There’s a bit of a cult community on the internet surrounding the term “everyday carry” — commonly abbreviated as EDC. You may have seen the term in passing, but aren’t sure what it really means. Even Art of Manliness has mentioned it, but never really defined the concept for the average gent. Today, I’m going to give you a primer on EDC, and explore the various ways a man can use it to his advantage.
At the most literal level, your everyday carry is the collection of items you carry with you in your pockets or in your bag on a daily basis.
They’re the things you tap your pockets for before you head out the door, the things you feel naked without, and the things that would throw off your whole day if you had to do without them. They are valuable not just in a monetary or sentimental way; your everyday carry is comprised of items that you find truly essential.
This means things like pocket lint, scrunched up receipts, gum wrappers, and other disposables might live in your pocket (hopefully not for very long), but they don’t count as part of your everyday carry. Mainstays in your carry should have certain qualities that fall in line with the principles of utility and preparedness. Each component of your EDC should serve a purpose or have at least one specific, useful function.
Every day, your EDC essentials prepare you for the worst and empower you to do your best.
What’s awesome is that at some level, everybody already has an everyday carry. But by thinking of what you keep in your pockets as your everyday carry system, you can enjoy a wealth of benefits:
There isn’t an all-in-one solution for all your daily essentials — you’ll have to develop a system of multiple items.
Phone: There’s no denying that modern smartphones allow us to do more than ever before. No other device can match the functionality and sheer versatility of a smartphone and still fit in the palm of your hand. Our smartphones reduce the need to carry a camera, watch, pen and paper, and flashlight. This is great for minimalists, but the rest of the world doesn’t operate entirely digitally. In many cases, there isn’t an app for that, and you’ll need to carry “real” versions of those other items.
Wallet: Wallets keep our cards, IDs, cash, and other paper documents organized and nearby. The wallet itself might not be as important as what’s inside it, but it serves a critical purpose to protect these essential assets from damage and loss.
Keychain: Keys let us go places and secure what’s important to us. Sure, keychains can be noisy, clunky, and difficult to manage, but most of us can’t live without them all the same. Additionally, you can add key-shaped miniature knives, lock-picking tools, etc. Be sure to check out our guide, Key Elements, for ideas to spruce up your keyring.
Beyond this, many EDCers include this “trinity” of staple tools:
Knife: The fact that many everyday carries include a pocketknife comes as a surprise to many. While laws and cultural differences might portray these edged essentials in a negative light, a well-designed, reasonably-sized pocketknife is primarily a tool. When used responsibly, a knife safely handles cutting and slicing tasks better than a house key, a pair of scissors, your hands, or even your teeth can. There’s certainly no app for breaking down a box, slicing into brisket, or cutting cordage! With that said, not everyone will need a knife, or even be able to carry one legally. But it’s important to view them for their practicality more than anything.
Flashlight: You would bring an umbrella for a 50% chance of rain, so why wouldn’t you bring a flashlight for 100% chance of darkness every night? From getting through power outages, to looking under couches, to navigating a dimly lit path, having a light source in your pocket will come in handy. Some might be content with using their phone’s screen or camera flash for light. Modern lights, with multiple modes and a dedicated battery, perform far better in daily tasks and emergency situations, and do so without draining your phone’s battery, making them a must-have in many EDC arsenals.
Multitool: The multitool embodies many core principles of EDC — utility, versatility, portability. For quick fixes, tinkering, and other handy work, having a toolbox’s worth of functionality in a single pocketable tool is invaluable. Common multitool functions include pliers, screwdrivers, bottle openers, scissors, and other cutting tools. Multitools can complement the functions of the five aforementioned essentials when weight and pocket space are at a premium.
Luckily for us EDC enthusiasts, the list of useful gear to keep on hand doesn’t stop here. There are many more gadgets that people carry, but these three analog instruments still find their way into many pockets today.
Pen: Not everything is digitized just yet. And sometimes, writing with a pen beats tapping away with your thumbs at your phone. An EDC pen takes care of common workplace tasks like jotting notes, signing paperwork, or drawing out diagrams to explain something. Check out our guide on Why You Should Carry a Pen for even more reasons to keep ink close by.
Paper: What’s a great pen without something to write on? Soft cover pocket notebooks have been growing in popularity in the EDC community recently. Learn more about the benefits of the paper pocket notebook.
Watch: Sure, you can keep track of time by checking your smartphone, but then you’d have to go through the trouble of pulling it out of your pocket, which can come off as rude, especially with company around. Dedicated watches are beautiful in their own right, and they help you keep track of time without depending on the short-term life of a phone battery.
Not at all! Everyday carry is all about assembling a setup that fits your needs. Just as no two people are exactly alike, their respective EDCs will vary significantly. Acquire and carry what you need according to your lifestyle, location, profession, daily routine, style, budget, and so on.
In general, your carry should be reliable and functional, but most importantly, personal. You might be a minimalist at heart and just have the essential components, or you might like the peace of mind that comes with knowing all your bases are covered no matter the situation.
A great EDC shows the foresight to include what you personally need for your day, and the restraint to leave behind what you don’t.
What’s in your EDC arsenal? Please share in the comments, with words and/or pictures!
Before It's News
All Self Sustained
Patriot Net Daily
Survivalist News Network
My Child Behaviour
My Daily Informer
My Family Survival Plan
The Garden Prepper
The Married Gang
The Prepper Dome
US Crisis Preppers