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.

The Beginner's Guide to EDC Knife Blade Steels

Your EDC knife is only as good as the steel in its blade. A knife made of good steel will be sharp, stay sharp, and won't break on you. On the other hand, knives made of dubious steel are unreliable and downright unsafe. They tend to dull easily and end up chipping and breaking when you need them most. There's a lot of blade steels to pick from, and each has its own set of advantages to consider for your EDC. In this guide, we'll go over what to look out for in a steel before buying your next blade. To make things even easier, we'll give a few examples of our favorite knives made of each type of steel.

An Introduction to EDC Fidget Spinners and Toys

You’re probably used to seeing a knife, flashlight, multitool, and wallet in any given pocket dump. Lately, you may have seen EDCs with a little gadget that sort of looks like a tool, but you can't quite figure out what it's for. Chances are, it isn't a tool at all. It's a toy. A fidget toy, to be precise. And while the concept isn't new, it's making a comeback thanks to a few recently released toys that are all the rage in the EDC scene right now. If you're feeling a bit confused by now, we don't blame you. In this piece, we'll shed some light on why so many EDCers are pocketing toys (yes, they can be useful!), some of the popular items to fidget with, and how they all work.

Everything You Need to Know About Pocket Clips

When looking for the perfect gear, sometimes it's not all about the specs. It can be something as seemingly simple as the pocket clip. A pocket clip could make or break how you carry your gear, and there are a few good reasons why.

A good clip makes retrieving your gear easier, saving you time by keeping things securely within reach. A bad clip on a great tool could make you stop carrying it altogether. It slows you down and makes the tool inconvenient to carry, and an inconvenient tool is an unused one.

The 10 Best Affordable Dive Watches of 2017

Whether you’re just diving into a huge workload at your desk, or actually spending some time deep underwater, one thing is clear — a dive watch would be great to have on your wrist. You don’t need to be a diver to appreciate these high-performing, beautifully designed, and undoubtedly utilitarian timepieces for everyday use. In this Carry Smarter guide, you’ll get familiar with the basics of dive watches, what features to look for when buying a diver, and our picks for the best and most affordable options for 2017 to help you take the plunge into the world of dive watches.

What's Better for EDC?: Minimalism or Redundancy

When it comes to everyday carry, there's no “one size fits all” approach. It holds true especially for one important question: just how much is too much? You might not have given it much thought, but you probably already have some idea of your preferences. Maybe you hate the feeling of too much stuff in your pockets and you like to travel light. Or you wouldn't step one foot out the door unless you had a few backups on you. You know, just in case. Each style has its merits, of course, and today we're going to take a more in-depth look at them to help you figure out which approach is best for your needs.

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.