Every day carry (or EDC for those in-the-know) is a new art/science/hobby that is sweeping the Web. Overcome with frustration regarding their overburdened pockets, a handful of innovators decided to publish how (and why) they pared down their belongings to a handful of essentials. Now, being economical with pocket space is a veritable craze, and EDC-ers are looking high and low for the most efficient, lightweight, useful products available.
However, most adamant EDC-ers are male — which actually makes perfect sense. The male purse is not widely accepted in most Western cultures, which puts men’s pocket space at a premium. In contrast, women have the luxury of carrying massive bags, many of which are capable of storing absurd amounts of “necessities”: books, spare shoes, sewing gear, bags of chips, free weights, kitchen sinks, bricks, and who knows what else. Still, the size of purses are becoming untenable for many women.
First: Finding the Proper Purse
Most ladies are well-aware of the supreme difficulty of finding a handbag that has a Goldilocks fit. Purses are arguably the worst gift because every woman has distinct expectations for an everyday bag. My mother has bought me no fewer than a dozen purses, none of which quite fit the bill (an understatement, considering the first was a backpack and the second was a fanny pack).
Your EDC purse should be compact — probably smaller and slimmer than your current bag — but with enough pockets and folds to keep your basics necessities perfectly organized while you run around town.
While you may be tempted to get a huge bag that will fit everything but the kitchen sink, resist the urge! I absolutely love my Baggallini Alfa Laptop Bag because it fits everything from diapers, wipes, extra baby clothes and food to wallet, feminine hygiene products, keys, granola bars, my tablet and more. I love that it fits everything, but I am not eager to drag it into the grocery store with me. This is where an “EDC” bag comes in.
My everyday bag has customized holders for my essential tech (smartphone, e-reader, chargers, etc). Having a handbag with lots of separate compartments is important if you don’t want any e-juice to leak all over the rest of your purse’s other contents. If you need a vaporizer or e-cigarettes with you at all times, you will obviously want to store that away from the rest of the contents in your purse.
To find out what size bag you really need, I suggest you evaluate which of the following items are absolute necessities for you, and then you can take them purse-hunting with you to find the bag of your dreams.
Without further ado, here are the most essential items a woman needs in her day-to-day bag — and everything else can just stay at home.
Cash and Cards
It is nonsensical to go anywhere in the modern world without reliable forms of payment; however, that doesn’t mean you need to tote all seven of your bank cards with you everywhere you go. To avoid lugging around a fat wallet, you can use a slim money clip for your ID, credit card, and about $20 in cash.
Smartphone and Other Tech
Your phone will help you out of all sorts of life-or-death situations, and most people need other forms of tech (like e-cigs or laptops) to survive their everyday lives. Still, you should try to limit your tech to the bare minimum, and whenever possible, opt for lightweight, travel-friendly forms, like tablet computers.
Notebook and Pen
You have dozens of brilliant ideas every day — you just don’t remember them. With some paper and the writing implement of your choosing, you can compile all your great thoughts (and throw out the not-so-great ones pretty easily). Your notebook doesn’t have to be huge or high-quality; a hefty pad of sticky notes should do the trick.
These may sound frivolous — you spend at least 10 minutes on your hair every morning anyway — but there are always days when you need to change your hairstyle to deal with the tasks at hand. Hair ties and clips don’t take up much room, anyway.
I won’t dwell on this one. Suffice it to say that you need at least two backups in your bag at all times.
What you need for first aid will depend entirely on your regular needs; most ladies probably don’t need more than a few bandages and painkillers for wound care. If you lead an active lifestyle, you might want to throw in some antibiotic ointment and gauze. The important thing is what you leave out of your EDC first aid kit, namely anything to do with nail maintenance and cuticle care.
Matches or Lighter
You never know when you’ll need fire in an emergency — it could be at your nephew’s birthday party next week, or it could be when you are stranded in the wilderness in the dead of winter. It is best to be prepared with fire-starters of some kind.