Only last week I was asked on no fewer than three occasions, “what the heck is all this E.D.C nonsense I keep seeing everywhere?”

Well, today I answer this question, and hopefully more besides, in my beginner’s guide to EDC for 2013 and beyond.

What is EDC?

EDC stands for ‘Everyday Carry’, or ‘Every Day Carry’ if you wish; it generally refers to the collection of tools, gadgets and workday paraphernalia we cart around in our pockets and briefcases every day.

However, EDC is generally regarded as more than just what we’re transporting on our person; it’s about being primed and ready for whatever life can throw at us. It’s as much Boy Scout philosophy as it is equipment: the stress is firmly placed on ‘practicality’ over ‘stuff’; you’ll find that EDC acolytes are about making effective use of multi-tools and ingenious minimalism than bulging pockets and heavy knapsacks.

What would you expect to find in EDC?

Key chains
Often you’ll find EDC begins with a fully stocked key ring; accessories such as nail clippers, folding scissors, bottle openers, USB sticks and flashlights are common to most EDC-obsessed men.

It’s far from unusual to find ‘no-fuel’ lighters, ‘everlasting’ glow sticks and ‘no lead’ pencils too, not to mention measuring sticks

Those who embrace the ‘EDC’ spirit will often ditch the regular leather bi-fold and instead plump for a slim variant to save on space; clever credit card sized gadgets are another common inclusion, featuring makeshift cufflinks, compasses and nail files.

Swiss Army Knife
Or, alternatively a good quality multi-tool; everything you may need to get you out of a jam in a single device.

every day carry

Are there any style rules for EDC?

A few minor ones that would apply to any situation regardless of specific belongings.

Firstly, avoid stuffing your pockets with ‘stuff’. Loading down your blazers, overcoats and sports jackets will leave you with puffy sides and misshapen lining. If you’re planning to buy a jacket in the next few months, look for a brand with specially designed compartments for EDC such as Smartphone pockets and loose change sleeves.

Next, ditch the novelty products. A silk handkerchief becomes no more useful when decorated in tacky cartoon motifs…

Thirdly, don’t clip anything to your belt loops. You’re not the caped crusader, so there’s no need for a utility belt’s worth of junk to hang from a single stitched ring of fabric.

Location matters; there’s nothing worse than spending a small fortune on the perfect multi-tool, only than to have it whipped away by airline security. Remember, just because they didn’t take your custom ‘all-in-one’ device away on the outbound journey, doesn’t mean they won’t on the in-bound flight.

Lastly, avoid the classic ‘oil and water’ trap of combining ‘carry’ that shouldn’t ever mix; carbon fibre or steel edges can make mincemeat of the toughest Smartphone screen protectors – you have been warned!

Where Next?

The following websites will provide you with a huge range of ideas for upping your EDC.
EDC Blog
EDC Forums
Everyday Carry UK
Adam Savage’s Everyday Carry (EDC) on YouTube

About The Author

Johnathan Bell is the founder, owner and main author of Guy Style Guide, a website dedicated to everyday male fashion, style and grooming. The primary mission? To guide clueless men through the tricky mindfield that is the growing world of male couture. Find him on , Twitter and Tumblr.