Surprisingly, my one previous everyday carry related post on this blog draws quite a bit of traffic. The whole concept of EDC as recently manifested in ultra expensive handmade tools is pretty interesting to me in a business sense. There are a lot of forums and websites devoted to this topic, and a lot of boutique crafters successfully charging a whole lot of money for their items, but it looks like established companies in this product area really haven’t caught on. I can’t help but wonder if they think its a fad, or if their product design life cycle is just so slow that nothing has hit the market yet.
Anyway, I figured the topic was worth revisiting. I’ve been ruminating over what I carry, and what might be more practical in the future. I also feel like the vast majority of EDC related sites only show ultra high end, “rich guy” pocket dumps. I can’t help but question the apparent number of people who carry only a gun, a $2000 pocket knife and a car key. I don’t know what kind of lifestyle they have, but it’s pretty far from my own. As such, I wanted to show my everyday stuff, which I feel is pretty average.
My “everyday carry”
iPhone 4S. (not pictured) Currently enjoying it sans case after my Speck CandyShell case broke.
Black paw bag. I got this in Chinatown in NYC. The design is great, but the material kind of sucks. I was carrying a laptop in it for a while, but it was so heavy that it started tearing the material below the strap.
Moleskines. One is my sketch book, and the other is for miscellaneous writing.
Kindle 3 & Acase.
Keys. On my main key ring, I keep my car’s key fob, a house key and a key to my bike rack. On days that I take my bike, truck or motorcycle to work, this keyring is swapped with another that has a truck key, a house key and a garage key.
Chums chumois lens cloth. My glasses are all crapped up a lot of the time. I used to carry a microfiber cloth to clean them but it was hard to keep it clean enough to work well. I’ve been using this solution from chums for a while, and I really like it.
Second set of keys. This key ring holds 3 keys for my office, a key to my work locker and a key to my Mom’s house. Right now it’s attached to the lens cloth, but sometimes I keep this key ring on a carabiner.
Burt’s Bee’s lip balm. I got in the habit of peeling the label off these so I could Identify my own since the brand is so common.
Motorola S305 bluetooth headphone. I wanted the Moto S9 headphones for a long time, but the bad reviews of sweat damage turned me away. The 305 was a lot lower in price and has been great. They certainly aren’t audiophile, but they are good enough for using at work or during workouts.
Prisma marker. black
Micron pens. .03, .05, .08
bic atlantis pen. not fancy, but it is smooth. good for sketching and note taking.
Jimi wallet. I’ve been using these for several years. I first got one through a chase bank facebook promotion. It’s very practical for me. I prefer to keep it in my front pocket, while I keep my phone in a back pocket. The only weakness of these is that it features several “living hinges”, which eventually (like 2 years +) break.
San Disk Cruzer 32G flash drive.
Short iPhone sync/charge cable.
Usb mini/micro cable.
Umbrella. (not shown) this fits into one of the size zippered pockets of my bag.
Leatherman Micra. (not shown) This is sometimes handy to have, but I feel like many of the tools are extraneous or too small to be useful. When my motorcycle died recently, I tried to use the philips screwdriver on the micra to open the fuse box.. it wouldn’t and the tool actually bent. Pretty disappointing. I’m looking to replace this somehow.
Glasses. (not shown) I really hate wearing contacts. I got into the habit of using glassescrafter.com several years ago. super prices and they cut lenses better than most of the places I’ve used locally.
My current bag based setup seems to be a pretty good basis to build around, but I’ve been considering other things. One idea I had was to focus on items shaped like pens, and use something like a Niji roll to carry them. The rolled up form would be a lot smaller than my current bag. Unfortunately I wouldn’t have room for rectangular things like my notebooks or kindle.
I’ve also flirted with the idea of going with one of the Maxpedition storage solutions. The “Neat freak” seems cool, but has bad reviews. The “Fatty” seems to be particularly popular amongst EDC enthusiasts. I think it might be overkill for me though, unless I was planning on some extended outdoors time or making a zombie survival kit. Check out this video to see how much junk you can cram in one of these packs.
Another idea I’ve been experimenting with is using a pocket protector as a sub-carry device. I can put my pens, flash drives and other stuff in it, and then put it in my regular bag. if I don’t need my notebooks, etc, I can just pull the pocket protector out and take it with me. I found one at good will that’s got provisions for connecting a lanyard to it, which seems kind of practical. I could see such a set up being really useful for collaborative projects like 48.2.
As far as items that I’d like to add to my carry, here are a few things I’ve been looking at”
NY-LA wallet. As fond as I am of my Jimi wallet, I’d really like to minimize more. The NY-LA from CountyComm seems to fit the bill.
Streamlight 65018. I already have this piece, given to me by my ex-father in-law, I just haven’t used it in a long time. AAAA batteries are kind of hard to find locally. The pen form factor makes this easy to fit in any of the storage solutions I mentioned above.
T Driver. As frequently as I use a phillips screwdriver, I figure I should have something of the sort in my carry that’s not as weak as the phillips head in my Leatherman Micra. Survival Resources has this T Driver that fits the pen form factor, but folds for more leverage.
Pocket square. This is something in many of the “rich guy” carries I’ve seen that I could actually use. My recollections of handkerchiefs are usually gross, rough fabric with dried boogers stuck to them. Lately though there seem to be a lot of pocket squares made of soft, quality fabrics that would be great for mopping the sweat off my brow.
Leatherman wave. I like the small size of the Micra, but it sure doesn’t offer much leverage. I also wouldn’t mind having a set of pliers handy.
Contact stuff. I have yet to find a conveniently shaped container of contact solution. Squat cylindrical bottles waste space and are lumpy in my bag. Why aren’t these pen shaped? Same for lubricant eye drops.