How to Build a Tactical EDC Wallet for SHTF Survival

You never know when an emergency is going to strike, which is why survivalists practice Everyday Carry – or EDC.  I’m a big fan of EDC kits and versatile multi-tools.

However, not everyone wants to carry around lots of extra gear everyday.  So, what better way to improve preparedness than making an EDC survival wallet.

You’d be surprised how much survival gear you can fit into an EDC wallet.  Thanks to all of the new ultra-compact survival multi-tools, you can get the basics – like a knife, firestarter, and can opener – into a wallet without it getting bulky.  

Here’s how to do it.

Step 1. Choose Your EDC Wallet


Finding the right wallet for survival EDC is a tough task.  It needs to be sturdy and have lots of room for tools, but not so bulky that it won’t fit in your pocket.  Tactical wallets are generally built to hold more gear.

It’s a good idea to get a wallet which has a RFID-protecting shell or card holder.  If it isn’t, then make sure you are getting an RFID-blocking case for your credit cards.

Hitch and Timber Card Daddy

The H&T Card Caddy

This leather EDC wallet is gorgeous.  It can hold cards and bills, but has pockets for a real knife and pen.


Trayvax Wallet

trayvax EDC Wallet

The Trayvax can hold up to 14 credit cards (though just 5 bills) in its plate.

It has a built-in bottle opener and is wrapped with paracord.  The wallet is also RFID-resistant and has a lifetime warranty.


Dango Tactical EDC Wallet

Dango Tactical EDC Wallet

This is my favorite EDC wallet because it has several built-in tools and is well designed.

The multi-tool has over 10 functions including a mini knife. It’s RFID blocking and made from genuine leather.  Oh, and the entire wallet weighs less than 2 ounces.

Step 2: Add EDC Credit Card Tools


There are tons of really cheap credit card tools you can buy.  Of course, you shouldn’t expect too much from a $4 multi-tool.  They are often made out of cheap materials which will bend or crack during even small jobs.

That said, there is still a lot you can do with credit card tools.  I use the screwdrivers on my credit card survival tool quite often.  If SHTF, I would also be thankful for the compass and can opener.

I’ve picked out some of the better-quality credit card tools to share below.  They are still all cheap, but hold up better than others I've used.

SOG Credit Card Companion

SOG makes a lot of really cool survival gear, including this credit card tool.

It’s a bit thick, but has 9 tools which are quite strong, including: a knife, compass, tweezers, toothpick, and can opener.


Readyman Wilderness Survival Credit Card Tool

This credit card tool was made with bugging out in mind. It has fish hooks, a saw blade, and arrows.

 Now, you just have to learn how to actually use those tools in a wilderness survival situation!


Step 3: Choose a Wallet-Sized Knife


A knife is one of the most critical survival items that you need to have.  If the credit card tool you choose doesn’t have a knife, you’ll want to get one to put in your wallet.

Again, credit card tools aren’t meant for doing tough tasks.  In a pinch, you might be able to shave some tinder with a wallet knife, but I’d rather have a fixed blade with me.  If you are on a budget, you might want to check out these Top 10 Survival Knives for Under $100. 

Even if you do carry a knife as part of your EDC, it’s still nice to have a wallet knife too.  When it comes to survival, “two is one, and one is none.”

Here are three options for wallet knives.  Just remember to remove wallet knives before going through security!

Cheap Foldable Knife

These cheap folding knives are really trendy now.  The design is cool – you just fold down the sides and flip out the knife.  I’ve used mine to cut plants a few times and the blade was surprisingly sharp.


Belk Thin Carbon Knife

This wallet knife is also very cheap, but is sturdier than the folding one above.  It is made from ultra-thin carbon, so the knife is lightweight but still holds up during tasks.


Zootility WildCard Knife

Another awesome design, the WildCard credit card knife also has a few other tools built into it. I love it for its longer blade and serrated edge.


Step 4: Wallet Survival Items


There are a few random survival items that you might want to include in your EDC wallet.

Wallet Firestarters

You’ve got three options here: lenses, magnesium and flint strikers, or matches.  

I personally prefer a Ferro rod because it is the most reliable and doesn’t run out.  It does take some skill to use them though, so you might want to choose another method.

This fire striker also serves as a knife sharpener!


First Aid Card

When was the last time you refreshed your first aid skills?  Just in case you forget what to do, it helps to have a first aid card in your wallet.

Can Opener

How could you survive TEOTWAWKI without a can opener? This little one fits in your wallet.

Water Purification Tablets

Water purification is a life or death matter!  It’s nice to have a few water purification tabs in your wallet just in case.  Some people would consider this overkill though…

Other Wallet Survival Items

Are Your Documents Ready?

This isn’t something that preppers talk about often, but you should have emergency documents prepped for emergencies.

 I find the best way to keep these is on a password protected, encrypted flash drive.  If all hell breaks loose while you are out of the home, at least you’ll have all of your insurance, medical, ID, and copies of other personal documents handy.

 Also don’t forget an ICE card and a medical ID!

What survival items do you have in your wallet? 

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