What is EDC? A Critical Glance

The EDC hobby has gone mainstream in the last few years, and for newcomers it can be a confusing question: What exactly is EDC or everyday carry? On a literal basis, as the name would imply, EDC consists of the stuff that you carry with you everyday. Most people have an EDC even if they don’t know it; for example, the modern EDC is predicated on a trifecta: Phone, wallet, and keys. EDCs have been a thing since the inception of man, yet we’ve neglected to give it a name until the last few decades.

But EDC is so much more than just the stuff you carry everyday. For many people, it’s a form of individual expression. A person’s EDC can say a lot about them – it’s an extension of who they are. No two persons’ EDCs are the same, and much of the hobby’s fun lies not only with curating your own EDC, but also checking out others’. A well-used watch that’s been passed down through the family, or a memento kept for sentimental reasons are both good examples.

Fundamentally, EDC is also a form of preparation – being able to have control over the things that happen in our life, on no matter how small a level, is reassuring. So to a lesser extent, you could even say EDC is a form of security. This, at least, is the purist interpretation. And yes, there are “purists” like there is with pretty much any other hobby. As a hobby expands and goes mainstream, naturally its framework is equivocated to some extent. And to this effect, the modern EDC hobby is dominated by clout-chasing.

Perhaps you’ve seen some pocket dumps online. Now if I had just one word to describe many of them, it would be “bullshit”. Most of these dumps prioritize aesthetic appeal over practical use. And likewise, being able to purchase the latest and greatest knife or flashlight is a statement, it’s low-hanging fruit in terms of flexing your income. Many manufacturers have shifted to using fancy materials and to abusing limited editions to sate the aforementioned demand. And all this is ignoring the other dumps I’ve seen that look like they came out of enough pockets for several pants!

Such is what the EDC hobby has come to, and while some of my viewpoints might come off as cynical, I do believe there is a lot of truth to them. That being said, it doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate a good-looking pocket dump: An apt description for many of the pieces I see nowadays would be “functional art”. And although the hobby’s purpose has strayed somewhat, don’t let it distract you from the fact that there’s very few hobbies as practical as this one.

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