The Philosophy of Every Day Carry (EDC)

As I was an English professor in a former life, I thought I’d delve into a brief bit of semantics.

  • Everyday (one word) is an adjective.  It describes an idea or object that is routine. An example: “those are my everyday pants.” The opposite would be “those are my Sunday-go-to-meeting pants.” One who carries a concealed handgun with dependable regularity might refer to that gun as an everyday carry gun.
  • Every day (two words) literally means each day. Every single day. No exceptions. This, too, is an apt way to approach concealed carry. “I carry this gun every day.” The opposite would be “that is my Sunday-go-to-meeting gun.”

Every Day Carry. What do you carry with you each and every day? When you wake up and put on your pants, what’s next? For most of us here at GunsAmerica, it is a firearm of some sort–though none of us agree on which one. We talk a lot about concealed carry. And it is an incredibly important subject. Yet there’s often more to what we carry.

What EDC is and isn’t

To be clear, this isn’t a series about prepping. Paul Helinski is the go-to authority on all-things-prepping. He’s a guru of sorts with a devoted following. He’s looking at the long-term necessities of survival. So if you want to know about water purification or perimeter alarms, or even why cliche bugout-bags are a terrible idea (and a disservice to serious preppers), I highly recommend that you check out his collected works. They’re listed in reverse chronological order. Go back to the start and dive in.

Quartermaster QTR-5. A favorite of our Tactical Editor.

Quartermaster QTR-5. A favorite of our Tactical Editor.

We’re going to be looking at the short term. The here-and-now. What you should have on you at any given point in time. These aren’t the tools that will help you navigate societal collapse, but they may help you get home in a catastrophe, or survive an ill-timed trip to the quickiemart.

So what are we talking about?


Knives, like guns, are tools. Gun-nuts tend to have an appreciation of knives. And why not? They’re defensive tools that provide effective up-close-and-personal results. And they’re good for opening boxes, trimming cuticles, slicing pears–maybe not in that order.

Our own Stephen Blannelberry is a devotee of the cutting edge. You can read his take on the Protech Godson here.

Light's on. Hyskore light on a J frame Smith.

Light’s on. Hyskore light on a J frame Smith.


Some of us mount them on our guns, though that isn’t always possible with the slim little pistols we’re carry these days. And it is an especially difficult challenge when we begin to talk about revolvers.

Others prefer to carry the light in their off hand, away from the gun, which can add a measure of safety in a gun fight–as a confused assailant may choose to shoot at the light. But lights have a myriad of uses in the dark. I don’t need to waste any more virtual ink explaining.


What kind of widgets do you carry? Bottle openers that double as defensive tools? Brass knuckles? Mini-pry bars? The options are only limited by the imagination of someone with access to rapid prototyping.

What else?

Wallets? Sunglasses? Key bars? The options could go on forever. Here’s how I choose to define it: if you pick it up and put it in your pocket with some sort of preparatory regularity, not knowing exactly when or where or why you might deploy the tool, then it is definitely in. That is the heart of EDC. The wallets and glasses are extra, but no less important.

For a while, my EDC got a bit excessive. I couldn't carry it all, so I toted it around in the car--just in case.

For a while, my EDC got a bit excessive. I couldn’t carry it all, so I toted it around in the car–just in case.

Why we’re interested in the concept

Every Day Carry isn’t just a catch phrase. It is ritual I’ve engaged in for 30 years. Even when I was a kid, I practiced EDC (though I didn’t call it that). I had a knife (very well concealed) in my pocket form the time I was 10. I even carried it to school. I was an Eagle Scout, and took that whole “Be Prepared” thing seriously. I began carrying a gun when I was in my early 20s, after I got mugged. And from there, it was a way of life.

As our Tactical Editor wrote in an early draft of his pocket dump piece: “The hardest part about EDC is finding the right gear to make it easy on you–both physically and financially.”

He’s exactly right. And in that spirit we’re going to bring profiles of people who carry every day and more focused reviews of guns and gear that are optimal for these rituals.  So stay tuned. And if you want a taste of what’s to come, check out Jacob Epstein’s classic pocket dump.

Editor’s Note: We didn’t invent to concept of EDC. We aren’t the first to think about the concept in relation to the gun community. Below is an annotated list of some of my specific influences.

Pinterest: hipsters love them some EDC gadgets. It can be a bit overwhelming. If you aren’t dialed in to Pinterest yet, you should be. There are some crafty folks out there hatching inventive tools to solve problems I didn’t even know I had. Be forewarned. EDC on Pinterest can also refer to the Electric Daisy Carnival. Those are some fun photos to look at, too, but for different reasons. this is one of my favorite sites to visit when I’m multitasking. I can look at the pictures and know instantly what’s going on. No shortage of hipsters here, either. The epiphany for me regarding is that the EDC concept is alive and well way beyond the fringes of the gun community. I’d be willing to bet that many of the personalities profiles here have an active anti-gun political stance even. But it just goes to show that they’re thinking along the same lines we are. As in, we have something in common. And the site’s clean presentation is slick and easy to use.

Nutnfancy: Gear check. Check out the video. While the production value is rough, the message is clear.


{ 1 comment… add one }
  • Will Drider July 20, 2015, 4:14 am

    A few recommendations for topics that you may or may not have considered.
    1. Preparation: inventory, inspection, maintenance, rotation and “sanitize”.
    2. Standardized placement and adjustments for planned activities.
    3. Carry it all or carry minimum that will hopefully allow you to your extended stash.
    4. Can you access each piece of gear with either hand? Priority placement vs convenience.
    5. Bare minimum. Think swim trunks (BUG in a baggy).
    6. Big Bang Theory, too much gadget, not enough applications.
    7. Expendables. You don’t carry a gun in a bar, but if you take your $200 tacticool knife would you toss it in the trash (unusedof course) if there was a big fight (you wernt involved) but everybody is going to be searched? Is it sanitized?
    8. Wet and sweated gear, what materials are best, cleaning and backup holsters, cases, sheaths.
    9. Carrying a non-folder, concealed or open carry?
    10. Whats in your backup stash in your car, office or locker?
    11. Are chem, contact tazers and collapsible batons still valid alternatives?
    12. EDC improvised weapons: rings, keys, belts, pens, cell phone.
    13. Is your gun the only piece of EDC gear you train with?
    Food for thought. WR

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