Mom’s Purse: The Original EDC

I’ve gotten a lot of good-natured teasing from my friends over the years about over packing and being “always ready”.

I had an inexplicably heavy backpack in high school because I carried all sorts of things; a habit that stuck with me even throughout my time in the Navy.
Everybody always laughed but they totally knew who to come to for a Band-Aid, a sewing kit, or a screwdriver to tighten up their glasses.

I frequently had to explain to my friends that my Altoids tin did not, in fact, contain Altoids.

I discovered MacGyver was my spirit animal and through duct tape, all things are possible.

It was around this time I discovered Instructables and first heard the term EDC.

According to Review Geek,
“Everyday carry is a preparedness accessory hobby and internet subculture that’s been around since at least 2005 when was launched. But that really just tells you when the “Everyday Carry / EDC” branding began in earnest.

For the true origin of the practice, we’d probably need a team of anthropologists. That said, it seems pretty clear that modern-day EDC was born from a broader revival of historical accessorizing”

Inadvertently, Instructables led me down a rabbit hole into the exact prepper culture I still embrace today.

Not over-the-top doomsday stuff, just regular handy dandy stuff.

When I think back to my weirdo preparedness origin story it always comes back to the same thing, my mom’s purse.

I have fond memories of rooting around my mom’s purse with my sister during church.
We’d find chocolate, gum, cough drops, Listerine strips, tissues, an inordinate amount of fast food napkins, nail clippers, Band-Aids, a pocket knife, pens so we could play tic-tac-toe on the donation envelopes while Fr. Michael was delivering his homily…

My mom’s pocket knife is actually the reason I started carrying one as a teenager.

It has been said that moms are some of the most prepared people in the world.
So in the spirit of Mother’s Day, this post is dedicated to my mom’s purse, the original EDC.

What are a few must-haves from Mom’s purse?

Pocket Knife

Just a regular Swiss Army knife, nothing crazy like what Ed Calderon’s mom carried.(
My mom’s knife was strictly for utility, not defense.

Nail Clippers

Speaking of utility, nail clippers are not just for clipping nails. They’re also good for cutting the price tag off of clothing if you don’t want to risk ripping the fabric by pulling. In a pinch, I’ve also used them to cut wire. (I never said I was a good electrician.)

Hand Sanitizer

I know, I know. With the current events, who doesn’t carry hand sanitizer now?


Do you know just how useless I felt a few weeks ago at my daughter’s soccer practice when I had literally everything I thought I needed in my pockets, but I didn’t have tissue when one of her teammates got a nosebleed?
Shhh… don’t tell my mom I wasn’t prepared.

Wet Wipes

This may be redundant but wet wipes are like Kleenex’s smarter younger sister. Good for cleaning up after said nosebleed or maybe after a messy meal of BBQ ribs. If you don’t have them then I guess you could combine hand sanitizer and tissue to make your own.
Since we’re on the subject of messes…

A change of clothes


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This recent “outfit roll mom hack” TikTok from @pandemicmamaa reminded me of the good ol’ baby days.
Obviously, my mom doesn’t keep a change of my clothes in her purse anymore. But when I (and my clothes) was smaller, I’m sure she did.


Probably to keep us quiet during church. There’s no telling how long any of that stuff had been in there. There was always something unique about the taste of a Hershey’s Kiss from my mom’s purse.


My mom is the only person I know who still regularly carries cash. I randomly had cash today and it came in pretty handy when the card reader on the vending machine at work was disabled.


A couple of years ago my daughter skinned her knee at the park. My mom and I both pulled out Band-Aids.
My friend that was with us (who was also in the Navy with me) said “Ooooh. Okay, that’s where you get it from.”

What about you?
What are your favorite things from your mom’s purse?

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