Hello, I thought I would take the time to basically explain the thinking behind what items I carry, why, and how I carry them.
First off, I want to explain how I became interested in this community. I grew up like most boys carrying a ton of stuff in my cargo pockets, regardless of whether I really needed everything I just like being prepared for what might come. By no means did I feel like I was prepared for the apocalypse I just carried stuff I could need on a day to day basis. The perfect example of this was that in high school I carried a contact case with me because occasionally I would have a contact start messing with my eye and need to take it out. Honestly, I don't do that anymore because they tend to get a little gunky from pocket lint. On the other hand something that did stay with me like a writing utensil. In a similar respect there are certain items I tended to carry around because of family influence. A few examples of these family influences are a pocket knife from my grandfather, and a handkerchief, comb, and watch from my father. Naturally after I graduated high school and started college things started to change. By that point I was trying to grow up a little bit and take care of myself. A big part of that was starting work. While most of my paycheck during my college years went to necessities like rent and food it did teach me a lot. It certainly taught me more about being frugal and it gave me appreciation for what I could do later in life. Now that I am not on the classic ramen and hunger pains meal plan I can actually do things a little more seriously. That being said I still like to find budget options that are at least somewhat comparable to the more expensive purchases I could be making. I do this for a couple of reasons, first and foremost, I don't want to get bored. I like having the flexibility to have multiple items that I can rotate throughout my week so that I get different experiences. Naturally I have certain items that have become my mainstay but even those for the most part I rotate somewhat with only a couple exceptions. I want to point out that there are plenty of companies that are on the more expensive end and definitely give you the quality that you would expect. I just prefer buying more budget friendly items where I can feel like I get more bang for my buck. The last major influence I want to point out is the prepping community. I started getting curious about preppers because frankly, it just looked interesting, so I started reading online and watching videos with a focus on budget friendly options and urban environments. Somehow I stumbled on a few videos featuring peoples EDC because those are the things you always have as your first option. This led me down a rabbit whole and I found a community that loved to talk about gear and share ideas and views. I love looking at other peoples EDC because for one it lets me see some really cool stuff that I may never get. It also does give me some cool ideas for how to alter my own EDC.
I want to take a second to kind of define what I consider a person's everyday carry. I consider the items you personally have on you on any given day to be your EDC. Of course you can change items around like I do but I typically have some variation of an item constantly when I classify it as an EDC item. I personally don't like to call items I keep in my work bag EDC, despite the fact that I carry that bag five times a week. It's not to say that I think its wrong to use that terminology, its just in my head I know that if I wasn't going to work I would never be carrying all of those tools. On the other hand the things that I wear and carry in my pockets go with me almost everywhere. I have a similar opinion of big pocket organizers. Most of these big pouches either need to go in another bag or strapped onto something like a belt. Frankly, if a person carries a big pocket organizer on their belt everyday, hey its everyday carry. I simply don't find that practical or comfortable, so I don't use those types of options for the most part.
Lets start looking at some items. I do want to point out tat this picture is just a snapshot of one day so the items won't be a perfect representation of what I carry.
The first two items I will cover together because they are both personal care items. That would be the handkerchief and comb. These are two carrying habits I picked up from my father. He has worked in management for most of my life and so he would always carry a handkerchief and typically a comb to stay well groomed. Naturally, I started picking up these same habits (although as a young teenager not necessarily the well groomed part because lets face it no teenage boy has any sense of cleanliness). I remember countless Christmases where we both got a new pack of handkerchiefs in our stockings. Frankly, I don't always carry a handkerchief because I will occasionally forget to grab one and also don't find myself using it all that often. I find myself using it mostly when I offer it to a friend or family when they are in need. On the other hand I almost exclusively carry this Chicago Comb Model No.1 in carbon fiber. I typically just carried a small plastic comb but they always seemed to collect pocket lint. Then I found this comb on Kickstarter and fell in love with the design. I had actually been looking at a similar metal comb but pulled the trigger on this one when I found it. I use it primarily to put my hair back in its place and groom my beard. Just so you know I don't have super long hard but it still gets a little crazy out here in West Texas with the wind constantly blowing from every direction. I'll be honest the little finger loop makes it super comfortable and offers a great way to spin it when you're bored.
Next, I carry a pen of some sort. The pen pictured is a Pen UNO Aluminum from Ensso. I love the way it writes and it is a super sleek and minimal design, that being said I do not normally carry it. It obvously doesn't have a pocket clip, which is something I need on a pen. I have carried it a couple times like just to give it some use but I hat that it isn't easy to grab and I have to dig in my pocket to find it. The pen I carry most is a Zebra f-701 with a review here that contains a picture of some of my other pens that may receive a review down the line. For a very long time I carried a mechanical pencil instead of a pen because I preferred the ability to erase as well as how they wrote in general. However, Over the past couple of years I switched to a metal pen for a couple of reasons. First, I liked how they felt in my hand. I also liked the options of changing the ink cartridges. Lastly, I like being able to sign something like a receipt with my own pen instead of one that's been passed around all night.
Next up lets take a look at few items that not only does everyone carry but I almost never change out. A phone, wallet, and keys. I keep my Iphone 6s in an extremely solid Mous kevlar Limitless case. I have loved this case ever since I got it and once I finally upgrade my phone I plan on getting a new case from them. The other item is a MINIX RFID Slim Wallet. You can check out this and other wallets here. I love this wallet and wish that you could purchase it somewhere else. Lastly I carry my keys in a Keysmart Rugged that carries my keys and a key shaped USB from my University orientation. I used flash drives constantly while in school, especially in high school with all of my extracurricular activities. Now I don't use it very often but I really like having one available and it doesn't add much. Attached to this is my truck keys using a Oceanus Brass Bowshackle and a Nite Ize Microlock S-biner.
You will notice that in this set up I am carrying both a Smith & Wesson M&P folding liner lock and a Gerber EAB that I reviewed here. Normally I carry a single knife like the Stat Gear Asus. Occasionaly, like in this instance, I will carry a larger more tactical knife as well as a small utility blade for small tasks when I don't want to break out something that might be intimidating. A pocket knife is another one of those items that I started carrying partially due to family influence. When not in school not only did I carry a pocket knife because it was cool and useful, but my grandfather and I collected pocket knives as a bonding activity.
The last section to cover in this picture are the flashlights. The larger flashlight is a Coast HX5. I rotate quite frequently among similar sized flashlights so I don't have a real standard. The smaller light is a PISA light. I carry it in my coin pocket and talk about similar sized key-chain lights here. I tend to carry a variety of items in this pocket partially as a fidget item. These items range from small flashlights to utility knives, to nick knacks.
Unfrotunatly, due to a mistake on my part, I did not include a my watch in this picture. I wear a black Armitron Pro Sport digital watch. I am also unable to find it online anymore so I have been unable to link it in my pictures. I am actually on my second one. My first one finally wore out the strap after a few years of wear so I was happy to find a replacement. Honestly, I prefer these watches over similar styled watches like G-Shocks. I know that those watches are great and can take the beating that I inevitably give my watches but I like not worrying about $200 sitting on my wrist waiting to get dinged up. That's just me though so to each his own. I have worn watches for most of my life and have several nice ones that my father gave me but I hate scratching them so I prefer to wear them for just special occasions or more formal events. One last tid bit, I have a slide on compass fixed to a couple of my casual watches like this. I tend to do well with cardinal directions especially if I have been somewhere before, but I like having the ability to just double check myself if I needed to.
As you can see my items fall into at least one of two categories. I value utility first and foremost and sentimental value second. I want to emphasize that this is a very integrated and creative community. I carry quite a few items that I backed as projects on Kickstarter or Indiegogo (in this photo alone there are six items: comb, pen, phone case, wallet, small flashlight, bowshackle). I strongly encourage everyone to support the small companies.
Anyways, those are my thoughts on Everyday Carry items.