Gear, Parts and Accessories

Every Day Carry (EDC) Gear: Preparation In Your Pocket

Smith and Wesson Shield in a Kydex holster Balisong knife and Gerber pocket knife

The Every Day Carry (EDC) community is continually expanding — both in population and product offerings. It has become a lifestyle for many. Those who practice EDC research the gear carried and replace or rotate the gear on an ongoing basis. The gear is carried in pockets, bags, and even vehicles. Now, thanks to popular demand, the market is larger than ever and filled with tons of awesome gear.

Is Having an EDC Necessary?

Technically, no. However, it sure does make life easier, and potentially safer. From simple tasks such as opening your boxes, to emergency situations where you need to defend yourself, carrying the right gear on your person could save your life.

Partially open Kershaw knife, Field Notebook, multi tool, and pocket flashlight for EDC
Adding a knife and light to accompany your wallet, is a great way start to your EDC.

The Gear

Pocket Carry

Most commonly, people think of their EDC as what they carry in their pockets or on their person. At a literal level, everyone has an every day carry. Think of items such as your cell phone, keys, and wallet. I’m willing to bet that you don’t leave the house without them and almost always have them on you or close by.

Now, take it a step further, since the gear does not stop there. A couple staples that many people start with are pocket knives and flashlights. Once I started carrying both, I was surprised at how often I used one or the other throughout the day.

A piece of gear that I’ve found myself using on a near-daily basis is a multitool and prybar. You can try to use your knife as a pry tool or screwdriver, but sometimes it just won’t cut it (pun intended). While I, luckily, do not have to use a gun daily, a self-defense firearm has become an essential item that I account for in planning and preparing my EDC.

After turning the legal age to carry a firearm, I quickly added one to my daily loadout. It’s better to have one and not need it, than need one and not have it. If you train with a firearm and use an appropriate holster, it’s a great addition to any EDC to take charge of your own self-defense as well as the ability to keep your loved ones safe. These days, my most carried gun is a Smith & Wesson Shield PLUS (9mm). It’s compact, has a large capacity for its size, and is very reliable.

There are plenty of other products that are great to keep in your pockets, but it’s up to you to decide which are important for your needs.

Smith and Wesson Shield in a Kydex holster Balisong knife and Gerber pocket knife
The very popular Smith & Wesson M&P Shield has found its way into many people’s every day carry.

Off-Body or Bag Carry

With only so much room in pockets, carrying a bag of sorts can increase your capacity to include even more helpful things. Spare mags, individual first aid kits (IFAKs), cell phone chargers and more, are great options to think about adding to a day bag. I always try to save a little bit of room in the bag for random objects — that I may need on a particular day.

You can find bags in all sizes, shapes, and colors to fit your style. The one thing I will recommend, is to get one that doesn’t stand out too much or bring attention to you. Just because you are prepared, doesn’t mean you need to advertise it.

Small carry bag with EDC Gear
A small bag can go a long way when it comes to increasing your capacity for extra gear such as tourniquets and trauma shears.

Vehicle Carry

You’ll find the typical jumper cables and gas can in many cars, but with the extra room and storage options, you can keep so much more just in case. Roadside assistance and recovery gear, along with survival gear in case of a break down are great places to start. Add some extra ammo, a dedicated car knife, additional first aid gear, and you’ll have all your bases covered.

Entrenching tool, tow strap and hasp
If you live in an area that sees snow, a shovel can be one of the most useful tools to keep you in your vehicle.

How Do You Start?

If after reading this, you are looking to start your own EDC and feeling overwhelmed, don’t be. You can always change your gear, invest in better gear, or eliminate any gear you don’t find yourself using.

Start with one or two items. Add them to a pocket, pack, or purse and make it part of your daily routine. After a few weeks, you’ll know whether the items you started with are something worth keeping and carrying.

Streamlight Microstream on a concrete block with moss on it for every day carry
The Streamlight Microstream can fit in almost any pocket and is perfect for every day carry.

Final Thoughts

Being prepared is the main goal of your EDC, which makes it very important. You most likely cannot keep every single thing you need on you at all times, but you can cover the basics. Plan practically with what you carry but make it fun and get creative. Many popular items can be customized to represent you as a person and keep you prepared at the same time. Again, it’s better to have something and not need it, than need an item and not have it!

What do you find yourself carrying every day? Drop three things in the comment section that you never leave the house without.

Ryan is a firearms and tactical gear enthusiast that has maneuvered himself into the firearms industry over the past decade.  While his full-time career is outside of the industry, he has consulted for dozens of firearms and tactical gear related companies.  He enjoys conducting tests and evaluations, shooting product photography and developing marketing strategies for them.  

If he’s not spending time with his family, you’ll likely find him at the range or driving around looking for photo shoot locations. You can check out some of his photos and other content on Instagram (@theguygearreview).

The Mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!'s blog, The Shooter's Log, is to provide information—not opinions—to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!

Comments (3)

  1. ^^

    Too funny, I just added a firestarter to my vehicle like 3 weeks ago.

    I have always made sure to have a decent pair of leather gloves in my truck. Have found them very useful at times.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Time limit exceeded. Please click the reload button and complete the captcha once again.

Your discussions, feedback and comments are welcome here as long as they are relevant and insightful. Please be respectful of others. We reserve the right to edit as appropriate, delete profane, harassing, abusive and spam comments or posts, and block repeat offenders. All comments are held for moderation and will appear after approval.