When it comes to Every Day Carry (EDC) most of us in this area of ”lifestyle” think of the same picture... Bag, Knife, Flashlight, Multi-tool etc. Is it so simple? My answer is yes. Well, for me nowadays it is. I think many people confuse EDC with daily usage, even me, and its easy to do.
I've got a lot of different set ups with multiple different organisers and bags/packs and some set ups are BIG. So where is the line between EDC, Survival and Bugout-kits? Its so easy to overfill organisers and packs because of different reasons. Its fun putting it together and who doesn’t want to fill up every spot/loop in a Maxpedition organiser? Some times I even have to overfill because of the simple reason that I can’t make my mind up what to carry. And here it quickly goes from an EDC kit to a small survival kit. But what do I really have to carry every day and why?
The question is, where do you start?
Personally, I am an urban backpack user with lots of creativity and love to visit the woods. As a creative person with love for photography/videography, drawing, bush crafting, urban exploring and hiking, my EDC can be a bit big and heavy. That's why I have many different setups due to finding myself trapped in my mind to always carry everything. So what are the basics? I go to my closet where I keep my gear and pick up my Maxpedition Micro pocket organiser - which is currently my favourite organiser. I like this organiser so much because I can actually have it in the front pockets of my pants which is important when I don’t have a pack with me.
First let's start by showing you the organiser I use which is the Maxpedition Micro.
- The main compartment is: 3.5”/9cm(L) x 1”/2.5cm(W) x 5.5”/14cm(H)
- Exterior back: 3/4”/1.9cm webbing grab handle
- Box and-X stitched
- Interior left: Slip pocket with 1" wide elastic with 3 divisions 1" - 1" - 1”
- Interior right: Slip pocket with 1" wide elastic with 2 divisions 1.5" - 1.5"& tie loop
Inside this organiser (from left to right):
Do I use this gear every single day? No. But in one way or another I use some of this gear every day. Who doesn't use a knife in the kitchen or a pen and paper? I'm a strong EDC...
- Rite in the Rain Notebook - Great to write and sketch on
- Small BIC Lighter - The best lighters out there
- Some Paracord with zip-ties - Very handy to have
- FisherSpacePen Bullit - Very useful everywhere and beautiful design
- Leatherman Style PS - Small and complete
- Benchmade 537 Bailout Knife - Light weight, awesome design and 3V-steel
- Olight S1R BatonII - Small, Strong (1000 lumens) and rechargable
- NiteIze tool - Because i got room for it
- In the right sleeve I've got my iPhone charger and cable
...advocate and I'm not ashamed to talk about carrying a knife with me. Sometimes it can be quite controversial when you drop the knife word in front of regular people or those who aren't into the outdoor living scene.
And now comes the big question - what is Every Day Carry? Is it a Knife? A Multitool?
In my opinion it can be anything. I live inside my EDC and pack my clothes, shoes, phone, accessories and everything I can use to be prepared and progress in life. When I bring up these practical points, people start to listen and understand that it isn't as dangerous as it sounds. In my EDC bag I always carry some kind of First Aid Kit. First Aid is essential and something I always bring up. That's the best thing to talk about because it takes the threat away from being a strange man with a knife, to a good life saving citizen. As you now notice I'm taking this very serious but in a funny way. I want every one to be a prepared citizen. The more prepared we are the safer we and our societies will be. Then let those zombies come.
Stop! Back up a bit! You should talk about the basics right?
Yes, I've tried. I go from survival to bug out to doomsday all the time. Do I have a balance? No. For As long I can remember I have carried some type of EDC. When I was a kid I had a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles backpack with pens, paper, toys and a Game Boy. When I became a teenager I started skateboarding and around this time is when I became aware of gear I always need to have with me. The TMNT backpack had been switched out for a EastPak backpack. In this backpack is a wrench, pocketknife, screwdriver, spare parts and a water-bottle. Living in a small town with forests and lakes surrounding it meaning it has always felt natural to be outdoors in the wild, building treehouses, fishing, hiking and camping. My hiking pack and street pack started to grow together and I started to evolve in to my gear. Then I grew up and became more zombie paranoid. Here is when prepping came in to the picture and food became a part of my pack. So my EDC bag is now more like a bugout bag. Besides all survival gear, water and food - my EDC isn't complete without my camera (Nikon D7200 + Sigma 17-50mm f/2.8) and some changing stuff for my 1 year old son.
Photo Credits: Magnus Lidberg
My conclusion - EDC Every Day Carry is what you want. You don't have to be a crazy over the top prepper nerd like me. Be yourself! Cliche! But my basic go-to will be the kit shown above in the Maxpedition Micro organiser, phone and my camera. Without this basic gear I actually feel naked and exposed. And for you out there who only thinks EDC is a knife, flashlight etc. think again. Its much more fun to not be so narrow minded. As I see it more people will get a good start with the EDC hive mind if you present it broad and for every one. And the purpose is to be prepared and ready for ordinary life.
About the Author
Jonathan Salomão-Thelander - @zbackpacker Jonathan is a survival photographer who also tests and reviews outdoor equipment such as knives, backpacks and anything you would need to survive in the wild. Check out his social media pages for more great content and some epic photographs.