Every Day Carry (EDC) items are those you carry with you every day, either in your cotton sweatshirt pockets or a bag. The items you take to work, school, or while out and about are essential to help you throughout the day. However, not everyone’s essential EDC items are the same. For example, women often carry different items than men, but everyone still has essential items they need wherever they go. EDC consists of all the items you gather to keep with you before you leave the house; some people prefer more minimalist items, while others carry everything from their wallet to emergency gear.
There’s a reason you carry the same items with you every day – you need them. Having these top 11 essential EDC items with you keeps you prepared for anything. So, whether you’re going for a stroll in your favorite hiking shoes and accidentally fall and cut yourself, or you like being able to crack open a beer with a multitool wherever you go, everyone has essential items they can’t live without.
Not everyone’s everyday carry items are the same. Your pockets might be filled with things someone else would have no use for in their daily life. EDC is all about the items you need every day, even though you might not use all of those items every day. That being said, here are some of the top essential EDC items you should have in your pocket, backpack, or purse:
This one is a little obvious, but everyone carries their cell phones with them wherever they go. You use your phone on a daily basis, so it’s a no-brainer why you should have it in your pocket. Whether you’re making phone calls, texting your friends, or scrolling through social media while you’re on the go, you need your phone.
Another EDC item that’s fairly obvious is your wallet. While wallets are less popular now since you can use a money clip or even a phone case to store your cards and cash, they’re still essential to your everyday life. There are many types of wallets, some more minimalistic than others, so you can always find something to fit your needs, whether you carry tons of cash or don’t want your wallet weighing you down throughout the day.
Everyone needs a multitool because EDC is all about portability. Your multitool may not be able to perform what full-sized tools can do, but they’re much easier to carry and can still accomplish basic tasks. Most multitools come with scissors, knives, screwdrivers, bottle openers, and more that you can use for just about any task.
You can always check your phone for the time, but a watch is another essential and common EDC tool. Basic watches look sharp and prevent you from getting distracted by all the apps on your phone when all you need to do is check the time. However, you can invest in high-tech watches that offer additional functions like tracking your fitness or sleep. Some watches even contain built-in compasses to help you find your way if you’re ever lost while camping or hiking.
Lighters have become less popular now that fewer people smoke, but they’re still necessary when you start a fire, whether while camping or to light a candle at home. Lighters can also come in handy when you lose power and can’t find your flashlight or for sterilizing needles to remove splinters after a long day of woodworking.
A small, portable flashlight is one EDC item many people don’t carry because they almost always have access to lighting. However, when the power goes out, you’ll want a flashlight close by to help you find your way. Flashlights come in handy in all sorts of situations, so if you ever need more light, you’ll have one in your pocket to make your life a little easier.
Your multitool likely already comes with some sort of knife, but depending on the type of knife, you may want something a little bigger for heavy-duty jobs. A foldable pocket knife is an essential EDC item because it allows you to cut and pry.
Have you ever been sitting at work and couldn’t find a pen? Everyone needs a pen throughout the day, whether you’re signing paperwork, taking notes, or need to jot something down to remember later. Preppers are always prepared with a pen, and there are many great pens you can choose from. Depending on how high-tech you want to go, there are pens with multiple uses. For example, some come with a glass-breaker tip.
Again, your multitool may have pliers and tweezers already, but if you need something more sturdy, you can always carry more with you. Pliers can help you loosen nuts and bolts or pull and hold small items.
10. Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
Your IFAK doesn’t have to be as robust as a medical kit, but it should contain the basics, like bandages. First aid kits can be used for everything from treating small cuts and wounds to relieving headaches if you carry medicine with you. But, of course, if you ever need medical attention, treating yourself is ill-advised, so your first aid kid should only be used for minor concerns.
Not to mention, you should include a separate emergency kit for your pet. If you like to take your pet with you wherever you go, even if it’s a trip down the street it’s always best to have a kit for them. This safety kit can include food, water, toys, a separate leash and collar, any paperwork stating emergency contacts, a life jacket, medicine, and more. Although it may not seem necessary at times, it is best to stay safe.
11. Water Bottle
There’s no reason to be dehydrated throughout the day when you can carry your own water bottle. Your water bottle will also help you save money because you won’t have to buy water while out and about. There are many types of reusable water bottles, including bottles that purify your drinking water or stainless-steel bottles you can use to boil water over a fire while camping.
These are just a few of the top EDC items. What’s in your pocket may be different depending on your daily needs. However, everyone should carry the essentials of a thin wallet, water bottle, and multitool to ensure they always have access to everything they need on a daily basis.
Contributor: Megan Isola
Megan Isola holds a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality and a minor in Business Marketing from Cal State University Chico. She enjoys going to concerts, trying new restaurants, and hanging out with friends.