Everyday Carry: A Beginner’s Guide

New to the EDC crowd and confused about the jargon? Don’t understand when the word “carry” became a noun instead of a verb? Perplexed by Google Image results of half-dressed young people dancing under neon lights when you search “edc”? Or maybe you just want a refresher on all the cool gear that “counts” as carry. We’re here to help.

What is Everyday Carry (EDC) Gear?

At its most basic form, everyday carry—or EDC—is the essential tools one needs to make it through the day. Ages ago, everyday carry for man looked a lot like small knives carved from rocks, a bow and arrow or spear, and possibly some type of satchel used to haul in whatever food was scored that day.

Today, with the modern convenience of a little thing called the grocery store, everyday carry has come to embrace more stylized pieces like wallets, watches, and cellular devices alongside more traditional EDC like knives and multitools. The specific items that one considers essential are, of course, subjective to one’s own lifestyle, interests, environment, or profession making the breadth of everyday carry boundless.

How Do I Know What’s Essential?

It depends… as much as we wish there was a cut and dry response to this question, part of the joy of EDC is figuring out what is essential to you. There are a few things you can consider that may help you navigate your personal EDC.

What do I use daily? This one is pretty simple. Think about your day-to-day life. Are you a mechanic constantly working with your hands for hours on end, and you find yourself always in need of tools? Or maybe you’re an avid outdoorsman who just happens to work on Wall Street, and you’d be lost without your watch. The items that these two individuals use on a daily basis are markedly different, which is why EDC gear is so subjective. Once you identify what your essentials are, it’s time to consider how they can be streamlined.

What can I minimize? One popular aspect of EDC is minimalism. As a shocker to no one, minimalism helps you to carry less. Lightening your physical load, however, can also help to lighten your psychological and emotional load as well. It’s overwhelming to carry around extraneous and unnecessary stuff, so be sure to trim your gear down to meet your most basic daily needs.

What do I want to prepare for? The final consideration you’ll want to make for your gear is exactly what situations you want to be prepared for. You may be an individual who wants to be prepared for a particular situation that doesn’t necessarily crop up in your day-to-day. Perfecting your EDC is all about striking a balance between your daily essentials and the personal level of preparedness you want to exhibit.

Standard Gear Types

Now that you have a better idea of the essentials you want to carry, we’ll take a look at some of the most common EDC essentials.

Multitool

The multitool is an EDC innovation that offers a convenient way to carry a wide variety of tools. Here at Lever Gear, we’ve created our own multitool—The Toolcard Pro, which packs 40 tools into a single, credit card sized gadget.

Keychain

Whether you’ve got house keys, car keys, or work keys, chances are you’ve got a lot of keys and life would be easier with a touch of organization KeySmart offers just that and a touch more with their KeySmart Pro.

Wallet

Wallets come in many forms—from multitool money clips to minimalist leather wallets that add a touch of fashion to your gear. Distil Union has created a champion line of wallets designed to carry all your financial essentials securely and discretely.

Knife

Maybe you feel like knives are an essential part of self-defense. Maybe you consider knives an important part of wilderness preparedness. Or maybe you think knives are a must based on the number of Amazon boxes you receive regularly. Any way you cut it (pun intended), knives come in a wide variety of styles for a wide variety of uses—from hunting and combat knives to kitchen and speciality knives—and you just have to find the right knife for your needs. Kershaw’s Scallion offers a great introductory knife for the novice EDCer.

Accessories

As we’ve said many a time, EDC is subjective and encompasses a wide variety of gear. From tactical pens and minimalist belts to notebooks and flashlights, the possibilities are endless. It’s just a matter of figuring out the right gear for your needs.

A Final Note

Remember— EDC is an adaptable practice. As your needs and interests evolve, so will your gear. Don’t be afraid to explore different gear or customize your carry for a specific adventure or style. At the end of the day, EDC is a reflection of you, so embrace it [and yourself] for all of its uniqueness, and never shy from growth and development.