What is EDC?

Gear on table.

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EDC stands for “everyday carry,” referring to the items a person should carry with them. It’s more of a broad concept than a strictly defined term that has changed with technological advancements over the years. So, what is EDC today, and why should you care? Let’s explore the origins, contents and benefits of EDC.

Origins of EDC

We don’t know the exact time when EDC was popularized, but it seems to have slowly spread during the 18th and 19th centuries, primarily in North America. Perhaps EDC emerged by necessity from the harsh lifestyle of the American Frontier, or maybe the gentlemen of the era finally decided to make use of their many-pocketed wardrobes. 

In any case, EDC was too practical for people to ignore. They would keep watches, handkerchiefs, tobacco pipes, small weapons, etc., on their persons at all times. They had no name or rules for this unspoken practice, but it stuck with them nonetheless.

It became a more sentimental practice during peacetime, as people would carry family heirlooms and other precious items along with the other essentials. Occupation also played a more prominent role. The contents of an electrician’s pocket looked different from the contents of a plumber’s pocket.

EDC underwent these methodical changes as time passed, eventually leading to the creation of the term “everyday carry” in recent years. 

EDC Today

Today’s EDC encompasses many items. Your lifestyle and occupation still play important roles, but there are a handful of essential devices that everyone understands they need to carry in most situations:

  • Cell phone: your main line of communication (and a pleasant source of entertainment)
  • Phone charger: just in case your phone has a low battery
  • Wallet: contains cash, credit cards and essential IDs 
  • House/Car keys: keeps your home and vehicle secure

You also have the second category of accessories that some find necessary and others don’t. This group is your opportunity to show some personality. You might carry the following items:

  • Headphones/earbuds
  • Sunglasses
  • Keychain
  • Handkerchief
  • Mintschewing gum
  • Bottle/flask
  • Bottle opener
  • Lighter/matches
  • Notebook
  • Writing utensil
  • Smoking device (cigarette, vape pen, JUUL, etc.)
  • Family or religious heirlooms

Then, you have the third tier that focuses exclusively on protection and survival. If you’re serious about EDC, consider these items:

  • Pocketknife
  • Flint
  • Multitool
  • Flashlight
  • Compass
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Portable first aid kit
  • Concealed carry

As you might expect, today’s version of EDC looks vastly different from person to person. The manner in which people store their items also varies. Some people shove everything in their pants pockets, while others wear a coat with many deep pockets. You can also buy a small backpack or another bag to keep everything in one place. There are even minimalist EDC bags (not to be confused with purses) that keep their contents organized.

Benefits of EDC

Practicing EDC has many benefits, both in terms of functionality and style points:

  • Usefulness: you have easy access to tools that make life’s daily tasks easier. You might also find uses for devices that you previously never considered.
  • Preparedness: you’re prepared for more unexpected situations or emergencies.
  • Convenience: all of your essential items are in one place, allowing you to get things done without assistance or wasted time.
  • Personal Expression: it gives you a unique opportunity to express yourself and your values. Each item you carry reveals a small part of your personality.
  • Reputation: you will earn a reputation among your friends as the person who always comes prepared.
  • Savings: buying durable multipurpose items can help you save money in the long run. 

The only real downside to EDC is that you have to keep track of more items than usual, which might lead to them getting lost or stolen. However, that problem disappears with time. The longer you stick to EDC, the better you know your list of items. It eventually becomes second nature, just like leaving the house with your phone and wallet is second nature now. Just give it time and patience.

Add EDC to Your Daily Life

Adjusting to EDC takes time and diligence, but its benefits are too alluring to pass up. Wouldn’t you feel better knowing that you have all the tools to tackle the day? With EDC, you can make that wish a reality and make a personal statement in the process. Create a list of everyday carry items and take action!

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