Everyday Carry is all about the things you carry every day. Whether it’s a quick run to the grocery store, at work or out with friends for an evening, these are the top 10 rules for Everyday Carry that you need to know.
Rule #1: It’s Gotta Be Functional.
What good is carrying around a horseshoe if you don’t own a horse?
My rule #1 is that anything that’s in my EDC is there for a reason, and no, it isn’t to show it off on Instagram. Everything I carry are real tools that I use every day. From the Fisher Space pen to the EDC knife, I would rather have tools that I find useful in my pockets than polished goods that I don’t want to scuff up or damage.
I carry a pen. It gets used. I’ve had to change the cartridge on it at least four times since I purchased it three years ago.
I carry an EDC flashlight, the Streamlight MicroStream. I change its batteries every week, and it looks like it’s been to war and back.
You get the idea. I really use the stuff I carry.
Rule #2: Always Carry a Knife
Wherever you go, always carry a knife. I prefer a knife that can be used as both a utility tool or a weapon. The blade must be at least two and a half inches, and the blade must always be razor sharp.
I prefer knives that are very quick to deploy. I prefer one-handed spring assist knives, but as of recently, I’ve been carrying a CRKT knife due to changes in work dress code where I can’t wear cargo pants anymore.
Rule #3: Keep a Good Flashlight On You
Flashlights are used more than you might think. I pull mine out at least once a day. A good light should last at least eight hours at 25 lumens or higher, and take common battery sizes, such as AAA or AA. Getting replacement batteries is so much easier and cheaper than one that runs 10440 or 18650 cells.
Rule #4: Always Carry Cash, Enough To Get Home.
I always have cash with me. I almost never use it. I’m a credit card type of guy, but if the need arose, I have enough cash to get myself home.
Rule #5: Keep A Pen In Your Pocket
Keep a usable pen in your pocket at all times. I’m talking about a simple Ball Point pen, not a fountain pen, or even Gel pens. I carry nothing but Zebra F-701 pens with pressurized Fisher Space Pen Cartridges. They work in any condition, and the pen has an all-steel barrel that will stand up to anything (Pen and cartridge cost about $15).
Rule #6: Carry A Reliable Watch
I’ve never liked smartwatches. I know many of you wear them, and that’s fine. Make sure to have a backup weatherproof watch, like a Casio, that has a very long battery life. You never want to lose track of time.
Rule #7: Is that A Lighter In Your Pocket?
Even if you don’t smoke, having a lighter at hand can be really handy. From stopping your shoelaces from fraying to getting rid of sensitive documents, the lighter provides a very convenient method of getting the job done.
The lighter doesn’t have to be anything fancy. A standard Bic lighter picked up at a gas station for a dollar suffices nicely, and honestly, I don’t always have a lighter in my pocket. It’s in the front pouch of my bag so I can grab it anytime I need to.
Rule #8: Always Have A Backup
Rule #8 is more about having a backup plan than actually carrying a backup of one of your EDC items. Always having a second exit, situational awareness and a plan in case things go sideways is an essential skill for even the most cautious.
Rule #8 also applies to projects at work or your plans with family. If you can’t go to the waterpark becuase its storming, what else can you do? Plan B.
Rule #9: Be consistent
While you should apply this rule to other aspects of your life, I have found that being consistent in where I place my EDC items makes for less fumbling around when you need one of the items.
I always have the knife and pen in the right pocket, and the flashlight and cash in the left. I never have to think where something is that’s on my person. The same applies to my backpack. The immediate need items are in the front pocket, a bit of First Aid, medications and notebook in the second pocket behind the first.
When everything is right where it should be, and you know exactly where you put it, you’ll find that there’s a lot less stress and frustration involved.
Rule #10: Be Diligent. Be Aware. Stay Frosty.
The most important EDC you have with you are your senses. From a situation that just doesn’t feel right, to flat out knowing something’s wrong. Your senses in any situation will seldom let you down. Most of the time, you might be overcautious, but that’s better than being unprepared.