What is EDC and why is it important?
By Luis Wang
EDC is a term that many have probably either heard of or been exposed to by now. EDC stands for “everyday carry” and refers to the items you would carry on a daily basis to tackle the day ahead of you.
In a world full of uncertainties, we would often want to minimalize the chances of bad things happening to us. No one wants to be caught in a rainstorm without an umbrella or bleeding without a bandage. This is why having EDC gear is important for surviving in urban or more rural environments.
What you want as your EDC gear varies from person to person and day to day. If you’re going to a place with zero chance of snow, you wouldn’t carry snowshoes and if you weren’t planning on swimming today, you wouldn’t pack a swimsuit. Carrying too much on you would be very inconvenient, so having minimal equipment for the day’s need is usually the preferable choice. Carrying items that are compact or having multiple functionalities is also a plus. That being said, here are some items you can consider when creating an EDC kit.
Having a cutting instrument could help with everyday tasks such as cutting loose threads or emergency situations such as cutting a seatbelt to get out a burning vehicle. The knife is a very versatile tool that you can’t go wrong with having on you. Of course, do this within the confines of the law. I personally recommend a Swiss army knife because nothing beats having multiple tools in one.
In our modern world, it is rare that we wouldn’t need to carry an ID, debit/credit cards, or cash on us. Carrying a mini organizer for these things helps keep everything nice and tidy and from entangling other items. That being said, having a compact wallet that wouldn’t take up too much space in a bag or pocket is a factor one should consider. Less space taken equals more stuff you can carry.
A good choice for a simple wallet is the Bellroy Card Sleeve if you mainly use credit & debit cards with space for an emergency bill. Need something that holds more? The Hide & Seek Wallet is an RFID protected wallet that is much like a classic wallet with space for cards and bills.
3. EDC Bag
I usually need more than what my pockets can carry, so having a bag on me is critical. Not only can it be used to carry the things you need, but it is useful for if you acquire items and need to transport them back to your home. I like using a bag with many sections and MOLLE (Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment) straps. The multiple sections make organization and finding things easier. MOLLE straps allow for adding more storage if needed or tying things on the bag if needed.
If you like the MOLLE system, I am a big fan of The Citadel Modular Pack. It takes the basic MOLLE system and utilizes a magnetic system to keep the packs that you add on attached. You can similarly customize the pack the way you need based on the different environment and situations.
4. Portable Charger
A lot of the things we use every day now relies on USB cables to charge. Having a topped off portable charger can be critical for situations when your phone dies; just don’t forget the corresponding cable. The BOLT2 Battery Pack has a built-in plug that charges your portable pack while you charge your other devices.
5. Pen and Paper
You never know when you’ll need to take notes or write something down for someone. I believe having a small notepad and a black pen is usually the best choice. Why black pen? In case you have to sign documents.
We offer our Rule/One Gold Pen that is a versatile tool that allows you to write, sign and also use the cap as a ruler to measure if need be. Great for creatives. We also offer a line of perfectly sized notepads. Our favorite has to be the Field Notes Pitch Black Memo Book. Durable and easy to write in as well as easy to slip into your front pocket.
6. Spare Clothing
I always carry a quick-drying T-shirt such as the AIRism shirts from Uniqlo and gym shorts for that spontaneous moment when you feel like working out or if you need a change of clothes. I would also carry spare socks in case the ones I’m wearing gets wet. They also make for great emergency mittens or if you need to tie something up.
7. Water source
We all need to stay hydrated throughout the day. I love using A5 Memombottle so that if I finish up all my fluids, the container won’t take up more space than needed. But for intensive weather conditions, the KOLD. 24 Bottle is perfect for keeping liquids cold or hot for at least 24 hours. It also has a carabiner built into the cap for hanging off your bag. That way, I can easily regulate my body's temperature while being able to conveniently put them away.
You never want to be caught in a situation where you’re hungry because it can break concentration and impair decision making. Having something compact and nutrient dense such as energy or protein bars are a great way of preventing this. Eating these kinds of bars that have low sugar but higher protein count allows for the body to last longer without being as hungry as fast.
RX Bars are great and remember, more protein, the longer you stay full.
9. Individual First Aid Kit (IFAK)
In case you get a nasty cut, you don’t want to leave your body susceptible to infection. A small one with bandages, rubbing alcohol, and antibacterial cream would usually suffice. We here at UrbanCred are actually offering a free IFAK to each order from our site while supplies last.
1. Neck Gaiter
Keeps your neck, face, and ears warm. Its versatile structure can also be used to keep any extremities it can wrap around warm as well. I personally prefer the convertible balaclavas since they give you the option of how much coverage you need and can cover your entire head if needed.
2. Compact Down Jacket
Not only are these jackets warm, but they’re also light and compact. The one I carry with me can fly away from a gentle breeze and can fit into my pants pocket if I need it to.
Covers most of your body from getting wet from rain or from taxis splashing you. Works even better if coupled with wet weather pants. If needed, can be tied up to become a wet weather bag.
How to pack your EDC Gear
You would want to keep the things you use the most often, or most likely need in the most easily accessible places. Things you would have to take in and out often or keep secure (ie: phone, keys, wallet), I would always suggest you keep in your pocket unless the situation calls for you to put them somewhere else. Things you would want to have immediate access to if the situation calls for it (ie: First Aid Kit, jacket, and poncho), you would want to pack last in your bag or in the outer storage compartments. Things you would least likely need access to (ie: spare clothes) you would want to neatly compress and put deeper in your bag.
Everybody and Everyday Needs Are Different
The things people need on a daily basis vary from person to person. As such, the items I carry may not apply to some and should be used only as a suggestion and reference. The main important things to take away from this is to evaluate what you need, organize your gear, and to keep things simple.