EDC … or “stuff you carry”

When I first heard of the term “EDC” or Every Day Carry it was in relation to the gun you always had on you. Now, and I’m not sure when this started, people are using this term to refer to flashlights, pocket knives, and all manner of stuff that anyone should just have on them. EDC seems like too fancy a term for regular things that belong in your pockets, but I digress … you didn’t come here to hear me rant.

I’ve been carrying all of the following items in my pockets or on my belt for almost two decades, if I leave the house without them … I feel … weird (probably why I don’t like flying commercial, I have to leave too much of my stuff at home).

The Knife

I’ve gone through more knives than I can remember. I’ve had Benchmade, Spyderco, Tactical Gearz, and a whole bunch more. My main criteria for a knife is that it’s thin, since I keep it in my back pocket and don’t want to be sitting on a chunk of metal. That said, it should open smoothly with one hand, have a longish blade, be non-serrated, have a strong clip, and be comfortable to whittle with.

The CIVIVI Voltaic Folding Knife checks all those boxes.

I can’t speak to how long it holds its edge yet, but it hasn’t gotten dull on me and I’ve used it to make a fair bit of kindling for the fire, open boxes, shred cardboard, and the like.

The Multi Tool

I’ve been using a Leatherman Rebar for the past 5 or so years and while it’s been okay, it was time to upgrade. The Rebar has some hard edges, opening the pliers can be difficult under certain circumstances, and one of the screwdrivers just decided to snap (all by itself … really … I wasn’t trying to pry open a lock or anything).

So I did my research and upgraded to a Victorinox Swiss Tool Spirit X.

It opens smoothly, all of the tools are accessible from the outside so the pliers can stay packed up when not in use. It feels good in my hand without any sharp edges. All the 24 tools lock, the include:

  • Scissors
  • Wood saw
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Wire cutter for thin and soft wire up to 40 HRc
  • Hard wire cutter
  • Metal saw
  • Metal file
  • Screwdriver 2 mm
  • Blade, large
  • Chisel 7 mm and scraper
  • Cable cover longitudinal cutter
  • Cable cover crossways cutter
  • Wire stripper and scraper
  • Phillips screwdriver 1/2
  • Reamer, punch
  • Pulling hook
  • Can opener
  • Screwdriver 3 mm
  • Lanyard hole
  • Coupling for corkscrew
  • Bottle opener
  • Screwdriver 6 mm
  • Crate opener
  • Wire bender

The Flashlight

As with all my other things … I’ve had lots of flashlights and have really started liking flat (i.e. non-round) lights. I bought a FLATEYE F-1000 and was fairly happy with it. The drawbacks were that the belt clip needed to be purchased separately and would deform over a few months so it wouldn’t hold the light to my belt anymore, I’d have to bend it back. It also used four Streamlight 85177 batteries which, at $2ish per battery, became expensive.

So I did my research, knowing the form factor I wanted, and found the Nitecore EDC27 3000.

This light is USB-C rechargeable, which allowed it to beat out a micro-USB rechargeable light by another manufacturer, it’s super thin, has a sturdy belt clip, and throws a lot of light. The only downside is the wonky buttons, the two top buttons have four functions, two of which are accesses by using a half-click … which is hard to hit if you’re in a hurry.

Also, the lock function is nice but the directions to unlock are horrible. If you buy one you need to do the following:

  • Lock
    • The light must be on
    • Hold down the tall button
    • When the light turns off you’re in lock mode 1 (my favorite since the second button still works)
    • Holding the button longer goes into lock mode 2 (no buttons work)
  • Unlock
    • Press the tall button once, all the way down
    • Let go
    • Press the tall button once more, all the way down, and hold it until the light turns on

Note: NITECORE wanted me to state that this is one of their official images from their website.

The Lighter

Unlike most of the stuff on this list, I’ve only really ever carried one lighter, amazing, I know. It’s a Zippo, but not the messy liquid kind.

I carry the Zippo 65826 Butane Lighter in a black sleeve.

Zippo does sell dual burner lighters, I had one and didn’t like it. They waste more gas than necessary and I’ve had more maintenance issues with them.

The one issue common to both the single and dual burner lighters is that the spark pin can get bent upward so no spark is made when you press the button. Get a small flat head screw driver (from your multi tool) can press it down gently. It should light up every time.

The Belt

By now you’re probably asking yourself how I keep all this stuff from falling on the floor (along with my pants). The answer is a belt, I tried suspenders, but they don’t work for me. I originally had a fairly thin “tactical” belt, but that started to fray and it was not easy to tighten. After ordering a few belts to try on I decided one.

I bought a KORE Tactical Gun Belt with an X7 Buckle.

It’s great! It’s stiff enough so it distributes the weight of all my stuff around my hips, so no more belt sagging on the heavy side. It also ratchets closed, which is more useful than I thought it would be.

The Phone Holder

So this is probably the cheapest piece of kit I wear on a daily basis, but I like it for two main reasons. First, my main phone cameras are facing out so that if I ever need my hands free and my phone recording then I can do it (think “police office body cam”). Second, it’s cheap, if it breaks I get another one.

I chose the Aduro Combo Case with Kickstand. Obviously, check to make sure you get the right model for your phone.

The Pen

Always … have … a … pen

Anything works, but I use a Pilot G-2 1.0 mm pen, it writes well, is cheap, lasts for a good long time, and is fairly sturdy.

The Gun

This is my latest addition to the gear I always carry. I recently moved to a state that hasn’t gone insane and banned the carrying and use of firearms (i.e. not California). The research process took about a year or so of talking with people, lots of YouTube research, and a few trips to the store. Hickok45 did a great YouTube review of this gun and seems to like it well enough.

I ended up getting a Canik TP9 Elite SC.

It’s a 9mm with a 15 round magazine, they give you a holster that you can flip to be an outside or inside waistband carry, an extra magazine, and basic cleaning supplies. The gun fires accurately, is light, and easy to use. Two of the best features are; 1) the indicator that the firing pin is set and 2) the indicator that there is a bullet in the chamber.

That’s it … if you made it through my list, congrats! Let me know what you carry in the comments.

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