Ultimate Guide to Everyday Carry (EDC)

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edc setup

Are you someone who likes to be prepared for anything that comes your way? If so, you probably heard of Everyday Carry (EDC). 

EDC refers to the essential items that people carry with them daily to help them navigate through life's challenges and be prepared for any situation that may arise. Think practical items like EDC knives, watches, portable chargers, flashlights, and wallets. 

In this ultimate guide to Everyday Carry (EDC), we will explore the foundations of EDC, the essential gear that you should consider carrying, additional gear to enhance your EDC, personal defense and safety tools, customization and personalization options, organization and carrying solutions, and how to build an EDC kit for specific scenarios.

What is Everyday Carry (EDC)?

Everyday Carry, commonly referred to as EDC, is a concept that revolves around the idea of carrying essential items with you daily. These items are carefully selected to serve practical purposes, enhance preparedness, and provide convenience. 

EDC can include many items, from basic essentials like a wallet and phone to tools, gadgets, and personal defense equipment.

Why is Everyday Carry (EDC) important?

Carrying an EDC kit can offer numerous benefits. Firstly, it provides a sense of preparedness and self-reliance. You can confidently tackle everyday challenges and unexpected situations with essential tools and items readily available. 

EDC also promotes efficiency and convenience by ensuring you have the tools at your fingertips, eliminating the need to search or rely on others.

EDC allows for customization and personalization, enabling individuals to tailor their kits to their needs, preferences, and lifestyles. It offers a sense of self-expression and can reflect one's personality, interests, and practical requirements.

Who can benefit from Everyday Carry (EDC)?

EDC is not limited to a specific group of individuals. It can benefit anyone who wants to be prepared, organized, and self-sufficient daily. Whether you are a professional, student, outdoor enthusiast, or simply someone who values being ready for any situation, EDC can enhance your lifestyle and provide peace of mind.

What are essential Everyday Carry (EDC) items? 

When it comes to Everyday Carry (EDC), a few essential items form the core of any EDC kit. These items are considered the building blocks of preparedness and practicality. In this section, we will explore the essential EDC gear you should consider carrying daily.

The core trio — knife, wallet, and phone

  • Knife: A reliable and versatile knife is a must-have in any EDC kit. It can serve various purposes, such as cutting, opening packages, self-defense, and even basic survival tasks. Choose a type of knife that fits comfortably in your hand, has a strong and durable blade, and is legal to carry in your state.

  • Wallet: Your wallet is not just for carrying cash and cards; it can also serve as a storage space for important documents, identification, and emergency contact information. Opt for a slim, durable metal or wood wallet that can accommodate your essential cards and cash while remaining compact and easily accessible.

  • Phone: In today's digital age, smartphones are essential to everyday life. Besides communication, your phone can serve as a navigation device, flashlight, camera, and a repository of important information. Ensure your phone has the necessary apps and features to aid you in various situations.


  • Digital watch: A digital watch offers precise timekeeping, alarms, timers, and additional features such as a compass or barometer. It is practical for those who prefer a straightforward and functional timepiece.

  • Analog watch: An analog watch adds a touch of classic style to your EDC. With its traditional hands and markers, an analog watch is a timeless accessory that can also serve as a backup timekeeping option in case your phone battery dies.

  • Smartwatch: Smartwatches combine the functionality of a digital watch with additional features such as fitness tracking, notifications, and smartphone integration. They offer various capabilities and can be customized to suit your needs and preferences.

By including these essential items in your EDC kit, you will be equipped with tools that cover a wide range of everyday situations and emergencies. They provide practicality, convenience, and a sense of preparedness. 

Writing tools — pens and notebooks

  • EDC pen: A reliable and durable pen is a versatile tool to have on hand. It can be used to write notes, sign documents, or even be a makeshift self-defense tool. Look for pens that are compact, refillable, and have a comfortable grip.

  • Pocket notebook: A small pocket-sized notebook allows you to jot down important information, make to-do lists, or record observations on the go. Opt for a durable notebook that easily fits in your EDC pouch or pocket.

Flashlights and keychain lights

  • EDC flashlight: A compact flashlight is invaluable in low-light situations or emergencies. Look for flashlights with adjustable brightness levels, a durable construction, and a pocket clip for easy carry.

  • Keychain light: A small keychain light is convenient for quick illumination. It can be easily attached to your keyring or EDC pouch and provides a handy source of light whenever required.

Mobile devices and accessories

  • Portable power bank: A portable power bank ensures that your electronic devices stay charged, even when you're on the go. Look for one with a high capacity and multiple charging ports for versatility.

  • Multi Tool phone case: A phone case with built-in tools, such as a bottle opener, screwdriver, or even a multitool, adds functionality to your smartphone. It provides quick access to essential tools without adding bulk to your EDC. Make sure to grab one that can handle the wear & tear of everyday life, like a protective wood resin phone case.

  • Earphones: Compact earphones or earbuds allow you to enjoy music and podcasts or make hands-free calls while on the move. Look for options with good sound quality, comfort, and tangle-free cables.

These additional EDC gear options offer practicality, convenience, and versatility. Depending on your specific needs and preferences, you can choose the items that align with your lifestyle and serve you well in your everyday activities. 

Should you carry personal defense items? 

Regarding Everyday Carry (EDC), personal defense and safety should be key considerations. 

man holding pocket knife

Legal self-defense tools

  • Pepper spray: Pepper spray is a non-lethal self-defense tool that can temporarily incapacitate an attacker. It is compact, easy to carry, and legal in many areas. Familiarize yourself with local laws and regulations regarding the possession and use of pepper spray.

  • Personal alarm: When activated, a personal alarm emits loud, attracting attention and potentially deterring attackers. It is a small, discreet device that can be easily carried on a keychain or pocket.

  • Tactical pen: A tactical pen is a multi-functional tool that serves as a regular writing instrument but also features a sturdy construction that can be used for self-defense. It often incorporates features such as a glass breaker or a striking point.

First aid kits

  • Basic first aid supplies: Carry a compact kit with essentials such as adhesive bandages, antiseptic wipes, gauze pads, medical tape, and pain relievers. Customize your kit based on your specific needs and any potential health concerns or allergies.

  • CPR mask: A CPR mask is a small, portable device that provides a barrier between the rescuer and the person receiving CPR. It is a valuable addition to your EDC kit, as it can aid in providing emergency assistance to someone in need.

Remember, personal defense is not just about carrying tools; it also involves being aware of your surroundings, practicing situational awareness, and knowing how to respond effectively in different situations. Consider taking self-defense classes or seeking professional advice to enhance your personal defense skills.

By including personal defense tools and first aid supplies in your EDC kit, you can better ensure your safety and the safety of others. 

Where can I find other Everyday Carry (EDC) ideas? 

Online communities and forums: Join online EDC communities and forums like Reddit (see r/EDC and r/everydaycarry) to connect with like-minded individuals, share ideas, and gain inspiration for your EDC gear. These communities often provide valuable insights, reviews, and gear selection and customization recommendations.

Social media and EDC influencers: Follow EDC enthusiasts and influencers on social media platforms like Instagram and YouTube. They often showcase their EDC setups, provide gear recommendations, and share creative ways to personalize and customize your gear.

What's the best way to organize my Everyday Carry (EDC) gear? 

To effectively carry and access your Everyday Carry (EDC) gear, it is important to have proper organization and carrying solutions. This section will explore various options to keep your EDC items organized and easily accessible.

Bags and backpacks

  • EDC backpack: Consider investing in a dedicated EDC bag or backpack designed to accommodate your gear. Look for a bag with multiple compartments, pockets, and organizers to keep your items neatly arranged. Consider size, durability, and comfort when selecting your EDC bag.

  • Modular pouches: Modular pouches are versatile and allow you to customize the organization of your EDC gear within your bag. They can be attached to webbing or MOLLE systems, providing additional storage options for your items.

Pocket and belt organizers

  • Pocket organizers: Pocket organizers are compact pouches or sleeves designed to fit in your pockets. They help organize your smaller EDC items and prevent them from getting lost or tangled. Look for organizers with multiple compartments and elastic loops for secure storage.

  • Belt clips and holsters: Consider using belt clips or holsters to securely carry your EDC items, such as knives, flashlights, or multitools, on your belt. These accessories provide quick and easy access to your gear while keeping them securely in place.

  • Key organizers: Key organizers are designed to keep your keys organized and prevent them from jingling or scratching other items in your pocket. They often feature a compact and sleek design, allowing you to carry your keys neatly and organized.

Proper organization and carrying solutions help you access your EDC gear quickly and ensure that your items are protected and well-maintained. Find the best solutions for your needs and preferences, and regularly assess and update your organization system as your EDC gear evolves.

What kind of EDC are you: Minimalist or comprehensive?

When it comes to Everyday Carry (EDC), there are two main approaches that individuals tend to follow: minimalist and comprehensive. This section will explore these two approaches and help you determine which suits your preferences and lifestyle.

Minimalist EDC

A minimalist EDC approach focuses on carrying only the essential items for everyday tasks and emergencies. The key principles of minimalist EDC include:

  • Simplicity: A minimalist EDC kit consists of several carefully selected items for multiple purposes. Each item has a specific function and is chosen for its practicality and versatility.

  • Streamlined carry: Minimalist EDC enthusiasts prefer lightweight, compact gear that can easily be carried in pockets or on a keychain. They aim to keep their EDC as discreet and inconspicuous as possible.

  • Efficiency: Minimalist EDC emphasizes efficiency and functionality. The focus is on tools to accomplish necessary tasks without frills or redundancy.

Comprehensive EDC

A comprehensive EDC approach involves carrying a wider range of tools and gear to be prepared for a broader range of situations. The key principles of comprehensive EDC include:

  • Preparedness: A comprehensive EDC kit aims to cover a wide range of scenarios and potential challenges. Individuals following this approach prioritize being ready for any situation that might arise.

  • Versatility: Comprehensive EDC enthusiasts value having specialized tools and gear for specific tasks. They are willing to carry more items to ensure they have the right tools for the job.

  • Customization: Comprehensive EDC allows for more customization and personalization. Individuals may have specific gear preferences based on hobbies, professions, or interests.

Finding your EDC style

Determining whether you lean towards a minimalist or comprehensive EDC approach depends on your individual needs, preferences, and lifestyle. Your EDC loadout will also vary if you live in urban settings compared to rural areas. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • What are your daily activities? Consider the tasks you commonly encounter and the tools that would be most useful in those situations.

  • What level of preparedness do you desire? Assess your environment's potential risks and challenges and decide how extensively you want to be prepared.

  • Do you prefer simplicity or versatility? Determine if you value a streamlined and uncluttered carry or prefer having a wider range of tools.

Remember, there is no right or wrong approach to EDC. It is a personal choice that should align with your lifestyle and preferences. Whether you lean towards a minimalist or comprehensive EDC style, the key is curating a kit that serves your needs and empowers you to navigate life's challenges.