The Essentials

Let’s get started!

So you’ve considered becoming a conscientious carrier? You now realize that it’s always better to be prepared than caught off guard? Great! Let’s get started!

Where to Begin

There are a lot of factors that will influence the choices you make when forming your EDC. But, most of those factors that lead you to finally format the core or your EDC will fall under these categories.

  • Vocation
  • Attire
  • Budget


If you have a job that requires you to use specific tools with frequency then those can certainly become part of your EDC. But, this doesn’t include all professions. For instance, an auto mechanic isn’t going to walk around with a ratchet and vice grip in his back pocket. However, someone who works in sales should probably always carry a pen so that they are ready at a moments notice to sign that big deal. You do need to consider that some EDC items might not be allowed in your workplace. Some office buildings won’t allow you to bring your pocket knife to work. If you fly a lot you will have to get used to not having your utility tool or pocket knife with you as it won’t be permitted through security.


You need to account for what you wear on a regular basis. If you regularly wear a suit then you have additional pockets on the suit jacket that can be utilized. This is fortunate because items in the front pockets of dress pants look bulky and tacky (especially in photos). They will ruin a formal look and make you look unprofessional. Items in the back pockets don’t give off this impression provided they aren’t too bulky. Unfortunately, this excludes most wallets. But, we will talk in a later post about how to scale those down. You also need to remember not to overload one side of your suit jacket so that it hangs awkwardly and becomes uncomfortable.


There are some beautiful time pieces out there. There are also some wonderful custom made pocket knives that are forged out of premium materials. But, you don’t need to carry them. Especially if they are really expensive. There are plenty of options that won’t break the bank. In the early stages of building your EDC I would suggest buying cheap items. It’s more important to discover whether or not it’s going to be useful for you. If you have a carry item that breaks due to persistent use then you know it will likely be worthwhile to invest in a higher quality one that can handle the daily grind.

What Are The Essentials?

  • Wallet

I would assume that this goes without saying. Although, phone cases have become a wallet to many. (More on that in another post)

  • Pen

How many times have you been scrambling for one? Depending on what you do this might be an essential part of your carry. But, even if you don’t use a pen on a regular basis it’s always nice to be prepared. Consider carrying a pen that could also double as a glass breaker or fire starter. There are a lot of really cool tactical pen options if you want to feel like a bad@$$ or think that carrying a pen is pretentious.

  • Flashlight

This one is likely the most debatable. Many people don’t consider it a “must-carry.” I didn’t at first either until I started carrying one. It didn’t take very long before I discovered how handy it is. Have you ever dropped something while riding in a dark vehicle? Lost power? Have you ever had to walk to your car in dark parking lot when your cellphone is dead? Wouldn’t it have been great to have a flashlight in all of those circumstances?

  • Pocket Knife/MultiTool

The most controversial by far.

Uses For a Pocket Knife:

  • Open mail
  • Open Milk Bags
  • Cut off clothing tags
  • Cutting a Seat Belt in case of Emergency
  • Cutting food items (meat, fruit, bread, etc.)
  • Whittling
  • Sharpening a pencil
  • Thwart off Muggers

Ignore that last point because I was being completely sarcastic. A Pocket Knife is a tool; not a weapon! It is not for self-defence. In fact, saying that it’s being carried for self-defence purposes can get you into legal trouble in many places (including here in Ontario). Many people still consider it strange to carry a pocket knife. This doesn’t make sense to me. Why does everyone assume that carrying a knife means that you’re prepping for a mugging? Why does everyone assume that it’s primary purpose is for self defence? My ratio of people to boxes that have been cut with my knives is around 10,000 to…0 (unless you count the few times I’ve cut myself). People have been carrying around cutting tools since the dawn of tools. Did you notice how I used the word “tool.” I used that word specifically because It’s not a “cutting weapon.” It is not a “stabbing weapon.” It is a tool. There should no longer be such a stigma about carrying one. This isn’t West Side Story.
That was not an an exhaustive list of pocket knife uses. There are literally hundreds of reasonable uses for a pocket knife. I even found one video where you can learn how to chop down a moderately sized tree with one!

A Pocket Knife is a tool; not a weapon!

  • Phone

I happen to know quite a few people that don’t carry a cell phone with them. Good…for…them! I applaud anyone that can live somewhat of a disconnected life. However, it is not feasible for me due to my vocation. But, there are certainly times that I avoid carrying it simply for the sake of being unreachable. Cellphones have changed a lot over the past few years. They have gotten slimmer but have also become much taller and wider. This makes most modern smart phones difficult to carry in a front pocket. I choose to carry a smaller phone just so I can carry it in my front pocket. When purchasing a phone you do need to consider how you are going to carry it if you aren’t the type to frequently carry a bag.

  • Keys

I can think of very few situations that call for a person not to have keys on them. Whether they are for your car, house or workplace. In another post I will discuss more efficient ways to carry them.


What do you think? Did I miss anything? When I refer to these items as “essentials” I simply mean that lots of gents are likely to be found carrying them. These are the items that should be your first considerations when setting out to conscientiously build your EDC. You may discover that some of these items are unnecessary or unwanted. That’s totally fine. But I suggest that you start with these suggestions first before diving into some of the more complicated tools and accessories. These items will form the foundation of your EDC. I will discuss at a later date how to carry more effectively. There are some items that can be carried in such a way that creates less bulk and allows you to be more flexible with your EDC. But, for now, it’s important to understand what your essentials are. Once you have your foundation built and have a basic idea of how much space you will have left on your person you can decide whether it’s reasonable to carry more or less without having to buy cargo pants.

Closing thought:
Unless you are a member of the armed forces or going on a wilderness adventure…don’t wear cargo pants.

Carry on my fellow Aspiring Gentleman.!


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