So what’s your EDC?

A few weeks ago my husband said to me, “So have you ever heard of EDC?” I thought about that. The only thing that leapt to my mind went way back to being pregnant, when that stood for “Estimated Date of Confinement,” and referred to, you know, your due date. Somehow I didn’t think that was what he meant, though, so I said, “I’m not sure.”

“It stands for Everyday Carry,” he told me. “Check it out — there are forums and stuff, where people are talking at length about what they carry around every day.”

I thought about that for a minute. “You mean,” I said, “like my pocket stuff?”

“Yeah,” he replied. “And then there’s extended EDC — and that’s like your bag that you always take with you.”

“Huh,” I said, pondering this idea as a discussion topic. Now, don’t get me wrong: as a fiber geek, I frequent a range of forums and mailing lists and the like where people discuss exotic and obscure stuff in excruciating detail. So I’m definitely not down on the idea — it just hadn’t occurred to me that this was, you know, something people got into talking about. “So,” I asked, “what is there to say on the subject? I mean… what, like, this is what I have in my pockets and why?”

“Exactly,” he said. “Plus details about the stuff, and what you could do with it.”

“Huh,” I repeated, still thinking. I mean, I actually have a specific list of things I truly can’t cope with not having on my person, and I’ve been known to totally rant about it. I’m an extremely pocket-oriented person and I like my tools. I’ve come a long way and stripped down to a point where I actually carry a lot less stuff now than I used to. But still, there’s a core list of things I can’t cope with being without, and my wardrobe choices and lots of things about my lifestyle actually revolve around what I now was realizing was a concept people actually, er, have a name for. And forums about.

“In fact,” said my long-suffering better half, “people even make YouTube videos about their EDC.”

“What? Seriously?”

He showed me some. I felt torn. On the one hand, it seemed… strange. Self-important to think of making a video about the crap in your pockets. And voyeuristic to watch. But, you know… interesting. “You should do an EDC post on the blog,” Chad suggested, half-joking. O, the absurdity — after all, who’d want to know what’s in my pockets, or the bag that hangs by the door so I can grab it on the way out? And what’s next after you start telling people that, going into detail about the stuff that lives in your car? I mean, I’ve talked about the emergency knitting and spinning stuff. I’ve thought about blogging my packing process, and then concluded I just am not sure I want the world to know what my real life ratio of socks to spindles in my suitcase is.

But with a few weeks of consideration, I decided I really was going to do an EDC post. And this is it. And it even comes with YouTube videos. Seriously, I’ve emptied out my pockets and my little carry-around-town bag (it’s totally not a purse, I would never carry anything so girly as a purse!) and decided to share. Here you go. First, what’s in my pockets…

…and what’s in my carry-around-town bag.

I’d love to hear from all of you about your EDC. I wonder what we have in common and what we don’t? For example, most chicks would probably have makeup in their EDC. I do own makeup, but… it’s not an every day kinda thing for me. And some people are capable of feeling comfortable without a knife and fire, but I’m not — I don’t even really like going outside and walking around without those things. I started carrying a knife and fire of my very own when I was 8. Anyway, I’d love to hear what you carry! Tell me about it, blog about it, let’s go!

38 thoughts on “So what’s your EDC?

  1. EDC: tiny wallet (it can fit in my back pocket if necessary), small leather covered notebook with pen, measuring tape, glasses, knife and penlight, phone, thumb drive. After almost losing the Swiss Army knife that I’ve had for a zillion years to the airport sting operation (it was in my purse, but they didn’t find it!!), I now carry a different purse when I’m traveling — this forces me to move the items I need into the travel purse so I make sure I don’t take un-flyable objects with me.

  2. OK, can you tell I’m procrastinating?

    Keys, hair elastic, sunglasses & regular glasses, chapstick, cash wallet & separate plastics wallet (I separated them after getting everything stolen once; one has credit cards & ID, the other debit cards, cash, & various punch & business cards, cell.

    Extended: change purse, knitting or spinning project, powder & lipstick, 2 USB drives, hairbrush, PDA (often dead), checkbook, water bottle.

  3. I am thinking of taking your class at Sock Summit, and frankly, the fire thing scared me a bit until you explained it! 😉

    Daily – I carry a huge purse, but I try to keep it to a Cell, wallet, glasses, keys, thumb drive, checkbook, kleenex, contact case, headphones, knitting project, book, first aid kit, pen, and lip balm of some sort.

  4. My husband found your website and put it in our favorites. Your video was a crack up. He watched the video and told me I needed to watch because we have the same things in our bags/pockets. I too am never without a knife or lighter. Although I have to say I tend to carry more than one lighter and they are a bit more flambouyent. My favorite lighter is a pokerchip, I also have a tractor and a shot gun shell lighters. I carry a leatherman my brother gave to me many birthdays ago. I carry my knitting bag everywhere, am in a panic without it. I have more than one you know for emergency and then the basic that has all essentials.
    Love your website

  5. After reading this blog entry (not being able to see the vidio as I am on dial up) it took me three days to realize the “fire” was a lighter and not flint and steel. I am not sure if that says more about you being known as a capable person or me being an antique dealer. Fun blog entry even without the vidios.

  6. As someone who studies material culture for a living, I am completely fascinated by this need to catalogue and share personal objects with others. I LOVE IT. Thank you so much for introducing me to this fabulous slice of webculture. Just to complete the process, I’ll add my list to the group. I never ever have anything in my pockets. I loathe objects in my pockets and often will refuse to purchase pants simply because they have pockets. So everything I carry is either clipped to my jacket (work id with keys to office and jump drive attached) or in my purse. Purse is enormous and varied according to outfit and/or whim. Which means I’m usually throwing necessaries from one to the other as I rush out the door. The bare necessities are:
    wallet ($0.99 plastic job at target) with debit card, id, student id, library card, credit cards, health card and LYS frequent shopper card
    keys, cell, knitting project and pattern, current editing project, current reading, pad, 2 pencils, 1 pen, mints, feminine supplies.
    Add-ons in briefcase include additional reading, lunch, library books, coffee, camera, lap-top, powercord, ipod, usb cable

    I do not and never have traveled light. My boss told me the other day that she hoped I had half my home in my bag in order to justify its size.

  7. OMG! I will be looking in my bags tonight and report back.

    Purses are a necessary evil.

  8. Unfortunately my work clothes often have no pockets, so my purse is my essential EDC:

    cell phone, Palm PDA (can’t afford an iPhone yet), small Canon digital camera, at least one USB drive, pain meds, lip balm (also in knitting bag, my coat, my husband’s coat…), coupons I never use before they expire, receipts I haven’t thrown in my inbox yet, matchbook nail file from Target, a lipstick or two, tiny tube of hand lotion, nail clippers, small pink Swiss Army knife with scissors and tweezer (mine has seen a lot of use).

    When my hair was longer, I’d have elastics and probably a plastic hair clip or metal barrettes. Usually I have a purse sock stuck in there, but I just finished a pair and need to start another simple one.

    The one thing that’s non-negotiable: my wallet with insurance card. The one time last year I didn’t have it I fell and broke my arm in six places. Eventually all the paperwork got straightened out, but I really didn’t need the hassle while recovering from surgery.

    I don’t carry fire, but I might change my mind after seeing your video. I want one of those survivalist Altoids tins, too.

  9. Very interesting post. It’s always interesting to see what folks carry with them.

    My “girly bag” has been pared down to what I feel are absolutely necessary: wallet with ID, insurance info, cards, checkbook, pen, postage stamps; PDA; cellphone; prescription sunglasses; biz card case w/fiber and office cards; office ID badge.

    The project bag alsays has my tool bag, which is a heavy duty pencil bag. It has: tape measure; scissors; darning needles; needle gauge; note pad; pen; pencil; crochet hooks of varying sizes; cable needles; stitch markers both ring and safety pin. For spinning I add my tool bag with oil, extra orifice hook, bobbins, and a ball of hemp/silk for leader line.

  10. Pockets- Bank Card, Coffee Card, Money (paper), change, bobby pin and lighter.

    Knitting bag/purse- It is a knitting bag but I put my camera, cell phone, yarn Needles, pattern,moo cards and one of those little prunes in bag things.

  11. The fire just stunned me….I have been a practical sort. Always carries a swiss army knife. When I traveled on the LIRR to Manhattan daily I carried things like bungee cords to hold the train doors open when the AC died. The conductors would come by to borrow them, playing cards, a flashlight, wipes …but fire…how basic to human existance…and totally taken for granted by us non-smokers! Need to buy a bic!

  12. I’m sitting here laughing, having belatedly read this post. Even having been a knife carrying woman for years, I’m absolutely in NEED of one of the Kershaw “two can” jobs. I may have to rethink my emergency bag now – yours is inspiring.

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