Every Day Carry (EDC) is a popular term amongst survivalist and preparedness types. While I’m not all-in with this line of thinking, I do have a few things I like to keep with me as much as possible. Some will align with the EDC types, others may not. In any case, here is a list of what I carry when I am away from home.
I always have an iPhone 7+ and an Apple Watch. I change cases and bands from time to time, but my current choices are the Official Apple Leather Case and a Sport Band (this band is so easy to clean).
When I’ll be on-the-go for an extended period of time, I also take a Jackery Bolt battery for charging my iPhone. I’ve used other batteries before, but the quality, size, and built-in lightning cable of this one makes it my favorite. If I’m going to be in a hotel or a coffeeshop, this 5-port USB hub is a must have. It sure beats bringing different charging pucks/warts for every device.
I also use a 9.7” iPad Pro with a Smart Cover and Apple Pencil.
To carry all of this, I love my Incase Icon Backpack. It’s more than worth the price.
[caption id=”attachment_356” align=”alignnone” width=”1280”] Incase Icon Backpack[/caption]
This is where the fun happens. There are so many useful things to carry, you’d need 12 pockets to have everything. Instead, it’s a bit of an art form to narrow it down to certain useful items.
I’ve always been one to carry a pocket knife of some sort. You can’t go wrong with something classic and affordable like a Victorinox Cadet or a Kershaw Chive, but once you get into the world of quality pocket knives, you’ll want something more effective. My choice is the excellent Spyderco Sage 1. It’s definitely pricier than the others, but it is way better in every way. If you look at it as an investment, there’s a good chance you save money over the life of the knife if you go this route. My dream knife is a Sebenza 21, but I haven’t taken that plunge yet. If you want something that has a great reputation and is super cool and very affordable, go with this Opinel No. 8.
[caption id=”attachment_359” align=”alignnone” width=”1024”] The Opinel No 8 is gorgeous. Photo Credit[/caption]
A good pen is always nice to have, but they can be a hassle to carry. A good compromise of quality, durability, price, and size is the well-known Fisher Space Pen. It won’t break the bank and can survive pretty much anything, all while fitting in any pocket and many wallets.
Speaking of wallets, I have two recommendations. The Radix One Slim is an awesome budget card case. It can carry however many cards you reasonably throw at it (I have 7 in mine) plus some cash. While pricier, this Bellroy All Conditions Wallet (save some money and choose the woven model) can be used in conjunction with the Radix or as a standalone. It’s a great wallet that can also hold the aforementioned pen, some coins, and a small flashlight or knife. Despite being able to hold all of that, it is smaller in size than almost all travel manicure sets you’ve seen (can easily fit in your front pocket).
As for keys, there are many solutions. I’ve gone with the excellent OrbitKey. It holds all of my keys (including my truck’s key fob). You can optionally add a small multi-tool, USB drive, or bottle opener as well.
[caption id=”attachment_361” align=”alignnone” width=”1600”] Orbit Key[/caption]
I have a one-of-a-kind Koa wood wedding ring my wife bought me in Hawaii that I love. However, I don’t trust myself to wear it 100% of the time. For those occasions, I have a silicone Qalo ring. There is a reason athletes wear these during games. My wife has a couple as well.
[caption id=”attachment_363” align=”aligncenter” width=”240”] Qalo Ring[/caption]
Lightning cables for your Apple devices get lost or damaged all of the time. Instead of forking out a ton of money on the official Apple ones, get a few of these (less than $7). They’re affordable and work just as well. As a side note, not all affordable ones will work well and leave your phone undamaged. Drug store $5 cables can do way more harm than good.
If I’m going to have some downtime, I love my barebones Kindle Paperwhite for reading. It’s not the fanciest Kindle, but I don’t need books with bells and whistles. I love the insanely long battery life and screen made just for reading. Couple it with this incredibly affordable case, and you’re all set.
On My Wish List
- Knife: Aforementioned Sebenza 21
- Flashlight: MecArmy Illuminex 3
- I took the plunge and bought one of these. I really am amazed how convenient having a quality keychain flashlight is. I use this extensively and couldn't be happier.
- Multi-tool: Leatherman Wave
- Keyboard: iPad Pro 9.7" Smart Keyboard
- My wife and I both got one of these for our iPads and we love it. Adds a ton of functionality without bulking it up too much.
- Knife: Spyderco Paramilitary 2
- I was able to get one of these recently. It's quite a knife! A little big for my carrying tastes, but many people prefer a pocket knife this size.
A Few Tips for Purchasing
Many of the links I provide are the cheapest you can find them, but there are ways to get some things for a better price. I definitely did not pay full price for every item on this list. One way to save money on quality items (especially knives, pens, keychains, and more) is to utilize sites like MassDrop. They make selected items available to buyers for a limited time. When that time is up, they order in bulk from the manufacturer and pass the savings on to you as in individual. Their selection of products change almost every day. Another site that works in a somewhat similar fashion is Huckberry.
When you make a purchase, try to view it as a long-term investment. A $120 knife is cheaper than a $30 knife if you have to continually replace the cheaper one. Measure the costs over time to see if they make sense to you. Expensive is often better but not always. In fact, in this article I went with some of the cheapest in certain categories (card wallet, lightning cable, silicone ring).