Are you new to EDC?
You've probably seen these 3 letters all over the internet by now. And you may honestly be wondering, what in the world does "EDC" stand for? It stands for "Every Day Carry".
A person's EDC Gear is exactly what it sounds like...It's the stuff they carry every day. Often times it's in their pockets or on their belts. But this gear can sometimes spill over into backpacks, organizers and more (especially if you're like us!).
For the sake of this article we're going to keep things pretty simple, and just discuss the top 10 items that everyone should be carrying. Take this as our "Everyday Carry for Beginners" lesson...No charge, just buy a wallet or something and we'll call it even ;)
Why would I need to "Everyday Carry" a bunch of stuff?
Good question! The short answer is, the items in this list are going to make your life a lot easier, allow you to deal with emergencies and to complete everyday tasks more efficiently. Now, let's go ahead and get started on our top 10 list of everyday carry items...
The bare-bones essentials (items 1-5)
1. A good, sharp knife:
If you are new to knives we recommend starting with a small knife like the Victorinox Cadet. This little knife has a great blade on it, but also has some other great tools on board that can come in handy for everyday purposes (nail file, bottle opener, screwdriver and more).
A knife is the most important part of anyone's everyday carry, because of all the versatility it adds to your life. Which is why we've included it at #1 on our list.
Common EDC Tasks for a Knife: Opening Packages | Cutting Threads or Rope | Maintenance of tools or other every day items | Food Prep | Emergency Tool | First Aid | Self Defense
Looking for some other great knives suited for EDC? View our top 7 EDC Knives under $100 here.
2. A slimmed down wallet:
We're obviously very passionate about this one...And it's not because we sell slim wallets. It's because we believe a slim wallet is the only wallet worth carrying. And you can read why we believe a slimmed down wallet is so important here. No one needs to be carrying around a big 'ole trifold that is 4 inches thick. Ditch the junk, carry only the essentials and get into a nice slim wallet.
Common EDC Tasks for a Wallet: Carrying your identification | Carrying your means to pay for Goods & Services | And looking like a total boss if said wallet is from Recycled Firefighter
Now that you've got yourself a killer slimmed down wallet, fill that bad boy up with only the essentials and some cash. Yes, cash. It's alarming how few people carry cash on them these days.
Here are a few reasons why you should "every day carry" cash:
- Cards aren't accepted everywhere.
- Leaving tips for servers or someone who has done a particular service for you (hair cuts, valet, etc).
- Cash has more bargaining power in some cases (resulting in you getting a better deal).
- Your bank could put a hold on your account for some reason.
- Power or card readers could fail, leaving you with no way to pay. For that matter, your actual card could fail as well.
- A disaster could occur leaving cash as the only way of paying for items.
Carry along a decent amount of cash so you're ready if you can't use your card, or if the situation is better suited for cash.
Being able to illuminate a dark situation is crucial. Let's say you get a flat tire and you're stuck on the side of a dark road at 2am - Do you want to attempt to change that tire in the dark? Or let's say you went out for a hike with only what was on you (which we don't advise) and it got dark before you were finished...Do you want to hike out in the pitch black?
A flashlight can come in handy for a variety of emergency reasons. But I find myself using my flashlight in my everyday life as well. Find something reliable and compact that uses common batteries and clip it to your pocket.
Common EDC Tasks for a Flashlight: Lighting up dark rooms or the outdoors | Spotlighting something to show someone what you're talking about (if you're too lazy to get up) | Gently illuminating a dark room when others are asleep (instead of turning the light on) | Emergency Lighting | Self Defense Tool (threat identification) | Signaling
5. Your cell phone:
This is something 99.9% of us already EDC, but it's worth mentioning. If you feel like you're not suited for carrying gear everyday, take a pause here. You're already carrying your phone everyday. Just imagine how much of your life you've based around it.
Now with that same logic, apply it to the other items in this article. Before too long you'll push your phone down the list of priorities and your other items will be more important to you.
Common EDC Tasks for a Cell Phone: Keeping in touch with others | Calculator | GPS/Online Maps | Emergency Calls | Checking store hours | Angry Birds
Off body carry essentials (items 6-9)
6. IFAK (Individual First Aid Kit):
Your IFAK could be anything from a small "boo boo kit" to touch up small wounds, or something that can handle more serious injuries. I personally opt to carry a small first aid kit that can handle both. Whatever you choose, just make sure you always have it handy. This is an item that can truly be a life saver.
Common EDC Tasks for an IFAK: Treating small wounds and cuts | Relieving headaches if you carry medicine for it | Acting as a First Responder (if you're certified) | Bettering your situation until professional medical help arrives
7. Small Notebook and Pen:
While today's generation is dependent upon technology for note taking and remembering things, nothing beats the classic authenticity of taking notes with a good pen and paper.
Common EDC Tasks for a Notebook and Pen: Quick note taking | Leaving a note behind for someone | Exchanging info with others
8. A nice Water Bottle:
The use for a wallet bottle isn't exactly rocket science....I just like to stay hydrated with water while i'm on the go and not have to pay for bottled water while i'm out. A good water bottle can also come in handy if you're faced with some sort of emergency as well. Having good clean water will prevent you from dehydrating and you can even use the water to clean wounds in combination with your IFAK.
Common EDC Tasks for a Water Bottle: Staying Hydrated | Saving Money on overpriced bottled water | Emergencies
Extra Tip: By carrying a stainless steel water bottle like the one pictured above, you add the versatility of being able to boil water over an open flame.
550 Paracord is one of the strongest types cordage that you can buy. Paracord is not just one strand of cordage. Depending on the type of Paracord you purchase it will have 7-9 inner strands...Which make it incredibly strong. It weighs nothing, and is fairly inexpensive. It's so incredibly versatile in it's number of uses that it would be crazy to leave it at home.
Some times that i've used Paracord: I've used paracord for a little bit of everything since i've been EDC'ing it...
I've tied my broken car bumper back up with paracord 'till I could get my car back home to properly repair it. I've used it for camping type of tasks. I use it for zipper pulls. I've carried stuff with paracord, using it as a makeshift sling. I've secured cargo with it so it wouldn't slide around while i'm driving. I use it for lanyards on my knives.
There are plenty of other uses that i've found for paracord, but hopefully that will give you a good idea of it's versatility.
Last, but definitely not least. A way of defending yourself (item #10)
10. Personal Protection:
As much as we would love to believe we don't need this item in our EDC Loadout, we unfortunately have to think about it in today's world. The last thing we would want is for you or your family to become a victim.
Know your local laws on this one and ensure that you act accordingly with them. Depending on your local laws we would recommend that you carry some way of protecting yourself and your loved ones. This could be a more beefed up knife, pepper spray, a small baton or a firearm.
Whatever you decide to carry as your personal protection item, pack it consistently and take it seriously. Just because you're carrying some form of a weapon does not make you the police and it doesn't warrant you to behave like a vigilante. If this is going to be a problem you need to leave this item off of your list. A weapon is a serious item to carry and it should be treated with unwavering respect, no matter how long you carry it.
Get proper training to handle whatever self defense item you choose. Waiting to use your personal protection item 'til you need it is not the right answer. It could result in you or someone else becoming seriously injured or killed.
So there we have it - 10 Items to turn you into a proper "EDC'er":
If you've made it this far into the article, thank you so much for reading! Becoming more prepared in your life with solid "everyday carry" gear is a topic that is super important to us here at Recycled Firefighter. We know the importance of carrying the right gear and being prepared to use it. And we take it very serious when we make recommendation articles like this, or sell gear that you are going to be carrying everyday.
So, as always - If you have some pictures you want to share with us "hashtag" us on Instagram with #RecycledFirefighterEDC. Or comment below to chat with us. We always love hearing from you all!