WSJ: What’s in Your Pocket? Obsessed Hobbyists Judge What It Says About You

Taylor Martin is known for having deep pockets.

In a video last year, Mr. Martin, a popular YouTuber, showed off a folding knife, flashlight, multitool, wallet—among the stuff he carries every day. It drew 200,000 views.

Mr. Martin is a leading light among people who take an unusual pride in what they tote around daily. There are those of us who never seem to have a pen handy when we need it, and then there are devotees of EDC, short for “everyday carry.” EDC began as a practical point of pride and has evolved in recent years into a competitive preoccupation, with participants who empty their pockets to display all manner of writing instruments, trinkets, flashlights, pint-size tools, coins, handkerchiefs and more. Need a tiny doodad to tighten the screws on eyeglasses? They probably have it. (Phones don’t count.) The hashtag #pocketdump has elicited more than 1.6 million posts on Instagram. And many EDCers attend in-person events to peruse the latest gear.

Mr. Martin invites like-minded hobbyists to submit photos of things they carry around. A lucky few are selected to empty their pockets for a weekly video aired on his YouTube channel, which is called Best Damn EDC and has 321,000 followers.

The EDC bug is believed to have originated in law enforcement and the military, professions noteworthy for specialized gear. Many in the pastime now lean more to fashion than utilitarian or self-defense preparedness, says Mr. Martin, 32 years old, of Concord, N.C.

“I think a lot of us do this as a form of expression,” says 25-year-old Zach Demchuk, an export-documentation coordinator who lives in Cheney, Wash. “You really can make a carry that reflects you as a person, and that’s one thing that keeps me coming back to this hobby.”…

…Some EDC aficionados focus on crafting aesthetically pleasing everyday carries known as “pocket art.” In this camp, Christy Hewitt, a 38-year-old administrative assistant from Baltimore, seeks out eccentric items to photograph and share, such as bottle openers in various shapes, dice, poker chips and quirky handkerchiefs. Some are custom items from small-batch EDC makers.

Wow. It is interesting to see the WSJ profile the world of EDC. I am not averse to posting the occasional pocket dump photo, but I don’t view it as a competition.


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I know I used the same IG embed in the last post, but I sort of worked on these in parallel and took the shot specifically for this purpose.