Lately I’ve become a bit enamored with the idea of “everyday carry”, as introduced to me by the site http://everyday-carry.com which describes the concept as such:
Everyday Carry, or EDC, generally refers to small items or gadgets worn, carried, or made available in pockets, holsters, or bags on a daily basis to manage common tasks or for use in unexpected situations or emergencies. In a broader sense, it is a lifestyle, discipline, or philosophy of preparedness.
I think this is particularly interesting to me because I’ve always been into the idea of having enough tools to do everything I might possibly need too, and I’m also into well designed objects. There are a whole slew of websites and forums dedicated to this topic, but I get the feeling that they are less about being prepared for unexpected situations, and more about status symbols and material culture addiction. (not that I’m knocking such things, it’s how we’re programmed)
As I read these sites and spec and source all these little tools, I have the drive to buy a bunch of junk; expensive junk. So now I’m questioning what would actually be useful, what’s use actually justifies it’s cost and what I’d realistically want to carry around in my pockets.
Seeing the immediate need for a pocket knife, generally for cutting open packages, I set out to find the “perfect” blade or multi use bladed tool. Not having the budget of most of the contributors of everyday-carry.com, I had to skip the pretty $600 blades. For a day, I really thought I wanted the Gerber Artifact.
as you can see, it has a pry tool, a philips screwdriver, a bottle opener, and the novel provision to use an xacto blade, which was ideal for me, since it performed the regular knife like function, but also could be useful for design work. I was ready to buy until I started reading reviews on Amazon.com, half of them describing the user cutting the tip of a finger off.
Thus far, I’ve only actually bought one thing, the simple pocket tool by TT Pocket tools. ( http://ttpockettools.blogspot.com/ ) As you can see, it has several functionalities, although I initially just wanted it for a pry tool and a wire stripper. Thus far, the box cutter has also come in handy. I don’t know the full history of these things, as far as I can tell, such things originated with Atwood Knife and Tool, ( http://www.atwoodknives.com/ ) a hobby operation by a machinist with a passion for making small tools. His pieces are quite expensive ($60-ish for something similar to the above, which cost me $18) and exclusively limited editions.
I’m still on the hunt for other useful, but inexpensive tools, as well as a means of containing and carrying them all. I’ll post more on this in the future, as well as the involvement of so-called paracord in this EDC debacle.