Carry Smarter

Having a great everyday carry isn't just about the gear, but how you use it. Our Carry Smarter tips, guides, and tutorials help teach you how to take your carry to the next level.

9 Lip Balm Survival Hacks

While browsing the site, you may have noticed that Chapstick (and many other brands of lip balms) pop up in quite a few EDCs. The obvious reason being that it prevents chapped lips, sure. But you might be surprised to learn it's capable of much more—especially in a survival situation. While the all-natural stuff may be the best for your lips, throwing a stick or two of the oil-based kind in your EDC bag can get you out of a few jams. In this guide, you'll learn 9 different ways to turn your ordinary lip balm into an unexpected survival tool.

6 New Year's Resolutions for a Better Everyday Carry

With a new year upon us, it's always a good idea to take a step back, empty our pockets, and take inventory of our everyday carry.

Hopefully you've gotten your EDC to a point where it kept you prepared through the past year, but that doesn't mean there isn't room for improvement.

Taking a good look at what, how, and why we carry what we do and how it helps us—and more importantly, looking at the areas where it doesn't or can't—lets us build an even better EDC.

To do that, you might need to make a few changes, so we've made a list of “EDC resolutions” worth giving a shot this year.

Try them out, shake up your EDC, and who knows—your new setup just might prepare you for an awesome new year.

What's the Best Watch Strap for EDC?

So you’ve finally got your hands on the perfect EDC watch… But as much as you love it, rocking the same look and feel every single day is starting to feel a little boring. The solution is surprisingly simple. All it takes is a new strap to shake up the look, feel, and function of your favorite timepiece. In this guide, we break down the different types of watch straps to help you decide which one is right for you and your daily activities.

How to Carry a Fisher Space Pen 8 Different Ways

If we had to pick just one pen for EDC, we’d probably go with the Fisher Space Pen. It’s the most popular and most carried pen among Everyday Carry members for a reason: it’s compact, affordable, durable, and it writes anywhere.

However, the almighty Space Pen isn't perfect. One paradoxical drawback to a pen this portable is it might actually be harder to carry. It's not a traditionally sized pen, after all. But that short size lets it sneak its way into a bunch of different carry options. 

Today, we'll be looking at a few of those setups—many of which were picked up from our very own community. Kudos to all of you EDCers out there doing your best to Carry Smarter.

What's the Best Ink Refill for an Everyday Carry Pen?

So you've finally upgraded to a machined pen for your everyday carry. It's built like a tank and handles like a dream. Now, the next step to having an awesome writing experience in your day to day is finding the right refill to put in it.

Machined pen makers, especially on Kickstarter, love bragging about how many different refills their pens can accommodate. While the Fisher Space Pen and Pilot G2 refills are the most popular, there are hundreds more to choose from (yes, really).  

Since you can only use one refill at a time, I'll help you find your go-to with this guide by comparing the three types of ink refills and recommending the best ones to pair with your favorite EDC pen.

What's the Best Material for an EDC Wallet?

In the everyday carry scene, you hear the phrase “form follows function” thrown around a lot. But one part of the equation doesn't get the attention it deserves, especially when it comes to wallets: materials.

If you think about wallets as much as I do (and I hope you don't, because that would be kinda sad), you'd realize the material of choice becomes a huge factor in shaping the design of the wallet.

Traditionally, most wallets are made of leather. The growing popularity of minimalist EDC wallets gave rise to non-leather options like elastic wallets and even metal ones. Of course, other types of wallets exist: duct tape, Tyvek (like those crazy durable envelopes), sailcloth, and firehose, just to name a few.

Leather, elastic, and metal are the big three wallet materials I'm going to look at today and want to hear your opinion about. Ultimately, this will all help you narrow your search for the perfect wallet to slip into your front pocket.

What's Better for EDC? Plain vs Serrated vs Combo Knives

When choosing the best pocket knife for your everyday carry, one of the decisions you'll need to make is what type of blade edge you should choose.

The common recommendation is to go with a plain edge (for reasons we'll get into later), but you might notice two other types of edges: serrated and combo edges. Instead of an unbroken edge on the blade, these two alternatives add some “teeth” to the knife.

You may not have needed serrations on your knife before, or don't know enough about them to add them to your kit. In our last guide for custom-designed knives for everyday carry, one reader asked: “Why don't you guys ever feature serrated knives?”

Well today we will, and our goal is to compare each type of edge in the context of EDC tasks so you can make the right choice when picking one.

An Intro to MOLLE, PALS, and Your Everyday Carry

You've seen it everywhere—a nylon grid on the exterior of tactical packs and equipment. Most people use it to attach extra carabiners, keychains, or suspend additional gear on. Maybe you're wondering: where did this design come from, and what is it really used for? Read on to learn more about how this military system was created and how it can help you improve your everyday carry.

The Beginner's Guide to Everyday Carry Watches

In this installment of Carry Smarter, we'll explain everything you need to know about watches to make sure you're getting your hard-earned dollar's worth when you invest in your next timepiece. Don't worry, we're not getting into overly technical nuances of gaskets and springs here.

By the end of the guide, you'll know what those buzz words in the watch world really mean, so you can find the right watch for your everyday carry.

5 Tips for Your Next Weekend Camping Trip

If you're new to camping or don't do it as much as you'd like, it can be intimidating to get set up properly. So grab your gear, and we'll cover the rest. Here are a few things you'll want to keep in mind before you go camping that'll really save you some headache and stress.

10 Maintenance Tips to Keep Your EDC Going Strong

Even the most dependable gear wears down over time. Luckily, there's something you can do about it. By following a regular maintenance routine, you’ll keep your EDC in working order and get the most out of your gear. To put it simply: take care of your EDC, and it’ll take care of you.

In this guide, we’ve made maintenance easy. Read on to learn how to keep your gear in tip-top shape for the long run.

What Is RFID and Why Should I Carry an RFID-Blocking Wallet?

If you’ve ever shopped around for a new wallet to EDC, you might’ve noticed plenty of wallets out there boast RFID-blocking technology as one of their main selling points. In case you’re still not quite sure just what RFID is exactly, we’re here to fill you in. After all, your wallet is a very personal part of your gear. Before settling on something to stick with you for years, make sure you know what you’re getting into—especially if keeping your cards and personal information secure is important to you. Let’s break it down:

5 Tips to Gear Up in Style This Winter

Winter is coming. You’ve probably already noticed the sun setting way too early, how much harder it is to get out of bed in the morning, and the air getting too cold to head out without a proper jacket. For us EDCers at least, having to wear a jacket has a silver lining — more pocket space! But with the changing demands of the colder conditions creeping in, you’ll have to think carefully not just about how you dress, but also how you EDC. In this guide, we’ll break down some tips and recommendations to keep in mind to help you get your winter setup down cold.

How to Take Better EDC Photos in 7 Easy Steps

So you’ve finally put together an EDC you’re proud of. Your bases are covered, you’ve found your favorite gear, and now you’re ready to share it with the world. All that’s left is taking a photo that does your carry justice. If you’ve tried and every attempt ends up looking like this somehow, this guide should help. You might want to chalk it up to just having a bad camera, but with a few easy tips, you can drastically improve the quality of your photos with the equipment you already have on hand.

10 Non-Locking EDC Knives to Carry (Almost) Anywhere

We know some of you might feel left out when every promising knife out there seems to have a lock on it. Luckily, we’ve found some capable blades you can carry in even the most restrictive areas, or if you just want a simpler everyday knife. By the end of this Carry Smarter guide, you should have a better understanding of why some EDCers opt for non-locking knives, what to look for when choosing one, and ideas to start your search with our top 10 picks for EDC blades that are legal to carry practically anywhere.

The Beginner's Guide to EDC Flashlights

In this Carry Smarter guide, we shine some light on an essential but nevertheless poorly understood tool: the flashlight. We’ll explain torches and how they work piece by piece, and fill you in on how each component and feature can work for you. By the end of this tutorial, you’ll be able to read a product page or spec sheet and speak the language like a true flashaholic.