What does the term everyday carry mean?
In the world of prepping, you’ve likely heard the phrase “everyday carry” or the term EDC. It’s a common concept, to have a certain, limited number of things on your person at all times so you at the very least have the bare essentials in the time of emergency or crisis.
But everyday carry isn’t limited to the survivalist sect. This can be a great system for anyone to use to make their daily life easier and more organized. Below is a simple breakdown of what EDC can do for your daily life, whether you’re deep in the world of prepping or simply want to make sure you have what you need, when you need it.
At the most literal level, your everyday carry is the collection of items you carry with you in your pockets or in your bag on a daily basis.
They’re the things you tap your pockets for before you head out the door, the things you feel naked without, and the things that would throw off your whole day if you had to do without them. They are valuable not just in a monetary or sentimental way; your everyday carry is comprised of items that you find truly essential.
This means things like pocket lint, scrunched up receipts, gum wrappers, and other disposables might live in your pocket (hopefully not for very long), but they don’t count as part of your everyday carry. Mainstays in your carry should have certain qualities that fall in line with the principles of utility and preparedness. Each component of your EDC should serve a purpose or have at least one specific, useful function.
Every day, your EDC essentials prepare you for the worst and empower you to do your best.
What are the advantages of the EDC approach to my daily belongings?
What’s awesome is that at some level, everybody already has an everyday carry. But by thinking of what you keep in your pockets as your everyday carry system, you can enjoy a wealth of benefits:
- Do more, better: By adding new tools, you have access to all sorts of new functions that make your life better or your day easier. Or, by taking an EDC approach to upgrading essentials you already use, you can maximize their performance and efficiency.
- Preparedness and self-reliance: Having these tools at the ready every day will not only equip you for most of your daily routine, but also for unexpected situations. Your EDC will help you make quick work of things you might otherwise need help doing.
- Convenience: Sometimes you waste a lot of time trying to find the right tool you need. With a well-built EDC, you won’t have to dig through junk drawers, ask to borrow a pen, or give up on something and tell yourself you’ll bring that tool next time. EDC items are convenient and make your life easier!
- Longterm savings: If you invest in essentials that can withstand daily wear and perform up to your personal standards enough to make the cut of your EDC, you could be saving in the long run. Opting for well-made, reliable, and durable goods means you won’t spend more to replace inexpensive, cheaply made disposable items every few months. If you’ve already caught the EDC bug, you might know this isn’t true all the time. But many EDC goods achieve a balance of quality and value that reach “buy it for life” status, so you can buy once and get your money’s worth.
- Personal expression: The individualization of your EDC is definitely one of the most important aspects of the lifestyle. What you carry and use says a lot about you, what you do, what your preferences are, and so on. Refining your kit to reflect your personality is one of the most fun reasons to look for new gear.
– via The Art of Manliness
Build Your EDC On A Budget
Wanting a reliable EDC doesn’t have to break the bank. You can easily break down exactly what you need to have on you each day to stay safe, and then figure out a frugal way to get each item. Below is a short breakdown of EDC basics and ideas about how to build your kit on a budget.
There’s a whole following of people who make budget EDC kits that fit into an Altoids tin. I have one myself, and it’d be pretty awesome if I had it with me if I were stuck somewhere, but I find that even though it packs a lot of stuff, it’s a fairly bulky item to carry so I don’t always put it in my pocket. It now sits in a pouch as a part of my motorcycle EDC kit. When I have room though (and don’t forget to grab it), it goes in my on-person kit. The kind of EDC kit I’m talking about here today is spread out in different pockets, including on your keychain. That makes it easier to fit. I’ll have some more posts later about how to make an altoids tin EDC kit or a pouch kit. I’m sure most of you have heard of a bugout bag. It’s the bag you grab if you have to leave home or that you keep with you as you’re traveling in case something happens.
A well-planned bag should give you enough things to survive with as long as you’ve learned how to use them properly – and have them with you. Obviously, you could survive much easier and better with a bugout bag but even though it may be within reach most of the time, it’s not actually on you. Unless you wear one of those crazy waist packs. Sure, they can pack a decent amount of stuff but you have to have some kind of fashion sense.
A good EDC kit will have things you need to get through a situation but be easy enough to carry that you never leave it at home. This means that unless you always wear cargo pants or have a purse within arm’s reach, you can only carry a few small items with you. So what should you carry? Well, assuming you’ve learned enough skills to allow you to make due with what you can find, you just need a few things to help the process a bit. There are a few major categories to survival equipment that you need to keep in mind for a bare-bones budget EDC kit:
Obviously, keeping things cheap is sometimes a priority. If you’re like most people, you have to prioritize where you spend your resources. Also, you don’t always have to spend a lot of money to get something that’ll work.
– via Graywolf Survival
Do you currently have an EDC kit that you rely on? How do you want to change or expand it?