Typically, Every Day Carry (EDC) contains your wallet, keys, phone, and knife. Although the phone is a more recent addition, the rest of these items have been part of the standard inventory for the last hundreds of years. Even now, more and more useful tools and items are being miniaturized and prepared for emergencies or daily use. But let’s face it; we only have so many pockets and there’s only so much we can take with us for the daily grind. So how do we cram in all of these necessities while still having enough room for our favorite extras? Let’s look at each piece individually to help us prioritize.
If you’re still carrying around a 2-inch thick wallet filled with old credit cards, old IDs, and old business cards, then this is the perfect place to start reducing your load. Not only is it adding useless weight for your daily carry, but recent studies have also shown that sitting on that wallet for days and months at a time is causing unnecessary damage to your back and hips. Thin, RFID-blocking aluminum wallets can carry all the necessary cards for your day-to-day, while ensuring enough room to comfortably fit next to your cell phone. While revamping your wallet, consider if you can go completely cashless. Replacing all your daily cash with one or two cards and a smaller cache of larger emergency bills can free up space for wallet tools, pictures, and any other items you keep with you at all times.
Where would we be without our smartphones? The modern business world has evolved, and constant communication is now a major requirement of many positions. But, that’s not always a bad thing. In general, your smart device usually comprises a flashlight, phone, GPS, speaker, clock, and personal computer all in one easy-to-carry platform. Keep in mind, this may mean that you can take out unnecessary items that can be replaced by the capabilities of your cell phone. That said, your phone will probably be the largest and most expensive item in your daily carry, so it is important that you take the time to protect it well. Every case you buy should be waterproof and impact-resistant. Also, consider a case that has an attached card carrier or wallet, then you could do away with a separate wallet altogether.
Nothing drives me crazier than seeing a keychain filled to the brim with extraneous ornaments and keys that haven’t been used since 1998. Take the time to think what keys you definitely need daily. Some might include your home key, car key, fob, and maybe a few extra keys for work or commonly accessed lockboxes. Other than that, all your extra keys (including the one to Mom’s house) can and should safely go on a key rack at home. Not only does this limit the chance of you having to replace twelve different locks if your keys get lost or stolen, but this also frees up space for one or two small keychain tools. These are some of the most innovative ideas in miniaturized tech, and you’d be surprised how often a tiny-edged tool will replace a larger, more dangerous knife in your day-to-day affairs.
A significant portion of the population are proud and responsible owners of a concealed carry permit. Many of these individuals would never consider leaving the house without their firearm. This is the part of your everyday carry that I can’t really help you with; you need to try on and practice with different holsters to find the one right for you. Some prefer an inside-the-belt design, others a shoulder- or leg-mounted holster. No matter what design you choose, make sure that it fits your lifestyle and that you spend the time at the range necessary to make drawing your weapon from its holster second nature.
Backpacks, Pouches, and Belt Clips
By now, you’ve hopefully condensed your EDC down to only a few objects. A slim wallet contains a few cards, some emergency cash, and maybe a few multi-tools. Your phone is well protected and fits nicely in your pocket alongside your wallet and knife. Your keychain is small and has everything you need on it. But when your pockets aren’t the right fit for your kit, it’s time to start thinking about the best carrying cases and belt clips that work for your gear. You probably already have a belt-clip for your knife and/or phone. If you need additional space, don’t hesitate to upgrade to a small belt-mounted pouch. A subdued-color pouch doesn’t look out of place with most casual or working clothes, and it can keep your phone, keys, and other EDC items safe. There’s no chance of them falling out of your pockets and getting damaged.
If you’re really on the move often, the next upgrade is to go with a small daypack or side bag that can carry just about anything you’d expect to need on a day-to-day basis. Try to avoid a big, bulky backpack and stick to smaller 20 L daypacks or saddlebags that can easily be transported. The MOAB from 5.11 is a great one that can be expanded upon for longer trips. Some people mistakenly look down on the “manpurse,” but there are a variety of styles and tactical options for pouches with compartments for tools, knives, notebooks, and small electronics. I doubly recommend a separate pouch if you frequently go through a metal detector or other inspection at work. If you’re struggling with overflowing pockets, don’t hesitate to upgrade to a day-bag!
With these tips in mind, start looking at ways to downsize your EDC!
Disclaimer: The content in this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of US Patriot Tactical.