Everyday carry (EDC) has a bad rap. Those who "practice" are either doomsday 'preppers', have a peculiar fascination with the subject in and of itself, or both. Both approaches come off as crazy.
Still, here are some items that I think are useful for any parent of small(er) children to always have around when you're out and about:
1. A keychain flashlight, like a Nitecore Tube. I've spent more time looking around dark schoolyards, classrooms, gyms, etc. for mittens, hats, toys and water bottles than I care to recall.
2. A tiny pair of folding scissors. I've lost track of the number of tags, threads, etc. I've cut off with these. I like the old, crappy bent-metal kind.
3. An ordinary plastic shopping bag. Good for unexpected school / daycare crafts, projects, gifts, books, homework, etc. etc..
4. Big Band-aids; better for larger scrapes at the playground or camping. (Or small ones, at least.)
5. Spare change or small bills. Good for those "I forgot I needed a dollar for school today" problems.
6. A safety pin. Good for last-second / emergency / temporary fixes to special clothes/costumes, bags, backpacks, etc.
7. A small comb or brush. Very useful for school photo day, school plays, special occasions, or whenever your kid looks embarrassing.
8. A spare blank check. Very useful when you have to sign up for something today, either because you forgot or didn't see/get the notice.
These range from very cheap to practically free.
A little duct tape doesn't hurt, if you don't mind taking the time to:
- Find/buy some flat duct tape;
- Find/buy a small, portable roll; or
- Wind some around a spindle yourself. I recommend using an eye lag screw, which is the kind used for drop ceilings.