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Site Update

Hey guys!

First of all, sorry for the lack of updates. If you’ve been following my twitter or facebook you might have heard that I somehow ended up in Boston this weekend, of all times. My family helped my little brother move into MIT and our flight back to LA got canceled, so my “vacation” has been extended til this Thursday… I have super limited internet access, so I can’t do much while I’m here.

I do hope my readers over on the east coast are safe after Irene and were thoroughly prepared for the worst. I know I sure wasn’t! I even lost my 4sevens Mini CR2 NW off of my keychain — the split rings 4sevens provides are practically coiled paperclips… It’s pretty disappointing. Anyway, please take this time to reflect upon your EDC and see what could be improved.

Best regards and carry on,

Bernard

On the Importance of Backups…

Sorry if this post is kind of incoherent, I just got back from a trip to the mountains with a school club. For some reason I decided to not bring my keychain out into the snow, thinking it wouldn’t be worth losing my keys and gear out there… I also didn’t bother charging my flashlight’s batteries before I left, thinking I wouldn’t be using it too often.

Anyway, while I’m waiting for a ride back to our cabin with a few of my friends at the head of a snow trail, the sun starts to set and it gets really dark, really fast. Apparently our rides back got lost and we ended up waiting for two hours, much later than scheduled, leaving us in the dark. I wasn’t planning on staying outdoors that night.

After messing around with the snow for a while, we hear a young girl calling for help off in the distance, back up the trail. Soon after, an older woman with a pretty dim incan flashlight comes up to us and asks if we hear that yelling; we confirmed. She said she saw a woman on the floor and some other figure in a beige jacket over her, so she wasn’t sure what kind of help the woman on the floor needed and asked us to accompany her up the trail (she had already called 911, etc…)

As we were going up the trail, I pulled out my light to illuminate the path. Click — and nothing. Of all times, of all places, my battery dies. My backup light on my keys was left at the cabin. I felt horrible about it — unprepared and inadequate. Luckily I turned my friends on to EDC so they had their lights… Nothing like a typical EDC light popular around here, but adequate 3xAAA aspherics and an iTP EOS A3.

We eventually found her in the snow. She twisted her knee on the trail and couldn’t walk without help, so we helped her down the path and used our flashlights to illuminate the way and identify any dangerous terrain for her. The other person with her was her niece who was calling for help, not an attacker or anything. Everything turned out okay.

I don’t claim to be a survivalist or outdoorsman of any sort, and I probably didn’t handle the situation the best I could have. But if my friends didn’t EDC lights, walking down the path would’ve been way more dangerous. I just thought things could’ve gone a little more smoothly if the woman and her niece carried a flashlight to help navigate the snow trail, and even a whistle to signal for help. We barely heard her screaming “Help!,” which I imagine is because they were quite a ways off, her voice isn’t that strong and the cold air would just make her screaming “sink” into the ground. I thought I should’ve had a backup light, battery, or at the very least thought to charge my batteries before leaving.

Not really sure if this is worth posting here, but I’m hoping my readers can understand what I was going through, at any level at least. Just wanted to share this anecdote to serve as an example of one of those ‘you never know’ situations.

Take care and carry on…

If you had a choice between High CRI with lower light output or a top bin Cree XP-G or XP-E led in the same light, which would you choose? Why?

Asked by Anonymous

Wow, this is actually a tough question. ~^-*NICE ONE*-^~

For this question, let’s state a few assumptions: The LEDs in question use the same package and have the same die size, but would differ only in flux and tint bins. Think XP-E Q3-5B neutral versus an XP-E R2 cool white. Conflating XP-G and XP-E like you kind of did in your original question overlooks differences in beam patterns, so let’s assume their physical properties and beam patterns are the same. But unlike an actual XP-E Q3-5B neutral, let’s assume this particular LED would have much higher CRI (exaggerated 90+) and a much lower flux bin, with a total output of say… 50% of its cool white counterpart.

Now we’re left with two options: High CRI at say, 100 lumens and regular cool white light at 200 lumens. This was my dilemma before I convinced myself out of buying a HDS Systems Ra Clicky (High CRI vs 170T).

My conservative answer is that it depends on your uses: if you find yourself using your light outside in the forest or in rural areas with very little light pollution, I would say 100 lumens is enough to get by. High CRI would make your visual experience that much more enjoyable.

If you’re like me, however, and you live in an urban area with annoying, ugly tinted light pollution, 100 lumens outside isn’t going to cut it. I find myself using my Quark on max all the time when I’m outside to compete with random fixed lighting. In urban environments with lots of concrete and metal, cool white doesn’t look that bad.

If we make a more realistic situation like a Zebralight SC30 XP-G R5 at 193lm versus a Zebralight SC30w XP-E at 160ish lm in neutral, I’d take the neutral white as with such bright lights, a 30 lumen difference won’t make much difference to your eyes. In fact, with a smaller die in the XP-E but using the same optics, the light will throw a little better and give you the perception of possibly being brighter at the hotspot anyway.

Sorry, this post was probably a lot more involved than you wanted… and I probably just lost a bunch of followers…

TL;DR version: Top bin cool white with lower CRI.

Can anyone in the EDC community point me in the direction of a knife with similar asthetics as the Chris Reeve Sebenza? It's a bit out of my price range, but the design is gorgeous.

Also, why whould anyone need to carry a "tactical" flashlight so often? What's the difference between a tactical flashlight and a 5-dollar keychain light when you're under your comupter desk trying to look for your dropped quarter? How often are you in a dark environment so unforgiving that carrying a titanium flashlight all the time is justifiable? I understand that there are people that benefit from having one, but from the EDC posts, it seems like every other contributor is a sneak-attack-ninja-cat burglar. Wholy unnecessary, in my opinion.

Asked by tsanbuen

Alternatives depending on your budget to the Sebbie:

Bradley Alias II (higher budget)
SanRenMu 710 (lower budget)

Now on to the real question…

Firstly, those cheap 5mm keychain LEDs (fauxtons) are not all that bad, really. I’d rather people use those than be caught in the dark.

With that said, I’m not sure that you’re fully familiar with the concept of EDCing a flashlight. The absence of light is a very common occurrence, so EDCing a flashlight is just a matter of preparedness. A candlepowerforums member, saunterer, expressed this quite nicely:

"You carry an umbrella if there is a 50% chance of rain, right? Well, there’s a 100% chance of darkness tonight."

Now in your defense, having ‘tactical’ features in a titanium host are not wholly necessary for general EDC usage. For that reason, those lights are ‘tactical’ and aren’t considered EDC lights. Some people prefer to overlap those tactical features into their EDC, though.

Higher end lights are tools regardless, tools which may potentially save your life. I would not count on a keychain 5mm 99cent LED to do that. I would want a reliable, versatile, durable light. I think a light is one of those things that you just won’t “get” if you don’t EDC one, but if you start to you’ll be glad that you did if a situation arises.

Lastly, assuming my contributors use flashlights for ‘sneak attacks’ and ‘ninja cat burglary’ is also wholly unnecessary, imo.

On Pocket Carry: Addendum

Well I gave my best effort to bring some original, informational content to EDC but I’ve somehow managed to cause more confusion than I had hoped to.

Allow me clarify — there are a lot of subtle differences and variations of my pocket carry depending on what I’m wearing, what I’m carrying, and where I’m going (obviously…). The previous post was mainly instructional and the particular configurations were used as an example. 

I’m going to take some time to answer some questions being asked:

dali asked: Where do the keys go?

Keys do not get pocket carried, instead they hang off a belt clip or belt loop. Pocket carrying keys is cumbersome and awkward in my experience. Suspending off my right hip maximizes convenience and accessibility while freeing up pocket space. I keep a minimal keychain so “jangle” and weight is not really an issue. Lastly, suspending keys lets gravity do the work in sorting and separating them. As a warning, please consider the possible risk of losing your keys outside of your pocket. Losing your keys is a potential safety risk as well as a major inconvenience…

boringshizzle asked: Two knives big guy? Also how do you keep fro squashing your iPhone?

"Big guy?" What are you tryna say? The second knife in my coin pocket is one I thought I lost forever but recently found. I was just showing it some love that day. Today, I had a flashlight in my coin pocket and the coin pocket knife from yesterday in my back pocket. Sometimes I carry two flashlights — would you call me a big guy then? #kanyeshrug As for the iPhone, the solution is simple… Take it out of your back pocket before you sit on it. When I’m sitting, my phone is either out or in my front pocket. A more accurate configuration of my carry is handky and notebook stacked in back left, wallet in back right. The two thicknesses are approximately the same, and because the pockets sit very low on these jeans, they cushion more of my upper thigh and less on my sitbones/spine. Ideally though, you don’t sit on any gear. That configuration is for when I’m on the go and need my EDC. If I have enough time to sit down somewhere, chances are I have access to better/more appropriate tools in my bag or in whatever room I’m in, etc.

ashkaun asked: Why carry multiple knives? I understand the usefulness of having a knife on hand and love my Opinel because of that, but when does that second knife become necessary/useful?

Carrying multiple knives, aside from having a backup in case one fails you, is that different knives are better in different situations. Whether it be you need a different blade shape or grind for a certain task, if legality or social reaction is a consideration, etc… Lots of different reasons for this. One example is that my Leafstorm is easier to one hand open (OHO), I used it to quickly open a new package of micropipet tips at lab when I ran out during a time sensitive experiment. My Al Mar is a better slicer, and I used that to cut some parafilm when I was at another lab and I didn’t know where they kept their scissors. My Leafstorm is presently a little dull and wouldnt have cleanly cut the film correctly. Just think about having multiple of anything in your possession - different shoes for different occasions, different pens and pencils etc…

mrip asked: how do i use pockets

Still trying to figure this out, sorry.

On Pocket Carry: Gear Retrieval, Weight Distribution, and Symmetric Allocation

I often get asked, “How do you carry all of that?” when people new to the idea of EDC see pocket dumps with lots of gear. This photo post is just a brief look at my system of pocket carrying in standard 5 pocket jeans, meaning no bags, no pouches, no sheaths, no cargo pants, etc. Over a year or so I’ve found a system that’s most convenient and comfortable for me, so I hope these pictures inspire some ideas to help you out with any carry problems you might have.

The Back Right (Strong Side) Pocket: PRL Cardholder Bifold, Moleskine Volant Mini, Spyderco Leafstorm

As you can see, my main method of carrying “flat” objects of similar size is to stack them in the pocket. I also try to stack only as much as comfortable, and only as much to achieve a balanced depth in relation to the knife. From the in-pocket picture, you can see that in this configuration, they occupy 100% of the width of the pocket. The knife is clipped in open carry (at 2.75”, legal in LA county) and is easily accessible on my strong side. Furthermore, with a tip-up configuration, I’d rather have the knife in my back right pocket as opposed to my front right pocket, so in the strange event that the knife would somehow open tip up, towards my body, I wouldn’t hurt myself bending over or sitting down. As for the notebook, having it in back right pocket is where I would keep it if I’m only going to read from it. Otherwise, I usually keep it in my back left pocket and pull it out with the left, and use my right hand to write on it. Whoops~

The Back Left (Weak Side) Pocket: Phone, Handkerchief, Flashlight of the Day (4sevens Quark Ti 123 R5)

These particular jeans have rather long back pockets that sit low, which poses a gear retrieval problem, especially with my flashlight. As indicated by the giant red lines (u must deal), there is a considerable depth I have to reach with my fingers to get to the flashlight sitting at the bottom. A simple solution would be to install a clip on this light, but in a situation like this, whipping up a lanyard of some sort (remember all those paracord posts?) would help add length to the light for easier retrieval without much added weight. Conversely, my handkerchief peeks out just a bit for easier retrieval. The phone is kept upside down, as I reach for it and pull it out with my thumb on the home button to use it faster. Again, the phone and handkerchief are just about as thick as the flashlight, and together occupy nearly 100% of the horizontal space in the pocket. Everything fits snugly and the flashlight is kept upright in pocket.

Re: Weight Distribution and Symmetric Allocation

If you notice, there is a sense of symmetry not only in horizontal allocation (flashlight and knife needed in potential ‘tactical’ situations are on the outside, strongest sides, whereas less vital and softer/more flexible items are centered) but also in the depth/thickness of each pocket. It’s important to keep this in mind, as an unbalanced load on one pocket or the other can lead to spine problems down the road, especially if you find yourself sitting on your gear a lot (like I do at the library l o l). By pairing soft/flexible items and one ‘hard’ item and putting the ‘hard’ items on the outside, I minimize the chance of unwanted gear-to-gear contact damage. For example, my flashlight has ample knurling next to my phone, but the soft handkerchief between them acts as a cushion to prevent scratching. Lastly…

Front Right (Strong Side) Pocket + Coin Pocket: Zebra Sharbo X, Al Mar Hawk Ultralight

Not gonna lie, I wish jeans came with a coin pocket on each side. The coin pocket is a great place to store backup gear or misc gear… Here I have my best slicer, the Al Mar Ultralight. I took the picture with it outside of the pocket because it really disappears into the pocket, and at less than one ounce I don’t notice it’s there until I need it. This is a great place to carry smaller flashlights or multitools. The coinpocket was home to my Juice S2 for a long time. A note about carrying pens, especially clipped on the outside of the pocket (strongest side imo) on jeans with exposed rivets: pull the pen out with caution if you’re worried about the pen’s finish. You can see some wear on the black coated clip on the pen, this is from contact/scratching against the rivets on its way up (I normally pull the pen up between the rivets out of my pocket). Aside from clipping something slim like a pen or a knife, I avoid front pocket carry as it feels uncomfortable and looks awkward when it creates bulges.

That’s it for now… Next time you’re stuffing your pockets, think about ways to maximize convenience, minimize discomfort and find a good balance.

Good luck and carry on!

It's 2:13Am in Paris. I somehow made my way to this tumblr. Its EDC Porn. I love the mix of practical and tactical. A lot of times EDC is all Bug out and Zombies and just "extreme," it's nice to find a mix. I really hope there aren't anymore than 4 more pages or I will be up until morning. There is no real question there, just awesomeness.

Asked by beaver-beaver

Haha, thanks. Sorry — there’s just over a thousand posts on this blog that you’d have to look through.

As far as incorporating a blend of “practical” and “tactical,” which if I may add, aren’t necessarily the two extremes of the carry spectrum… Most things that are tactical are indeed practical. If anything the two extremes should be tactical and ironic hipster or something like that, where the latter just becomes more of a statement of some sort.

While I’m on the subject… I’m sure nobody would be interested in a pocket dump that is entirely personal in such a way it almost becomes selfish, like an attempt to disingenuously express “individuality” in a completely materialistic way. Take for example: Wayfarers, Burts Bees, Bus Pass (no wallet, cuz no money), Keys with an ironic keychain, crappy pens, A crayon or two (because im a kid deep down!!), A Sega GameGear (i keep it old school, dawg!), Inhaler, Pez Dispenser, Moleskin (skin of a mole), vintage (read: obsolete) phone + cell phone charm, fully frosted cupcake. 

This really is in no way inspiring to other people within context of the goal here at EDC — to promote preparedness and self-reliance. I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you submit a pocket dump with the intention of solely showing off, as in, no room for me to comment or no source of inspiration for others, etc… It won’t get published. In the same vein, sorry to everyone submitting only phone/wallet/keys, I’m trying to keep this site relevant to the everyday carry culture and show that people carry more than just phone, wallet, keys…

regarding your keychain (http://everyday-carry.com/post/866779537/editors-note-i-dont-think-ive-ever-posted-my), I'd recommend a welded titanium ring in place of the split ring (lightweight and sexy), then three (#1) mcgizmo clips so you can quickly remove each of the items for individual use. I swear by the configuration, and of course it becomes modular, as you can attach/remove other items as your edc habits change.

Asked by Anonymous

Hi anon,

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve actually already tried keychain carry with a ring and McGizmo clip setup, but I found it didn’t work well for me. After a lot of planning, I was able to slim my keychain down to just three components. A keychain this minimal doesn’t really need the strength of a titanium ring, especially considering its price. Furthermore, I noticed the McGizmo clips that were strong enough added unnecessary length, while the ones that were short had unreliably weak gates and would drop my gear if I barely twisted them. I think simple split ring attachment works best as far as retention, which is one of my highest priorities. Having a modular setup isn’t as important for me because I don’t plan on changing my setup in the near future, and if I do, I would rarely do it on-the-go (as in I’d have a minute or two to undo the split ring to swap gear). If I want to access a particular component, I can unclip the entire ring from my belt and pick one, while palming the other two for something to hold onto. Lastly, my keychain serves as a backup or last-ditch option, so it doesn’t see enough use to require McGizmo clips, imo. Concealment, light weight and retention are more important to me.

While I appreciate your suggestion and recommend it to people who are looking for those qualities, I just want to point out that sometimes what you read on the internet won’t work for you. An important aspect of finding the perfect EDC is trial and error/carry experience. It’s a frustrating, expensive, but also fun and rewarding process.

In retrospect this post is kinda long and detailed — I guess it shows the kind of pathetic and nerdy things I spent my free time thinking about… :p

I appreciate your input! Thanks.

Let me play devil's advocate here... and this is probably just my minimalist/philosophical personality speaking...

I have nothing against people who own or carry knives (I myself own a SOG Flash II and carry it everyday), but doesn't it ever seem kind of silly to carry a knife —especially big/expensive ones— only to end up using it mostly for minor tasks* like opening a box or a letter, tasks that could really be accomplished even without a knife. It just seems like overkill 98% of the time, depending on who you are and where you live or work, and except for those rare occasions when a knife could really end up saving your life.

What are your thoughts?

Do you think a knife is an essential EDC tool for everyone, regardless? Or is a knife overkill for those who don't live or work in an environment that would otherwise render a knife invaluable?

* Here's an example of what some people have used their knife for: http://www.bladeforums.com/forums/showthread.php?t=733408.

Asked by nickhumphries

It depends on the type of knife, really. Larger knives with exotic steels, titanium integral locks, and other tactical features would be overkill for the average EDC. A simple slipjoint like a Victorinox or Case knife that your grandpa used to carry, imo, is sufficient for general EDC use (for harder use though, a locking knife is safer). Moreover, those slipjoint knives carry a reputation of being tools and not weapons, which can’t necessarily be said for more modern, tactical types of knives. There are some other issues regarding knives still under dispute but I won’t really get into that.

I admit that my Leafstorm is overkill for EDC, and I’d do just fine using my Victorinox. Would I be just fine using my hands? I’d say no — if this were true, pocket knives probably wouldn’t exist, right?

On a somewhat related note, I think the EDC knife, especially when in public, should be a “last ditch” option. Recently, someone in my lab broke his pencil and asked “Can I borrow your…” Before I let him finish his sentence, I had his pencil sharpened with my knife. He just wanted to borrow my pencil, but instead I sort of startled him by pulling the knife. (Someone else proceeded to ask, however, why I carried a knife right after they saw me sharpen a pencil with it…) This was my bad.

The bottom line — your hands can’t cut things. A tactical folder can, but so can a small Swiss Army Knife. Choose the knife that fits your needs.

It seems that there are basically two types of EDC: 'practical' and 'tactical'. Which do you prefer, and why?

Asked by nickhumphries

My personal preference lies towards the ‘practical’ end of the spectrum. This is mainly because my lifestyle does not entail tactical applications every day. I’m lucky enough to attend school in the safest city in America, so I tend to stray away from tactical gear where self-defense is the priority (along with other reasons). Furthermore, tactical gear has a certain “aesthetic” to it (very rugged, lots of black, aggressive knurling, rather large, MOLLE straps everywhere, etc) that I appreciate but would rather not have in my gear as to avoid unwanted suspicion/attention.

Speaking of aesthetics, I still find the streetwear/fashion culture somewhat interesting, and as such I’m partial to minimalistic (smaller, sleeker) gear. As with clothing, I look for higher quality materials and design in my gear. My background as an engineer further attributes to my appreciation for high-tech LEDs, steels, lock designs, pens, etc. All of these factors in some way or another push me somewhere in between practical and tactical.

I could really get by with one of my smaller flashlights, but I’d enjoy carrying a titanium light with the latest LED technology better. I could open a box with a Swiss Army Knife but S30V steel and a titanium framelock are much more satisfying to use.

Anyway that was probably a lot more than you wanted to know but I wanted to answer this (refreshingly original/not a recommendation) question in thorough detail.

Thanks for asking!