What’s Your Everyday Carry?

edc2017 copyOne of the more fetishistic subcultures in the urban homesteading activity playpen is an obsession with “everyday carry,” abbreviated by hip insiders as “EDC.” EDCers peacock their carefully curated sets of survival tools in photos called “pocket dumps.” The internet’s Mecca of pocket dumps is everydaycarry.com. On that site you’ll see color and texture coordinated EDCs reminiscent of the leather and wood appointments of the luxury yachts of Russian oligarchs. I wouldn’t dare post my dingy EDC for fear of ridicule in the comments. That fear is why I’ll share my personal EDC on the much more friendly Root Simple website. Consider this blog post as an update of the pocket dump I posted in 2011. Since that time my EDC has changed, mostly via subtractions. Here’s my current EDC:

1. Leatherman Rebar
This is the central and, unquestionably, most useful cornerstone of my EDC. Not a day goes by when I don’t pull out the Rebar to fix something or slice off a piece of cheese with the dull (my fault) pocket knife. The Leatherman folks have tried to anticipate every possible lifestyle with a confusing array of Leatherman models. The model I own, the Rebar, was made for aging 90s hipsters who own 100 year old crumbling Los Angeles bungalows. It’s got wire cutters for questionable electrical repairs, a screwdriver, and a thin metal shaft that doubles as a tool for ejecting stuck Pearl Jam CDs and for drawing floral patterns in cappuccino foam. OK, I made that last bit up–it has a beer bottle opener–not, I’ll note, a corkscrew as does the Eurotrashy Swiss Army Knife. I like that the Rebar comes with a belt holster which allows me to carry the Rebar at all times, even on occasions when I’m in a suit and tie.

Women, who lack pockets and, often, belts might not be able to accommodate the bulky Rebar into their EDC. Leatherman sells a smaller multi-tool called the “Juice” (inadvertentĀ OJ reference?) that Kelly used to carry. Kelly lost her Juice which confirms the advantage of the belt holster (and her rant about women’s pockets).

2. Keychain pill holder
In my pill holder I keep two Aleves for life’s aches and pains and a dose of Benadryl for bee stings (an inevitable hazard of the beekeeping hobbyist). Unfortunately, I’ve had trouble with the keychain pill holders coming unscrewed over time and spilling the contents. Somewhere in our great consumer horn of plenty there’s an ideal keychain pill holder that doesn’t come unscrewed. If you know of one please leave a comment.

3. iPhone
It’s hard to say if this thing helps or hinders. Its navigation and communication capabilities are miraculous, like something out of the fevered imagination Giordano Bruno. I expect a teleportation app soon. But the damn thing is as addictive as crack and it allows the NSA, TSA and FBI to tell when I’m eating too many tortilla chips. Note that really important Silicon Valley tech bros carry phones that only make and receive calls:


Stuff I stopped carrying
In the nearly seven years since I last documented my EDC, I’ve eliminated a few items:

Fire starting tools
I used to carry a second pill container with a small match and a ball of wax soaked cotton as well as a magnesium fire starting tool. Unfortunately, part of the magnesium tool came unscrewed in my pocket and got lost (perhaps the fluid dynamicists in our audience can explain this common pocket phenomenon). But also, how often do I need to start a fire in Los Angeles? While arson is the only honest form of architectural criticism in a city full of Geoff Palmer atrocities, it’s not like I need to start a fire to stave off the cold. Maybe I’ll live to regret this decision, but there’s only so much I can carry on my keychain without ruining the tailoring of my Prada.

Mini flashlight
Thanks to the perpetual glow of LA’s streetlights I found the mini-flashlight I used to carry an unnecessary pocket lump. It also came unscrewed multiple times and the batteries kept spilling out. Plus the iPhone comes with a light to enable post-50 year olds, such as myself, to read the tiny prices on small plates menus.

Stuff I’m not sure I should carry
Then there’s one new item that I’m ambivalent about carrying:

lockpicksetLock pick set disguised as a suspicious credit card
Due to a few recent bad experiences locking myself out, I’ve been teaching myself the art of lock picking (I’ll need to do a more detailed post on this hobby at a later date). But I’m worried the Chinese credit card will get me in trouble with the NSA, TSA and FBI folks who are monitoring my snacking habits. So, for the time being, I not sure if I should include the lock pick set in my EDC.

But enough self indulgence, what’s in your EDC?

Leave a comment


  1. I don’t own a cell phone, but that Light phone looks interesting. Imagine, a phone that simply makes and receives calls!

  2. Carried in a small leather drawstring pouch: small wallet, old fashioned tiny black book, small slide phone, coin purse, contact lens case with solution in it, tiny swiss army knife, keys, and unscented lip balm from ebee (I don’t wear makeup anymore, so this is my sole “cosmetic”, and it’s the best I’ve found).

    If just going in to a store, just the small wallet and keys tossed into my – ahem – always available women’s pocket #Kellyspocketrantrules. The vast majority of my clothing – tops and bottoms, all have pockets for the “just going into a store” carry.

    I do have a single, larger leather backpack purse that I can toss the EDC into, due to the kiddos and their random needs at random times #mamamustalwaysbegroomingkitfirstaiddispensarysnackbarand”mamaI’mbored”solutionatalltimes, #sorry,mamadoesnotbelieveini-whateverstogetyouthroughavisittothestoreorthedentistor-godforbid-arestaurantmeal.

    For more dressy occasions, I just fold up a silky BOBO wrap cloth into the “Half-Knot Purse”, toss in the EDC along with a comb, and off I go.

  3. I almost always carry a small purse, mainly so that I will always have a spot for my Leatherman, wallet, keys and two folding grocery bags. Because I always carry a purse, my EDC also includes a bike light, deodorant, glasses cleaning solution + cloth, a check book, hand sanitizer, Advil, Kleenex, a teeny notebook, lip balm, several pens, cough drops, a phone charger cord, and a month’s worth of receipts. Right now it also includes a park pass for all of Canada’s National Parks, since I wasn’t sure where to keep it until summertime.

    Sometimes I want to start wearing men’s pants for the pockets, but hey, my bank cards last a lot longer than my partner’s, because I don’t sit on mine everyday..

  4. How’s things?, sometimes I get a 404 site message when I view your website. Just a heads up, regards

    • Doing better, thanks, but miss my mom. Will take time. And thanks for letting me know about the 404. I’ll let our webmaster know.

  5. I have a phone with a case that holds a debit card and my driver’s license, my keys on a belt clip, and my current notebook and pen.

  6. I can’t stress enough a simple bandana (those big ones preferably) in one’s pocket, I carry two all the time both rear pants pockets (also to pad my buttocks area, so as not to appear too flat, LOL!).

    But seriously, the reason not more deaths occurred in the Boston bombing was that, a bunch of folks (mostly vets, turned civilians) were able to make tourniquets on the spot.

    I carry a pen and paper/notebook too, but I have one of those tactical pens, not so much for tactical situations but for something tuff to use as windlass for the tourniquet, which you turn to tighten the tourniquet.

    Without a bandana you can also rip clothing and use that as tourniquet, but the windlass IMHO is crucial, regular Bic pens will break.

    Great video (but there’s more out there, just youtube for more),

    p.s. ~ Also if you take the Metro, 1 or 2 flashlights, it’s earthquake country after all. Usually when I’m taking the Metro I have my backpack, so again because it’s earthquake country and being underground in case of emergencies is likely, I have a couple of those freeze dried meals… but lately though I think

    flash mob robberies on trains seem more likely like what happened on the BART in the Bay Area, i’ve used the call buttons on the Metro essentially to pre-emp something that looks about to happen. So I guess get in the habit of using that call button and just say, I think a fights about to happen, pls. send the police.

  7. Mine is much like yours. I have a different model of leatherman, I still carry a small flashlight, and I also have at least two hankies and a pocketwatch.

  8. The Swiss Army Knife described as “Eurotrashy”!?! Bite your tongue! For aging 70’s hippies who backpacked around Europe back in the day, it is an essential carry! šŸ˜‰

    • Ha! Clearly I throw the word Eurotrash around too easily! I will bite my tongue.

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