Survival enthusiasts, off-duty military and law enforcement operatives, and tactical gear buffs all know the importance of EDC.
In this blog post:
EDC — or Everyday Carry — refers to the items you carry on your person every day in any situation. It’s a closely curated selection of items essential to your everyday life. You bring them even if there’s a possibility that you won’t be using them at all.
The point of having EDC gear is to be prepared for anything and everything. Your EDC gear can range from a simple pocket knife to a multi-tool or a full-fledged EDC kit. With the various lifestyles and work needs of different people, there’s no one-size-fits-all EDC gear list. Get a deeper understanding of the purpose of EDC, its philosophy, and how you can build your own EDC gear according to your needs.
What Is the EDC Philosophy?
“Just in case,” embodies the EDC philosophy in a nutshell. The idea is to be ready for whatever may happen, even if there’s only a slim chance of it happening. EDC gear is your insurance against the unexpected.
The concept of EDC doesn’t appeal to some because it seems like a lot of work for something that may never happen. It’s rare to find a regular person carrying a flashlight, a pocket knife, and a first-aid kit everywhere they go.
However, EDC is a way of life for people who live an adventurous lifestyle or have dangerous jobs. It’s not about being paranoid or thinking that the world is out to get them. It’s having your lifeline in an emergency where you want to be able to save yourself and others.
Why Do You Need EDC?
Working as a responder, you can easily see how much responsibility EDC gear can have. What others may see as an “unnecessary” EDC item could be the one thing that saves a life. For example, let’s say you’re a police officer working the night shift. You never know when you’ll get a call about a domestic dispute or a robbery in progress.
You can’t respond to urgent concerns in these situations with only your radio. You need other tools to help you diffuse the situation or subdue a perpetrator. The same idea applies even to regular people. You never know when you’ll be in a situation where you need to cut a rope, start a fire, or defend yourself. How does an EDC gear change the game?
The number one reason EDC is important is that it helps you become prepared for anything. With EDC, you have everything you need (and might need) with you all the time. It goes beyond just typical everyday situations. EDC also includes items that you might need in an emergency.
For instance, most people EDC a pocket knife. The same goes for flashlights. It’s not impossible to have your car break down in the middle of the night, right? When that happens, you’ll be glad you have a flashlight.
EDC can also be about being mentally and emotionally prepared. Some things can help lower your anxiety because you know you have solutions to possible problems. For instance, your credit card might get declined when you’re out at the gas station with your tank running on E, but if you always have cash with you, then that’s one less thing you need to worry about.
Another reason EDC is important is that it helps you become self-reliant. When you have everything, you need with you all the time, you don’t have to rely on others as much. This is especially helpful in emergency situations. It’s not that it’s wrong to ask for help, but it’s always better to be able to rely on yourself in case you’re unable to find or call for help. With EDC, you can be your own hero.
Let’s say you got into a car accident and are stuck with no one around. If you have a pocket knife, you can use it to cut your seatbelt. Your window glass breaker can help you escape through the window, too.
If there are people around who are ready to help, it can be a significant advantage. Still, EDC items can help you get out of the situation on your own if need be. If it’s not you who’s in a grave situation, EDC items can also help you save someone else.
If you always have your EDC items, you don’t have to waste time looking for them when you need them. For instance, let’s say you’re out in the woods with your friends, who are learning to be nature survival enthusiasts — and then one of them gets injured. With your EDC first-aid kit, you can easily tend to their wounds and save time.
EDC becomes more essential in emergency situations when you don’t have much time to spare. In a more general sense, EDC can help you be more productive because you have everything you need.
If you already have it with you, you don’t need to buy it. EDC can help you save money in the long run because you only need to buy an item once. Sure, there are EDC things that you need to replace or upgrade from time to time, but most EDC items can last you a long time, like lighters, knives, and pens. EDC items don’t come for free, but in the grand scheme of things, EDC can help you save a lot of money.
How Do You Decide Your EDC?
There’s only one answer to this; it’s up to you. You are the only one who can decide what you EDC because only you know what works best for you. Consider your lifestyle and needs when deciding on your EDC. There’s no right or wrong way to EDC, so don’t worry about making the perfect EDC kit. Just make sure that your EDC works for you and that you’re comfortable with it.
You can’t ask a prepper to EDC the same way as a military professional does because their needs are different. You can’t also base your EDC gear on someone else’s because what works for them might not work for you. Think of the situations you often find yourself in and what EDC item and gear can help you in those situations.
What Are EDC Essentials?
While EDC can look different for everyone, most people consider some EDC items essential. These EDC essentials can help you in various situations, whether you’re a bushcrafter or an off-duty military or law enforcement officer. Here are some EDC essentials (apart from your smartphone).
IDs, cash, and credit cards are always a necessity. You can’t buy anything or even get into some places without your wallet. A lot of people choose slim wallets to minimize bulk. Whatever your preference is, make sure it’s durable and can carry everything you need.
It’s not just an accessory. A watch can help you keep track of time, which is essential in many situations. Your smartphone can do that, too, but a watch is more convenient because you don’t have to take it out of your pocket whenever you want to check the time. A watch is also more durable than a smartphone, so it can withstand more demanding situations.
The laws might differ in your area, but carrying a knife is considered an EDC essential when it’s used for practicality. A pocket knife is versatile and comes in handy in many situations, from opening boxes to self-defense. Whether you’re in an emergency or not, a knife can be the item that saves the day.
A flashlight can help you in emergencies when the power goes out or when you’re in a dark place. You might think you already have your smartphone to light the way, but a flashlight outshines a smartphone’s light any day.
A multi-tool is like the Swiss army knife of EDC items! It has multiple functions that help you fix a loose screw or open a bottle. Having it with you will be like being your own handyman. Lighter A lighter is essential for many situations. It can help you in lighting a campfire or candles. It can also come in handy if you need to start a fire for emergency situations.
A lighter is essential for many situations. It can help you in lighting a campfire or candles. It can also come in handy if you need to start a fire for emergency situations.
A pen is mightier than a sword, and it’s also an EDC essential! Used for taking notes or signing documents, a pen can come in handy more often than you think. Sure, you have your smartphone to take notes, but a lot of things still require an actual pen and paper.
Kit You might not put these things in your bag every day, but they’re still EDC essentials. A first-aid kit can help you in case of minor injuries or illnesses. Band-aids, medicine, and antiseptic wipes are just some of the things you might need.
EDC gear helps you carry your items in a more organized way. Your EDC gear can be anything from a backpack to a full-blown EDC kit. The best EDC gear is the one that’s comfortable and practical for you.
Finally, it's not only about what you carry, but also what you wear. EDC clothes range from tactical pants and EDC shirts to tactical jackets. These purpose-built garments don’t stand out from the crowds, yet they offer significant amounts of comfort, ruggedness and – what's important with EDC – enough space to store all your essentials.
Ultimately, you are the only one who can EDC the way you want to. Here are some tips that might help your EDC lifestyle.
Never Compromise Comfort
Your EDC should be comfortable to carry around every day. It shouldn’t be a burden or an inconvenience. You might be ready for anything, but if your EDC is too heavy or bulky, you’ll leave it home more often than not.
Quality over quantity
This should be your EDC mantra. It’s better to have a few high-quality EDC items than a bunch of cheap EDC gear that won’t last long. Plus, high-quality EDC items usually have multiple functions that make them more versatile.
Customize Your EDC
Your needs can change over time, so it’s important to customize your EDC as needed. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different EDC items and gear until you find the perfect EDC lifestyle for you.
Have Gear in Your Car
EDC doesn’t only include the things you carry around with you in your bag every day. It can also be the gear you keep in your car. From pliers to a more complete medical kit, having EDC gear in your vehicle can help you travel with peace of mind.
Learn the Laws
Laws differ from place to place, so you must know the rules wherever you are when carrying your items. For example, some areas restrict the type of EDC knives you can have. Not knowing the laws can get you into trouble.
Build Your EDC Kit
Life can be unpredictable (and sometimes dangerous), so it’s always best to be prepared. Building your EDC kit can help you be ready for anything. You can start small and gradually add more EDC items as you go. Don’t be afraid to change things up as needed. The most important thing is to find an EDC lifestyle that works for you. When you’re out there living your EDC lifestyle to the fullest, always remember — not all heroes wear capes. Some just have EDC gear.