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Humble pie, not sweet and hard to swallow

Discussion in 'Where, When, & How Do We Carry All This Stuff?' started by Rathbone, Sep 23, 2019.

  1. Rathbone

    Rathbone Empty Pockets

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    This is not intended as criticism of anyone or any organisation, I wanted to get that out the way first.

    I’m usually quite cynical of a lot of EDC opinion, as it often seems rooted in a desire to be Rambo or Macguyver and divorced from reality or practicality.

    My girlfriend and I just had a few days away by the sea. Our hotel was right next to the sea with a concrete harbour about 600m away. One evening we decided to walk to the end of the harbour. We got to the end and sat for around half an hour. When we turned to go back we realised that on the way out we had used harbour and hotel lights to silhouette our walk along the wall. The way back was facing the beach and in the shadow of a dune which put the entire wall in pitch darkness. There were no railings just a 15ft drop onto rocks and incoming waves on either side. The entire wall was about 50m long. We took our time and made it on to the sand but right at the end my girlfriend walked into a concrete bollard. Luckily no bones were broken, just a small graze.

    My EDC at the time was a Gerber Dime, homemade pry bar thingy, car keys and a wallet. Neither of us had taken a phone as it was going to be a short stroll within sight of our hotel.

    This experience has prompted a re-evaluation of my key chain. I normally have a pocket torch when in the “outdoors” but usually use the light on my phone on a daily basis.

    My other re-evaluation is what should be my minimum carry. Any light or phone etc would have sufficed no matter how small, even if it only reached 1-2 metres.

    I wouldn’t say we were in immediate danger of falling off the wall as we knew there was an edge somewhere and moved cautiously. If one of us had fell off, the situation would have been quite serious. Just trying to get out of the water to the beach in complete darkness would have been difficult. Plus, it would be too much to suggest that broken bones were a real possibility. Even if it was a just a broken toe near the beach.

    I’m a keychain kinda guy and I can already hear the shouts of derision that I didn’t have a torch on there. So that is being fixed.

    My cynicism for those who would suggest I’d need a 60lb pack of gear to undertake a short stroll after dinner has lessened slightly. I genuinely couldn’t see a problem occurring while taking a walk that both of us have done many times before. It’s not the problem that you can predict that causes the trouble. It’s the one you can’t.
     
  2. Wishoot

    Wishoot Loaded Pockets

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    EDC is a very personal choice and there are a lot of factors that go into what one decides to EDC.

    I work from home and travel occasionally. My typical EDC consists of a small pocket knife and a small flashlight. All fit in my pockets. I can honestly say that they get used everyday.

    For biking and day-hikes, I carry a small pack with water, snacks, sun screen, bug spray, extra layer of clothing and small FAK.

    For hunting, all of the above plus a survival kit, a bigger flashlight, extra ammo and dry socks.

    I will say this though.... a small flashlight has proven to be the one indispensable item I carry no matter where I am or where I'm going. It's saved my bacon more than once. I hate relying on my cell phone for illumination.
     
    Last edited by Wishoot, Sep 23, 2019
    #2 Wishoot, Sep 23, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2019
  3. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    No derision here. You've identified a situation where you may benefit from adapting your carry and you are doing so. For me, that's a large part of the EDC process.

    The more situations you can identify proactively then the fewer you end up experiencing reactively. (Of course, being the Pragmatic Murphyist I tend to take that too far and end up with too heavy a load. Hopefully one day I'll meet you at the happy medium and buy you a beer.)

    All the best.
     
  4. Rathbone

    Rathbone Empty Pockets

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    Thank you for the kind words. Yes, you've hit the nail on the head. I hate carrying lots of junk around in teeny tins that appear to serve no purpose from one year to the next. But it's only junk if I never need it.
     
  5. SOS24
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    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Many people do not carry flashlights, because of the phone light and all the environmental lights that always seem to be around. You were having a good time and didn’t realize that there would be a problem, so now you correct it. I learned when I was in unfamiliar surroundings during a power failure.

    For keychain, there are a lot of very good flashlights that easily fit and would be sufficient with 2-3 brightness levels and a high being over 100 lumens. Probably the two most common styles are ones using 10180 batteries with a built in micro usb port or single AAA. You have several to choose from that will not take up much space but be the perfect just in case light.
     
  6. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    It’s odd that people will use a £500 plus phone to do the job of a £8 flashlight. I know because I did it. I was on site late at night, used my phone as a torch, and left it. Panic set in when I was an hour away, so I had to turn back, and fortunately I was able to get back in after a bit of wrangle with security. Leaving a nitecore tube would have annoyed me but losing the phone - the works phone - nightmare.
     
  7. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    It's just because people already have one with them for other reasons. I suppose it's the digital generation's version of a SAK!

    (I can't believe I just made that comparison!) :rolleyes_revamped:
     
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  8. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I used to hate pocket bulk to the extent it was bordering silly. At least looking back.
    My phone, wallet and house key was all I carried for so many years.
    Looking back it's quite interesting to see how some random events influenced what I carry today.
    It started with the watch. When I started in a job where I often had to lock up and leave my phone for security reasons, I got a watch. That was 11-12 years ago and the habit has stuck even if jobs has changed. It's just so convenient when you get used to it.
    Jump forward a small decade, and I had stumbled into the world of EDC. As the total noob I was, I ordered the fanciest flashlight I could find. A stupidly big 26650 light with USB charging and a kitchen sink. The best thing about that light was that the price qualified to get a free Olight i3e AAA light. I stuck it in my pocket just to see If there was any substance to all those people on the interwebs claiming how useful it is to carry flashlights 24/7. I have had a AAA light in my pocket ever since. It's the single most useful item after my phone.
    Now, going back to even before I needed a watch, I was playing with the idea of carrying a knife. I opened so many boxes every day, and I never had a knife nearby when I needed it. The result was me using every stupid substitute you can think of, or worst case - admitting failure and making the though decision to walk back to the office to get a proper tool. With no knowledge about folding knives and small pocket tools, I didn't find anything that worked for me at that time, but with the newfound success of the pocket flashlight and the complete knowledge of the EDC community to get inspiration from, I descended into the folding knife rabbit hole.
    Even after being convinced there was more gain than pain in carrying a watch, flashlight and a knife, I still couldn't take the EDC pen and pry bar seriously.
    You probably already guessed how that is working out for me. Yeah...
    By now I'm totally consumed by the dark side. I'm not saying you will be, and being a member here for longer than I have and still keeping it so light proves that you have some integrity, but still - your story sounds very familiar ;-)
     
  9. Tesla

    Tesla Loaded Pockets

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    Any learning experience you can walk away from is a good one. Benjamin Franklin said: "Experience teaches a dear school, and a fool will learn in no other". I have been present in that "school" on occasion, but it has usually prompted me to find a better "teacher" next time. My EDC is always evolving, like most on this forum. I am from the "less is more" school, but I always have at minimum a "AAA" light, SAK type knife, pen & notebook, and watch on my person during waking hours. I consider those the bare bones. Unlike most, I consider the phone to be more of a nuisance than not, so I don't always have it with me unless I leave the city.
     
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  10. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Well said. Could have been a tough lesson to learn for sure! Glad it wasn't.

    This highlights why I often have felt that the infamous Professor Murphy (he of the infamous 'Murphy's Law & corollaries!) is someone we all need to respect... ;)

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  11. PragmaticMurphyist

    PragmaticMurphyist Loaded Pockets

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    Durn skippy! :cool:


    Just revisiting the original post, a couple of other things that might be worth mentioning:
    This strikes me as a key point - the difference between 0 and 2 lumens is a lot more significant than the difference between 2 and 1,000 lumens.

    One of the most derided keychain accoutrements is a whistle, but IMO this is a situation where one might have been extremely useful. Just a thought.
     
    Last edited by PragmaticMurphyist, Sep 24, 2019
    #11 PragmaticMurphyist, Sep 24, 2019
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2019
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  12. Rathbone

    Rathbone Empty Pockets

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    Thanks for the replies.I don't believe anyone was in earshot, although I could be wrong. Plus, the sound of waves may have drowned out a whistle. But I do take the point that it is an option.

    In hindsight the biggest omission was a phone. Either as a light source or to phone emergency services should the situation have really took a turn for the worse.

    I had no source of light, no source of communication. I've since thought even a walking stick would have helped to tap the edge of the wall.

    Fundamentally, I think it is a state of mind. My mind.

    For my job, I carry around a full toolkit in my car, a small toolkit in a converted camera bag, and a couple of things on my work keychain. If we go out to the countryside, I take stuff. This was one short after dinner stroll where we both thought, let's leave the phones in the hotel for half an hour. And I certainly couldn't imagine any reason for taking any other piece of kit. As I've said I don't want to be the guy who lugs around the kitchen sink 24/7 but I do need to work on what is the absolute bare minimum
     
  13. Tallboyjim

    Tallboyjim Loaded Pockets

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    Vic classic (or rambler or manager) and nitecore tube (or a.n other AAA). You’d be surprised what you can do and how little space they take up.

    I haven’t got one so others will have to confirm or deny, but could a smart watch (Apple Or Samsung) send a text in an emergency?
     
  14. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I don't care too much for smartwatches either, but keep an eye on the technology. As far as I understand, Samsung has been doing 3G/4G phones for a good while, and apple for 2 generations or so, so you could call or text if you wish to.
     
  15. rdisom

    rdisom Loaded Pockets

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    Yea, I believe you've been able to get an Apple Watch cellular since the 3 version. You can make and take calls on any version if you're on same wifi as your iphone. This is very helpful when I'm at home or work, as I don't have to carry my phone all the time. I've been using that feature since my first version 1.
     
  16. SOS24
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    SOS24 Loaded Pockets

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    Exactly. I keep a Rambler and a Lumitop EDC-01 on a microlock s-biner on my keychain. Even if not taking my keys, I can easily take it off and throw in a pocket or clip to a belt loop or even put on a neck lanyard. I’ve even clipped it to the drawstring of pocketless shorts. Seeing how the OP already carries a Gerber Dime, he could just clip the mini flashlight onto the Dime and have basically the same capabilities in same size carry.

    It is a matter of thinking about having it with you, even if you don’t think you’ll need it.
     
  17. neo71665

    neo71665 Loaded Pockets

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    I daily carry a convoy s2+ but living on a farm I need a light all the time. Most of the time while I'm out I leave my phone at the house to keep from getting it ruined. Yes I have insurance on it but I'd rather pay $20 for a new flashlight than pay $100 for a remanufactured phone. I agree on not toting 1000lbs of gear because I'm on my feet all day. I also don't see the need to spend tons of money on gear. Sure it's nice to look at a fancy Ti money clip but the $5 one I have works just fine.

    Keychain lights with alkileak batteries are cool and all if they serve you (my mother uses one) but personally I wouldn't go any smaller than the one I have with a 18350 tube on it. They just don't put out enough light for me.
     
  18. Moshe ben David

    Moshe ben David Loaded Pockets

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    Good point on the whistle. Ironically, I've got a couple of titanium 'whistles' (they're much louder than whistles actually) that were Kizer promos being given out by BHQ a while back. There they sit - happily gathering dust on my home desk - when I really ought to put at least one on a tool ring... ;)

    L'chaim!

    Moshe ben David
     
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  19. popedandy

    popedandy Loaded Pockets

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    There is nothing wrong with learning from your experiences, or even just reassessing your approach based on your experiences.
     
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  20. Old Soul

    Old Soul Loaded Pockets

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    My wife laughs at me all the time and accuses me of being scared of the dark. I always have at least one flashlight on me. For your scenario I would have had my Streamlight Protac 1L. Great little light and little bulk. At work I carry it and a Streamlight Stylus Pro. Two different battery types but I buy them in bulk and always have plenty in my service truck and my backpack.