EDC Essentials For Beginners - Everyday Carry Guide
Everyday carry, otherwise known as EDC, is the gear that you choose to carry on your person each day you go out into the world. Everyone has their own takes on what is essential as EDC is personal. It’s the tools that you want to ensure that you have with you at all times!
With that in mind, there can be a lot of conflicting viewpoints on what is necessary to build out your EDC. While we believe that everyone is entitled to their own opinions when it comes to EDC as it is based around what you feel comfortable carrying, we also recognize that there is a baseline of what each person should have when it comes to their EDC kit. If you’re a beginner and don’t know where to start building out your EDC, we want to help lift some of the smoke around what EDC is.
By the end of this post, you’ll have a more defined understanding of what everyday carry is, what the benefits are of building an EDC kit, how to pick your EDC essentials, as well as well as our top picks for EDC gear items. Let’s get started.
What is Everyday Carry?
As we mentioned earlier, everyday carry (EDC) is the gear that you carry on your person every day you go out. But more than that, it’s a mindset. EDC is about anticipating problems that could come up before they happen and having the gear necessary to solve that problem within reach.
Think through the problems that you deal with on a daily basis. What are some commonalities that appear? What times do you run into issues where you don’t have the right tools to solve the issue in a timely manner? Or how about what are areas of your life that could be streamlined more so you can spend less of your time dealing with these issues and more time focusing on things that really matter to you?
At its core, EDC is about carrying the right gear to solve the day-to-day problems everyone encounters. It’s about being ready to face the challenges modern life throws at us no matter what.
What are the Benefits of Everyday Carry?
The biggest benefit of everyday carry is peace of mind. Having the tools you need to solve a problem on hand makes dealing with issues that may send your day flying off the rails a non-issue.
For example, having a decent multi-tool with you makes it so much quicker to tighten up a loose screw on a wobbly chair than it is to try to find a screwdriver. Or if the power goes out at home or at the office, having a flashlight on hand makes it safer to find your way to an exit or find the breaker box to correct a tripped breaker.
In reality, the benefits of having an EDC kit are endless as the potential applications for EDC are endless. Life is full of surprises, so why not be ready to deal with them ahead of time?
How do I Choose my EDC Essentials?
This is the fun part. You get to research! Each person is going to have different needs and tastes when it comes to their gear, but in general, there are a few questions you can ask yourself as you begin your research. Some of these questions include:
- What is my main purpose for this gear item?
- What will my budget allow for this gear item?
- Will this gear item be small enough to carry on my person without being bulky?
If you can clearly answer each of these questions for each EDC item you purchase, you’ll know you’ve done your research right. But if you’re unsure of where to even start with that, don’t worry! We’ve got you covered with our list of our top picks for beginner EDC essentials.
- EDC Essential List -
One of the most useful tools for EDC is a pocket knife. Something that is lightweight, concealable, and quick to deploy is what you should be after. Folding blades are going to be your best bet here as they allow you to carry a much longer blade while being able to keep it close at hand.
A great idea for a beginner pocket knife is the Kershaw Inception. Weighing in at a mere 3.1 oz., the Inception feels like you’re carrying nothing at all and is easily stored inside of a pocket. The pocket clip on the outside of the handle frame secures the knife to the inside of your pocket, so you don’t need to worry about it slipping out of your pocket accidentally. The 3.25” D2 steel blade gives you plenty of cutting area while being incredibly durable for years and years of use.
Mobile Phone and Phone Case
Your mobile phone is one of the most essential pieces of gear you have in your EDC kit. Not only is it critical for being able to communicate with others throughout the day, but it’s also incredibly handy for so many more things. Navigation, photography, learning, the list goes on and on.
But one of the most important parts of your phone is the case. What is all of that computing power worth if you accidentally drop it and it breaks. To that end, we highly recommend getting a quaility case like a Mous case. Not only are there tons of options to choose from that will fit several makes and models of phones, but they have so many applications that you can add to them to extend the utility of the case, which is what EDC is all about.
Traditional trifold and bifold wallets fall apart after years of use. They often are designed to carry more than what you usually need in a given day, so naturally, miscellaneous items just find their homes there. Old receipts, tickets, and business cards litter the insides and before you know it, your traditional wallet is unreasonably thick. At best, this is uncomfortable and at worse, it makes you an easy target for pickpockets.
The perfect EDC wallet is the Axwell Wallet. Designed with minimalism in mind, the Axwell Wallet is capable of carrying up to 12 credit cards as well as cash with the included cash strap and money clip. But more than that, the Axwell Wallet is capable of carrying a GPS tracker to make it a breeze to locate it when it’s misplaced as well as a multi-tool card that slips in like a credit card.
Old school key chains served their purpose for years. If you had a slew of keys you needed to have on you each day, you could easily slip them onto a ring and have them available to you all day. The problem with key chains is that they jingle way too much and can sometimes get caught on hooks or doors which can result in them getting ripped out of your pocket or off the ring entirely.
EDC key organizers are a great way to replace the old key chain and improve how you keep your keys. They operate more like a Swiss Army Knife than they do like a key chain. Simply follow the instructions for your specific key organizer to place them into the organizer and by the time you’re done, you’ll have a compact, secure, and concealable storage solution for your keys.
Archimedes once said, “give me a lever and I’ll move the world.” What he meant by this is having a lever, a simple tool, is such a force multiplier that it’s capabilities for being able to shape the world were almost limitless. How much more could you get done with not just a lever, but a whole slew of tools built into one?
Multitools are force multipliers like no other. They are capable of holding plyers, bottle openers, scissors, and yes, even the mighty lever. While there are a ton of multitools on the market today, one of the best ones you can get is the Axwell Multitool card. It fits easily into any Axwell Wallet and has 23 different tool functions forged into its small sleek frame.
Flashlights are one of the most overlooked pieces of EDC gear because people today have come to rely so much on the electrical grid staying on. But power outages from weather emergencies or vehicle accidents happen without warning and the whole point of EDC is to stay prepared for the unknown challenges you might face!
Having a mini flashlight like the EDC PL 2AAA from 5.11 is a great way to prepare for navigating the darkness at a moment’s notice. It’s small, easy to carry in your pocket, and has a run time of over 4 hours.
Pen or Pencil
One of the most frustrating things is needing a pen but not having one available to use. Don’t let another day go by without adding a pen to your EDC. One of the best pens you can get for EDC as a beginner is this one from Gerber. Not only does it serve as a functional pen, it can also be used for self-defense or to break windows if you find yourself needing to egress from a motor vehicle accident.
Keeping track of the time is key to maintaining control over your day. So many people struggle with managing their time, so having something other than your phone to keep you on track is important. Phones are great for many things but checking the time on your phone often leads to getting distracted by the endless notifications that pop up as soon as you activate it.
To that end, having a wristwatch is a much better solution to keeping track of and managing your time. The best in the business when it comes to EDC watches is G-Shock. They’ve got a stunning array of options to choose from, all with different features to help you find the right watch for you. And, their legendary manufacturing process makes darn near indestructible watches.
Honorable Mention Items
Once you have a good baseline for your EDC kit created around the items we just talked about earlier, you should begin thinking about adding some of these items to extend the utility of your EDC.
- Lip balm
- Challenge coin
- Money clip
Building out your EDC kit will take time and careful consideration. Don’t get discouraged if the gear item that you pick doesn’t end up being all that you hoped it would be. Continue to dig into what fits your personal EDC goals best and tailor it around your preferences. Have patience with the process and before long, you’ll have a kit that will help you meet just about any challenge you face.
One challenge that many face is what to upgrade on their EDC first. Begin with your wallet. Think about it, so much of your personal and financial information is held within your wallet, so having the best one available to protect that information is a no brainer. The Axwell Wallet is one of the best EDC wallets out there. And by signing up for our Axwell Army Newsletter by clicking here, you’ll receive a discount on your first EDC essential gear purchase.