I often get asked “what exactly is an everyday carry kit”? And “what are some essential everyday carry items for urban dwellers”?
These questions, and the overall popularity of Everyday Carry (also known as EDC) on the Internet, show me that the EDC community is growing.
For those of you new to the EDC life, I’m going to give you the rundown on what it means to be a part of it and how to get up to speed. I’ll give you some pretty sweet items that you should look at to get you started for your urban EDC (that almost rhymes).
Don’t want to read the whole post? Here’s a preview of my choices:
What is Everyday Carry?
Everyday carry is more than just a term we use to refer to stuff in our pockets. It’s also more than just the living embodiment of the mantra “always be prepared,” though that’s getting closer.
No, everyday carry is a philosophy.
It is the space between not having what you need, and having so much crap in your backpack that your back is threatening to disown you. Everyday carry is about having what you need…and that’s it!
Okay, maybe I got a little too excited there.
But seriously – EDC is definitely about not bogging yourself down with a bunch of crap. However, you’ll still want to carry some things with you (self-defense tools) that certainly won’t be needed on a daily basis.
When thinking about EDC, I like to categorize things into the goals of what you’re carrying, rather than just listing what I think you should have. That is much more instructional, and really gets to the principles of EDC. It’s a bit like how we categorize survival equipment into how everything fits into your essential needs in a disaster.
The essentials – my 5 urban everyday carry items
Let’s take a look at 5 items that are, in my opinion, essential for a good urban EDC kit. Getting around the city on a commute and staying safe are the names of the game.
Illumination – light up your life
Sometimes electricity likes to shut-off on you without warning. This can be much more than a minor inconvenience.
Let’s take, for instance, the blackout in New York City a few years back. Imagine being stuck in the subway tunnels with zero visibility. Yeah, that’s pretty awful, particularly when thieves may be about.
A good flashlight can be a godsend at times, and when you’re looking for a good handheld light source, you can’t go wrong with a SureFire 6PX series light. SureFire is the go-to light for military forces when they go into combat, so you can be sure that this light will more than suit your needs.
It’s nearly indestructible and has two output levels of 15 lumens and 320 lumens for maximum light output. If you’re using the “high-beam”, the battery will go out fairly quickly on you. So keep a spare.
It’s not the lightest flashlight out there, but I think the durability more than makes up for having to carry a few extra ounces of weight.
Self-defense – never leave home without it
Remember your first time in the city by yourself?
Can you recall how cautious you were, how you kept your head on a swivel? After a while walking in the city becomes mundane, you plug in your headphones (we’ll discuss some awesome ones later) and pay no attention to your surroundings.
This is what we call complacency, and complacency kills. But, we can’t be walking around on high alert all the time, at least not without going insane. Instead of being perpetually hyper-vigilant, keep something in your pocket that allows you to fend off attackers.
Honestly, just having it on me keeps me keenly aware of the need for self defense.
Check out this pocket knife made by Benchmade. It is the Griptillian 553, and it is an absolute beauty.
Benchmade is another company trusted by our armed forces, and their products never cease to amaze. A mixture of brawn and beauty, this knife is a BEAST. The tanto point is tactically sound, and the combo plain edge-serrated blade is phenomenally sharp.
Great Sound – keep those tunes going
Nobody has ever confused urban living with quiet and peaceful living.
That’s the beauty of living in the city – everything around you is alive, but that also means noise, noise, and more noise.
For great sound, check out the Jaybird RUN True Wireless Headphones. These are genuinely wireless earbuds that stay in your ear. And if you love bass, these are the way to go; they easily beat any true wireless earbuds in that department. The case they come in also charges the buds for you, which is a great feature.
Don’t get too loud, though – I don’t want your music to affect your situational awareness.
Bluetooth tracker – don’t lose your most important stuff
We all lose things from time to time. For me, it’s mostly my phone or my keys. But never again.
The Orbit remote locator goes on your key ring and syncs with your phone. If you lose your phone, press the button on the device and your phone rings. If you misplace your keys, use your phone to make the keyring chirp. You can also find them by checking their last known GPS location.
Comes in a ton of different colors to fit your style. Oh yeah, the Orbit remote can double as the button for the camera on your phone as well. Leave that selfie stick at home (it has no place in your EDC).
Portable Power – keep the juice flowing
This 20,000mAh power bank from Aukey is going to be a lifesaver for you.
The amount of power you’re carrying when fully charged with recharge your iPhone 4 times or your iPad at least once. You can even plug in multiple devices, if that’s your thing.
Which do you need most?
Buy them all! They each have their place in your EDC.
But seriously, most of you already know which ones you need which you already have. But if you are one of the few who has nothing on this list, then you’ve got quite a decision to make.
If you insist, though, I would recommend for you to go with the Orbit phone and key finder. Everything on this list is great to have in your backpack. But our phones and keys are undoubtedly the most important things we carry with us every day, so we need to not lose them. In the case of your phone, it’s probably the most expensive thing you’re carrying, too. Definitely worth a little extra effort to keep track of it.
And that’s what everyday carry kits are all about. Carrying the most important things at all times. For more ideas, you can check out my other post on essential EDC items that I carry here.
Got other ideas for urban EDC equipment? Let me know in the comments.