Basic EDC Ideas (everyday carry)

everyday carry ideas for men
[icon name=”fa-user”] Peter Safford [icon name=”fa-calendar”] February 12, 2019 [icon name=”fa-tags”] Lifestyle

“By Failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”

Benjamin Franklin

You can’t prepare for every possibility in life. But what you can do is position yourself for better outcomes. EDC-everyday carry-are tools every man has that he can’t leave the house without. Every man is different, however. EDC is unique to everyone. What one person finds essential, another can do without.

It all comes down to preference. EDC is becoming a form of expression. Different outfits and color-matching schemes exist in the world of EDC. Teched out gadgets and bare-bone basics. Whether you want to be fully stocked with all your pockets filled or prefer as few items as possible, I have compiled a list of ideas and suggestions.

Keep in mind, you don’t have to take anything with you-your choice-but it is better to have it and not need it versus needing it and not having it.


You find me a person, anyone, in this modern day that does not have a smartphone. Android or iPhone. Either one has people developing some sort of chronic neck, shoulder, and arm pain. To think, there was a time when we weren’t all connected to the all-encompassing, all knowing, always there, internet.

I think I speak for a lot of people when I say I need my phone in my pocket. Not so much that I need to be glued to my screen, but if there’s ever an emergency, I have a way to contact someone that can help. Kind of forget those things we all stare at make phone calls too. You can do more than just check Facebook with it.

How do we protect our lifeline to the world? With a tough case…

Phone Case

For a few years I worked in a warehouse with concrete flooring. The phones I owned at the time should’ve have been in pieces for all the times I dropped them. Instead, I made the wise decision to buy a hard case for my phones. I prefer the bulkier, larger phones, and hard cases make those features apparent.

Is it worth the extra space taken up in your pocket? Drop your bare phone five feet onto concrete. If it doesn’t break, save the cash for something else. If you winced at the thought, I recommend Otterbox.

When I leave the store with my new phone, I leave with an Otterbox as well. There’s a reason it’s the number one selling phone case. What’s great is how Otterbox understands that not everyone wants bulkier cases. They offer slimmer cases, like the Otterbox Commuter. Two-layers of protection, with rubber grip and slim for smaller pockets.

Otterbox commuter series smartphone case

Regardless of slim or bulky, protect your phone.


Keysmart’s design simplified that mess I had into three groups. Car fob, traditional house key style keys, and oddballs. What I like about Keysmart is the room for expansion. Extend your key organizer for more room.

Keysmart Key smart key ordanizer


Next to grab on my way out the door is my wallet. Wallets are amazing. They hold cash, debit cards, business cards, and other things. You can’t go wrong with a simple, leather wallet. As a matter of fact, that should be one of the only wallets you own. If you are trying to up your style game, then I suggest you drop the Deadpool wallet and any wallet with-dare I say it-velcro.

You’re not seventeen anymore. I understand nerd culture is prevalent these days, but nothing is classier than a slim, leather wallet. Emphasis on slim. If your wallet is about to burst with loads of junk in it-then yes-stop reading and clean it.

Bi-fold Wallet

Alpine Swiss makes a simple, inexpensive, flip out bi-fold tri-fold leather wallet in multiple colors. Has enough space for money, cards, and a convenient ID window flip out.

Alpine Swiss Bi-fold Wallet

Clip Wallet

You might prefer a clip over the traditional wallet. Clips work just as well as a wallet and allow for you to hold them in front pocket easier than a wallet. For around the same price as a leather wallet, you can get a clip that functions the same and still has a convenient endow to keep your driver’s license.

Napa Walli Men's Money Clip

Pen and Paper

Writing. Remember doing that before texting? Pen and paper work better for me when jotting down notes. I can’t type faster than I write and sometimes speech-to-text isn’t an option in public places. I prefer writing since it helps commit my notes to memory.


You’re a man that wants to get the most out of all your tools, and that’s why I suggest the Atomic Bear utility pen. Half pen, half tactical tool. A general ink pen is useful too. If you are trapped in a car and need to escape out the window, then good luck using a ballpoint plastic pen.

Atomic Bear Tactical Utility Pen


Any pocket-size notepad could work. I prefer a sturdier cover to withstand being in my back pocket since I sit on the notepad often. Tougher outside covers protect the overall notepad as well. I take tons of notes and I suggest you do the same. Life comes at you fast and it’s hard to keep up with all that information. Personally, I prefer Field Notes Memo Book, they’re light and small, perfect for your pocket or bag.

Pocket notepad


If you feel naked without your watch, then good on you. I only recently jumped on the watch train myself. What a difference it makes in the tiniest of ways. It makes keeping track of time easier than constantly pulling out your phone. Especially if you are trying to stay distraction free. Notifications on your phone might be a trigger to slack off. Instead, look at your wrist, then turn it away.

Unless you have a smartwatch. Then you might want to reconsider your options.

Beater Watch Under $30

Timex. What does that make you think? Retro, black calculator watches? Or a timeless design made for functionality. That’s exactly what you get for under thirty dollars if you choose a Timex watch. A watch that does exactly what it’s meant for, telling time, but with the added bonus of looking good while it does it. Take it out into the world and give it a beating. For years that’s what others have done and continue to do. Timex’s reputation for being rugged is held true. Inexpensively too.

Going out? Throw this one on.

Timex Weekender in Olive, Unisex wrist watch, 38mm


If you could take one tool with you, what would you take? My answer, a multi-tool. Why? I cheated the system by packing more into one. Will I ever need a mini saw? I don’t know for sure. Better not chance it and leave it at home though. That’s why a multi-tool is useful. I can take multiple tools in one compact design.

Classic Swiss Army Knife

I may not need a saw all that often, but a knife and bottle opener sure are handy. When talking about multi-tools, there’s none other than the classic Swiss Army knife. As low as four features and up to twenty-one, you’re bound to find a feature you’ll use on an almost daily basis. And with a brand like Swiss Army, you know it’s going to last a lifetime.

Victorinox swiss army pocket knife

Modernized Multi-tools

Let’s say you went with the suggested black leather wallet. Great. Now you can hold a card multi-tool. Owning a Wallet-Ninja is a good idea to compacting multiple tools into one that fits in your wallet. Pack more in less space. That’s how you can justifying carrying eighteen tools with you.


I already know that your phone has a flashlight. Do you want to use your precious phone battery when instead you can use a flashlight that uses its own battery and produces a stronger light? What if there was a flashlight as compact as a pen? There is.

Pen Style Flashlight

These compact flashlights produce more lumens than your phone. Unlike your phone, the batteries last longer in these. Also, they are compact and easy to clip on the corners of your pockets. My dad gave me the idea of carrying a flashlight. His job sometimes involves working in cramped network cable closets. Usually these closets are dark and limited on space. He can’t fit a large flashlight in between the racks. Slim profile flashlights, like Streamlight’s LED pocket pen light, make this job easier.

Mini Flashlight

I am a fan of just about anything “tacticool.” My personal pick for a flashlight is the Gearlight LED Tactical Flashlight, this one is sold as a 2-pack. What I like about this flashlight-besides it’s beautiful tactical style-is how small it is, yet still produces tons of light. For the price you get 2 decent mini flashlight one to keep in the car in case of an emergency and the other on you at all times; although, for a little more money you could buy one that is rechargeable.


If you choose not to go with a multi-tool that has a knife, then I suggest you at least carry a standalone knife. Knives come in handy for a multitude of different tasks. Opening letters, cutting loose threads, defending yourself from an attack, cutting cake. Different states have different laws when it comes to carrying a knife. Besides a tool, they are also a weapon. That means no swords. Instead, a small folding pocket knife is ordinarily all you need.

Self Defense

It was difficult to convince my girlfriend to always have a knife with her. Whether for self-defense or some other practical use, all my arguments flew over her head. She never saw the point of trying to fit more items into her cartoonishly small female jean pockets. That was until I surprised her with the Tac-Force Folding Knife. The overall length is 4.5” and is perfect for her smaller hands. Easy to open, but the frame lock design is scary to first time knife owners. I had to repeatedly assure her she was not going to cut herself. Once that was resolved, she was able to carry the knife around comfortably.

If you’re not one to carry a knife, consider a small canister of pepper spray. Be sure to check your state’s local laws in regards to carrying pepper spray, different states have different laws about what types of sprays can be carried for self defense. Sabre Red has a small size pepper spray that can be attached to your key chain.

Pocket Organizer

At this point you are probably wondering how anyone could possibly carry all this. The company Hitch and Timber answered that question with their beautiful, handmade leather pocket organizers. Each pocket organizer is made to order with an estimated week turnaround. High quality materials are used to make each organizer.

Altoid Tin

Another option is repurposing Altoid tins. Once you finish the mints, you can place all you can fit inside the tin and put it in your pocket. Everything is one place and you won’t have to remove the entire contents of your pocket to get one item out.


So far, the main focus has been on ideas of what to shove down your pockets. EDC items are not only contained to your pockets, but instead to your whole person. What you need from day to day may vary. College students, businessmen, and weekend warriors all have different needs. A bag to contain all their belongings could be beneficial for lugging around all those necessary items.

Look Sharp While Being Functional

Would you take a briefcase to the gym? Probably not. You wouldn’t take a backpack to an executives only meeting either. A crossbody sling messenger bag is suitable for most occasions. Keep the leather briefcase if you have a corner office in some fancy skyscraper, other than that, messenger bags are a good option. There are plenty to choose from, like the Sweetbriar Shoulder Bag.

Choose the right bag for the occasion. Gym bags and backpacks have their place. You weekend warriors could benefit from having a sling bag. Or for those that want to declutter their pockets.

What do you carry?

There are more options out there that have not made this list. Some sort of mint should always be with you-that goes without saying. But you must decide what you can’t leave the house without. You might not be a watch snob that always has to have one or you might be someone that wants to be prepared for any and all catastrophes. I suggest you try adding one item to your EDC at a time. If you use it once a week, it stays. If not, rotate it with something else until you find the right match.

Before long you’ll be following Instagram pages dedicated to EDC. Might even subscribe to a few Youtube channels devoted to the art of EDC. You might have your own color schemes and matching outfits that revolve around what you’re carrying. Now go explore the world EDC. Be prepared for what life throws your way.

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