When putting together your everyday carry kit, you need items that can easily be concealed. These are typically small, lightweight items that you can keep in your pocket. You also want to focus on items that you can keep with you 24 hours a day.
If you are like me, you probably never let your wallet out of your sight. Between my driver’s license, my insurance card, and my credit cards, I never get too far from my billfold. Because of that, items that can fit in your wallet are ideal for everyday carry.
There are two types of items that you can keep in your wallet. There are items that are designed to be credit card shaped and are specifically made to fit in your wallet. There are also items that are just naturally small enough to fit. Both types of items are worth considering for everyday carry.
As is with any survival items you carry, these items need to focus on the four pillars of survival. They include food, water, fire, and shelter. Other priorities to consider are first aid, orienteering, signaling for help, and self-defense.
Also, it is smart to look for items with multiple purposes. Any item that can help you survive in several ways is a good idea for keeping your kit efficient. In this article we will cover the best items to keep in your wallet for survival.
One of the most popular items to keep in your wallet is a credit card shaped multi-tool. Be aware that many of these items are not as functional as they advertise. They are often made of flimsy material that will not hold up when tested. However, there are a few good ones out there.
Features included in these tools include gut hooks, hex tools, knives, whistles, serrated edges, bottle openers, arrow heads, tweezers, ferro rods, lens firestarters, screwdrivers, paracord, toothpicks, compasses, rulers, scissors, LED flashlights, awls, fish hooks, sewing needles, snare locks, fishing lures, and styluses.
In my opinion, there are three of these multi-tools that are worth carrying. Many of these tools focus on working screws and bolts. While it is always helpful to have that ability, it is not my top priority in a survival situation.
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These tools focus on more important aspects of survival. One is a 12 in 1 multi-tool made of thick plastic and stainless steel. It has a good sized blade, two ways to start a fire, two ways to signal for help, a compass, and cordage. This meets most of your survival needs in one tool.
Another multi-tool I like is a 22 in 1 multi-tool made of entirely stainless steel. It is designed to break apart into pieces that are primarily focused on food acquisition. There are three different kinds of arrowheads designed for big game, small game, and gigging.
There are two different types of fish hooks, and in total 9 hooks are included. There are two types of saw blades as well as several snare locks that double as fishing spoons. There is even a sewing needle included.
The third multi-tool I like is made of thick stainless steel as well. It has 21 functions including a straight edge, serrated edge, gut hook, arrowhead, and four hex tools.
One of the coolest functions of this tool is that it can be taken apart and then reassembled on any pole or handle to create a functional hatchet. That can be a huge advantage when processing wood. It is also very sturdy, and I feel the arrowhead would hold up better than those found in other models.
You can fit several bandages into your wallet easily. They are very thin and light, you won’t feel the extra weight in any way. You never know when you get a cut or a bruise. Instead of keeping four credit cards you don’t even use, why not replace two of them with some bandages?
Other Items Designed for your Wallet
There are a few other survival items that are specifically made to fit in your wallet. One of the most common items for your wallet is a folding knife. The knife is shaped like a credit card, but has two joints that fold creating a handle and exposing the straight edge, full tang blade.
These are great for self-defense purposes. If a mugger demands your wallet, you can easily slip out this card before throwing them the wallet. By the time they realize what is happening, you can have the blade exposed and be prepared to defend yourself.
It can also be quite helpful if you need to hunt, fish, trap, build a shelter, start a fire, or perform any other survival functions.
Another commonly found survival item for your wallet is a plastic fire lens. These lenses are made of flexible plastic, so there is no need to worry about sitting on it and breaking the lens.
These are an ideal size to help you start a fire by magnifying the rays of the sun onto a focal point. Be aware that starting a fire with a lens is difficult.
It requires tinder that is fine in texture and completely dry. It also requires strong, direct sunlight so do not attempt it on cloudy days.
One item that is a bit less common is a wallet-sized lock pick set. Often people find themselves behind a locked door or trying to get into a locked cabinet in survival situations. Especially in hostage situations, criminals rely on locks to keep captives secure.
If you can just get past that locked door, the hostage takers might be caught off guard. It takes a great deal of practice, but having that lock pick set in your wallet can be a huge advantage. Most are actually disguised to look like a credit card so it is not confiscated during an initial search.
Many signaling mirrors are designed to be wallet sized. These mirrors are ideal for flagging down a plane, helicopter, or boat that may be too far away to see you waving your arms.
Most have a small hole in the center so you can actually aim the mirror at your target. Of course, keep in mind that this does not work on cloudy days or when you are in between your target and the sun.
I cannot necessarily recommend it as being a quality tool, but there are wallet sized tools to allow you to break down and clean an AR-15. Having these tools with you at all times can be quite helpful if you are in a situation in which you carry your AR-15 on a daily basis. I personally have no experience with these tools, and they seem to get mixed reactions from those that have tried them.
The last tool designed for your wallet is used for a completely different type of survival. Identity theft is a huge issue these days. If a criminal is able to access your personal or account information, they can wipe you out in minutes.
These criminals use reading devices to swipe your information right out of your wallet without you ever knowing the difference. By adding an RFID blocking card to your wallet, you can block those devices and ensure that your personal info is protected.
Small Items to Add to your Wallet
There are also survival items that just happen to be small enough to add to your wallet and carry on a daily basis. Again, these items should focus primarily on the four pillars of survival.
Fish hooks are items that I like to keep in my wallet. They are hard to recreate with natural materials and can make it easy to catch a meal.
Paracord is another item that takes up little space and can fit in my wallet. Each strand of paracord has several internal strands that are strong enough for most survival uses. Having just 12 inches of paracord can give you eight feet of total cordage.
There is also paracord available that has copper wire, fishing line, and a fire-starting material inside in addition to the interior strands that make it so strong.
For water purification, keeping a few water purification tablets in your wallet can be a lifesaver. Just two tiny tablets can purify about one Liter of water for consumption. It takes about 35 minutes for these tablets to do their magic, but it might be well worth the wait.
I also have a penny sized compass that is flat and fits well in my wallet. It is perfect to take out and use for orienteering as long as I remember to lay it flat and keep it away from anything metal.
There are fire starters that are small enough to fit in your wallet. Ferro rods are the only reliable fire-starting tool that is waterproof, windproof, and requires no fuel. You just have to be sure you have some high carbon steel with which to strike it.
Most strikers are also small enough to fit in your wallet. Copper wire takes up almost no space and is ideal for trapping. Unlike cordage, wire can be shaped however you like which makes positioning of snare traps much easier. A little wire can be an easy way to catch a meal.
When selecting items for your wallet, you are somewhat limited on how much you can carry. Take your time when selecting these items, and pick the ones that will best help your situation. Remember that your life may depend on these items, so go for quality and keep that wallet with you at all times.
Ryan isn’t just a prepper, he’s a survivalist. Every year, he plans several survival challenges, where he pushes himself to the limit to survive in various wilderness scenarios with very little food and gear.