What the heck is EDC?
EDC is a bit of a buzzword at the moment. EDC stands for Every Day Carry and has been around since man first walked the Earth.
In essence it is those items that you have with you everyday. In it's most basic guise it is the things that you pat your pockets for as you walk out the door. Your EDC items can be useful, stylish or both. The important thing is that it is yours to curate.
With today's post I intend to share the basics of Everyday Carry, share my own EDC and hopefully inspire others to think more about the items they carry themselves. Naturally, I will also recommend some of my favourite EDC pieces.
The EDC Holy Trinity
Not meaning to be sacrilegious, the term EDC Holy Trinity, refers to the 3 pieces that lie at the core of EDC. These three items are carried by pretty much everyone.
Keys, wallet and phone! Who among us does not instinctively check that they have these 3 things each and every day.
Today, nearly everyone carries a smartphone with them. Regardless of whether you carry an iPhone, Samsung or one of the other brands of phone, there is no denying our reliance upon them.
June 2007 saw the introduction of the first iPhone from Apple and since that date we rely more and more on our phones for so many things. The smartphone has revolutionized EDC.
The smartphones of today replace the need for gps/maps, music players, hand held gaming devices, camera's, a torch, gaming devices, personal planners/diaries. Indeed, today's smartphones are relied upon for such a variety of tasks.
With just the phone in your hand you can do all your banking online, manage your daily schedule, buy tickets to a show, watch television, play games, listen to music, get your daily social media fix, sign important documents and return them that day, get real time directions when driving and even read a novel.
Your phone can be personalized by the purchase of a cover. In my case, I have a black leather case that matches my other EDC items. I choose black as it is a colour that looks classy in all situations.
Whilst many cars are key-less, most of us still carry keys with us everyday. Your set of keys can be a great way to individualize your EDC. Indeed adorning your keys with decorative king rings has been popular for years. I however have taken a slightly different route regarding my keys.
I choose to use a Key Caddy a brand of key organizer that is made of Aluminium. I find that using a key organizer not only keeps your keys neat and tidy but also stops them from jabbing you in the leg when in your pocket.
There are many key organizers available today, much of them made from leather or Aluminium. I find the Key Caddy the best of the ones I have seen.
The Key Caddy is expandable, whilst still holding the keys tightly. I personally find it a classy touch to my EDC.
Another aspect of your keys as EDC is the ability to add other items to your keys. I have a small knife blade that folds back into a key shaped cover. It is inoffensive but has come in very handy.
Also added to my Key Caddy is a bottle opener that folds in with my keys, again, something that is very handy especially at BBQ's. In fact it is almost un-Australian to not have a bottle opener on your key ring.
Even though I can use the torch on my iPhone, I have found adding a quality micro torch to my keys has been invaluable. Before I purchased my torch, I did some research as I wanted something very small but of high quality.
The result is that I now have a Streamlight Nano Light and couldn't be happier. The torch is waterproof, very bright at 10 Lumens and is indeed quite tiny measuring only 10 x 30 mm.
Whilst there are those who rarely carry a wallet, relying on their phone case to do the job, the majority of us still prefer to use a wallet.
A wallet of course carries your cards and cash. Even though we are fast heading towards a cashless society, I still recommend carrying at least a $20 note on you at all times.
The traditional bi-fold leather wallet is still the most popular. However there are a few other options on the market today.
Some of which include tri-fold, nylon ( bi and tri-fold types. Both of which are more suited for a 20 something surfer type), Phone case wallet, money clip or micro wallets.
Of course choosing a wallet is a matter of personal choice, however as for all style items, selecting something that is age appropriate is important. Practicality is obviously paramount but a sense of style goes a long way.
Another issue to be mindful of when choosing a wallet is RFID blocking. RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) is a system used on many cards such as your credit card. RFID blocking prevents the scanning of your cards by someone nearby and thus preventing card fraud or identity theft.
The style of wallet that is currently growing rapidly in popularity is micro wallets. I myself now use a micro wallet and wish I knew of them earlier.
A micro wallet as the name suggests is much smaller than a traditional bifold and is usually only the size of a credit card and has a money clip or an elastic band to carry any notes.
I have seen micro wallets made from nylon but most are made from aluminium. However I recently replaced my aluminium one with one made from carbon fibre. It is light weight, smart looking and contains RFID blocking.
I prefer micro wallets as not only do they fit in your coat or pants pockets without a massive bulge but are unobtrusive if you prefer to carry by hand. I also find them quite a stylish addition to your EDC .
Beyond the Big Three
Beyond the big three, of wallet , keys and phone lies a never ending list of EDC items. Many of which will be activity specific.
The EDC carried by an office worker is naturally going to be different to someone who runs wilderness survival courses. So obviously your daily routine will dictate what items you will carry.
One item that I will always carry is a clean old fashioned handkerchief. Whether you need it for blowing your nose, holding against a paper cut, wiping down a table, or even offering it to someone else. A clean and freshly ironed handkerchief is an essential item for me.
Pen and Notebook
Sure you can always add notes into your smart phone, but for many, carrying a pen and often a small notepad is essential.
For a few dollars more you can buy any number of rather smart and stylish notepads, adding an elevated touch of class. As for the pen, I would recommend carrying something better than a cheap plastic disposable pen.
For less than $50 you can buy a decent stainless steel pen which will always look far more stylish than plastic. Whilst I do appreciate quality pens, I would recommend you leave your $2000 Mont Blanc pen at home or in your office, as you do not want to risk losing it.
A small folding pocket or penknife is an item that comes in very handy. Be that for opening some packaging, cutting some tape or that stray bit of hemming cotton, you never know when you may need a sharp blade.
If you decide to carry a blade, I would suggest a small folding blade as it is safer and less intimidating to others. There are many quality knives available today made with quality steel ( which stays sharp) as well as being good looking artisan pieces.
Multitools, as the name suggests, are a very multi purpose item. They also come in two main styles, namely multitool and card multitool.
The most well known multitools are made by Leatherman and as the name suggests include numerous different tools. My own Leatherman includes pliers, wirecutters, screwdrivers, knives, a file and even a saw amongst it's functions.
A card multitool is as the name suggests, is flat and card like and often the size of a credit card. Some of the options can be knife, saw, bottle opener, screw driver, spanner and ruler. Usually quite inexpensive they offer good value compared to a traditional mulitool.
Power-bank and cable
Other items that are almost essential in today's tech reliant world are a Powerbank and a charging cable. The ability to recharge your phone or other devices at any time, can save you from a great deal of tech-withdrawal stress.
Power-banks are like a personal battery charger. Whether you are walking between appointments or rocking out at a music festival, a power-bank gives you the ability to fully recharge your phone when you do not have access to a power-point and mains power supply.
The power-bank I use is about the same size as my phone itself but has the ability to fully recharge my phone about 4 times without recharging the power-bank itself.
When buying a power-bank, be mindful of it's storage capacity. Ranging from 2000 to 100,000mAh, I would suggest not purchasing anything less than 10,000mAh. Doing so may mean it is both cheaper and smaller, but it is unlikely to be capable of fully charging your phone.
The other item to carry with your power-bank is a charging cable. I recommend buying a quality braided cable as they last far longer. Even if you are not carrying a power-bank, just carrying a charging cable can allow you to recharge your devices.
USB charging sockets are today often seen on buses, trains, at fast food outlets and other public areas. All you need is a cord to connect your device with.
During Summer it would be foolish to leave home without a water bottle. The need to keep yourself hydrated is vital and rather than buying disposable bottles of water, a good quality re-usable one is essential.
My own water bottle is fully insulated and keeps water cold for hours. I would recommend stainless steel rather than plastic.
Personally I would be lost without my sunnies during summer. The glare alone is enough to give me headaches and leave me easily tired.
Sunscreen and Lip Balm
Another two items that are crucial during the Summer months are Lip Balm and Sunscreen. Protection against sun burn, dry chaffed lips and even skin cancer should always be on your mind when outdoors.
I always carry a small comb in my back pocket. perfect for a quick tidy up of wind blown hair. A quality hand made comb is a fine thing, teeth that wont stab you in the scalp and also polish your hair leaving it shinier. However, as an EDC item I carry an inexpensive plastic comb and leave the quality one at home.
Whether you use it to share photos, documents or even music, having a USB stick on hand can be immensely handy.
Regardless of whether you prefer earbuds or over the ear headphones, having access to them, allows you to stream music on your phone, watch cat videos on social media or even watch your favourite sport live. All while not disturbing anyone around you.
Small bottles of hand sanitizer are now readily available. Whilst there is a debate about the over use and even need for hand sanitizer, I feel that using it on the odd occasion that you find it difficult to wash your hands before eating, makes good sense.
Reusable Coffee Cup
Buying your morning coffee is a daily activity for many of us today. However, from an environmental perspective, the use of disposable cups is frowned upon.
The answer is to supply your own reusable cup. Some cafes actually offer discounts for those bringing their own cup.
Adding a packet of mints or breath freshener to your EDC will keep your breath smelling fresh regardless of how heavy handed the Chef was with garlic at lunch.
A small bottle or strip of painkillers can put an end to a day ruining headache. How often have you heard friends or work colleagues asking if someone has any head ache tablets?
I suffer from back and neck issues which can result in debilitating headaches, so I try to never leave home without some paracetamol or ibuprofen.
As a general rule, my own items of everyday carry are very basic. Phone, wallet, handkerchief and keys with a torch, bottle opener and very small knife attached.
However, depending on my plans for the day and how long I will be out of the house for, I will at times carry a messenger bag with me. If so, then my bag will contain additional EDC items.
In my messenger bag I will often carry the following
Divorced and nearly 50 I rediscovered who I was.