I have been following the slow rise of the EDC (Every Day Carry) movement for a few years now and always enjoy seeing what sort of interesting small gadgets people carry around them every day to get their work done. It has spurred quite a lot of new products and refined products to match the needs of the mindset which is, broadly speaking, doing as much as possible with the smallest amount of gear.
When it comes to what I carry with me every day it varies greatly because my daily needs vary quite a bit. Some days I am an audio engineer, some days I am a photographer, some days I am both, and other days I just want to relax. This leaves me with a lot of different tools to juggle and I certainly don’t need everything with me all the time. One thing never seems to change though and that’s what makes it into my pockets every single day, everywhere I go.
What you see above are the items that are constantly with me, minus my keys which have no interesting gadget to show off on them because I don’t like any junk hanging off my key ring other than keys. I figured it would be interesting to some of you to briefly talk about what you see above, sort of mini reviews of each item.
Starting on the left, the wallet is one YoungDoo bought for me in Seoul from a stationary store called MMMG. It’s a sturdy simple leather wallet with just enough for all I carry in it; ID, a couple business cards, a couple credit cards, and a bit of cash. I also have an amazing travel wallet I may review here on 50ft if I find the time.
Next up is this thing I picked up a few months ago called an iPhone. The “i” stands for internet or something and it’s kind of cool I guess. Ahem… Right, I have had an iPhone since day one with its first version which now lives in a drawer with my original iPod. I was at the MacWorld where it was first announced and first saw one slowly spinning around in a plastic tube of a display case.
I love the iPhone, its the kind of device that I would daydream of existing in some made up science fiction world growing up. Actually, I remember thinking in the future we would not buy cds or tapes but would take a little tiny device not much bigger than a headphone jack to music stores where we could buy music to fill it up. I am always amazed at technology and how far we have come. To be anything but completely amazed at the devices we take for granted every day is a crime. I have plenty I could ramble on about here but I will leave it at that. The case is super minimal and snaps on the the back glass of the phone and is flush with the metal antenna*.
Next up is my knife. Some areas of the world see carrying a knife as an act of aggression and for many that may be the case, but this is far from a weapon, its a tool that I use through out the day. I have tried a number of knives over the years but have happily settled on the Spiderco Dragonfly G-10. It has a short blade and overall length but is brilliantly designed to be held with your full hand. Your index/pointer finger safely rests at the joint of the blade and the handle giving you great control over the knife as you use it. More traditional knife designs feel strange and sloppy to use after getting used to this type of Spyderco design.
I equally love the design of the minimal wire clip which is sturdy and allows for the knife to sit nice and deep within my pocket. While there are a number of handle options I prefer the green g-10 version because its nice and grippy. Anyways, there are a lot of great knives on the market and everyone has their favorite but in my opinion Spyderco makes some of the best available today.
Next up is the Field Notes notebook plus the little pen I shove inside. I started using moleskine brand cashier books this size but the cover would fall off all the time so I gave Field Notes a try and never looked back. The quality of the paper and cover are second to none and the various editions they make available are always fun. I use these all the time during work and as a place to scribble quick notes and ideas.
The pen I keep inside is one I ordered from Jet Pens. I have tried small pens like this in the past but none have ever had as smooth of a line as this Ohto Petit-B. I love a smooth skinny line from my pens and this is fantastic considering the size. The only downside is having to pull the pen out of itself, spin the middle around and insert it back into itself to get it to full length but I have used it so much that its second nature at this point.
Last but far from least is my flashlight. There are countless amazing lights on the market now because of a few dedicated small companies constantly improving themselves. This is a Quark 123 Tactical light from 4Stevens. After a lot of research I settled on this light because of the great combo of price versus performance. The tactile version allows me to have two separate modes to easily jump between with a simple twist of its head. I jump between a medium brightness and the full power mode. I usually use medium bright to save battery life but love the full brightness which is blinding and satisfying and comes in quite handy in certain situations. The flashlight takes a beating too, I use it constantly at work both in dark venues and while navigating my way through dark corners of a building during an install. It is not invincible though.
A few months back I dropped it while working on a lift four or five floors up on a score board. I watched as it slowly fell down, down, down. It was far enough a distance where I could sit there and watch it fall and have time to anticipate it hit the ground. After recovering it the body itself was perfectly fine outside of a dent on the base, but the circuits inside came loose and the lights head no longer worked. Thankfully, 4Sevens sells replacement heads and I was able to get it fixed up without having to buy a new light. I also bought an alternative clip that allows me to push the light deep into my pocket so it is more secure as I carry it around.
Worth noting is the fact that this version of the light is no longer available. The company has been transitioning into a new variation on their brand which can be found here. Also worth noting is they have some of the best prices on CR2 batteries anywhere. a 10 pack of them for 20 bucks is amazing.
Other common sights in my pocket are sharpie markers, a handkerchief, a smaller flashlight, and maybe a tool or two specific to the job for the day. I also carry a mini tool kit assembled to take care of as many needs as possible without the bulk of a full took kit. If there is any interest I can discuss it and its contents some other day. So that’s that, what and why I carry what I carry from day to day, hopefully some of you found something of interest in here.
*Update: Almost immediately there were a number of people asking about the iPhone case. Of course I should have remembered that my audience here consists of a lot of iPhone users! I bought the case in Seoul while traveling in Korea. It is made by a local brand that, as far as I have been able to find, only sells their product within Korea. It’s been a great case with a nice matte finish making the phone easier to hold without adding any bulk to the device at all. It would never protect the phone from a real fall but keeps the back of the phone nice and clean. It snaps on with an optional double sided tape which uses a very light adhesive to make sure it stays on the back of the phone. You can see the companies page on the case here. It’s also available from 10×10, a great Korean online shop but I don’t know if they ship anywhere outside of Korea. I daydream of importing great Korean products like this and selling them on 50ft.
Another small update while I’m here, I also now wear a wristwatch everywhere I go which is a watch YoungDoo and I bought for each other to celebrate our wedding. It is a Uniform Wares 200 Series watch which I am madly in love with, its such a beautiful watch.