When I first started working for LOCHBY, I knew nothing about EDC. Journaling was more familiar, a territory I could navigate with ease, but everyday carry? It was a subject I’d only ever heard of in passing but never really looked into. It wasn’t because I didn’t care for it; at the time, I was under the impression that I already had everything I could ever need. As a writer with no knowledge of EDC, who could blame me? There really was nothing much that I had to have as far as writing was concerned: just a notebook and a pen, my phone if I felt like going digital, and I was good to go.
After finally discovering what “everyday carry” entailed though and learning a lot from our founder, Chris Elfering, I came to a realization. Sure, I was ready to write anytime and anywhere, but that was all I was ready for. The extent of my readiness began and ended with writing, and how unfortunate that was because I didn’t spend every waking moment as a writer. I played many other roles in life on the daily, and the jarring truth was that I wasn’t ready for any of them.
In fact, I wasn’t prepared for anything else.
With this realization began my rapid spiral down the everyday carry rabbit hole.
At first, I was distracted by shiny things in the form of photos and Amazon links: knives and flashlights, lighters and guns, to name a few. But that was me merely scratching the surface. I wasn’t going to stay unprepared any longer, but before going on a shopping spree for items that I might not need, I knew I had to dig deeper. There were certain considerations I had to take note of though, encountered at every turn the more I learned about everyday carry, and if I wanted to put together the best EDC kit for myself, I was aware that I had to keep the following key things in mind:
1. Start with the basics.
Although I hadn’t been aware of it, I already had a bare-bones version of an EDC kit in the form of items that I can’t leave home without. My wallet, phone, and battery pack are all important for obvious reasons, and for work and leisure, I have my Pocket Journal and a pen. However, I also carry a keyring around, one with more than just a bunch of keys in it. Part of the jingling fray is a small flashlight with a (laughably) weak beam, a mini box cutter, and a safety alarm keychain.
Outside an EDC perspective, this doesn’t seem much—but that’s not the case at all! After much reading, I now realize that having all these actually makes it easier to decide what to include in my EDC kit. It’s my point A. From here, I can then move on to points B, C, and D: I can identify what’s important, why it’s practical to me, and determine how I can work on improving what I already have.
Now it’s just a matter of adding and removing what I don’t need based on things like my daily tasks, what my line of work is, or my location.
2. Quality over quantity always.
It’s tempting to choose what’s affordable when it comes to buying just about anything, even if we can afford the more expensive option. This is especially true if we’re not sure about what we’re buying and have no idea whether what we’re planning to purchase is worth the money at all. But as we all know, there’s a trade off when we settle for less: cheap gear doesn't last long, has the tendency to break easily, or worse, can end up being useless right when we need it the most. I used to not care about this, but now I understand that sometimes, a little more money actually goes a long way.
From countless articles to posts and comments on the EDC subreddit, I’ve learned from a lot of experienced people to always choose quality over quantity. And that makes perfect sense even outside the EDC community: even if I only have a few high quality gear, then I can make the most out of them. With proper maintenance and care, they can even last a lifetime! In the long run, I’ve saved more money and have an awesome kit to show for it.
3. Yes to more than one EDC Kit.
I’m going to be honest: at first, I was focused on having just one ultimate EDC kit. The kit of all kits, the one kit to rule them all. I was pretty torn about my gear selection because I wanted my future kit to be as portable as possible and have everything in it. If only I could fit everything in my Field Journal, then all the better.
But then I found out that people actually had more than one kit: aside from the basic one, they also had others: first aid, travel, and work EDC’s were some of the most common. Each one served a particular purpose and were available when needed. For instance, Chris has a separate Vehicle Kit from his EDC. Talk about ready for just about anything!
As someone who is just getting started on their EDC journey, I’m sure there’s a lot more to know. From what I’ve seen thus far, everyday carry can be very different for everyone, and I’m intent on finding the best EDC kit that’s right for me.
What else is worth considering for beginners like me? Aside from these three, are there other things to keep in mind when choosing the right type of gear or EDC kit for that matter? Please let me and other beginners know in the comments below!