What You Always Need With You: The Essentials of Your Everyday Carry

Whether you’ve heard the term or not, I’d bet you have everyday carry. It refers to the items you try to always have with you when you leave home. There are a few things we all keep with us even if we’ve never thought about it. I’m going to give you a few things to think about when developing your everyday carry and a few ideas of what to include. 

Things to Consider

There are really only two factors for what should be in your everyday carry; routine activities and likely emergencies. Routine activities are things you do frequently, like shopping or driving, and likely emergencies are events that are rare but still common serious enough you need to prepare for it. The only limiting factor is practicality. You need to be able to carry it all everyday, hence the term, so it needs to fit in the pockets and/or bags of every outfit you wear without being so heavy as to weigh you down.

What to Carry

What You Already Carry

You probably already carry your wallet, keys, and cellphone and you certainly should. I’m sure you know why you should carry them so I won’t get into that. 

Pocket Knife

The pocket knife is the single best tool to carry with you. It’s useful in a plethora of mundane and survival situations. It can be a tool, a weapon, and even a toy. There a several kinds of pocket knives, each with their own advantages and disadvantages, but I’ll probably get into more detail on these types another day. 

Lighter

Even if you don’t smoke a fire source is always useful. A fire source is often essential in survival situations and it’s never a bad thing to have the ability to light a candle or some such thing. The classic Zippo is probably your best choice but even a cheap disposable will do the job. 

Talisman

This one sounds a little crazy but it really isn’t. I don’t mean some magical artifact, but rather something that’s reminds you of why you do the hard things you do. Anything will do; a picture of your family, a pocket edition of a book that inspired your personal philosophy, a symbol of your religion, or even something that would only have meaning to you. 

Fountain Pen

No matter how electronic our world gets, there will always be a need for writing implements. A fountain pen is by far the nicest, and classiest. There may be times when you’d rather carry a pencil but usually a fountain pen is preferable. 

Pocket Notebook

We all feel the need to take notes from time to time. A cellphone works, but a pocket notebook works better. 

Flashlight

You never know when you’ll need some extra light. Again, a cellphone works but a small flashlight works better. 

Two Handkerchiefs

Handkerchiefs have fallen out of style, mostly because they’re perceived as unsanitary which is blatantly untrue. You need to carry two so you can offer one to a lady should the need arise, other men should be carrying their own. 

My Everyday Carry


I’m stilll in the process of developing my everyday carry, so some of these things are just what I have planned. 

Cellphone in a Wallet Case

I have an iPhone 6S that I usually keep in a wallet case so they become one item to put in my pocket. 

Pocket Knife

My pocket knife is an heirloom quality jack knife. Unfortunately, I didn’t have anyone to give me a knife so I had to buy my own. I hope one day to hand it down to my grandson.

Talisman

My current talisman is a slip of paper with my personal motto written on it. I’m working on forming a charity and honour society that will one day issue medals to its members. On that day I’ll replace my talisman with my medal with no suspension.

Fountain Pen

I carry an antique fountain pen. Judging by the design I’d guess it’s from the 1950s. I went with an antique pen because it’s cheaper and has more character than a new pen. 

Two Cotton Handkerchiefs

Keys

Flashlight

At some point I plan to get a small tactical flashlight. 

Lighter

I’m hoping to find a nice Zippo at some point. Right now I have an antique one but I don’t carry it because the fuel seems to evaporate out of it. 

Pocket Notebook

My plan for a pocket notebook is one with a soft cover and elastic closure, preferably unruled. 

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