Camouflage has existed in nature likely for far longer than humankind has been wandering the Earth. However, we as a species never developed a natural camo. As such, we had to use our intelligence to develop our own ways to blend into our environment — be that by wearing animal skins or, eventually, crafting our own clothes and gear with carefully-designed camouflage patterns. Once created out of necessity — for the purposes of safety, hunting, and even warfare — these patterns have since made their way into fashion and even everyday carry gear.
One of the most modern versions of camouflage is called “digital camo.” This pattern style was actually based on a development from WWII called “multi-scale camouflage” — a type of camo that combines two or more patterns into one. However, the first case of true digital camo, which is created using pixels and developed with the assistance of a computer, was created in Canada (called CADPAT) and implemented in 2002. The United States developed theirs (MARPAT) shortly thereafter. Though not as common as some other more traditional forms of camouflage, digital camo can still be found adorning a number of pieces of everyday carry gear, which we’ve rounded up on this essentials guide.
550 Paracord Digital Camo
550 paracord is one of the most useful tools anyone has at their disposal. It can be used to make traps, set and wrap wounds, hand laundry, and a bevy of other activities limited only by your own ingenuity. It can even be woven into watch straps or lanyards for your keychain or EDC knife. And this USA-made version comes with a handsome digital camo print and is available at lengths of 10 to 100 feet.
Duck Tape Digital Camouflage
Duct tape might be the only thing more versatile and useful than paracord — at the very least they’re on par with one another. And this particular variety, done up in muted digital camouflage, is actually officially-licensed by the U.S. Army. For some, it might be a stretch to add duct tape to your everyday carry. To that, we say: look into just how much you can do with duct tape and you might want to start carrying it with you everywhere.
Digital Camo Tactical MOLLE Pouches
Sometimes, you might find that your go-to everyday carry backpack doesn’t quite have enough room. Well, if you’ve got MOLLE webbing on that pack, you can always add on some modular attachments, like these tactical MOLLE modular pouches. They’re built from 600D nylon, have a waterproof lining, and have grid attachment points on both their front and back. They even have their own internal pockets for added organization.
Recycled Firefighter Sergeant Wallet
Recycled Firefighter, for those who aren’t familiar, is a pretty impressive sustainable gear brand built around using bonafide recycled materials in the creation of their gear — especially decommissioned fire hoses and military-grade nylon. Their most popular and impactful offering might be the Sergeant minimalist wallet you see here. It’s made entirely in the USA from 1000D nylon, has threading with a 15lb tensile strength, has a single handy pocket for cards and an integrated cash strap, and more.
SOG Ninja Tactical Day Pack
Though they’re definitely known best for their knives, SOG actually makes a much wider variety of gear — both for tactical and everyday carry purposes. In this case, we’ve got their Ninja Day Pack, a 24.2L backpack made from water-repellant nylon and equipped with modular MOLLE grids. It also comes with dual exterior water bottle pockets, it’s hydration bladder-compatible, and it has plenty of internal organizational options.
Orbitkey x EverydayCarry Key Organizer
Orbitkey’s key organizers are some of the best keychain alternatives on the market. This particular EDC essential, however, is all the more special, as it was a collaboration done with EverydayCarry.com and features a black-white-and-gray digital camo pattern that you won’t find anywhere else. On top of that, it’s made from an ultra-durable combination of 1050D ballistic nylon and 500D Cordura nylon, and it’s got plenty of room for all your keys and even comes with a key fob attachment point.
Bertucci 11030 Commando Watch
Inexpensive, yet reliable, Bertucci’s 11030 Commando Watch is about as good as you can get for a field watch in the sub-$100 range. It’s equipped with a precise quartz movement with a 3-year battery, a durable resin case with a stainless steel back, a scratch-resistant mineral crystal, and a nylon band that matches its digital camo dial.
SOG Aegis Folding Knife
As mentioned, SOG makes a ton of different kinds of everyday carry gear, but they’re most well-known for their knives. And the Aegis you see here is a pretty solid example as to why. This particular version has a drop point AUS-8 3.5″ blade, but it’s also available with a partially-serrated tanto if that’s more your speed. On top of that, it boasts a grippy ergonomic handle with a digital camo pattern, a spring-loaded assisted-opening mechanism, a sturdy and reliable Arc lock, and more.
Fenix PD35 V2.0 LED Flashlight
Especially if you find yourself out and about after dark, a flashlight is undoubtedly a must-have everyday carry essential. And this tactical option from Fenix is about as good as they come. With a handsome gray digital camo appearance, it boasts an output of a whopping 1000 lumens maximum, it comes with a pocket clip, it boasts simple push-button functionality (on both the tail and side), its rechargeable, and it comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Spyderco Paramilitary 2 Folding Knife
Sandwiched perfectly between the tactical and the refined, Spyderco’s Paramilitary 2 is one of the best everyday carry knives around. This particular one comes with G10 handle scales, a signature compression lock (one of the best and sturdiest ever), a premium CPM-S30V steel blade with the brand’s signature oversized thumb hole for quick and easy one-handed deployment, and a pocket clip. It’s a bit hefty and large for some, but it’s also exceedingly hard to beat when it comes to reliability and longevity.
Al Mar S2KDC SERE 2000 Folding Knife
Though the brand is definitely not a household name and definitely doesn’t have the recognizability of, say, Gerber, Al Mar should absolutely be on the radar of anyone with even a mild interest in cutting tools. In fact, the brand’s series of SERE knives — which were designed specifically for the Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape — isn’t just one of the best EDC knives; it’s one of the best folding knives, period. This one has a VG10 steel blade, digital camo G10 scales, a liner lock, and an ambidextrous deep carry pocket clip.
Mystery Ranch Metcalf Backpack
Not everyone is going to want to carry a full-blown hunting backpack with them as a part of their everyday carry. However, sometimes you really do need that much space and support. And if that’s the case and you want one with a digital camo print, you’re definitely not going to find better than the Mystery Ranch Metcalf you see here. It comes in four sizes to suit your body, offers over 70 liters of internal space, has hydration reservoir compatibility, a Cordura nylon construction, and so much more.
The 15 Best Camo Backpacks
Digital camo is hardly the only form of camouflage print. And if you want to imbue all your carry with it, it definitely can’t hurt to start with one of the biggest gear-hauling staples. Find the perfect option for you on our list of the best camo backpacks.