BY AMOS KWON
Though no true point of origin exists for everyday carry (EDC), it might just have its roots in the old school gentlemanly approach to daily accoutrements in the 18th and 19th centuries. Back then, it was not uncommon for men to carry items like pocket watches, handkerchiefs, snuff or pipe tobacco tins, wallets, and pocket knives. Whatever a man could carry in his suit or coat jacket and pants pockets constituted his EDC, though the term obviously didn’t exist back then. EDC is a general term for items you carry with you on a regular basis, whether stored in pockets, backpacks, briefcases, messenger bags, etc.
EDC can be as simple as a wallet and keys, or it could be inclusive of numerous items with very specific purposes. A waterproof notebook and Fisher Space Pen for a law enforcement officer, a wire-cutting multitool for an electrician, or a portable keyboard for a programmer. Then there are the more sentimental, more expressive aspects of EDC. An heirloom Omega Speedmaster from your grandfather, a crucifix from your mother, a portable framed photo of your daughter. Much of it depends on your occupation, your daily responsibilities and your own personal taste.
The Benefits of Good Everyday Carry
- You’re prepared for just about anything. Shy of carrying a bug-out-bag with you when the proverbial shit hits the fan, you’ll be ready for the day’s tasks by carrying more than just the basics with you.
- You’re more organized.Keeping your EDC together means your mindset is a more organized one, especially if you make it a priority to have all of your gear in one place so the day gets started without you hunting for things. You know what’s in your EDC since you do it everyday.
- You’ll save time and energy.You can tell the time on your wristwatch if you leave your phone at your desk. You don’t need to ask for a pen and paper to jot down important notes or fill out a form. You have a cold, and your handkerchief is ready (and clean). Your girlfriend just lost a valuable earring in the parking lot in the dark, and you’ve got your LED flashlight with you.
- You’ll get your money’s worth.Instead of having a junk drawer at home with cheap crap that keeps breaking or wasting good money by hunting for misplaced items you don’t care about but will eventually need, your gear is in one place and you pride yourself on quality.
- You get a reputation for being the go-to-guy.Sure you don’t want to haphazardly lend out your stuff to the uninitiated, but you will be looked to as the guy who can do anything. I can’t count how many times someone’s needed my help because I had a good knife, multitool, flashlight, paracord keychain or lighter with me. It’s damn good to be needed and able to help.
It’s more than likely you already have a rudimentary EDC comprised of items you can’t do without. Keys to the car and house, a wallet with credit cards, cash and identification, a mobile phone. It’s a great basis for building a more refined, more personal EDC. The goal of an EDC should, of course, be primarily functional in nature. If you bring along something that has purely sentimental value, make sure it’s not something that will weigh you down. Also, avoid doubling up unless absolutely necessary if you are concerned about product failure or loss.
We’ll show you some great categories and products to help you select your perfect EDC. Keep in mind that no practical and manageable EDC will have every item for every occasion. You’d be hauling way too much stuff, and the point is to stay prepared and at-the-ready, versus bogged down and hunting through gobs of gear.