One of the more fetishistic subcultures in the urban homesteading activity playpen is an obsession with “everyday carry,” abbreviated by hip insiders as “EDC.” EDCers peacock their carefully curated sets of survival tools in photos called “pocket dumps.” The internet’s Mecca of pocket dumps is everydaycarry.com. On that site you’ll see color and texture coordinated EDCs reminiscent of the leather and wood appointments of the luxury yachts of Russian oligarchs. I wouldn’t dare post my dingy EDC for fear of ridicule in the comments. That fear is why I’ll share my personal EDC on the much more friendly Root Simple website. Consider this blog post as an update of the pocket dump I posted in 2011. Since that time my EDC has changed, mostly via subtractions. Here’s my current EDC:
1. Leatherman Rebar
This is the central and, unquestionably, most useful cornerstone of my EDC. Not a day goes by when I don’t pull out the Rebar to fix something or slice off a piece of cheese with the dull (my fault) pocket knife. The Leatherman folks have tried to anticipate every possible lifestyle with a confusing array of Leatherman models. The model I own, the Rebar, was made for aging 90s hipsters who own 100 year old crumbling Los Angeles bungalows. It’s got wire cutters for questionable electrical repairs, a screwdriver, and a thin metal shaft that doubles as a tool for ejecting stuck Pearl Jam CDs and for drawing floral patterns in cappuccino foam. OK, I made that last bit up–it has a beer bottle opener–not, I’ll note, a corkscrew as does the Eurotrashy Swiss Army Knife. I like that the Rebar comes with a belt holster which allows me to carry the Rebar at all times, even on occasions when I’m in a suit and tie.
Women, who lack pockets and, often, belts might not be able to accommodate the bulky Rebar into their EDC. Leatherman sells a smaller multi-tool called the “Juice” (inadvertent OJ reference?) that Kelly used to carry. Kelly lost her Juice which confirms the advantage of the belt holster (and her rant about women’s pockets).
2. Keychain pill holder
In my pill holder I keep two Aleves for life’s aches and pains and a dose of Benadryl for bee stings (an inevitable hazard of the beekeeping hobbyist). Unfortunately, I’ve had trouble with the keychain pill holders coming unscrewed over time and spilling the contents. Somewhere in our great consumer horn of plenty there’s an ideal keychain pill holder that doesn’t come unscrewed. If you know of one please leave a comment.
It’s hard to say if this thing helps or hinders. Its navigation and communication capabilities are miraculous, like something out of the fevered imagination Giordano Bruno. I expect a teleportation app soon. But the damn thing is as addictive as crack and it allows the NSA, TSA and FBI to tell when I’m eating too many tortilla chips. Note that really important Silicon Valley tech bros carry phones that only make and receive calls:
Stuff I stopped carrying
In the nearly seven years since I last documented my EDC, I’ve eliminated a few items:
Fire starting tools
I used to carry a second pill container with a small match and a ball of wax soaked cotton as well as a magnesium fire starting tool. Unfortunately, part of the magnesium tool came unscrewed in my pocket and got lost (perhaps the fluid dynamicists in our audience can explain this common pocket phenomenon). But also, how often do I need to start a fire in Los Angeles? While arson is the only honest form of architectural criticism in a city full of Geoff Palmer atrocities, it’s not like I need to start a fire to stave off the cold. Maybe I’ll live to regret this decision, but there’s only so much I can carry on my keychain without ruining the tailoring of my Prada.
Thanks to the perpetual glow of LA’s streetlights I found the mini-flashlight I used to carry an unnecessary pocket lump. It also came unscrewed multiple times and the batteries kept spilling out. Plus the iPhone comes with a light to enable post-50 year olds, such as myself, to read the tiny prices on small plates menus.
Stuff I’m not sure I should carry
Then there’s one new item that I’m ambivalent about carrying:
Lock pick set disguised as a suspicious credit card
Due to a few recent bad experiences locking myself out, I’ve been teaching myself the art of lock picking (I’ll need to do a more detailed post on this hobby at a later date). But I’m worried the Chinese credit card will get me in trouble with the NSA, TSA and FBI folks who are monitoring my snacking habits. So, for the time being, I not sure if I should include the lock pick set in my EDC.
But enough self indulgence, what’s in your EDC?