EDC gear and the EDC culture around it are centered on the principle of having reliable gear that can be brought anywhere, anytime. The idea behind it is to be ready for just about any emergency that you can reasonably expect in your daily life.
For most people, this just means having their smartphone on them at all times, but for those of us who haven’t quite shaken off scout habits or picked it up later in life, being ready requires a little more work and thought.
And that’s where EDC comes in.
What Does EDC Mean?
EDC stands for “everyday carry” and that’s basically what it means: Essential items that you carry with you everyday.
The general rule about EDC is that if you use it a lot and you will likely need it, it counts as EDC. This makes EDC different depending on who’s carrying it. For example, if you’re a regular hiker, shelter sheets might count as everday carry gear, but if you’re an employee who’s always on the go, your EDC might be a high capacity powerbank.
A lot of cool products get advertised as EDC, but what your EDC kit should be ultimately comes down to what your daily routine looks like and what you expect to be prepared for. Since EDC is all about practicality and functionality, anything outside of that is just for fun.
Nothing wrong with that, of course, but unless you have money to burn, it’s best to keep it simple.
Why Should I Have EDC?
Honestly? Just for your peace of mind.
While having EDC on you at all times might seem a bit paranoid, take a moment to think about how much of your stuff is already EDC without you realizing it. Your phone, earphones, and wallet are likely the items currently making up your EDC kit.
Getting EDC gear just means making a conscious effort to fill all of your possible daily needs as well as making sure you have gear that’s ready to save the day when things go south.
Always getting caught in the rain? Add an umbrella to your EDC kit. Find yourself often running out of change? Carry a coin purse and make sure to have coins in different denominations. Are you the creative type? Carry a small notebook for jotting ideas in.
That said, figuring out what else you should add to your EDC kit can be a bit hard so here are a few suggestions to help you get started.
What EDC Gear Should I Have?
Your EDC kit can have as many items as you need but when it comes to individual gear, you should mainly consider practicality, durability, and portability.
You want your gear to be practical so that you know you’ll actually use it. It’s everyday carry not Doomsday Preppers. It should be durable so it doesn’t break at the worst possible moment. And it needs to be portable so that you can easily toss it in your bag or carry it in a pocket.
1. A Pocket Knife
Pocket knives are often the first thing we think of when it comes to both EDC and survival gear. Swiss Army knives are common picks, but for a truly practical EDC knife, it’s better to keep things simple and allot your budget to a good quality blade.
The CIVIVI Pocket Folding Knife is one of the best you can find out there. It features a sleek Damascus steel blade that cuts and slices smoothly regardless of whether you’re using it on an apple or rope. Granted, it’s a little pricey, but once you feel this knife work, you’ll know it’s worth the money.
If you’re looking for a cheaper alternative that doesn’t compromise on quality, there’s the Morakniv Companion Fixed Blade Outdoor Knife. It’s not a folding knife and it doesn’t come with a bunch of fancy features, but it keeps its edge and is easy to maintain.
2. A Flashlight
Most phones come equipped with a flashlight app that uses the flash on the camera, but the moment your phone runs out of battery, it’s useless too. The SureFire E2D Defender is a dedicated heavy-duty flashlight that can go up to 1,000 lumens. The butt end of the flashlight has a scalloped design so you can use it for self-defense.
3. A Medical Kit
Medkits are a no-brainer emergency and EDC item because people get hurt all the time. You’re probably only going to need the bandages in the First Aid Only 299 Piece All-Purpose First Aid Emergency Kit, but having the rest of them doesn’t hurt especially if you’re often around children and the elderly or work outdoors.
4. An Umbrella
Umbrellas are the one daily use item that never makes it into EDC recommendation lists. Maybe that’s because it’s too obvious or not cool enough. Here’s the thing, though: You’ll always be under the sky and that means you risk having to walk in scorching heat or torrential rains every time you leave your house.
And if practicality isn’t enough to qualify an umbrella for your list of EDC items, consider the self-defense benefits of having what is essentially a small baton-like object in your hand while you walk.
Because it’s an umbrella, you don’t risk getting disarmed and stabbed with your own knife. Plus, in jurisdictions where commonly sold self-defense weapons are illegal, it’s harder to prove that you planned to use an umbrella as a weapon since it’s not an object primarily intended for use as one.
For obvious legal reasons, that is not legal advice.
The Samsonite Auto Open Travel Umbrella is only 18 inches long when folded and it opens with a press of a button. It’s practical and likely to be useful in more ways than one.