Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Everyday Carry

I am a big fan of the EDC forums ( Being a kind of techno-geek, I like to see what other techno-geeks find new, useful, and interesting. The EDC forums is a good place to do this. One thing I like to do is refine the things I carry with me on a regular basis. My criteria for these items: compactness (I've long since passed the days when I want to lug around a backpack full of junk in the off chance I might need it), usefulness (items should do double or even triple duty and be things that are used almost daily), and quality (I've also long since passed the days when I want to carry around cheap crap that cost very little up front but ends up in the garbage after very little use). Here's what I carry in order of usefulness:
  1. Cell phone (this is a basic Nokia cell phone which I can also use to access the internet--with effort. I am tempted to get a new touch screen iPhone type phone with all of the bells and whistles but the monthly cost would be double what I pay now and I'm not sure if it is doubly valuable compared to what I have now. That said, my phone provides a clock, alarm, phone capabilities--obviously, access to the internet and my email/Twitter/news, a camera for stills and videos, and a music player/FM radio.
  2. Wallet (with ID, cash, bank cards, concealed carry license, etc).
  3. Pocket knife (a Swiss Army knife that is so old I don't even know what model it is. It is sharp enough to perform surgery but quite basic with a couple of blades, a bottle opener and Phillips and flat screwdrivers).
  4. Small nylon pouch (which contains a packet of two aspirin, a couple of bandaids, a alcohol prep pad, a Handi wipe, a jump drive with all of my important files, a mini lighter, flat roll of floss, tiny flashlight, a Fischer tekker space pen, and a few quarters).
  5. A digital camera (an 8 mg Canon Power shot which has been used for everything from documenting accident scenes to photographing documents that I need to save).
  6. An aluminum water bottle.
  7. A Nike windbreaker that folds up ultra small.
  8. A granola bar, raisins, or other portable snack food.
  9. A small Moleskine notebook.
  10. A KelTec .380 with spare magazine (depending on where I will be for the day--courts, airports, and military basis frown on such an item and going out of my way to secure the firearm at these types of facilities is a huge hassle).
  11. Occasionally I carry an Asus netbook, but even though it is really small it is still a bit heavier than I like for everyday carry.

My work can take me from downtown in a large city, to an airplane, to mountain biking, to hiking down a wilderness trail sometimes all in the same day so I carry these items in a Timbuk2 messenger bag that blends into almost any environment.


  1. On the subject of cellphones: You might want to look into a smartphone, but not for just the options on the phone itself. I carry a Blackberry Storm. I have downloaded two apps you might like. One is called Weatherbug, and you can set your phone to ring if there is a weather alert, i.e. a thunderstorm watch. The second app is called Viigo, this app organizes all your RSS feeds. For instance, you can get the Homeland Security emergency news alerts, local traffic, your choice of news feeds ect. I would concentrate more on the apps you might find useful and then decide if it is cost effective to upgrade to a smartphone. BTW, I love your blog...please keep up the great work and thank you.

  2. Thanks. I am moving more and more towards getting one. Those apps are a great selling point!