Thumb around enough Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter accounts in the “pro 2nd” groups and you’re likely to see the term “EDC” (Every-Day Carry) quite a bit. This usually leads to people talking about what their EDC sidearm is, maybe some knives get brought up, occasional flashlights and even handcuff keys. Truth is, every person is going to have different EDC ideas, as it is personalized to the environment you find yourself in on a day to day basis. I, for example, carry my sidearm, a pocket knife, a Leatherman (the Wave, to be exact) and assortment of other things. I’ve even gone far enough to choose to carry a phone that is NOT an Iphone (let the online crucifixion begin) due to the fact that there are a higher amount of products, such as phones, bluetooth headsets, speakers, etc that use the same charger, so, in a pinch, I am more likely, statistically to find a micro usb than an Iphone charger. Point being, you are going to have as unique of an “EDC load-out” as you do a unique personality.

When asked for assistance in choosing EDC load-outs, I typically take a multi-tiered approach that you find many other people have, as it allows an easier build than simply wild speculation alone. The tiers are as follows: Basic Necessities, “Tool” Load-out, Conveniences, and Grab Bag items. Break down is quite simple:

1: Basic Necessities

    Anything you feel naked without- Think Austin Powers famous “spectacles, testicles, wallet and watch” but add in keys and phone as well. Basically, all the things that would actually put you at a severe disadvantage not having on you. The first tier is basically going to be the same for everyone (testicles and spectacles excluded to women and those without prescriptions of course).

2: Basic Tool Load-out

    Things that you would still feel naked without, but is a bit more of a personalized flare than the first. Think of this category as all the things you like to carry, but wouldn’t pass airport security necessarily. This is where my knife, Leatherman, pistol, and lighter fall under.

3: Conveniences-

    Sometimes, like in the wintertime or when wearing certain pants with extra pockets etc, I may carry some extra stuff with me that I don’t always necessarily carry all the time. These things, if not on me directly, often get thrown into the EDC grab bag. I usually try to carry these things, but don’t feel totally naked without them. Items here are things like pen/pencil, small notepad, handcuff key and a mini medical kit. I am usually carrying the pen/pencil and notepad, but the med kit is not something I usually stuff into my pockets unless I’ve got some extra room, and is usually just allergy medicine and a few bandages when I go hiking with the kids.

4: Grab Bag:

  So here is where I carry more extraneous EDC stuff that would be more necessary should I have to be out for a while (car breakdown, etc.). I usually have some snacks (protein bars etc) water, laptop, laptop charger, large notepad, power banks, gloves, hat, spare mags, and potentially weather specific stuff I had packed in there based on time of year and upcoming forecast (poncho, light thermal jacket etc)

So, in short, the top thing that is necessary in everyone’s “EDC” radar should be good planning. I do not always have the exact same load-out. Everything is dependent on where I will be traveling to that specific day/week. Typically my EDC always includes tier 1&2, with the latter two being modified based on my specific placement for the day. Working in San Antonio, and mostly staying in city limits day to day, means I don’t typically have a lot of outdoor survival stuff in my EDC bag, whereas on weekends when I might be heading out of town to go on a hike, I won’t necessarily be packing a laptop with me, and exchanging it for more water, etc.