Everyday Carry

5 Specialized Pouch Setups for Your EDC

Ed Jelley
5 Specialized Pouch Setups for Your EDC

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When browsing the site, you've probably noticed a fair amount of EDC pouches. For many readers, a pouch organizer is just as essential as the gear kept inside it thanks to its convenience as a grab-and-go kit. And while many of the pouches you see are designed for general EDC, you can also customize these handy pouches for a wide range of tasks beyond just your daily essentials. To give you some ideas on what to pack in your favorite gear pouch, we've put together five examples of specialized kits for everyday situations.

General EDC 

Organizing your everyday gear into a pouch turns pockets full of loose items into an easy-to-grab kit. These five essentials are everything you need to get through any normal day. It'll also make a great backup kit for your car or bag. For a general EDC pouch, we like something small like the Maxpedition Micro EDC pouch.

  • Knife: A small knife like CRKT's Pilar is great to keep in a pouch due to its small size, versatile blade, and sturdy construction. 
  • Multi-tool: In addition to a knife, a well-rounded multitool can accomplish a wide variety of tasks. Consider something small and versatile like a Victorinox Pioneer Alox or a Leatherman Juice CS4
  • Flashlight: 4Sevens' Preon P1 is an updated version of their classic AAA light. It's small and lightweight, yet it's still powerful enough for daily tasks while using a common battery. 
  • Pen: Fisher's Clutch pen uses their popular write-anywhere refill, but houses it in a much more durable body. This aluminum pen is hard anodized with a black coating for extra resistance to wear. 
  • Notebook: Rite in the Rain's notebooks are a great companion to the Fisher Space Pen. The paper is treated with a coating that makes it waterproof, ideal for writing in any condition. 

First Aid / Emergency

First Aid Kits may not be on everyone's list of daily carried essentials, but keeping one close by is always a good idea. By using a pouch to store one in your house, car, or bag, you can ensure that it's always accessible and fully stocked. Making your own first aid kit also cuts down on bulk (compared to the pre-assembled ones in big plastic containers) and allows you to customize the kit to fit your specific needs.

  • Re-package a Kit: Bulky plastic containers aside, you can repackage much (if not all) of a ready to go first aid kit. If you don't want to customize your kit, these usually include a good baseline of bandaids, wound care, and essential painkillers. 
  • FlashlightIf you find yourself in an emergency situation at night, visibility can greatly help the outcome. Whether you need to change the tire on the side of the road, or apply a bandage to a wound, you're going to need to see what you're doing. 
  • Solar Blanket: These blankets are lightweight, and barely take up any room. If you're stuck on the rise of the road, or stranded somewhere without heat, a solar blanket can keep you much warmer than just your clothing alone. This one is large enough to cover your entire body.
  • Road Flare: If you intend on keeping this kit in your car, a road flare is never a bad thing to have on hand. The only thing is, a flare itself can be dangerous. Sub out the traditional ones for these bright glow sticks that provide 12 hours of light. 

Outdoor Survival

Whether it's a day hike or a multi-day camping trip, you're going to want to bring some emergency essentials. For this kit, you should include some gear that's tailored to the outdoors. Since this gear is more robust, tossing them in a simple pouch like the Topo Designs Accessory Pouch will work well.

  • Fire Starter: Keep a backup way to start a fire inside the pouch. If you lose your primary method, it's essential to have another. This ferro rod has a few more functions for additional utility.
  • Reflective Signal Mirror: Signal mirrors are a great, electricity (and fire)-free method of signaling for help. If your phone and flashlight go dead while out in the woods, a signal mirror is a great way to get yourself noticed. 
  • Kindling: Keep a small container of kindling in case you find yourself in wet conditions unable to start a fire. The Thyrm cell vault is a waterproof, MOLLE-compatible vessel that's perfect for keeping small items dry. 
  • Protein/Food Bars: Even if you're not stuck in the woods, it's always a great idea to keep some extra food near by. Make sure it's something with a long shelf life that's high in protein and gives you a good boost of carbs. Bonus points if the packages are completely sealed, the last thing you want is hungry wildlife on your tail. 
  • Paracord: Keeping a length of paracord has a ton of EDC uses. You can snag some in a variety of colors to match the rest of your gear, or a bright color to stand out in the foliage.


Plenty of us carry essential tech that comes in handy on a daily basis. Whether you work out of a mobile office, have a long commute, or just like keeping your gadgets charged, a pouch full of tech gear can meet your needs. Since you'll probably need to carry lots of cables, a pouch with ample elastic straps on the inside (like the Vanquest EDCM ) will help keep your gear neat and tidy.

  • Long Charging Cable - Keeping a long cable in a pouch allows you to charge your device while leaving the pouch in your bag. These braided cables are 10 feet long and have aluminum connectors for increased durability. 
  • Backup Battery - What's a long cable without a backup battery? A slim battery like the Mophie Powerstation Mini packs in 3,000mAh of extra power in a slim form factor. 
  • Headphones - A solid, noise-isolating set of earbuds are ideal for drowning out the rest of the world (or just enjoying your music in peace and quiet). This set from Shure is great for commuting because of their small size and excellent sound quality. 
  • Flash Drive - Keep your essential files close by with this USB 3.0 drive from Kingston. The drive features durable metal construction and a slim form factor. 
  • Velcro Cable Ties - The key to carrying tech gear is keeping everything organized. The last thing you want is messy cables popping out of the pouch every time you need to grab something. Keep them in check with these convenient cable ties and avoid a tangled mess of cables.

Travel / Dopp Kit

Making a pouch setup for travel can come in handy on a variety of levels. Keeping your toiletries in a sealed pouch is great, especially if you have messy items like toothpaste and shaving cream and can open up and ruin your clothes. The DSPTCH Dopp Kit features some traditional dopp kit design, with construction and materials (like ballistic nylon) that the EDC community appreciates. It even has a removable valet tray to store your EDC goods while at a hotel.

  • Shave Kit: Remember to bring your shave setup! Whether you need to look good for clients, or just hate a stubbly face, you don't want to be stuck with the cheap razors from a hotel (or overpriced ones in the lobby shop). 
  • Travel Toothbrush: Again, you don't want to be stuck with the lack-luster freebies found at your hotel. Pick up a decent folding travel toothbrush to save on space inside your kit. 
  • Swiss Army Knife w/ Nail Clipper: Instead of bringing a full-on multitool, this tiny SAK is ideal for everything you'd need while traveling. There's a nail clipper, small scissor, file, and small blade. 
  • TSA Friendly Multitool: Bringing a TSA-friendly multitool (like the BigiDesign TPT) is great when you can't bring an entire tool set on your trip. There's a wrench set, package opener, bit driver, and hex tool.

Do you use a pouch in your EDC? If so, we'd love to hear what essentials you keep inside.

#carry-smarter #pouch-organizers #edc-pouches #pocket-organizers #molle-pouches #edc-setup #edc-pouch-contents #organizer-pouch #backpack-edc-setups see all

Who Likes This (207)

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Discussion (20 total)

Christopher ·
Just an FYI for those who use/carry anything with blood type on it: If you're in a trauma situation, transfusions will be O-Neg until your blood can be typed and screened. Blood antigens can change over time and transfusing without a type and screen can be dangerous or fatal. Might save a couple of bucks spent on tabs/patches. If you like it for cool factor, understandable. - ER/Trauma/CCU RN
ThreePercenter ·
I love using pouches in my bag. It keeps like items together.
Luke Ambrose ·
I use mine as my Fire Starting & Edge Sharpening EDC. Its packed with Tinder and flint. Stones and diamond surfaces, Lapping fluids and strops. I also have the essentials like a torch with it to get the job done.
Jessie ·
Only problem I have with the pouches (I have a maxpedition micro) is that it doesn't fit comfortable into a front jean pocket. I prefer not to keep it in the back pocket for the same reason most people suggest you don't keep your wallet in your back pocket. So I hesitate adding it to my edc and yet I hate loose things in my pockets. I'm kind of at an impass. Any suggestions?
Paul Tobeck ·
My essentials are always in my pockets, so I wouldn't carry one of these on my person. I think a loaded Micro would still be awkward to try and carry even in a cargo pouch on your shorts. I currently use a Maxpedition Fatty for carrying gear in my backpack, and it's just for stuff I don't need on my person (fire starter, prybar and other tools, band-aids) or redundant items in case of failure (pens, spare knife, flashlight, etc). It's a bit thick and heavy fully loaded, and a touch too big for my weekend/daytrip bag, so I'm looking to add a slimmer, smaller pouch like the EDCM or Maxpedition EDC for it (and, of course, buy new gear to fill it!)
What you probably should look at is one of the slim, wallet style pocket organizers. Just hit search up at the top and there have been a few featured on here.
Ed Jelley ·
What do you usually carry?

Something like the Hitch and Timber Pocket Runt 2.0 has enough room for a small knife, a swiss army knife multitool, and a pen.
Jessie ·
iPhone, buck 110 folder on my belt, keysmart and leatherman ps on my carabiner, ridge wallet and inhaler (the bane of my edc, no comfortable way to have it on my person) this takes up most of my pocket space. I'd love to fit a pen, field notes and a small flashlight but I'm struggling to keep the stuff I already have.
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James ·
Some pouches have belt attachment options, or can be modified to attach that way. If you usually wear your outermost shirt untucked, that should hide pretty easily when carried at the small of your back.
Everyday Tools ·
I use the Maxpedition 0262B Micro Pocket Organizer, Black and cannot seem to find another one that is better. All my EDC items fit and it fits in my front pants pocket.
Tim Chadwick ·
Can someone please identify the watch in the bottom photo please?
David Emmons ·
How do you do that paracord wrap in the Micro? Looks thinner than what I’m doing now.
Ed Jelley ·
I wrapped it around a tin pen case I had laying around, then slipped it off. Since there's elastic bands in the pouch, it held the cord in nicely. Also, there's definitely some photo staging in play as well. In practice, it may not be quite so neat.
Oscar Perez Perez ·
Come on... You wrote this article to tell us what to carry on our pouch set and fail to include the pouch itself
Nice article, these are all great suggestions for the uninitiated EDCer. I especially liked the suggestion to re-package first aid kits-- This is also known as "field stripping", as in to "field strip an MRE" to make it more portable.

For the Travel/Dopp kit write-up the term "TSA friendly" is a bit misleading here. I think it is intended in this instance to mean "permitted on an airplane" but not necessarily "permitted through a TSA checkpoint". The "TSA friendly" multitool suggestion of a BigiDesign TPT is essentially a box cutter, which can only be flown in checked baggage. So yes--Technically it is TSA friendly under those circumstances. But by this definition a Glock pistol is also "TSA Friendly". In fact, every multitool I can think of would be too. So if you have an entire checked bag to work with, why choose such a minimalist / limited multitool when really you could pick any to pack with only minimal space/weight taken.

Also I mean to mention all this more as a disclaimer that box cutters are in fact not permitted through TSA checkpoints, and anything closely resembling one will be a hard sell to your run-of-the-mill TSA agent.
Every Day Aaron ·
The only thing that I'd add to the General EDC pouch (and even the Outdoor Survival) is pepper spray - a good non-lethal defense option is always great to have on hand.
Every Day Aaron ·
Bear or brute-proof!
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