Someone asked me the question today, “What’s Everyday Carry?” As usual, my answer was short and sweet: “Its the stuff that you carry around everyday either out of necessity, or to make life better.” They looked perplexed for a moment, looking at my EDC bag and everything dumped out and sorted on the desk at work. “Why are there all these things? Do you always carry them? Why?” The short answer that I gave him was “Because these are the things that I either regularly need or want with me every day.” Sure, the answer was simple enough. He shrugged and turned away, but for the rest of the day, I was sitting there wondering why it is that we carry these things every day — especially for a guy like me that just a year ago, never gave a second thought to everyday carry, or what I have with me.
Why Do You Everyday Carry?
The simple answer is that you’re going to carry something with you every day, and it may be items as usual as a watch, keys for the car and your wallet. For me, as I said before, its the things that I want to have with me at any given time that:
- Make life easier and better
- Can help others in need
- Minimizes the sense of unpreparedness
Compared to the average person, I probably appear to be more than just a boy scout, I’m routinely called a survivalist… because I have ibuprofin, bandaids, duct tape, A multitool, flashlight, folder knife, rain poncho and emergency blanket, just to name a few items in my bag. In reality, if there really was a disaster, civil unrest, or a total breakdown in society as we know it, we’d be just as in need as everyone else. People don’t see it that way, though.
Why I Now Carry and EDC
It all started because I was getting sick of not having the things my family needed available when they needed them. Things as small as hairpins for my daughter for when we ate at restaurants, and her long hair was dipping in to her food. When my boys would fall off their scooters on a walk around the neighborhood and we’d have to rush home for a bandaid or two. I got tired on not having locktite, pliers or a screwdriver to adjust my roller chair wheels at work because they’d always come loose. I even felt sorry for a beggar on the street corner that was standing in the pouring rain, drenched to the core (I did have a disposable rain poncho in the glovebox that time, I gave it to him even though he was drenched — he valued that more than money at that moment and really said a genuine thank you and shook my hand. Amazing what small gestures of kindness will do for your soul!).
How I Put Together My First Everyday Carry
One night, I simply sat down and thought of all the things that I ever needed or wanted, got asked for, or just should have had and made a massive list. I was up until 4am on a work night putting it together in my mind. Subsequently, my EDC items took up 75% of my backpack leaving room for just my computer and it’s power supply. As the months passed, I optimized the backpack by removing and replacing things until I have what I have today. Inside my backpack is a drawstring bag. Inside the drawstring bag are my most needed EDC items. The reason that I put everything into a drawstring bag is so I could carry the EDC even if I didn’t need to take the full backpack with me (like on lunch runs, I could just take the drawstring, and still have my complete EDC with me.
My Original EDC Backpack:
I Now Have Two Regular Use Everyday Carry Bags
Both are drawstring bags, but one EDC goes everywhere with me on work days (M-F), and has the stuff I most want at work, along with medicine, first aid and a few other items. The second EDC Bag is for weekends, and is optimized for time with the family. There are things in this one like the hair ties and bobby pins, Snacks for the kids if the hunger monster should strike, and even a Sawyer water pouch and purifier so I can carry water if I think that the family is going to be thirsty on a walk.
Does It Really Make A Difference?
I’ll leave you with this. Carrying what you need everyday makes sense, but at the same time is a bit cumbersome if you pack too much. When your EDC Bag is optimized for the most needed items (plus a few things you don’t always need, but are good in an emergency), then it’s a joy to actually go into it to grab what you need. Every time I reach for something in the bag, I feel justified for putting the work into packing it, optimizing it and carrying it around all the time. The times that having an EDC with you is most rewarding is when others benefit from your assistance. Over the summer, Me and the kids were at a park when another child fell off the swings. He scraped his elbow, and it was bleeding a bit. His dad was going to use his shirt to cover it, but upon seeing that I was offering him the first aid pack in my bag, his eyes suddenly gave away the recognition and gratefulness of having another person around that had a useful everyday carry. The kid was patched up in no time, and was back to playing with my kids while I showed his father more about what I carried everyday.