Everyday carry is a term that seems to have been coined relatively recently. The practice itself, however, is as old as pockets themselves (perhaps even older). In a nutshell, it refers to the carrying of objects on one's person in an effort to have a modicum of preparedness. Preparedness for what is typically dictated by individual needs, tastes, and philosophy.
Me and my (slightly condensed) EDC philosophy
I couldn't tell you exactly when I started carrying things on a daily basis.
I remember finding myself in trouble at some point in elementary school - just before the "zero-tolerance" movement - for having a small Swiss Army Knife in my pocket. I can remember carrying far more pens and pencils than necessary throughout middle and high school. I also remember my summer vacations spent exploring the woods and tinkering with random stuff, always managing to have something useful in my pockets.
My years as a Boy Scout engrained into me the "be prepared" mindset. Obviously, it takes on a different color when out in the woods or hiking a mountain, but the concept of having some equipment and knowledge to tackle problems that might arise spans across all disciplines.
In college I was finally in an environment where the administration couldn't carefully scrutinize what was in my pockets. My girlfriend bought me a SOG Flash II (the one I still carry today) and I again started carrying a knife in addition to my wallet, keys, a pen, and eventually a cell phone.
Since then, my EDC has evolved through necessity, reflection, and refinement.
My purposes behind carrying are to be prepared for most things I'll come across in my life as a student in a slightly urban setting. The three most heavily used objects in my pockets are a pen, my cell phone, and my keys.
I think my carry, in its current iteration, reflects more of a "classic" approach than a "tactical" one. While I do carry a more "scary" looking knife, as opposed to a more traditional penknife (like a Swiss Army Knife, or what have you), I'm not dressed to the nines with gear. The biggest thing, I think, that pushes my current carry away from the "tactical" approach is the lack of a dedicated flashlight.
In an effort to keep this shorter (read: less long) I'll get into it...
From left to right...
Key-chain - chain shackle w/ keys and CRKT P.E.C.K.
I'm sure I'll write a post on the evolution of my key-chain thus far. The key-chain is probably one of the easiest places to start when it comes to streamlining gear.
Victorinox Summit XLT Chronograph (purchased 2005)
Not a bad watch. It keeps the time... I'm still pining for mechanical movements, though.
SanDisk Cruzer 16GB
Digital storage. Essentially a backup of all the work on my school laptop and a digital file-folder for things I want to print, but don't want to waste my paper on. It also has a couple standalone programs that most public-use computers don't have.
Perhaps there's a post in EDC principles and flash-drives. We'll see...
I graduated from my tri-fold quite some time ago. It was too bulky and I was carrying too much stuff. I've been going through various wallet-type things and this is what I'm currently using; it's a bifold cardholder with enough space to hold the few cards I need, my license, my student ID, and a couple bills. It's not ideal, but it's better than nothing. I'm always on the lookout for something more suited to my tastes and needs.
I started carrying a notebook on my person in August of 2011. I was tired of pulling out my phone, opening a notepad app, and trying to type out a coherent note. The adjustment is working nicely, I think. I don't necessarily use the notepad everyday, but often enough that it's worth carrying.
Many in the fine writing and "office supplies" community have found gripes with Moleskine's paper citing its poor quality and its finicky nature with many inks. I'll admit it's not the greatest paper I've ever used; some rollerball and fountain pen inks feather quite a bit. I can't say that I've had too many troubles with this particular notebook, though.
rOtring 600 series 2 fountain pen - EF nib
|Oddly enough, my ThinkPad makes a great little photo booth.|
A Christmas gift from my (absolutely wonderful) girlfriend. I love the rOtring 600 line and I have a passion for fountain pens so it's a natural fit. It just screams "industrial" and "utilitarian." I've only carried it for the past couple days (ink arrived just this past Friday). It has survived the the first couple days of classes and is serving me well thus far. I will be posting a more comprehensive review in the coming weeks after I've had time to settle it into my routine.
Bomb-proof reliability and small enough to be carried as a secondary pen.
SOG Flash II - aluminum handle, TiNi coating
(here is a link to the newer iteration of this model)
|The Flash II carries completely below the pocket-line thanks to its clip design.|
Another gift from my girlfriend. I've had this for nearly 7 years now. It had some warranty work done in mid-2011 when it wasn't locking up as well as I thought it should. It holds an edge pretty well and carries nicely. I do have some gripes, which I imagine I'll find time to address in the future. Consider it a placeholder for a Strider...
|Obligatory, stylized, knife-on-MOLLE photo.|
It makes calls and sends / receives text messages (what a surprise!). I also use it for my email and syncing my Google calendar (I'm incredibly important!).
Glaring holes and oversights
Perhaps the biggest flaw in my current EDC is the lack of a dedicated light. I've been looking into the Nitecore EX11.2, but haven't found the money to purchase one (it's available here, if you're interested; it's not the cheapest place online, but I've had good experiences with BatteryJunction.com).
There are some schools of thought that believe a dedicated flashlight isn't necessary. They suggest that "flashlight" applications on smartphones are sufficient to handle most tasks that might arise. While that may be true, it certainly hasn't been my experience.
Well, this has gotten long enough...
Stay tuned for my upcoming rOtring 600 fountain pen review!