EDC, short for everyday carry, was once a niche term that has now established a foothold in the common vernacular. The idea behind EDC is prioritizing the first-line items you carry on your person, well, every day. EDC can consist of a lot of things, depending on the person, where they live, and what they do for work.
The term EDC arose from the need to have important items on the wearer at all times. These items provide a capability consistent with the wearer’s needs – from stockbroker to farmhand to soldier to truck driver – you name it. These items satisfy needs and solve problems both in emergencies and everyday scenarios. Generally, these are pocket items, but could also be belt-worn items like multitools or even EDC handguns. But enough of the basics, let’s dive deeper into the concept of EDC.
Understanding EDC (Everyday Carry)
Everyday Carry is an important concept for any prepared individual. A system of EDC items ensures that you always have critical tools on hand, no matter what. This is crucial because you never know when you might need one of them. It also ensures that they are in the same place, in the same orientation, every time you reach for them, whether opening a box in your kitchen or cutting a seatbelt in a crashed car. A solid system of EDC items is essentially a toolset of versatile items, without carrying too much stuff.
Understanding Everyday Carry: EDC Knives
The typical EDC setup begins with a knife. For most people, this will be a folding knife for many reasons, particularly the ease of carrying. Folding knives are also more approachable to civilians, more convenient, and legal in more places than fixed blades. Though steel and handle materials have evolved, the basic functions of a knife have remained unchanged for millennia. A knife provides a cutting edge, allowing you to open a package, cut a piece of twine, pick out a splinter, or peel an apple. In outlier scenarios, a knife can be used to cut a seatbelt, shave down wood to start a fire, skin game, or defend yourself. These outliers are certainly rare, but for the adventurous among you, it's not a bad idea to be prepared for them.
Understanding Everyday Carry: EDC Flashlights
Another incredibly popular EDC item is a powerful, compact flashlight. Why? Because it gets dark every day. Modern LED flashlights are more powerful and compact than ever. Modern tactical lights put out impressive lumens and can be used as a defensive tool, both to illuminate an area and temporarily reduce the vision of an adversary in a darkened environment. More utilitarian flashlights offer a range of settings from very bright to very dim, allowing you to choose the level of light you need to read a book, walk your way out of the woods, or – in the extreme – light up a potential self-defense situation.
To us, the knife and the flashlight are the foundation of EDC tools. They provide a capability that, while mostly mundane, is needed almost every single day. In extreme situations, they provide a capability that may very well save your life. Further, the knife and the flashlight each provide a capability that is very difficult to replicate without a purpose-built tool. The knife and flashlight can both be carried with a pocket clip to keep them in the same place, and predictably accessible.
What Else Can You Include in Your EDC Setup?
There are a ton of other items that you can add to your EDC setup, and there is an entire community of EDC enthusiasts both in the United States and abroad. Since the early-2000s, there has been a proliferation of EDC blogs, forums, channels, and groups, willing to share their knowledge and expertise. Manufacturers have recognized this burgeoning market with lots of innovative products specifically geared toward EDC. Let’s go beyond the knife and flashlight and look at some other EDC items, and how to build a comprehensive EDC kit.
Building a Comprehensive EDC Kit
EDC Essentials: Cell Phone
Most EDC setups will include some more mundane times. Some of them you probably already have and carry on a daily basis. For example, cell phones. Not just a tool for scrolling Instagram, with a cell phone, you can summon an ambulance, police, or firefighters. Though not a replacement for a dedicated flashlight, your phone does have a light, as well as a camera, navigational capability, and a ton of information at your fingertips. Your phone is doubtlessly already a component of your EDC system.
EDC Essentials: Wallet
Likewise, your wallet is probably a piece of your EDC system that you already carry by default. The normal stuff in your wallet is stuff that you would want in an emergency: debit and credit cards, identification, and cash. If you aren’t carrying cash, this is one of the easiest, and most useful, EDC items available. Tuck a couple of $100s in a back portion and you’ll have some cash for an emergency – or to take advantage of a good deal. Your wallet can also be used as a container for small, flat items you may want in your EDC, like a fire-starting Fresnel lens or a few Band-Aids.
EDC Essentials: Keys
Keys are also an integral part of most EDC systems. First, there are the keys themselves – there are a variety of ways they can be organized, sorted, arranged, and carried. But there are also other items that invite themselves to be added to key chains. There are a number of key chain tools, usually with some combination of mini-prybar and screwdriver bits. There are miniature flashlights, pill containers, micro-Swiss Army Knives, and even pepper spray designed for carrying on a keychain.
EDC Essentials: Multitools
Multitools or pocket tools are also incredibly popular EDC items. Though slightly bulky, these tools offer a powerful capability, having built-in pliers, screwdrivers, can openers, and other tools. Often, owing to their size, these are belt-worn EDC items. And speaking of it, the belt itself can be part of your EDC. This is where finding a blend of items that works well together and supports your needs.
Other Popular EDC Items
There are various other EDC items, too. EDC pens, watches, water bottles, first aid kits, and more may be carried as EDC items. There are also some unconventional EDC items like the Qore Performance EDC Coin Purse. This small, robust pouch is designed to hold coins and other small EDC items. The pouch also has a zipper with a nylon handle, allowing you to handle the weight of some change with aplomb. Made right here in Knoxville, TN from the same robust material as ICEPLATE EXO®, the EDC Coin Purse is meant to take a beating. Not only that but it can be carried everywhere – airports, courthouses, hospitals, etc. – without a second look. The EDC Coin Purse is a seriously low-visibility EDC item.
Regardless of what you carry in your EDC, you need a way to carry it. For most of us, this is going to be a combination of pockets: front, back, and even cargo pockets. We recommend adopting the habit of carrying the same items, in the same place, 100% of the time.
Importance and Benefits of the EDC Coin Purse from Qore Performance
Having a codified system of EDC is important. Why? Because it allows you to make sure you have the same stuff, in the same place, every day. No matter what comes up, you know you have a baseline minimum of tools to work with. You have additional items, but you never fall below a certain baseline. You know your gear, you know where it’s supposed to be, and you know immediately if something is missing.
The EDC Coin Purse from Qore Performance is a valuable addition to any EDC system. Laser-cut from the same unique laminate we use to build ICEPLATE EXO®, it is 14 times as strong as steel. It provides an organization capability, keeping coins and other small items from getting lost in the other stuff in your pocket, or getting between your knife’s blade and its scales. It can also hold small objects like a pen, and – of course – coins. And when the going gets tough, having a small, heavy-ish object on a short, flexible handle isn’t a bad thing… just in case.
Everyday carry isn’t just for the tactical types. There are EDC setups for all budgets and needs. Having some basic tools in hand is important regardless of your job or situation. While a corporate middle manager may not have the same knife needs as a Boy Scout Leader or LEO, all can use a knife, a flashlight, and other EDC essentials we mentioned in this article. There is a good chance you are already carrying some of this stuff anyway. Take a look at what you carry, and what your deficiencies are, identify your deficiencies, and work to build a systematic approach to everyday carry. This will extend your capability, making you more versatile and adaptable to the unexpected.