The following article was contributed by Hugo, a native of the UK. Hugo’s expertise and interests lie with EDC (every-day carry) for which he contributes articles and videos in various contexts/specialities related to that. His YouTube channel, “The EDC Guy”, can be found here
What falls under the category of EDC?
When I look across the Internet, I find that many groups use this term. Knives, Flashlights, Cameras, Pens, Handguns, and many other things often have the label of EDC attached to them. Many interest groups claim that it originated with them. I have no idea when this term came into being or where it came from.
Everyday carry seem obvious enough but when you look closer you will see that the definition can be quite loose.
If we carry a certain item 5 days out of the week, is it EDC? I think it still is.
What if we carry an item all of the time except under special conditions when we substitute it with a more specialized tool or larger tool? I still think it is EDC but this is open to debate.
EDC I think is different things to different people in one way or another. I have seen people debate about this subject. A person in a rural area has different needs than a person from a city. One person’s life might depend on his EDC one day while another person just likes to carry certain items. EDC might be different for people depending on their occupation/hobbies. One person may EDC a full sized item where another carries a small item. I am not sure how tight or how loose the boundaries of EDC should be. Perhaps we can figure this out or maybe there is no perfect answer.
I think that that there are many reasons that people would EDC. It could be that it is really useful/practical to EDC many items daily. Some items may be carried a lot but used little awaiting some need to occur. Several EDC items are functional or non-functional luxury items/status symbols. An EDC item can be for comfort or just fun to have and play with. There are many other reasons besides.
If it is in your car everyday, is that another level of EDC? I don’t know what I think on this but have had the thought many times. Maybe there are levels of EDC.
The text above is an edited quote from the EDCforums, on the philosophy of EDC, by JonSidneyB, the forums’ founder. The original can be found here.
I found this blog as a result of an interest in EDC, then preparedness, but felt that EDC as a concept is not dealt with as thoroughly as it should be in comparison to, say, Bug-Out Bags. So I am writing this article, to educate people about the usefulness of taking care of your EDC.
Note: I live in the UK, where handguns and knives of over 3″ are, to all intents and purposes, illegal. Because of this, I will not discuss the use of knives or handguns in EDC in this article.
In my experience there are two types of EDC: that which is carried ‘on-person’ and that which is carried somehow else, normally in a bag or pack. I’ll start with the first type.
It is important to keep the essentials of your life in your pockets. Your phone, keys and wallet for most people.
However, if you were going on a hike, or doing a bug out drill, what would become one of your essentials? Flashlight, knife (though I’m not discussing that here) multi-tool with decent pliers and screwdriver, lighter/matches/tinder etc. right?
If you truly want to live a prepared lifestyle, you need to stop isolating your ‘normal EDC’ from your ‘prep/hike/at home EDC’. When I first got into EDC, I carried a phone, keys and wallet. now I carry a phone, keys, wallet, multi-tool (blade-less), lighter, simple first-aid kit, needle and thread, pen, and notebook.
You might think that all of that would take up a lot of space but actually, I only sacrificed one hip pocket in a normal pair of trousers.
If you decide to carry similar equipment to me, I recommend a small pouch called the Maxpedition Micro. I use it, it will fit in any normal trouser hip pocket, and can hold a lot of stuff.I recommend that you carry at least the following:
- Flashlight – the uses for a flashlight are endless, carry a small one and you’ll barely notice it until you need it, carry a big one and you can use it as a weapon in a pinch.
- Pen and paper – worth putting thought into, you can buy waterproof paper notebooks from Rite In The Rain, and space pens (pens that were developed by NASA for use in space, but which will also write upside down, underwater, in a vacuum etc.) from Fisher Space Pens.
- Small first aid kit – as far as my pockets go, this is merely constitues a couple of plasters and some antiseptic wipes, but if you have space it is worth adding triangular bandages, tourniquet etc..
- Lighter – small but very useful tool, you can buy windproof refillable ones, though everyone who cares agrees that the Douglass Field Lighter is the best.
- Needle and thread – this doesn’t need to be a full blown sewing kit, just a few needles, maybe kept in a film canister or similar small capsule, and a spool of thread, invaluable if your button should come of, or you get a rip in your trousers. Yo can buy fairly cheap, but very strong nylon or kevlar threads, impossible to break with your hands.
- A multi-tool – this can include a knife, but I would recommend carrying a dedicated knife as well, the main purpose of the multi tool is to provide tools which you might not need so regularly as a knife, that means needle nose pliers, tweezers (try to get a multi tool with these, they are so useful for all kinds of tasks), screwdrivers, you get the picture – I recommend the Leatherman Wave.
In addition to considering adding the above the your EDC, it is probably worth considering what you carry now, and how you carry it.
For instance, your keychain offers myriad possibilities: a small keychain flashlight as a backup to lend to a friend who doesn’t carry their own, you can buy excellent keychain sized multitools with various levels of functionality, etc.
With regards to carrying this stuff, I recommend a good quality, strong pair of cargo trousers, and a belt. Find some good trousers at a local army surplus store, or (if you money is no object and you really want quality) buy these.
Along with what they keep in their pockets, most people have a bag or pack that they keep with them, holding secondary, auxiliary or backup items, or items that are too big to keep in a pocket.
I do a lot of traveling, so my bag is largely centered around necessities for relative comfort in urban life (a full change of clothes, and a good hydration bladder), and maintaining this (a good sewing kit, and a wash kit). This corresponds fairly well to a ‘preparedness’ mindset.
- First things first, a backup to everything in you pockets is important. You had to buy a fairly small flashlight to fit in your pocket EDC, so buy a bigger, better one that can go in your bag. if the situation is small, and requires a single flashlight, use the one in your pocket, otherwise use the big one. It is always worth buying the right tool for the job.
- Second, a change of clothes is probably worth it, unless you never go anywhere at all. Make it functional; e.g. good pair of cargo pants, lightweight but string T-shirt, spare pair of hiking socks and undies, and a good spare jumper. I’ll say it again: spare jumper. the single most useful item of clothing you can have. it will warm you up, work as a blanket, and (if you make sure it’s the only one you own in that color/pattern) it provides an instant change of the major look of you outfit, a simple but effective disguise should you ever go on the run.
- Keep a pocket for a wash-bag, including deodorant, razor/foam/soap/brush whatever, toothbrush and paste, flannel or a spare hanky, bar of soap in a box/waterproof bag etc. just be sensible
- A hydration bladder is really worth it. the common names (Camelbak, source etc.) are good, but in my opinion, Geiger rigs are the best. They can be pressurized (though this is not automatic; you can use it with or without), hold up to 2 litres (easily enough for an EDC pack) and are compatible with a wide variety of filtration stems and extra gadgets. You can also buy any part separately, should you need a replacement.
- First Aid Kit. Although point #1 is applicable here, it is very important to have a decent FAK in you bag. It must contain at minimum: plasters, antiseptic wipes/cream, triangular bandage, pain killers (this is a great gadget for keeping two types of pills in), shears/bandage scissors (ideally both), tweezers (separate must-have for FAK, even if you have others in your EDC anyway) and wound dressings (ideally a variety). Other good things to have are: tourniquets, antihistamine, epipen, vaseline, burn cream, you can go on forever…
- Then there are miscellaneous items, which don’t fit into a category but are still very useful. Just good things to have (though this often depends on your situation) are: lock picks (check your local laws), slingshot (check the law again), binoculars/monocular, microfibre towel (packs down very small), space blanket, small survival kit, watch (I’m planing to write another article explaining the usefulness of EDC watches soon, so I won’t go into depth here), paracord (the Spooltool is a brilliant investment for spring and organising paracord), carabiners, etc.
Please take this as advice, but not as a hard-and-fast rulebook. What works depends on the person, so see what works for you.
Thanks for reading.