Everyday Carry has been a popular thing for a few years now.
It’s part survival, it’s part prepper, it has elements of normal everyday things, but most of all, it’s uniquely you.
Some believe that everyday carry should be similar in form and function to emergency supplies. Others feel that it’s just normal items you carry everyday, such as your wallet, watch, phone and keys.
There are people like me that are somewhere in the middle – Ones that want to be ready for emergencies, but also don’t need to carry a fishing kit in the urban jungle.
I’ve sifted through the everyday carry photos on many different sites.
I’m a regular visitor to EverydayCarry.com despite being a competitor. I browse the images on Reddit almost as much. Some of the EDC are very similar, some are very different, but they’re almost all unique is some way.
What Does Everyday Carry Mean in 2019?
Everyday carry has always been a deeply personal choice of items that you have with you almost all the time.
There are items that are more popular than others, and some that you want to have given your situation in life.
A flashlight for example, is something you’ll find in about 70% of the EDC photos on the internet. A knife or Multitool ends up in almost 90%.
An Asthma inhaler? I’ve seen a few, but it’s nowhere near knives or flashlights in presence.
While the choice of what to carry in an EDC has always been up to the individual user, and the things you choose to carry should always meet your personal needs, I would suggest that in 2019 and beyond, you really start thinking beyond blowing your hard-earned money on cool gadgets and toys.
I see so many people buy things they never will use just for that Instagram picture.
I’ve seen brand new products that are laid out like the person carries them everyday. The craze to by EDC gear has gotten out of control for many individuals, and this is a call to stop buying useless stuff you’ll never use.
One friend said it best, “I spend the money I don’t have on EDC stuff I don’t need to show them off to my ‘friends’ online that I never met.”
I fell into the buying craze for a while.
I spent a lot of money.
Now I have a lot of stuff laying around my home and office that I’ve never touched too.
But that’s the trap.
You buy a knife, a watch or something else thinking it would be great to include in your everyday carry, but the fact is that you’ve already bought a few of those items already and other than take photos for Reddit or Instagram, you’ve never touched them.
What Do You Actually Need In Your EDC?
It’s not a trick question, but when I sat down and dumped my EDC bags, I found that about 80% of the stuff I was hauling everyday in my backpack could be left at home.
The fire starting kit, the water purification system, the two extra space blankets and survival rations all were really unnecessary.
All those things actually added 10.8 pounds to my bag’s overall weight!
Slimming down your EDC, yet keeping it still functional is really hard.
You never know when you’re going to need that duct tape or zip ties to secure something that’s come loose.
In the end, if you are like I was before I “purged,” you end up taking it all under the excuse of having it “just in case” something happens.
Step 1: Consolidation
Heavens above, don’t go out and buy replacement products to slim down your EDC. That’s not going to help you at all.
Consolidation is the practice of finding items to leave behind because you have the same thing or something similar in your bag already.
It’s like carrying a pocket knife but also having that Leatherman multi-tool in your bag.
Depending on your needs, ditch that Swiss Army knife, take the multitool out of your back and slap it on your belt.
How about those half dozen pens in your bag?
When I was slimming down, I decided to keep just a Fisher space pen in my pocket, a BIC pen that has 3 colors and a mechanical pencil in the backpack, and a sharpie “Pro” marker for all my writing needs.
For non-smokers that live in a metro area, there really isn’t a need to carry a lighter. It’s not like you’re going to need to start a survival fire anytime soon.
If you do for some odd reason, you just stop in a gas station or drug store and spend a buck on a lighter.
I ditched all the extra flashlights I used to carry and stick to just one pocket-size single AAA flashlight and one full size single 18650 cell rechargeable flashlight in the backpack.
I’m sure you get what I’m saying, but the point is to get rid of the things that either you never touch or have duplicates of.
It’s tough to actually do it in real life.
You always feel like you’re going to need something as soon as you don’t have it, and inevitably there will come a time when that happens.
Your EDC isn’t designed to be your lifeline 100% of the time.
The Everyday Carry should assist to make some aspects of your life better, easier or both.
Like carrying a pen in your pocket.
You never know when you’ll need to jot something down, and when you do, you’re always ready.
Conversely, you can leave that center punch at home because chances are that you won’t need to punch out a window or put a hole in your car’s bumper any time soon, and even if you do, a good multi-tool will do the trick in a pinch.
Step 2: Optimization
Now that you’ve slimmed down your EDC, it’s time to look at what’s left to see how much you actually are going to use it versus how much worth it has to always carry the item.
The process of optimization is the action where you evaluate what’s in your EDC and then figure out if there is something else out there that is affordable and can do the same job, but better.
It could also mean finding an item that performs the same tasks, but is lighter than what you currently have to save weight.
Optimization could also mean having multiple Everyday Carry loadouts that are designed specifically for certain activities or situations.
For me, I have a few different EDCs that I regularly cycle through.
The “I gotta run a quick errand” EDC
This EDC is generally grabbed for quick trips to the grocery store or going out to eat.
It’s a very small pouch that fits in my pocket and is designed for times when I won’t be out of the house for more than a couple hours at most. There’s a couple aspirin tabs, extra cash, a small multitool, a Pokka Pen and notebook, but that’s it.
The “We’re Going Over To Dad’s House” EDC
This is the day trip EDC that comes out when we’re going to be out of the house all day.
These types of trips usually involve visiting my aging father across the state. It’s always a toss up if we’ll head home in the evening or just stay the night at his place.
This EDC is a small kid’s backpack I picked up a few years ago on impulse that carries a few more tools, some snacks for the road trip, a water bottle, large capacity phone powerbank, cables, basic toiletries, one change of clothes and other things I always want when we’re gone for the whole day.
In essence, the bag has basic stuff for an overnight like tooth brushes and such.
Keep in mind that this type of Everyday Carry isn’t a survival bag.
It’s meant to provide the basics just in case plans change.
It’s also just supplementary to what you have immediately available either at the location or easily purchased at a store around you.
The Work Day Everyday Carry
The work EDC is a bit different.
It stays at work in my desk.
There’s basic headache meds, a multitool for fixing that darn roller that keeps coming off my computer chair and a P38 can opener because the break room opener keeps disappearing.
There’s a few other things, but the point is that this EDC doesn’t really ever leave work.
I might use parts of it throughout my day, but since I’m never far away from my desk, I don’t have to physically carry it with me.
The General Purpose EDC
This is a Maxpedition Fatty Organizer that I throw into a backpack or bag if I don’t really know what the plans are or if we’re doing a series of things while we’re out. The kit has the basic tools and conveniences one would expect to have with them in an EDC, but the difference is that the items in the pack are more diverse to suit more needs and situations.
2019 Isn’t About Buying More Everyday Carry Gear
You don’t need to keep spending money on new tools, gadgets, watches or wallets. You probably have all you need already.
2019 is about putting the everyday carry gear you have now to use. Optimizing your load out. Being frugal with your money.
If you’ve seen my Instagram, you might have noticed that my EDC doesn’t change much. All the items have wear and tear. I don’t snap pictures of brand new items pretending (to myself and others) that this is what I actually carry everyday.