Can One Accidentally Practice EDC?

Though there seems to be widespread acknowledgement of the everyday carry discipline, there are still plenty of individuals who are unaware of the mindset.

Despite this, nearly everyone carries an assortment of things on their person.

This raises the question: "Can someone be unknowingly 'everyday carrying'?"

The snob in me wants to emphatically say, "No, everyday carry is only a conscious mindset."  That's probably the same part of me that spends months researching gear before pulling the trigger on my debit card and ponders the merits of tip-up vs. tip-down carry.

Practically, though, I'm not sure that's the case.  If we suppose that everyday carry is simply the attempt to preemptively solve problems then having anything - sunglasses, a tube of lipstick, tissues - is practicing the discipline.  Though more casual than some of us, it's still a viable approach.

Certainly, those casual EDCers among us could benefit from a bit of contemplation and refinement but at least they're in the right vein.  More people carrying things that they may need means fewer people asking to borrow my flashlight, knife, or pen, and that's just fine.


You Don't Need That Many Knives

I mentioned the idea a while back that "you don't need that many knives."

I wanted to elaborate a bit...

The underlying theory of the everyday carry discipline, at least as far as I can manage to define it, is the belief that having a selection of tools on one's person is more beneficial than not.  The ability to solve a variety of problems with the things in your pockets being the primary rationale.  Naturally, it is impossible, or at least impractical, to carry tools to solve every problem that might arise.  As such, tools which have a broad usefulness are often selected over those of a more specific purpose.  For this reason, we often see knives, multi-tools, flashlights, pen and paper, and other such things of exceptionally broad utility.  These items can be employed in a wide variety of ways to solve a wide variety of problems.

Importantly, an EDC kit also reflects the problems one believes may be encountered on any given day.  It is in that individual thread that we see a variety of items of specific utility; a bicycle commuter may carry a patch kit, a photographer may have a lens pen, someone with severe allergies would carry an EpiPen, and so on and so forth.

That said, one of the most prevalent items found in everyday carry kits is a knife.  Manifest in many different forms, ranging from keychain sized Swiss Army Knives to fixed blades with everything in between, knives play an incredibly important part in the EDC discipline.

Taking my data merely from the variety of pocket dump posts in various corners of the internet, I have come to the conclusion, as previously mentioned, that there are some people who carry too many knives absent a discernible purpose.  They have taken "two is one and one is none" to an unrecognizable extreme.  Multiple full-size folders in the same pair of pants as a Swiss Army Knife and a multi-tool.  It's absurd!

Why?  Diminishing return.  A concept suggesting that with each additional unit the utility derived from that unit diminishes; additionally, the utility of all units decreases.  Applied here, the utility of a knife is high.  That single blade can be used for a great number of things to solve a great number of problems.  A second blade is not as useful as the first.  Now the two knives are both slightly less useful.  One will be used, at most, 50% of the time.  The same follows for all subsequent knives; they each become slightly more useless as additional knives are carried.

Furthermore, minimalism is paramount.  Too many are infected by the disease of too much stuff.  Yes, gear is cool but bulky pockets are not.

In most instances carrying more than one knife is simply unnecessary.



Keeping myself honest.  I'll be putting my nose to the proverbial grindstone to craft more and better content in the near future...

I've been carrying a Spyderco PM2, a Nitecore EX11.2, a Field Notes Expedition series notebook, a rOtring 600 ballpoint, CountyComm's full-size Pilot Watch, and my hand-crafted steel wallet contraption.

It works.