Everyday Carry or You Can’t Take It With You

I watched with interest as my husband readied himself for work the other day. After getting dressed, he assembled a pile of things to bring with him. Mark has always liked to carry what he terms “essentials,” but this seemed like more essentials than usual. 

“What are you doing with all that stuff?” I finally asked.       

“It’s my everyday carry,” he explained.  

“What on earth is your everyday carry?”

With a faintly knowing smile, Mark explained. “Everyday carry are the things you should carry with you wherever you go, every single day. The absolute basics are a flashlight, a utility tool, a knife, a pen, a notebook and a watch.”      

“You’ve always carried all of those things except for the pen and the notebook. Why would you want to start carrying a pen and a notebook now?”      

“Because” Mark said as he neatly tucked a pocket-sized can opener in his backpack, “you never know when you’ll need to write something down. There’s a guy on You Tube who puts up EDC—that stands for Everyday Carry—videos and he recommends getting an all-weather pen just in case you need to jot a note during a tornado or a blizzard. I think that’s what I want for my birthday.”     

Heaven forbid I rain on his parade, but as far as I know the last thing Mark wrote down was a three-item shopping list back around 2020. It consisted of “Beer, chips, dental floss.” The man has his priorities in order.      

“What else does Mr. Everyday Carry consider essential?”     

“Bourbon and cigars,” Mark promptly responded. “My kind of guy.”     


I found it fascinating that there was a You Tube channel solely dedicated to what a person should carry, so I had to check it out myself. There were a lot of items on his list, most pertaining to potential disasters such as imminent homelessness (a tent that folds up to about the size of a Frisbee), floods (a one-time emergency raincoat) and knives in every color of the rainbow. Mr. Everyday Carry is big on color coordination.  

Mr. EDC also strongly recommends having a length of nylon rope on your person at all times but instead of carrying it, he has his rope woven it into a stylish bracelet. Who knew a fashion statement could also be a potential lifeline if you happen to come across someone dangling over the edge of a ravine?     

“Just a moment! Let me unweave my bracelet and I’ll have you out of there in a jiffy!”     

The You Tuber Mark watches isn’t the only one out there. After scrolling through a few of the other EDCer’s videos I noticed they all shared one dominant character trait: paranoia. Or perhaps an extremely heightened sense of awareness of the possibility of a catastrophe striking at any moment might be a better way to put it. I’m not sure where these guys live but they all seem to have the same basic belief that they’re going to run into either a rabid grizzly bear or a crack gang every time they step out of the house.     

I also find it fascinating that these men are doing what women have always done, although with a lot less fuss and, let’s be honest, dramatics. For centuries women have been carrying EDCs from the time they were old enough to stuff a Kleenex into a toy purse. Of course, what women deem essential and what men do are lightyears apart.     

I checked and You Tube does have videos about what women should put in their purses, videos that got a lot more hits than the EDC videos, which surprised me. All the women I know have never wondered what they should carry; they just load up their purses every day and get on with it.   

Just for fun I looked into my own purse and found my cell phone, a falling apart at the seam’s makeup bag containing Chapstick, a comb and a mirror, and half a roll of breath mints along with receipts from the last 20 stores I shopped at. Clearly if I run into a rabid grizzly bear or a crack gang I am in BIG trouble unless the bear or the gang has chapped lips and bad breath. Or wants to borrow my cell phone, which under those circumstances would be A-OK with me. 


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