Today's EDC

wpid-2015-01-23-09.26.59.jpg.jpegI’m working on a project at my mother’s house after work so I added the Leatherman Blast, Coleman Max flashlight, and Kershaw 3/4 Ton knife to my EDC. I suspect I’ll use the light more than the others.

wpid-wp-1422027730834.jpegNormally I just carry my base-level items in the Griffin earbud pouch. But today those aren’t sufficient for what I have to deal with. I am still considering doing a formal rotation, which I’ll roll out here later on.

EDC: A minimalist approach

wpid-img_20150114_110735.jpgThis week I’m carrying the miniature, or keychain versions of my tools. Urban Prepper mentioned something called a “prepper bulge” during his video on the Altoids Smalls Urban EDC Tin. As I’ve carried tools I have become intimately familiar with this concept. I have to admit, some days I don’t use some tools at all. Does that mean it’s time to remove that item from my kit and not carry it? No. For the times when I don’t use something, it’s there in case I need it.

This selection seems to be enough for the moment. I have been considering an EDC rotation but I have not yet decided how to go about that. The random, grab-and go, scenario doesn’t seem practical to me. I may add full size tools to my bag so that when I am carrying the smaller tools I have larger ones nearby.

EDC, the why

Leatherman Blast that I’ve had since May 2010.

Entropy: Because things fall apart.

Nothing in the world is immutable, incorruptible, non-changing, or perfectly stand-alone. If it exists, someone will have to do something to it at some point. Wires break, screws loosen, things need to be opened, peeled, scraped, taped, pulled, taken apart, bits replaced, and put back together. The things in our lives don’t maintain themselves.

So why do I have 15+ things in my pockets everyday? The short answer is, in case I need them. A more useful answer runs somewhere between self-reliance and a life-long fascination with tools. It’s a preference and a convenience, and one for which I am willing to pay the cost. I’d rather pullwpid-img_20150108_104429.jpg a multi-tool out of my pocket, tighten a screw, and have done with it than root around in a utility room to find that the department I work in doesn’t have the tool I need, or keep a set of tools on hand. I’ve brought my own pens, pencils, and so forth to whatever jobs I’ve held. While I am used to seeing those things provided by employers, I generally don’t use them.

There have been times when I’ve been teased for carrying a multi-tool, having a pair of work gloves in my car, or something as simple as a nail clipper or Q-Tips. Everyday Carry is a lifestyle choice, just like flying by the seat of your pants. If you like living that way, that’s your decision. Understand that at some point someone will have to mop up after you. For me, planning ahead is more useful than kludging my way through life, stopping a thousand times to make adjustments. There’s enough stress day to day. Why add to it wondering where you last put something right when you need it.

I’m not saying everyone should carry everything I do, or as much as I do. The most common argument has to do with the cost. People can’t see spending $X for something they seldom use. So don’t spend $X. Look for deals. I do. Check pawn shops, Craigslist, Big Lots, eBay, or one of the dollar stores. Tools made from more durable materials will cost more. Some brands are more expensive than others.  We’re talking about a starting point here. There are many sites, including forums, devoted to EDC. The people who frequent those sites can help you make the best choice.

I do not trust people who feel no need for tools.
It makes one a burden on others, shows a lack of
personal fortitude, and is unattractive.

EDC – December 2014

This is the pile…

  1. Wallet: Swiss Gear Aluminum (I got my first credit card with a chip. Not sure the probability of being ass-scanned but it can happen)
  2. Phone: Samsung Galaxy S4 in an Otterbox Defender case
  3. Knife: Kershaw Shuffle
  4. Flashlight: Generic-ish 150 Lumen 3-mode. Ultra Fire clone.
  5. Watch: Timex Ironman (I’ve had this for at least 5 years. Changed the battery once. I’ve worn Timex almost exclusively. Decided to change the band rather than buying a new watch.)
  6. Pen: Pentel Client Ballpoint
  7. Pencil: Pentel Forte .05
  8. Stylus: Bamboo
  9. Altoids Tin: Work in progress. I have a separate video and will be posting breakdown photos shortly.
  10. Keys: Grimloc Carabiner with a split ring.
  11. Comb
  12. Cash

Everyday Carry: When someone pops the question

S*&t Happens

Tires blow. Lightbulbs burn out. Wires come loose. Packages arrive. People get hangnails.

I have a tire iron, a flashlight, pliers, a knife and tweezers.

The tire iron is in the car and and the rest are somewhere on my belt.

I have a number of other things on me like a couple batteries for the flashlight. A while back I loaned the batteries to someone because her camera died and she popped the question. No. We’re not engaged. However I did have to answer that the batteries were for my flashlight. Then the next question was “Why do you have a flashlight?” And that answer was “in case I need it.”

Why is it odd that I carry a small amount of tools? Why isn’t it odd that when these occasional, usually minor irritations to someone’s day happen they’re running around hunting tools or asking to borrow them?

I never pop the question.

Why do you have that? is never something I ask people. I know, probably better than people who do pop the question, that sometimes people come with dishonest intentions. I’m more interested in giving the benefit of the doubt to the rest…to those folks who aren’t up to something.

If I have a flashlight I can light up your work area when you’re changing a tire. It’s a tool. And people have appreciated my having it on me when they’ve needed it. The same goes for the knife or the pliers or the tweezers or a lighter or whatever little doohickey one person has that another never seems to need and thinks no one else does either.

It’s another form or normalcy bias that has people giving the side-ways eye when they see a tiny pocketknife on a keychain. It’s not helpful. It encourages attitudes that that work to divide us, whereas the tool itself can bring people together.

I’d rather be called MacGyver and file off some metal shaving that’s about to cut someone than be looking for a Band-aid, which, by the way, I have in my first aid kits.