Style

Everyday Carry (EDC): What’s In Your Pocket?

Every Day Carry: What's in Your Pocket?

Forrest Gump's mama always said you can tell a lot about a person by their shoes – where they go, where they've been.

While this is true, I believe the things a man carries with him on a daily basis (EDC) may offer a better summary of his career, personality, and interests.

You can be certain a man with an overstuffed wallet lacks some organization skills.

A key ring packed with thirty customer loyalty cards can give insight into the owner's level of financial discipline.

And the wearer of a rubber sports watch is going to have a very different lifestyle than one with a gold Rolex.

The most important thing for me is to avoid any unnecessary junk and to keep everything well organized. Physical clutter seems to weigh on the mind, especially when it's in the form of swollen pockets.

Benefits of streamlining your EDC

Have you ever misplaced your keys?

I haven't (seriously).

The reason for this is because I only carry the essentials and they fit comfortably in my pocket. I never have to set them on a table, ledge, or counter top.

If your key ring resembles that of a building superintendent, it may be time to think about paring it down.

Tired of forgetting things in the morning?

If you carry the same few items every day, you'll notice instantly when something's missing. Your pocket will just feel wrong. It's important to develop a routine to streamline your morning.

Want to be viewed as someone who's in control of his own life?

Don't be one of those guys who's always running around looking for his phone, wallet, or keys. Bosses typically aren't too keen on handing over important assignments to a scatterbrained employee.

What I carry on a daily basis

While I don't carry every one of these items every day, this is a complete list of the accessories I may have on me when I leave the house. Each is simple, classically designed, and well-maintained.

Watch – I like to stick to a versatile timepiece. This is the only one I own and I can wear it with a suit or on a camping trip. Despite its affordability, its performed flawlessly over the past five years. I'm also able to inexpensively swap out the band, which further adds to this piece's versatility.

alt="edc watch timex"

Wallet – Specifically, a card case. I only keep a few essential cards and a spare $20 with me. If you purchase a bi or tri-fold wallet, you will fill it with junk. Limiting space forces you to decide what's most important. Take advantage of your smartphone to manage all of your customer loyalty programs.

edc wallet

Sunglasses – A year-round necessity. I opt for classic styles and materials.

alt="edc sunglasses"

Keys – When wearing jeans, I like to use a leather key fob, but ditch it when dressing up. I only keep two keys on it since I don't have to drive on a daily basis. All my other keys are kept at my apartment.

alt="edc keys"

Wedding Band – The only ring I wear. Just a clean, simple design made out of titanium.

alt="edc ring"

Bracelet – Adds a little punch of rebellious style and, as an added bonus, can make your arm look more muscular. I like to buy a bracelet in every new city I visit as a souvenier. They're more practical than a snow globe, anyway.

As a man, wearing a bracelet is adventurous enough, so I prefer subtle designs in natural materials (wood, glass, rope, leather) to keep them from looking too flashy.

alt="edc bracelet"

iPhone (no photo necessary) – Modern phones replace so many items it's ridiculous. No need to carry an address book, pen and paper, calculator, camera, or iPod anymore.

Pocket Knife – I don't always carry one, but when I do, I always find a reason to use it. I got this knife with the tip broken off. A little crude filing and a couple passes on the stone and it's good as new. Not to mention it jibes well with my hillbilly DNA.

alt="edc knife"

Back to you

What do you think of my EDC? Is there anything you'd add or remove? Got any tips for reducing pocket clutter? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

All the best,

Nate

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23 Comments

  • Reply
    Damian @ Dareandconquer
    April 21, 2015 at 9:37 am

    Hey man,

    I totally agree with you regarding the wallet. There is no way to carry a big one with lots of pockets. Its a waste of space. Personally i don’t carry wallet, i use my bus card as a wallet:http://bit.ly/1cUvemW. I put in there 1-3 cards and some paper money. It saves space in my pocket.

    Concerning the others i always have in my EDC a watch,keys and a bracelet like you. When i take my sunglasses i always put them in my head and never wear them. Actually i have a difficulty in finding sunglasses that fit my face.It seems like nothing suits me! Nothing. I don’t know why.

    Do you have any idea on how to find a proper pair of sunglasses? It would help a lot.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 21, 2015 at 12:13 pm

      Looks like we’re on the same page with a lot of these items.

      About the sunglasses, I used to think every pair look ridiculous on my because I wasn’t used to wearing them. Check out this video to get you some pointers on face shape. Aviators look good on just about everyone.

      Until you know exactly what sunglasses you like, I wouldn’t buy anything too expensive. I’m not sure what country you’re in, but H&M has good looking glasses for $10.

  • Reply
    Andrew Miles
    April 21, 2015 at 10:38 am

    Currently rocking a Timex Easy-Reader, my wallet, and my keys. My smartphone died a few days back, and I’ve not missed it.

    I have a pocket knife very similar to yours that I keep in my desk drawer – it’s amazing how often I use it.

    I keep my sunglasses in my car, though I have a spare set for if I’m not driving anywhere.

    I like the watch you have a lot – great style, goes with everything.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 21, 2015 at 12:17 pm

      Timex makes a damn fine watch for everyday wear. If you’re looking for something like mine, the link in the post is the closest thing I’ve been able to find that’s currently available.

      That’s awesome that you can go without a smartphone. Do you plan on replacing it?

      • Reply
        Andrew Miles
        April 21, 2015 at 4:56 pm

        I will, as it is a convenience. But I’m trying to figure out in this time which features I actually feel that tinge of annoyance that I don’t have any more, and I’ll base my purchase on what I actually need. As opposed to my previous strategy which was to buy last year’s best phone, regardless of whether or not I needed all that functionality.

        • Reply
          Nate
          April 21, 2015 at 6:20 pm

          I’m with you. I like my smartphone for the convenience and the ability to work on the go rather than the entertainment factor. I don’t even have a single game on my phone. I got the iPhone 5 when it first came out and haven’t looked at another phone since. I’m keeping this thing until it dies.

          Good luck!

  • Reply
    Chase Power
    April 21, 2015 at 3:37 pm

    This is a good list. I really need to buy fucking watch already… But I always carry my wallet, keys, and my leatherman multi tool with me also

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 21, 2015 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks Chase! How do you carry the multi tool? In your pocket or on your belt? I have a leatherman but I don’t think it’d fit in my jeans pocket. If you’re buying an everyday watch, I’d recommend a Timex with a replaceable band like the one I link to in the post.

      • Reply
        Chase Power
        April 21, 2015 at 4:29 pm

        Yeah I have the smaller leatherman, so it can fit in my back pocket but to be honest if I sit on it it hurts my ass cheek lol. So it is a pain to take it out of my pocket sometimes but I like having the leatherman, its worth it to have it on myself at all times.

        Im going to consider the Timex. it looks pretty balling

        • Reply
          Nate
          April 21, 2015 at 6:22 pm

          I can only imagine all the things you can find to do with a multi tool. I never need a knife in daily life, unless I have one on me. In that case, I find a use every 5 minutes, lol.

  • Reply
    Tate
    April 25, 2015 at 9:47 pm

    Nate, excellent choices. Let me get your thoughts on a few things. First, for my cards and money, I carry my cash folded around my 3 cards-credit card, debit card, and license. I notice a lot of people carry stuff in clips or card cases, but this has worked best for me after ditching my huge Costanza wallet.

    Second, that’s an awesome watch. Really digging the Timex watches. I recently just got a weekender for my nephew as a first watch. Currently I’m wearing a Nixon sentry chrono leather. Like their brand for casual watches that you can also rock with a suit.

    Third, as a single gentleman, I will throw in condoms in the mix as well. I’ll usually put this in a coat pocket or in the back pocket in the summer months.

    Finally, do you ever rock a gun? Really slim model great for carrying is the Smith and Wesson Shield. Single stack 9mm. Really great to throw in a IWB holster or in an actual coat pocket without having to get a whole new wardrobe.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 26, 2015 at 1:27 am

      It’s great that you ditched the Costanza wallet. Actually, you went above and beyond and ditch the wallet all together. Is that a front pocket carry?

      Your Nixon Sentry is a really slick watch. I like how the face goes almost all the way to the edges. Have you ever switched out the band for a little variety?

      I don’t carry a gun but I’ll take the Smith and Wesson into consideration if I ever buy one.

      • Reply
        Tate
        April 27, 2015 at 4:45 am

        Yup, front pocket on the right cash and cards, keys on the left.

        Haven’t switched the band out yet. Maybe I’ll get a lighter brown to put in.

        Cheers!

        • Reply
          ChrisH
          December 21, 2016 at 7:44 pm

          Hey Tate,

          I’m debating between the S&W Shield and an Springfield XDS for my concealed. You like the shield? It’s easy to carry?

          Thanks!

          • Nate
            December 28, 2016 at 5:35 pm

            I don’t shoot too often so my handgun experience is pretty limited. I’ve only shot a Glock 22 .40 Cal, a S&W .40 Cal (don’t remember the model), and an older S&W .357 Mag revolver.

  • Reply
    Daniel
    May 9, 2015 at 10:57 pm

    Great list! Thanks for sharing it!

    I never used to wear a watch but, once I decided it would help me be on time more often, I took the plunge and bought a Seiko 5 automatic watch. It was cheap, I love the classic look of it and for some reason, I’m enamored with the fact that it winds itself and doesn’t require a battery. If I skip wearing it for more than a day or two, it will die out from the lack of winding movement, which keeps me in the habit of wearing it every day.

    I’m also with you on the minimalistic wallet. I hate having a large wallet in my pocket!

    Here’s a random question. Where do you keep your iPhone? I keep having problems with my iPhone wearing an iPhone-shaped rectangular light spot in my jeans. Recently, I’ve switched from my front left pocket to my back left pocket while standing.

    Thanks for the great posts!

    • Reply
      Nate
      May 10, 2015 at 5:09 pm

      That Seiko 5 is an excellent looking watch! I don’t think I’ve ever seen an automatic for such a reasonable price before. What type of band do you have it on? I can see it looking good with black or brown leather or maybe some interesting nylon straps.

      I too, am amazed by how the watch winds itself by the swinging of your arm. I’ve never looked into how it actually works so I’m going to chalk it up to magic, lol.

      A Jacket or coat pocket is the best place for it during the colder months. Since it’s usually in the mid 90’s with high humidity during the summer in Chicago, I don’t wear denim at all for almost half the year. But on mild days, I usually keep my iPhone in my left front pocket. It does eventually leave a mark but that’s part of the fun with denim.

      • Reply
        Daniel
        May 13, 2015 at 8:20 pm

        I love my Seiko 5! I just have the original dark green canvas band. I’ve been a little hesitant to order a new band for it because I’m not familiar with how to choose the right band that fits it and I’m not sure how to change the bands. Perhaps that could make for a good how-to post!

  • Reply
    Patrick D
    April 14, 2016 at 4:36 pm

    Typically I carry my Benchmade 940 Damascus blade, my LG V10, a leather bi-fold that is probably filled with too much crap( though I did slim down from my old tri-fold) , a Maratac AAA Copper, and my Glock 19. I need,to get myself a watch but the two I have my sights set on are,both well above my watch budget at $450. I will take a look at the Timex pieces though…

    I really want to try one of the simple money clip/card holders. I have to carry at least 5 cards with me at a minimum so that kinda makes it hard. How well do those card holders hold,up to carrying that many cards?

    LOVE the site by the way. My friend turned me on to it today and I’ve been voraciously reading articles all day.

    • Reply
      Nate
      April 15, 2016 at 2:06 pm

      That’s an impressive kit, Patrick! I’m particularly interested in the knife. I don’t have any experience with Damascus but I hear it’s the best out there. I’ve been using this card case for nearly two years (up to 6 cards plus cash) and it’s holding up perfectly. It’s a steal at only $12. I would stay away from the case with a money clip attached. With those you have to choose between the money clip digging into your butt cheek or turning it around and having it wear through your pocket.

  • Reply
    Ken Rankin
    September 22, 2017 at 11:14 am

    How do you feel about pocket watches? I have a slim one I used to carry quite a bit, but got out of the habit of carrying. I recently changed my chunky wallet for a slim RFID blocking folding one which fits much better in my back pocket, and feels more comfortable when switching to the inside pocket of my coat. I don’t care much for smart phones but I suppose I will have to get with the times with that, and my current EDC knife is an Ontario Knife Company Rat 2. Nice and small but does a great job. I really like your blog, and just followed you on FB!

    • Reply
      Nate
      October 17, 2017 at 10:29 am

      Ken, I have never carried a pocket watch but don’t see anything wrong with it. We seem to have similar taste in compact EDC items so I’d like to suggest the iphone SE if you’re looking for a smart phone. It’s the smallest modern smartphone I’ve come across.

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