The NutSac Guide to Minimal Everyday Carry
There’s a whole range of everyday carry styles — from heavy duty practical gear to a tech-centric professional kit that you’ll take to the office and everything in between.
No matter which style you prefer, though, there’s always an opportunity to refine your EDC gear into a minimalist kit.
Just what does a minimal everyday carry setup look like? It prioritizes three things: Elegant and lightweight designs, multi-function tools, and buy-it-for-life durability.
And for the purpose of this guide, we’re limiting our selections to everything that you could put into a “pocket dump” bag — one like our Man-Bag, Dammit, Admin Pouch, or Double Admin. So without further ado, here are the essentials for a minimal everyday carry loadout.
The Basics: Wallet and Phone
Being able to carry your cards and cash has to be the basis of almost every EDC kit — and the same is true for your smartphone, with its huge array of functions necessary for everyday life.
Your phone choice is a deeply personal one, so we’ll leave that up to you.
But minimalist wallets are all the rage right now, and there’s no shortage of styles and materials to choose from. We prefer the heritage leather look and feel of our Slim Wallet (as well as its time-tested reliability), but there are also metal cardholder options from brands like Ekster and The Ridge.
A Bladed Multi-Tool
When you’re looking to minimize the weight and bulk of your tools while maximizing utility, a multi-tool is a must. Once again, there’s no shortage of options here — with everything from the classic and affordable Swiss Army Knife to high-tech tools from Leatherman and Gerber.
In our experience, it doesn’t get much better than the Leatherman Skeletool for minimal everyday carry. It’s designed to pack maximum versatility into the lightest weight tool possible, all while retaining the core features of a multi-use blade, pliers, and a bit driver.
A Multi-Purpose Carabiner
Though originally purpose built as climbing tools, carabiners have become a favorite everyday carry tool for minimalists.
At face value, a good carabiner can act like a super durable keyholder, fully locking down all of your keychains and loops while still allowing easy access. But if you invest just a few more dollars in a genuine climbing carabiner complete with screwgate lock — like this one from Black Diamond — then you’ll also have an emergency connector that can stand up to a few thousand pounds of force.
A Reliable Pen and Notebook
Even if you’re carrying your phone with you everywhere, it’s not always convenient or polite to use it for taking notes. And if you really want to remember something important, there’s no substitute for writing it out longhand.
We’re big fans of Big Idea Design’s whole range of pens and pocket tools, but their Mini Bolt Action Pen is especially nice for minimalist carry; it’s just 3.5 inches long, but still has enough heft to feel solid in the hand while you’re writing.
And to make sure that you’re always able to use that pen no matter the weather, consider picking up a Rite in the Rain notebook. We’ve been carrying a series of their 3x5 Spiral Top Notebooks for the past 10 years or so, and they’ve never failed to hold up to the elements.
Finally: Something to Hold All Your Tools
The six tools above will account for a good 90 percent of minimal everyday carry needs — anything past that will be personal to your own life situations.
Lastly, make sure you have a reliable bag to carry all of your gear in!