MATERIALS: This Tactical Shemagh is made from Premium Woven fabric & NOT PRINTED, extremely soft, breathe freely, lightweight, quick-drying, no fade, no deformation and anti-wrinkle. This fabric, skin-friendly and absorb sweat, gives you a very comfortable and warm experience. Washing Instructions: Only careful hand washing with cold water and no bleach or dryer, line dry
  • MULTI-FUNCTION: Arab Scarf, also known as the Keffiyeh, Kerchief or Shemagh. FREE SOLDIER Keffiyeh Scarf with thick & ultralight material keep you cool in desert or woods, protects your head, face and neck from sun, wind, dust and sand efficiently. Not only used as military scarf around the world, but also be used for daily as a neck warmer, head wear, hand towel, bed sheet, and blanket
  • APPROPRIATE SIZE: The shemagh tactical scarf large enough, size approximately 43” x 43”, which wrapping the scarf around your head and neck provides optimal protection from the various environments without sacrificing the shemagh look you want. The large size allows them to be worn as a neck scarf for men or used for a wide variety of other purposes. Especially suitable for outdoor activities such as hunting, shooting, hiking, climbing, motorcycling, paintball, etc
  • SUPERIOR DESIGN: The fabrics with Jacquard Weave and Decorative Tassel, enhance the overall fashion sense of the Desert Scarf. 6 different classical colors available. Perfect for daily life, you can dress them up or wear them casually. Net weight: 190g (6.7oz). Ultra-light and breathable design, makes the shemagh scarf extremely comfortable for you to wear
  • PERFECT FOR OUTDOOR: Whether you're looking for Heavy Duty Military Shemagh or fashion scarf men, FREE SOLDIER shemagh scarf men can perfect use for law enforcement, outdoor enthusiast, patrol, deployment, missions, desert, camping, cycling, fishing, jungle, running, mountaineering, traveling, working, daily and so on. Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any problems


Protecting your lungs is one of the most important steps you can take to keep safe during an emergency; however, your eyes should not be forgotten.

They are critical for helping you navigate, identify threats and respond to situations around you. 

While many of us may not enjoy using eye protection and find it to get in the way, its importance truly cannot be understated. You need your eyes, especially in times of crisis.

Safety glasses help mitigate the risk of damage to your eyes to some extent, but for true protection, it is worth investing in a quality set of goggles. 

These not only protect your eyes from impact, such as from an explosion but more importantly, create a seal around your face to keep small particulates from getting in your eyes. 

This is an area where it is worth investing in quality gear to ensure they can be comfortably worn for long with a firm seal around your face.

Gatorz Sunglasses

Gatorz make eye protection to survive even the worst conditions in the world. 

Their wrap-around design offers a high level of protection from debris and dust even without forming a sealed connection to your face, while their huge number of designs still allow you to remain fashionable. 

Ultimately, whether you are wearing these to a day at the beach or responding to an active shooter event, the Gatorz are there to keep your eyes safe.

Gatorz can be purchased in both polarized and clear lenses, and while we wish these lenses were more readily interchangeable, they still remain one of the best options you can buy.

Gatorz Eyewear, Magnum Model, Aluminum Frame Sunglasses - Blackout Tactical Style/Smoked Polarized Lens
  • POLARIZED LENS: Polarized lens technology allows for maximum visual clarity by eliminating harmful and distracting glare. By fusing the polarization film within the lens, this polarization will never wear off like lenses with an exterior coating.
  • USERS: Trusted by US Navy Seals, Law Enforcement, Motorcyclists, and Outdoor enthusiasts alike. These lenses are made of polycarbonate, giving them unparalleled resistance. Pair this with military grade aluminum frames, and you have some tough sunglasses.
  • UV PROTECTION: These lenses provide maximum protection for your eyes by blocking out harmful UV sun rays. Unlike lenses with a UV coating, Gatorz tactical glasses are built with technology inside the lens itself, ensuring consistent protection over time.
  • VISIBILITY: These lenses are built with TRU-RAY optics technology, which adjusts wavelengths entering the eye. They also have an oleophobic coating, which repels grease, oil, and dirt. This active gear keeps your vision clear.
  • DURABILITY: Gatorz sunglasses are made with Hydrophobic and durable. Hydrophobic coating keeps liquids off of the lens, and scratch-resistant coating makes these glasses extremely strong

SolidWorks Shooting Glasses

If function over form is more important to you, the SolidWorks Shooting glasses are the option for you.

Unlike the Gators, these eye pro have a foam lining to help create a better seal around your face for protection from smaller particulates and more impressively can be worn as either traditional glasses or with their provided headband to help keep them on your face.  

At less than $20, for an entry-level pair of eye protection, the SolidWorks is one of the best glasses you can buy, whether you are buying them as your primary glasses or even a backup pair to keep in your bag.

SolidWork Shooting Glasses, Ballistic Glasses, Tactical Glasses, Gun Safety Glasses, Gun Range Eye Protection for Men & Women
  • MOST COMFORTABLE- Anti-Fog + Anti-Scratch + Anti-Glare coating. Our tactical shooting safety glasses for men & women. These ballistic glasses are great for gun range eye protection! Thanks to the soft pads on the nose and temples, these glasses always feel comfortable.
  • MADE TO FIT YOUR FACE - Shooting eye protection for shooting range from all sides because of the SOLID. curve shape of the lenses provides safety for men & women.
  • SOLID. RETINA COATED LENSES - Due to the special coating, our protective eyewear is highly scratch resistant, will not fog up and will protect against harmful UV rays. Our shooting glasses are US ANSI Z87+ and German DIN EN 166 & EN 170 certified.
  • THE BEST CHOICE - The combination of ballistic resistant lenses and rugged construction makes these safety glasses highly resistant and durable. Only the best quality materials are used in our protective eyewear, ensuring no chemical odors or skin irritations.

Oakley L-Frame

Oakleys are renowned for their ski goggles and they work incredibly well during emergencies to keep your eyes safe.

Unlike glasses, the larger lens of a set of goggles provides you a wider field of view to better respond to threats and more impressively an unbeatable level of comfort.  

While their lenses may not hold up to the abuse as well as a pair of Gators,  they are much more affordable and can be found from a large number of distributors.  

Oakley L-Frame with Clear Lens included MX Goggles,L Frame Frame/Grey & Clear AF Lens,one size
  • Engineered to fit over prescription eyewear
  • Triple-layer face foam fleece to wick away sweat
  • Anti-fog, scratch and impact-resistant Lexan lens


In almost any situation you come across, one of the best solutions you can potentially carry comes in the form of money.

Whether it be for bribing an official, trading for supplies or simply using a payphone, having cash on your person during an emergency will undoubtedly make your journey easier. 

This raises a huge number of questions, such as how much money you should carry, what currencies are best, and most importantly, how to carry valuables on your person?  

While it may seem obvious that carrying the local currency of whatever country you find yourself in is going to be the most effective, it’s also important to note that several currencies are seen as immensely valuable around the world meaning the answer to some of these questions may not seem as obvious as they first appear.

  • Local Currency
  • USD
  • Travel Cards (prepaid visas with various currencies loaded onto them)
  • Travel Wallets

5.11 Phantom Bifold

The 5.11 Phantom is an amazing wallet. Whether you are hiking the trails or in a tuxedo, its traditional design allows it to blend into almost any environment.

As with other bi-folds, it has a huge carry capacity however what truly makes it shine is the countless number of hidden features and compartments. 

These primarily come in the form of two hidden card wallets located behind the primary card pockets and more impressively, a key retention mechanism in the cash wallet. 

These added compartments can add considerable bulk to the wallet, however, as long as you are careful with how you load up your bifold it is unlikely to be noticeable when held against any other wallet.

5.11 Tactical Phantom Leather Bifold Wallet, RFID Blocking Material, Clear ID Window, Black, 1 SZ, Style 56377
  • HEAVY-DUTY LEATHER CONSTRUCTION - Featuring a sleek construction that's made from genuine leather, this wallet guarantees lasting durability for a reliable fashion piece that offers both function and style.
  • RFID SHIELD TECHNOLOGY - Equipped with RFID blocking material, this wallet protects your cards from unlawful skimming. It prevents thieves from stealing your credit card information and reading into RFID chips.
  • MULTIPLE STORAGE POCKETS - Designed to let you carry all your essentials, this wallet has 3 card slots, 2 card pockets, a bill compartment with divider, and a hidden key pocket. Its bifold layout ensures safekeeping of your personal belongings.
  • HANDY ID WINDOW - This wallet is equipped with a dedicated ID window that allows for easy viewing of your identification card. Its ergonomic design features a thumbhole that facilitates quick removal of your card.
  • TRUSTED BRAND - Developed with quality in mind, 5.11 Tactical offers a wide range of products that includes shirts, pants, bags, accessories, and more. Defining their brand through challenge and fortitude, 5.11 promises readiness beyond limits.

RoomierLife Belt

Wallets are an easy target during attacks such as muggings, so if you are looking for a great alternative, the RommierLife Belt may just help you keep your essential items safe. 

Built into the inside face of the belt is a hidden pocket that runs along the entire length of the belt allowing you to conceal various items such as currency, keys, or even escape tools.  

Accessing the contents of this pocket in public may require you to make a quick run to a more discrete location, as undressing in the middle of a checkout aisle is generally frowned upon, however, it is by far one of the best solutions to make sure you have access to emergency cash.

Money Belt for Men Travel Security Belt with Hidden Money Compartment Pocket, Cashsafe Anti-Theft Wallet Non-Metal Buckle
  • 🔒 BYE BYE PICKPOCKETS 💵 - DESIGNED FOR TRAVEL TSA 🧳 - keep your cash safe from pickpockets; equipped with an easy-to-use hidden zippered security pocket; safely conceals bills, coins, keys, USB-stick from thieves
  • 💪 DURABLE - Made with Premium YKK Zipper with reinforced non-slip buckle, Adjustable wear-resisting nylon materia for waist sizes 26 to 42 inches. UNISEX design.
  • ✅ Easy access and storage; quickly stash and remove your bills, coins, and keys with ease
  • ✅ NOT JUST A NORMAL BELT - It is a Long-lasting companion; made of premium quality top-grade webbing, YKK zipper, and a reinforced buckle; this lightweight yet strong nylon belt can stand lots of active use; rest assured that it will stay by your side from casual days, to outdoor activities, to all your trips. Especially keeping your precious goods safe and secure!

Lewis N Clark Stash Wallet

Finally, the Stash Wallet from Lewis N; Clark looks to pair the concealability of a belt wallet with the convenience and functionality of a traditional wallet.  

The exterior pocket clip hooks to your belt allowing it to be carried inside the waistband and more easily concealed, while also allowing you to rapidly access your money when you need it.

It won’t keep your gear safe if you are subject to a stop and frisk, however, if you are traveling and worried about pickpockets or are simply looking for a more secure method of retention to keep your wallet safe, the Stash Wallet cannot be beaten.

Lewis N. Clark RFID Hidden Clip Stash Money Belt Travel Pouch + Credit Card/Id Holder for Women & Men, Clay, One Size
  • RFID SHIELD TECHNOLOGY - A modern travel wallet, the Lewis N. Clark anti-theft clip stash is made with RFID Shield technology, protecting you against electronic pickpocketing and identity theft
  • SLIM LINE DESIGN: perfect for men and women, The ultra slim design clips to your waistband and is virtually invisible when covered by a top layer of clothing, concealing your cash, ID, and valuables
  • SECURE FIT- Includes a heavy duty clip and zippered pocket designed for cash and coins, credit cards and ID, you’ll have a secure place for everything
  • TRAVELDRY TECHNOLOGY - The special TravelDry fabric wicks away moisture and resists shrinking, keeping you comfortable while on the move
  • Available in black, tan, charcoal, and rust colors. Measures 3. 5x4. 5

Bags, Packs, and Organizers

Finally, it’s important to have a reliable means of actually carrying all of this gear on your person.

Most of us likely have at least one bag we use regularly. 

While it may be able to handle light day trips, for an emergency response bag, it’s important to choose one that can be comfortably carried for long hours, disappear easily into a crowd, and store all of your belongings in an easy to carry manner.

Like many of the other items on this list, this is a huge area with no clear winner so to help narrow down your search, it may be worth starting with some staples of the survival industry including Maxpedition, 5.11, and Vertx.

Carrying your gear is only half the battle; however, as you also need to be able to access equipment quickly.

For most of us, this means having gear neatly organized to better help you know exactly what you are carrying and where it is. 

For this reason, we’ve also included a breakdown of some of the best organizers on the market to keep your gear looking clean and ready at a moment’s notice.

Maxpedition Entity

The Maxpedition Entity lineup of bags is built to survive the toughest environments while still blending into an office or school environment.

They offer sizes from 7L up to 35L, with support for a concealed weapon in the rear compartment of the bag.

Our favorite option can be found in the 21L EDC backpack for its minimal aesthetic yet versatile and customizable organization system.


5.11 is best known for its tactical line of gear, but their COVRT line of bags make an excellent choice for a gray man.

They are arguably more suitable for a tourist than an office worker, but for the price, offer one of the most capable bags on the market for all your needs.

5.11 Tactical COVRT18 2.0 Tactical & Everyday 32L Backpack – TSA Laptop Friendly, CCW & Hydration Ready, Black, Style 56634
  • COVRT18T 2.0 is the next iteration in a serious of backpacks designed not to call a lot of attention to itself. Whether you’re working in tactical & austere environment or just want a pack with a street-smart look, we've got you covered.
  • On the outside you’ll find contemporary features like dual water bottle pockets and a shove-it compartment with side gussets and zippered drop pocket; + Hydration or TSA checkpoint friendly laptop rear compartment
  • Features tuckable logos, a front pocket with removable ID panels and slip pockets to tone down your profile, MOLLE + loop, a flex cuff channel, zippered drop pocket, and dual-access CCW.
  • SPECS: 19”H x 10.5”L x 6.5”D | 1953 cubic inch / 32-liter total capacity, + Weight 1.2kg. Made from 500D Nylon | 840D Nylon
  • The COVRT18 2.0 is the new & improved version of our best-selling COVRT18 Tactical Backpack. We’ve thought about the areas where you’ve requested a more discreet appearance, and made the necessary improvements plus more.


Vertx offers a huge lineup of bags specifically built for the gray man, but they are primarily built to carry a weapon covertly into almost any environment.

Starting at $100, their quality cannot be beaten while offering you everything you could need to keep your gear organized and accessible at a moment’s notice.

Vertx Gamut 2.0 Pack, Toy Soldier/Tumbleweed
  • Mission-ready carry platform with loop lining and a Rapid Access Pull tab
  • Modular padded laptop sleeve in main compartment adjusts in size and position and adapts to become a print-proof protective scabbard for sensitive gear
  • Zippered side compartments open toward the body for improved security and enable organization for your admin gear with total of two zippered mesh pockets and 7 drop-in pockets
  • Hydration bladder compatible with dual hose pass-through ports
  • Accommodates up to 15” laptop

Gear Organizers

Maxpedition Fatty

Maxpedition makes some of the best gear organizers out there in a huge range of sizes, from pocket organizers to soft-firearms cases.  

Coming from Maxpedition, they are built to survive almost anything you could throw at it and while it offers relatively little protection from the elements, ensures a very secure and easy-to-use organization platform to allow instant access to your gear.

MAXPEDITION Fatty Pocket Organizer (Wolf Gray)
  • Main compartment: 5.5"(L) x 1.5"(W) x 8"(H)
  • Drops into or attaches onto backpack or bag
  • Full clamshell opening main compartment with dual zippers
  • Inside left: Slip pocket; key leash with clip; tie-down loop, elastic organizer with 9 divisions
  • Inside right: Zipper pocket; elastic organizer with 6 divisions

Thyrm DarkVault

If you are more concerned about keeping your gear safe as opposed to keeping it organized, look no further than the DarkVault from Thyrm. 

This MOLLE compatible case offers the same level of protection as some of the best-built Pelican cases in a neat and convenient package that can be easily thrown in a bag or attached to the front of your plate carrier.

Thyrm DarkVault Comms Critical Gear Case, Waterproof, Attachable to MOLLE (Black) Rugged Storage for Cell Phone, GPS, Tools, Made in USA
  • PROTECT YOUR EVERYDAY CARRY ESSENTIALS: Battlefield-grade construction keeps your cell phone, GPS, navigation, or communication tools safe with a gasket seal that keeps out water, dust, and dirt, without affecting radio-frequency communication. Thyrm used input from active-duty military and federal law enforcement to provide professional-grade levels of protection while keeping gear immediately accessible. These cases DO NOT BLOCK SIGNAL and are not rated for prolonged submersion or diving.
  • MODULAR MOUNTING SYSTEM: Each DarkVault Comms case comes with a quick MOLLE / PALS attachment system for secure external and internal mounting options on chest rigs, backpacks, webbing, or other gear. The case can release entirely from the mounting bracket, to provide maximum modularity. You can quickly move your case from one mount to another, or remove the case from the mount to carry it with you, away from other gear. Case and mount exterior dimensions: 7.2L x 5.43W x 1.67D inches.
  • FULLY ADJUSTABLE NAVIGATION PLATFORM: Tighten the side lever of your DarkVault Comms Critical Gear Case, turning the DarkVault Comms case into an on-body navigation board or communication center. Or loosen the side friction lever so the case opens as widely as possible, presenting mounted ID or signaling tools. The case can be adjusted to repeatedly open up to the same angle up to 180 degrees.
  • LOCK AND TAMPER-EVIDENT ATTACHMENT OPTIONS: Align holes on the DarkVault Comms latch and mounting bracket to install locks or other tamper-evident devices. Users can prevent access to case contents and secure the DarkVault Comms case to MOLLE or other webbing or straps. Locks are not provided with the DarkVault Comms case.
  • GEAR MOUNTING OPTIONS: Three custom cut internal and external adhesive-backed loop Velcro panels come with the DarkVault Comms case and can be used for ID and organization. Hook-backed gear, patches and identification can be easily removed, repositioned, and replaced, keeping you prepared for your next survival, duty, work, or adventure situation. DarkVault Comms case internal dimensions: 6.70 x 3.95 x 1.15* inches DarkVault Comms interior (*maximum depth at center).

5.11 Flex Admin Pouch

Lastly, the 5.11 Flex Admin Pouch is there to give you the security and organization of a Maxpedition case, with the added MOLLE convenience of the Thyrm DarkVault.  

As an admin pocket, you are somewhat limited to the amount of gear that can be stored within this organizer, but for the basic essentials, it makes for an excellent addition to your kit that can be easily integrated into almost any of your bags or gear.

5.11 Tactical Series Flex Admin Pouch Pack Pocket, 17 cm, Black
  • Minimalistic, low profile and lightweight admin pouch
  • Zipper closure main compartment with shock cord for adjustable degree of opening up to 180 degrees
  • 2 small and 1 large sli pocket on back panel with elastic bands
  • Extra slip pocket behind front panel
  • Horizontal oriented laser-cut Molle loop platform


In a disaster, you will be mentally and physically pushed to extremes.

These kinds of situations easily break people, leaving them to shut down and suffer at the hands of others.

The only way to prevent this from happening to you is to be prepared as an entire person.

Whether it be from fight or flight, panic attacks, or even shell shock, hard times can make even the best people break down and freeze up.

Gear makes things easier, but when it comes down to the wire, you can only ever truly trust yourself.

Self-confidence and self-reliance may come naturally to some people, but by pushing yourself to uncomfortable places daily and training consistently to better yourself, it is a feeling that almost anyone can develop as long as you are willing to put in the work and grow as a person.

Cody Martin

With over 18 years of federal law enforcement, training, and physical security experience, Cody focuses his time nowadays on both consulting and training. He regularly advises individuals, groups, multinational corporations, schools, houses of worship, and NGOs on security threats while conducting customized training as needed.

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