Gear For Life – An EDC Gear Guide

Complete EDC Gear Guide: What Do You Really Need for Everyday Carry?

EDC, a.k.a. everyday carry, is a term you can hear more and more often today. However, the concept behind EDC gear has existed for millennia. In fact, it’s been around since the man was advanced enough in its evolution to have any tools.

Simply put, EDC gear are the tools you need to carry with you every day in order to ‘function’ normally in your life. This list of items is unique for every person depending on his/her occupation, location, and a variety of other factors. However, there is a universal core to any EDC kit that includes basic necessities of a 21st-Century person.

This guide is made to help you make an everyday carry kit that would include all the items you truly need. With this kind of gear on you at all times, you can be sure that you won’t be left helpless in any situation. Being prepared for anything can save your life someday, and on a less dramatic scale, it can save you a lot of trouble and quite a bit of money.

Why Do You Need Everyday Carry?

In essence, the purpose of EDC is to make your life easier. Carrying around this small kit of simple tools can do this in many different ways, such as:

EDC gear keeps you prepared

This is definitely the most important thing as no one can predict and prevent an accident with 100% guarantee. Your everyday carry gear may not be enough to avert a disaster, but it can literally carry you through it.

Bear in mind that every person faces some level of threat in their life, but for some people the stakes are higher. You’ll need to take these potential threats into account when designing your own ultimate EDC kit.

Everyday carry boosts your overall efficiency

First of all, having an EDC kit helps you be more organized. This is a matter of developing a habit to check essential things that you can apply to other areas of life. Simply running over the list of the items you have to take every day before leaving home will help you step into the mindset for work. This might even make you more attentive to details when packing for longer journeys.

Having a good EDC kit also means that all the items you need to be productive and efficient in any everyday situation are always with you. This increases your efficiency in general. For example, you can always know the time or take notes or fix a stuck zipper within seconds. We live in a world where every moment counts, so being able to minimize the waste of time and energy is a great advantage.

EDC gear allows you to help other people

While you definitely should create your everyday carry kit with your own habits and needs in mind, you shouldn’t forget that it can also be used to help others. Whether you meet someone looking for keys on a dark parking lot (enter your EDC flashlight) or witness an accident (EDC phone for contacting emergency services), the items you carry on your person can be of great use.

Some types of professions even require employees to carry specific items so that they can render necessary services at any moment. Your everyday carry gear is the same, but it works outside of the office as well.

The great news is that carrying all those useful things around can help you build up a reputation of the ‘go-to guy’ for any situation. This can be a nice boost to both your self-confidence and social life.

EDC gives you a peace of mind

No matter whether you live in the country or in a bad part of a huge city, there are risks you expose yourself to every time you step outdoors. You may not be thinking about them all the time, but the knowledge that they exist keeps your subconscious stressed.

A well-planned everyday carry kit can relieve some of this invisible tension because the knowledge that you have it is enough to put your mind at ease. This isn’t a guarantee that nothing would ever happen, but it’s a certainty that should you get into a difficult situation, you’ll have a tool to get you out. This kind of gear is often called ‘survival’ or ‘get home’ for this very reason.

Factors to Consider When Designing Your EDC Kit

The first thing you need to do when you decide what to include in your EDC kit is to assess the threats you face in everyday life. Note that in this case, ‘threats’ means not only the horrors of street crime but also any potential situations that may require you to use a tool of some kind.

In essence, everyday carry gear must help you deal with two types of ‘threats’:

  • Commonplace issues you face every day
  • Dangerous situations that require immediate action

This gear must take into account your need for both convenience and self-preservation. So if you live in a place where a weapon of some sort is necessary, you definitely should include it in your list. However, a weapon is not considered an EDC item for most people.

The first step to compiling a perfect everyday carry kit is to assess the threats and challenges you face daily. To do this you must consider the following factors:


You must take into account both environmental and socioeconomic factors that affect the place. Consider the weather in your area. For example, how likely are you to get caught in a rainstorm? A good EDC kit must include an item/items that would help you deal with the local weather, especially if it’s prone to the extremes. People who live in the areas with a high risk of tornadoes or other natural disasters should also have a survival kit stocked with provisions and blankets alongside their basic EDC gear.
Aside from the environment, you must pay attention to the crime rates in your area. If muggings and similar crimes are common, you must carry at least one tool that would help you protect yourself in this kind of situation.


What do you do every day? Compile a list of tasks you perform regularly so that you can assess all situations you face. Do they require some special tools? For example, you might need to open packages often or have a pack of napkins to offer a neighbor who cries on your shoulder on the bus ride from work. What are the potential problems that can occur? If you go for a walk during lunch, you might need a water bottle or if you prefer to have a drink on the way back home, you should consider carrying a bottle opener.
These factors are governed by your profession, personal habits, and surroundings, so take your time when writing and analyzing that list.

Assess Your Current EDC Kit: What Else Do You Need?

Even if you don’t call it “everyday carry gear,” you do have some specific items that you take every time you leave home. Sort through your pockets (don’t forget the jacket) and take a good look at those items.

The chances are that 80% of your perfect EDC kit is already there. Most people today carry a phone, wallet, and keys. These are the basics of any such kit, but even those necessary tools must be organized properly (for example, carrying a wallet to sort your money and cards).

Take a look at the list of situations that this gear must help you manage while all the items you have on you are still lying in front of your eyes. Do you have all the tools you need? Do you have too many?

Once you sort out WHICH items you require for everyday carry, you’ll need to assess the quality of those you already have. If they are worn down or not efficient enough (a barely functioning flashlight or a bent bottle opener), they would need to be replaced.

When buying your EDC essentials, you should always focus on quality over cost. The list of these tools isn’t going to be long, so a bit of financial planning would allow you to afford top-of-the-line items. As it’s “everyday carry,” these tools would get a lot of use and must be able to resist wear and tear well.

Remember that buying a top-quality product once saves you money in the long-run due to its durability. As EDC is essential survival gear, fashion matters very little for these tools, so you won’t have to replace them every season.

Everyday Carry: Basic Essentials

No matter who you are, where you live, and what you do, there are some items that every modern person should have on them at all times. All of those are the barest essentials for “functioning” in the world of the 21st Century, so they should make up the basics of your EDC kit.

EDC phone


The creation of smartphones was probably one of the main achievements of this century. This tool allows you to not only communicate with anyone anytime but also do a great number of other tasks. Even regular mobile phones these days double up as notebooks, planners, players, etc.

In order to ensure the maximum level of comfort for yourself, you should have a phone that meets your personal requirements. Apply the EDC kit planning principles when you download apps onto the device. This way you can be sure that you always have the right kind of program. Because many gadgets can be synchronized with a smartphone, consider purchasing a model that would allow you manage your other essential daily tasks more efficiently.

Zero Grid Wallet


A wallet is a highly useful item because it allows you to keep your money and cards in one place. This means no wasting your time on searching through pockets for loose change. However, this also means that you need to always keep an eye out for pickpockets.

Get a wallet of a size/style suitable for carrying in a secure pocket. You also need to consider your cards when shopping for this item as it must have enough room to fit all of them. This would also be a good time to sort through your collection of cards and determine which of them you really need to have on you at all times.

If you want to buy a leather wallet, be sure to spruce up on a top-quality item as cheap leather doesn’t age well. It’s usually best to go for neutral colors, black, brown, gray, and navy.

Gear For Life Recommendations

EDC keychain

Keys (Keychain)

A wallet is a highly useful item because it allows you to keep your money and cards in one place. This means no wasting your time on searching through pockets for loose change. However, this also means that you need to always keep an eye out for pickpockets.

Get a wallet of a size/style suitable for carrying in a secure pocket. You also need to consider your cards when shopping for this item as it must have enough room to fit all of them. This would also be a good time to sort through your collection of cards and determine which of them you really need to have on you at all times.

If you want to buy a leather wallet, be sure to spruce up on a top-quality item as cheap leather doesn’t age well. It’s usually best to go for neutral colors, black, brown, gray, and navy.

Blank Forces Pen


Everything seems to be digital these days, but you may still face a situation when you must take a quick note when talking on the phone or something similar. Having a pen on hand would ensure that you are always ready to jot down a quick message or sign a paper at work.

A pen is an everyday carry tool for most professions, and it can come equally useful during a night in a bar. In case your status doesn’t require you to use a luxurious branded piece that screams “high-class,” you should focus on practicality. Opt for a pen that would write in any condition and on any material.

Gear For Life Pen Suggestions

Fenix PD35 TAC LED Flashlight


A phone might be able to double up as a flashlight in a pinch, but it doesn’t have a bezel, light focus, and an emergency light feature that the majority of contemporary flashlights have. Today this is a full-fledged survival tool that can be as much a weapon as an aide for looking a keyhole in the dark.

It’s your personal security that you should consider first when shopping for an EDC flashlight. Light output and battery efficiency are also important factors. Today you can buy a lightweight LED torch that can blind an attacker easily, or a heavy-duty piece with a metal bezel that police officers use while on duty.

LED flashlights are more energy efficient and hit-resistant so they are usually the best option. You also need to consider the batteries as you’ll have to replace them regularly, even if you aren’t using the tool every night. Rechargeable flashlights are always an option if you plan to use your light often.

Gear For Life Recommendations

RUIKE P801 EDC Knife


A pocketknife isn’t a part of everyday carry gear in order to serve as a weapon in an emergency (although, it’s certainly capable of this). The main purpose of this tool among your essentials is to serve as a replacement for scissors.

You can use a knife to open a package or unscrew a bolt. Even something as simple as cleaning gum from the soles of your shoes can be accomplished with a knife.

As this is a highly practical tool that is likely to see a lot of use and abuse over time, buy a solid, durable knife and keep it sharp. As EDC pocketknives are usually foldable, make sure that yours is easy to open. You should also consider the weight of the tool if you are going to carry it in your pocket all the time. Check your local laws regarding knives before buying to make sure that you purchase a blade of a legal size.

Gear For Life Recommendations

Everyday Carry: Optional

Of course, the idea of “basic necessities” is unique for every person. Therefore, the everyday carry gear list for many people may also include:

Gerber Multitool


A multitool is an embodiment of the EDC principle. It strips down all the most necessary tools to the barest minimum and puts them in one neat package. A knife can perform some duties of a multitool, but it can’t replace it in some situations. If you really want to be ready for anything, this item must be in your everyday carry kit.

Multitools available on the market today vary greatly. They can incorporate different types of items, ranging from scissors and screwdrivers to full-fledged manicure kits. Choose the one that meets your specific needs and look for a top-quality item. Durability is the most important factor for multitools as many of the cheap models you can buy today would crumble on the first application.

Don’t forget that a multitool needs regular cleaning just as your knife. Some of its parts may also require specialized sharpening.

Gear For Life Recommendations

Speedmaster EDC Watch


A watch is a status symbol first and foremost these days. It’s also a vitally important tool for tracking time that would always be with you. This would help in the situations when your phone is out of reach or when its battery is dead.

Buy a watch that fits your style and position. It should be durable and reliable, which is easy to find today as the majority of good watches are hit, scratch, and water-resistant.

Depending on the type of watch you have, you will need to keep track of its mechanism or battery life. People who travel a lot would benefit from having a watch that allows for an easy change of settings so that you can switch the numbers when entering a new time zone.

Gear For Life Recommendations

zippo EDC lighters


You don’t have to be a smoker to carry a lighter. Remember that it was the mastery of fire that pushed the evolution of society forward from the caves, so having a bit of this force trapped in your pocket is always a great idea.

A lighter is a basic survival tool for any traveler and as it’s lightweight and small, there really isn’t any excuse not to include it in your EDC gear kit. Buy a practical piece that wouldn’t fail you in an emergency situation and make sure it’s properly fueled at all times.

Gear For Life Recommendations

Field Notes EDC Notebook


Same as a pen, a notebook can be useful to a person even despite the fact that we live in a digital world. It does not only allow you to have something to jot a quick note on, but it provides you with paper. In case of an emergency, it can be used as timber for a fire.

You also have to admit that written notes can be more effective than an SMS in some situations. Choose a small notebook that can fit inside your pocket and ensure it’s stylish so that it looks good when you actually use it.

Gear For Life Recommendations

Get the Best EDC Gear Kit for You

Every person is unique and every day may turn into an unexpected adventure, but EDC is something solid that would keep you grounded no matter the turn your life takes. This type of gear is designed to help you regardless of the circumstances, so plan your kit carefully.

Take into account your personal needs as well as tastes and select the most practical, efficient, durable, and stylish items for your everyday carry. As these are the things that would be with you at all times, it’s best to buy them in ‘neutral’ colors and designs so that they can go well with any outfit.

Your basic EDC kit is a reflection of both your personality and lifestyle. Think carefully when deciding on which items to choose as it must be able to help you in case of an emergency. For this reason, you also should buy top-quality items. This way, you can be sure that they won’t fail you at the most inopportune moment.

Finally, don’t forget that EDC kits aren’t set in stone, you can (and should) make adjustments to yours based on your personal needs. Don’t just follow the lists you find online and think of what kinds of items you really need to have on you at all times. Bear your location and job in mind when making the decision.