Everyday carry has never been hotter, but most of the attention goes on cool items like knives, multitools, knives, smartphones, knives, wallets, and knives. Knives are great and all, but here are some less flashy items that are more useful (but often overlooked).
A Good Pen: Fisher Bullet Space Pen ($19)
The pen is mightier than the knife. Or at least, you probably need to use one more often. Why use a crappy Bic ballpoint when you could have something better?
Our favorite EDC pen is the Fisher Bullet Space Pen ($19). It’s short enough to fit in your pocket but full sized when you put the lid on, made of super high-quality materials, capable of writing anywhere (even underwater or in space), on anything, and shockingly affordable. It’s even on display in the Museum of Modern Art in New York as an example of exceptional American industrial design.
A Locking Carabiner: Gold Lion Gear Aluminium Carabiner ($9 for 5)
Keychain tools are pretty sweet—I carry two with me at all times, the Gerber Shard and Leatherman Style PS—but what isn’t sweet is taking them off your keyring, or even worse, trying to use them while they’re still attached. If you’re still rocking a split ring, you seriously need to upgrade.
My go-to is simple: a locking carabiner like these ones ($9 for five). Not only are your keys and tools secure and easily accessible, but a carabiner is always useful to have. I can’t count the number I’ve times I’ve used it to attach my dog to a lamp post while I run into a shop or hang something onto my belt.
A Good Torch: ThruNite Ti3 EDC ($14)
The flashlight on your phone is serviceable, but if you actually need a light source, it won’t last. A small keychain flashlight (link please Jason!) is a great addition to your EDC kit because you can use it for hours without draining your phone’s (more important) battery.
We love the ThruNite Ti3 EDC because it’s tiny, takes a single AAA battery, and can output 120 lumens for 30 mins, 12 lumens for six hours, or 0.04 lumens for 115 hours. It also helps that it costs just $14. If you want an upgrade pick, Prometheus Lights’ Beta QRv2 is incredible but four times the price. Want to check out more of our top keychain flashlight picks? Take a peek at the full roundup here.
Safety Pins: Singer Assorted Safety Pins ($3)
Gaffer tape and paracord get all the press but, unless you’re regularly building a raft or a rockstar’s roadie, you’ll probably be able to fix most things on a day to day basis with a humble safety pin. I know I’ve lost a button or wanted to pin a zip a lot more often than build a seaworthy craft.
Safety pins are so small and useful that the only downside to tossing a few in your wallet is that you might occasionally prick yourself. Any safety pins will do. You can pick them up super cheap, like this box of 50 different sizes for $3 on Amazon.
A Water Bottle: CamelBak Chute 1L
Single-use plastics are choking up the oceans (and everything that lives in them). It’s easy enough to cut down on waste by switching to a reusable water bottle. We’d recommend the CamelBak Chute 1L water bottle ($13.99).
In all honesty, you’re probably not drinking enough water. Carrying a bottle with you every day means you always have it handy and you’re reminded to drink by the very presence of the thing stuffed in your bag. There’s nothing worse than having to go on the hunt when you get thirsty and you’re out doing stuff. The CamelBak Chute 1L bottle is a perfect fit for a daily carry bottle. It’s made from durable plastic, holds enough water to keep your thirst quenched without weighing you down, and has a lifetime guarantee.
Sunscreen: 50 SPF Mountain Falls Sport Sunscreen ($5)
Skin cancer is by far the most common of all cancers and, although it’s generally treatable if recognized early, it’s always a good idea to do what you can to reduce your risk of getting it by, say, wearing sunscreen when you’re out in the sun.
The big secret to effective sunscreening isn’t the one you buy, it’s making sure you reapply it regularly. Amazon’s own 50 SPF Mountain Falls Sport Sunscreen has broad-spectrum coverage, comes in a handy 8 oz. bottle and, at $5, is cheap enough that you can stash a couple around the place and not worry if you lose one. Truly, there’s no better feeling than realizing you’re at an event where you would have ended up with a wicked sunburn, but avoiding it because you’ve gone some sunscreen stashed in your bag.
Is there anything in your EDC kit that you think everyone forgets? Let us know in the comments.