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Pocket EDC BASICS that truly satisfy...

Discussion in 'General EDC Discussion' started by dmattaponi, Jan 13, 2021.

  1. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Good read, all. Thanks for sharing. I really enjoy delving a little deeper into the thinking that goes into the subject (our experiences, what we’ve learned over time, what works for us and what doesn’t, and why...etc.) instead of just posting pics of things where our only real satisfaction of them comes from posting pics and not really from the experiences of using them.

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    #21 dmattaponi, Jan 14, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2021
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  2. tera tike

    tera tike Loaded Pockets

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    My basic EDC is a cutting tool, micro light/compass, lighter and pen(prybar/screwdriver/cutter, micro-LED light w/compass, butane lighter insert with modded lid and titanium full size pen.

    From when I was able to purchase my first knife from J.C. Penny's 43 years ago stayed the same but thru the years I have upgraded/changed them to fit my always minimalistic style with maximum usefulness,

    Yes, as I went from job to job, my work EDC changed for what I need to do my everyday job (ie, multi-tool, AAA/AA/D/123 style flashlights, fix blade knife etc), but my basic EDC stayed the same with the always present (watch, wallet and keys). My phone was another job to job item that I just find as a annoyance and no longer have to carry everyday.

    About 10 years ago I grew tired of purchasing mid-tech, low-tech knives/tools and started designing/making my own. My EDC now consists 70% my own design and 30% modded EDC. I found better satisfaction designing my own even thou it is a lot more expensive for one off items to be made. No, I do not sell what I designed and have given away the extras that were made. It is sometimes cheaper to have 25 made than one.

    I did stop carrying a pen for a while but when I moved overseas it became a EDC need again. The compass/microlight I would say is the longest second most useful item throughout my life. A cutting tool has been always #1 even when a couple of jobs have a no weapon policy.(A cutting tool is not any more a weapon than a credit card.);)

    Reflecting back on all the items I purchased/ acquired thru the years is astounding, not to mention the money spent.:cry:
     
  3. aicolainen

    aicolainen Loaded Pockets

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    I used to work in the field for a good while too, and had similar challenges in that I had to be ready for just about anything and often on short notice.
    However, since about 90% of my field trips required air travel, and about 50-75% of that air travel was abroad, I evolved into more of a packing monster than an EDC monster. Having stuff in my pockets only caused problems and delays at airport security, so most of my tools where organized in kits that went in the check-in luggage, and just world legal, critical essentials in my carry-on.
     
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  4. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I forgot to mention some of the main factors in selecting and being satisfied with my basics...

    That is finding a comfortable balance between size/function, commonality, and quality for the price.

    I like really small items when it comes to pocket carry, but experience has taught me that if an item is too small it loses utility and is also easier to lose track of.

    For example a tiny flashlight with too little runtime. A single cell AA flashlight will have double the runtime of a single cell AAA flashlight. These battery types are also very common, being found just about anywhere. The AA also gives you a little more to hold on to while still being pocketable. Some items are so small they are difficult to hold onto and manipulate. They are more easily dropped. Depending on where you are when you drop an items can pose other problems. Wrist lanyards can come in handy here. I usually keep one on my flashlight...night fishing while standing on a high bank beside a creek is where I learned this :)

    Another example, I find that I can get by with a 58mm SAK, but that a 91mm SAK is much more functionally useful for most tasks. Also SAKs are easily available. If you lose one or give one away, it is easily replaced. I have gifted so many SAKs through the years that I’ve lost count. I also think Victorinox knives are very good and consistent quality for the price.

    My pen is small, but the cap comes off and attaches to the other end to make the pen regular size for writing...much better than some tiny thing I can barely control.

    The Squirt in my picture above is a bit of a compromise. It’s much smaller and won’t handle what a midsized orlarger multi tool might, but it’s tools are still of a functional size for basic tasks that might come up in the day to day. Also the pliers, wire cutter, and functional file come in handy often enough and so the little 2oz Squirt compliments a smaller SAK that lacks these easily pocketable Squirt tools, well.

    On the other hand if an item is too big, it’s not comfortable in a pocket, and after the novelty of the new item wears off, it gets left behind unused most likely relegated to a bag or a drawer.

    I like items that are small enough to carry, but large enough to function and handle well, that are commonly found while maintaining good quality for the price. I’ve got less than $100 invested in my EDC pictured in this thread.

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    #24 dmattaponi, Jan 15, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2021
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  5. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Thanks for sharing. Sounds like a very interesting place.


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  6. plumberroy

    plumberroy Loaded Pockets

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    This doesn't mean I don't have a bag in the car or in my locker at work . But I do carry it every step I make.
     
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  7. TheGremlin

    TheGremlin Loaded Pockets

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    For me, it is definitely a pocket knife, full sized multitool, watch, and flashlight. I will not go about my daily life without those things. I will say that I do add redundant items situationally, especially if I am carrying a bag, but this has been my daily carry for many years and is just sort of engrained in me.

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  8. tera tike

    tera tike Loaded Pockets

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    I agree that it is important for the person to find a comfortable balance between size, function and quality that is affordable for oneself. It has always been a battle of size, function and actual usability for me until recently where I think I have found the grail of EDC for me, it only took me about 40 years.:rolleyes:

    I too did the extremely small/tiny items for a short while. Yes, the OP is right that when an item is too small it tends to have less utility. I also found items that have too much function packed into it also loses the very functionality that it is being carried for.

    True, a flashlight runtime is determined by its battery size. My micro light 4-5 hours is a good balance for me between charging the batteries(LIR2032). When I had a job that needed/required a light, I carried one suitable for the work I was doing. Yes, wrist lanyards are a must for all my flashlights. Very true it helps immensely for those small/micro lights.

    For a while I carried a full size multi-tool on my belt, but it was more for work and not everyday carry. It was for those little/quick repairs I did not need my full tool kit. I put a lanyard on it too since I was mostly in the ceilings using it. The main issue I have with plier type multi-tools is they all tend to flex when you need to use them to twist something. I still prefer regular tools and the multi-tool as a at hand backup.

    I tried for a while to carry those small pens, great for the pocket not for real use. I gravitate towards pens that are one piece/ no cap. I worked in so many jobs that I was always rushed and would lose the cap unless it was tied to me or the pen, which I have done too. I made a simple pocket organizer out of one-wrap that holds my pen multi-tool and lighter so it is comfortable in the pocket and the local pick pockets can not just help themselves without me noticing.

    Before I started just designing my own I was buying what I saw others were carrying only to find it was not for me. I was never one to carry things for fanciness over functionality and purpose.
     
  9. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I've cut way way back on the whole EDC thing.

    A basic load for me is, my flip phone in a belt holder, small SAK or other pocket knife like an Opinel number 6 or my Christy knife, my Leatherman squirt, mini Bic lighter, Fenix E01, golf pencil or stub of regular pencil, small pad made from folded up sheet of computer paper and stapled at the top and trimmed to a bit larger than credit card size, wallet NAA mini .22 revolver. If I'm going 'downtown' I'll carry a second NAA mini .22. Keyring and thats it. These days with the pandemic, theres a small bottle of hand sanitizer in a pocket and mask hanging around my neck.
     
    #29 jackknife, Jan 17, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  10. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    Good point, and this could also be said to be a one of the themes of this thread. When my pockets became bulged and ran out of room, and I had filled bags of gear that went unused, all of the stuff distracted from a simple, basic & manageable on-person edc, that was actually functionally useful and actually got used.

    Yep, that cinches it...under normal, ordinary everyday circumstances...not a wilderness survival situation...not an end times scenario, not an emergency situation...under rule of law, with your local businesses operating as normal...a flashlight, multi tool/knife, and a writing implement...win “Best of Breed” in the “Pocket EDC” category ;-)

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    #30 dmattaponi, Jan 18, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2021
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  11. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

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    Very interesting subject/question!

    As so many others I'm still on my "perfect EDC journey" (since 2014), but meanwhile life happens and my blue-white (the colors of Bavaria) pocket EDC has proven its usefulness over the years:
    • Stuff I use frequently (besides my keys, wallet, watch, smartphone):
      • small (AAA) flashlight like ThruNite Ti3 or Lumintop Worm 4.0
      • small SAK (Classic SD -> Manager or Jetsetter depending on the area I'm going ["no knives policy"])
      • half pack of paper handkerchiefs (blowing nose, avoid touching nasty door handles or being used as a paper towel replacement in public rest rooms)
    • Stuff not used often but kept just in case:
      • large bandana (multiple uses like touching hot stuff, wiping my dusty laptop screen, can be used as a make shift bandage/TQ)
      • pair of Nitrile gloves inside folded bandana (mostly first aid, but also bicycle chain repair, etc.)

    [​IMG]

    This setup rides in my jeans front pockets and while it is limited in what it can do it saved me uncountable times from getting into larger problems. For me, it's easy to carry and still so powerful compared to not having it on hand when needed -> balance of weight/size, comfort, usefulness.

    BTW: I feel naked without it (sounds weird especially to those not into EDC) and find a way to keep it on me even during very hot summer days when just wearing shorts (most without pockets), t-shirts and flip flops -> lanyard.

    I would also add my base cap and sunglasses to this category of very frequently used EDC items, also they will be carried depending on current weather and forecast. Before doing so I often found myself in a situation that the sun or strong wind is present at my destination, even if that's just a few miles away from home.

    "Thanks" to C...d-19 I do need to carry and use in lot of places an FFP2 (N95) mask - not on the picture.

    Next level is a small pouch that steps things up in terms of first aid and tools (emergency bandage, band-aids, OTC medicine, small multitool and prybar, matches, headset, USB charging cable, single servings of wet wipes, etc.), which will go into my messenger bag or backpack to ride along the larger kits.
     
    Last edited by FiaOlleDog, Jan 23, 2021
    #31 FiaOlleDog, Jan 23, 2021
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  12. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    You're so right on that most if not 99.9% of all small emergencies happen in normal everyday surroundings. I like how you put it, "under rule of law" says so much. I think there is too much fantasizing and over thinking done on the Hollywood TV show kind of predicament that will never happen. At least not without a Huge amount of idiotic behavior before hand.

    The one time I had a real life emergency happen right infant of us, and had to crawl into an upside down old Datsun B2190 that the driver had rolled three times, and was starting to burn, a little one and three quarter inch pocket knife blade cut the seat belt of the upside down driver just fine. The one time I was on the infamous ill run D.C. metro rail train in an underground tunnel, and the damm thing derailed and has an accident, the little Fenix E01 was perfectly adequate to see by until the metro crew arrived a little while later. Its surprising how well a SAK classic and single AAA flashlight can do in a real emergency.

    I long ago gave up on stuffing my pockets with stuff that I never used. I found that the simple items was enough if you used your head. The whole EDC thing has been sooooo overdone by those who profit by selling the insane stuff we will never use, but have been influenced to think we need it just in case.
     
    Last edited by jackknife, Jan 23, 2021
    #32 jackknife, Jan 23, 2021
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2021
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  13. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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    I totally agree.


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    #33 dmattaponi, Jan 23, 2021
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  14. FiaOlleDog

    FiaOlleDog Loaded Pockets

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  15. dmattaponi

    dmattaponi Loaded Pockets

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