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Carrying a Lock Picking Kit in Your EDC or Survival Kit

December 19, 2023 0 comments

Unlocking the Possibilities: Carrying a Lock Picking Kit in Your EDC

Lock picking, once considered a niche skill, has found its place among the tools of everyday carry (EDC) enthusiasts and those who value preparedness. Lets explore the key factors that impact the decision to carry a lock picking kit, including the options of a concealable lock picking kits and incorporating a lock picking kit into an EDC or survival kit. We'll delve into the tradeoffs, challenges, and the importance of thoughtful consideration when adding this unique skill set to your EDC or survival kit.

To Pick, or Not to Pick.

Often people associate lock picking with burglars, thieves, and their favorite heist movies, but honestly lock picking has a very dignified space in the everyday carry arsenal of many. For me, this comes from personal experience. I learned to pick locks once my wife locked us out of the house one too many times, and when i spent two hours driving back to someone's house when they forgot the key to the storage locker with the tools in it on a construction job. Lock picking is a practical skill but the truth is knowing how to open your own locks is a useful and viable skill, especially in an emergency.

Choosing the Right Lock Picking Kit

Before diving into the various types of lock picking kits, it's crucial to choose the right one based on your needs, skill level, and intended use.

Full-Size Lock Picking Kit:

These comprehensive kits offer a wide array of tools and accessories, suitable for enthusiasts looking to master the art of lock picking. They provide versatility and are ideal for those who want to delve deep into this skill in a stationary location, or by using a dedicated bag to carry everything.

Concealable Wallet or Pocket Lock Picking Kit:

Wallet sized lock pick kits are compact and discreet, These kits are designed to fit inside your wallet or pocket and contain only the essentials for scenarios that are the most likely to occur. They offer the advantage of portability and are perfect for urban EDC scenarios where subtlety is essential.

Incorporating a Lock Picking Kit into your EDC or Survival Kit:

For individuals who see lock picking as a valuable survival skill, integrating lock picking tools into their EDC or survival kit makes sense. It enhances their resourcefulness and preparedness for various situations.

Balancing Tradeoffs and Challenges

Carrying a lock picking kit presents unique tradeoffs and challenges that should be considered carefully.

Legal Considerations: The legality of carrying lock picking tools varies by location. It's crucial to research and understand local and state laws before adding a lock picking kit to your EDC a great place to start is this guide that goes state by state.

Skill Development: Proficiency in lock picking takes time and practice. It's not a skill that can be mastered overnight, so be prepared to invest time in learning.

Ethical Use: Lock picking tools should be used responsibly and ethically. The knowledge should be applied for legal and moral purposes only.

Which Kit to Carry

Carrying a Full Size Lock Picking Kit

Concealable lock picking kits are generally easy to carry, as they are designed to fit into a wallet, keychain etc, however there are a multitude of tools in larger kits that can be used under special conditions that can add to the weight, and bulk to a lock picking kit. You would be capable of handling more situations, but at the cost of discretion. 

Pros of large kits:

  • Handles Many Types of Locks: The tools you need to handle just about any situation
  • Large Tool Set: capable of carrying backup tools in case of tool failure, or breakage
  • Accessibility: Having lock picking tools on hand can be valuable in emergency situations.

Cons of large kits:

  • Weight: Larger kits weigh more, and don't easily fit within a small pouch, or pocket.
  • Skill Requirement: Proficiency in lock picking is essential for effective use for such a wide array of equipment.
  • Space: Carrying many tools can take up the space that other important tools require

Carrying a Wallet Lock Picking Kit

Credit card size lock picking kits offer ultimate portability, fitting comfortably in your wallet or cardholder and are designed to handle the most commonly used lock types.


  • Compact: These kits are incredibly slim and take up virtually no space.
  • Always On Hand: Having lock picking tools in your wallet means they are always available when you need them no worries about remembering them.
  • Lightweight: They won't add noticeable weight to your EDC.
  • Only the Essentials: Small kits like this stick to the most used tools that cover the widest array of situations.
  • Easier to Understand: learning a half dozen tools is much easier than learning to use dozens many of which have special applications.


  • Limited Toolset: wallet-sized kits may have fewer tools.
  • Skill Requirement: Proficiency is crucial fewer tools mean you need to be better versed in them.
  • Legal Considerations: Be aware of legal restrictions on carrying concealed lock picking tools in your area.

Including Lock Picks in a Survival Kit

For those who see lock picking as a valuable survival skill, incorporating a lock picking kit into a broader survival kit or bug out bag makes sense.


  • Versatility: A lock picking kit adds versatility to your survival kit, allowing you to access resources in locked containers.
  • Resourcefulness: In survival situations, the ability to unlock doors or containers can be a game-changer.
  • Comprehensive Preparedness: It aligns with the preparedness mindset and enhances your overall survival capabilities.


  • Bulk: Including a lock picking kit may add bulk and weight to your survival kit unless it's small enough or lightweight enough.
  • Skill Requirement: Proficiency is essential, and practicing lock picking under survival conditions can be challenging.
  • Urban: Lock picking tools loose some of their efficacy outside of urban situations or in the wilderness. They could become added weight with no use.


Carrying a lock picking kit as part of your EDC or survival gear can be a valuable addition for those who prioritize preparedness and resourcefulness. However, it comes with legal, skill-related, and ethical considerations that should not be taken lightly. It's essential to balance the tradeoffs, invest time in skill development, and adhere to local laws and ethical guidelines.

Ultimately, the decision to carry a lock picking kit hinges on your individual needs, your commitment to responsible use, and your dedication to mastering this unique skill. When carried and used responsibly, a lock picking kit can provide you with an extra layer of preparedness and the ability to navigate unforeseen challenges effectively.

You can find out how to pick a lock with our waterproof tip cards and beginners lock picking guide.

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