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20 EDC Essentials Every Gentleman Needs

20 EDC Essentials Every Gentleman Needs

Whether you’re new to the concept of “everyday carry” or if you consider yourself a seasoned veteran, there’s always value in checking out what someone else carries around with them.

To give you some ideas, here’s a list of EDC essentials from Andar that we think every gentleman needs in his life. 

What’s the Story Behind EDC?

While the term “everyday carry” was borne out of a small group of outdoor enthusiasts, it quickly blossomed into a mainstream movement that today includes gentlemen with all types of interests. Referred to as both a philosophy and a mindset, EDC is so popular as to have its own subreddit with 375,000 members! 

The reasoning behind EDC is the idea of preparedness at all times. While what this means varies from person to person, there are many items that are essentials that should be carried around whenever possible. 

Here are some of the items that we think fit this category quite nicely:

Our Top 20 EDC Essentials

No two people have the same exact EDC. What we carry around with us varies with our needs, which can change as often as every time we leave the house. 

That said, there are three essentials that we carry with us absolutely everywhere. These are:

1. Phone

We definitely don’t need our phones to walk the dog or to take out the trash. But for some reason, having our phones on us makes these experiences a lot more fun. For this reason, we rarely ever leave the house without it. Leaving the house without our phone makes us feel naked, just like how our phone feels without its protective case.

2. Wallet

While digital payments are accepted almost everywhere, there are a few cases where you’ll need your credit cards. For instance, many bars and restaurants have yet to update their payment systems. And if you’re renting a car, a credit card must be present.

Even if you’re not the type to carry around dozens of credit cards, a minimalist wallet is a must-have in your EDC. 

3. Keys

We’re sure that pretty soon, our house and car doors will be opened with some kind of facial recognition software. Until then, we’ll be carrying around a good ol’ set of keys and an (optional) tether keychain

If you never considered these three essentials as a sort of holy trinity, here’s a fun tribute to remind you of their importance.

4. Cash

Even with high digitization, cash is still an essential in many cases. If you want to tip your waiter, for instance, cash is absolutely the best way to do it. And if you’re tipping a valet, then a credit card isn’t even an option.

And, of course, if you want to drop a few bills on a counter and walk away after saying “Keep the change,” then you’ll need to keep some cash on hand.

5. Business Card Case

You might think that carrying around business cards is old-fashioned, but it’s the best way to pass around your contact information in fleeting moments. Avoid damaging them by keeping them in a sleek, hard case. 

6. Luxury Pen

It seems like every time you need to write something, there’s no pen to be found anywhere. Whether you’re creating a shipping label at the post office, filling out a customs form on an airline, or just doodling during a boring work meeting, a pen is a must-have utensil.

Make it a joy to carry around by investing in a high-quality one. 

7. Notebook

You may not consider yourself to be a novelist, but a notebook has several other practical uses. You can make to-do lists, create a meal plan, journal, and even sketch in it. If used the right way, a notebook can become your best friend in moments of calm and stress alike. 

8. Reading Device

If you’ve ever set a reading challenge for yourself, then you know the importance of reading during those in-between moments where you have five minutes of free time and nothing else to do.

To make sure you’re never caught without something to read, a reading device is a lightweight option that can store thousands of books. 

9. Or a Physical Book

Let’s admit it: Reading a physical book just feels better. Whether it’s due to lack of eye strain, the ability to quickly go back to previous pages, or just the tactile experience of touching paper, it makes complete sense to prefer them to the digital thing.

For this reason, an engaging book (or two) makes for an essential carry item. 

10. Laptop

With work-from-home becoming the norm, you never know when you’ll have a few spare moments to get some work done. These days, laptops and their cases are fairly lightweight and can fit into the smallest of bags that you carry around with you. 

11. Headphones

Have you ever had someone send you a funny video in public only to realize that you left your headphones at home? Besides such moments, headphones are great for blocking out noise. This can be especially important if you’re trying to get some reading done. Carry them around with you everywhere you go in a sleek case

12. Multi-Tool Knife

Part of a longstanding tradition, the multi-tool knife has landed on almost everyone’s list of everyday carry essentials. We’ll leave whether you choose to do that to your best judgment (and local rulings). However, when it comes to multi-purpose knives, the functions go beyond self-defense.

Tools like scissors, bottle openers, and screwdrivers fit neatly into the knife’s many compartments and make for an incredibly useful item to have on you. 

13. Wristwatch

Besides being somewhat of a status symbol, a wristwatch is a must for any gentleman. While our phones are with us at all times, it’s still rude to check your phone when you’re in the middle of talking to someone. This is especially true if you’re in a meeting or on a date.

Avoid having to reach for your phone by investing in an Apple watch with a unique band (function plus style equals success). 

14. Lip Balm

No gentleman wants to be caught with dry, cracked lips. The best solution to this is prevention. To make sure your lips don’t get dry, carry a lip balm with you everywhere you go. 

15. Breath Mints

Having breath mints is important, especially if you’re drinking coffee. But even without that, breath mints are a must anytime you plan to be in close quarters with other people. 

16. Stain Remover

Accidentally staining clothes is something that happens to the best of us. But if you’re away from home, walking around with a coffee stain on your shirt is not something you want to do. For this reason, a to-go stain remover (usually the size of a pen) is a useful thing to have with you. 

17. Sunglasses

Sunglasses make you look super cool. Plus, they prevent you from squinting when you’re outside—which is another way they make you look cool. 

18. Umbrella

Weather can be seriously unpredictable, which is bad news for owners of leather accessories. Don’t get caught by surprise, and carry an umbrella around with you whenever you can. These days, umbrellas can come in mini sizes, which makes them a breeze to carry.

19. Reusable Water Bottle

Are you getting your recommended water intake? If not, then a water bottle is something you should have with you so you can stay hydrated all throughout the day.

20. Hand Lotion

With all the hand-washing we’ve been doing lately, we’ve been noticing much drier hands—not something that feels good for us or the people we’re shaking hands with. Keep a small tube of hand lotion with you to replenish moisture after washing your hands. 

How Am I Supposed to Carry All This?

If you’re inspired to bring a few more things along with you during your daily outings, then you might be realizing that your pockets can’t accommodate half of these EDC essentials. 

While carrying around extra items wasn’t an issue for our fathers and grandfathers—thanks to the mighty briefcase that went everywhere with them—things are a little different today. Fortunately, there are other ways to store your EDC.

We’re big fans of leather backpacks because of their versatility. Since leather is a timeless material, a leather backpack won’t look out of place anywhere while being sturdy enough to be packed with everything you might need for the day.

Another option is to use your backpack to carry your EDC. If you have a few small items you’d like to carry in addition to your laptop, you can easily fit them all together in the case.

And, of course, when nothing else will do, your pockets should be able to accommodate a surprising number of our favorite EDC items. 

Don’t Get Caught By Surprise

There’s no better feeling than having someone ask you for something (a pen, for instance) and reaching into your bag to save the day. Don’t let life catch you by surprise by making sure to carry those things you absolutely need whenever you leave home. 


Our Sources:

Multitools Make the Man | The New York Times 

How Many Books Should One Read in a Year? | Medium  

E-Readers and Visual Fatigue | PLOS One