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Everyone has their own personal needs. But there are some everyday carry items that every man could stand to keep on hand. Here are 9 EDC items we consider essential.


In today’s modern world, your cell phone is your lifeline. With your cell phone, you can:

  • Call for help in an emergency
  • Let your loved ones know where you are
  • Discover your location if you’re lost
  • Answer important work emails on the fly

Of course, you may already be in the habit of carrying your cell phone on you at all times. But to truly consider this part of your essentials, you should also ensure that you’re protecting your phone with a durable phone case. 

Four smartphones in durable leather cases


Your keys are another item you probably keep on your daily without thinking about it. However, to maximize the good your keys do you, be sure to remove old keys from your keychain. This helps you find the key you’re looking for as quickly as possible. 

Your keychain is also a great place to hook some items that don’t have a natural place to go. For example, there are keychain screwdrivers so that you always have a small Phillips head and flathead screwdriver on hand or a flashlight keyring. 


Your wallet is one essential item you don’t want to be without. Be prepared by keeping your wallet stocked, at all times, with: 

  • A form of ID
  • Your medical insurance card
  • A laminated list of your current medications
  • A laminated card with your emergency contacts’ numbers listed
  • A credit card
  • A few cash dollars

But while it’s important to be prepared, there are also a number of items you should not keep in your wallet. This includes your social security card and birth certificate, both of which can make it easy for people to steal your identity if your wallet gets lost. For the same reason, you should also refrain from storing any passwords or spare keys in your wallet. 


Keeping cash on hand is so important we wanted to be sure to list it separately from your wallet. Today, many people rely exclusively on debit and credit cards to get by. However, there are circumstances when cash is much more reliable than your cards. This includes: 

  • When you need to tip someone in person
  • If your car breaks down and you need to pay a tow truck
  • If you go to a cash-only market or shop
  • When you drive through a toll booth

By keeping a little bit of cash on hand as a rule, you’ll never find yourself scrounging for an ATM at the last minute. 


When people started carrying their cell phones everywhere, wristwatch use went downhill. By 2011, 60% of people between the ages of 16-34 used their phones, rather than watches, as their primary way to check the time. But traditional watches are far from obsolete, and mechanical watches have made a comeback in recent years. 

There are a number of reasons traditional wristwatches trump cellphones when it comes to telling the time. For one thing, cell phones have been known to die at inopportune moments. Even if you keep your charger on you, as we recommend, you may find yourself unable to plug your phone in for a period of time. Having a timepiece on your wrist ensures you never lose track of time. 

It’s also easier to check your watch than check your phone at times. In a meeting, for example, or when out with friends, checking your phone could be seen as incredibly rude. It’s much easier to surreptitiously glance at your watch than to turn on a phone without being noticed. Unlike many other items, your watch seconds as a fashion accessory, so it’s important to ensure it matches your style. 


Carrying a reusable water bottle is good for both your health and the environment. 

When you carry a water bottle, you are more likely to actually drink water throughout the day. This is good, because while you can get some water from the foods you eat or sugary drinks like soda, it’s rarely enough to stay hydrated. In addition to preventing dehydration, drinking enough water has been shown to affect your mood, your joint health, and your temperature, among other things. 

Single-use plastic bottles generally wind up in landfills — less than 10% of plastic water bottles discarded actually made it into recycling — and are usually made of PET (polyterephthlate) plastic, which has been shown to leech antimony into drinking water. In comparison, reusable water bottles are cheaper, better for the environment, and better for your health, all while encouraging you to stay hydrated. 

Bonus Item: KNIFE

Keeping a knife on hand is incredibly useful for every man. Knives don’t just come up in emergencies, either. Once you start carrying a knife every day, you’ll be surprised by how often you pull it out to cut open packages, remove tags from new clothes, cut zip ties, and more. 

The best everyday carry knife folds in on itself for safety and has a high-quality handle and blade. Remember to keep your knife sharp. Dull knives are more dangerous than sharp knives because when your knife is dull, you have to press harder to use it, and it’s easy to lose control of your cuts. 


Although we stand by these essential items for every man, there’s a chance that your lifestyle necessitates other items. For example, if you run your own business, keeping a few business cards in your wallet may be an everyday essential for you. And if you have frequent migraines, it may be essential for you to have some migraine pills on hand. 

When cultivating your personal items, focus on the items most likely to have a positive impact on your life on a regular basis. Choose a few staple items that are thin enough to hook onto your belt or slide into your pocket. If you do need larger items — such as a laptop — consider investing in an everyday carry bag that you can grab as you’re walking out the door instead of trying to cram everything onto your person. 


The most important part is to prepare yourself for whatever life throws at you. By putting a little effort into cultivating a well-thought-out collection of everyday carry items, you can reduce your stress levels when things don’t go your way and increase your ability to respond to situations as they happen. 

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