"Everyday carry," or EDC, is one of those buzz phrases that has become so popular you are probably embarrassed to ask what it actually means.
You might be afraid that not knowing how to appropriately use this trendy jargon will make it seem you are a bit old-fashioned. However, the idea behind EDC is not a new one. In fact, it's a bit old-fashioned. It goes back to the time when gentlemen carried essential items on their person, including pocket watches, handkerchiefs and utility knives. The modern term sometimes refers to women as well, but often EDC items are targeted to men (let's change this).
What is Everyday Carry and Why Should I Care?
As the name implies, EDC refers to what you might carry on your person or in your bag on a daily basis. They are the items you feel lost without, the things you check for before leaving the house every morning. Even if you didn't know what EDC meant before now, you most likely already have your own EDC you've put together. EDC items are a very personal combination of essentials that speak volumes about the person. At the same time, there are similar items found in almost everyone's EDC that link us, regardless of gender, age or profession. Here are four functions of EDC to help you evaluate your own and get the most out of it.
- A Useful Function. Having too much in your EDC defeats the purpose. A truly useful EDC includes only items that are functional. They serve a specific purpose. For example, smartphones are the one essential that almost everyone has in their EDC today. They have replaced the need to carry a camera, watch, pen and paper, and flashlight. Your wallet is another functional EDC component that ensures your money, important identification and other documents are safe and organized.
- Convenient Access. Your EDC allows you to have items that make life easier. For the urban adventurer, a BPA free water bottle and high SPF sun cream might round out your EDC. For surfers, you might opt to include your surfboard comb and wax, sunscreen and lip balm in your pockets when you leave the house. Having these items will make your day much more convenient. Another example might be a college students that includes a USB drive on his or her key ring, so they can conveniently carry their work to and from home.
- Prepared for the Unexpected. Your EDC should also include basic items that will help you cope with unexpected events. This might include mini versions of tools like flashlights, screwdrivers, tweezers, knives, compasses, fire starters, pry bars, pliers, bottle openers, scissors and whistles that fit on your key chain. Multi-tool pieces encompass all or just a few of these things and can save space so that your pockets are not weighed down with 20 different little tools. Multi-tools are invaluable for quick fixes or emergencies. You'll be thankful for your flashlight when trying to navigate down a dark path or a dark parking garage during a power outage. Having a cutting tool readily available is invaluable when just opening packages or cutting a tourniquet for a bleeding friend. Having a whistle can help you alert the attention of a cab while commuting in the city or alert someone on shore that you need help while surfing the waves.
- Express your creativity. One of the most fun things about putting your EDC together is seeing just how many useful items you can include in such as small space. There are many items out there that will allow you to creatively put together a practical EDC. For example, check out this super cool organizer that can hold cash, cards, mobile devices and even has a spot for a little pen and flashlight. Wear a rope survival bracelet that can hold up to 500 lbs. There are numerous essential uses for rope and this item doesn't take up space in your pocket.
Less is More
We've discussed so many options, you might think putting an EDC together is complicated and you'd never want to carry that much stuff. The point is, however, that you have options. Pick what is most important based on your everyday life. Taking your EDC items every morning should not require a lot of thought. It should just be something that's all together for you to grab and go. Less is more. If you over complicate your EDC, you are likely to just stop using it.
Surfers can develop a unique EDC based on their routines. If you carry a small bag to the shoreline, you have even more flexibility. Still, don't get carried away with packing a backpack every day. Your EDC items should have their own specific compartment in your bag and they should stay there until they are needed. For example, carrying a bag enables you to stock a first-aid kit. When you are in the outdoors, accidents occur. Whether it's a shark attack or simply cutting your foot on a shell, having the right tools can save a life and prevent infection. However, don't let the allure of keeping your EDC items in a bag prevent you from keeping important items on your person. Your EDC should include identification that never leaves you, whether you wear an ID bracelet or keep your license in the pocket of your board shorts. Keeping a whistle, or your key ring with your portable whistle attached, in your board shorts is also advisable, so you can call for help if needed.
Your EDC is the definition of reliability and functionality. Whether you are a minimalist and prefer to have just a few items or you like feeling totally prepared for every possible scenario, make your EDC an expression of you.
Whatever your EDC, Benny's Boardroom keeps you apprised of the latest news, trends and reviews in the outdoor lifestyle space.