Can I see a show of hands on who EDC like me?
Let me introduce you to a habit of some people - Every Day Carry (EDC). Like the namesake, we EDC a couple of items that one uses daily, or could be handy in those "what if.." and "you never know when you might need.." situations.
IT"S A HOBBY, A PASSION
For starters, a basic EDC for most guys is;
- a wallet with cash, plastics, business cards, etc.
- a watch
- a phone, or two
However, EDC enthusiasts carry more, and sometimes, much much more. But at least each person would add along a few items that they frequently need in performing their duty and/or jobs or, like I said, in case of the "what if.." and "you never know when you might need.." situations. The selection of item a person EDCs varies from one another, and I admit that some EDC absurdly or 'over-enthusiastically', but EDC is about collecting things, and that's a hobby! Some people take up photography, some hit the clubs. Some skates, take up martial arts, or frequent the gym. My friends are petrolheads like me, and hit the books too. Hence, EDC is a hobby of collecting things to be prepared. It couldn't get any simpler than that.
Thus, EDC is all about passion (not obsession, I hope) and the desire to 'be prepared' in whatever situation(s) that may come by. Say that you need a lighter, I got a Zippo handy. I don't smoke, but hey, you never know when you need to light something on fire. Right? I've done you a favor. Oops! my Zippo is dry? Never mind. I got a Peanut lighter on my keychain, and a cheap disposable Cricket in my bag somewhere just for that.
I occasionally carry a folding pocket knife with me in the left back pocket of my jeans, nestled in the folds of my bandanna. Sure, you can scoff all you want, or give smart-@ss remarks like:
"Why are you carrying a knife? Want to kill someone?"
Yeah, I've heard them all. What I would coolly reply is:
"A knife is a cutting tool, like any other tool - say, a hammer,"
Then you would say:
"A knife is not a tool. It's a weapon. It could hurt, injure, and/or kill someone."
You think you could never go wrong by saying that, but I'll reply:
"You mean, I couldn't hurt, injure, and/or kill you with a hammer?"
And at this point, the person on the opposite end of the conversation can't rebuke anymore. Works every time =P
Sure, people gets freaked when they discover that someone has a knife on his/her person, but when they need to open a bag of potato chips or something - they know exactly who to look for.
YOU DON'T EVEN REALIZE YOU'VE BEEN DOING IT
My point is that being prepared makes EDC enthusiasts feel secure and more confident. Here, EDC is practically unheard of, but most of us didn't realize that we carry some things every day just in case that that item might come in handy.
I know some girls carry a tiny, discreet mace (pepper spray) on their keychain. Heck, I gave my girlfriend one of those. Some of us carry USB drives just in case a friend got one of them latest songs on the radio, or for raiding the lecturer his/her lecture notes. Perhaps that iPod, or any other portable music and/or entertainment device in case you get bored? Check your keychain. I bet some of you has a tiny light there somewhere in case you need a light to break the darkness, or even finding the car ignition key slot at night.
You get the idea.
IT'S BEING PRACTICAL
To me, it's all about being prepared, avoiding that dreaded "I-could-have-done-something-or-made-a-difference-if-have.." situation. In other words, EDC culture is all about being PRACTICAL. We disregard even the simplest of things. In a very easy and all too-familliar exemplar, I am furiously frustrated and irritated when someone who are heading to the post office, bank, etc. forgets to carry a pen, and that person is usually in the line in front of me. Obviously you should expect to do some paperwork at the counter, so why not bring your own pen? Do you seriously rely 100% on that stupid pen at the counter, tethered with a string of some sort? Have you given at least the slightest thought that maybe, just maybe, after the hundreds of use it gets, the ink might have run out? Or the fact that hundreds of sweaty, germ-infested hands have touched them?
Noooo. Of course you didn't. It's the Malaysian 'tak apa' (nevermind) attitude. There you go, begging and asking the people around to borrow their respective pen, further delaying and elongating the time spent queing in the sweltering afternoon heat. If all of us thought ahead, and be prepared for it, we could all make a difference - we could be more effective and efficient, saving time for one and all of us. Whoops! Since when do Malaysian think of others but themsleves? My mistake ...
SO, WHY SHOULDN'T WE?
In my opinion, there's nothing wrong in being ready for anything. In fact, why shouldn't we be ready for anything that we might come across? Unless you're one of them nutty religious extremist that reconciles by saying that whatever bad things that happen was fated by God, instead of being ill-prepared. If that's the case, you have just wasted your precious prayer time reading my blog.
But, in case that you have discovered that, you too relish the fact that you could at least try to take charge of your fate and be self-sufficient & dependable, I say congratulations.
Here are some of the things I carry with me - on my person or readily within reach. More will come so I will update more in due time.
Sharps: Leatherman Skeletool CX - It ain't exactly your toolbox-on-a-tool, but it is a sexy, lightweight minimalist multitool that is curvier than Angelina Jolie yet packs the most useful of tools. Most of Tim Leatherman's multitools are basically pliers-with-integrated-knife, but the knife-centric Skeley is best described as a knife-with-integrated-pliers, and the knife it packs is an awesome combo-edge scary-sharp blade made of premium 154CM supersteel alloy that could dry-shave my arm.
Keychain: For now, you see (from the left) my car key, room & padlock key, Gerber Artifact multitool, and a Peanut lighter. Attachment method is via #1 and #3 Nite-Izes S-Biners, and I clip the bigger #3 S-Biner on the belt loop of my jeans just above the front right pocket. The keys and attachments is tucked into the front right pocket.
Brights: My flashlight of choice is the Fenix TA21. Old-skool incandescent bulbs are gone to make way for the ultra-efficient LEDs that packs more lighting power. LEDs outperforms incans in just about everything and it made hi-power flashlights like this smaller. I can't afford a Surefire, so this will do. Apart from the obvious task of lighting things, bright flashlights like these are used by Law Enforcement Officers (LEO). Imagine a SWAT team - can you see that bright white light coming from the little light at the end of their MP-5s and Assault rifles? They use small, hi-powered flashlights as such. These 'tactical' flashlights can actually temporarily blind someone whose vision are dark-adapted. Some are sturdy enough to smack someone with, and features hardened crenalated bezel 'teeth' that can cut someone's forehead open, break windows, pressure point pain applicator, etc. Since we aren't permitted to carry a gun, why not one of these. At least it's better than nothing. Flash. Distract. Attack/Run away.
Okay, I want to add this, but it costs too much with shipping, so I got this instead:
Eating Utensils: Okay this is where people will think that I'm overdoing it, but basically, I EDC things that wil help me get through difficult situations. I find it difficult to eat with my fingers (in the case when I do actually eat rice once in a while, as I don't know, and don't like to eat with my fingers) and not all situation will allow me to get proper eating utensils. Thus, I bring my own. The top picture is a 'Spork' (Spoon + Fork) and it's made of titanium means that it's a lightweight, compact eating utensil. The picture below it is a set of chow by Coghlan's consists of a three-piece stainless steel knife, fork and spoon set clip together for easy carrying. It came complete with vinyl carring case. I got it at Ace Hardware for about RM13.
Thanks for reading!
[... stay tuned]