The Art of the Everyday Carry
The concept of everyday carry has been around as long as people have had pockets. Wisdom about what you should carry with you at all times has been passed down through the ages. But Everyday Carry (EDC for short) as a modern hobby has only been around for about 20 years or so—the brand, even less.
In 2009, Everydaycarry.com was founded on the idea of “helping people discover items to improve their day-to-day lives, prepare for adventure, excel in the workplace and tackle unexpected emergencies in stride.” It was then that the term everyday carry or EDC was popularized, and a community started growing around it.
To me, EDC is an aspect of a larger lifestyle of being prepared for things that will most likely come up on a regular basis, and therefore carrying the tools for those circumstances on your person. EDC is a very personal thing, and rarely are two “pocket dumps” alike. There are as many different ways of being into EDC as there are people who enjoy it, but there are a few basic tenets of the hobby.
For one, many hobbyists subscribe to minimalism, as far as what they carry is concerned. The idea is to pare down what we carry to the most essential items that will get us through most situations we’re likely to encounter in a day.
The tools we carry as part of our EDC also need to be durable. These are things that will live in our pockets or bags and will bear the brunt of our daily lives. Some of us live rougher than others, but all of us put our EDC through its paces. So quality, durable products are what we look for in a good pocket carry. Whether it’s hand stitched leather or solid brass, we want something that is going to hold up to the rigors of our day and last for a long time. We’re investing.
Practicality is just as important as any other feature in EDC. Having a great quality knife with you won’t do much good if you can’t carry it comfortably (or legally). Your carry needs to be filled with things that are easy to access and unobtrusive while serving their purpose.
Like any hobby, we like beautiful things. So it’s no surprise that any EDC enthusiast is going to want their carry to look great. Aside from durability, things like real brass or copper, leather that’s gotten a patina, or well designed bandannas really make for a great everyday carry. Oh, the patina...that wonderful conglomeration of dirt and oils and oxidation that makes you feel all warm inside, knowing the many days of great use you’ve gotten from your EDC. It’s magical.
But let’s not forget why we get into this hobby in the first place: it’s fun. Honestly, like any collector of things, often we get into a hobby like everyday carry because we like being part of a community of like-minded individuals with shared interests. We get a place to show off; we get bragging rights. In fact, people love to do a “pocket dump” where they take all their EDC for the day, lay it out on a table, and share a photo of it with friends. But more importantly, we get to find new, interesting things by artists and craftspeople who really care about making practical, quality everyday carry items.
Next time, I’ll talk about what’s actually in an everyday carry. Stay tuned.